Brandon Boyer

Leave a reply

Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month — both local and global, and both indie and occasionally a bit-bigger-budget — for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed.

In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are be presented here on Venus Patrol for your reference, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

Humble Indie Bundle 3

Developer: Various | Platform: PC/Mac/Linux | Get it: Online

“… there’s only one more day to get the third edition of the Humble Indie Bundle, which is especially notable now because it only costs around six bucks to get an additional set of games from Humble Indie Bundle 2, as well as some free games like Steel Storm, which hails from right around these parts.”

Soul Tax

Developer: Jarod Long, Lauren Careccia, Brad Snyder | Platform: Web | Get it: Online

“… your goal in Soul Tax is to kill off a certain number of citizens by controlling a lost soul to possess someone & attack the rest, in order to pay off a debt to Death himself. Stick with this one for a while, the special abilities the characters have in later levels twists this one in pretty interesting ways.”

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Developer: Shadow Planet Productions | Platform: Xbox Live Arcade | Get it: Xbox Live

“… a very French take on Metroid-ish exploration, and — coming from Gagne, a traditional animator — every bit as gorgeous as it would appear here.”

Desktop Dungeons

Developer: QCF Design | Platform: Web | Get it: Online

“… people who pre-order the game now have access to a greatly enhanced beta of what will become the final product. If you haven’t played this yet, it’s a brilliant puzzle-oriented take on dungeon crawlers, most easily described as something like Rogue crossed with Minesweeper, and is super worth checking out and playing along with as it crawls toward the finish line.”

Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog

Developer: thecatamites | Platform: PC | Get it: Online

“… a short, free courtroom adventure game for PC, and I honestly shouldn’t have to add much more than what you see on the screen right now, so I’m just going to add that it’s super smartly written and very, very funny and let you discover the rest for yourself.”

Escape From Puppy Death Factory

Developer: Mr. Podunkian | Platform: Web | Get it: Adult Swim

“… a light parody of Super Metroid, warped into an honestly pretty challenging puzzle game where you rescue — as the title suggests — puppies that have been imprisoned in the Death Factory.”


Developer: Matt Hammill | Platform: iPhone, iPad | Get it: iPhone, HD iPad

“… a student project that was featured in the Indie Games Festival a few years back, which Konami ended up picking up and bringing to the iPhone & iPad. It’s as adorable a puzzle game as you’ve played in quite a while, where you take charge of this little green pig who’s got a cold, and strategically sneezes to lead these various monsters to their death.”

From Dust

Developer: Eric Chahi for Ubisoft | Platform: Xbox Live Arcade | Get it: Xbox Live, Steam pre-order

“Creator of PC classic Out Of This World Eric Chahi has come back after two decades of traveling the world taking photos of volcanos to make a god game about helping mankind re-connect with nature and their ancestors, where you control the shape of the land to protect and guide them from danger — it’s super smart & super gorgeous & you should probably get it first thing when you get back home tonight.”

Groove Coaster

Developer: Taito | Platform: iPhone, iPad | Get it: AppStore

“A new iPhone and iPad game from Reisuke Ishida — the Taito designer also responsible for the Space Invaders reboot Infinity Gene — Groove Coaster is his take on a rhythm/music game and re-envisions music as a rollercoaster ride where you tap and swipe to the beat. Absolutely beautiful, and manages to make beat-matching game feel like a totally new experience, which is tough a decade and a half after Parappa the Rapper first debuted.”

Radical Fishing

Developer: Vlambeer | Platform: Web | Get it: Online

“An ingenious three part fishing game that’s better experienced than simply described, I bring it up here because over the past couple weeks, it’s been cloned for the iPhone by a shameless casual games company — especially galling because Vlambeer have been working on rebooting the game for the iPhone themselves.

I won’t go into full details here (read more about it here), but it’s an issue that gets me super fired up, and underscores why it’s crucial that the indie game community and fans celebrate original work and give full recognition where it’s due, and in Radical Fishing’s case, it’s absolutely due.”