Three Philadelphia Indie Video Games

Apparently I’m on a linking binge here.  I hope to get back to some original content in the near future, but my creativity is being taken up by a little play I’m working on (more on that later).

In the meantime, I want to introduce my ravenous and innumerable readership to a couple (three, specifically) indie computer games created by Philadelphia-based game studios.  All are available for purchase, but two you can demo in your browser.  These are small, pick-up-and-play puzzle-ish games, and they’re all really fun.

Game 1: Return All Robots

Green hair, goatee, thick black glasses? Must be a Philly intern.

This is the first game from Philadelphia game designers Space Whale Studios.  I did a tiny amount of QA work for this game, and my name is in the credits!  Seriously.  Woot.  It’s a classic bomberman-like puzzle game, with kitschy art and 80’s music.  Quite fun, with a good sense of humor.  I played it on the PC, but it’s available in the XBox Indie Games marketplace, which I suspect is the natural platform for it.  Only downside: can’t play this at work.

Game 2: Auditorium

really freakin' pretty and imaginative game

You can play this game’s demo in-browser, and maybe the whole game too (not sure).  You can also buy it for your iPhone, if you’re like a music mogul and have one of those.

I’m really impressed with this game.  It’s elegant and beautiful.  If you try this game, make sure you have sound.  Why?  Because to play you create orchestral compositions via a physics puzzle game.  It’s not a “video game” in the ways many people think when they consider such things.  Be warned: if you try this at work, you may end up playing it for an hour. These are the kinds of games that, I suspect, make you smarter for playing them.

Game 3: Fractal

Points + math + score multipliers = dangerous

This game, along with Auditorium, is from Cipher Prime, another Philadelphia-based game development company.  If Auditorium is an elegant concerto, Fractal is the New Pornographers.  You create patterns of hexagons to get points and beat the level.  There are score multipliers, arcade modes, puzzle modes, etc.  You can also play this in-browser at the link above, and like Auditorium, you will be less productive should you try this game.

So anyhow, three games from Philadelphia-based game studios.  All worth checking out if you’re in to these sorts of things.

I feel we tend to think of some forms of artistic entertainment, like live theater and music, as “local” and thus worth supporting on that level.  Other forms of artistic entertainment, such as video games or movies, don’t incur this kind of thinking.*  There’s no good reason for this, and so I want to draw attention to these three games I have encountered, because they’re good and local.  If you’re looking for the next Flash game to play at work or on your iPhone, or you have some XBox points to redeem, consider buying local and indie.

*I am not, however, suggesting that everyone should go see tons of Mark Wahlberg movies, just because they were made in Philly.

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