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An in depth look at the IndieCade 2010 Winners (Part 2)

Following on from yesterday's look at the winners of the 'Gameplay Innovation', 'Amazing', 'Sound' and 'World and Story' awards we take an a look at the winners of the next four categories from IndieCade 2010.

Documentary Games Award
The Cat and the Coup is a documentary game in which you play the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. During the summer of 1953, the CIA engineered a coup to bring about his downfall.

As a player, you coax Mossadegh back through significant events of his life by knocking objects off of shelves, scattering his papers, jumping on his lap and scratching him. Mossadegh interacts with each scene, and you influence his movement by moving the cat around.

The game was created by Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad at the Game Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. You definitely need to check out the trailer to get a good feel for this one!

There's no release date yet, but apparently it should be appearing online soon. You can check out more about the game at its website:

Aesthetics Award
The winner of the Aesthetics Award is the beautifully crafted 'Spirits' by Spaces of Play. The game is for iPad, iPhone and iPod and will be available soon according to their website... (we're starting to spot a pattern with this year's winners!)

The game is described by the developer as an action-puzzle game in which the players manipulate wind and ground elements to guide the Spirits towards the goal.

In gameplay terms this is accomplished in four different ways; blowing or blocking wind, digging tunnels and growing bridges of leaves. This makes for a sort of Lemmings like experience where the player is tasked with getting the inhabitants of the world from point A to point B using the tools available to them.

Sound and music have been created completely with orchestral musical instruments and combine with the beautifully hand-drawn graphics to give what the developers call "a unique poetic feel". Personally, we just think it looks cool.

Spaces of Play are a group of independent game designers, visual artists and musicians based in Berlin that came together with the goal of creating great games. Their focus is on original ideas and gameplay and their website declares that "We put our heart and soul into what we do, every pixel and sound bit has been hand-picked for your optimal experience. In short, we provide handcrafted independent games" and who are we to argue?

Their first project was called Mr. Bounce and was released for the iPhone way back in October 2009.


Sublime Experience Award

Faraway by Steph Thirion was previously a Gamma IV winner back at GDC in March. Not much has been seen of the game since then, but it still really impresses!

The game is controlled with a single button and with this incredibly simple interface you head off to explore the universe. You are in control of a comet that is flying through space. Tapping anywhere on the screen causes your comet to gravitate towards the nearest static object, which it will then orbit around until you set it free. The comet then flies off in a new direction. Sounds simple right? but it's actually got a lot more to it than that!

There's an arrow pointing off screen in a certain direction, and you have to time your slingshots correctly in order to head in the direction the arrow is pointing. After you get moving in the right direction you keep on flying until you hit a g
igantic radius. At that point the game changes to a new mode where the comet trails a line around the screen and you can use that to connect up the on-screen stars that you orbit around. the more stars you connect, the more points you get... but if you cross your trail at any time (or hit the edge of the screen) it's game over, light cycles style, and you're back to exploring the universe mode.

Thirion has previously released the space based puzzler Elison iPhone and Faraway seems to be something of a sequel to that game.

He says "While Eliss was about planets and space management in sectors, Faraway will be about constellations and infinite space travel".

TouchArcade posted a great video of the game to YouTube that you can check out here:

Fun and Compelling Award
VVVVVV - the letter V six times - is a 2D platform puzzler that features a novel gravity flipping gameplay mechanic. The game was developed by Terry Cavanagh and was released earlier this year for PC, MAC and Flash.

Starting out with a short story that shows your spaceship hitting interference and crashing, you find yourself lost and alone, your crew mates' whereabouts unknown... Running right and hitting jump will result in your first encounter with the games novel gravity flipping - we'd love to tell you more but to be honest, it's far better if you play it yourself!

You can try the game on Kongregate right now, or download the demo from: or get it from Steam.

Any game that has a fake Commodore 64 loading screen at the start is ok with us!


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