Indie Jeff's Weekly Picks: August 22-26

By Jeff Mattas, Aug 27, 2011 11:00am PDT

I'll go ahead get this out of the way first: If you haven't already checked out the free demo for Owlboy that was released by D-Pad Studio this past week--and have a soft spot for beautiful retro art and platforming adventures--I highly recommend doing so. It provides a good-sized vertical slice of gameplay, features a lot of clever gameplay elements, and should be more than enough to help you decide whether you should snap it up once it's released.

D-Pad studios describes Owlboy as a vertical platformer, which is a succinct way of noting that the game's maps require far more up and down traversal than your standard-variety horizontal layout. It's a great choice, and one that plays right into one of Owlboy's key abilities: flight. Owlboy also has the power to pick up and carry other characters to supplement his toolset. I've only encountered one such character--named the Gunner--in the demo, so far, but picking him up allows Owlboy to use his new friend to shoot at enemies. Expect a bit of combat and some light puzzles to solve if you decide to check it out Owlboy for yourself, which I highly recommend. You can grab the demo right here on Shacknews.

As I'm sure most of you are aware, PAX 2011 also kicked off this weekend. As in past years, the DigiPen Institute of technology has fifteen student-developed games at the expo, one of which--A Flipping Good Time--is part of the PAX 10 featured indie games. We rounded up trailers to all fifteen games on Indie Games Channel, and many of the games have free playable builds already available. All told, there are some really creative and fun looking titles in the mix.

The DigiPen student game trailers are certainly worth checking out, but my favorite piece of indie game media this week is the launch trailer for Achron, the mind-bending, time-travelling, meta-time strategy game from Hazardous Software. The game officially launches tomorrow, August 29, and Indie Games Channel's Ozzie Meija is hard at work on getting a review together. If you're already sold on picking it up, you can pre-order Achron from the developer's website for $29.95, which will give you immediate access to the beta version, as well as the full release.

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