Indie Jeff's Weekly Picks: September 26-30

By Jeff Mattas, Oct 02, 2011 9:00am PDT

I'd like to kick things off this week by recommending one of this year's IndieCade finalists, called Loop Raccord (see top image). Developed by Plural Games (Nicolai Troshinsky), it's a game centered around manipulating a number of brief (and completely disparate) video clips in such a way that the action from one flows seamlessly into the next. I can't say I can remember ever playing another game about video editing, nor did I expect that the notion of meticulously tweaking animated .gifs could be so rewarding. The clips themselves are as strangely esoteric as they are brief, which adds to the enjoyment.

Recently released for iPad for $2.99, the game is also available as a free download for PC.

I'd also be remiss in not mentioning some quick impressions of Edmund McMillen's The Binding of Isaac, which just went on sale on Steam for about five bucks a few days ago (10% off until Oct. 5). The plot of the game is deliciously twisted, and its action-roguelike sensibilities perfectly capture the Super Meat Boy co-creator's proclivity for making games that are exceptionally difficult and exceptionally rewarding.

As expected, McMillen's disgustingly-cute trademark art is in full swing here, implemented in disturbingly clever ways. For example, the titular Isaac--trying to escape his murderous zealot of a mother--shoots enemies with his tears as he runs through the randomly generated rooms of mom's basement. It plays out sort of like a Legend of Zelda dungeon-crawl, albeit with permanent death, creepy enemies and bosses, and very dark psychological undertones. Not sure at this point if I'll have the skill to make it to one of the game's multiple endings, but I'll spend many hours trying.

In this week's links, I've got an interview with Davey Wreden, developer of the excellent Half-Life 2 mod, The Stanley Parable, and a chat with GameSpy's Drew Curby about the Indie Open House residency program. Ozzie's Indie Games Channel review of the kart-racing shooter Silas rounds things out:

This week's indie media clip is a trailer for the IndieCade finalist Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure. Five year-old Cassie Creighton--the youngest game developer I know of--co-created the short, browser-based adventure game with her father Ryan. She drew all of art, voiced the main character, and even contributed to the creation of some of the game's puzzles. While that's an impressive feat in itself, the best part is how the game takes players through a journey of innocent, childlike creativity. Check out the Indie Games Channel review for more impressions, or play it for free on the game's official website.

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