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Thursday
May312012

Because We May, a game sale

It's a special, rushy edition of Indie Game Friday. It's special because it's on Thursday and it concerns sales.

Most of the games I recommend when I write for Paper Darts are free, have a free demo, or are mad cheap compared to major console titles (and also compared to things like food and losing money in the couch). I understand that "very cheap" doesn't quite cut it when you're "very broke." Lucky for you, me, and humanity, 180 developers who believe in setting their own prices are taking part in Because We May, a colossal sale event which has made cheap indies cheaper still.

Out of almost 400 award- and esteem-winning titles on sale, I picked the ten best looking ones to highlight. After all, this column has always focused on the superficial.

Because We May only goes to (or through?) June 1, so you need to blow your moneywad now

Paperphiles, brace yourselves: And Yet It Moves is a puzzle/platformer that takes place in a ripped paper collage. Better yet, its unique take on platforming extends beyond the look—you use one set of keys to run and jump and another to spin the world around you 90 degrees at a time. Don't deny yourself this experience, friends. 

Steam: $2.50 ● Windows, Mac, Linux: $2.99 

Bauhaus Break pairs some of my favorite elements from Tetris and the lesser-known but infinitely awesome Tetris Attack with simple, gorgeous design. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, this is a no-brainer—it's on sale for FREE.

iPhone, iPad: $0.00

Braid is a staple of the "video games as art" conversation, and Jonathan Blow—the mastermind behind it—takes controversy with him wherever he goes. It's a puzzle game centered on time-bending that asks "What if you could learn from mistakes but undo the consequences?" The story is interesting, the puzzles are challenging, and the art by David Hellman is something else. Something…brilliant.

Steam: $2.50Windows, Mac, Linux: $5.00

Capsized is one of the many games that makes me lament being bound to a Mac. Aliens, 2D platforming, fast-paced action, and highly detailed and richly colored environments…yum. I recall it got middling reviews, but it's so damn gorgeous that I'd buy it anyway if I had the right hardware. Live my dream for me, PC-owners.

Steam: $4.00

There are a lot of things to appreciate about Eliss. It's a fun game. The visual style is simple, retro, and hawt. Finally, it makes great use of multitouch. Not enough iPhone games take advantage of what makes the iPhone's platform unique, but Eliss has been kicking ass at it since 2009.

iPhone: $1.99

I'm not sure many real time strategy games can be called Zen, but then there's Eufloria. It's easy to learn and completely hypnotizing. Plant seeds, grow trees, direct your seedling troops, zone out. It's 75 percent off right now—there's really no reason to not download it. 

iPad: $1.99 ● Steam: $4.99 ● Windows: $4.99

Despite its presence on several platforms, NyxQuest flew (pun!) completely under my radar. The art style and the guarantee that I'd get to fly Nyx across the ruins of ancient Greece and use the powers of Olympian gods were enough to get me to buy this game. The positive reviews I discovered post-buy were a bonus.

Steam: $2.99 ● Windows, Mac: $2.99

Osmos is "part physics-based eat-'em-up, part ambient, cosmic simulator, and part Darwinistic game of survival." What more do you need to know? They had me at "physics."

iPhone: $0.99 ● iPad: $1.99 ● Steam: $2.99 ● Windows, Mac, Linux: $2.99

Look at those little darlings. Look at their mushroomy bodies. Don't you want to keep them in your pocket? Don't you want to direct them away from scary spikes and toward their swirling salvation? Spirits took the Lemmings formula and darkened it. You want to play.

iPhone: $0.99 ● iPad: $1.99 ● Mac: $3.99

Pixels have never looked as good as they do in Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. As I understand it, Sword & Sworcery combines puzzles and rhythm and offbeat fantasy and poetic storyarchs and strange humor and everything else I could ever want out of a game into one much-lauded experience. Until now, I thought it was an iPad and PC exclusive, so I'm very excited to finally dig in (and at a discount).

iPad, iPhone: $2.99 ● iPhone (Micro Version): $0.99

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