The following five games will join our previously announced eight finalists to be considered for the $3,500 grand prize as chosen by one Mr. Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation. And because all parties are better with more people, two additional games will be joining them in just a few short hours via a second post: the winner of People’s Choice (also taking home $1000) and the winner of The Might Burchatta (taking home $500). These 17 games will then enter the equivalent of 8.5 congenitally joined Thunderdomes to produce one grand prize winner later this month. :-O

RON GILBERT’S CHOICE:

Pus Pus Platypus by team Truism

What he had to say: “A deceivingly delightful game where you blow kisses at enemies rather than bullets. I was initially perplexed by this game and then the charm of it overcame me and I played it over and over trying to blow kisses to everything/everyone I saw.”

PETER MOLYNEUX’S CHOICE:

Scarlett by team Chainsaw Dystopia

What he had to say: “Refreshing concept and an impressive game for the time restraints given. Quirky, enjoyable, humorous and potentially as intense as any drama game. Great work.”

BRIAN PROVINCIANO’S CHOICE:

Señor Cuadrito by team Aerys II

What he had to say: “Incredible presentation. Cute characters that feel alive and well done cutscenes which are complemented nicely by the music. The combat has weight and feel and is very satisfying, especially the kick dash and score chains. Big applause from me!”

What he also had to say:

Brian made a point of saying that he’d really appreciated feedback for his IGF submissions, so wanted to offer some comments on a bunch of random other games other than his pick. Though they are not judge-chosen finalists, we wanted to share those comments as well:

AGENT ERASER
A lot of fun. Great music and nice presentation with the text. Good stealth experience. The only recommendation I have would be to add a checkpoint or such to the later levels. Often the first part is easy but takes a bit of time, so when you fail, having to repeat the first part repeatedly becomes repetitive.

MARVIN’S MAGNIFICENT WUB WUB BUS
Upgrading the bus is very fun. Reminds me of Shellrazer. Sound effects and other visual feedback when bullets hit different object types would make a big difference, but the atmosphere is very nice. The bus stop at the end of the level is a nice touch.

TEACHER’S PET
Very creative concept, nice and refreshing. Definitely room to expand upon it with a more fleshed out game. It would be great to see a version with more classmate and teacher behaviour, facial expressions, watching the surroundings to figure out the best time to throw it.

LEARN 2 DRIVE: HAWAIIAN DRIFT
Hands down, my favourite art of the entire Indie Speed Run. Absolutely beautiful. Colourful, stylistic and clean. Fun presentation and great atmosphere from the music. I definitely need better reflexes to excel at it though!

PYRAMIDS
Neat concept of having to apply two different types of matching simultaneously. The tutorial text was a bit confusing though and while I could score some points, I never could understand exactly why some matches didn’t work yet others did. It could use a better tutorial or more concise explanation of which pieces match and why.

EYESUTRA
A nice and refreshing direction for puzzle games. It was nice how the background lit up as you got closer to the correct rotation, although perhaps that could be delayed to prevent players from just twisting and turning quickly to see if it lights up. Perhaps it only begins to glow after half a second of being still? Well done though!

HORTUM ET SPATHA
The controls work really well and were easy to get the hang of. Nice concept! Adding some more hints as to which plants can grow and which cannot would be helpful. For example, perhaps when a weed pops up there could be a warning sound effect. When a nice flower grows, a pleasant sound effect. The QWE controls were a great decision. While I initially used the mouse, I quickly realized how much better using the keys was.

ACTIONI CONTRARIAM
Nice art style together with the music creates a strong vibe. Movement feels good, although once I figured out that from the start of the game you can win just by tapping the button and not moving left or right at all, it felt too short. It also ends abruptly, so the first time I won I was a bit confused as to what happened. Leaving a bit of time between finding the goal before transitioning to the win screen would make a big different. Plenty of potential there though. Great work!

CORPORATE PIE
Great pun! I think it could be a bit more intuitive and clicks have a bit more visual or audio feedback, but is overall well done.

MATTHEW DAVIS AND JUSTIN MA’S CHOICE:

Return by team Spacetronaut Games

What they had to say: “I really enjoyed playing them all though. And it was really rough choosing one out of the top 4 or so that we liked.”

MYSTERY JUDGE’S CHOICE:

“What’s a Mystery Judge Choice?” you ask. Allow us to explain. The final selection was originally meant to have come from Ian Dallas, creator of The Unfinished Swan. Sadly, based on some unforeseen complications, Mr. Dallas is unable to make a selection at this time. Because we still need a selection from the games for which he was responsible, however, we have asked another judge to fill in. Normally, we’d be happy to share his/her identity with you, however because this judge has already made another selection, we do not want to devalue his or her original choice by making this one seem “lesser” than the other. So, while we cannot assign this choice to a specific name, it’s just as valid as the others going to the finals, and just as much of an achievement for the team who produced it.

Shep Hard by team Butterscotch Shenanigans

What he or she had to say: “Despite a steep difficulty curve, Shep Hard is hands down the best action game I played this year. Balancing your progress with upgrades and defense was always fun (and immensely stressful), leading to a beautiful little game with sharp and intuitive controls.”

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