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Slamdance Film Festival Guerilla Gamemaker Competition Finalists Round-Up
posted by: Sean Hilliard
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date posted: 12:25 PM Sun Jan 22nd, 2006
last revision: 12:24 PM Sun Jan 22nd, 2006

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Click to read.The Slamdance Film Festival, the hottest indy film festival since the Sundance Film Festival, will be giving indy gamemakers their chance to bask in the spotlight and rake in some well-deserved cash. During Slamdance, for the second year, attendees will be treated to the Guerilla Gamemaker Competition. The festival\'s gaming-centered events take place from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24. Prizes will be awarded in five different categories: Grand Jury, Audience, PopCap Casual Game, Physics and Philosophy awards.

The 12 finalists are:

Cloud is a Japanese-style game that puts gamers in the shoes of a blue-haired hero that flies high in the air, among the clouds. Featuring gorgeous artwork and an exciting yet mysterious premise, Cloud is worth checking out, if only for the screenshots on the Web site.

Disaffected! is the latest in what the developers call \"anti-advergames.\" Anti-advergames encourage gamers to think beyond the controller to larger issues, in this case the power of corporations. The game puts players in control of employees at Kinko\'s, the copy store. Gamers deal with customer beefs and the hazards of the store in a game featuring South Park-style graphics.

Epoch Star
Epoch Star should have been called \"Epic Star.\" The game features a Star Wars-like galaxy, populated with hundreds of planets and tons of different aliens. Gamers pilot a ship, engaging in real-time space battles and gain experience and wealth. Some of the alien types are truly creepy.

Facade is an experiment in first-person drama, combining 3D graphics and a branching storyline into a one-act play. Gamers play as themselves, but they are placed in the middle of a couple\'s marital trouble. Featuring multiple endings, Facade encourages repeat playthroughs to get every angle of the story.

Guardians of Kelthas
Guardians of Kelthas is a deck-based role-playing game in the style of tabletop card games like Magic: The Gathering, but it\'s a videogame. However, as you play the game, your cards gain experience, but tactics that work in one type of terrain may fail miserably in another terrain. Guardians features both single-player and online play.

Joboo\'s Gems
Joboo\'s Gems is a puzzle game that features an unique twist: Joboo can interfere with your playing in different, strange ways. The game\'s graphics are bright and colorful, and the jungle theme works well. Joboo himself is a strange masked witch doctor-type character who will make you crack a grin despite yourself.

N is a 2D puzzle/platformer game that has gamers taking control of a ninja trapped in a world full of homicidal robots. There are 500 levels in the game, 50 of which were made by fans of the game. Ninja dismemberment has never been more addictive, well at least since Ninja Gaiden Black.

Narbacular Drop
Narbacular Drop features the unique idea of the portal system, which allows gamers to jump around the games dungeon from area to area. The game\'s main characters are the Princess and Wally, the dungeon itself. Gamers control the Princess and, with the help of Wally, try to get her out of the dungeon and destroy the Demon who trapped her there.

Ocular Ink
Ocular Ink may be the most bizarre game in the competition (that made it the finals, at least). Gamers take control of a paintbrush wielding eyeball who must save his town from an evil eyeball pirate named Patches Deadlights. The countryside you fight your way through is full of dismembered body parts. \'Nuff said.

Rumble Box
Rumble Box is a 3D beat-em-up where gamers must escape the box, which is full of thugs, ninjas and bombs. However, the character and the enemies are made of simple shapes that remain behind when destroyed, changing the landscape of the box. The goal is to stack up enough enemies to fill the box and allow escape.

Whom the Telling Changed
Whom the Telling Changed is an interactive short story that explores the power of storytelling in early civilizations. Gamers take control of the storyteller and encourage the crowd into action using rhetoric, flattery and logic found in the story or based upon it. The game encourages gamers to look at the influence of storytelling, even up to the 21st century.

Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa
Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa is a simulation game that puts gamers in the African Serengeti. There, they put together an entire ecosystem of animals and control them, which allows for unique experiences. You can control a zebra and lead it to a river full of crocodiles. Then, you can wait until the crocs are full, swoop in as a vulture and eat the rest.

In addition to the game competition, Slamdance will feature an all-night LAN party, several panels on development in indy gaming and a machinima presentation. The winners in each category will be announced later this week. Stay tuned to Games First! for complete results.

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