Friday, March 20, 2009

IGF Awards and "Dyson"

GDC '09 is next week (my spring break) and I might actually be able to go this year. I'm really excited at the prospect of walking around and feeling like a more legitimate reporter. I'll be on the look out for famous faces, but I'm not really sure I'll see too many. All this is besides the point though because I wanted to write a little something about one of the Independent Games Festival's finalists: "Dyson."

"Dyson" is a cool little title I tried out at the recommendation of (shit, I forgot where I saw it...).

It is an IGF finalist and a small one at that. It was a short download and I've already gotten a handful of hours of play out of it.

The game reminds me a lot of Galcon for the iPhone but with a little more depth and a lot slower pacing.

In the game, you take control of seedlings and attempt to terraform several planets. You can trade the seedlings in for structures on these small gray planets, including trees to grow more seedlings and defensive structures. The pace of the game is very slow. You'll methodically build up your forces, try to mutlitask, capturing multiple planets at the same time, as well as managing where your seedlings are located because they act as both offense and defense for your planets most of the time.

The game has great colors with a very minimalistic approach to a lot of the concepts presented in the game play and the backdrop, but what I enjoyed most about the title is the music spaced in between bouts of action.

The music will rise and fall, landing small plinks on the electronic soundscape, while also rising in with a strong beat. You might not even notice it, but it certainly plays a large part in the game.

As I said, the pacing of the game is slow, even as you progress through the levels, you could probably do other things while you're waiting for your seedling force to build up. I found the game to be really relaxing while still allowing me to multitask outside of the game world. I probably played for about an hour during class tonight, but don't tell my professor.

I suggest checking out "Dyson" as well as the other IGF finalists. You can find them over at the Independent Games Festival's webpage.

1 comment:

  1. I finished level 6 of the demo today, and it was pretty obvious why it did well at the Indie Games Festival. But at the same got a little repetitive. I mean, in six levels, I thought that the gameplay would get more complex, but there wasn't really any thinking needed. All you have to do is make sure you don't overextend with your seedlings. I dunno. It was fun, but it got old quickly (kinda like flOw for the ps3).