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Developer Spotlight: Simogo

Posted by Jennifer Allen on September 6th, 2012

Following on from our look at UK-based developer, Mojo Bones, we've taken the time to check out what Swedish developer Simogo are up to and just why they're worthy of your attention.

Who is Simogo?
Simogo is made up of Simon Flesser and Magnus 'Gordon' Gardebäck. Simon works on all things art and sound related, while Gordon is responsible for the code and eating any dutch chocolate that happens to be in their office in Malmö. Before working as Simogo, they both worked on downloadable console titles such as R-Type Dimensions, Lode Runner, Tecmo Bowl Throwback and Ilomilo.

What is Simogo most famous for?
Besides the above titles, Simogo has done a great job of mastering various different genres. Last year marked the release of charming Endless Runner Bumpy Road while earlier this year, we saw puzzle-platformer Beat Sneak Bandit. Both gained great scores from us at the time.

What's next on the horizon?
A very intriguing and potentially creepy game by the name of Year Walk. It's set for release this winter and is a first person 2D adventure set in the dark woods of 19th century Sweden. Simogo promises that it will combine adventure, mystery, horror, the occult, supernatural happenings and interactive art all in one intuitive package. Check out the trailer below to get a feel for it.

Anything else I should know about Simogo?
Of course! We had a word with Simon and Gordon regarding how they felt about iOS development.

148apps: You've worked on many different types of games over the years. Do you have a particular preference for a genre, either to play or create?

Simogo: Actually no! We like being diverse, and trying out new things, as I hope you can tell from the Year Walk trailer.
When it comes to playing we enjoy a lot of different things. Some of our iOS favourites include Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery, Async Corp, Helsing's Fire, Space Invaders: Infinity Gene and Eliss. So you can see it's quite the spectrum.

148apps: What's your favorite thing about iOS development?

Simogo: The best thing is coming up with creative interactions. The iPhone has a lot of neat features, and I think the most interesting thing is coming up with new ways to use them.
The way we can self fund our games and publish them easily ourselves is, of course, another huge plus.

Where can I find out more about Simogo?
Plenty of places. We'll keep you informed on Year Walk's progress but there's also Simogo's website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Indie Game Forum Roundup GDC 2012

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on March 13th, 2012

Lots of independent games get shown off at the Games Developer Conference each year. Some of them are entered in the Independent Games Forum, a special competition for indie games releasing on console, Mac/PC, or iOS. We were able to visit a few of these, listed below, and wanted to tell you all about them.

Lume

While our reviewer enjoyed the look of this game, she also said it felt kind of short. When I mentioned this to the developer at the demo kiosk, he agreed. He then went on to show me how they put this game together, with hand built sets and hand-held cameras panning through each level to give it the unique visual style it has. In addition, the planned additional levels look nothing short of brilliant and expansive, so this should be one to keep an eye on.


Pugs Luv Beats / Pug Synth

File this one under adorable, right next to hilarious. As a pug owner and fan myself, Pugs Luv Beats took my heart away. Each pug in the game represents a specific beat or musical motif, and adding hats and costumes changes the music and allows the pug to go farther and faster towards its goal. The game may be more about music performance with gaming elements, but it's still a ton of fun to mess around with. Add the spin-off music app, Pug Synth, and I am sold.



Fingle

One thing missing from modern games, say the developers of Fingle, is touching. And not in a weird way, either. Fingle tasks two players to place their fingers onto an iPad at the same time, and solve puzzles by cooperating and, yes, touching fingers. It's a unique and real-life-inspired game that's making lots of waves. Imagine taking this to a party where that cute boy or girl you want to meet is hanging out. Oh, yeah.


Ridiculous Fishing

Developer Vlambeer (Super Crate Box) teamed up with Zach Gage (Bit Pilot) and artist Greg Wohlwend (Solipskier) to create this funky game where the goal is to avoid fish on the way down, and hook as many as possible on the way up, then shoot them all out of the sky. Yeah, it's wacky. But super fun to play, of course. The couple of minutes I had to check it out made me glad I'd been able to stop by and play this all-star creation.

Faraway

I have to say that I wasn't expecting to be emotionally invested in a game that looks like this, but the music and the loneliness of that poor star affected me in a fairly intense way. From Steph Thiron, the developer behind indie-darling Eliss, Faraway is a one-touch controlled, procedurally created game that puts players in the role of a lonely star in an empty universe, holding out hope that its quest will have meaning, in the end. Fantastic score, simple, elegant graphics define this one, and I can't wait to play the whole thing.

ASYNC Corp

This one caught my eye as I walked by its kiosk at GDC. I was attracted to the clean lines, the happy little faces, and the puzzle look right from the start. Created by Powerhead Games, ASYNC Corp starts off a simple brain teaser, asking players to switch out and connect colored squares to create larger and larger rectangles. The conceit of the shipping center is a good one, and helps get the game idea across to the player fairly quickly.


Waking Mars
What's left to be said about this beautiful game from the makers of award-winning Spider, The Secret of Bryce Manor? Quite a bit, apparently, as I stood and talked with the lead art designer for the game. He made sure I knew that he created the concepts behind the art, but the actual paintings were done by "real artists." Whatever, dude, the game is gorgeous. Also? this is the first time I've heard the term "action-gardening adventure."


Beat Sneak Bandit - Winner of Best Mobile Game

Rhythm games are super fun. Stealth games are, too. Put them together, and you've got Beat Sneak Bandit, from Simogo. Our reviewer dug this one, so I gave it a quick try at the conference. Whoo, boy it IS fun. The artwork is stylish and cute, and the music is, obviously, beat heavy and catchy. Tapping to the beat to move my little guy to the clocks in the level was enjoyable and had me feeling pretty talented, two great ways to keep me playing a game.


Two other games that I did NOT have a chance to play (I didn't see them on the expo floor, really) are English Country Tune and Storyteller, the winner of the Nuovo prize. For more details on all the games entered into the contest, including the finalists and winners, see the main page here.

Beat Sneak Bandit Review

By Lisa Caplan on February 16th, 2012
This puzzle-platformer moves and grooves to its own funky beat.
Read The Full Review »

Beat Sneak Bandit is Simogo's Latest, Sneaking on to iOS Early Next Year

Posted by Carter Dotson on November 11th, 2011

Simogo have been known for their visually stunning iOS games Kosmo Spin and Bumpy Road, and have revealed their 3rd title, Beat Sneak Bandit. Players must tap along to the beat in order to move the eponymous Beat Sneak Bandit through the level. However, he must try to avoid the eyes of security guards and spotlights, to continue his mission of recovering the world's clocks which have been stolen by the evil Baron von Clockface, because there's no such thing as a good baron. Even the Bike Baron from Bike Baron seemed kinda sketchy. There are 40 levels, each with optionally collectible clocks to add challenge. The trailer shows off more of Simogo's trademark stylish artwork that will go into Beat Sneak Bandit. As well, they have announced the game is coming in "way early 2012." This means that we could be sneaking around to the rhythm of the beat on our iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches right as we recover from our New Year's hangovers.