It's TOJam time! The Toronto Independent Game Jam #4 was held May 1-3, with participating teams producing 37 games! Below are just a few of our favorites. Be sure to check out the TOJam 2009 games page for other unique titles!
Spirit Guide (Windows, 17.2MB, free) - A wonderful 3D platform adventure by Michael Todd, Spirit Guide gives you a jetpack and standard first person shooter controls and sends you on a few simple missions. Collecting gems and bringing them to a character is pretty standard, but how about finding a physical manifestation of "hope" and returning that to someone? There are only three levels, making it a very short experience, but the environments look great, movement is fluid and sensible, and the artwork nothing short of superb.
Alpinist (Windows, 1.4MB, free) - A short platform adventure game by Superbrothers that reminds me of Knytt Stories or Seiklus combined with a little Out of this World/Another World. Explore the snowy summits of the Alpine mountains with the [arrow] keys, holding [shift] to build running/long jumping momentum and tapping [ctrl] to leap. You are very much limited in how you move (hence the Another World reference), but that limitation is what sets the pace and allows you to drink the game in. The artwork and atmosphere are beyond stunning, and even without sound, you'll experience a great deal of immersion. It's painfully short, however, and after less than three minutes, you'll be done. More is in the works, however! Another build of the game is available at Artsy Games Incubator.
Category 5 (Windows, 21.6MB, free) - Katamari Damacy meets a hurricane. Seriously, that's the premise behind this quirky little arcade game by Team AnyKey. The hurricane spins slowly at first and can pick up small rocks laying around the field. Spin the mouse, however, and it gets some oomph, allowing you to pick up larger objects without losing speed. Gather items from smallest to largest until you're blowing through the whole screen, devouring everything in your path.
The Ascent (Windows, 7.8MB, free) - A "keep climbing up" platformer from Team Jimmy with excellent pixel art and a thoughtful storyline. You begin by leaving the attic that specifically says "do not go out". So much for that! Climbing the tree is a precise exercise of avoidance and careful jumps, and if you get hit, you have to start over at the ground.
Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows Vista and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!