The App Store has given rise to a whole new generation of indie developers.
But, with the increasing popularity of indie games, it has become unclear as to what the term ‘indie’ actually means.
We spoke to Janos Filip, the founder of Like A Crocodile Games Studio, who claims to have created “A True Indie Title” called Tapforss.
Filip explains the premise of this game in simple terms...
In Tapforss, you control “a curious-looking crystal sphere, which you must navigate through mysterious caverns overcoming obstacles along the way".
“It is a challenge of both your precision and wit, as many of the tasks need thought as well as action," Filip adds. "The sphere sits within a nest, and your objective is to complete levels by guiding it to another nest without colliding with jagged surfaces or being destroyed by obstacles as you go."
So, it sounds like a solid concept, but what makes it stand out in the crowded App Store?
Filip thinks the beautiful artwork, inspiring gameplay, and satisfying challenge give Tapforss a unique 'feel'.
The environments - spread across 50 levels - are rendered using a handcrafted art style, and are constantly changing due to the physics-based nature of the worlds.
The difficulty level also ensures players get their full worth out of the app. It’s not a game where you just keep completing levels easily.
“Towards the end, levels become super difficult, and a variety of enemies and obstacles gradually get faster and more aggressive," Filip says.
"You really need to master the controls and each level in order to pass. Usually, games with this level of challenge don’t look this pretty.”
In Tapforss, you are rated out of three stars, based on the number of lives you lose, the time it takes you, and the number of taps you need to finish the level.
Filip tells us from his own experience that “this brings serious competition with your friends over Game Center."
But, it wasn’t easy to provide such a high level of quantity and quality.
When pressed about the hardest part of development, Filip answers: “Every possible challenge you can think of! Since this was my first game, and I don’t have any serious programming experience, every aspect of the game was quite an undertaking.”
It took him one year to create the concept, the art, the coding, some of the music, the trailer, and even the website.
It would be hard, therefore, to dispute that Tapforss is a true indie title.
And you can expect more support for Tapforss from Like A Crocodile Games Studios.
The game will be ported to Android in the next few months, and possibly even to Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Store, PC, and Mac. If the game is received well enough, mind.
Future updates will include new planets with different physics rules and enemies. Filip also hints at “plans for multiplayer gameplay”.
Filip is evidently excited about this future content: “If you play and finish the first planet in Tapforss, you will realize the possibilities in this game are endless.”
You can download Tapforss for iPhone and iPad for free [iTunes link].