MacLuvin: 6 new free indie games for Apple

Check out these great indie projects that are not only creative, but, most importantly, Mac-friendly.

Back to bed (Webware)

Guide sleep-walking Bob across rooftops and back into bed. Play as subBob, a subconscious alter-ego of Bob that takes a form of a blue dream dog with a human face. Avoid traps, pitfalls, and nightmarish creatures to guide Bob back into bed. Walk on walls, make blockades, and do whatever it takes to survive.

A crazy little game from a Danish developer, Back to Bed takes you into what seems like a nightmarish world straight out of the mind of Salvador Dali, while being narrated by a man with a creepy eastern European accent speaking through a synthesizer. With out-of-this-world graphics and eerie audio, it is one of the reasons we love independent games; this stuff just cannot be found in the next Call of Duty.

Bientôt l'été (Webware)

From our understanding of the demo, Bientôt l'été features a multi-player option. However, after waiting for a bit, we opted to play with the simulation instead. You start out by sitting at a chess table. There are only a few actions to perform: smoking, drinking, and changing the song on the jukebox. After performing each action, your 'partner' will say something in French and perform his own move. There's no actual chess involved so don't be alarmed if you thought we tricked you into playing video chess.

Loosely translated as "Summer is coming," Bientôt l'été is more of an experience than it is a game. Your enjoyment does not depend on any critical action, but by simply letting the game unveil itself to you. The developer's page provides some insight on the backstory that can elevate your understanding of the project or confuse you even more. After a good amount of time, we found the game quite enjoyable as a sort of Zen meditation or sitting in a coffee house absorbing the surrounding kind of enjoyment. It is a game about love, our constant digitization of modern life, and how everything fits in. It is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you speak French maybe you can make some sense out of it. We didn't, but we still thought it was enjoyable.

Blackwell's Asylum

You awake on a hospital bed. Two men are towering over you. One of them is holding a syringe as the other pins you down. Your pulse quickens, your lungs are getting tighter, you try and gasp for air. You can't get free and panic sets in. The one holding the syringe looks at you as he injects the clear liquid. You wake up from the blackout in your room with one thought in mind: you must escape.

Sneak past the warden and find your way out in this Tim Burton-esque asylum where everything seems a little distorted, twisted, and not quite right. Keep quiet, stay hidden, avoid patrols, and mislead your captors. Do what it takes to get out. We love the atmosphere and tension created by Blackwell's Asylum. Fans of horror or suspense games might want to give this one a try.

Atum (Webware)

Deemed as a "meta-game", in Atum you take control of a character playing a platforming game. Sit down at your computer and direct the gamer to do likewise at his virtual one. Play the white silhouette in the platformer through the character you are using, effectively creating multiple levels of gameplay. There will come times when the silhouette will need help overcoming obstacles, and you must figure out exactly how to accomplish this. (By "you," we mean instructing the gamer character in what to do so he can win his game.)

Some examples of multilevel gameplay include having the gamer use a lighter to shine the way for the silhouette to cross a darkened path. You can also use the fire to blow up explosive barrels to clear pathways. Wave his cigarette like a magic wand to produce smoke and conceal the silhouette as he sneaks past security cameras. With Inception-like action, Atum successfully synchronizes two completely opposable genres, the slow and methodical point-and-click with a fast-paced action-oriented platformer, into one mixed bag of a meta-game. Be aware that the game is quite resource-intensive for a Webgame, but if you have a machine that can run it, boy, does it look nice.

7 Grand Steps

How did your ancestors survive throughout the ages to bring you to this very moment? That is the question that 7 Grand Steps tries to answer through its video board game. Condensing history, archeology, and humanity results in a fantastically simple yet addicting game. Guide your family through the annals of human civilization. Stay active, be prepared, and survive; danger is constantly nipping at your heels.

7 Grand Steps is a game that's difficult to put down when you start placing that first token into play. You trade tokens for movements, but must retreat to generate tokens. Mousechief's motto is "two steps forward, one step back." Make your way through generation after generation of your fictional family as you prepare them for the next hurdle. This is the only game on the list that manages to create a kind of attachment between the player and the pieces he rules over. As each family member dies, another replaces them, but it will never feel the same.


Stranded on a red planet, you wander across the empty landscape when you notice a pillar of light in the distance. As you walk closer, you begin to make out in the distant sky that the planet is being orbited by a moon. On the oddly nearby moon you recognize two shiny objects, and that is when it hits you: that is no moon (cue Darth Vader's theme music). The objects are the pillar of light and yourself. You were staring at your own reflection or, rather, the reflection of the entire planet. Investigate the mystery of the red planet by making the journey across its surface. Solve some basic puzzles and perhaps the answer will be revealed to you.

Currently only offered as a demo, MirrorMoon has already garnered some acclaim with the folks at IGF as one of the finalists in the Nuovo category. A short little game about mystery and discovery (think Journey but in the first person), it shouldn't take very long to finish, but it will tempt you to replay just for the beautiful visuals.

About Tuong Nguyen

Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.