A number of well-known indie games have been adding playable and decorative content themed around next week's release of Portal 2
as part of a promotional alternate-reality game surrounding the title.
The thirteen indie games included in Steam's discounted Potato Sack collection
have seen a number of free downloadable updates this month, offering everything from hidden messages and password-locked "login pages" to entirely new Portal
Five new levels were discovered in the PC version of Super Meat Boy
today, for instance, while an Audiosurf
update allows players to control a floating Portal
gun instead of the usual surfboard. Updates to The Ball
reportedly add an hour of new content through levels featuring Portal
Other additions include new levels and achievements in zombie shooter Killing Floor
, a new "Test" level in experimental rhythm game Bit.Trip.Beat
, and changes to dozens of maps in AaAaaAaAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
Purchasing The Potato Sack on Steam also grants access to a new "potato hat" item in Team Fortress 2
and exclusive co-operative bot skins in Portal 2
The PotatoFoolsDay ARG, as followers have come to call it
, presents a seemingly unprecedented coordination between a large number of indie game makers, providing cross-promotional opportunities for the developers involved as well as new gameplay opportunities for players.
Similar cross-marketing content has appeared in indie titles in the past, with Team Meat's Super Meat Boy
included 15 unlockable characters from other indie games, while three Xbox Live Arcade titles released last year included cross-promotional content
for users that purchased multiple titles.