Day #1: Hypership Out Of Control

Posted: 2010/11/10 in Indie Games
Tags: , , ,

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #1, and today’s game is “Hypership Out of Control”.

Today’s is the day that I begin my Indie Game a Day purchases. First, a recap of my intentions. I intend to buy one Indie Game via Xbox Live each and every day unless and until I run out of quality titles (something that may or may not ever happen, since there’s a constant stream of new content being released for the Indie Games channel). To that end, I loaded an additional 19,600 Microsoft Points onto my account today, bringing my total to more than 21K Microsoft Points. Since Indie Games can cost as little as 80 MSP, that could be as many as 265 days worth. However, I have my eye on some titles that cost more than that.

My goal is to promote games that are less well known, perhaps because they were released earlier in the service’s life, or perhaps because they got lost in the shuffle of all the content being released via Indie Games. That means I am going to do my darndest to avoid the games on the Top Downloads list, New Releases list, etc., as they’re already getting plenty of promotion, and focus on other titles that are equal in quality but not front and centre on the dashboard at the moment.

So while this was the ninth game I’ve purchased via Indie Games, it’s my inaugural choice on my game-a-day binge. And that game is Hypership Out of Control. I fell in love with this game nearly instantly. Frankly, I was surprised this game was eligible, I expected it to be on the top downloaded list (especially since the person/people behind this game seem to have promoted it quite a bit on Twitter). It wasn’t on the top downloads, nor the top-rated (perhaps because as a new title it simply has very few ratings yet), and had fallen off the new releases list, so my timing was perfect. I did ultimately note that it was listed as one of the IGN top picks on the dashboard, however, and deservedly so.

In my youth this was a genre I played a lot, the horizontal shoot-’em-up, with Commodore 64 games like Xenon and Amiga games like SWIV. Anyone who played Xevious in the arcade or on countless home systems it was ported to knows a bit about how this genre plays.

But most of those games were about avoiding enemy fire while shooting enemies down. You have some of that in Hypership Out of Control as well, but not as much as you’d think. The hook here is that your ship cannot decelerate: you are charging forth at tremendous speed. The enemies barely get to see you in time to fire at you, so you’re largely avoiding, or shooting, everything in your way as you try to avoid the obstacles whizzing past. As a bonus, this game supports multiplayer which is a rarity for this genre.

Screenshots do not do this game justice, the joy is in the smooth animation and the simple yet challenging gameplay. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a vertically-scrolling shoot-’em-up (or “shmup”, if you prefer), or who played classics like Iridium that rely on speed to add to the challenge, then this is a strongly recommended download for a mere 80 Microsoft Points.

For a second opinion, check out Kobun’s review of Hypership Out Of Control.

Tried this already? Vote below. About to try it? Please come back and vote after downloading it.

Played Hypership Out Of Control? Review it here:

  1. One thing worth mentioning is that the graphics appear deliberately 8-bit, and the game’s text deliberately campy. Not a bad choice for revisiting a classic genre of gaming such as this.

    On a side note, I had originally intended to load more than 20K MSP, but the system began refusing. Worried the points card I had purchased was defective, I called 1-800-4-My-Xbox only to find that their system is supposed to only allow 8K points per day being loaded on. They weren’t surprised the system had capped me, but were very surprised it had capped me at such a high level. Perhaps it’s different because I’m in Canada, or perhaps it was a glitch. In any case, I have several more cards ready to go as this project wears on.

    • Kobun says:

      That’s good to see. I’ve never attempt to load that much myself. When I need to get more points, I’ll scan for the best card deals and get about $100-150 at a time. The low pricing on XBLIG lets that last a while usually, but XBLA releases over the past few months have eaten into my indie bank.

      Hypership is an excellent game. The developer is working on a reverse mode to let players play the rounds backwards.

  2. The developer has released a post-mortem about the game (what went right, what went wrong) about development, promotion, and community reaction. It’s interesting and worth a read for anyone who might appreciate an insight into the process of making and promoting an Xbox Live Indie Game.

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