Day 47: “Slam: Indie Edition”

Posted: 2010/12/26 in Indie Games

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 #47, and today’s game is “Slam: Indie Edition”.

Some have described this game as Arkanoid meets Tempest meets pinball. I can see where that comes from, but that doesn’t do this game justice as there are a lot of innovations (many of them subtle) underneath the hood.

Though if you do like any of the above three games, odds are you’ll like this. Like in Arkanoid you have a paddle and bounce a ball. Like in pinball, the ball bounces off in an only-somewhat predictable fashion when it (like in Arkanoid) explodes a block.

Innovations include the fact that while you move your paddle with the left stick, you can lean it left or right with your right stick. Power-ups abound, and having to spin all around the playfield really opens the game up to new strategies, and new hazards (you want to make sure the ball doesn’t reach the edge anywhere along its 360 degree edge). Movement really does remind one a lot of the original Tempest, and presentation reminds one somewhat of Tempest 2000 (especially in the later levels as the music picks up in tempo and the size and number of colourful explosions increases). Periodically other things inject themselves into the game that are wholly new, like rings that periodically spin (along the x, y, and z axes) and force you to be patient waiting for an opportunity to bounce your ball into the playfield, or blocks that move from one part of the playfield to another (protected from your ball in some, unprotected in others).

This game is a joy to play, and intriquingly comes in two versions: an 80 point version with 3 songs and around 50 levels, and a 240 point version with 9 musical tracks and 100 levels. Highly recommended for fans of any of the games mentioned in this article, and for anyone who has yet to play any of the above.

Click here to download “Slam: Indie Edition”, and then please come back to rate the game after playing.



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