Day 90: Urban Space Squirrels

Posted: 2011/02/07 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 #90, and today’s game is “Urban Space Squirrels”.

Urban Space Squirrels is a puzzle platformer where the development work definitely went more into the puzzles than into the graphics. Urban Space Squirrels has a spartan aesthetic that’s reminiscent of an ’80s animated show, and while it’s not technically impressive it works well with the game.

The game reminds me somewhat of games like Impossible Mission on the Commodore 64 or, perhaps moreso, what they would have evolved into if they’d continued having sequels. The dystopian future setting also fits with that.

The gameplay focuses on releasing bombs to flip switches and unlock areas as you might expect, but also to propel your secret agent squirrel by exploding a bomb opposite of the direction you want him to go. This makes the game feel pretty fresh, with few other games using such a technique, though oddly the explosions only ever seem to send you in a cardinal direction (ie. never on a diagonal).

For a mere 80 Microsoft Points, this game is easily recommended for puzzle platformer fans. Just ignore its silly title, especially since it really has little to do with the game in the end.

For a second opinion, check out Kobun’s review of Urban Space Squirrels.

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