Day 129: Pixel Boarder

Posted: 2011/03/18 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 are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #129, and today’s game is “Pixel Boarder”.

Pixel Boarder sensibly takes a page out of “sin(Surfing)”‘s playbook, by sensibly making gameplay that is an upgrade of classics like Skate or Die, the surfing section of California Games, and others of its ilk, rather than following the Tony Hawk series’ march to oblivion.

First, from the developer (PixelFriends):

“Stunt snowboarding in a pixel diorama. 100% analog physics-based control. State of the art retro graphics.”

OK, so that’s not as much to go on as a lot of other XBL indie games, but it does at least give you some idea. The game, thankfully, has a pretty nice tutorial. The game walks you through its full analogue control, where you move the left side of the body with the left stick, and the right side of the body with the right analogue stick, giving surprising depth at times to what on the surface looks like a simple pick-up-and-play game.

The game offers replay value and bragging rights through a global leaderboard. The game has no illusions that it’s an arcadey extreme sports game, with power-ups strewn across the course giving you abilities like a temporary rocket boost (from you butt, or perhaps your abdomen, it’s not really clear where the rocket propulsion is coming from). As a bonus, you can select every level from the start so no need to grind through the game for those who just want to play around with it.

Graphically, the game is probably now described as having something of a Minecraft look, but trailers for the game were first released in late 2009 before anyone was talking about Minecraft. This game’s aesthetics are unique and are really something special. The game is 240 Microsoft Points, and won’t be dropping any lower than that because it’s over the 50MB limit that Microsoft puts on games (you have to be under 50MB if you’re going to charge 80 MSP). Thankfully, it’s more than worth its 240 points.

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  1. Andrew says:

    This game is a lot of fun but every so often suffers from crippling slowdown, seemingly for no reason at all. I’d still recommend it however.

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