Day 268: Quad Force

Posted: 2011/08/04 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) 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 #268, and today’s game is “Quad Force”.

If you’ve ever played a dual-stick shooter and wondered what could possibly be added to the genre, then Quad Force has the answer: it’s a twin-stick shooter, with a “line of sight” (aka “fog of war”) system that lets you only see what you can see, all rolled into a tactical combat game with co-op for up to four players that rewards teamwork. Soon you’ll be using one player to sight the enemy while others flank and wondering why no one’s ever made a game quite like this before. An easy recommendation for an 80 Microsoft Point purchase.

First, from the developer (Stolpskott Studios):

“Featuring realistic line of sight and challenging Ai, it gives you a good mix of tactics and hectic shooting. The game includes 5 maps with good replay value, 12 unique enemies, 6 weapons and 4 difficulties. Did I mention the virtually unlimited bullet holes feature?”

In many games your ship/tank/player can withstand a tonne of hits, but enemy ships/tanks/etc. go down a lot easier. Not in Quad Force, from the get go enemies can take just as many hits as you can (in some cases more), and you are forced to step up your game to take them down. This is easier in the co-op mode as teamwork, overlapping fields of fire, etc., can win the day, and are extremely satisfying when pulled off correctly. Co-op is “drop in” allowing other players to join at any time (a feature that was popularised on, of all games, “Brute Force” on the original Xbox which, fun fact, was the only non-Bungie Xbox game to use the Halo engine). One health bar is shared between all the players, which helps balance the advantage of the extra firepower they offer.

Sound effects are effective, and the graphics appropriately muted. The environments have some destructible elements (such as walls) and there are visual effects such as swirling dust and debris when you destroy them. Some areas have glass walls that are not only destructible but (well, because they’re glass) don’t obscure your line of sight. Overall the presentation is attractive and suits the game, just don’t expect it to change a lot throughout the game.

Whether solo or co-op, you build up a multiplier by destroying enemies without taking a shot yourself. Enemy types offer a bit more variety, and force you to mix up your tactics a bit to take them down. The lack of online multiplayer or any kind of a narrative reduce replay value, but it’s still an easy game to get your dollar out of and therefore worth a purchase.

Click here to download “Quad Force”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.


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