Posts Tagged ‘400 Microsoft Points’

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 #88, and today’s game is “Battle Havoc”.

Battle Havoc is a bit like a real-time version of Worms or Scorched Earth, if all the combatants had jump jets they could use to quickly reposition themselves on the battlefield. This puts a great new spin on an old classic, and then dolls it up with a tonne of options and unique weapons, not to mention plenty of multiplayer and singleplayer levels both.

The impressive list of (more…)

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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 #87, and today’s game is “ezmuze+ Hamst3r edition”.

Ever since its May 2009 debut, ezmuze+ Hamst3r edition has been raved about as incredibly easy to use loop-based music creation software, with one simple flaw: the inability to export your songs. A recent massive update to ezmuze+ has not only solved that problem, but cut the price in half too. This has gone from good to great, and is now an absolute must-have.

Ezmuze+ can help anyone make music, no matter how much or how little experience you have. The software (more…)

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 #82, and today’s game is “Orbyx – Mystic Orbs of Chaos”.

Did you ever play Peggle and wish there were a tonne more options? Then Orbyx is your game.

This is Peggle (which is itself just a flavour of pachinko; similar to “Plinko” from the Price is Right game show if you’re unfamiliar), but there are a lot of additions too, including:

– in about 1/3 of the levels you have a paddle at the bottom of the screen, ala Arkanoid, something that many Peggle players have yearned for

– there’s a (more…)

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 #49, and today’s game is “Tank Battles”.

One of my favourite games on the Mattel Intellivision game console my family got in 1980 was a cartridge called Triple Action which included 3 games, one of which was a 1-on-1 tank battle game with several options, including bouncing shots. Tank Battles is a modern (and highly upgraded) evolution of that concept, allowing up to four players (online and off) and plenty of power-ups and well designed arenas to fight through.

This game looks good graphically, and plays better. It (more…)

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 #45, and today’s game is “Beat Hazard”.

Beat Hazard is in some ways the opposite of the game I reviewed back on day 20: “Groov”. With Groov your actions create a soundtrack. Beat Hazard, on the other hand, analyses the music you provide it and turns it into a chorus of destruction. Your weapons pulse to the beat, and whenever your music reaches a crescendo your power is increased. But there’s no free ride (more…)

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 #26, and today’s game is “Flotilla”.

Flotilla is perhaps the game for everyone who ever wanted to play Eve Online, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get past the steep learning curve. Or perhaps it’s for turn-based strategy fans who like the challenge of both sides playing their turns simultaneously. Perhaps Flotilla is for people (like myself) who grew up on a steady diet of space opera and who enjoyed the capital ship combat in shows like Babylon 5 and the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. More likely it’s for all of the above.

In Flotilla you lead your fleet against (more…)

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 #21, and today’s game is “Weapon of Choice”.

Like Bloc, Bad Atom: Episode 1, and CarneyVale Showtime, this is another early Indie Games effort, and (as I found out today) still one of the best. This was actually a launch title for the Indie Games channel (back when it was still called Xbox Live Community Games), but if you’d told me it was released yesterday I would easily believe you. It has most of the polish that the best Indie Games two years later exhibit.

The game features gorgeous hand-drawn art, and gameplay that draws from several sources and innovates on all of it. Comparisons to Contra are inevitable, but there are immediate and undeniable innovations here such as a robotic spider backpack that you can use to climb with (and climb you will, up sheer cliffs, impossibly tall trees, and everything else you can find in the environment). You begin each mission with a selection of operatives to play as, each which has a standard issue weapon plus a secondary weapon of their choice (aha, hence the name). Mastering each character’s weapon of choice is the key to excelling in the game.

When you find your character in particular jeopardy, the game goes into a slow-motion mode where you’re taunted by a laughing skull as you’re given one last chance to shoot or dodge your way to safety, one of the most unique uses of a bullet time mechanic I’ve ever seen. The innovations don’t stop there, though: in Weapon of Choice, to earn an extra life you have to find another operative stranded in the environment, and literally *carry* through the level to safety, lending new (literal) meaning to “earning an extra man” (or woman, as there are a lot of both to choose from amongst the large number of playable characters).

The weapon variation is impressive as well. Unlike most games where weapon variation adds up to subtle differences between the rate of fire and the power of individual shots, here (more…)

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 #2, and today’s game is “Cavemen Vs Aliens”.

Not since Aliens Vs. Predator have Aliens had such a deadly enemy to fight as Cro-Magnon Humanity. Well, perhaps that’s an exaggeration, and Ridley Scott had nothing to do with these particular aliens. Nonetheless, these are two well-matched opponents in the world drawn by Cavemen Vs. Aliens.

This game caught my attention in part because the cavemen vs. aliens hook harkened back to one of my favourite Amiga games: Mega Lo Mania, as it was known in the UK and Australia, and Tyrants as it was known in North America. You may also have played this game on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, the Atari ST, MS-DOS, or the Super Nintendo.

Like Mega Lo Mania, Cavemen Vs Aliens (CvA) is also a real time strategy game. The similarities don’t stop there. CvA also (intentionally or unintentionally) borrows Mega Lo Mania’s game mechanic of requiring you divide your units amongst several front, sometimes without knowing exactly how strong the opposition is going to be. This can lead to some trial and error, and you may wish to save frequently; it can also lead to satisfying victories when you came in with far too few troops but managed to pull a victory out of your hat anyway.

In the game you play as Cavemen, attempting to defend your planet from aliens wanting to put (wait for it) interstellar cellular phone transmission towers on it. The local populace is in the way and the aliens will stop at nothing to get better wireless phone service.

Rather than upgrading and micromanaging specific types of units, the game has you upgrading your entire army at once. This streamlines the play mechanics, which has you using (more…)