Posts Tagged ‘80 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 #33, and today’s game is “Sol Invasion”.

My goal when I started buying an indie game of every day was to find the hidden gems I (and many other people) have been missing out on. Sol Invasion definitely qualifies. It’s a unique mix of strategy and action that works on every level. My first impression was less charitable, though, because it was so much different than my expectations. This is not StarLancer, this game is unique and (once you get the hang of it) that benefits it. Best of all, the game lets you play it as action-packed as you want, or (nearly) as strategically as you want, and does so not by you selecting menu options but by responding to the choices you make.

In Sol Invasion you’re (more…)

Advertisements

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 #30, and today’s game is “Battle Beat”.

Where has this game been all my life? This is an amazing title, that makes the best use of music controllers that I’ve yet seen in any title (retail or downloadable).

This is a strategic combat game designed for music controllers (though it also plays surprisingly well with a standard controller). Each level you assign unit types to the buttons of a guitar control, to the pads of a drumset, or to the face buttons of a regular controller. The game has a wealth of different unit types (that slowly unlock as you play through its campaign), each with different strengths and weaknesses and weapons that have varying ranges and recharge times. A beat starts playing along the bottom of the screen, and you have to select a button/pad each time a beat is played in the music. Unlike music games where you have to hit the button/pad colour that the game specifies, here you can hit any of them and that will engage the attack/special ability of that unit type.

Here’s where the strategy comes in. You must (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 #25, and today’s game is “Zoomaroom”.

This is one Indie title that possibly put some people off with the presentation. That’s a shame, because it’s one of the best platformers, and one of the best physics puzzle games, I’ve ever bought. The fact that it’s both those things in one is really this game’s selling point.

The cartoonish presentation, complete with a character that exclaims “Whippee!” repeatedly may not be what people who enjoy physics-based challenges are expecting, but look underneath that and you find a game with smart level design and a tremendous number of equippable items. Wait, equippable items, you sure we’re talking about a cartoony platformer here, you ask? Yes, absolutely. Everything from a jetpack to a grappling hook are among the 15 equippable items, and you can equip up to two simultaneously.

Each of the 65 levels challenges you to (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 #24, and today’s game is “Joint Strike Future”.

In my Bloc review (way back on day 16) I noted some thematic similarities between Bloc and Ikaruga. Well, Joint Strike Future has even stronger similarities still, but arguably improves on Ikaruga in some key ways.

(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 #20, and today’s game is “Groov”.

Yesterday’s game we did another foray into an “Indie Game” that aims to teach you something with “German 101”. Sticking with the theme of software that starts with “G”, but moving back into gameplay, today I bought Groov.

This is the love-child of Geometry Wars (hey, another game that starts with “G”) and Rez. Like with Geometry Wars it’s an arena-based twin-stick shooter where you fight off simple looking shapes. Like with Rez, your actions create a soundtrack (every shot from you, every enemy destroyed, adds to the chorus, guaranteeing the music is never the same twice). But like chocolate and peanut butter, these are two great things that go great together. You end up with a game that is greater than the sum of its parts.

At first the music creation elements seem limited, like a toddler hitting the odd note on a toy piano, at least on the easy skill level. Give the game time, however: as the difficulty slowly ramps up, so too do the number of enemies on screen and your power-ups. As the enemies increase the musical notes being played increase, which increases the franticness and tension. Periodically you earn 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 #19, and today’s game is “German 101”.

Like the previously reviewed “Let’s Learn Japanese: Beginner”, this is another 80 Microsoft Point language learning title in the Indie Games. German 101 boasts 1000 flashcards and uses multiple choice quizzes to test your progress. (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 #18, and today’s game is “Planet Crashmania 9,000,000”.

This is one of those quirky games that works both because of the simplicity of its core game concept and the simple audacity of its premise. On each level you play the play the role of a doomed planet whose orbit is inexorably decaying and is about to spiral into its star. The population of the planet needs to be evacuated to an outer planet, safe from the ravages of the sun. You must alternate between building rockets to send some of your population to safety, or building nuclear missiles to protect them from threats.

And those threats are many. Asteroids periodically enter the solar system, potentially threatening the population either on the planet you’re escaping from or the ones who’ve already been evacuated to their new home. Aliens will sometimes attempt to intervene in your efforts and must also be shot down. Some solar systems have asteroid fields that further complicate your efforts. Finally, if you can get past all the other obstacles, you still have to (more…)

World Revolution: The Last Defense

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 #14, and today’s game is “World Revolution: The Last Defence”.

I was concerned this might be another cookie-cutter tower defence game, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was quite different. It’s more like Missile Command, except the game takes place on a fully 3D rotating globe. You choose what part of the globe your faction inhabits, and then protect it from a near-future world full of terrorists bent on your destruction. They launch missiles at your few remaining cities, and you have to shoot them down: any you miss will whittle away at your remain cities, not to mention your anti-missile facilities.

The game may have Missile Command as its inspiration, but it plays out significantly differently. For one, (more…)

Type Attacks - Typing of the Dead gone aerial combat

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 #12, and today’s game is “Type Attacks”.

I was a big fan of Typing of the Dead (released for the Sega Dreamcast and for Windows PC), an innovative survival horror game where you attacked enemies by typing words that appeared over them. It was never entirely clear whether it was meant more as a typing tutor or more as a quirky game, but it could be argued that it succeeded as both. Type Attacks was clearly inspired by that previous game. In Type Attacks you’re fighting a new kind of “letter bomb”, a bomb made up of actual letters. You have to shoot them out of the sky before they explode and destroy buildings in the city below. While the two games are built on a similar premise, Type Attacks does some things that I like better than Typing of the Dead.

Firstly, Typing of the Dead (TofD) made no distinction between upper case and lower case. That put it more in the game category, and less in the “actually useful to your life” category. Type Attacks benefits from starting much easier than Typing of the Dead, but getting harder over time, and by recognising the difference between upper and lower case (which Typing of the Dead never did) it’s arguably a more fully-featured game. As I recall TotD also ignored the space bar in phrases, whereas Type Attacks wants you to hit that spacebar at the right times and only at the right times. All of this makes Type Attacks a more useful typing tutor, but because it starts at a much easier level of skill that doesn’t mean it needs to be frustrating for typing novices.

Another feature I appreciate about Type Attacks is that it supports (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 #11, and today’s game is “What The?!”.

I must admit, I bought this in part because there’s still a “1 Vs. 100”-sized hole in my heart, after two great seasons of Microsoft’s online game show on Xbox Live. But whereas 1 Vs. 100 had a very glitzy and modern aesthetic, What The?! is an homage to 1970s game shows. Anyone who grew up with them, or has seen them in repeats, will feel right at home here from the sideburns on the host to tiles with dollar values being slotted into place by an unseen person behind the set. The game has a great sense of humour that didn’t wear on me. The game is fully voiced by two voice actors who play the host and the narrator respectively, with a reasonable lack of repetition (at least as far in as I’ve played thus far).

(more…)