Posts Tagged ‘Xbox Live 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 #64, and today’s game is “BlindGiRl”.

This is, of all things, a puzzle game based on wave propagation. BlindGiRl was an entry in Microsoft’s 2010 DreamBuildPlay contest. It’s an intriquing concept that’s at times difficult to describe, but it’s one of the most innovative games I’ve ever played. The fact that it costs only 80 Microsoft Points is a bonus, I would have happily paid more. The game seeks to (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 #58, and today’s game is “Revenge of the Evil Aliens”.

This game blends a 1950s-era alien invasion aesthetic with a twin-stick shooter and maze elements to come up with good campy fun for 80 Microsoft Points.

Despite the stress of the person in the youtube video, I think the game is actually (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 #51, and today’s game is “Hexothermic”.

Hexothermic offers chain-reaction-based puzzle gameplay. You introduce electrons to a grid of unstable atoms, hoping to create a chain reaction to clear the board. For 240 Microsoft Points, you get four modes of play (marathon, timed, puzzle, and survival) and a lot of play value.

The soundtrack is partly generated by player action, with actions and reactions triggering guitar chords, creating a unique ambiance. Any puzzle gamer should at least consider the trial, this game is not the same-old, same-old.

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 #40, and today’s game is “ZP2K9”.

ZP2K9 is a side-scrolling shooter that draws elements from both platform games and first-person shooters. It has a laissez-faire approach to physics that lets you run up walls and along ceilings that opens up the gameplay in intriquing ways, it has a wide range of weapons, and common FPS gameplay types such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag. The game further differentiates itself by (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 #39, and today’s game is “FallDown”.

FallDown is an indie hit on LAN PCs and iOS devices that’s made its way to the Xbox Indie Games channel. When I first booted the game up I did was I usually do, hit start, look for something that tells me which parts of the controller do what, and then play. Hitting start right at the beginning starts the game without any further ado. The game was subsequently over in about 5 seconds, at which point it asked me if I wanted to purchase it or exit the game. What the heck?

Confused, I tried again. Same result. Was I really beating the first level in just a few seconds and then being asked to buy the game? As it turns out no, I should have RTFM.

The game’s instructions scroll across the screen when you load it up. Once you hit “start” or “A” you’re right into the action. But if you hold back from doing so, you’ll be rewarded with two things: instructions (cool!) and some genuinely amusing commentary if you wait long enough (with the game enquiring why you don’t seem to want to play, attempting to educate you on where the Start button is, etc.).

When you finally do start playing, the game launches you into a world where sawblades inexorably make their way down a shaft, and you must constantly fall down it to avoid them; last character standing wins. The game is for 1 to 8 players. 8 players you ask? Let me explain. (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 #36, and today’s game is “Crystal Crush”.

Crystal Crush did something really right for me: it’s a puzzle game with a plethora of options, aside from the typical match 3 style of gameplay. It also throws in some new twists that I hadn’t seen before.

In Crystal Crush gems are propelled into the game board from three directions (from the bottom, and from the upper right and left hand corners). You can never be sure from which direction the next gem will come, and as the difficulty ramps up you’ll sometimes have gems coming from multiple directions at once nearly simultaneously. Rather than moving gems around inside a grid, you spin the entire playfield to find the optimal place for each gem to drop in. In the normal mode of play, match 3 or more gems of a single colour and they disappear. The special gems you expect to see in a game like this are here too to spice things up further. But the game modes offer a lot more variety than that, including modes where you have to create a path of a given colour from one side of the grid to another, modes where you’re trying to prevent certain colours from reaching the centre, and more besides.

For an 80 Microsoft Point game, there are a lot of different ways to play, and the unpredictability of which directions gems will be coming at the playfield from combines with that variety to keep the gameplay fresh and forces you to react quickly to changes. Recommended for anyone who has even the slightest hankering for a gem-matching puzzle game, especially for someone who’s looking for something new out of one.

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 #35, and today’s game is “Mithra – Episode 1, Chapter 1”.

Originally entitled Mithra: The Calling, Chapter 1 and released for XBL Community Games back in March 2009, this was perhaps the first action/adventure released on what would eventually be called the Indie Games channel. Mixing action, adventure, puzzle solving, and platforming together with a narrative, there’s a lot to like in this 240 Microsoft Point game.

My favourite element of Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee was switching back and forth between Abe and Munch to solve puzzles. Mithra Chapter 1 employs some of that and to good effect. The game (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 #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…)