Blocks That MatterWith the XBLA release of MineCraft just around the corner, all the buzz over the just announced IGF finalist, and the rising tide of indie games throughout gaming, we think it is time for a brief run down of the Xbox Indie Games you need to play. In this list you will find a wide selection of genre, price and game length (with some of the longer games being the least expensive).
This is far from a complete list of all the indie games on XBL that are worth playing and supporting. Also, this list has not been sorted for any reason or scored in anyway.
Swing Swing Submarine - 240 MS points ($3.00)
In the plot of this charming puzzler you play as Tetrobot, the tiny driller robot from a pair of Swedish indie game developers, that have been kidnapped, and are being forced to make a game for ?The Boss?, you need to get to them and help set them free. You can drill and collect a wide variety of materials, and use the harvested matter to form tetris shapes to overcome traps and obstacles in order to reach the teleport at the end of each level.
The puzzle aspect is both where this title shines and shows a few blemishes. As you progress in the adventure mode you gain upgrades for your little bot, which gives you the ability to solve certain obstacles. Once you unlock a few of the powers it isn?t always clear what you can complete with the upgrades you?ve gotten or if you need to wait till another upgrade kicks in and come back to the level later. Few issues cannot even begin to slow this title down, with its graphical charm, catchy soundtrack, and sense of satisfaction as you solve levels.
Phoenix Games ? 240 MS points ($3.00)
This game is slick. Graphics, audio, and gameplay all show a very nice level of polish here. The game is a 3rd person version of the running genre, which has gathered some real steam on iOS and Android in the past year or so. In TEC you guide a robot through some sort of VR, gathering power to return it to humanity.
The controls allow for full freedom as you run down the path, you?re not locked to a lane like some of the other runners I?ve played. You also can jump, bash and slide to avoid pasting your handsome tin face all over virtual town. The real thrill comes in once you?ve gotten a feel of the controls and decide to run over some of the boost strips. Wow, does it get moving! Thankfully there are also slow pads to take you back down to a more civil speed. I caught myself playing this like Trials HD, doing a run and just restarting over and over to get the best line and time.
Breath of Death VII: The Beginning
Cthulhu Saves the World
Zeboyd Games ? 80 MS points each ($1.00 each)
Do you like comedy? Do you also like retro RPGs? Well then I?ve got a pair of really fun and funny old school RPGs.
Starting with Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, you take charge of a skeleton knight named DEM who doesn?t speak. However, his internal monologue is given to the player and the first party member that is forced on you can hear his thoughts. The high point of the whole story is reading DEM?s thoughts about the party. Sadly, the plot doesn?t hit the same quality. Combat is fairly deep and rewarding, if the combat effects were more then just HUD effects it would be nice, but the core of the combat is fun. Art is a solid 16bit style with at least 256 colors, lacking some combat animation brings down the polish of the art some. Audio is good from retro style bleeps and bloops to a very good score for the game.
Cthulhu Saves the World sets the stage for the end of the world from the very start. Cthulhu awakens from his eon long slumber intent on destroying the earth, and is instantly sapped of all his power by some meddlesome wizard hero. The narrator pipes up and explains that the only way he can regain his powers is to become a true hero. In a moment of fourth wall-y-ness Cthulhu was eavesdropping, and thus sets out on a quest to become a true hero, and earn back his might so that he can destroy the world. Combat is again fun, but much better looking then Breath of Death, as there are attack animations and backgrounds that the enemies are on. One of Cthulhu?s attacks makes enemies go insane, like you do when confronted with the malevolent specter that once slept in the city of R?lyeh. The writing here is the strong suit for the whole game, and even more so if you enjoy the Cthulhu mythos. Jokes like Cthulhu using Fhtagri as his class hit the Lovecraftian notes you want.
Murudai ? 400 MS points ($5.00)
To close out this first list, let us go all the way back to the beginning of the planet, even before it was in fact a planet, when it was little more then an asteroid. Solar 2 puts you in the shoes (?) of an asteroid, in a sandbox, open universe. The game tasks you with building up your mass to evolve into bigger, and bigger objects, planets, stars, and black holes. As you move up the galactic food chain the game asks more and more from you. When you become a planet you need to get moons to build mass. Earning life gives you defensive ships and cannons. The next stage is star. When you get that size you have to add life planets that orbit you and can then defend you? and so on. If you take your time and build up a nice planet or star system, there are even missions that can be taken on. They can be real tough if you don?t build up your mass before taking them on.
Audio and visuals are good, with the music setting a pretty mellow mood, and art serving its purpose as well. Controls are very simple with one stick moving, and a button used to absorb mass into you.
I have TEC and Blocks that Matter. I wasn't aware of the others though. Looks solid.
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Xbox 360 Exclusives: Indie Games You Need To Play
Exclusi... Eh fuck it.
Anyways Solar 2 is surprising fun and I'd recommended it to many. It's quite different but can be challenging and when bored you can go smash up some planets
Also I have not played Breath Of Death but it needs to burn a horrible death and die, not because it's bad but because I keep thinking it's Breath of Fire (number higher than 5) and get exciting thinking a sequel has finally come and realise I screwed upif I am in the PS3 or 360 section I will NOT post about the competitor just to please people, if you want to know what I think about the competitor link me to a thread in the appropriate section
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