• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hi Guest. We've rebooted and consolidated our Communities section, so be sure to check it out and subscribe to some threads. Thanks!

Xbox LIVE Indie Games - The December 2010 Thread

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK


There were a few really strong contenders for game of the month this time round. More than any month, “any of these could have earned it” for the silver award is absolutely spot on. Next month promises even more. The first week of December is The Indie Games Winter Uprising, a dev organised showcase of getting the best games out all at once so that people can see how awesome the XBLIG channel really is, all at once. Unfortunately, that means that the last few weeks of November have been dire as all the good games are held back to release in December.

You can buy any of these games via xbox.com by clicking the link associated with each game, or on the Games Marketplace on your Xbox 360. Simply enter the marketplace and scroll up to Indie Games, where you can check the top rated titles, the games that have just come out, or “browse” to find the games mentioned in this thread. Indie Game trials last eight minutes, which is often enough to establish what you think about it. Even if you don’t buy any of these games, at least trial them, tell people what you think, get more people trying them.

Go. Play. Enjoy. Tell us what you think! Tell all your friends! Get them to tell all their friends…

(Xbox LIVE Indie Games are available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. If you’re outside those countries you can still play these games by setting up a Gamertag for free for one of those countries. It’s worth doing.)



The Gold award, for the absolute best game that came out last month.

In The TEMPURA of the DEAD You play as either President Obama Tompson who looks remarkably like (a black) Lupin at times, or a samurai who looks like a cliché samurai type. Tompson has a gun and can attack from a distance, but his attacks are weak. It's also harder to juggle zombie heads. Yeah, juggle zombie heads. The samurai uses his sword which is stronger and easier to juggle with, but can only attack at close range, clearly. It's a sword. You can switch between the two at any time by pressing Y.



You have to save the zombies' souls, or they'll just keep on a-coming. You do this by detaching the head from the body, and then juggling it a few times. This is explained to hilarious effect in the opening cut-scene. If you manage it, you'll go into Tempura Feaver mode, where you only need to hit every head once to save it. Miss a head though, and TF mode stops. The more souls you save, the more lives you get which is what the game uses as currency.

You’ll soon rack up hundreds and hundreds of lives, but to upgrade your health and weapons, that’s what it’s gonna cost you. Still, the game over screen is very, very rare. Not that that’s a problem, it’s actually a great solution to the whole “are lives necessary?” debate. They’re there, and relevant, but there’s no focus on them at all unless you’re not paying attention and you overspend. Even then, you’ll soon rack up loads more.

It plays brilliantly, and the characters are different enough that they both have their advantages. Tompson can't jump as high, etc. It looks amazing, go see the screenshots on the dashboard, and just look how 8-bit it is. You know what that means, right? Fucking awesome chiptunes. It sounds wonderful.



The most incredible aspect is probably how much of a proper game it feels like. There’s a map screen with 24 levels which is just tons of gameplay, and within those levels there are fights with huge bosses, tons of different enemy types, and loads of platforming to do. If this was released 20 years ago, it would have sold hundreds of thousands of copies at $60 a piece, and that’s no exaggeration. That it can be had for $3 now is just insane.

One of the easiest buys on XBLIGs.



The Silver award, for games that are incredible, but hey, only one game can be the Gold award winner. In any other month, any of these could have earned it!

Iredia: Atram's Secret is really, really awesome. The first thing you notice is that it looks really great. The second thing you notice is that when you press jump, you jump about half a second later. Normally this is enough to kill a game but Iredia: Atram's Secret is strong enough that it doesn't matter, and there's not really much in the way of precision platforming so you've got time to get used to it and you'll rarely die. It's not really about dying - there are no enemies.

You want to take a flute to your new-born sister, but she's born deaf, so you can't play it for her and she'll never be able to play it herself. Besides, a cat grabs it and runs away with it. The rest of the game is spent chasing after your flute and, erm, learning about ears.

It's an educational game, see, and you get little bits of information about how ears work and stuff as you play through the levels. Then, at the end of every level, you get a small test to see if you've been paying attention. It's really quite excellent.



In the first level you learn about parts of the ear, then you learn about audiograms which can measure the level of hearing of a person. In this level you can fine-tune your hearing so you only hear certain sounds, and can jump on them to reach new places. In the third level you learn about hearing aids and have to find hearing aids to give to frogs to pass. Next comes sign language. Little guys are using it and you have to work out from that which way to go, and stuff, it's amazing. It’s shortlived, but amazing for its entire duration.

The ultimate goal is to get your flute back and, I guess, reassure yourself that your baby sister will still get some joy from it. Which is fucking lovely, really.

I honestly think this is one of the loveliest games I've ever played, it’s just beautiful.

=================

Coming out at a ridiculously late 30 minutes before December, comes Epic Dungeon. It’s the first game in the Winter Uprising, and if the quality continues like this we’re really in for an awesome few days.

Here’s what the game looks like, and what everyone that sees a screenshot of it will expect: a Roguelike. It’s not though, because it’s not turn based. Enemies move independently of you and so you can’t just stand around idly waiting, they will come and get you. While this takes away a level of strategy, it increases the pace of the game massively and it really works. Aside from that, it takes a lot of stuff from the genre. Permanent death, of course, the main one. If you can’t battle down fifty floors with your hero you have to start again.

The levelling up mechanic is brilliant though, so there’s a lot of hope for your plucky hero. Each level you get three points to allocate into attack or defence, etc. Occasionally you’ll also be able to upgrade a skill, or learn a new skill. I recommend regeneration ASAP, which restores your HP when you’re not being attacked.



There are some other great touches too. A lamp (which must be refilled periodically with oil) makes the level lighter, and if you’re looking carefully, you’ll be able to find hidden rooms by using it. The more it runs out, the less distance the light carries until the level is really dark. You can still play easy enough, but you won’t find those secret rooms of gold.

Oil can be bought at the store every few levels with any number of other trinkets, equipment, and health potions (handily mapped to RT for when you’re in a pinch.) It can be found, too. Along with the store, there are also question marks on some levels, and pressing LT on them activates a small story sequence. I found some goblins playing cards and asked to join in. I chose to cheat, and they attacked me. Choosing another option would have come up with a bonus item maybe, or some gold, or something else. The game is full of really funny little scenarios like this, and it’s so, so playable.

This is only 80 points, people. It’d be game of the month were it not for The TEMPURA of the DEAD.

=================

radiangames Fireball is great, and was bought instantly. It's pacifism mode from Geometry Wars 2, with extra levels and stuff. This was by far my favourite part of GW2 so I was always going to enjoy this. You just zoom around with no weapons, going near to bombs to set them off and trying to catch as many enemies in them as possible, before collecting their Geons, or whatever this game calls them. It looks and plays really well, and the scores are satisfyingly high. Online leaderboards, too.



On the other hand, it's just pacifism mode from Geometry Wars 2 fleshed out a bit which feels, I dunno, less great than his last few games which have felt much fresher and more original.

=================

Commander - World 1 is a tower defence game. If those two words haven't turned you off, then you need this game. Y'see, it's tower defence like I haven't played before. It looks brilliant, and the choice of music is just utter genius. It's all classical, and when you feel like you're in some massive space war and you're listening to classical music, my God, the atmosphere is just immense. It'd be worth a dollar ($60) for that alone. But the gameplay is great too, and really turns tower defence on its head, in a way.

Normally there are two ways TD works. Enemies come on a set path, or you build towers to direct them places. Here, they start on a path that constantly evolves. The path orbits around different planets, and as the planets move, so does the path. Then, it gets better. You can add gravitational turrets to planets that don't have them, and then the path has to orbit around them too, so you can send it all over the place.



Aside from that, it's tower defence as standard, pretty much. But that's MORE than enough to make this game awesome. It's really funny as well. The loading screens, certainly, but also you get a hilarious message when you lose. It really made me grin.

80 Microsoft Points is nothing.

=================

The Deep Cave was something I played briefly and wrote off because the controls were a bit slippy and weren’t quite precise enough for this kind of super-hard 2D platforming. Think Super Meat Boy. There were a few issues with the hitbox as well, meaning you’d die sometimes when you’re sure you weren’t hit. Wrote it off.

But it stuck with me, for some reason. After I’d deleted the trial, I wanted nothing more than to play it again. The incredible music was in my head, and the lovely visuals were washing around my mind, and I just had to have another go.



So I spent the 80 points and bought it, and don’t regret a thing. The previous criticisms do still stand, but it’s something that you get used to and work with rather than against. The short levels and instant restarts mean that even if you do die, you never lose much progress, and so it’s never really that frustrating. There are three endings to earn depending on (I think) how many times you die. I’ve no idea how many levels there are beyond “loads” but I’m currently sitting on 388 deaths. And counting.

In the end, I really really like it.

=================

The Impossible Game Level Pack comes to rescue the Xbox LIVE Indie Games service from rubbish clones. In a year of clones trying to achieve what The Impossible Game achieved, not a single one has managed to combine the ultra precise controls and awesome music-driven gameplay that The Impossible Game achieved. Time to show them how it’s done.



What we get here is two new levels for 80MS points. That sounds like better value than the original, one level for 80MS points, but neither of these are quite as good. Saying that, they’re still excellent, the second one (named Level 3) in particular, which really captures what it was that made The Impossible Game so addictive. The other level in the pack isn’t quite as hooked in to the music, unfortunately, and suffers. For the price though, it’s more, more than worth it.



The Bronze Award, not the best games out this month, but every one of these is still either great, or has a really unique aspect to it that more than makes it worth trying.

I have no idea what I expected when I booted Garden Gnome Carnage, but it wasn't as awesome as what it turned out to be. Amazing, bizarre game. First note is the awesome music since that hits you first. Then, the gameplay. You're a gnome attached by rope to a house with wheels, and people are trying to climb up the side and get you. You roll the house left and right to swing around and knock them off, and can also grab bricks from the house to throw at them which explode. It sounds bizarre because it is, but it's also awesome.

Physics Sandbox 2 is great in that it's just Crayon Physics but a bit uglier. Importantly, everything works how you'd expect, physics wise. The only real trouble with it is that analogue sticks are just terrible for controlling such a game and so it's more awkward than it needs to be. Basic premise: Get a ball to a star by drawing shapes and things to enable the ball to roll there. There's a sandbox mode, too, as the name implies. Good stuff.

Silent Call is a roguelike, and a basic one at that. Which sounds stupid, considering how basic Rogue is. I don't have nearly enough experience with the genre to be able to say whether it's good or not, but it kept me entertained and I certainly think you'll get a dollar's worth of gameplay out of it. Takes a few minutes to adjust to the controls, but I did enjoy it thereafter. Give it a go.

Elite Pinball HD uses the same music as another Indie Game does and this always annoys me as there's no way I'll find out what other game it is. It's not bad, really. The physics aren't the best and release timing is pretty horrendous alongside the (kind of) free Pinball FX2, but it's a simpler game of pinball than that game with all its bloat, and it gives you loads of points which makes you feel good even if you're rubbish at pinball. Which I am.

SFG Office Brawlers is pretty nice. It's got a good sense of humour, and a great (silly) story. It's a beat 'em up with avatars and it's easily the best I've played on the service, by absolute miles. The controls screen suggests it's pretty basic (light attack, heavy attack) but the AI is doing other moves and I've pulled off a couple of special moves myself, so there's some depth hidden away in there. There are loads of weapons to unlock as well. Good stuff.

Null Divide is quite slow and ugly, but I really enjoyed it regardless. It's a twin stick mixed with a Metroidvania, almost. You have to fly around a top down space ship finding new skills and keys that allow you access to new parts of the levels. Nice variety in the enemies, and (though slow and ugly) it does play really well. Get it.

Whakman is a 2D platformer that looks, sounds, and plays really well. You have to roll through levels collecting coins, is all, but you get better awards based on whether or not you die, so there's scope for replayability. I like it.



It’s so, so obviously The TEMPURA of the DEAD.



Some games are bad. Really bad. So bad that they don’t even deserve a functioning link to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. But if you’re in the mood for some punishment, or just want to be reminded how much better the games above are, check these out, last month’s most terrible games.

Get your Girlfriend into Games is a sexist piece of shit. A bunch of simple word games and pairs because that's all silly little girls can handle and WHY AREN'T THEY COOKING MY DINNER, ANYWAY? Pathetic.

Chopsticks is odd. You control two chopsticks (one on each analogue stick) and have to lift sushi into a bowl. The closest comparison I can think of is those claw machines you get in seaside arcades. The game is every bit as awkward and frustrating to play as they are.

Snake Jam: poor. It takes the basic mechanics of Snake, eat stuff to get longer, then removes all the threat (crashing into walls/your tail). Then. It. Runs. So. Jerkily. It's. Really. Hard. To. Follow. Then it adds opponents which you can apparently eat but if you touch them it's completely random as to whether you eat them, they eat you, or nothing happens at all. It's not dependent on length as you'd expect it to be. Then it makes the whole thing a bit ugly. Then instead of really being in control, there's some weird physics at play so you have to kind of fling your snake from place to place. Basically, it's unplayable.

Game 35 is a stupid platform game where nearly every level requires you to just hold right and it plays itself. Where that's not the case, you're the victim of trial and error gameplay with invisible traps and platforms everywhere. Poor.

In Finish you have to direct a black dot to a blue dot really fucking slowly using the analogue stick. It's kind of like Soul with everything (including the fun) removed.

Backyard Battles is so bad that the people involved should be ashamed at themselves for releasing it in this state. Didn't you play it? Didn't it occur to you that it was terrible? You walk around REALLY fucking slowly, shooting a water pistol at insects in a horribly inaccurate manner. Then when you hit them 766 times, they die, at which point you're overwhelmed by more insects. It's one of the worst games I've ever played, but credit: the variation in playable characters is hilarious.

Avatar Banker: Greed is Great is not great. It takes the basic gameplay from Avatar Cash Dash (run around collecting coins) and adds such a pointless, complex set of rules and scoring that you'll never, ever find anyone that wants to play it with you because by the time you've finished explaining it they'll have left. And let's face it, the basic gameplay was never really that exciting anyway, was it?

Monsters Elect should tell you how to damn well play. You're faced with 20 enemies in level one that are quicker than you, and you can't attack. This is just complete shit. There's a tutorial but the controls it teaches you apparently don't transfer into the campaign where the attack button does NOTHING. Also, I'm really sick of selecting "exit game" in the pause menu and then actually exiting the game. Which sounds stupid, but I expect to be sent back to the title screen.

A Game you can’t BEAT!! Oh, look, another rubbish clone of The Impossible Game. It's over a year later and still nothing has bettered it. Give up trying.

Valet Parking Inc. is pathetic. You have to park cars that are practically impossible to control into some random place on a car lot, then drive them to the exit at the right time. I can't even do justice to how bad this game looks and how much it plays even worse than that.

Okay, I saw the title. Spring Break in Zombie USA. I instantly thought "this is going to be shit." Well, I'm some kind of prophet. It's the worst kind of twin stick. It's slow, there are invisible walls, there's Comic Sans, it's ugly, it's not responsive, it's not fun, it's not worth anyone's time.

Arrow Storm II is all kinds of shit. It's almost a horizontal shmup, I guess. Except your hitbox is about eight times bigger than your sprite is and you have no idea where it is. This is enough to destroy the game, but then it's slow and dull looking alongside it. There's potential in its upgrade system but there is no way you'll be playing it long enough to get anything out of it. No way at all.

Outbreak on Uranus, Christ. Here’s an exclusive scene from the upcoming movie about Silver Dollar Games.

INT. BOARDROOM - DAY.

Four men and a woman sit around a table. There's a flipchart in the corner with a picture of a man farting on it, in place of a cliché green gas cloud, there are dollar signs.

DAVE: Okay, guys, you know Uranus, right?
STELLA: What, the planet?
JEFF: Seventh away from the Sun, yeah, we know it, where is this going? It's been two days since we released our last QTE game and I'm not handling the withdrawal well. Last night I, I, I nearly loaded Shenmue.
DAVE: Calm down, Jeff. We've got another one releasing tomorrow. This one's about sniping hot girls while they're farting. It's got million seller written all over it. Literally, because once the player buys it it just flashes up "million seller" and it's not even a game. But Uranus, right. Don't you think that sounds like "YOUR ANUS?"
STELLA: Oh shit.
JIM: HOLY FUCK.

JEFF falls from his chair, such is the power of his laughter.

DAVE: I'm pretty sure that literally nobody in the history of the world has noticed this, and therefore the idea could be worth millions.
STELLA: Should we trademark it?
DAVE: No, I've got a better idea. Let's release a crap shooting game about it that's ugly as fuck and controls like shit. A game that's fucking terrible, even for us. Someone get Jeff some water.
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
Man, so much to write I had to go over the post limit!



And to end on an awesome note…

Every month, we’ll revisit the games that you may have missed from months gone by. These games are lost in the depths of the Games Marketplace, pull them out of there!

Did someone say it was Christmas? I decided to dedicate this section to the best Christmas themed games available on the service right now. It turns out though, that only one of them is any good. Luckily, it’s so good that you honestly don’t need anything else this Christmas.

Johnny Platform Saves Xmas! was the best platformer on XBLIGs prior to the release of Apple Jack, and is still just full of awesome. FULL of it.

A sequel to Johnny Platforms Biscuit Romp, the aim of all of its 100 levels is to kill all of the enemies on the screen by bouncing on their heads, and then getting to the exit. Each of the levels is a puzzle, as you use enemies to reach other enemies or platforms, and things like rolling Christmas puddings to access otherwise unreachable areas.



As well as looking and sounding really crisp, clear, and Christmassy, the game controls amazingly. There’s a double jump which has a perfect weight to it, and various other special moves that you need to utilise to beat the harder levels. RB and LB when pressed when jumping on an enemy’s head will roll Johnny left or right through the air, which is an essential skill for reaching the aforementioned other enemies, platforms, exits, or the mugs of coffee that you can collect for extra lives.

It gets very difficult, as well. A year later and I’m still ten levels short of completing it.

There’s just no flaws to be found in it. Everything it aims to do, everything you want from a 2D platformer is right here in abundance. Excellently as well, as if he knew I was writing about it, it’s just had its price cut to 80pts. Absolutely 100% essential.

===========================

So, what did you think of these games? What do you think of what you’re playing this month?

Enjoy your Indie Games.

===========================

Previous threads, where all the older stuff lives:

The best Xbox LIVE Indie games of October 2010 | radiangames Fluid
The best Xbox LIVE Indie games of September 2010 | Hypership Out of Control
The best Xbox LIVE Indie games of August 2010 | Gravitron 360
The best Xbox LIVE Indie games of July 2010 | PLATFORMANCE: Castle Pain
The best Xbox LIVE Indie games of June 2010 | Old School Racer
The (old) XNA Indie Games Official Thread

Releases this month by date:

November 1st

Suuey

November 2nd

Miasma

November 3rd

Way of the Exploding Balls
West
Garden Gnome Carnage

November 4th

The Wizards Who Fell in a Hole
Gizmo the Puzzle *Removed
Storybook Tactics
Physics Sandbox 2
Big Tidy Up
Silent Call
Elite Pinball HD

November 5th

SFG Office Brawlers

November 6th

CheneyStar
Iredia: Atram's Secret
Get Your Girlfriend Into Games
Null Divide

November 7th

Chopsticks

November 9th

SUSHIDO
The TEMPURA of the DEAD

November 10th

Snake Jam
ig Pool
Panic Attack-Devil's Favourite
Fast Food
Game 35
Furball
Skully
Finger Twist-Up

November 11th

Finish
Chaos Shift
Night
SOG SOFT 001 - Comet
Backyard Battles
radiangames Fireball
Bomber *Removed

November 12th

Gravi Dot
THE ZOMBIE SHOTGUN MASSACRE 2

November 13th

Pie Collect

November 15th

Whakman
Krazy Alienz
Angle of Attack
Avatar's Rock

November 16th

Commander - World 1

November 17th

Wiwi's Adventure 2 *Removed

November 18th

Aah Impossible Rescue
Death

November 20th

Avatar Banker: Greed is Great
BlurBall

November 21st

Dogfight SKETCH!
Outbreak on Uranus
Space Police on SuperHighway 9
Monsters Elect
Table Soccer X

November 22nd

Jetpack Man
A Game you can't BEAT!!
Valet Parking Inc.

November 23rd

SUPER JANITOROID
Sketchy Tower Defense
The Deep Cave
Console Info

November 24th

Spring Break in Zombie USA

November 26th

Neutrino Wars
Musical Advent Calendar
Blokz Rokz
Avatar Snowball Fight

November 28th

Avatar QuizCall – Xmas Edition
ArrowStorm II

November 29th

A Snowman's Survival
The Impossible Game Level Pack
AXBY
Werewolf Hallow

November 30th

Toy Invasion
Decay - Part 3
Epic Dungeon
 

Erekiddo

Member
Feb 7, 2006
2,823
0
1,190
I really enjoy these threads.

I have about 20 indie games in my download queue, cause I've been Indie game hunting since this morning.
 

GhaleonEB

Member
Jun 7, 2004
77,909
2
1,490
Oregon
I'm so buying Epic Dungeon when I get home. I know the gameplay isn't the same, but I've wanted a good Indie game that looked like it since I played Soulcaster. That game really fired up my old school dungen crawl itch, and Epic Dungeon looks to scratch it. There's a save state, right? You don't have to do all 50 levels in one sitting?
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
GhaleonEB said:
I'm so buying Epic Dungeon when I get home. I know the gameplay isn't the same, but I've wanted a good Indie game that looked like it since I played Soulcaster. That game really fired up my old school dungen crawl itch, and Epic Dungeon looks to scratch it. There's a save state, right? You don't have to do all 50 levels in one sitting?
It autosaves after every floor (and when you die, presumably), and you can continue where you left off. It also autosaves your trial progress if you want to give it a go first, but you can safely buy it without bothering, it's great!
 

Kafel

Banned
Dec 5, 2005
12,212
0
0
France
GhaleonEB said:
I'm so buying Epic Dungeon when I get home. I know the gameplay isn't the same, but I've wanted a good Indie game that looked like it since I played Soulcaster. That game really fired up my old school dungen crawl itch, and Epic Dungeon looks to scratch it. There's a save state, right? You don't have to do all 50 levels in one sitting?
Soulcaster 2 will be available later this week, in case you didn't know.
 

Peff

Member
Dec 10, 2008
7,040
0
0
Wow, Epic Dungeon seems to be crazy value, it's deeper than I thought, even the abilities have upgrades and combos. Very good start for the week :D
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
Peff said:
Wow, Epic Dungeon seems to be crazy value, it's deeper than I thought, even the abilities have upgrades and combos. Very good start for the week :D
I know, there's just an incredible amount of stuff for a single dollar.

All those people obsessed with the crazy good value of Steam sales need in on this shit, too :lol
 

GhaleonEB

Member
Jun 7, 2004
77,909
2
1,490
Oregon
Kafel said:
Soulcaster 2 will be available later this week, in case you didn't know.
I hadn't checked the dev blog in a few months, so that's a surprise to me. Soulcaster is one of my two favorite Indie games (Miner Dig Deep being the other), I've played through it a dozen times. The new trailer got me absurdly hyped.

Great month for XBLIG already. :D
toythatkills said:
It autosaves after every floor (and when you die, presumably), and you can continue where you left off. It also autosaves your trial progress if you want to give it a go first, but you can safely buy it without bothering, it's great!
Woooooo

I know what I'm doing tonight. (Reach can wait.)
 

Peff

Member
Dec 10, 2008
7,040
0
0
Ouch, if you die that's it :lol Though I guess if you exit to the dashboard when things are iffy you can continue from that level and go back to an earlier floor if you need to.
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
Peff said:
Ouch, if you die that's it :lol Though I guess if you exit to the dashboard when things are iffy you can continue from that level and go back to an earlier floor if you need to.
You will have to live the rest of your life carrying that shame with you, though :p
 

Peff

Member
Dec 10, 2008
7,040
0
0
You will have to live the rest of your life carrying that shame with you, though :p
Haha, yeah, I'm doing it the hardcore way :D I'm surprised they actually made the effort of adding several little details like the different backgrounds every couple of floors or the clothes actually changing to what you equip. Good stuff.
 

karobit

Member
Mar 20, 2008
825
0
0
Chandler, AZ, USA
I'm excited that you had that reappraisal of The Big Cave -- it immediately stood out to me. The soundtrack is, as you mentioned, fantastic and I actually think the game might owe a little bit more, format-wise, to VVVVVV than Super Meat Boy. That might just be because of the gravity trick it plays early on though. Absolutely, definitely worth 80 points.
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
0
0
toythatkills said:
It autosaves after every floor (and when you die, presumably), and you can continue where you left off. It also autosaves your trial progress if you want to give it a go first, but you can safely buy it without bothering, it's great!
When you die you're dead. You start as a new character from level one. If you make it back to the floor your previous character died in, you see his tombstone and loot his best weapon or piece of armor.
 

Santiako

Member
Jul 24, 2009
18,365
1
0
steamcommunity.com
toythatkills, congratulations on these topics, they are the best way on all internet to keep oneself informed about XBLIG.

PS: just bought Epic Dungeon thanks to this thread. :D
 

Justin

Member
Jun 8, 2004
3,276
0
0
39
NY:NY
Epic Dungeon is the first indie game i have bought and it is great. Will be keeing an eye on this thread from now on.
 

szaromir

Banned
Apr 26, 2006
14,216
0
1,125
Can anyone tell me why XLIG require persistent online connection? My 360 stays offline most of the time. I'll buy 360 slim in a few weeks (it has wifi, so I'll be online all the time), but I bought a bunch of games last week and was quite disappointed I can't play them yet.
 

besiktas1

Member
Jan 9, 2007
4,091
0
0
szaromir said:
Can anyone tell me why XLIG require persistent online connection? My 360 stays offline most of the time. I'll buy 360 slim in a few weeks (it has wifi, so I'll be online all the time), but I bought a bunch of games last week and was quite disappointed I can't play them yet.
It's how MS gets passed the ratings. Esrb doesn't rate online interactions.
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
0
0
szaromir said:
Can anyone tell me why XLIG require persistent online connection? My 360 stays offline most of the time. I'll buy 360 slim in a few weeks (it has wifi, so I'll be online all the time), but I bought a bunch of games last week and was quite disappointed I can't play them yet.
Some thing about the lack of ESRB ratings and parental controls. Though you can disconnect once you boot up a game, you don't need to be online the whole time you play.
 

szaromir

Banned
Apr 26, 2006
14,216
0
1,125
HadesGigas said:
Some thing about the lack of ESRB ratings and parental controls. Though you can disconnect once you boot up a game, you don't need to be online the whole time you play.
I have no ethernet connection in my room, so it's not possible until i have a 360S. Bummer.
Thanks for the answers, anyway.

Those threads are really lovely. It is a lot of hassle browsing Arcade games, even more so Indie Games. Having someone playing all releases and recommending the best ones is a huge plus. I love the 80MSP pricepoint.:D
 

GhaleonEB

Member
Jun 7, 2004
77,909
2
1,490
Oregon
Was a bit disappointed in Epic Dungeon, for two reasons. The first is the combat, you just point the left stick (which also moves the player) in the direction of enemies to fight. I'd have preferred a more traditional movement + attack button configuration, this feels less tactile.

But the big one is the constantly respawning enemies. I really like the lamp oil/regenerating health mechanics, because they are complimentary. The constantly declining lamp oil encourages swift exploration and efficient play, while the health regeneration is an incentive to slow down. It's a great push-pull setup. But then you have constantly respawning enemies all around, which serve to discourage thorough exploration. My instinct in games like this is to clear out entire levels, explore them thoroughly, and then move on. But that's hard to do here, as exploration is punished by having to re-fight battles over and over.

I died on level 12, when I wrapped up one big fight and then backed into a room I had cleared out in order to regenerate my health, and got swarmed by a bunch of dudes I'd just killed. It felt really cheap. I'm going to give it one more crack tonight, but that one design decision really soils the game a lot.
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
Surely by level 12 you've got plenty of health potions to prevent that kind of thing happening? Or upgrade your regeneration skill so it goes faster!

I quite like the respawning enemies, it just adds to the pace of the game because you can never, ever hang around doing nothing for very long.
 

GhaleonEB

Member
Jun 7, 2004
77,909
2
1,490
Oregon
toythatkills said:
Surely by level 12 you've got plenty of health potions to prevent that kind of thing happening? Or upgrade your regeneration skill so it goes faster!

I quite like the respawning enemies, it just adds to the pace of the game because you can never, ever hang around doing nothing for very long.
At the previous shop I had picked up four potions, thought that would be enough but the flaming wolves and witches ripped through me quickly. I had upgraded my armor, had been appropriating one point to attack and defense each level (with the other alternating luck and dexterity), had two points on health regeneration and had enchanted both my weapon and armor about five times each to boost them. I was also making heavy use of my orb and poison ability.

At any rate, the respawing enemies will be enough to keep me from playing the game much more. Like I said, I'll give it one more crack tonight, but I think it's a near-fatal flaw, and an unnecessary one because he already had an effective mechanic in the game to hurry players along (the lamp). I really love this kind of game but it's just not fun to explore a dungeon when the same guys are respawing - on screen - over and over. That's more of a grind than I enjoy.

But hey, it's a buck. XBLIG are something I never really have buyers remorse about because I like supporting indie devs and the buy price is at impulse levels. The guy(s) that made it clearly have some talent so no regrets tossing a sale their way. But I'll get my dungeon crawling itch scratched through Soulcaster 2. (Besides, there's a demo but I bought the game without trying it, so my bad. If I'd played that first, I'd have skipped.)
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,052
6
0
Long Island, NY
Great recap, of course I will have to point everyone once again to West, my good friend's brother's game. Oldskool, 16-bit RPG with shades of Earthbound thrown in there, and some great writing. And cheesy but catchy MIDI music written by my friend's other brother.

I really appreciate these indie threads you make, toythatkills. It's a great way to bring publicity and keep people informed about this service. I need to check out that Epic Dungeon game it looks like.
 

VariableTerry

Member
Oct 4, 2004
519
0
0
variableterry.wordpress.com
So many new games to try, I can't wait until work is done. I haven't looked at the indie games in a while. I have points just waiting to be spent. Tonight will be filled with Trials and indie games :D

I played Fireball for 3 or 4 hours last night. I love it. I am a huge fan of Geometry Wars 2, especially the pacifism mode, so this is perfect for me. I love dodging those enemies, squeezing through the smallest gaps just so you can make the cluster of enemies that much larger, so you can get that 200+ kills in one explosion. It gets so intense. It's so easy to get in the zone and the time just mysteriously disappears. Easily worth the 80pts. It also has online leaderboards. I managed to crawl my way up to 6 on one of them.
 
Beat Deep Cave...192 deaths. I think most of them were in like four or five rooms. The difficulty curve just drops off near the very end which is kind of nice I guess.

Sucks that there's only three songs in the soundtrack.

Epic Dungeon: The respawning enemies don't bug me too much...for the most part. It's kind of a tradition for the genre. It does get a bit silly though as every few floors there's a shop and I can just load up on health potions thanks to respawns.

toythatkills said:
I'm on 500+ and just reached the lava-y bit.

Was it your first go through/no reloading? That's impressive!
Yeah first-timer. Admittedly I don't even like the genre(passed on Super Meat Boy, despised games like IWBTG that started it all).
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
PepsimanVsJoe said:
Beat Deep Cave...192 deaths. I think most of them were in like four or five rooms. The difficulty curve just drops off near the very end which is kind of nice I guess.

Sucks that there's only three songs in the soundtrack.
I'm on 500+ and just reached the lava-y bit.

Was it your first go through/no reloading? That's impressive!
 

Dr. Zoidberg

Member
Nov 6, 2004
8,240
31
1,300
I'll try out Epic Dungeon tonight. I originally passed on the Deep Cave due to the impressions but I'll give that a shot too.
 
Whoop.
Beat Epic Dungeon in uhhh 2 hours 18 minutes and 43(?) seconds.

Wasn't too hard I guess. There were a number of close-calls but that's mainly because the enemies love to surround and pulverize.

Problem is it's way too easy to just hang back and load up on potions. With the regeneration I can find a nice safe-spot and then kill whatever respawns happen to show up. As long as I'm not within about five or six squares of an enemy they won't attack so I just dig in, load up on stuff, and then move on when I'm ready. I also tended to move quickly through floors that didn't have shops..grabbing whatever I could find along the way. It probably would have helped if there were actually uh..random floors. Sure loot is randomized but the floor layouts have a definite pattern to them. I imagine some sort of program was used to add in harder enemies, phatter loot, and other things like more traps and such.

Of course since I wasted so much time collecting potions and such it effected my time so that's something to take into consideration.

I went with the Berserker. Freeze and the ally-bot are nice, poison not so much.

Also I'm a bit weirded out by the ending.
You go from depth 1 to depth 50 and at the end you find a door that leads outside...kay.
 

besiktas1

Member
Jan 9, 2007
4,091
0
0
szaromir said:
I have no ethernet connection in my room, so it's not possible until i have a 360S. Bummer.
Thanks for the answers, anyway.

Those threads are really lovely. It is a lot of hassle browsing Arcade games, even more so Indie Games. Having someone playing all releases and recommending the best ones is a huge plus. I love the 80MSP pricepoint.:D
Do what I did then. Today my 40 metre ethernet cable arrived :D took me about 5 minutes to wire it around the house. No hassle.
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,737
0
0
besiktas1 said:
Do what I did then. Today my 40 metre ethernet cable arrived :D took me about 5 minutes to wire it around the house. No hassle.
Why bother going through all that trouble? Wireless bridges are like $20.
 

LocoMrPollock

Banned
May 3, 2009
4,694
0
0
barkers crest said:
Wednesday screen update.

Happy Winter Indie Uprising Month!

Looking good.

Epic Dungeon is pretty fun. I like the respawns, it doesn't really give you time to get bored and keeps the tension up. Kinda reminds me of the AI director in Left 4 Dead.

Anyone know when Cthulhu Saves the World is supposed to drop? This week sometime?
 

besiktas1

Member
Jan 9, 2007
4,091
0
0
SapientWolf said:
Why bother going through all that trouble? Wireless bridges are like $20.
Wifi pick ups like crap where the 360 is. Wired is "faster" for my HD movies streaming from my network. Half decent network bridge in I saw was around £40, the cable I got was £4 shipped. :D
 

nli10

Member
Nov 16, 2005
3,244
0
0
HadesGigas said:
When you die you're dead. You start as a new character from level one. If you make it back to the floor your previous character died in, you see his tombstone and loot his best weapon or piece of armor.
ooh! It has Looting?

Already had one go and bought, but my 2nd go will be all the more fabulous now.

Indie Game Uprising is the only thing keeping my 3100 points from buying MNC and Limbo as part of the 400 pt deal. Was getting MNC anyway so Limbo for 800 is a steal.


That said if every game is as good as Epic Dungeon then I'm probably short on points as it is!
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
I can see Break Limit on my Xbox, it's right there, but the download button doesn't do anything. It's doing my head in, I want to play :lol

Alpha Blasters is a twin-stick with inaccurate feeling controls. It also made me feel really uncomfortable. The description for Currency Mode as good as says "KILL ALL THE EVIL CURRENCIES" and then you take control of (the almighty) Yen and have to shoot dollar signs and pound signs, etc. The whole thing feels mildly xenophobic to me. There's also a mode that sounds like it's Asteroids but isn't available in the trial.
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
Got to try Break Limit at last after checking for it all morning! It's the second (new) Winter Uprising game, and is another awesome one.

If you don't know already, it's inspired by Hypership Out of Control so don't be surprised when it feels similar at first. It quickly becomes its own game though, as aside from the corridor-based nature of it, they're not really that similar.

It feels more like a shooter, this one. There's obviously still loads of walls to avoid but there's a quite generous shield (which is toned down in higher difficulties) which means there's a small room for error and so avoiding stuff isn't as essential (though still obviously fairly important.)

It puts more focus on collecting points and shooting stuff, basically. The faster you're going, the more points you get for the things you collect. The game is slower than HS, though, which makes collecting things a bit easier. It takes a while to get going but that's where the Break Limit can help. Collecting blue orbs fills your Break Limit gauge and holding LT activates it. At this point your speed doubles and you become invincible, you'll just smash through everything. Collecting anything at this speed, obviously, is worth a ton of points. It's just not easy to collect stuff at that speed!

There are different courses to shoot through, and different difficulty levels to play with, and leaderboards for any combination of the above. Graphics are really crisp and clear and so it's easy to see what's going on. The presentation is great, the music also is great and really suits it, it feels like there's a much more serious vibe to it, but there's some lovely little moments of silliness that offset it and make you smile.

One current negative: the courses aren't quite as memorable as HSs waves are, because the style of it doesn't really lend itself to it as well. In HS where everything was bright and every wave was a different colour, everything stood out. Here everything's a bit more samey. This memorisation will come with more practice though I'm sure...

One other thing: at certain points you can change the direction of the game and head left/right/etc instead of up. It really changes the feel of it drastically and is excellent. I'm not sure if it has any effect on score or, well, anything, but it's really cool and a nice way to play differently.

Absolutely no reason not to own both these games!
 
toythatkills said:
Got to try Break Limit at last after checking for it all morning! It's the second (new) Winter Uprising game, and is another awesome one.

If you don't know already, it's inspired by Hypership Out of Control so don't be surprised when it feels similar at first. It quickly becomes its own game though, as aside from the corridor-based nature of it, they're not really that similar.

It feels more like a shooter, this one. There's obviously still loads of walls to avoid but there's a quite generous shield (which is toned down in higher difficulties) which means there's a small room for error and so avoiding stuff isn't as essential (though still obviously fairly important.)

It puts more focus on collecting points and shooting stuff, basically. The faster you're going, the more points you get for the things you collect. The game is slower than HS, though, which makes collecting things a bit easier. It takes a while to get going but that's where the Break Limit can help. Collecting blue orbs fills your Break Limit gauge and holding LT activates it. At this point your speed doubles and you become invincible, you'll just smash through everything. Collecting anything at this speed, obviously, is worth a ton of points. It's just not easy to collect stuff at that speed!

There are different courses to shoot through, and different difficulty levels to play with, and leaderboards for any combination of the above. Graphics are really crisp and clear and so it's easy to see what's going on. The presentation is great, the music also is great and really suits it, it feels like there's a much more serious vibe to it, but there's some lovely little moments of silliness that offset it and make you smile.

One current negative: the courses aren't quite as memorable as HSs waves are, because the style of it doesn't really lend itself to it as well. In HS where everything was bright and every wave was a different colour, everything stood out. Here everything's a bit more samey. This memorisation will come with more practice though I'm sure...

One other thing: at certain points you can change the direction of the game and head left/right/etc instead of up. It really changes the feel of it drastically and is excellent. I'm not sure if it has any effect on score or, well, anything, but it's really cool and a nice way to play differently.

Absolutely no reason not to own both these games!
As one of the game's peer reviewers, I endorse this event or product.

You make the turning mechanic sound a little pedestrian, toy :lol The game has split paths you can choose to take, adding an exploration mechanic which I was hoping he would add when the very very first build of the game out. (You would not recognise the game between that build and what's been released :lol )
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
3
0
Thames Ditton, UK
:lol

I haven't played enough to really see all the benefits/joys of turning yet!

The second level is really bloody hard, I'm not sure I'll even get to any turning point it might have! I could drop the difficulty, I suppose...