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Xbox LIVE Indie Games - The February 2011 Thread

toythatkills

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Dec 5, 2008
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Especially for the new page, bonus December round-up!

December was always going to be a fantastic month for Xbox LIVE Indie Games, but I think it took everyone by surprise just how fantastic it turned out to be. There were already plans beforehand for a number of high-quality games to be released at once as part of the Winter Uprising, organised by the guys at Zeboyd Games (Breath of Death VII, Cthulhu Saves the World). While the plan was to release these at once at the start of the month, many of them missed the deadline and in the end they were spread out over the month, though no less brilliant for it. What was surprising was the number of unannounced games that weren’t part of this, games that appeared from nowhere and were as good as if not better than many of the Uprising games. And so, it’s probably been the best month for Xbox LIVE Indie Games ever, and this round-up is absolutely epic as a result. Enjoy!

Picking the best game of the month when there are so many contenders is not at all easy.

Astroman gets it, though. It’s a Metroidvania. You’re stranded on a strange planet after you crash land and you have to visit different planets finding bits to repair it with so you can go home.



You do this by going around 2D platformer-like levels shooting enemies and jumping and the such. Unfortunately, you’ll find that even in the first level there’s plenty of areas you can’t reach, so after later planets when you find upgrades for your jump and things like that, you can revisit earlier planets to find all the stuff you missed first time around.

New planets are visited by flying to them in your ship, and the more parts of the ship you find the further you can travel from the starting point and the more levels that open up to you. The whole progression in the game is just brilliant.

The platforming is really good too. It looks fantastic and everything is really crisp and chunky, the controls are really responsive and it all combines to make something that works. The jumping is ever so slightly floaty but I can forgive it because it still feels fine, and hey, who’s to say what the gravity’s like out there?



It could do with a deadzone on the controller, as I was constantly walking left when I didn’t want to, usually off of platforms onto spikes or into enemies. In spite of this, though, I had loads of fun with this.

Loads of content, plays brilliant, and an easy purchase.

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

If you don't know already, Break Limit is 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 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!

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

Score Rush is a mental shmup. Look at the screenshot. Look at it. See all those bullets? They’re all trying to kill you and you have to avoid them. It’s not easy to do, but it’s a ton of fun. I’m rubbish at these games, but it’s always the dodging of bullets that I enjoy (failing at) the most. This game is perfect for that! While the on-screen action is chaotic as hell, it’s always clear and easy to follow.



Aside from the bullet hell, it’s a twin-stick. You’re moving with the left and firing with the right. That this doesn’t feel like a twin-stick is testament to the developer’s skill in creating it.

It’s hard enough trying to keep track of one ship, but it can played with up to four players. Insane – but nothing but fun, surely!

In a horrible decision, there’s no online leaderboards, which mean this game can never be game of the month. Coming from a dev that had been promising a patch for online leaderboards for one of their earlier titles for a year or so, this is unforgivable. It’s still a fantastic experience, just one that’s so much more shortlived when finding the competition that pushes you further is so awkward.

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

Soulcaster II is the sequel to, erm, Soulcaster. It doesn’t really change much, it just builds on what was a tremendous game to begin with and makes everything feel bigger.

That game comes with an unexpected twist. When you start, you expect some kind of retro-RPG, maybe with a Gauntlet kind of flavour. Then, it quickly becomes apparent that you’re playing tower-defense. It’s excellent, it’s the first retro-style game that I’ve played where I’ve genuinely never seen anything like it before, where it’s not just something that’s not much more than a remake.



You play as a character who has no attacks, and you can summon three different warriors. These then remain in place (as towers) and attack anything that comes near until they’re defeated or recalled, at which point you can put them somewhere else. It’s tower defense, then, but it doesn’t feel like it when you’re playing, so even if you don’t like the genre it’s worth trying. It looks amazing too, and sounds as good.

Soulcaster II, as I say, doesn’t do much more than the original. The maps feel bigger, and there’s better enemy AI which makes your strategies even more important. The original was excellent though, it didn’t need much more to make it perfect.

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

Rainbow Ball into Adventure is a shameless Katamari Damacy clone, sometimes amazingly so, but it’s so lovely that I couldn’t not enjoy every single second.

Ya see, while I was playing, I just got the impression that the people who made it were having an absolutely amazing time while they were doing it. It just feels like everyone involved was having so much fun.



There’s the constant sound of children laughing and shouting as you collect stuff, mainly calling out what you collected. Everything is hand drawn and is given a really nice 2D paper cut-out feel. It looks tremendous. Special mention to the lighting, which is just incredible. Don’t know why, it just really strikes me while I’m playing that the stuff I’m rolling up is just lit so very well.

The aim of the game is to roll up everything in the small levels in the time you have. Sometimes there are some twists that make me think this could be a really nice educational game. In one level, you have to collect things in pairs. So once you collect a car, the only thing you can collect next is another car. Excellent for kids. Equally excellent for adults.

As a sign of how good this game is, there’s Comic Sans in it and I don’t even care.

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

OSR Unhinged is the sequel to Old School Racer, which I awarded my very first Game of the Month award to. That was six months ago and I still go back and play it now, and OSR Unhinged is every bit as good and for all the same reasons.

People will accuse it of being a Trials clone, but they miss the point. While it’s similar, OSRU has a much more lenient feel to it, so rather than falling off all the time, many positions are recoverable. I know that Trials HD frustrates a lot of people and for them, this is the game they need. It’s also got loads of other little tricks, like messed up gravity in some levels, night levels, that make it interesting.



Where it’s amazing though is in the sheer amount of stuff to do. There are loads of levels and medals to be won on each when you’ve unlocked the faster bikes. Bikes are unlocked by collecting tokens in each level which are hidden or placed around each course.

Soon, to collect all the tokens and compete on the online leaderboards for quick times, you’ll have played each level ten or twenty times. There’s loads of levels, some mini-games, it’s just content-city and it’s only 80 Microsoft Points. Essential.

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

Cthulhu Saves the World is an RPG with 16-bit graphics, music, and it feels it. That’s where the 16-bit stuff ends though, as the developer takes everything that might have frustrated players going back to games from that era now, and streamlines it.

Random battles are there, but once you’ve fought so many in an area they stop, allowing you to explore unhindered. The battles are fun, though. They’re fast, there’s loads of different magics and techniques to use and you’ll have to, because the battles can quickly swing away from you if you’re not careful. Complete battles quickly though, and you’ll recover bonus MP (HP is always restored). Battles are kept further interesting by a combo meter that goes up with every attack so you’re always getting stronger, unfortunately, the enemies increase in strength by 10% each round of turns too – this makes boss fights terrifying in the awesomest way!

Every level-up gives you a choice between two attacks, or two different sets of stat-upgrades, which mean you can customise your character any way you want. It’s excellent.



The story sees Cthulhu lose his powers and go on a quest to become a hero, the only way to recover them. The story is introduced in a really funny way and the humour carries on throughout, as he meets a cast of funny, weird characters. The gameplay is pretty traditional RPG stuff. Go from town to town talking to people, exploring dungeons, opening chests, buying and equipping new equipment.

One thing I like is that you can save anywhere, but it has save points too. Basically this means that you’ve got a choice whether or not you play it like you’d have played it in 1993. It’s just full of stuff like this for gamers.

It’s just great, is all.

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

Return All Robots is a nice puzzle game with robots and the returning of said robots. You control a guy who can run around while robots face in his direction. Pressing a button then makes the robots move in the direction that they’re facing until they reach a wall.



Your job, is to lead all the blue ones to a teleporter. The red ones are BAD and must be led into some fire or something to destroy them. All this happens simultaneously, so you’re trying to navigate the blue ones around while keeping them away from the red ones, and keeping yourself out of their way too. Some good puzzlin’.

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

B.U.T.T.O.N, or, Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally Okay Now, is a party game for between two and eight players. Can be played on one controller, or four. It’s really nicely presented.



You put your controller down, walk a few steps back, and then the game gives you a task. Press a button. Press a button 14 times. Don’t press a button. Loads more. You then run to your controller and try to do it while everyone else tries to do the same, or tries to press other peoples buttons to make them fail, etc. It’s ridiculous but as you can imagine, it’s a stupid amount of fun, too.

There’s an “adult” mode that can be switched on in the options. I’ve no idea what it entails.

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

Casino Nights. Okay, a confession. While I was downloading these games I hovered on this for ages. It’s a Casino game, what could possibly be worth my time trialling it? I already know what it’s like. But I downloaded it anyway. Then, when I was playing all the games I had exactly the same thoughts, but played it anyway.

Then I really liked it.



I think it was the graphics that got me, as they’re slightly pixelly which gives it a really nice feel. What you’ve got is six casino games from Roulette to Blackjack to Poker, and a $250 kitty. You just play whatever you want until your money runs out. You can earn awards (achievements) that increase your starting kitty.

The games are all really easy to play and the rules are explained very well in case you’re not familiar with them. I suppose I was always going to get addicted to this, wasn’t I? Ah well, it’s always better to lose virtual money!
 

toythatkills

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Curse of the Crescent Isle is a 2D platformer which is ridiculously retro, but so very excellent. It controls really well for the most part, the levels are varied, and it looks and sounds great. As a warning, it’s so retro that there’s not even a way to save, but that’s how we all used to play games so don’t let it put you off, because there’s a wonderful game here.

PentomiGo came as quite a surprise. I was expecting a Blokus clone but it’s not like that at all. You have a series of pentominoes, as does your opponent, and you place them anywhere in a grid in turns. At the end of the game, the player with the most uncovered edges is the winner, with bonus points available too. It’s so clear as to how you play and as to what’s going on at all times, and what each piece is currently scoring, that it’s just great to play. Playing the AI will get boring, but find a human opponent and you could be at it for ages.

Tile Trip is another tile placing game, but in this one you have to use pieces with sections of tunnel on them to connect the top of the grid to the bottom, while blocking off your opponent who is trying to connect the left to the right. It reminds me of Blockbusters. You’re scored by the number of entrances into your tunnel network multiplies by the number of exits, as are they. Win by getting the highest score. It’s another neat two-player game.

Asteroids Do Concern Me is a clone of The Helicopter game, but a really good one. The physics are really good so it’s actually fun to play, there’s a very fine line in this type of game between too heavy and too floaty, and ADCM treads it fine. It’s really funny as well, especially when you die. Loads of levels, loads of modes, loads of fun.

Chu's Dynasty is a Smash Bros.-esque (up to) four-player fighting game. I’m useless at these but it’s obviously quality. The look of it is stunning, from the menus to the in game graphics which are easily amongst the best on XBLIGs, it’s just gorgeous. There’s about a million different moves and button combinations to get your head around which is where I always struggle, but as far as I could get it played really nicely. There’s multiplayer, or loads of single player content too.

Football Games Room is an interesting take on Association Football that’s really hard to get to grips with, but really satisfying to play. It’s basically a super-simplified twin-stick version of the sport. You move with the left stick and aim with the right, pressing the right trigger to shoot or pass and the left to change player. It takes a while to get used to, but it’s fun when it does. It could use a few less players on the pitch, I think, because it feels quite cramped. It also makes me really want a turn-based football game because the couple that are on XBLIGs at the moment aren’t much fun.

CannonBotGo is really loud. Like, REALLY. I had to turn my TV down. It’s a puzzle game, and if you’ve played Eets, you’ll be at home here. You set up a number of items and your character walks mindlessly forward, interacting with whatever he touches. You have to reach the end of the level, or destroy an enemy, etc. It’s ugly and quite difficult to control, but the core gameplay is solid.

Toy Stunt Bike is another Trials HD clone, but it’s not as good as OSR. There’s not as much to do, here. It’s still as annoyingly addictive, though, and there’s still enough to warrant 80 of your hard-earned Microsoft Points. You get points for stunts and air time, so high-score runs are expected.

Vorpal is a stylish shmup that isn’t easy. It’s all black and white and so the red really stands out in a pretty way when you’re being shot at. Lovely clear hit-box, too. It doesn’t do anything amazing, but what it does do it does very well, and if you like bullet-hell even a little bit this is for you. It’s nice to chill with after some Score Rush, it’s still hectic but it feels less so!

Zombiez 8 My Cookiez is a twin stick with a twist. Your aim isn’t to kill zombies, and indeed, they can’t kill you (in the traditional way). The aim is to protect a plate of biscuits in the middle of the table from zombies. You can do this by shooting them, or by dragging the biscuit away from them. It takes ages to get going, but at the end when there’s tons of zombies and you’re trying to pull the last crumb of a jammie dodger back to the middle while ten zombies are trying to pull it the other way and another ten zombies are trying to drag you off the edge of the table, well, it’s just so silly that you can’t help loving it. The shooting, it should be mentioned, is solid.

ZP2KX: Zombies & Pterodactyls! is an online 2D arena fighter type thing from the guy who made a game zombies in it and Dishwasher. It’s not for me, but it’s clear that there’s quality here, I just don’t enjoy it as much as I did Chu’s Dynasty. Still, for the price, can’t argue, and I hear that finding online games isn’t impossible, which is nice.

Aphelion 2 is a RPG. If you haven’t played the original, you’d be wasting your time starting here because it doesn’t do a great job of explaining what’s going on. If you’ve played the original though, it’s more of the same futurey turn-based RPG action.

radiangames Crossfire 2 is too similar to Crossfire, but if you haven’t got the original then this is the better game – it’s just not better enough to justify owning both. The sequel adds an upgrade system that powers up your ship as you complete each wave. If you want to know how it plays, think Space Invaders but with a ship that can teleport between the top and bottom of the screen to avoid fire and get behind enemies.

Vertigo is a running game that looks really nice. You run across stylish rooftops using boosters and stuff to get to the finish line as quick as possible. Really satisfying to play and like I say, looks great. Multiplayer too for some proper racing funs.

Bad Golf isn’t. It’s golf on a 2D plane. You choose the angle and the power, and then try and get the ball into, well, you know how golf works. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s fun.

REVOLVER360 is a shmup that lets you revolve the arena so that bullets that are on a 2D plane suddenly don’t become an issue. I’ve honestly got no idea how to explain how it works, but when you play it it feels natural within seconds and makes total sense in your mind. Loads of stuff going on on screen so it’s hard to follow sometimes but it’s yet another ace shmup this month.

AutoMorpion is a strange thing. You could as easily play it on paper. You get a small set of crosses in the shape of a “plus” sign, and you have to add a dot somewhere that creates a line of five, and then draw a line through. You can then use these dots and the crosses that are already there to make more and more lines of five, until you run out of possible moves and can’t go any more. Lines can cross but not overlap. You probably won’t play it for long unless the maths/logic grabs you, but it’s worth having at least one go of.

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

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.

Rumble Checkers Online is a horrible checkers game. The controls are really cumbersome and awkward, and there's no animation so most of the time you can't work out what move the opponent actually just made. Such a simple thing to get right, yet it's rubbish.

Squee Pig Piggle BBQ. Piggle? You mean like Peggle? Yeah, a bit like that. You drop a pig into a level, it bounces off some pegs, and then (hopefully) lands on a barbeque where it's turned into as many pieces of bacon as you hit pegs. The physics are totally wrong (it's so slow) and it's just stupid, you don't feel anywhere even slightly close to in control of what happens, even though you can even slightly control your pig by farting. Million seller confirmed.

SIRTET. SIRTET. Do you get it? DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY’VE DONE THERE? It’s so slow, even holding “down” is still ludicrously slow. Literally 1,000,000 better versions of Tetris exist.

AVATOUR is hilarious. You control your avatar and walk around the blurriest cityscape you’ve ever seen in your life, and that’s it. Due to presumed limitations in the programmer’s knowledge of programming, or sheer laziness on his part, you can walk through buildings. In the item description, this is listed as a selling point.

Shooting Models is a game in which you chase a cute girl through a park with your knob out, while attempting to take some sneaky upskirt photos before she calls the police.

Freak Out is yet another The Impossible Game clone, only this time with a “character” that bounces. Which means most of the times you need to jump you won’t be able to, because you’re slightly above the ground.

C.L.E.S. Party is an alright idea. A 2D platformer version of basketball/football or something. Unfortunately, the controls make no sense at all, and it’s so fast that it’s impossible to play.

Ahoy Pirates. Hey, developer, would you like people to get a feel for your game in the trial? Yes, you say? Well then maybe it would be a good idea if you actually let people play the game in the trial instead of being a dick about it.

Alien Hunter is a terrible FPS with poor graphics and as-bad gameplay.

Maids With Balloons (NSFW) is Maids with balloons. It’s awful, but the thing is, for some reason I get the impression that the FMV at the start was made with prostitutes. I can’t think of any other way you’d end up in a hotel room with three women in French maid costumes. “What are you doing tonight, darling?” “I’m going to film some footage for my game, don’t expect me back until morning.”

Snake is literally no better than Snake on your Nokia phone from fifteen years ago.

Polar Escape made me laugh a few times (normal, difficulter) and so it was disappointing when it turned out to be a terrible Frogger clone.

Retrovaders has literally no reason to exist.

CyberSnake is a sort of Snake game with rules that are needlessly complex and that only responds to player input about 50% of the time.

Combat Tanks Part II features tanks that can strafe. What?

Warbirds At Work. A shmup with near-invisible bullets. Yeah, that works.

Insanity is Pong and Space Invaders at the same time. There’s just no point.

Petunk wasn’t that bad, but taking you to the “confirm purchase” screen when you press “quit” is shady as fuck. So the developers win the fictional “arseholes of the month” award.
 

Nasreddin

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There is another Mario Kart clone, that is a direct rip-off from the SNES version. However, I don't remember the name and cannot recommend the game, it's terrible.

Edit: Beaten
 

Kafel

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Nasreddin said:
There is another Mario Kart clone, that is a direct rip-off from the SNES version. However, I don't remember the name and cannot recommend the game, it's terrible.

Edit: Beaten
Yeah Wacky Karts is awful. I know nostalgia can be a meanie but you can get Dirchie Karts instead.


ttk >> :lol you really missed making last month's thread, right ?

Football Games Room is an interesting take on Association Football that’s really hard to get to grips with, but really satisfying to play. It’s basically a super-simplified twin-stick version of the sport. You move with the left stick and aim with the right, pressing the right trigger to shoot or pass and the left to change player. It takes a while to get used to, but it’s fun when it does. It could use a few less players on the pitch, I think, because it feels quite cramped. It also makes me really want a turn-based football game because the couple that are on XBLIGs at the moment aren’t much fun.
Qoccer is A LOT of fun. You just don't get that game ... Did you try to play it against someone ?
 
Arch, Nyan-Tech I want to love you. :(

- Walking, therefore control, is kinda weird. Like the characters strides are way too big so you feel like you're sliding everywhere really quickly.
- Jumping is so slow, it just doesn't match up with the walking at all.
- Some stuff seems to be 'hold to go through' while other stuff is just 'press to turn on or off' and there doesn't seem to be any indication of what type of box you're dealing with.

I like the game, just wish they'd fix these few niggles. Controls especially are crucial in a game like this.
 

Flyguy

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Looking for online co-op on a budget. What are the best online co-op games for 80 pts?
 

HadesGigas

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cjelly said:
- Some stuff seems to be 'hold to go through' while other stuff is just 'press to turn on or off' and there doesn't seem to be any indication of what type of box you're dealing with.
The two types of boxes look different.

Maybe it's hard to tell in SD? Otherwise you should be able to notice easy.
 
Kafel said:
I can't launch the Firebies demo, I keep getting code 4 errors.

smh
Really? I am curious as I have been testing this game quite a bit in play test then finally in peer review. True it did have CODE 4 in the build from a little while ago, but the latest build I did test was fine. Where exactly are you getting those errors and anything in particular in the way you launch the game?

Ps. No I am not the devs of the game.
 
Kafel said:
I guess I'm not missing much.

Today I've tried an old game for the first time and it's pretty good. Dock'Em is basically a clone of the iOS hit Flight Control but with boats and nice graphics.

People should try this one.
Hmmm maybe it's clone of Harbour Master then ;-), which was another iOS game inspired by Flight Control but that use boats instead.
 
Sep 3, 2004
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Flyguy said:
Looking for online co-op on a budget. What are the best online co-op games for 80 pts?
Most indie games don't support online co-op to my knowledge. ZP2KX is great and you can play that with friends, but your opponents will be human as well.
 

toythatkills

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Kafel said:
ttk >> :lol you really missed making last month's thread, right ?
Yeah :)

Kafel said:
Qoccer is A LOT of fun. You just don't get that game ... Did you try to play it against someone ?
Maybe I didn't get it, I played against the AI. For two trials worth of time, and there wasn't a goal scored in either one. The whole thing was so cramped that it felt near impossible. There was always three or four cubes around the ball every time, there was never any space. I like the idea, I just didn't have much fun with it.
 
Parallax Scroll said:
Most indie games don't support online co-op to my knowledge. ZP2KX is great and you can play that with friends, but your opponents will be human as well.
Yep I believe Alpha Squad is one of the few online co-op games.

I trialed Nyan-Tech and I agree it's quite nice - I love the style and music. There are some quirks - not knowing if the button needs to be clicked or held is tough sometimes. And a couple times I managed to walk right through blocks I should not have been able to.

There's lots of moments when you enter a level and go "oh god how am I going to do this."
 

Flyguy

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OK then, what are the best online games on the service at 80 pts? I already have ZP2KX, but I was looking to get 4 or 5 more.
 

Flyguy

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Santiako said:
Apple Jack, Miner Dig Deep and Epic Dungeon would be a good start.
Those are all great games for 80 pts, but none of them have an online multiplayer component.
 

toythatkills

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OnPoint said:
Played through Nyan-Tech in probably 20 minutes last night (and reviewed it today). It's a fantastic concept, but Jesus was that short, unchallenging game. I'm really surprised by the "early GotM" talk I've seen it getting here.
It's fun and it's unlike any platformer I've played before, yeah it's short but it cost me fifty pence, I'm okay with it!

Re: your criticism.

There’s also the uncertainty as to whether you have to tap or hold a button in many areas. Sometime’s it’s enough to toggle a platform into existence, but other times you’ll have to keep the button held down or it will vanish. If there’s a way to tell the difference it isn’t made clear, and the game doesn’t explain it either.
Look at the screenshot you posted. RT at the bottom is in a normal square, so you have to hold the button down. LB next to it has little boxes at the corners, so you have to press the button to switch it. They're really obviously different
 

OnPoint

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toythatkills said:
It's fun and it's unlike any platformer I've played before, yeah it's short but it cost me fifty pence, I'm okay with it!
There are so many options at a dollar (or fifty pence) that offer so much more. I can't see giving this one a free pass because it's cheap.

toythatkills said:
Look at the screenshot you posted. RT at the bottom is in a normal square, so you have to hold the button down. LB next to it has little boxes at the corners, so you have to press the button to switch it. They're really obviously different
Hah I never noticed it the entire time I played.

I'll edit my article now, though I still think it should have been made more obvious.
 

toythatkills

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OnPoint said:
There are so many options at a dollar (or fifty pence) that offer so much more. I can't see giving this one a free pass because it's cheap.
There are games that offer more, content wise, but that doesn't mean that Nyan-Tech isn't still great at what it does. I've never been one to judge a game's value by its length or the amount of content it has, as long as it's not taking the piss.

Is it the most essential 80 points on the service? No. Is it worth 80 points? Yeah, I think it is.
 

OnPoint

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toythatkills said:
There are games that offer more, content wise, but that doesn't mean that Nyan-Tech isn't still great at what it does. I've never been one to judge a game's value by its length or the amount of content it has, as long as it's not taking the piss.

Is it the most essential 80 points on the service? No. Is it worth 80 points? Yeah, I think it is.
Sorry, I'm not trying to argue a different price point -- 80 points is fair. I guess I wouldn't mind the brevity if the difficulty were up to snuff, so where we disagree seems to be whether or not this game is great at what it does. And I think it's merely 'good' because of this.

It's definitely a fun game, I guess I just feel like the GotM talk is unwarranted so early for such an easy game. I really hope they expand with a sequel. The concept is fabulous.

At least we can both agree that Mummies vs GunnS is terrible.
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
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I think I'm gonna make Mummies vs. GunnS next month's Gold Award winner, just to annoy you :p

Nah, I do see where you're coming from, but I think we're always just gonna disagree! More content/difficulty would have been lovely, of course, but I still really enjoyed the experience while it lasted. I'd rather play a lovely game for half an hour than an average one for ten hours.

Other stuff out:

Firebies isn't great. It's sluggish, the controls are peculiar and work against each other and the Mortal Kombat style finishing move is a bit, well, underwhelming.

Alien Super Mega Blaster is another boring Space Invaders type of thing.

Night of Doom II is an FPS. It's got a draw-distance that would embarass a PSone game, and a weird blur/glow effect that makes everything look bizarre. In spite of this, it's still one of the better FPS games on Indies. Like every single other one though, there's no plot, or anything to compel the player to play it. You just go in a level, shoot zombies until you get bored, to no end whatsoever. It's the zombies that make it better than most other FPSs on the service, they're satisfyingly chunky and pretty nicely animated.

Vaderz is a Galaga type of game, but your ship has an insane amount of momentum. Move an inch to the right and it takes two more to slow down and turn the other way. It makes it feel like a chore to play.
 

OnPoint

Member
Jun 4, 2007
24,217
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www.indiegames.com
Oh God, if that becomes the Gold winner I'll laugh so hard.

Honestly, we usually agree on stuff, though I don't always post it in here. You picked Astroman as the best of December and I wholly agree with you on that. I'll try not to stay in the shadows quite as much in the future.
 

nli10

Member
Nov 16, 2005
3,244
0
0
toythatkills said:
Rainbow Ball into Adventure is a shameless Katamari Damacy clone, sometimes amazingly so, but it’s so lovely that I couldn’t not enjoy every single second.

Ya see, while I was playing, I just got the impression that the people who made it were having an absolutely amazing time while they were doing it. It just feels like everyone involved was having so much fun.



There’s the constant sound of children laughing and shouting as you collect stuff, mainly calling out what you collected. Everything is hand drawn and is given a really nice 2D paper cut-out feel. It looks tremendous. Special mention to the lighting, which is just incredible. Don’t know why, it just really strikes me while I’m playing that the stuff I’m rolling up is just lit so very well.

The aim of the game is to roll up everything in the small levels in the time you have. Sometimes there are some twists that make me think this could be a really nice educational game. In one level, you have to collect things in pairs. So once you collect a car, the only thing you can collect next is another car. Excellent for kids. Equally excellent for adults.

As a sign of how good this game is, there’s Comic Sans in it and I don’t even care.
I missed this one. Bought & 100%ed

Seems it doesn't save your medals when you exit the game and go back in. You have to figure everything out yourself including the hidden double jump and press A to drop objects levels. Seems I don't care.

Probably the best game for the under 6s ever made, and a lovely blissful 80 points for grown-ups too.

I think 'Accumulators' could become a new genre, just like MineCraft-Like games will be (Craft-like?).
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
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0
toythatkills said:
Night of Doom II is an FPS. It's got a draw-distance that would embarass a PSone game, and a weird blur/glow effect that makes everything look bizarre. In spite of this, it's still one of the better FPS games on Indies. Like every single other one though, there's no plot, or anything to compel the player to play it. You just go in a level, shoot zombies until you get bored, to no end whatsoever. It's the zombies that make it better than most other FPSs on the service, they're satisfyingly chunky and pretty nicely animated.
Worst thing about this game is how slow you turn around, luckily there's a sensitivity option to adjust, unluckily the only option is to make it so you turn even slower...

Really ruins a game where you have things coming at you from all sides. Skip this trash and get Serious Sam instead when it's on sale in a week or two.
 
Sep 3, 2004
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Flyguy said:
Those are all great games for 80 pts, but none of them have an online multiplayer component.
The overwhelming majority of Indie games are offline and single-player only. Even leaderboards are pretty rare.
 

Kafel

Banned
Dec 5, 2005
12,212
0
0
France
There are some good local coop Indie Games otherwise. Invite your friend to play Wool at home for example.
 

the_dannobot

Member
Mar 25, 2006
56
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0
www.piratedog.net
Yeah, online multiplayer doesn't seem to be a big selling point, so it isn't really worth the extra effort. Like I don't ever see anyone online playing Opposites, even though its funnest playing against another person vs the AI.

disclaimer: I made Opposites. Since I already put in the time to develop all the architecture for online play, I'm using it do a 4-player Smash clone called Cake Fight. It should be done in a few more months :)
 

nli10

Member
Nov 16, 2005
3,244
0
0
@werezompire Robert Boyd said:
Oh and if someone with a Neogaf account wants to post our suggestion request on the Neogaf February XBLIG thread, that'd be great.

What would you like to see in the new version of Cthulhu Saves the World? Now's a good time to make your suggestions.

http://zeboyd.com/2011/02/07/cthulhu-saves-the-world-enhanced-version-suggestions/
As requested by the wonderful developer via Twitter - visit the link and discuss away.
I've yet to finish the game so will refrain from comment at the moment.

Oh and someone approve the guys account!
 

floatstarpx

Member
Sep 28, 2009
166
17
830
Hello!
Stick Unleashed has just been "unleashed" on the xbox indie!

It's a 1-4 player co-op and VS stick man shooter.. with multiple weapons, vehicles (helicopter, space rocket things, car), wall jumping, ducking, exploding, etc.. a 10 level campaign, 7 VS arenas..
Along the concept of minimal graphics, maximum gameplay...although, if you watch the trailer, you'll see it looks pretty slick in action!



OH, and a built in level builder - you can build either campaign or VS levels.. it's very easy to use - just make shapes and add objects.


Marketplace link - trial/full game


YOUTUBES trailer video

Hope you guys dig it!
 

Kafel

Banned
Dec 5, 2005
12,212
0
0
France
Nice try but the GOTY just got released.

Bird Assassin.

http://catalog.create.msdn.com/en-US/GameDetails.aspx?catalogEntryId=50b3fbd8-bb74-4feb-9176-057e0eb75039&type=2


I haven't tried it yet.


edit : oh floatstarpx, are you the guy who owns the trademark for the word "stick" ? I think a company likes to send notices to every game with that word in its title. If you're not that guy I think you can start to think about another name already.

edit2 : found a link : http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=83218
 

floatstarpx

Member
Sep 28, 2009
166
17
830
Kafel said:
Nice try but the GOTY just got released.

Bird Assassin.

http://catalog.create.msdn.com/en-US/GameDetails.aspx?catalogEntryId=50b3fbd8-bb74-4feb-9176-057e0eb75039&type=2

I haven't tried it yet.
Awesome trailer.. Good backstory, it'd make no sense if you didn't know he hated birds so much.

Kafel said:
edit : oh floatstarpx, are you the guy who owns the trademark for the word "stick" ? I think a company likes to send notices to every game with that word in its title. If you're not that guy I think you can start to think about another name already.

edit2 : found a link : http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=83218
they seem to make sports games, with 'stick' as the first word of the title.. and they seem to be only targeting sports games. it looks as if it's just "stick [sport name]" games they have a problem with (rightly or wrongly..).. so unless that changes, i don't think it's an issue.
 

LocoMrPollock

Banned
May 3, 2009
4,694
0
0

Holy shit, that is awesome.



Ventron said:
Update to Bonded Realities has passed peer review. It makes the bosses harder. It also changes the boxart, have a look at this:

http://i54.tinypic.com/k12dg6.jpg[img]

Noogy did the character art. He's great at muscular structure, kind of makes me regret putting next to no clothes on Liam :P[/QUOTE]

Much Better.
 

esbern

Junior Member
Jul 10, 2007
2,583
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never really played xbox live indie games, just got on to try them out.

any of the new games any good? theres one on there that has 4 stars and the rest are kinda around 3, but i didn't know whats worth trying out. lots of avatar games o_0
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
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esbern said:
never really played xbox live indie games, just got on to try them out.

any of the new games any good? theres one on there that has 4 stars and the rest are kinda around 3, but i didn't know whats worth trying out. lots of avatar games o_0
Top Rated is the section you should start with.
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
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Defy Gravity
, 80msp, is a 2D platformer that arms you with a gravity gun that can create pockets of gravity and antigravity to help propel you through the levels as well as manipulate platforms and enemies. There's a lot going on with the jumping, aiming, and firing two kinds of pockets, turning on your gravity shield... So the controls are pretty unnatural feeling at first. The levels seem pretty well thought out in the trial with not throwing too much at you until you've figured it out.

The the graphics and presentation are kind of bland. Especially compared to the boxart. Which shows off the main characters other gravity defying guns:



Trailer
Official Site
 

esbern

Junior Member
Jul 10, 2007
2,583
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ah yeah just tried that one out. music is cool, controls were hard at first but it seems worth trying. anyone buy it?
 

WaltJay

Member
Jun 12, 2008
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Thanks for continuing to do this thread month over month. It's my primary source for XBLIG news. I bought Apple Jack last night. Great game!

I really wish MS would allow XBLIG to add achievements to their games; don't make it a requirement, but make it an option for devs. On top of that, make the games show up in my games played list. Do we have a reason why those features aren't on XBLIG? Maybe MS would then need to screen/test/whatever the game before release and that's why they don't want the extra legwork, but I think adding achievements and making it show up in your games list would go a long way.
 

floatstarpx

Member
Sep 28, 2009
166
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830
WaltJay said:
I really wish MS would allow XBLIG to add achievements to their games; don't make it a requirement, but make it an option for devs.
I think the worry is that certain developers would make really super-easy games that'd people would exploit just to get achievement points.. with the peer review system - it'd be hard to regulate what's acceptable and what's not.
 

toythatkills

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,337
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Bloom*Block just got cut to a dollar from three. This is a nice puzzle game, similar to ilomilo in a way, but you have to step on all the faces of all the blocks instead of get to the end of the course and meet your buddy. A ridiculous amount of levels and faux-achievements to get, and was going to get featured in one of these threads very soon anyway.

On achievements, a thought. Is it even possible? Are Indie Games all bunched up together as "Indie Games" as some technical restraint? Because if so, it'd be impossible to have achievements for individual games anyway, just achievements like "play 100 Indie Games!" or something.