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Xbox LIVE Indie Games - The November 2010 Thread

toythatkills

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Dec 5, 2008
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Strange month. A month in which we discovered that NeoGAF isn’t really that important and can’t make a difference. A month in which Xbox Indie devs were, kind of, shunted aside in favour of Windows Mobile 7 devs. The Creators Club closed and the App Hub opened in its place; all of the bugs that were there before remained. Every cloud, though, and Mommy’s Best Games managed to turn the situation to their advantage and get a decent amount of press by refusing to release Explosionade until the problems were fixed. Naturally the “fix” lasted a matter of days before it broke again, was fixed, broke again…

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.

(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.

radiangames Fluid is the fourth game from radiangames, after JoyJoy, Crossfire (now reduced to 80 Microsoft Points) and the excellent Inferno. Fluid, though, is the best of the lot.



The gameplay is extremely simple, and reminds me in a way of Halfbrick Echoes. You are placed in a course and faced with loads and loads of orbs dotted around the place. You have to collect them all to finish the level. Simple, right? Well, no. For every orb you collect, an enemy takes its place. These are slow but they track you and when there are fifty after you at once, they’re hard to avoid.

You’re helped by a few powerups, there’s a warp zone which transports you to another part of the level, and another powerup that allows you to carve through the enemies without dying. It slows you down, though, and speed is key.



There’s an excellent medals system at work, see. A number of target times are given, and you can earn between zero and four silver medals depending on the speed at which you complete the level. Complete it even faster and you can earn gold medals, though these are very, very hard to achieve. And of course, very, very addictive to go after. It’s this that keeps you playing and playing. The levels are quite small but this just adds to the speed running addictiveness. With so little area to play in shaving milliseconds off your time becomes compulsive.

It looks brilliant, as all the radiangames games do, and there’s tons and tons of gameplay if you let yourself get drawn in to collecting gold medals.

Got some coverage on Kotaku, this, and an 8/10 at Eurogamer. I hope that helps and this gets the sales it deserves to get. It’s only 80 Microsoft Points, after all.



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!

DiceXY is excellent. You may not be aware, but I'm in love with a videogame called Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad. This game takes the same basic mechanic but removes Salad, remaining an excellent puzzle game. Have you heard of Puzznic? It's that with Dice!

All you have to do, is move the dice around the grid (which works on a 2D plane, so you must account for gravity) and match two of them to make them disappear. It sounds delightfully simple.



It's not, though. Sometimes you'll need to match three, or you'll match three and have one left over, or you'll have to match them in a specific order so that the immovable blocks don't get in the way.

It controls great, takes advantage of one of the best puzzle mechanics around, and is a must buy.

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

Explosionade is a pretty perfect example of a 2D platformer/shooter done right. It’s not really fair to call it a platformer because, while there are platforms, completing each level isn’t very hard and the platforming isn’t really where the challenge lies.



It’s a score attack game, and getting through each level with the maximum points is not so easy. There’s gold to collect for points (and health, and an attack upgrade). There are enemies to kill for a hefty bonus at the end. There’s a 30 second window on each level which will net you a bonus if you finish within it.

So, maximising your return from every level is no simple feat, and practice is necessary. Luckily, practice is fun, with perfect controls (once you remap jump and shield) allowing for a really nice experience. Enemies go down quickly for the most part and there’s a nice amount of feedback when you shoot them, which is lovely when you come from a game like Comic Jumper which has similar gameplay but with the “fun” part removed. Bosses on the other hand are a brilliant challenge, requiring expert use of the shield to take down.

Difficulty levels and speed adjustments mean that the better you get, the harder you can make the game for yourself. For 80 Microsoft Points, no brainer.

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

Ripple is a twin stick with a really nice (proper) retro look about it. Shooting enemies doesn't kill them, it turns them white. You then press a trigger to launch a ripple outwards from your ship and any white enemy it touches is destroyed. Each ripple has its own multiplier so the more enemies you kill with a ripple, the higher your score.



Basically it's the best risk/reward system in a twin stick ever. You can either play it safe and kill a few enemies at a time for a few points, or run around turning loads of them white as the screen fills up and then takes loads out at once in a ripple for maximum points. But you might die first.

The little stuff is nice, too. The text is lovely, the music is some chilled out guitar, and there's nice sfx when you're browsing menus and stuff, and the effect that the ripple makes against the walls is really nice.

You can design your own enemies too. A bargain at 80 Microsoft Points.

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

Cutouts! is so called because it’s made entirely from cut out pieces of felt, and as a result everything is just ridiculously charming. The animation of the character is really nice and really impressive, considering the methods used to make it. The first time the background scrolls is just a lovely sight to behold. You’ve seen it in 2D games for years but it’s somehow more nice when it’s made of felt.



The game itself is a throwback to 2D platformers of yesteryear, and brilliant for it. You have to run through different worlds jumping on enemies (even the spiky ones) and collecting 100 things to earn an extra life. It’s beautifully familiar.

As ever, it’s the feel of it that’s most important. So many Indies get this completely wrong and jumping is too floaty, or too rigid, or too unresponsive, but Cutouts feels really nice. It means it’s a lot of fun to play as well as look at. Only 80 Microsoft Points, and a really nice experience.



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 really liked For Glory. It's kind of Roguey, in a way. You have to fight right and right and right until you die, then you start again from the beginning with upgrades you've bought with all the gold you won the last time through. You get further, and further. Etc. It's really simple, but the gameplay fits really nicely with the style which looks kinda basic in screenshots but in motion looks awesome.

Excruciating Guitar Voyage looks totally unique (photorealistic graphics!) and looks great in motion, with the colours and stuff just creating an awesome mood. The trial doesn't show an awful lot, unfortunately, it feels like it's over before it's even got started. The promise of lots of puzzles is enough to get me to want to play more though, and the sewer “level” is doable in the trial and I had fun doing it, if the puzzles ramp up it really promises a lot.

Coral's Curse, oh, I REALLY want to be good at this. It looks great and has a great idea behind it, you've been transformed into a snake thing and can control either end of your body with the left and right sticks. This probably opens up thousands of possibilities but I found it quite difficult to control and I didn't feel like I was getting any better. I was disappoint. The game itself looks great and there's a map which implies that it's massive, I just couldn't get on with the controls at all. Should be brilliant, and absolutely will be if you persevere with the controls and can make it work for yourself.

U Want Cookie? is... good. It's a top down game where you have to navigate your guy from the start point to, obviously, a cookie. There are crumbs along the way to pick up and collecting all these gives you a load of extra points. Guns, fans, mines to avoid, it feels a bit like a top-down N+, in a way. Nice little score attack game that could really have benefited from online leaderboards, but is enjoyable nonetheless. I think it comes with some kind of achievements system too, but can't be sure.

Fruitbash was unexpectedly cool. It's basically Jewel Quest, if you've played that. And basically Bejeweled, which I know you know. So you have to match three, and whenever you do so, the squares behind turn gold. Turn all the squares gold to clear a level. I'm not actually sure where the challenge comes in, in Jewel Quest you were working to a time limit but here there's nothing like that, so I've no idea if you can actually lose, but the gameplay is pretty solid aside from that.

Bluebones Curse. This is really lovely, from the people behind Being, which is also really lovely. You're a skeleton (with some funny voice work) and you have to traverse a number of small 2D platform levels. It's really satisfying to control, the jumping has a really nice weight to it.

I don’t think Harmonium is a game, even though it looks like one and it has a timer. You place white squares in a grid and a line sweeps across and depending on where and how many you placed in a column, you’ll get a different sound. So you make little jingles. Basically anything you do sounds kinda cool, I like it. Can adjust the tempo too, or enter Game of Life mode, where the song you made evolves with every pass. Really nice.

Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition is cool. You have to manouvre your ball to the end of a thin course in as quick a time as possible. There are loads of coloured panels which affect you. Cyan inverts left and right, blue jumps, red slows you down, etc. Yellow is pretty funny. It's a pretty fun game to mess with, but thinking about it now I can't remember what it had in the way of leaderboards. Really could use online ones for maximum fun. Checked the trial. No leaderboards at all. Missed potential.

Head Shot Z is another Silver Dollar Games affair, and their second game in a row that I haven't hated. I mean, it's not amazing or anything, but it's playable and has a decent scoring mechanic. You have people on a horizontal plane, and some are zombies. You have to move your crosshair and shoot them. You then get a little gauge that you can press A at with the correct timing to reload quicker, which is neat. You get scored at the end for things like accuracy and not having any humans get killed by you or them. The best bit is when you kill the final zombie on a level, it's pretty satisfying. This is gonna top the Top Downloads charts for the next three months so get used to seeing it, but it's not so bad, really.

Chaos Gateway is a visual novel, of the kind I'm led to believe the Japanese enjoy so much. It's perhaps not worth a purchase, but is interesting because I can't remember the last time I saw something like this on a console (in English.) So even though the writing isn't great, and the story is a bit convenient and lazy feeling, it's still weirdly compelling. Looks like there's some basic QTE type minigames in there too. If you ever enjoyed Choose Your Own Adventure books and their clunky set pieces, I imagine you’ll find something to love here too.

Inertia! is a 2D platform game with an intriguing mechanic, the control of gravity. You can run left and right and jump as usual, but if you hold X gravity is sort of, switched off, and if you're jumping you just continue floating in that direction and bouncing off walls and stuff. It's not the best controlling game you'll ever play, but the potential for exploration is amazing, and it's definitly worth a look.



When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you zombies, make a videogame.

Mutant Zombie Onslaught is a twin stick with a plot, and slightly more interesting gameplay than the usual. Your basic aim is to enter a room and clear it of zombie mutants. You can then collect cash, weapons, health and enter the next room where you do the same again.



It sounds a bit tiresome but it plays really well, and that’s what’s important. There’s not a great deal of exploration to do but there’s a really nice feeling of it, and the system of upgrading weapons and buying new ones is a great addition.



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.

Sniper Defense is horrendous. Move a crosshair around and shoot slow moving mutants. Looks rubbish, and plays so so boringly. There's no substance at all.

In Summer Breeze you move a little thing around to stop leaves hitting the floor, hovering underneath them pushes them up a bit. It's literally impossible to play well because the cursor moves too erratically, and there's far too many leaves to deal with, too far apart. Just can't be done.

EleMental Orbs is some kind of Dr Mario game which has unresponsive controls in that they just don't bother responding at all. You press left and nothing happens. You press leeeeft and nothing happens. You press left left left left left and nothing happens. You press left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left left and move one space to the left. Completely unplayable

Avatarmageddon is terrible. The plainest, dullest, boringest over-the-shoulder shooter I've ever played. Your enemies are coloured squares, that's how much effort's gone into this one.

Zombie Academy, crap. The mode you can play in the trial lets you move left and right and jump over spikes to avoid skulls that are being thrown at you. Except you can't jump over spikes. You just move left and right and hope that the game jumps for you. Completely bizarre idea and somewhat pointless.

Avatar Kung-Fu is boring. You move left pressing X to kill ennemi [sic] and that's it. Everything's a one hit kill and it's dull. Does not feel like much of a game.

Alpha Chimp: Episode 1 is pretty horrible. You control a chimp and fight other chimps by throwing rocks and meleeing them. Controls aren't great though, there's a second delay before anything happens.

Cosmic Crash is a twin stick that takes four hours to get going, and even longer to die. Even if you're intentionally trying to die it takes ages. Got bored long before the game (presumably) gets going.

Lab Rabbit is a slow, slow, awkward platform game, with pointlessly complex jumping mechanics and a completely inexplicable number of sales.

Racer Rocket is in no way a racing game. You press a button to launch your rocket then press B every 30 seconds or so as you watch all the other rockets fly away. Right.

Mower is a first person game where you mow a lawn, and that's literally all it is. It’s completely insane.

Oh Noes!!1 puts you in charge of a giant chicken bent on world domination. You dominate said world by taking part in a really dull game. You stand in the same place as the world scrolls around and hold the right stick in the same place to kill everything that comes nearby until you've had enough of it. Then you stop. The jaunty piano music is pretty cool for the first minute or so, then is incredibly tiresome.

I quit Of Steel and Sorcery about 20% of the way into the first battle. Which actually took about two minutes, I'm pretty sure the trial isn't long enough to kill the damn thing. You can do 8/9 points of damage, and it heals 10 every turn or other turn. It has over 500 HP. You basically hammer A and that's it. You can buff slightly but it barely made a difference to how long it was taking. It was like playing Track and Field as an RPG and it took so long to reduce its HP by 100 I just could not be bothered to continue. And that was the very first battle. Can't play a game full of that.



And to end on an awesome note…

Every month, we’ll revisit a couple of 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! Played a really awesome Indie Game in the past? PM me and we’ll see about getting it in here in the future.

Rotor’scope was second in DreamBuildPlay last year, and with good reason. It’s recently had a price drop to 240 Microsoft Points and so there’s no better time than right now to buy it.



If you’ve played Professor Layton and the Unwound Future on DS, you’ll be familiar with the type of puzzle you’ll find here, because there are some similar-ish puzzles there. VEXIS which came out on Indies last month is similar too. You have to rotate a grid to make some coloured blocks move around according to the laws of gravity, and you have to manouvre them so that three are joined in a line, which causes them to disappear. Get rid of all the coloured blocks to win.

It still annoys me that you can’t use the left and right triggers to rotate the grid, but the controls soon become second nature. You can also flip it with Y which adds an extra element of strategy and gives you something else to think about.

The whole thing’s presented as part of an overarching mystery story and is a very nice package overall. It didn’t do so well at DBP for no reason.

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

Tobe’s Vertical Adventure has been beset by problems since its release, and I think it’s really hampered its sales.

It launched without analogue control and the D-Pad on the Xbox 360 controller made it impossible to control. By the time it was patched, the damage was done and its time on New Arrivals was over. The people that had trialled it hated it, and now nobody else was going to find it. Even the analogue controls didn’t end its problems, with no dead zone meaning that Tobe constantly fell off the left of platforms into spikes, or pits, and it was still unplayable. That’s been fixed as well now, and it’s an absolute joy.



At last.

The beauty is in the wonderful design of the levels. Your aim is to make your way down to the bottom to collect a treasure. When you do so, though, the level begins to collapse and you’ve got a minute or so to make your way back up. With certain platforms breaking away the route you can take up is much changed from the route you had to take down, and it often reveals new treasures and routes to treasures you couldn’t get before. With only a minute to escape though, do you have the time to get them?

I love the calm, measured trip down, and then the hurried, frantic trip back up. It’s a brilliant idea and it’s been executed wonderfully. It looks incredible, too. The art, and the animation are just stunning. If every game in the world looked like this I wouldn’t moan about it.

240 Microsoft Points, this one, and one of the best games to spend them on. Especially if you have the Mad Catz drum controller.

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

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

Enjoy your Indie Games.
 

toythatkills

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Dec 5, 2008
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Previous threads, where all the older stuff lives:

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:

October 1st

Snake Eyes
Go
Summer Breeze

October 2nd

Sniper Defense
SuperSpace 2
Excruciating Guitar Voyage

October 4th

U Want Cookie?
Coral's Curse
Angry Brainless Bovines

October 5th

Avatar Kung-fu

October 6th

Fruitbash
DeadlySpace

October 7th

Zombie Academy
Explosionade
EleMental Orbs
Dungeon Tales
Controdazone
iPaint - *removed
Field Archer

October 14th

Pumpkin Chop 2
Mark the Mechanic
Get Rich or Die Gaming
Aagh!
Avatar Massage ONLINE
Cutouts!

October 15th

Arctic Ball Grind
Defense Matrix
Bluebones Curse
Virtual Fireplace

October 16th

Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition
Antibody 3D
Ava Bash
DUENDE <デュエンディ>
LEUCISTIC WYVERNリューシスティックワイバーン

October 17th

Lab Rabbit

October 20th

Alpha Chimp: Episode 1
Cosmic Crash
Avatar Laser Tag
Harmonium
Fear The Dronx
Racer Rocket
Avatar Laser Wars

October 21st

Tiny Tim's Tremendous Tank

October 22nd

radiangames Fluid
Ripple
Infect ED

October 23rd

Impossibly Dodgeable
Mower
Chaos Gateway

October 24th

Head Shot Z
Avatar Mini-Putt Challenge
Oh Noes!!1
Of Steel and Sorcery
Chain Reaction
Mutant Zombie Onslaught

October 27th

Avatar Pumpkin Smash

October 28th

Burn1420
Br00t4l Qwest
Melon Madness
Avatarmageddon
Quantum Ninja

October 29th

Turret Battlefield
For Glory

October 30th

Steam Heroes
Seizonrenda
Dice XY

October 31st

Starlight
Acid Rain Heroes
Inertia!
Snail Story
 

jgkspsx

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toythatkills said:
240 Microsoft Points, this one, and one of the best games to spend them on. Especially if you have the Mad Catz drum controller.
What is this controller you speak of?
 

toythatkills

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Finished up October's releases.

DiceXY gets silvered up. Absolutely love it.

Inertia! gets bronzed. Like this too.

Seizonrenda is pretty ace but there's no way I'm getting $5 worth of gameplay from it, personally. It's a twin stick on a sphere, and if I had my way, I think all games would be on spheres because it's cool as fuck. It's fun to play, but I think I'd want more for my money, I won't go back to this nearly as much as I'd go back to other stuff.

Starlight is a nice idea with bad controls. It's a 2D platform game where only half the platforms are solid, you switch between solid/not solid by pressing X. It'd be fun if jump wasn't mapped to A, so you constantly have to press AX very quickly and your character moves too quick to allow that sometimes. Ends up quite frustrating.

Steam Heroes is Puzzle Quest but steampunked up. I don't like it. It plays perfectly well, but I really like Gyromancer's system which is almost turn based, where this is just "match as many things as you can as quick as you can." So there's no room for strategy, and you might as well be playing Bejeweled.

I can't see much difference between Acid Rain Heroes and the original Acid Rain. Which I didn't like.

Snail Story is a bunch of minigames where you collect alphabet letters really slowly. Good for kids? Maybe. I've never tried to teach a kid the alphabet so cannot confirm.
 

Pandoracell

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The Creators Club closed and the App Hub opened in its place; all of the bugs that were there before remained. Every cloud, though, and Mommy’s Best Games managed to turn the situation to their advantage and get a decent amount of press by refusing to release Explosionade until the problems were fixed. Naturally the “fix” lasted a matter of days before it broke again, was fixed, broke again…

Would you mind going into more detail about this? What issues specifically did MBG have problems with?
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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Pandoracell said:
Would you mind going into more detail about this? What issues specifically did MBG have problems with?
MBG is a guy working full time, so he's gotta sell a comparatively large number of units versus a guy who's just looking for 500 sales to pay for his XNA membership.

On Indie Games, there are two places where you get big sales: New Arrivals, and Top Selling. You launch, you're on new arrivals, people check you out, if you're good a lot of people check you out, you get on the Top Selling, and sales carry on from there.

For a while over the last few months, the New Arrivals section was broken. The problem is that if it's broken for a few days, when it's fixed many of the games that released during that period will have already cycled off New Arrivals, so that major sales opportunity was lost.
 

Pandoracell

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Stumpokapow said:
MBG is a guy working full time, so he's gotta sell a comparatively large number of units versus a guy who's just looking for 500 sales to pay for his XNA membership.

On Indie Games, there are two places where you get big sales: New Arrivals, and Top Selling. You launch, you're on new arrivals, people check you out, if you're good a lot of people check you out, you get on the Top Selling, and sales carry on from there.

For a while over the last few months, the New Arrivals section was broken. The problem is that if it's broken for a few days, when it's fixed many of the games that released during that period will have already cycled off New Arrivals, so that major sales opportunity was lost.
Ah, I hadn't realized that problem had gotten worse. Thanks for the response.
 

HadesGigas

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Out now for 400msp, a strategy RPG that looks to have good production values to maybe justify the $5 price, Miasma.



Hard to tell how well the strategy system is implemented given the time limit, but at least noticed things like being able to position your guys behind crates for cover and shooting exploding barrels to damage nearby enemies.

Trailer
Developers site
 
Sep 3, 2004
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Queued up a bunch of downloads. Thanks as always for the thread! Personally, I really enjoyed Inertia and think it's definitely worth checking out.
 

HadesGigas

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Parallax Scroll said:
Queued up a bunch of downloads. Thanks as always for the thread! Personally, I really enjoyed Inertia and think it's definitely worth checking out.
Inertia seemed pretty solid. Seems like it could be very very short though, is it? Also wish it had music and overall better graphics/presentation.
 
Sep 3, 2004
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HadesGigas said:
Inertia seemed pretty solid. Seems like it could be very very short though, is it? Also wish it had music and overall better graphics/presentation.
Yeah, it's pretty short. Still worth a dollar. And personally, I thought the character animated pretty well, and the glow effect around him really helped the eerie space vibe.
 

HadesGigas

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Parallax Scroll said:
Yeah, it's pretty short. Still worth a dollar. And personally, I thought the character animated pretty well, and the glow effect around him really helped the eerie space vibe.
The character does look good. The rest of the stuff looks pretty cheap though. Also not sure but it all looks like it's displayed in stretch-o-vision instead of proper 16:9.
 

Max

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Tobe's Vertical Adventure sounds great, although I only have 200 points left after getting Undead Nightmare and no plans on buying any more any time soon. If left with 200 spacebucks what would be the best indie game to get? I've never actually looked at these games other than "i have a game with zombies in it" which I bought and played once.
 
Sep 3, 2004
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HadesGigas said:
The character does look good. The rest of the stuff looks pretty cheap though. Also not sure but it all looks like it's displayed in stretch-o-vision instead of proper 16:9.
I didn't notice any stretching, but yeah, the rest of the art assets are pretty cheap looking. Still, it's got some neat jumping/physics puzzles, and I'm a sucker for dark, eerie spaceship settings. The zero-gravity aspect just adds to that.

Max said:
Tobe's Vertical Adventure sounds great, although I only have 200 points left after getting Undead Nightmare and no plans on buying any more any time soon. If left with 200 spacebucks what would be the best indie game to get? I've never actually looked at these games other than "i have a game with zombies in it" which I bought and played once.
Miner Dig Deep!
 

BlazeHedgehog

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toythatkills said:
This one, comes with the Mad Catz Portable Drum Kit for Rock Band.

I use a Street Fighter IV Fightpad, myself.



$30 normally but for some reason everywhere seems to be selling the Chun-li variant at $20, which is what I have.
 

toythatkills

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Princess Skittles

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Since this was only a week ago and we have a new thread..

Protect Me Knight received an update with a new game mode! It's called "Survival" and it's kind of like an endless, non-stop version of the main game where you have one set of barriers you must maintain and you level up randomly after each phase.

Also, new box art!



Please make sure to rate this (and your favorite indie games) to help them shine above the crap:
http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/まもって騎士/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802585504f8
 

Diablohead

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Sega1991 said:
I use a Street Fighter IV Fightpad, myself.



$30 normally but for some reason everywhere seems to be selling the Chun-li variant at $20, which is what I have.
Those SF pads seem to have disappeared in the UK and whenever one does show up, it's £30 :S

I think I was lucky (again) with my 360s black controller, the dpad works well, my old white launch pad was ok too but my wired pad I use for my pc has a shitty dpad.
 

brain_stew

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Feb 20, 2007
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I got some new points the other day so finally got around to unlocking Hypership and what a bloody good game. Believe the hype, its better than most of the dross on XBLA nevermind the Indie channel.

If it had come out in the arcades back in the day by Konami, Namco or Capcom, it would be heralded as a true classic. Perfect risk reward mechanic.

Picked up Explosionable and Monster's Probably Stole my Princess as well. I wasn't feeling Explosionable in my quick play through but Monsters is fantastic, razor sharp control and an excelent combo system.
 

brain_stew

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Diablohead said:
Those SF pads seem to have disappeared in the UK and whenever one does show up, it's £30 :S

I think I was lucky (again) with my 360s black controller, the dpad works well, my old white launch pad was ok too but my wired pad I use for my pc has a shitty dpad.
My local HMV had a few in discounted the other day. Can't remember exactly how much but certainly no more than £20.
 

toythatkills

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They turn up as 2 for £30 in HMV quite often.

West is an odd game. It's a turn-based RPG that doesn't reveal much of itself in the trial so I'm not really sure whether I can recommend it or not. It seems pretty nice though. Writing is nice, world is pretty quaint, and the situation just before the end of the trial is really funny in a shouldn't-be-funny kind of way. No, what's odd is how it looks. It looks like it has the assets from about five different games, or something. The characters are 16-bit, the barrels and flowers are 8-bit, the mountains and the trees and the text are really quite sharp. It just looks really weird.

I really like how you can visit the shop in town to buy the game though, that made me smile.
 

Dr. Zoidberg

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Played through the Miasma demo and liked what I played. However I decided against it because that 400MSP could go to Snoopy Flying Ace instead. People should realize that a $5 indie game is the equivalent of a $15 XBLA game in people's minds so there are a lot of people that will balk instantly and I'm sure it negatively affects the ratings as well.
 

brain_stew

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Feb 20, 2007
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Dr. Zoidberg said:
Played through the Miasma demo and liked what I played. However I decided against it because that 400MSP could go to Snoopy Flying Ace instead. People should realize that a $5 indie game is the equivalent of a $15 XBLA game in people's minds so there are a lot of people that will balk instantly and I'm sure it negatively affects the ratings as well.
80 points is really the sweetspot. There's just too much junk on there, meaning too high a risk is attached to a 400 points game.

I'm about 10x as likely to buy an 80 points game as I am a 240 points game and 5x as likely to buy a 240 points game as I am a 400 points game.

A lot of the very best games on the service are 80 points, so a 400 points game has to prove its a better buy than Apple jack + Shoot 1up + Hypership + Miner Dig Deep + Jonny Platform put together and that's one hell of a tall order. I'd rather buy the 5 80 points games, at least that way I'm all but guaranteed to find something worthwile.
 

HadesGigas

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Apr 13, 2005
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brain_stew said:
80 points is really the sweetspot. There's just too much junk on there, meaning too high a risk is attached to a 400 points game.

I'm about 10x as likely to buy an 80 points game as I am a 240 points game and 5x as likely to buy a 240 points game as I am a 400 points game.

A lot of the very best games on the service are 80 points, so a 400 points game has to prove its a better buy than Apple jack + Shoot 1up + Hypership + Miner Dig Deep + Jonny Platform put together and that's one hell of a tall order. I'd rather buy the 5 80 points games, at least that way I'm all but guaranteed to find something worthwile.
Miasma couldn't be 80msp if it wanted, have to be under 50MB for that.
 

toythatkills

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Almost all of these are pretty playable, get 'em tried!

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.

The Wizards Who Fell in a Hole has an excellent name, and some really nice animation. After last month's Cutouts! used felt, this uses Claymation. I don't like the game quiiite as much though. It's Bubble Bobble without any bubbles, for the most part. You kill all the enemies on a single screen level then play the next one. It's not bad, just the style is better than the gameplay.

Gizmo the puzzle is a jewel-dropping game you absolutely need to read the tutorial for because it's near impossible to work out otherwise. When you get it though, it's actually kinda neat, and you'll definitely get better the more you play because it requires some pretty sophisticated strategies to really get the best out of. It's the only jewel-dropping type game on Indies that genuinely does something differently, I think, rather than just boring me with match-three mechanics. Really good, but READ THE TUTORIAL!

Way of the Exploding Balls is a really slow, unsatisfying shmup. Your gun doesn't feel effective, the sound effects aren't exciting, and the whole thing just doesn't look very nice. Doesn't draw you in at all.

Big Tidy Up is alright, in a mini-game kind of way. Rubbish falls down and you have to rotate your recycling bins so that the correct type of rubbish goes in the correct bin. Make too many mistakes and you lose. Loads of different powerups make it interesting if you've got a few friends round, but it's not much fun in single player because then the powerups feel a bit unfair. There are two other modes but I've no idea if they're similar in gameplay as the trial doesn't specify. KEEP BRITAIN TIDY.

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.

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.

Storybook Tactics is a, well, tactics style RPG. Grids and all that. It's very odd looking, but competent, or at least has the appearance of it from the amount I could get through in eight minutes. Once quite major annoyance is that it tells you how much damage you'll do to an enemy before you attack, as is standard, but doesn't actually tell you what the enemy's HP is, making the information largely useless.
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,734
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toythatkills said:
Almost all of these are pretty playable, get 'em tried!

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.
Oh wait, that's out now? The old PC version was brilliant. It was completely maniacal and always walked the line between making you feel empowered and making you feel like the situation was completely out of control. I couldn't find it because you now have to manually change your search to "games+marketplace" after the site redesign. One step forwards two steps backwards.

Dev writeup courtesy of Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
You should play our game Garden Gnome Carnage because you’ve always wanted to steer a building on wheels to swing a shades-wearing, Christmas-hating gnome through the air on a bungee cord to knock Santa’s sleighs out of the sky and lob bricks at elves and get airstrikes baked for you by the princess and call in reinforcements and shake off the elves scaling your walls and coax the magical cat down your chimney and control the wind direction and blow all your bricks off in a surge of blind architectural fury.
 

Dr. Zoidberg

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Garden Gnome Carnage is pretty neat. It's exactly what I want from XBLIG. Simple, unique little arcade game that's fun to play, and doesn't feel like a rip-off of 100 other games. I was very surprised by this one. I just wish there was more "meat" to the gameplay. It's definitely worth trying out for everyone.

Storybook Tactics is kind of retro graphics done poorly. Rather than being old-school and charming, the blocky characters and style are just...unappealing.

Joshery said:
As we've done with our past two games (Dreams of Witchtown, and Zombie Sniper HD) we want to throw some love to the best indie game player community around here on NeoGAF. Here are some free tokens for Elite Pinball HD which released yesterday 11/4/2010:
Thanks for the code. People must have started from the bottom up (I did) because the first and last 3 codes had all been redeemed but the second one worked!
 

Joshery

Neo Member
Jan 14, 2010
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www.notplana.com
Forward from October thread (thanks toythatkills):

As we've done with our past two games (Dreams of Witchtown, and Zombie Sniper HD) we want to throw some love to the best indie game player community around here on NeoGAF. Here are some free tokens for Elite Pinball HD which released yesterday 11/4/2010:

Q4Q6T-8Y9MK-R9HRT-28DTG-WJDG8
MPPYX-XY27M-DDHK7-VR7JX-WF2KY
DTQCW-HYMX6-RKWY6-FVD84-T9JX3
BWB46-BQYK9-TRQBK-MRQBJ-CBRDT
B9642-FWJMV-XT2XH-GFVYC-B8DHJ

Link to purchase: http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Elite-Pinball-HD/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802585506c8
 

Diablohead

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All codes used already, wow :lol

Looks good, reminds me of the old classic pinball games on windows due to the way you have the menu and info to the side of the table.
 

Joshery

Neo Member
Jan 14, 2010
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toythatkills said:
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.
Thanks for checking it out! Hmm... our music credit is in the game, but we weren't aware that it was used in another indie game. We believe the music fits the game very well and you can hit (Y) while playing to turn off the music.

The game is really inspired by Microsoft's 3D Space Pinball - it was fun, simple and addictive. We do hand out points, but points are all relative right? We hope that completing the missions is rewarding to players (hint: go for the things that have blinking lights!).
 

HadesGigas

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Apr 13, 2005
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toythatkills said:
Gizmo the puzzle is a jewel-dropping game you absolutely need to read the tutorial for because it's near impossible to work out otherwise. When you get it though, it's actually kinda neat, and you'll definitely get better the more you play because it requires some pretty sophisticated strategies to really get the best out of. It's the only jewel-dropping type game on Indies that genuinely does something differently, I think, rather than just boring me with match-three mechanics. Really good, but READ THE TUTORIAL!.
Didn't need a tutorial, because I've played this:



It's a total clone of Pac-Attack, except with just the endless and versus modes. Pretty solid for a buck, though.
 

toythatkills

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Dr. Zoidberg said:
Storybook Tactics is kind of retro graphics done poorly. Rather than being old-school and charming, the blocky characters and style are just...unappealing.
Totally agree.

Joshery said:
Thanks for checking it out! Hmm... our music credit is in the game, but we weren't aware that it was used in another indie game. We believe the music fits the game very well and you can hit (Y) while playing to turn off the music.
It's not a problem with the music, it's pleasant and it does fit, it just bugs me that I can't remember where I heard it before :lol

Did you pay to use it? Seems a bit rubbish that they'd give you a tune they've given to someone else.

HadesGigas said:
Didn't need a tutorial, because I've played this:

It's a total clone of Pac-Attack, except with just the endless and versus modes. Pretty solid for a buck, though.
Apparently Pac-Attack is a clone of Cosmo Gang the Puzzle. Gizmo the Puzzle. Cosmo the Puzzle. I see what's going on here.

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. I stopped there, so there's more to come too!

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.

Brilliant game.
 

Trumpets

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Dec 5, 2008
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Brilliant game.
I agree. There aren't many games with heart and this has plenty. If only the programmer had smoothed out the camera a bit (it reacts too suddenly with the player movements, making the screen judder).

'The Wizards Who Fell in a Hole' was good too; some of the between-level conversations made me actually laugh. Out loud!
 

brain_stew

Member
Feb 20, 2007
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toythatkills said:
Almost all of these are pretty playable, get 'em tried!

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.
Yeah, I was really surprised by this. Really charming graphics and a great little mechanic. Perfect game for the service.
 

toythatkills

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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.

I did not like Cheneystar. It's quite funny as a concept, but the gameplay just doesn't feel natural at all, it doesn't feel like you're actually controlling your ship, in a weird way. When you press left, rather than moving left, the world (space, in this instance) moves right. It feels bizarre. Everything was too quick as well, and so you really have to rely on the minimap, to the point where I wasn't actually looking at the game at all, I was just playing it from the minimap. Game looks quite nice as well, you should really be encouraged to look at it. Misjudged.

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.
 

HadesGigas

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Apr 13, 2005
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Looks like Indie Games are no longer "specialties" they now show up in the "Games & Demos" section.
 

toythatkills

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HadesGigas said:
Looks like Indie Games are no longer "specialties" they now show up in the "Games & Demos" section.
I was all ready to say "great news!" but then I had a look, and it turns out it's more hidden than ever. FFS, Microsoft. It's the fourth item on "Games and Demos" so if you're scrolling up and down, you will never ever see it. You'll only know it's there if you want a demo or a game on demand. Idiots. I never thought I'd say "I wish the marketplace was how it used to be," but there it is. With all the new arrivals for every section in one place, at least people were seeing some Indie Games all the time.

Second sushi game in a row, what's going on here!

Sushido is weird. I think you literally have to be some kind of sushi expert to play it. Sushi will scroll past and you press A to grab the ones the person likes, to raise their satisfaction level. "I like tuna and salmon," he says. "I don't know what's got tuna and salmon in it!" you say. "I don't care," the game says, "play it anyway." Couldn't really do it, just had to press A and pick random sushi which wasn't fun and won't get me much further than level 1, I fear.
 

HadesGigas

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toythatkills said:
I was all ready to say "great news!" but then I had a look, and it turns out it's more hidden than ever. FFS, Microsoft. It's the fourth item on "Games and Demos" so if you're scrolling up and down, you will never ever see it. You'll only know it's there if you want a demo or a game on demand. Idiots.
Well to be fair, Demos or Games on Demand would have the exact same problem if they were the fourth in the list. Not a very hard choice which one to put in fourth. And it's not like it's exceptionally uncommon to scroll over to demos.

There's not much they could do to change that other than totally change the UI of the whole marketplace.

Could do without the weird avatar logo for the section, though.
 

Jonnyram

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Jun 8, 2004
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toythatkills said:
Sushido is weird. I think you literally have to be some kind of sushi expert to play it. Sushi will scroll past and you press A to grab the ones the person likes, to raise their satisfaction level. "I like tuna and salmon," he says. "I don't know what's got tuna and salmon in it!" you say. "I don't care," the game says, "play it anyway." Couldn't really do it, just had to press A and pick random sushi which wasn't fun and won't get me much further than level 1, I fear.
How can you not know what tuna and salmon sushi look like?