xbox live indie game reviews

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by ARCWuLF

Bumblepig

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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There's a gem hidden in the flowers...

Bumblepig by Kindling Games is not only an amazing game, but it's also one of those shining gems that will be completely overlooked by most hardcore players upon downloading the demo. "But ARCWuLF," one might say, "you're an idiot! I can tell if I'm going to like a game by the scant few moments a demo gives me. Also I'm peeing in my pants right now." (That's what you get for calling me an idiot!)...

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by ARCWuLF

Rotor

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Get ready to crash and burn!

WHUP WHUP WHUP! In the vast universal dimension of nerdy hobbies, the cream of the nerdy crop is radio control helicopter flying. There are few entirely pointless activities one can participate in that are as expensive, potentially dangerous, and still extremely boring. In recent years, the field has been watered down to toys that are easy to fly, cheap, and, well, safe. Rotor brings all the fun of pointless helicopter flight to your Xbox for...

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by ARCWuLF

Oozi: Earth Adventure Episode 1

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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An impressive but flawed game

The first thing that I noticed when I played Oozi: Earth Adventure was that the artwork had a level of polish that is rarely seen when you trawl the ocean of Indie titles on Xbox Live. It invoked a setting not dissimilar to Ubisoft's original Rayman from the old 32-bit era of games with its colorful sprites, lush backgrounds with multiple levels of parallax scrolling, charmingly animated characters, and some of the tightest controls I've...

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by SimianLogic

On A Roll

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Got a Flat

On a Roll is a basic Sonic the Hedgehog sendup. You play as a rolling ball tasked with finding your way through sixteen levels of enemy balls, spikes, and Sonic-like terrain. You collect stars of various values (rings) on your way through to protect you from harm--every time you hit spikes or an enemy ball, you cough up 100 stars. Don't have 100 stars? You lose a life. Don't have a life? Game over and...

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by SimianLogic

Slingstar

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Action Meditation

In real space, almost everything is monumentally far away from everything else--so much so that collisions rarely happen. In Slingstar, you play a little spaceship in a black void full of things that love running into you. To prevent these collisions, your ship is equipped with "wingmen"--tiny little indestructible ships that do their best to stick to a close orbit around you. Why you bought indestructible wingmen but failed to get even a shred of...

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by savamizz

Storage Inc

  • Worth the Points!
  • 1
  • Not Worth the Points!
  • 0
Puttin' the 'Hip' Back into 'Shipping'

Lately, the perplexing trend in casual games involves turning repetitive, nondescript, and otherwise mundane (or completely shitty) real-life jobs into games that somehow, people seem to enjoy. Seriously, there's a captive audience that just fucking LOVES tending fake farms, flipping virtual burgers, running imaginary sweatshops and feeding digital fish. Ok, I made one of those up. Well, I mean, it doesn't exist... yet. But I digress.   Anyways, in such a bizarro gaming environment, I...

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by savamizz

Firecracker HD

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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There's No Substitute For the Real Thing.

Firecracker HD is yet another entry in that obscure, 'is it a game/is it an app/is it a screensaver/what the hell would you categorize this as, exactly?' genre-that-isn't-definitive-enough to be called a 'genre'. I certainly appreciate the concept of the game; Blowing up shit for no apparent reason is approximately the second most manly thing one can hope to accomplish in life, right behind singlehandedly culling an overpopulated herd of bison with a pointy stick...

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by savamizz

Avatar Drop

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Ragdoll Plinko Never Hurt Anyone (Important)

Avatar Drop is a campy little ragdoll physics game that has bravely ventured out of its natural habitat in Wii-ville all the way to XBLIG. Though this title seems a little thin on content, even by indie game standards, what it does offer- a free-falling, pinballing, plinko-style adventure- is fairly enjoyable if you've got a few friends hanging around. The premise of this title is pretty straightforward; You and three of your best human or...

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by savamizz

Bennu

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Can't Shake the Old Ball and Chain

Bennu is a quirky, lovable little puzzle game peppered with Egyptian mythology. You play as the title character, Bennu, a bird-like creature (similar to a phoenix) who inhabits the afterlife. He wields the Sphere of Ra and the Chains of Osiris, swinging and rolling around the world and solving puzzles along the way. This game is an enjoyable exercise in physics and momentum, definitely refreshing in the wake of many formulaic side-scrolling puzzle games. You're...

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by savamizz

Bop N' Pop!

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Prepare for Popping Blood Vessels

Ever since the U.N.'s binding “Tetris for Peace” resolution singlehandedly ended the Cold War and spared us from nuclear annihilation, puzzle games have exploded onto handhelds, consoles and browsers in an attempt to capture the wallets and minds of the masses. The 'falling block' concept has seen more than its share of prospective heirs to the throne, including: Dr. Mario, Columns, Yoshi, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, and Lumines. While each iteration has attempted to...

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by SimianLogic

Shellblast HD

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Bastard Child of Minesweeper and Sudoku

Shellblast is kind of like a cross between Sudoku (where columns have to tally) and Minesweeper. Each bomb is a puzzle with randomly placed "pistons" which must be properly identified in order to diffuse the thing. Though the game is played on a grid, each puzzle uses a different "shape" for its bomb. Though there's no real difference between a tile which isn't used in the puzzle and one which is used in the puzzle...

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by SimianLogic

Wacky Karts

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Like Playing The Shadow of Mario Kart

It's actually a little unfortunate that Nintendo has set the bar so monumentally high in the "kart racing" genre--any casual racing game will inevitably be compared to the Mario Kart franchise and most likely lose. Wacky Karts has everything you'd expect from a retro Mario Kart clone: a variety of "karts" (each driven by different large-headed characters with different speed/acceleration/handling attribute), a campy soundtrack, a grand prix mode, time trials, and a battle mode. The...

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by SimianLogic

Shardscape Assault

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Ambitious, but Can't Overcome the WTF Factor

When I'm reviewing a game, I have a pretty high tolerance for things that make me say, "WTF?" With Shardscape Assault, I went so far past my WTF-limit that future games will be rated on a WTF scale of 1 to Shardscape Assault. The game opens with an unskippable text intro sequence, with a single line of text appearing at a time. While it's nice to see that some thought went into the backstory, I could...

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by SimianLogic

Jungle Blocks

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Jungle Themed Breakout Wannabe

The best thing about Jungle Blocks is the cute little Aztec/Mayan-themed background. The gameplay, like the rest of the game, is completely unremarkable. Collision on the paddle is pretty weak (I often "hit" on the edges only to have the ball fall through), but it hardly matters. Taking out the bricks above works in a simple combo routine--the more blocks you hit between successive paddle hits, the more each of those blocks is worth. You get...

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by SimianLogic

Nebulon

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Effects More Fun than Gameplay

Nebulon is a pretty badass looking game, but unfortunately the awesomeness doesn't translate to the actual gameplay itself. You play as a little glowing ship flying around and blasting the crap out of things. Enemies have a natural progression--their "difficulty" is based on the number of orbs which make up their ship. Blast enough of them and they'll drop powerups, which you can use to improve your own gear. Unfortunately the powerups often drop in...

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by savamizz

Bust a Wall

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Another Bland Breakout Clone

There isn't really much to say about Bust a Wall- if you've ever picked up an Atari joystick and played Breakout (or any subsequent port of it in the last three decades), you're not in for much of a surprise here. A spot in one of the opening screens excitedly promotes this game as “OLD!”, which is 100% accurate. Unlike any of the dozens of variants of this game that offer powerups such as multi-ball,...

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by savamizz

Track Architect

  • Worth the Points!
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The Little Hoopty That Could

Track Architect is a simple game that brings simple fun, much like a tiny wind-up car you might snag at a dollar store. The graphics are pretty basic and unexciting, the background music is initially catchy but gets a bit redundant after about five minutes, and your adorable clunker only faces left-to-right as it travels across the screen. Yet despite this rather mundane description, there is an innocent charm to this game- the kind of...

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by savamizz

Veks and Silence

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Cream of the Zombie-Obliterating Crop

If the year was 1993, there is not even the slightest chance in hell that you could purchase this game for a measly $5. You would gladly shell out $40-50 from your hard-earned lawnmowing income for the chance to play this exhilarating, superbly-polished platform shooter into the wee hours of the morning on your Sega Genesis. Veks & Silence is my current nomination for best XBLIG ever created, especially when it comes to overall production...

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by SimianLogic

Nasty

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Focus Should Be On Gameplay, Not More Levels

Timing-wise, I picked a pretty good day to review Nasty--which I downloaded and tried out this morning. When I sat down to do the review, there was a press-release in my inbox announcing it had been updated: The 1.5 update to Nasty features several tweaks to gameplay and new weapons that promise to make Nasty a more fun, more action packed experience. Many of these changes were made to address concerns gamers had about the...

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by SimianLogic

Ninja Guardian

  • Worth the Points!
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  • Not Worth the Points!
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Tiny Ninja Jump Attack Go!

Ninja Guardian is a lot like Machiavelli's Ascent (which we reviewed here), only with Ninjas. And smaller. The game screens are each divided into three panes, each textured to look like canvas. When not in use (i.e. a game screen or some sort of message), each screen sports a Hiroshige-styled Japanese landscape painting. While playing the game, the center 1/3rd of the screen acts as a platforming bounce-field. Depending on the level or game mode,...

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Writers

ARCWuLF
ARCWuLF

I'm a former IT guy, who then became a former...


savamizz
savamizz

i like smashing, crushing, maiming, brutality, destruction and general chaos. ...


platypusavenger
platypusavenger

I'm a cheap-skate and a martyr.  If I play these...


SimianLogic
SimianLogic

I eat games like you for breakfast.


spahzz
spahzz

You can dance if you want to, you can leave...


XBox Live Indie Games Reviews