xbox live indie game reviews

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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 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 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

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

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 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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XBox Live Indie Games Reviews