xbox live indie game reviews

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Worth the Points

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 AI buddies all start at the top of a giant vertical level, then, after you get the green light, plummet towards the bottom. As you are basically at the whims of gravitational forces (with the notable exception of the springy green bubbles), your only option is to steer your crash test dummy side-to-side to pass through various sizes of rings (smaller rings = more points), all while crashing your character into any bubbles that impede your path to more rings. When you get to the bottom, the lucky chap with the most points is the big winner. Yup, that's about the gist of it.

I think this game is amusing in a very arcadey way, though it does have some shortcomings. In the spirit of classic competitive quarter-munchers, I would have liked to see a few fun ways to screw over your friends: traps, weapons or good, ol' fashioned fisticuffs definitely would have scored a few more points in my book and given this game quite a bit more replay value. The levels aren't very diverse, either- they're basically just a collection of two objects: bubbles and rings. Some variety in the environments would add a little more challenge to the mix. Also, while there's nothing wrong with using analog sticks and buttons, I think guiding your tumbling avatar through the rings would be way more fun with a Wiimote's motion controls... but this isn't a Wii game (yet?), so I digress.

Even though it's a pretty rudimentary game, I could see a group of friends playing it casually if you happen to have 4 controllers lying around (and a fridge full of booze that needs immediate attention). It's not gonna blow your mind. Hell, I'm not sure you could play it for more than 15 minutes in a row without a drinking game to keep you focused. Still, the good thing about Avatar Drop is that it only costs 80 MS points, which you can easily find in your couch cushions. Bonus: It's better than any crap you'll ever find at a dollar store, so give it a shot.


XBox Live Indie Games Reviews