SB Recommends Xbox Live Indie Games

  • Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES
    • Kitten ClanClan: Developed by 8-Bits Fanatics, the same people who developed the XBLIG game The Tempura of the Dead and the notoriously difficult PC game, Challenge from Kiyoshi. Aban Hawkins strongly looks and sounds like an NES game, and is a very difficult action-platformer with light puzzle elements reminiscent of I Wanna Be The Guy. The difficulty centers around both trial & error as well as difficult and strictly timed platforming. While mostly well designed, there are moments where it can be excessively cheap and frustrating, and the controls sometimes “stick” a bit, causing the player to unfairly die.
  • After Dusk
    • Kitten ClanClan: Blends survival horror with Metroidvania elements. Its mechanics revolve around your primary weapon and “light” being tied to the same meter, decreasing your field of vision the more you shoot. It's not particularly well designed, but the concept is quite interesting and the price is only equivalent to a dollar.
  • Alawishus Pixel
    • Kitten ClanClan: Made to look and sound like an NES game, Alawishus Pixel is a relatively short, but well-made puzzle platformer where you push a block into a hole. There are lots of enemies and obstacles, keeping the game exciting enough to attract fans of more actiony puzzle games.
  • Arkedo Series - 01 JUMP!
    • Kitten ClanClan: Charming platformer with stylish, pixelated graphics and good music. Each of Arkedo's games have this strongly pleasant vibe to them which makes them a joy to play.
  • Arkedo Series - 02 SWAP!
    • Kitten ClanClan: A puzzle game based on swapping tiles
  • Arkedo Series - 03 PIXEL!
    • Kitten ClanClan: Another pixelated platformer, this time starring a cute little cat, with graphics strongly reminiscent of old Tamagotchi toys. Levels are lusciously detailed and the game possesses a soothing style and pacing that I find incredibly relaxing. The music helps accentuate how nice and calm the game is. Definitely one of my most highly recommended XBLIG's.
  • Beat Hazard (also on: PC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: While I normally get bored to death of arena-based twinstick shooters (or as I call them, a “shmup-in-a-box”), Beat Hazard has been a game that I regularly come back to to play again and again, especially when someone is visiting who hasn't seen it before. You play stages that are based on songs you have on your hard drive, with your primary weapon fluctuating wildly to the music. The game is very “seizure-inducing” in its crazy visuals, but that's all part of the charm.
  • Breath of Death VII: The Beginning (also on: PC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: A Dragon Quest clone that has visuals and sounds which come across as a mix between 8-bit and 16-bit. It's very fast-paced and allows you to clear a dungeon of random battles once you meet a certain number while also allowing you to engage in a random battle instantly, if you so wish. While the humor is kind of what you'd expect from an average jRPG fan, it does still retain some noticeable charm, and its pacing is such that I never really found myself bored with it.
  • Cold War Commander
    • Kitten ClanClan: A very bizarre, silly little platformer where you play as Ronald Reagan recollecting his stolen jelly beans from Gorbachev. The game's premise and humor are both strangely interesting, and I can't help but recommend it despite the platforming only being above-average for indie games, at best.
  • Crosstown
    • Kitten ClanClan: Crosstown strongly resembles a Commodore 64 game and plays quite similarly to Wizard of Wor. The game is very mechanical and difficult, and each of the 40 stages begin with a creepy narrator telling you more and more about “Crosstown.” Definitely one of the more interesting games available on the service.
  • C'thulhu Saves the World (also on: PC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: The spiritual sequel to Breath of Death, C'thulhu Saves the World is more of the same in a good way, this time with a lot more variety introduced.
  • Cursed Loot
    • Kitten ClanClan: A decent, realtime roguelike with a surprising amount of content and variety in how it can be played. Has groan-worthy humor and a lot of silly elements, but is functionally quite well made. Note that this game is an enhanced version of a previously released game, “Epic Dungeon”.
  • Decay (Parts 1-4)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Decay is a very interesting point and click adventure series with a strong, suspenseful tone to it. The puzzles are all fairly easily solvable without a guide and never too obtuse, the music is chilling and the plot is intriguing enough to keep you coming back for each episode. They're somewhat thematically similar to the “Crimson Room” series of games that were quite popular some years back as browser-based games, but with much higher production values and an actual plot to them.
  • Dungeon Adventure
    • Kitten ClanClan: A competent, tile-based roguelike that also lets you use ASCII graphics. It's nothing especially remarkable, but it scratches an itch.
  • Explosionade
    • Loki Laufeyson: An Assault Suits- style game with twin stick aiming. It's a lot of fun and only 80 funbux.
  • I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1
    • Loki Laufeyson: Twin stick shooter with hordes of zombies for the enemies, as well as some other things. Has an awful/genius soundtrack of one badly sung song. Is a lot of fun with more than one player. Looks, sounds and feels sort of like a dingy rock nightclub.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Notably made by the same guy (James Silva) who created both Dishwasher games on XBLA (and also did the music for them).
  • Groov
    • Kitten ClanClan: A “shmup-in-a-box” where enemy deaths and shots fired help to create a song. There's very little content to the game, but it's only one dollar and provides a unique, memorable experience with how the single “level” plays out. Imagine Rez meeting Geometry Wars.
  • Infinity Danger
    • Kitten ClanClan: This game is basically high definition Warning Forever on your Xbox 360. It's a twinstick shooter with nonstop bossfights. Each time you defeat one boss, another will appear on the screen, more difficult and evolved based on your playstyle. It's highly addictive.
  • Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp
    • Kitten ClanClan: Based heavily on the Alien Hominid PDA games, JPBR is a very cute, pixelated puzzle-platformer. Each of the sixty stages are a single screen, and the game is a great way to burn time. I believe this game is also available as a free, homebrew DS game.
  • Johnny Platform Saves Xmas
    • Kitten ClanClan: The sequel to JPBR, JPSX features a new rolling move, better level design and an additional, playable character.
  • LaserCat
    • Kitten ClanClan: Very similar to the old European exclusive Jetset Willy in both theme and function, LaserCat is a platforming game with a giant map of interconnected, single screens that each have unique games. Another comparison would be to Anna Anthropy's “Redder,” where the player explores a series of single screens, making use of basic platforming to collect a series of items.
  • Let's Learn Japanese:Beginner
  • Miner Dig Deep
    • Kitten ClanClan: Miner Dig Deep is a mining game similar to both Dig Dug and the popular flash game MotherLoad. The player digs beneath the Earth's crust, collecting minerals before returning to the surface to sell what little they can carry at a store before their lantern runs out. Progressing deeper and deeper, the player will discover more expensive gems and minerals, which will allow them to purchase better equipment. Getting to the bottom is an experience you'll feel you can't quite put down.
  • Ninja Chop
    • Rudie: It's fun to give this game to people with no context and watch the wave of emotions come over them. Then to have a discussion afterwards.
  • Null Divide
    • Kitten ClanClan: A twinstick Metroidvania with multiple levels to backtrack to. Competently designed and worth looking into for fans of the genre.
  • NYAN TECH
    • Kitten ClanClan: An excellently designed, if short, puzzle platformer with an interesting twist - holding down or pressing buttons on the controller will make corresponding blocks appear and disappear on the screen. The mechanics sound simple, but the situations they put you in, especially on the hidden difficulty, stretches this concept to its limits, especially when they introduce the jump button as one of the block buttons. This game also sports some great pixel art and melancholy chiptunes.
  • Office Affairs
    • Rudie: It would have been insert credit's GOTY 2006.
  • Platformance:Castle Pain
  • Prismatic Solid
    • Kitten ClanClan: Incredibly well-designed, vertically scrolling shooter with a variety of weapons and delightfully colorful visuals. The mechanics revolve around 4 “options” that float around the ship with X-Multiply-esque tentacles that block bullets. Collecting power-ups increases the length of the arms and may be expended to be used as bombs. Each weapon places the options in a different orientation, with the most powerful weapons leaving your craft the most vulnerable.
  • Protect Me Knight / Mamotte Knight (JP)
    • Persona-sama: a charming multiplayer tower defense-like game except with more brawling and chaos. Man, it's really fun trying to shove the princess out of the way of fire and boss charges as you're repairing your fences and building new ones to block gaps where succubi can fire magic at the princess while shouting “OH SHIT GET THE PINK MINOTAUR” or “QUICK MOVE THE PRINCESS UP/DOWN!!!” or “FUCK THE ZOMBIES ARE INSIDE!”
    • Kitten ClanClan: Notably created by Yuzo Koshiro's development studio, “Ancient”. Soundtrack by him, too.
  • Shoot 1-Up
  • Techno Kitten Adventure!
    • Kitten ClanClan: Hilarious game about flying a kitten through an increasingly small tunnel with a series of obstacles. While the premise of the game is incredibly simple, the charm comes from the game's absurd presentation and loud techno music. This recommendation is in no way ironic - the game is genuinely entertaining and funny, and a blast to play with friends.
  • Ultratron
    • Kitten ClanClan: A Robotron 2084 inspired game that features a lot of power-ups. Has level progression, bosses, and an end point that is reachable. Highly recommended to fans of Robotron and twinstick shooters, in general.
  • Wizorb
    • Loki Laufeyson: An arkanoid-like with some slight RPG elements and some very very nice 2D graphics.
    • Kitten ClanClan: “Arkanoid-like” works well in describing the game. The music and visual design is very reminiscent of the NES era, and is decadently animated. One of the highest production value XBLIG's and definitely not something you want to look over.
 
 sb/recommended/xbla_indies.txt · Last modified: 2012/09/26 23:55 (external edit)
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