Big week for XBLIG as a service and its almuni

It’s been a great week for both XBLIG and a number of its alumni. Escape Goat, the well received puzzle Read more

Wizorb Developers Mixing Crafting and Contra in Mercenary Kings

Tribute Games, the designers of the most excellent Wizorb, are now paying tribute to the run-and-gun shooter. Mercenary Kings Read more

EvilQuest 2 in development, set to conquer Dream.Build.Play

Chaosoft Games made a name for themselves with EvilQuest, an XBLIG action-RPG in the vein of the NES classic Read more

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Now Flying into the Depths of Space

Man has entered the endless depths of space again, courtesy of Stardock, who is most commonly known for Read more


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Sega Bass Fishing Review: Check Out That Bass!

Posted on by Daniel Campbell in PSN, PSN Reviews, Reviews, XBLA, XBLA Reviews | 1 Comment

yup, he's fishin

Listen to the audio discussion:

In 1997, a lot of things happened in the game industry. Video game legend, Gunpei Yokoi, passed away in a car accident, Final Fantasy VII redefined the RPG genre, and Sega Bass Fishing was released in Japanese arcades. Shortly after the launch of the Dreamcast in 1999, the fishing simulation title found its way to Sega’s ill-fated console. Here in 2011, Sega Bass Fishing has been released once again on XBLA and PSN for $10.

Sega Bass Fishing features an Arcade Mode and an Original Mode, both having online leaderboards. In case you’ve got fish bait for brains, the game is about catching bass. The player has a limited window of time to catch as many bass as possible, but the number of fish is not important since the collective weight of all the caught fish is what will win you competitions. The game sports tournaments, unlockable lures, and a number of different locations to put your fishing prowess to the test.

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Wizorb Review: Still Wizorbin

Posted on by Mike Wall in PC, PC Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 2 Comments

what is that?

Loads of indie games face that critical dilemma of being completely competent and functional, yet just not something that you’d actually want to sit on your sofa and play on your fancy HD television.  After all, how many space shooters with Atari graphics or first person shooters that look like they were birthed on a 386 can you really play on a Saturday afternoon? Up until this point I would have thrown basically every console incarnation of Brickbreaker into that pile of games that aren’t quite worthy of prime time. They might be okay in a pinch when you’re stuck on a bus, but I never imagined having any interest in kicking back and playing for more than five minutes at a time. And along bounces Wizorb.

Wizorb attempts to do for Brickbreaker what Puzzle Quest did for match-3 puzzle games. It takes the somewhat mindless task of completing random level after level adds a bit of depth in the form of a loose story and some new abilities. It’s not a perfect amalgamation and the RPG elements aren’t as pronounced as they could be, but the new abilities, inspired level design, and snazzy retro graphics make moving the paddle horizontally back and forth and deflecting the ball back into the bricks more fun than its ever been.

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Dead Pixels Review: River City Zombie Rampage

Posted on by Mike Wall in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 4 Comments

I love zombies. I understand that as a snarky, sarcastic game critic I’m supposed to be over the undead fad and complain about how I can walk into Walmart and buy zombie sheets, but I just don’t care. I love their little rotting faces, I love their slow, shambling strides, and I love their eat-anything-that-gets-in-their-path attitude. I also love shooting holes in them as I flee down city streets.

Dead Pixels is the latest to the undead XBLIG party, but it’s way more than just a cash-in to take advantage of the undead walkers’ lingering popularity. This is a fully fleshed-out 8-bit zombie grindhouse romp that oozes love and authenticity from every crevice like coagulating blood oozes from the face wounds of fallen zombies. It’s like a mix of Double Dragon and Left 4 Dead, and it’s almost as awesome as that dream-team combination sounds.

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Astro Tripper Review: You Must Be Trippin’

Posted on by Mike Wall in PC, PC Reviews, PSN Reviews, Reviews | 4 Comments


The past few years have seen several coin-op classics such as Pac-man and Space Invaders revitalized by infusing new energy into the gameplay and injecting them with an unhealthy dose of neon, strobing lights. The new remixes were wildly popular with critics and gamers alike, and now PomPom Games has taken a similar, albeit less official, route in updating the classic arcade game, Defender. I hope you’re wearing your Hank the Tank T-shirt, because we’re kickin’ trippin’ it old school with Astro Tripper.

In case the tiny spaceship shooting insane beams of energy didn’t give it away, Astro Tripper is a side-scrolling shoot-em up. It was originally released back in 2009 on PSN and it has now received the full Steam treatment complete with a 100% higher price tag.  Astro Tripper ditches the continually scrolling levels of most shooters and focuses the combat into long, narrow arenas. As in Defender, players can switch the direction the ship is facing. While I appreciate the attempt to update a classic, Astro Tripper’s immensely frustrating difficulty caused largely by anachronistic design choices make it a game that should be relegated to only the most hardcore shmup fan.

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Radiant Silvergun Review: Shooting up the Competition

Posted on by Dave Voyles in Reviews, XBLA, XBLA Reviews | 2 Comments


At Armless Octopus, we’re no strangers to a good shmup. What I believe turns most people off from the genre are two factors: 1) the absurd difficulty, and 2) how similar each title in the genre is. I mean it’s really just a ship shooting directly at things on screen, right? Wrong. Radiant Silvergun takes a few of the standard conventions you’ve come to expect from the genre and adds a twist. Originally released in 1998 in Japan for both the Sega Saturn and in what was then a thriving Japanese arcade scene, Radiant Silvergun has managed to stand the test of time.

That’s not to say that the steep difficulty curve gamers faced back then isn’t still present in this release, because it most certainly is. While enemies relentlessly fire upon your lightly armored vessel, you come to expect that you will die, and quite a bit at that. Your time is not spent in vain however, thanks to Radiant Silvergun’s persistent upgrade system, which carries over the experience and levels that you acquire with each progressive Story Mode playthrough. This comes as both the title’s greatest strength, but also its greatest weakness.

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Serious Sam Double D Video Review

Posted on by Taylor Bliss in PC, PC Reviews, Reviews | Leave a comment

Duke Nukem, Deux Ex and now Serious Sam? It looks like 2011 is the new 2001!  Croteam’s muscle-brained hero gets the 2D treatment courtesy of Mommy’s Best Games, and we’re here to let you know which end of the retro-revival spectrum Sam falls on.

Serious Sam Double D was provided for review by Mommy’s Best Games, and it is available on Steam for $7.99. 

All the Bad Parts Review: Now With Good Parts!

Posted on by Mike Wall in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 2 Comments


I’ve been punching dudes for a long time. Monsters, punks, hoodlums, and even dinosaurs have felt the sting of my digital fist, but I’ve never played a punching simulator quite like All the Bad Parts. This game is the perfect example of what makes the Xbox Live Indie Games platform so damned cool. It demonstrates that one guy with a few original ideas can create a unique experience devoid of the predictable plotlines that typically worm their way into big budget productions; it dismisses the standard ‘save the world’ trite for a more personal, emotional story.

The idea behind the game is to breathe a bit of life into the old coin-munching brawler by adding light adventure game elements and the sort of off-beat, snarky humor you’d expect to see in an indie comedy. While the characters and dialogue are charming, the combat sadly fails to hold up its end of the bargain. But the game handles its thought-provoking story and quirky dialogue better than pretty much any other XBLIG out there, so it’s worth playing despite its glaring faults.

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Indie Games Summer Uprising: Redd: The Lost Temple Review

Posted on by Evan Lennick in Reviews, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment


When you first see the title screen for Redd, you may be confused by the lack of punctuation. I raised an eyebrow as I saw “Redd The Lost Temple” and wondered if this game was literally about playing as a lost temple named Redd. Not since Final Fantasy 8 have I been asked to pilot around a large habitat, but alas it turns out that Redd is not a temple; instead he is an Indiana Jones wannabe, complete with the stupid hat and magnetism for giant rolling boulders. At least there is no Shia LeBeouf…

Redd is a top-down adventure game where you navigate through the dangers and puzzles of a multi-level dungeon. Like most adventure games, you collect coins, keys, and other collectables as you explore. These items unlock further parts of the dungeon or are spent on upgrades to a number of Redd’s items and powers. Things such as faster walking speed, more powerful weapons and extra lives are all available from the in-game shop, although their value and effectiveness varys wildly. Redd’s only real weapons are bundles of dynamite that are limited but slowly regenerate after non-use. The ineffectiveness of this item is quickly apparent as most enemies are constantly moving and the dynamite takes an inordinate amount of time to count down and explode. The bottom line winds up being that this game is much more about avoiding enemies, traps, and dangerous terrain than it is about combat.

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