Bugs. People hate them. The theory is that the circle of life would unravel completely without them providing one of the lowest ends of the food chain, but most folks can’t resist the urge to smash them on sight. Some go so far as to say they would eliminate them for good if they could. An opportunity to do just that, at least digitally, came up way back in the 80s with Centipede but it didn’t last. In fact, bugs are still one of the most common video game enemies around, coming in just behind zombies, red barrels and ‘terrorists’. Now the bugs are invading again, this time through Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games service in Fun Infused Games’ Bad Caterpillar, a modernization of Atari’s classic hundred-legged game.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: Bad Caterpillar does nothing to hide its inspiration. If you’ve ever played, nay, even seenCentipede then you’re familiar with what this game has to offer. As with most shooters it’s you and you alone against an entire army of enemies, so don’t expect any back up, soldier. Grip that trigger and let the bullets fly. The game’s titular enemy descends from the top of the level and it’s your duty to blow each and every segment of its body to Kingdom Come, lest you explode at its mere touch. You move onto the next level once you’ve successfully smashed each and every thorax. Read more
Let’s take a moment and pretend that it’s the 1980′s and arcades aren’t just a relic of a lost generation. Now, imagine you’re in charge of one such arcade. Sound like fun? You’ll just have to watch the video review and find out if the XBLIG title “Arcadecraft” is a thriller, or just a broken heart of glass.
The king is dead. That’s how Nostatic’s newest Xbox Live Indie Game Ascent of Kings starts out. It’s a somber beginning what is otherwise a breezy and carefree exploratory platformer. Your quest to become the new king is a fun, albeit short one despite this.
The journey begins much to the chagrin of your father, who believes you to be too young to handle the rigors ahead. Youthful confidence prevails and you set out on a quest for kinghood in the footsteps of your recently-journey-bound brothers. Each of your kin was equipped with a special item to help them with the road ahead. While you have none to start with, you’ll eventually acquire them all. It’s a good thing, too, since you’ll need them to reach your destination. Read more
If Xbox Live Indie Games was Santa and I was a prospective present recipient, you’d think I would have been judged ‘naughty’ with all the coal I’ve received this year. Suffice to say, 2012 hasn’t been a banner year for the service. But after playing Bleed, it might have all been worth it. Bootdisk Revolution has put together something truly special and any gamer with a love for the classics would be remiss to pass it up.
The objective in Bleed is simple: Defeat the world’s best heroes to become the newest member of the Hall of Heroes. Your quest takes you through the home bases of each of the world’s six champions, plus one final stage afterward. Each one has a theme that matches the style of its owner. The extravagant and creepy mansion belongs to the gelatinous slime ball with the googly eyes and fly wings. The security-intensive high rise houses the defense robot with a penchant for homing missiles. Read more
What can possibly be fun about assembling electrical circuits? Placing resistors to reduce electric current to power components? Can that really make an appealing game? Guess you just have to watch the video and find out. Enjoy!
You could spin me around twenty times blindfolded and set me free on Xbox Live and I’d still manage to stumble across an indie twin-stick shooter. It’s pretty tough for indie shooters to really make a name for itself, and SCHAR: Blue Shield Alliance tries to set itself apart by focusing on cooperative missions, light RPG elements, and a pretty rich backstory. That means you’ll want to have some friends around for maximum enjoyment, but it’s still a competent shooter while flying solo.
SCHAR has a surprisingly detailed story for a twin-sick shooter, but it follows many of the typical sci-fi tropes that we’ve all seen before. Aliens have pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, but new Blue Shift technology has allowed them to turn the tide and possibly survive. Le yawn. Still, the frequent chatter of the characters and background information on the planets help sell the universe’s history and make the game feel more immersive.
Ninja Exorcist, quite simply, does a lot of things right. It’s reminiscent of the NES classic Ninja Gaiden, albeit without the brutal difficulty, as the protagonist has a number of similar tools and athletic maneuvers at his disposal, including the ability to bounce from wall to wall. Taking a bit from the Mega Man X series, your ninja can also gradually slide down the sides of each wall, thereby allowing for more precise strikes on opponents.
The first thing that grabbed my attention upon booting up Ninja Exorcist was the striking visuals: meticulously painted backgrounds provide quite a bit in terms of engagement, and prove to be among the best on XBLIG. Character animations are equally impressive, where my ninja was springing from wall to wall or stealthily executing a fellow ninja.
Like shooting things? Like pushing buttons? Like piloting a flying crate with a gun? I sure hope so, because that’s pretty much what RotoSchutzen is all about. Is it good? Well, I guess you’ll just have to watch the video and find out.
There is a quick addendum to the score. In the video I say the game gets a two out of five. The ACTUAL score is 2 1/2 out of 5. My apologies for any confusion.