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

XBLIG Reviews

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Retro Arcade Adventure Review: Satiating the Retro Itch

Posted on by Anthony Swinnich in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 1 Comment

Siactro has crafted a game with fantastic aesthetics in Retro Arcade Adventure. The gameplay occupies the shallow end of the pool, however, creating an experience more like Marco Polo than Water Polo.

That’s not to say Marco Polo can’t be fun. You just can’t go into Retro Arcade Adventure expecting a challenging game. There’s heavy emphasis on the “arcade” part of the title – this one is more Smash TV than The Legend of Zelda - despite the thoughtfully-illustrated fantasy graphics. You take control of a lone hero on his quest to dispatch a malevolent demon hellbent on enslaving his homeland. You’ll slash through wave upon wave of enemies in order to reach and vanquish your foe. Read more

Katana Land Review: Cowabunga!

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

One of the things that makes reviewing indie games so much fun, particularly Xbox Live Indie Games, is that every day you can play a game that is completely unknown and be taken aback and how marvelous it is. We’ve gotten to a point with mainstream games and media where you can find out so much information about a game that you know exactly what it is 90% of the time before you even pick up the controller. But no matter how closely I monitor the world of XBLIG, sweet little gems like Katana Land always manage to sneak in under my radar.

Katana Land is sort of like an old school Ninja Gaiden game minus the insanely frustrating parts. Instead, it’s incredibly easy to jump right in and start cutting up those evil red ninjas who have kidnapped your girlfriend, and I chewed through the bite-sized levels in one sitting like I was housing a bag of Oreos.
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Little Racers STREET Review: Size Does Not Matter

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

EDIT: Developer Milkstone Studios informs us that an update is coming next week, which will include multiplayer mode

The XBLIG Marketplace is notorious for its often campy FMV games (sadly, no Night Trap port yet), Avatar-laden gimmick titles, and games that bear strikingly low production values. On occasion, a gem will find its way between the otherwise generic rocks of games and spark a glimmer of hope into XBLIG again. One such title is Little Racers STREET, the 15th title from Milkstone Studios, who have made a name for themselves for their high production values and strikingly beautiful games. I’ll have you know that they continue this tradition with their latest offering.

Rarely do I pick up an Xbox indie game and really hunger to return to it later, but LRS had me coming back for more. The gameplay was addictive and offered just enough incentive after each race to keep that carrot dangling in front of me, enticing me to continue.
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Block Zombies! Review: Night of the Living Legos

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

Thanks, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1. Thanks for your addictive gameplay. Thanks for your stupid, catchy song. Thanks for creating a template that countless mindless, shambling hordes of games have imitated, and shamelessly refused to improve upon. The twin-stick shooter may be the most prolific genre represented in Xbox Live Indie Games, but most are redundant experiences that aren’t even worth Microsoft’s server space. But every so often a game like Block Zombies! comes around, shuffles the pieces up just enough, and mixes in a few new wrinkles to come out with something that feels fresh and fun.

Yes, Block Zombies! is another zombie twin-stick shooter, and yes it apes the voxel style that Minecraft returned to the limelight, but you know what? It totally works. The game’s carefree visual style and upbeat tempo makes Block Zombies! an absolute delight to play. It’s like you’re a  kid wandering through a Lego playground that just so happens to be infested with cubical zombies who explode into tiny pieces when killed.

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EvilQuest Review: B-b-b-b-b Bad to the Bone

Posted on by Mike Wall in Reviews, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

He-Man may have routinely embarrassed his skeletal counterpart on TV, but in my house, the muscly Master of the Universe was more likely to find himself colliding against the neighbor’s brick wall. Perhaps I took pity on incompetent villains who always managed to shoot themselves in the feet at the last minute, or maybe I just thought they looked cooler, but I found myself cheering for the bad guys like they were some kind of slightly maniacal version of Rudy.

It’s kind of hard to root for the bad guys in games unless you’re a fan of the ‘Game Over’ screen, but EvilQuest is the rare game that puts you squarely in the shoes of a detestable and indefensible deviant. It doesn’t merely present the option of being a bastard, it outright demands it, which is a pretty refreshing approach for a game. Unfortunately, like those incompetent 80s cartoon villains, EvilQuest finds a few ways to sabotage itself and derail the fun, but it’s still one of the more impressive indies we’ve seen in a while.
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Let’s Get Fiscal Review

Posted on by Mike Wall in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

Like any child of the 80s, I have a soft spot in my heart for brawlers that can only be filled with a punch to the face of a velociraptor. I’ve cleared the raging streets, finished the fight, and cleared out the sewers so many times that the city gave me my own waste removal truck. I also happen to have a ridiculous soft spot for Get Rich or Die Gaming, an outrageous adventure game with horrid voice acting, sleazy sex appeal, and tons of kitsch. So, naturally I was a bit pimped pumped when I heard that Baller Industries’ follow-up to Get Rich would be a brawler. So how did I feel after I got my hands on this bizarre monstrosity?

The story, characters, cut scenes, and dialogue are exactly what I would expect from Baller Industries. Characters act in extreme fashions, experience 180-degree mood swings for no apparent reason, and enjoy shouting profanity. It’s absolutely insane, but in all the best ways like the He-Man Christmas Special. The plot follows a main character who has been sober for 10 years, but somehow keeps finding new ways to get stoned, drunk, or otherwise intoxicated during what has to be the worst day ever experienced by an auditor. I can kind of see why he’d want to stay clean, because apparently the slightest narcotic in his system causes him to flip out and kick the tar out of everyone like Scrappy Doo on speed.

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Game Type Review: Parkour Power

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

While there are lots of things to like about the new flashy Xbox Dashboard, there’s also one glaring problem. Okay, there are tons of problems, but let’s just pretend there is only one: you need a goddamn road map to find where to go to buy games. Microsoft seems so focused on chowing down on the Doritos dollars and cramming UFC down our throats that they’ve neglected to provide a convenient way to give them money for actual games. It’s frustrating as someone who enjoys playing games, but apparently more infuriating for those who depend on selling them for a living.

All downloadable games have been relegated to murky corner of the Marketplace behind an obscure “Game Type” tile depicting a girl in a hoodie hopping in the air. That same girl stars in Mommy’s Best Games’ latest game, which is one part side-scrolling shmup, one part parody of the new dashboard, and five parts bonkers. The game was created in just a few days in reaction to the new dashboard, and while it’s impressive that the developer was able to rush it to the Marketplace in such a short timeframe, the truncated development schedule shows. Neither the cynical parody elements, nor the gameplay of the shooter buried beneath the fake dash feel complete enough on their own to warrant adoring praise, but combined they create an unique package that is worth experiencing.

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I, Zombie Video Review: Undead Gear

Posted on by Daniel Campbell in XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

With hundreds of indie games trying to make a quick buck by including zombies, how can a cute little game like I, Zombie stand out against the crowd? Does it prove itself to be worth the $1 price tag or does it deserve to be filed away with the rest of the blatant zombie cash-ins? Find out with our video review of I, Zombie. Happy watching! I, Zombie was provided for review by Awesome Games Studio. It is available for $80 MS points ($1) on the Xbox Marketplace.