It’s been a great week for both XBLIG and a number of its alumni.
Escape Goat, the well received puzzle / platformer and one of our favorite XBLIGs of 2011, is part of the June Bug Bundle from Indie Royale. Also included are PixelJunk Eden, Noitu Love 2: Devolution, and Auditorium. Earlier in the day Escape Goat was even trending on Twitter.
Escape Goat isn’t the only game making a jump from XBLIG, though. The brothers Doucette of Xona Games have released bullet hell on Google’s Chrome store with their 2010 shmup Score Rush. Installation takes one click within your browser and transfers you to the Turbulenz service, where you can share and compare scores with friends.
Now you can rush scores in your browser!
Of course, there’s good stuff happening on Microsoft’s indie service as well. Apple Jack 2, the sequel to 2010’s hit platformer Apple Jack was released on XBLIG yesterday. We were quite fond of the original. You may want to glance at our review in order to get an idea of what you’ll find in the sequel.
Finally, the much anticipated Penny Arcade: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 is coming out soon than expected – June 25 (that’s less than two weeks from now!) instead of the originally planned date of July 10. While we had a chance to try the game out at PAX East 2012, XBLIG developers can playtest it today. The iOS version has been submitted to Apple for official approval, but developer Zeboyd Games hasn’t heard anything back yet. Ports to Android and Mac are planned for release shortly after.
Two thousand and eleven was a bittersweet year for Xbox Live Indie Games in many ways, featuring a ratings scandal that divided the community and several prominent developers leaving the platform for greener pastures and an ambition to actually make money for their hard work. Their successes are a validation of the innovative ideas that the community fosters and a testament to the potential that lies within the platform, even if it winds up as a breeding ground for talent. There were 728 Xbox Live Indie Games released this year. That’s a hell of a lot of games to sift through to find that talent, but once in a while you come across something that is not quite like anything else out there. Those unique games are what this list is about. You won’t find any spurious Minecraft rip-offs or something that is impressive merely because it’s like some other game, only not nearly as cool. This list represents everything that is distinctive about Xbox Live Indie games.
I’ll be the first to confess that puzzle games are not my forte. I didn’t enjoy the wildly heralded Portal and only spent a brief period of time with its successor. So naturally when I picked upEscape Goat for review, I was initially a bit hesitant. Would this game really offer me something I would enjoy? After playing through Magical Time Bean’s latest title, I can graciously say yes.
Players begin with 10 pre-determined levels that provide a brief tutorial along the way before entering the main chamber. From there, gamers can selection 1 of 8 dungeons to enter to continue their journey, for a total of 64 stages. The goal of each stage is straightforward – reach the door at the other side of the map. This is done in a variety of ways, such as pressing switches, ramming and stacking blocks, or maneuvering them to allow for enemies to continue along their set paths and move out of your way (or into an awaiting buzz saw).
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! The seemingly impossible has become a reality: we are actually recommending a Silver Dollar Games title. In all fairness, it’s still not very good, and it’s certainly not close to the best title of the week (which came down to a heated battle between DLC Quest and Escape Goat). But the fact that it’s actually a game with an objective beyond pushing buttons to get still images of girls to flirt with you or swatting a cat’s paw away from a bowl of milk is a good sign. Perhaps things are a changin’ for those Silver Dollar folks?
With a great retro presentation and well-crafted puzzle design, this game is a MUST try for all Xbox Live Indie Game enthusiasts. Escape Goat features classic 16-bit visuals, a great chiptune soundtrack and a more than adequate amount charm, so what’s not to love for the paltry sum of $3?
If you want to know why Ian Stocker hasn’t started work on Soulcaster III yet, he has a scape goat for that—an Escape Goat, to be precise.
The game is Stocker’s third project under the MagicalTimeBean imprint, and it features a 2D Metroidvania style where you play as — you guessed it — a goat. While it’s still in the prototype phase, Stocker has revealed some additional details about the Xbox Live Indie Game, including prototype videos and screenshots.
As a goat, the player must navigate a maze of single-screen rooms and complete physics and platform-based puzzles that can be solved in different orders.
As of the second prototype, the goat’s method of vanquishing enemies is primarily defensive. The goat can activate various switches or send out little mice to entice enemies to attack structures that often cause them to die in various ways. The goat can also send out mice and teleport to any point they reach. Stocker said it’s still to be determined what other attacks and maneuvers the goat might have.
Stocker plans to have a playable beta by the end of the month and said the final game will include an easy-to-use level editor.
Continue below if you want to see some screens of the still-in-development indie.