Fun Infused Games' Kris Steele, the man behind the acclaimed Hypership Out Of Control, has slammed Microsoft's recent Metro dashboard update, criticising the difficulty in even finding the Xbox LIVE Indie Games tab and suggesting that the update is responsible for leading to a perceived stagnancy in XBLIG market growth.Click here to read more...
This last week, I've taken an uncharacteristic break to prepare for E3 and get a cheeky bit of cheap sunshine thanks to a last-minute deal... but enough lame excuses [I thought we fired you? -Ed]. Whilst I've been separated from my console, my Windows 7 mobile has staunchly stayed within easy reach - so it's time to round up some of the best indie games to have supported the fledgling platform!
Well, after a little rant. Before last year's Xbox.com site redesign that included indie games into the browser marketplace, Microsoft rightfully took a lot of flak for failing to give these titles enough exposure. Unfortunately they've failed to learn from their mistakes, meaning that Indie games aren't hosted in the browser marketplace along with their Microsoft-published big brothers.
The upshot is that you'll need Zune (groan) installed to take advantage of the download links... and it took a fair bit of detective work using Bing's (groan harder) visual search to track them down. Prepare for an longer, angrier rant at a later date. I now return you to our feature presentation.
If Hypership Out Of Control looks familiar, it's because Fun Infused Games' breakthrough indie hit is no stranger to our Game Of The Week roundups. In fact, we rated it as one of the best XBLI titles of 2010... and it's now also one of the best games on Windows 7 phones.Click here to continue our mobile indie adventure! >>
It's finally happened. Our previous Indie Game Of The Week demonstrated that big ideas can flourish on Xbox Live... and we now finally have a fully-fledged MMORPG on the service courtesy of Avatar Adventurers Online. The mechanics might be a little rough around the edges, but it's an incredibly well-featured experience that weighs in at a considerably lower price than most DLC microtransactions.
After a brief and comprehensive tutorial, your avatar will be loosed onto several huge overworld maps linked by handy villages. Fans of classic JRPGs will instantly engage with the addictive need to fight monsters, earn experience and deck out your character with increasingly-powerful gear. The fact that your avatar is front and center serves to firmly root you in the action, and a slew of abilities allow you to specialise in any combination of attack, magic and healing.
Read on for more Avatar Adventuring and two other great Indie titles
Tired of mediocrity? Sick of cynical little avatar apps that drag down the public opinion of the Xbox 360's undersung unique selling point? So were a consortium of veteran developers. The Winter Uprising is their way of fighting back the only way they know how: by producing loads of awesome games.
The multi-tiered casual brawler (read: Super Smash Bros) is a genre that frequently makes an appearance on the Xbox Live Indie scene- with mixed success. However, Chu's Dynasty ups the ante by simply being one of the most professional ventures on the entire service, ever. The characters are nuanced and distinct (exhibiting wildly different fighting styles), and the combat provides hidden depths that belie the simplicity of the controls. It occasionally feels a little stolid, but when four players are involved, the sprawling battles are an absolute riot.
In terms of presentation, Chu's Dynasty is flawless. Painstaking watercolour art and haunting Japanese period music delivers a veritable feast for the senses. It's a masterclass in polish and perfection that would be deeply impressive as a full-price release.
Chu's Dynasty is masterful, beautiful and honed to a mirror-shine. The quality of the experience is nothing short of sensational, with production values that doom any number of XBLA titles to shame and humiliation. You'd be mad not to take advantage of this superbly polished masterpiece at a bargain basement price.
Read on for Decimation and Hyperships!