2010 has seen its fair share of trials and tribulations for the burgeoning Xbox Live Indie scene, but it's been an incredible year nonetheless. Rather than just a pointless little diversion, Xbox Live Indie Games have demonstrated their worth as a genuine unique selling point for the Xbox 360 with a constant stream of fantastic quality titles at bargain basement prices. Quite frankly, they're a reason to buy a 360 in the first place!
So, for your delectation, here are the ten best Xbox Live Indie Games of 2010. Click the banners to try out the trial versions- and hopefully spend a few points! Each and every game on this list is worthy of your time, money and respect.
Playing Juggle is like discovering a lost arcade machine. Denki have spared no expense at making it an authentic retro experience, playing much like a fast-paced hybrid of pong and breakout. It's immediately accessible and exceptionally good fun to play... and as an added bonus, the developers are willing to donate the entire cost of the game to charity if you ask them to. A class act and a classy game to kick off the list!
B.U.T.T.O.N. defies description...and belief. It's one of the best party games ever made, challenging players to engage in hilarious physical activities and brutally unfair tactics in order to dominate their opponents. It's ridiculous, raucous and completely breaks the fourth wall at every opportunity. You won't have played anything like this. Ever.
Breath of Death VII is a traditional 8-bit RPG that pays a witty and hilarious homage to the original NES final fantasy games. Taking on the role of an undead superhero, you’ll quest, level up and dungeon crawl through hours of enjoyable dungeons that both mocks and emulates the classic RPGs of yore. The recently-released Cthulhu Saves The World is arguably a better game, but for setting the trend and laying the groundwork, Breath of Death VII deserves its place on the list.Click here to discover the best Indie Games of 2010!
Steam Heroes is one of the best games on the Xbox Live Indie service. In fact, it's the rival of any number of XBLA titles. This painstakingly-animated masterpiece handily topped our last Xbox Live Indie Game of the Week roundup with its frantic and unique take on classic 'match 3' gameplay. Outstanding HD artwork, great voice acting and serious value for money makes this a truly unmissable package. Oh, and the world always needs more Steampunk.
Despite the fact that the latest Xbox 360 dashboard debacle has severely hurt their sales, the kind folks over at Projector Games were kind enough to furnish me with two promotional codes so two lucky readers can experience Steam Heroes for free!
Want to win a code? Here's the plan. Just drop me a line in the comments and tell everyone why you deserve it! As usual, any evidence that you've played the demo or are excited about Steam Heroes will put you into the lead- so do your homework! The two winners will be chosen at my discretion, or randomly if it's too close to call.
Microsoft has royally screwed the pooch this week by burying the entire Indie Games channel in yet another dashboard menu, classifying it as a specialist shop rather than a game marketplace. This means that you'll have to do a little more work to find them- but here are our three picks of the week for your convienience. Remember that the entire Indie library is still easily available right here in your browser!
Since the dawn of our medium, gamers have loved matching 3. Call it OCD, but we all find it deeply satisfying to group gems, skulls, bombs, balls and pretty much everything into nice neat lines of three or more. Many Indie titles have attempted to follow in the footsteps of Bejeweled, Puzzle Bobble and Puzzle Quest by offering the same kind of primal compulsion... and very rarely, one manages to equal and even completely surpass its predecessors. Enter Steam Heroes.
Steam Heroes is much more than a simple pastiche of PopCap's original masterpiece, though at first glance everything seems to be intact. Using the familiar Bejeweled mechanics, you'll swap the position of coloured steam capsules, bombs and items to fill up power gauges. Rather than the traditional slow-paced consecutive turns, however, your party of steampunk adventurers engage in simultaneous and constant combat with the enemy; with each colour of steam representing a different character and combat characteristic. For example, red steam allows your shieldbearing robot to absorb more damage over time, and blue steam increases the damage yield of your offensive fighter. Keeping the gauges constantly topped off requires frantic and frequent matches that will tax even the most experienced puzzle veteran. Don't get me wrong, though, as you'll soon discover a deceptively deep layer of strategy that stops the experience becoming repetitive.
Click here to continue this week's Indie Odyssey!