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Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Cthulhu, Karts & A Giant Sticky Tongue!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Avatar Karting, Cthulhu Saves The World, GrappleBoy, Rendercode Games, Xbox Live Indie Game of the Week, Xbox Live Indie Games, Zeboyd

Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Cthulhu, Karts & A Giant Sticky Tongue!

Cthulhu Saves The World

Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Cthulhu, Karts & A Giant Sticky Tongue!

Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Cthulhu, Karts & A Giant Sticky Tongue!Zeboyd are the masters of putting a new spin on classic 8-bit RPGS. Breath of Death VII provided a lengthy, hilarious and reverential take on the likes of Final Fantasy by casting players as an evil undead protagonist... and the latest offering takes this beguiling idea to its logical conclusion. After a mysterious stranger strips the legendary Cthulhu of his powers, you'll need to step into his blubbery tentacled hide to wreak vengeance and save the world!

As you'd expect, you'll need to rustle up a party to explore the world and throw down on plenty of critters, and invested players will be delighted to discover some of the wittiest writing I've ever seen in a game (full retail release or no). Narration, character backstories and even the tutorial are likely to make you burst out laughing... but the game itself is all business. Despite ostensibly being a parody game, everything is... flawless.

The battle system is streamlined, easy to learn but subtly difficult to master- especially since you'll need to keep ahead of the curve in order to avoid a number of seriously powerful bosses. Unlike countless older 8-bit RPGs, however, the frustration: reward ratio is perfect- including overworld exploration that's neither too short or uncomfortably longwinded. The presentation toes the line between attractive and full retro homage, with detailed sprites and a catchy soundtrack that's exciting without being out of character.

Cthulhu Saves The World is immense. Just being able to play as Lovecraft's legendary demon-priest is worth the price of admission by itself, but it's a deep and worthwhile title in its own right that's arguably more fun and engaging than the original source material. Absolutely incredible- and if you haven't already got the message, you should be downloading this right NOW.

Avatar Karting

Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Cthulhu, Karts & A Giant Sticky Tongue!

There's nothing wrong with sticking to what you know- and Rendercode Games have been going from strength to strength. Avatar Racedrome pioneered the idea that XBLI would be a perfect platform for a cheap and cheerful arcade racer, and Avatar Karting refines this concept into a great little game. It's got every feature you'd expect from a retail release including online multiplayer, tricksy AI and functional visuals. Besides some odd collision detection, I really don't have a bad thing to say about it!

Avatar Karting is a solid arcade racer with all the mod cons. Avatar support, online multiplayer, splitscreen and sixteen tracks provide exceptional and wholly unexpected value. A standout little bargain at 80 points!

GrappleBoy

Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Cthulhu, Karts & A Giant Sticky Tongue!

Having a silver tongue can be a gift from God... but even Bionic Commando would kill for a lick like this. GrappleBoy can use his immense tongue like Worms can use a ninja rope; careening around tricky and dangerous maps with balletic precision. This adorable Indie gem takes the best parts of classic platformers like Bionic Commando and Globdule to create a very special experience indeed. It's a little rough around the edges, but the gameplay is absolutely spot on. Don't let its looks fool you though, because it's more than happy to punish foolish mistakes with humiliating death.

GrappleBoy rewards players with varied challenges and great grappling mechanics. It's good, clean, honest fun- and the equal of any number of XBLA titles. Well worth a punt at four times the price!

Add a comment 1 comment
Ken  Jan. 6, 2011 at 14:03

Good reviews -- though I would call BoDVII more irreverent than reverential. :-)

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