FortressCraft is our Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week. It has to be. You can read our full review of the new big dog on Indie campus, but since we're all about the underdogs here at Dealspwn, it's time to take another look back over the last few months and shine the spotlight on a few games that managed to slip under my radar. I'm only one man, after all.
Rather than focusing on raw excellence, this week I've got a grab bag of the sublime, ridiculous and the sublimely ridiculous. These are all games that I caught my attention but didn't have time to review, have been retrospectively suggested to me or whose developers have been hollering at me to give them some loverage. So be it. Let's do this thing!
That's the noise a laser makes. We all know that. But in this bizarre and anarchic indie game, it's the noise that makes a laser. PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew is a scrolling shooter with attractive wireframe graphics, but in a unique twist, you don't need a controller to play it. Rather, two players will need to use sound effects to navigate and shoot their way through its challenging levels.
One player, the navigator, blows into his or her microphone or headset to gain altitude and can clam up to let the rocketpack-equipped spaceman descend (dodging obstacles and incoming fire in the process). The gunner, however, has to shoot... by saying "pew." Each "pew" is worth a single bullet, meaning that you'll have to say it an awful lot. Hence the name.
Yes, you'll look plenty silly while you're playing. Yes, it's a novel gimmick rather than a true innovation. Yes, your lips will go numb after a few minutes. But there's no denying that PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew provides riotous, hilarious, awesome fun and makes for a massive crowd pleaser at parties. The fact that you'll need two microphones or headsets provides a barrier to entry, but Guitar Heroes will likely have a couple knocking around... and the cooperatively-minded friends to play it with.
PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew is crazy, silly, ludicrous and exceptional. If you've got a couple of mikes and some uninhibited mates, you absolutely must download it.
- Developer: Samothe
- Get Demo/Buy: 80 Microsoft Points
Bounce is a colourful Breakout clone (sort of) made by one of our very own Dealspwn regulars, and actually, it's a lot of fun. You operate a paddle at the bottom of the screen and use it to deflect a ball around an arena containing very, very strange shenanigans. Expect grandmothers, donkeys, flying plum puddings, a laugh-out-loud hilarious theme song and all manner of insane, titillating chicanery.
There's no denying that Bounce is also very, very rough around the edges. The visuals have the unmistakeable whiff of MS Paint about them, and the sound design is similarly basic. But we're strong believers in gameplay over graphics, and the ability to influence the path of the ball with the right thumbstick and addictive curiosity factor make it a worthwhile purchase.
Bounce is a guilty pleasure that you'll likely find yourself dipping into every now and again for the sheer inexplicable hell of it. Which, frankly, is often what I want from my 80 Points. Definitely download the trial and experience it for yourself.
Here we go again, I thought. Another Indie shooter. After spitting on my palms, psyching myself up and getting involved, however, I was delighted to discover that CannonBot Go is actually a deep puzzle game that looks like a slick side-scroller but plays a little bit like Lemmings.
Using an arcade selection of commands, players can set paths for the adorable CannonBot to follow - and work out how best to utilise its devastating selection of weapons and attacks. You can use guns, rockets and a powerful dash to kill your enemies, and solve puzzles with more subtle abilities such as flooding the area with water to raise objects. A strong physics engine and capable graphics make CannonBotGo a seriously impressive proposition, and once you've caught up with the aggravatingly steep learning curve, there's a hefty amount of addictive content to sink your teeth into.
CannonBot Go has also been subsequently slashed down to 80 Microsoft Points, which makes it an absolute steal.
CannonBot Go bucks the trend and provides a refreshingly stiff challenge. It's a true underdog - and one that thoroughly deserves its day in the sun. As well as your 80 Points.
Twin-stick shooters are all the rage on the Xbox Live Indie marketplace, but Monsters Swimming is best described as a "twin-stick tail flailer." You control a small ship armed with a massive barbed tail that can be directed independently using the right thumbstick. Enemies descend upon you in massive numbers, and you'll need to thrash your wickedly-spined appendage to crush their hordes whilst charting a course to safety. Health and score pickups provide some brief respite from the action, and once you've cleared a wave, you'll need to scoff as many carcasses as possible to aim for the top of the scoreboards.
The mechanics are tight and the gameplay is addictive, but the visuals are the first thing you'll notice. Monsters Swimming boasts truly excellent art design that uses basic shapes and white-on-dark motifs to make the action pop out of the screen. It's absolutely beautiful, and whilst the sound effects aren't anything to write home about, I'd argue that Monsters Swimming is one of the most attractive Indie titles I've seen in quite some time.
Monsters Swimming looks the business and delivers a hectic slice of melee mayhem. Shake your tail towards downloading this one.