The Indie Games marketplace is the perfect platform for re-imagining classic gaming concepts into cutting edge titles... and this week, three strong contenders are making a play for the trophy. The competition has never been more fierce- so this week, we've actually got TWO joint winners that are equally worthy of your time, money and attention!
Space Police On SuperHighway 9
Haiku Interactive are the proud winners of our very first Xbox Live Indie Game of the Week roundup- and they're back on top once again with their latest title. Space Police takes the familiar top-down racing formula championed by arcade classics such as Road Fighter and adds a deadly new twist. Players are charged with racing their supercharged police cruiser or ridiculously bitching tank down the infinitely-scrolling highway; dodging traffic whilst ramming dangerous criminals off the road.
Tight controls, an innovative chargeable boost and excellent drifting mechanics make ragging through oncoming vehicles both effortless and extremely tense; providing a huge surge of adrenaline every time you pull off an insane driving stunt. Naturally, taking down perps rewards players with money and points for the scoreboard. The principle may be timeless, but it's as addictive as ever.
Space Police On SuperHighway 9 is a prime example of a simple concept, perfectly executed. Haiku have delivered another impressive Indie gem that's fast, furious and shamelessly good fun.
The Deep Cave
As regulars will know, we can't get enough of impeccable retro presentation or fist-poundingly awesome chiptune music... and The Deep Cave serves up an ample portion of each. Packing only a satisfyingly floaty jump, our pixelated hero has to navigate increasingly difficult levels of traps and obstacles in as few deaths as possible. Twisted subterranean monstrosities and wicked spikes provide a serious challenge for even veteran gamers, but a disarmingly friendly vibe underlies the hardcore gameplay. You'll crack a smile more than once, and it's a pleasure to push forward despite frequent humiliating defeats.
The Deep Cave is brought to life with sumptuous graphic design that mixes classic retro pixel art with profoundly disgusting enemies. As mentioned above, the soundtrack is also exceptional. Trust me: fans of the chiptune scene will be driven to paroxysms of rapturous musical ecstasy.
The Deep Cave is a challenging, charming and utterly ruthless platformer that harks back to the hardcore old days. It's rewarding to play and truly delightful to behold- so don't let its stupendous subterranean shenanigans slip under your radar!
Gaming doesn't really get any more basic and primal than Pong. The concept of duelling paddles defending their goal-lines from furious attack has received countless revisions over the years, but BlurBall switches up the formula by adding several new excellent features. Insane geometric arenas, hundreds of different paddles with different stats and the ability to play in any combination of human players and CPU opponents in different positions elevates Blazing Forge's creation well above the competition.
Blurball is an absolute blast that's best enjoyed with friends. An exceptional revision of a eternal classic.