XBLIG Review: Sol Survivor

•November 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

Every year Microsoft hosts the dream build play competition which showcases the best and brightest developers and games using the xna platform.  One of the finalists this year was the excellent Sol Survivor from Cadenza. The game is a hybrid of RTS and tower defence, where spawning enemies (creeps) follow preset paths trying to destroy your bases.  You set up towers of many different varieties depending on the commander you use, but this isn’t the only method of defence, you also have offensive weapons that you can use in real time like artillery strikes, laser beams etc.

The games single player campaign follows a fairly stand progression of increasing difficult missions whereby you gradually unlock more and more upgrades, towers and abilities, but it is in multiplayer that the game really shines. The game features both cooperative and competitive modes for between 2 and 8 players. The co-op mode is fairly self explanatory, but in the competitive mode you control both the placement of your towers but also the flow of creeps on your opponent’s side of the map. This leads to an interesting mechanic where you have to balance the construction and creep flow as they both come from the same resource bank.

I cannot heap enough praise on this game, the visuals are stunning and it’s so feature complete that at a glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a full xbla game. This raises the bar for XBLIG and needs to be supported if we want to see more efforts of this calibre on the service, go and download it now!  The game may feel steep compared to other XBLIG at 800 points, but its definately worth every penny.

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XBLIG Session 2: Sol Survivor (Sunday 1st November 2009)

•October 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sol Survivor Screen

This Sunday will see our second ‘XBLIG Session’, when the XBLIG community gets to together to play games together with the developers.   The game that will be playing this time is the stunning Tower Defence game ‘Sol Survivor’, Dream Build Play ’09 runner up.

You can grab game off the LIVE marketplace right now for 800 points, which would usually be a bit steep for XBLIG but this game is in a different league of quality and is more comparable to an XBLA.

Grab the game and meet us all online this Sunday.

This week Cydereal, TheColdEquation and Y2k4Crisis from Cadenza Games (the developers), will be joining us along with the regulars:

RR Oddbob from XnPlay
MarkMD76 from XBLIG.co.uk
Jigsaw HC from XBLA Ratings
duckols from Gay Gamer
Chunkbutter from Small Cave Games
Dhalamar from Wasted Seconds
Exaltedlegions from Exl Studios
AllApologies17 from Indie Game Blog
XboxHornet from XboxHornet

and myself rusted3572

We look forward to see you online and helping to support independent developers!

XBLIG Review: Very Hungry Pumpkin

•October 26, 2009 • 1 Comment

HungryPumpkin

Do you have children that you need to keep entertained this October 31st?  Then ‘Very Hungry Pumpkin’ may just be the game for you.  You don’t?  Then you might want to look elsewhere for entertainment…

The games premise is very simple; you play as a/the Hungry Pumpkin on a mission to eat as many sweets as possible before they are snapped up by the mindless trick or treaters that mercilessly patrol the streets.  Personally if I were a trick or treater, even if the evening had turned up a meagre candy harvest I would like to think I wouldn’t resort to eating off the floor and would instead let any animated pumpkin go about his business. Continue reading ‘XBLIG Review: Very Hungry Pumpkin’

XBLIG Session starring Little Racers tonight! 8:30 GMT (Monday 26th October 2009)

•October 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Littles Racers - Screenshot

Tonight marks the start of the XBLIG sessions, a collaboration between numerous sites and blogs that cover Xbox Live Indie Games whereby we’ll all go online to play with each other and the community in order to shine the spot light on the best and brightest of the Indie Game marketplace.

Tonights game is the fantastic ‘Little Racers’ (download), the top down 2d racer that is very reminisent of the NES classic Super Off Road, a personal favourite of mine. So download the game and check it out with us tonight, and look out for the following people:

WaaghMan and Soy1Bonus from Milkstone Studios (Developers)
RR Oddbob from XnPlay
MarkMD76 from XBLIG.co.uk
Jigsaw HC from XBLA Ratings
duckols from Gay Gamer
Chunkbutter from Small Cave Games
Dhalamar from Wasted Seconds
Exaltedlegions from Exl Studios
AllApologies17 from Indie Game Blog
XboxHornet from XboxHornet

and myself rusted3572

Hope to see you online tonight!

XBLIG Review: Gum Drop Celestial Frontier

•October 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Gumdrop

Gum Drop Celestial Frontier is an original take on the twin stick shooter formula, where instead of having projectile weapons that you fire with your second analogue stick you control the rotation of a mass attached to your space ship.  You hold down the triggers to start rotating the object to get it up to speed and then use it to smash enemies who are trying to attack the mother ship.  Every level follows the same format of having you defend your base-ship from a finite number of enemies, with only the number of enemies and the number of objects available to swing increasing.

Whilst it’s nice to see someone thinking a bit outside of the box for a compelling game mechanic, I am not too convinced by the wrecking ball mechanism.  There is a very random feeling to the combat, which left me with no idea what was actually going on in the hectic action and a feeling that I was only progressing due to random luck factor.

I came away from the game not too impressed overall, I can see that there is a good idea/mechanic there but I am not sure that it’s the best possible execution of that idea.  This is just my personal opinion, but I am sure there is enough there to keep others entertained and at only 80 points ($1) the game is worth checking out, if only for 5-10 mins.

The developers next release looks promising (Link), it’s great to see fresh new ideas on the service instead of the same old retro rehashes and massage simulators.  Keep it up!

XBLIG Review: Krisotron

•October 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Krisotron

Krisotron is a new addition to the Indie Game market place which very closely resembles the arcade classic Robotron: 2084 and features twin stick shooter controls that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played Geometry Wars or any of the myriad of twin stick shooters available on LIVE.

In the game you play as “Krisotron” on his mission/quest to rescue a princess from an evil scientist, this is cookie cutter game story by this point, but the story isn’t really important and doesn’t play a big part except to give the levels some minor exposition at the start of each chapter.

The game is made up for 4 chapters, each containing 5 levels, equalling 20 levels overall across which you’ll fight a variety of enemies (including robots, spiders, skeletons etc).

The gameplay visual look nice with an almost 8-bit quality, creating a nice retro look to compliment the gameplay.

Overall I had an enjoyable afternoon with the game, it won’t keep you entertained of any great length of time but its fun in short bursts.  It’s going to have a hard time standing out on the service as it doesn’t really offer anything new or innovative, but at a 5th the price of the XBLA version of Robotron its definitely worth a purchase if retro shooters are your cup of tea.

Announcement: Restarting The blog!

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

reboot

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen!  I am here to announce my glorious return to the world of amateur video game blogging.  Whilst In the 3-4 months that I have been gone I am sure that I will have lost any frequent readers that I may have had, therefore making this post of no significance to anyone else but be, I thought I would declare my intentions.

Whilst I will still be covering video games I will not have the same sort of output as previous.  I will no longer be rehashing news stories from other sites, instead I will be producing more reviews of IPhone, XBLA, XBLIG and retail console/pc games along with some editorial/comment pieces in order to give the blog a bit of identity, and hopefully make it stand out.

I hope you enjoy reading in the future, and to any devs out there that wish to have your games review on this site just let me know and provide me with codes where available.