Care in the Community: Week 4

Greetings and welcome to another instalment of Care in the Community, my (supposedly) weekly look at a selection of Xbox Live Community Games that I have been playing. Regular readers of this section might notice that it has been 3-4 weeks since the last instalment, this was due to RROD and not laziness on my part. I still haven’t got the thing fixed but I got it going this evening using some towels and blankets in order to get some decent gaming done for the evening.
Right, enough about the mundane ness of my life, the games that I will be looking at this week are: ‘A Fading Melody’, Trino, Puzzwords, Ring of Fire and Revenge of the Evil Aliens.
These posts are always the most popular posts I do, if you have enjoyed it please leave me comment!
Right let’s get going:

A Fading Melody

A Fading Melody is a platformer, with an artistic edge, where you play as a coma patient trying to bring light back to her world whilst finding out how you were put into the coma in the first place.

The game has a very sombre tone and a very interesting art style, not to mention a beautiful soundtrack. The gameplay is very similar to the original Super Mario Bros. game, where you run, jump on platforms and jump on enemies’ heads to kill them. The gameplay works fine, but it just doesn’t sit very well with the tone of the game. The subject matter is presented as quite serious and dark but seeing the silhouette on screen bouncing off the top of monsters breaks the mood ever so slightly.

The game is very entertaining whilst it lasts, and I am sure that people will enjoy it, despite its minor flaws. At 200 points, the game is ideally priced but even if you aren’t interested in buying it please check out the demo.



Trino is a an action game in a similar vein to Geometry Wars, except that you don’t shoot with the second stick, but instead press A to deploy corners of a triangle trap that you use to trap and destroy the enemy. Trapping enemies (Nanites) releases pick-ups that can evolve your character (Trino) to be more powerful and deadly.

The action takes place over 40 levels, and is accompanied by a really great soundtrack (something that thankfully seems to be happening more frequently in CG).

There isn’t much that I can fault the game for, it was very enjoyable and well made, the only negative thing I could say is that the 400 point price tag is a little above what I would pay for a community game, 200 points is definitely the sweet-spot. Apart from that I fully recommend it to anyone, I have seen much worse games on full XBLA release.



Puzzwords is a fun, easy to play puzzle game in a very similar vein to the Mega Drive (Genesis) classic ‘Columns’. Blocks of scrabble-like tiles fall from the top of the level in groups of 3s and it is up to you to shuffle and rotate these groups into place in order to form words at the bottom of screen when they come into contact with the other pieces.

The games concept is very simple, but very engaging, particularly if you have a second person there play 2 players on the same screen. Fear not if you don’t have a friend to play with as the game features Xbox Live multiplayer and online score boards.

The game is great fun, if a bit shallow, but that is more a problem with the genre rather than the game, and at 200 points its a perfect impulse buy, check it out!


Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire is the Community Game version of the popular card-based drinking game that has been played on many a university and college campus. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, each of the different types of card in each suit are given different properties where embarrassing questions must be answered, certain people must drink or everyone must drink etc. The game generally quickly looses all focus and just ends up with everyone getting drunk.

This CG version replaces the actual cards with digital representations, cutting out on the mess and clearing up, but also in the same move, cutting out the fun. All of the fun of the actual game is setting up the circle and getting all of your friends to sit and face each other. I haven’t tried this out in a party situation, but I can’t imagine people being to up for playing this version instead.

At 200 points, the game is cheap enough to check it out for a bit of a laugh, but I don’t see it being used over and over again, you could just go and buy a pack of real cards for the same money and also have the ability to play any number of games.


Revenge of the Evil Aliens

Revenge of the Evil Aliens is a vertically scrolling twin stick shooter, with a retro feel to it, where by you shoot at oncoming alien flying saucers whilst avoiding asteroids and the lake. The game is 4 players which is a very nice feature, but strangely the game is only playable in 4:3 which limits the room available to play on, meaning that if you do have 4 people playing it does get a bit too crowded.

The level of the quality in the game isn’t quite up to the standard of other people’s games on the service. There a few a things that really great, particularly the low quality Microsoft SAM voice work and some very rough looking sprites.

The game is fun whilst it lasts and the multiplayer is very entertaining, but I wouldn’t normally expect to pay 200 points for a game of this low quality.



~ by rusted3572 on June 11, 2009.

5 Responses to “Care in the Community: Week 4”

  1. I think Microsoft Sam is great too!

  2. Wow man! You totally missed the extreme power of Evil Aliens! This game rocks!!!

  3. um, the games are priced at 200, 400 or 800 points. Paying 200 points ( ~$2.50 ) for an XBox game is really cheap unless it’s a fart app. How can you complain that 200 is too expensive for a game if its the cheapest the game can sell for? Some of these games are well worth more than 200 points if you compare them to some of the mainstream crap that comes out for 800 and above!

    • I appriciate that $2.50 is good value, but there are a lot of games that don’t compare to the value you would get from a $0.99 game on the apple app store. I realize it’s not a huge deal, it’s just me being tight with my points, saving them for rock band tracks…….
      Thanks for Reading and commenting!

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