By Skald 10 Comments
Well, after getting a full retail game's price worth of Microsoft points, I decided to hit the Marketplace. It seems everything I want is already purchased. Interesting. Rather than waste my time picking through the rubbish, I scrolled around a bit. I must admit, the Marketplace is arranged in a relatively useless way, so its hard to stumble upon something unless its new in the last two weeks. After a Playstation download meltdown, I was sure I could find something on Xbox to download, but nothing jumped out at me until the browser stopped on Indie games. I am going to say this right now, if you've seen the quicklook for Xbox Live Indie games, you have a relatively good idea of what these are. Most of them are miserable games that are made redundant by the superior quality of the regular arcade games, but some of these games are diamonds in the rough. Downloading a couple trials for top-rated games, including Ska Studios Zombie-game-thing, nothing really grabbed me until I played a simple little game boy-esque sidescroller. This game is called Arkedo Series 03 - PIXEL!, and I assure you, the gameplay is far better than it's name. The Studio who made this game, Arkedo, has actually made two published DS games, and consists of about four people.
Anyway, the game is a platformer. You play through about eight or so levels in classic Mario fashion. Most enemies die if you jump on their heads. Some enemies have headgear and are harder to destroy, and some enemies can fly. Some tiles or sprites can be examined with the magnifying glass tool. This usually opens up a minigame where you have to guide the cursor to a certain point in a maze of walls. After that, you may need to input a code, mash buttons or input a button combo. The game has some interesting puzzles, the likes of which you might have expected from Kojima or Wario. The fourth wall occasionally takes a beating.
The real draw, at least, for me, were the graphics. The game is NOT some kind of high poly-count monster in a million-eighty-P. Quite the opposite, in fact. The game has a charming Game boy look and feel. Like Gravity Crash, the game looks like an old game re-envisioned. The game has a couple shades of dark blue, grey, and white, as well as transparency. Pixels have a glow to them, giving it a slick '00s feel to this retro-styled game.
The game is only three dollars-ish and comes with a free trial. That's a good deal, in my opinion. What do you think?
And speaking of good deals, I got Torchlight for five bucks on Steam!