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Xbox Live Indie Games You NEED to Buy.

 The Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace is like the wild west of the Xbox Live service. I know a lot of people who are so intimidated by the sheer massive amount of games in the channel that they straight-out refuse to even explore it for the gems that lie amongst the colossusal amounts of garbage. I, on the other hand, relish the challenging of shifting through the crap, looking for the best games that the channel has to offer. I'm starting to write reviews of Xbox Live Indie Games, but I know a lot people don’t have the time to read every review of mine, where they’d prefer to have a list that tells them what's good and what isn't. Therefore, I'm starting this list of Xbox Live Indie Games You NEED to Buy. It's designed to help people figure out what games to check out.

Now, I'm not saying "GO BUY ALL OF THESE NOW". This is merely a list to point people in the right direction of quality games that they should at least demo if they're at all interested. You may also want to YouTube some gameplay of these games, as I'm a pretty mediocre writer and thus don't usually correctly describe things properly enough for people.

Take note, this list will be updated when I play a new XBLIG so keep your eyes peeled for new games on this list! Also, I don't get to play every single Xbox Live Indie Game ever, so please recommend me some Xbox Live Indie Games so I can try them out. The more help the better, in my opinion!

If you have any questions, please ask.

List items

  • Price - 80 MSP ($1 USD): Dark is easily one of the best Xbox Live Indie Games on the service currently, if not the best. Before Limbo came and did its thing, Dark was doing some cool atmospheric physics-based platforming itself. Fantastic lighting effects, intelligently designed levels, and a creepy strange world to explore is just a couple of things that stood out to me when playing this game. While it's pretty short, it's only a dollar! And it's well worth your hard-earned dollar, let me tell you.

  • Price - 80 MSP ($1 USD): Xbox Live Indie Game developer radiangames is easily the most consistently great developer in the XBLIG service, and its well worth following their work. But to me, Inferno is easily radiangames best game to date. Inferno combines some of the best dual-joystick shooter systems (rivaling that of the Geometry Wars series) with a strategic level-up system, a helpful item store, fantastic level design, and some minor Castlevania-esque hidden areas to find. radiangames has always been fantastic in creating great arcade experiences, but Inferno contains more substance than their other games and it benefits from this immensely.

  • Price - 80 MSP ($1 USD): JoyJoy is radiangames first Xbox Live Indie Game, and while it lacks some of the interesting gameplay design features that their later titles contained, it's nethertheless a heck of a lot of fun. JoyJoy shares a lot with other dual-joystick shooters (like Geometry Wars), but JoyJoy contains a certain spark of desperation and intensity that most dual-joystick shooters lack. The enemies are no pushovers, and you'll die many times as you make it up the waves of foes. But once you finish the game you get a sense of accomplishment that you'll find in few Xbox Live Indie Games. Bursting with replayability, JoyJoy is for sure a must buy.

  • Price - 80 MSP ($1 USD): Nostalgia and homage are both incredibly over-used words in the video game industry today with most games trying to play on gamers fond memories of the past (e.g. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1) or trying to invoke the feeling of past games, almost to the point of creepiness (like Bioshock being a "spiritual successor" to System Shock 2). Some games that choose to become reflections of the past set themselves up as a parody, making fun of game-design choices and the fan-base of said games. Parodies, in general, often don't work well as video games (like the Matt Hazard series, for example). Breath of Death VII: The Beginning is easily the best video game parody to date, and also the best RPG on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace.

    The gameplay follows closely to the design formula that was established by games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior/Quest (turn-based combat, random encounters, hub-world, etc). While the gameplay is tight and extremely enjoyable, the humor and soul of this game is what matters the most. For classic-RPG fans that are in on the joke, you'll be rolling on the floor in fits of laughter the entire time as joke-after-joke rolls in.

    But while Breath of Death VII: The Beginning makes fun of its ancestors, you can see the amount of love and passion the developers, Zeboyd Games, have for the genre, which tells you that they didn't just make this game to make fun of the genre, they honestly respect it. This is what separates Breath of Death VII: The Beginning from other parodies and homages; it knows when to poke fun, and it respects its roots at the same time.

  • Price - 80 MSP ($1 USD): I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES!!!1 is arguably the most influential Xbox Live Indie Game to date. Its cheap price point, amazing sense of humor, arcade-esque inspirations, and strong sense of self are still lessons XBLIG developers are learning today. And it still stands as one of the best dual-joystick shooters on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel, period. The titular theme song of the game is easily the most memorable aspect of the game, and is funny every time you play the game. It's easily one of the best self-referential songs ever (after Portal, and before 'Splosion Man). This alone is why you should buy the game, but it also still serves as a history lesson for players who are interested in the timeline of the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace.

  • Price - 80 MSP ($1 USD): Platformance: Castle Pain is a bitch, straight up. Platformance: Castle Pain follows in the wake of masochist games like Demon's Souls and Super Meat Boy that hurt you deep down so good. As the title says, Platformance: Castle Pain is all about the platforming. And the pain. Platformance only has one level, but it's truly a motherfucker to behold. Terrible traps, evil asshole birds, and lethal sea life are all your sworn enemies whom will stop at nothing to prevent your quest of rescuing the princess. Death isn't a big thing in Platformance, as the numerous checkpoints will instantly respawn your brave little duder-in-shining-armor over-and-over again. The real threat is the giant ghost that follows you across the level which, while it moves super slowly, if touched will insta-kill your character. The time pressure may not work for some, but it adds an incredible amount of tension for you to get past the lethal puzzles as quickly as possible with as few mistakes as possible. The game also stands out for its beautiful pixel art, and cute sound effects which gives the game a charm that's hard to resist. Platformance: Castle Pain is the best challenging platformer on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace, and you really should buy it for that reason if you're into that kind of game.