It wasn't the best week for Xbox Live indie games but there were still a few gems among the bunch. Pirate sailing game Brethren of the Coast and timely sports game Curling 2010 are reviewed this week, along with an indie attempt at a JRPG and an asteroid capturing space shooter. Just be careful when searching through the indie game section of the Xbox marketplace. A game was released with cover art very closely resembling the beautiful Japanese ICO cover, but is in fact a terrible game. I guess you can't always judge a book, or a game, by its cover.
And with that brief word of warning out of the way, let's get right to the reviews, shall we. Check out reviews and the week's updated games after the break.
Curling 2010 - 240 MS points. Good old curling. My favorite Olympic sport. Glorified shuffleboard on ice you say? Well, maybe, but it still makes for a fun videogame. Push stones down the ice, control their spin, and use brooms (though disappointingly without sweeping animations) to get your stone closer to the goal than your opponent. The controls work quite well, and the physics are spot on for the sliding stones. Whether you actually enjoy curling, or if you only enjoy it ironically, Curling 2010 gets a gold medal among Xbox indie games.
Star Cross - 240 MS points. Bringing a Japanese style RPG to the Xbox indie games is an ambitious task. And in terms of gameplay mechanics, Star Cross successfully mimics classics like the Phantasy Star series. The story is, let's say, less than gripping, and it is often very difficult to figure out where to go thanks to an awkward camera angle and general lack of direction. Star Cross is at least worth a look at the trial version, but will likely only motivate a purchase from die hard devotees of old school RPGs.
Asteroid Capture - 80 MS points. Asteroid Capture is a game about, you guessed it, capturing asteroids. Using a tractor beam in the back of your ship, you try and pull asteroids to your goal. The larger the asteroid the more points you get for it, but you also then need to deal with the unruly momentum physics of pulling a large object in space. This game uses the Asteroids control scheme (hold a button for moving forward then pressing right or left to turn) which I have always hated, but that control scheme must have some fans because it keeps popping up in games. If you can get past the controls, or even actually enjoy them, then Asteroid Capture could be a lot of fun.
Classic Solitaire - 80 MS points.
As Easy As 123 Blackjack - 240 MS points.
Avatar Boogie - 80 MS points.
Anger Management - 80 MS points.
ヤルハラのおもち (Omoti) - 80 MS points.
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