Freakin’ Indies — 8/6 – 8/12

And the first official Freakin’ Indies in blog-form is go! Bare with me while I work out the kinks and decide on a format, but in the meantime feel free to enjoy coverage of each and every one of this week’s Xbox Live indie game releases. Enjoy the mini-pseudo-reviews? Agree with me? Disagree with me? Hate my guts for saying your game isn’t awesome? Then by all means let me know what you think. That comment box is down there for one reason and one reason only: discourse.

No Luca No

- 80 points — Silver Dollar Games –

Silver Dollar Games creates a weird Not-Quite-a-Game game. Again. Pushing a cat away from a bowl of cereal may not make for much entertainment (despite the silliness factor), but I have to give them credit. They most certainly aren’t afraid to try new things.

Repixland

- 80 points — FlanGames -

I’m kind of getting sick of Match-3 games, but my own growing distaste for the genre aside Repixland is a pretty solid game. The trick is to match three images so that they “clear” over a blue tile and turn it gold. It can be tougher than it sounds.

Goals

- 80 points — The Game Creators -

I don’t give a crap about soccer, but if I did I think I would probably love Goals. The controls are simple: just run, pass, switch players and tackle, but they work quite well. It’s such a simple little top-down game of arcade football (European football, duh), but even I found myself having a good time with it.

Zombies ruined my day

- 80 points — mancebo -

Zombies ruined my day is a wave defense game featuring zombies. Which is awesome because I haven’t already played something like a million of these in the past two years. Even so, it’s fun, well made, cute, cartoony and constantly adds new elements like barriers and explosives. It’s quite a lot of fun.

Oxadania: An E-book

- 80 points — JB Marius-Sheridan -

Oh my god why does this exists? Who thought the idea of reading e-books on a TV screen was a good one? How the hell do I even use this damn thing? Why am I moving badly Photoshopped images of houseplants around? It’s pointless, ugly, confusing and the interface makes little to no sense.

Crazy Balloon Lite

- 80 points — Backroom Software -

Ehhh… I’ve never been in love with the whole “don’t touch the sides” style game, and Crazy Balloon Lite doesn’t change that. It’s alright for what it is, I suppose. Although having the balloon pop when the weight that’s tied to is hits a spike seems… silly.

WispLisp Array of List

- 80 points — DK Alpla -

This game is Deathsmiles. With fewer angels/witches and less eye-popping graphics. In a way that’s a good thing. I do like how success is tied to a timer and not an actual life bar, and how getting hit takes time away rather than resulting in an instant Game Over, but it’s still a little too familiar for my taste. . Love the title, though.

Robot Platformer

- 80 points — cored.dk -

Argh, so much potential. Robot Platformer looks pretty good, all things considered, and I like the idea of the level dimming all the way down to silhouettes if the robot takes too much damage, but the mechanics need a lot more work. The controls are too sluggish, I can only shoot horizontally and the damn ‘bot takes soooooo freaking long to draw the slingshot it’s faster to just jump on enemies half the time.

Cycloid

- 80 points — Blitz1UP -

I seriously dig the idea of playing Arkanoid in a ring. I like the visual style. I’m not a fan of the complete and total lack of any form of audio (save a few crowd heckles if the ball goes out of bounds). And I think the analog sensitivity is a tad too high.

Moon Cheese

- 80 points — Whampashimash -

I don’t think Xbox Live is the best venue for Moon Cheese. Maybe something more like iOS. I really like this odd little retro-arcade-themed bouncing goblin whatever this is, though. It’s oddly addicting and I love the look and sound of it. I’m just not entirely convinced this is the right market for it.

Parrot Paradise: Lorikeets

- 80 points — Shaun Quaintance -

Ugh. I wish people would stop wasting time making and releasing stuff like this. It’s not even a game, just a collection of parakeet info. Why would anyone want this? Seriously, I’m asking why anyone would actually decide something like this is worth their time and money.

Avatar Farm!

- 240 points — Milkstone Studios SL -

Farmville with Avatars sounds like a lame idea, and it kind of is, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stop playing Avatar Farm!. Lots to plant and unlock, changing seasons, things keep growing even when the game is turned off, etc… It’s absolutely worth a look.

Beware of the Penguins

- 80 points — PC Super Hero -

I feel like someone likes that one episode of Futurama a little too much and decided to make a game out of it. Beware of the Penguins is a wave survival FPS wherein wave after wave of psychotic (and aquatic, see what I did there?) birds chase you down. The experience is lacking three things: upgrades that I imagined were required by some sort of law by now, cross-hairs (I know, right??) and proper feedback for when you’re getting mauled by penguins.

Virtual Money Plant

- 80 points — Silver Dollar Games -

I’m all for creativity and trying every new thing we can think of, but this trial sucks. It sucks hard. Nothing actually happens. You just sit there staring at a pot and push X to water your “plant” every now and then. I imagine the full version might be at least a little more worthwhile because the thing will actually grow, but in the trial it’s just a big pile of nothing.

Andromium

- 80 points — MikeVentron -

Andromium is an incredibly odd little game of galactic hot-potato. Players have to dodge all manner of space-debris while keeping an eye on a piece of the titular mineral. If they keep it for too long, they blow up. Conversely, tossing it and not catching it is bad, too. It’s actually pretty fun and I can only imagine how utterly insane the mode that lets one player control both ships is.

Blow Me Up

- 80 points — Stegersaurus Games 2 -

I wasn’t expecting to find a game about reclaiming lost “traveling companions,” comprised of a pig and a blow-up doll, so damn entertaining. But it is. So help me, it really is. The little character doesn’t actually move, so players have to guide him around a level by blowing him up repeatedly. Use too much fuel and he’s stuck. It’s a relatively simple idea, but it’s quite a bit of fun.

Kick’n It

- 240 points — K-dog -

I was wondering when someone would get around to making a video game version of hacky sack. Oh wait, no I wasn’t. Irregardless, a video game rendition has been made and it’s called Kick’n It. *sigh* It works relatively well, although I think the controls could use a little work. Making outside kicks are rather tough (and usually result in inside kicks instead), and movement is kind of jerky. Still, it’s not a bad effort and there are supposedly lots of alternative modes in the full version.

SWASHBUCKEL UR SEATBELTS

- 80 points — GHXYK2 -

I can’t say I’m all that surprised with SWASHBUCKEL UR SEATBELTS, given GHXYK2′s last release. Even so, it’s the kind of game that’s bad for the sake of being bad, but not in a funny or satirical way. Just in a bad way. I’m sure the borderline insanity will appeal to some, but it’s just too pointlessly grating for my taste. And the audio. My god, the audio! Make sure the TV is turned down (or muted) if you absolutely have to try this. You’ve been warned.

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