“Slamming down the gas pedal to the floor and smashing into stuff is a favorite pastime for many virtual racing enthusiasts, ourselves included. You don’t have to be a total gearhead to get a few kicks from hopping into anything with a seat, a steering wheel, and a high-powered motor. When it comes to all things racing and motorized, the Xbox Live Indie Games Channel has some horsepower under the hood. Here are some of our favorite picks for racers, both quick and quirky.”
Check out the full feature here at Official Xbox Magazine.
“Twitchy arcade shooters bristling with ridiculous gobs of bullets have been around for a long time; there’s something about the reflex-honing nature of these frenetic games that’s pleasantly primal. When a split-second maneuver is all that stands between you and utter annihilation, things tend to go from zero to “Holy crap, I’m dead” fast.
Bullet-hell addicts don’t have to look far or shell out a lot of green for a quality fix these days, as the genre is well represented on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. Here are some of the more unique and thrilling shooters on tap.”
Check out the full article here at Official Xbox Magazine.
“News flash – being good is dumb. Running around saving captured princess, smiting the forces of darkness, and saving the land from being destroyed? Booorrrriiiinnng. We’ve done that all before a million times over, so why not let us players have the opportunity to cut loose and take a walk on the dark side?
Thankfully, a handful of indie developers exactly feel the same way. If you’re sick and tired of playing as the same old do-gooders day and night, it’s about time you join TEAM EVIL. We’ve rounded up four awesome Xbox Live Indie Games that allow you to kick off your sissy shoes and stomp through the garden of goody-goody lameness.
Whether you’re in the mood to incite a zombie apocalypse, feed babies to your dark lord, burn down the most decadent castle in the realm, or dine on the blood of your mortal enemies, these bite-sized downloadables have you covered.”
Check out the full article here at Official Xbox Magazine.
If you are among the folks that regularly check out my weekly indie freeware gaming column over at IGN, then awesome, you win the prize for being very stylish and sensible. Going forward, my column has been transformed — yes, like Voltron or Optimus Prime — into a slightly different animal (or robot, mineral, etc). Free Bytes will still appear each week over at IGN’s PC gaming page, though it’s now all rolled into one large feature called “Best Free Games” that’s located at the same page. Each new installment will be updated on (most) Thursdays. New picks will be featured on the first page of the article, while previous installments are available on subsequent pages. So in a nutshell: I’m still churning out the same weekly awesome selections of oddball, fun, and quirky free indie-focused game write-ups, only they’re called something different and they’re streamlined to a single location. This has been a test of the emergency column update system. Thank you for your cooperation.
This week’s installment is the crazy-tastic Cactus joint: Hot Throttle. Followed by Megazey and Demons as well as King’s Guard. You can check out all three, and future installments over here at IGN.
“Back when I was a young kid with an overactive imagination, nighttime was the most ominous stretch of the day. When the lights went out, it felt like every creak of the house signaled my impending doom at the hands of some slathering, flesh-eating beast thing waiting for me in the dark – to suck out my guts with a vile proboscis, I would assume. Thankfully, my trusty flashlight was more powerful than a broadsword in its ability to ward off my impending monstrous death with its illuminating beams. Mother Robot takes that idea and runs in a different direction. This crafty little game is about staying alive by keeping the lights on…by using lots of robots and laser umbilical cords.”
Check out my full Mother Robot write-up here at IGN.
Free Bytes: Pipedreamz
“At one point or another, most folks get stuck working a crappy stint in a dead-end job for awhile. During such times, it’s often all-but-expected that you’ll do the best job you can muster while letting your mind wander to enjoy the marvels of mental inner-space to help make the misery pass quicker (unless you’re a jet pilot or a nuclear power plant operator, of course). Pipedreamz is kind of like that but a heck of a lot weirder.”
Check out my full write-up of Pipedreamz here at IGN.
Once I started playing Minecraft I was totally hooked. It’s a very cool concept, and players are really taking the engine and running with it creativity-wise. I recently interviewed Notch and put together a massive feature on the game for GameSpy that you can check out over here. I’d blog about it more, but I spilled my guts on the subject pretty thoroughly in the article. Give it a read! Thanks.
It wasn’t until I played Shoot 1UP last year that Mommy’s Best Games’ work first popped up on my radar. The game’s crazy 1UP mechanic that boosts your squad of fighters instantly is pretty cool, but it’s the ridiculousness in the game’s visual design that really hooked me. At one point you fight a massive uterus-thing. Then there’s the giant MechaLilith with her detachable missile boobs that shoot more missiles out of the nipples. Amazing. I caught up with Nathan Fouts last spring at PAX East to chat about Grapple Buggy, but this week’s Indie Spotlight column delves deeper into the inner workings of Mommy’s Best Games. Enjoy!
Folks who frequent my little cubby hole on the net here know I’m borderline obsessed with the indie gaming scene in all its various shapes and forms. I’m excited to announce the launch of my new monthly column for GameSpy that explores the indie gaming world and highlights interesting developers. My first installment covers indie startup studio Fire Hose Games and their awesome upcoming debut Slam Bolt Scrappers. Also, the team just announced the game is going to be a PSN exclusive and is expected to launch in early 2011. Here’s a blurb from my column and a link below:
“As far as ringing endorsements go, it’s hard to ignore a game that’s been enthusiastically described by wide-eyed passersby as “kind of like Tetris, except with a bunch of flying dudes trying to beat the crap out of one another.” While huge, elaborate booths trumpeting hot AAA titles drew large crowds at this year’s inaugural Penny Arcade Expo East, a constant rotation of eager players also lined up on the show floor to check out an early demo for Slam Bolt Scrappers, the debut project by independent Boston studio Fire Hose Games. Very few who sauntered over to the meager booth had even heard of the small studio — but by the end of the weekend’s festivities, a growing buzz about this curious and colorful little indie brawler had infiltrated the farthest reaches of the convention center.”
“Even the most microscopic worlds are worth exploring. Nothing proves that point quite like Small Worlds — a game that has no enemies, no power-ups, no traps, no clear goals, and no story. It’s a game that’s simply about exploring the unknown and uncovering the mysteries found therein. Oddly enough, that core premise is enough to draw you voraciously through the short adventure in its entirety and leave you craving even more beautifully pixilated landscapes to venture through when it’s all over. “
“These days manually shooting at enemies to make them explode into a fiery ball of awesome death is so passé. It’s way cooler to make them collide, causing a similarly delightful eruption of flame, annihilation and twisted metal. Tetraform is an odd little arcade space defense game that has you taking out take out entire armadas of ne’er-do-wells without laying a finger on your trigger. The lack of pew-pew-pew doesn’t disappoint, because it’s a hell of a lot more fun to fling them at one another.”