Our Favorite ID@Xbox Games - Part One

By Mark Delaney, 4 months ago
Almost three years ago to the day, the very first ID@Xbox title arrived on Xbox One. Since that time, hundreds more of them have followed, and this Friday will mark the impressive milestone of 500 games published via the program. There's really no genre that hasn't been featured on the platform. Games like open world survival tales, retro stylized platformers, side-scrolling beat 'em ups, arcade racers, and so many others have arrived on the system usually for a fraction of the price of big AAA releases. The program has given a voice and offered technical support to developers all around the world, offering more than a few memorable and often unique experiences. On the news and editorial team, we took the milestone as an opportunity to discuss some of our personal favorites that have released over these last three years. We've split it into two parts with part one below. Look for part two tomorrow.

Mark's Pick: The Turing Test

Meet me in the Chinese Room.Meet me in the Chinese Room.

Truth be told my absolute favorite ID title is Rocket League, but hasn't that received enough accolades? Instead I want to highlight another game I adore. If you missed both my review and the TA Puzzle Game of the Year award in 2016, you might still be in the dark regarding one of the best genre titles and stories to release this generation. The Turing Test is undeniably Portal-esque but stands on its own thanks to fantastic puzzle design with an even better narrative. There's a lot of philosophical brain food to be consumed during a playthrough with Bulkhead's puzzler, and surrounding it with unique puzzles, an appropriately spacey score, and solid voice work by the cast of two, Turing achieves everything it sets out to do. That's why I awarded it a perfect score — and that's why most everyone should give it a try, especially those of you who appreciate puzzle games or sci-fi; It excels in both roles. — N0T PENNYS B0AT

Megan's Pick: Candleman

Who turned out the lights?Who turned out the lights?

Games have a unique way of making you care about things you shouldn't, and I have to say I never thought I'd be at the point of caring what happens to a candle. Candleman is a unique platformer with a simple premise that sees you running round as a little candle in the dark. You must light your way through the opaque levels, as you try and find your way to the big lighthouse. The game is so simple and yet so well done, with beautifully designed minimalistic levels and a similarly excellent soundtrack. With a rather sad ending, Candleman left everyone that loved it dying for an alternative, and with DLC on the way, hopefully we'll get the ending we all wanted. An unmissable game that makes you care about an inanimate object, Candleman is the game you should all be playing right now. — MegsonGrove

Marc's Pick: The Assembly

Smile! You're on camera.Smile! You're on camera.

If a game has core gameplay taking a backseat in place of a truly remarkable story, then I'm someone who can get behind it. I love exploring in any game I play and saying "Oooh!" when a new secret is unearthed. The Assembly is basically all of this in a nutshell. It tells the story of two opposing characters in a secretive and lucrative scientific facility, and exploratory gameplay is the primary draw. Puzzles are scattered throughout as well, and I found those both creative and interesting as I had some slight downtime from exploring. The story itself is extremely relatable as well with both Cal and Madeleine constantly questioning the ethics of the facility, and their developing thoughts resonated with my own. The further I went, the more I discovered of the shady dealings of The Assembly and once I completed the journey, I was honestly taken aback at the effect the game had on me. It took something so incredibly basic, but made it enthralling, creative and, in spite of what some what expect, not boring in the slightest. --
Marc Pilkington

Kevin's Pick: Thomas Was Alone

New kids on the block.New kids on the block.

Megan may be on to something. She fell in love with a candle. Me? I fell in love with a red block. His name was Thomas. He was alone — until he wasn't. Thomas Was Alone is a unique and one of the most memorable games I've ever played thanks to its stark simplicity that somehow managed to capture emotions and character using little more than basic colors and shapes. It's a platformer by trade and the platforming is really very good, asking you to use the shapes and their physical properties to traverse the levels in clever ways. But the reason this game is among my favorites is its absolutely lovely story. Try it out and you'll see just how profound a little red block can be. — Eurydace

We'll have another quartet of our favorite ID titles to share tomorrow. We hope we turn your attention to something you haven't played yet.

What are your favorite titles released through ID@Xbox? Let us know in our new poll, and we'll be playing the winner on Friday on our Beam channel - join us for lots of giveaways!
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancé and son. He almost never writes in the third person.