January 2011 Indie Games Spotlight

By mancide, 7 years ago
Welcome to the new monthly feature here at TrueAchievements where I take a look at some of the top Xbox Live Indie Games from the past month. I know what you are thinking, "But they don't have achievements!" - and you would be right. However, there are quite a few gems that have made their way to the service, and I want to take a few minutes to help showcase some of them.

First up this month, Alpha Squad.

In a desolate future world ruled by a military dictatorship known as the Alliance, a team of mercenaries become unlikely heroes when they are marked for death... Take on the role of Alpha Squad: Clint, Jin, Lynx and their disposable sidekick Lackey, as they fight their way across the world searching for who put the price on their heads.

RELEASE DATE: 1/12/2011
DEVELOPER: DragonDivide
GENRE: Action & Adventure

Offline players 1 - 4
Offline co-op 2 - 4
Dolby Digital

Online multiplayer 2 - 4
Online co-op 2 - 4
External image

You are presented with this screen several times before getting into the first stage. While the artwork at the loading and stage select screens is very attention grabbing, the stages of this dual-stick shooter are not as memorable. The tight spaces and lack of space to maneuver left me frustrated and dying quite a lot. The premise is simple; clear out a screen of bad guys, and then make a choice as to which direction to continue in your search for the people who put a price on your head. You will load a new screen, full of baddies, and rinse and repeat. Sometimes you are presented with a door you can enter, and you will face one or two enemies and then be rewarded with a power-up, a better weapon, or a health-pack that can be used at a later time.

While the initial text had me intrigued, despite the fact that I typically like dual-stick shooters, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth after playing this game. However, I don't want to have someone pass over this game on the off-chance that I am just horrible at it, so if this game is down your alley you can pick it up for 240 MSP.

Next up, ZP2KX: Zombies & Pterodactyls.

Pterodactyls want blood! In a dystopian future where humans love guns and zombies just want to be left alone, the pterodactyls have seen to it that everyone has to be miserable together. Take your jetpack online and splatter some fools with blades, guns, grenades, and other instruments of mayhem. Earn XP, level up, unlock stuff, and build killer classes!

RELEASE DATE: 12/17/2010
DEVELOPER: Ska Studios
GENRE: Platformer

Offline players 1
Dolby Digital

Online multiplayer 2 - 10
External image

What if CliffyB had made a 2-D Unreal Tournament in the vein of Jazz Jackrabbit? I think it would have been very similar to ZP2KX. From the developer that brought us I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1, for this dual-stick shooter you are plunged into a crazy death-match game where you have jet-packs, can walk on walls and the ceiling, and go around dispensing lots of frags. In this fast-paced and engaging 2-D "sidescrolling" shooter, you have one goal: kill. I really enjoyed this from the get-go, and with lots of modifier options to keep the game fresh you could easily spend lots of time in this 80 MSP game.

And our last game for this month, Cthulhu Saves the World.

The lord of insanity, Cthulhu, has lost his powers and the only way to regain them is by becoming a true hero! Join him on an epic quest of courage, romance, redemption, and insanity! From the makers of the popular RPG, Breath of Death VII: The Beginning. Features 7 playable characters, a 6-10 hour quest, multiple modes & difficulties, branching LV-Ups, an insanity system, over 20 songs, and more!

RELEASE DATE: 12/30/2010
DEVELOPER: Zeboyd Games
GENRE: Role Playing

Offline players 1
Dolby Digital
External image

Hands down my favorite Indie game I played this month. Let me emphasize this even more by saying RPGs are not my typical cup of tea, however I do enjoy one from time to time. Cthulhu reminds me of the first RPG I played back on the NES. The art direction in this game gives you that warm fuzzy nostalgia of the 8-bit era. The game is actually well tuned and encounters are not too frequent, nor too sparse. You don't feel underpowered from the beginning and you do feel like you are progressing and getting more powerful as you advance through the game. This is another game that can be picked up for the low price of 240 MSP.

If you have a suggestion for an Indie Game you feel should be included in a future Indie Games Spotlight, please send a PM to mancide with your suggestion.
Written by mancide
When not enjoying video games, our fearless newshound enjoys an nice pint of fermented barley and hops in a variety of styles. India Pale Ales, Stouts, Porters, Witbiers, Saisons, Gose, Lambics, Barleywine, you name it. If it has water, malted barley, hops and yeast in it, I'll consume it. I also enjoy all things technological, Doctor Who, wrasslin, traveling, and spending time with my family.