Reviews written by ExaltedLegions

27 results - showing 1 - 27
 
Other
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
6.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

The Galactic Aquarium (GoGo Robot)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: The Galactic Aquarium
Developed by: GoGo Robot
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Other
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 8 Mb
Learning Curve: 1-5 Minutes
Overall Rating: 6/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Breed a great variety of fish in a long breeding tree
- Auto-saves after each “day”
- Shop/Freezer/Breeding Guide
Puzzling:
- The breeding tree is too standard
- The fish are only pictures and do not swim around the tank
- The “Net Worth” of a tank means nothing (though it could have been used as an online scoreboard)
Rating:
Violence - 1/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four minutes before the trial ends.
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

The Galactic Aquarium is a game that tasks the player with breeding fish. Most fish can be bred by breeding two of the same or mixing two other fish together. The game provides a “Breeding Guide” to help show the breeding tree. While breeding, the player must be sure to watch what fish get placed with each other. Some have special abilities and the chaos caused by them is not desirable. While managing money (used to buy and feed fish), try to breed all of the fish in order to breed the Cod Father.

Note: This game was reviewed using the latest .ccgame file provided by the developer. This has not influenced the review in any way.

GRAPHICS: 7/10

The graphics are an interesting study in something that looks great, but provides little movement. In fact, the only real graphical movement is sea weed style grass, water bubbles, and the menus. The fish are great and varied pictures to look at, but that is all they are: pictures. It is a little disappointing that they are static and do not interact with one another around the tank. Maybe we could witness a bigger fish eat a smaller fish rather than learn about it through text. With that said, I like how creative some of the fish are. A punk fish? That sure is different! Some are great, while others are just reskinned models of the same fish which is a little disappointing.

The menus are nicely colored and simple and help to portray the game’s “playful” theme. The font is viewable on a Standard Television which is a nice change from the HD-font-only indie games. The only complaint I have with the menus is when trying to select an amount of a fish. The common problem arises because the selection highlighting (indicating which “tab” you are on the menu) blends with the background and it is hard to see what number is displayed. This means that the player must switch between the “tabs” to get a clear reading. A little annoying.

Why can’t the player edit their tank and customize it to their liking? After all, this game is about having fish in a fish tank. A big part of that is “tank” and it doesn’t help the experience if the player can’t customize it!


MUSIC: 5/10

The music is really good…at first. The Galactic Aquarium has only one song that repeats over, and over, and over. The first few times are not so bad, but after a while the music can cause a headache.

STORY: 4/10

There is little story to be found other than breed the CoD Father. Not bad, but doesn't really build up on it.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 6/10

Ever think that breeding fish would be boring? The Galactic Aquarium attempts to change your mind. With 45 fish to breed, each with two ways to breed them (except the CoD Father), the game offers some non-linear game play. I say some because the player will still be stuck breeding from fish to fish in order until they start getting money. Even then the pattern may continue. This is saved somewhat by the inclusion of a freezer which helps to mix things up. If the freezer had not been added, the game play would never have worked and here’s why.

The freezer is a major part of keeping fish from aging or dying from other fish that would eat them. Spend a lot of time trying to breed a particular fish? Then freeze it so nothing happens to it! Want to breed an older fish with a younger fish, but the younger fish is too young? Then freeze your older one so it doesn’t die before the younger one is breeding-ready. The freezer even has its own value which will be explained later.

As the player breeds fish, they must end a day for the fish to grow and breed. Ending a day causes any fish not in the freezer to age. Fish die surprisingly fast so make sure to keep them frozen or you might have to take extra time to breed the same one again! Most of the day’s events are learned through text.

• Total money was spent on food
• Tank value
• Freezer value
• Net worth (Freezer + Tank value)
• Total money remaining
• Fish statistics (who died, how, and which ones are under-nourished)

Seem like a lot to keep track of? It really isn’t because the tank and freezer values mean nothing. They could have been translated into an online high score mode along with net worth. Money is used in the traditional sense of buy and sell fish. Breeding fish to sell them is where the real money is at!

The game auto-saves after each day and only provides access to one file. I feel this is just as not many people will want to handle more than one at the same time.

The main problem with the game is how linear it is. I described this above to some degree, but it takes some of the fun away. Miner Dig Deep is a simple game with a simple concept that works because of what it allows the player to do. Mining with the ability to set ladders and elevators wherever! Upgrade the pickaxe, drill, lantern, and more! The Galactic Aquarium really does not allow much of this. The freezer and tank already have a lot of space so there is no point in upgrading either one (except for maybe their look!). Unfortunately, there is no way of upgrading them anyway so that is out of the question!

My final complaint is that the game has no sense of discovery. The Breeding Guide is useful but gives away the challenge. Whenever the player needs to breed a fish, they just open up the guide and they’re done. True, the player doesn’t have to use it, but the core game play does not change. The breeding style does not change. A fish can be bred from two of its same species, or a combination of two earlier fish. It is usually not hard to figure out which ones.

OVERALL: 6/10

My initial reaction to this game was that it was “Miner Dig Deep (Robir)” but with fish breeding. That soon died as I saw flaws that Miner Dig Deep does not possess. Some of these are the game play elements it could have built up on, or the graphical elements it could have made better. Or even thrown in another song! While this game does possess some flaws that required me to mark it down, it is still an enjoyable experience. A few updates would go a long way to make it better, but as it is, the low price of 200 Microsoft Points may justify the purchase.

Other Games by GoGo Robot (as of 8/26/09):

- None

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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Puzzle & Trivia
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
6.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Word Soup (Fuzzy Bug Interactive)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Word Soup
Developed by: Fuzzy Bug Interactive
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Version: ?
Cost: 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 23.45 Mb
Learning Curve: 5 Minutes
Overall Rating: 6/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 1080p
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Join three or more letters to form words horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.
- Play three game modes (Timed, Brain, Relaxed)
- Track high score by longest word, highest scoring word, highest score in each game mode, and more.
Puzzling:
- No viewable dictionary!?
- The game screen is a little too big for Television parameters (cannot fix either)
- No Multiplayer of any kind (offline or online)
- Moments that will have you saying “is that really a word!?”
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Play a classic “Scrabble” like game with the goal of creating long, high scoring words. Only this Scrabble game has you playing Solo.

Note: I did not buy this game because important features can be played and beat before the trial ends.

GRAPHICS: 7/10

The graphics are decent for a game of this type. If they were too elaborate it could make the tiles clutter the screen. Therefore the simple graphics are welcome and help make creating words just that, simple. I really enjoy the title screen and the menus which are created with the letter tiles. It is a creative cliché that helps connect the gameplay with the menus. Unfortunately, the graphics go off the screen (at least on my 27 inch TV) because the game’s screen size is too big.


MUSIC: 5/10

The game contains little music variance, but the music flows continuously and it never just “restarts”. The music flows so well that it feels like one long song. Eventually it can, unfortunately, get somewhat repetitive.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 6/10

Word Soup requires the player to create words from three or more letters by joining them horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. The three game modes are each interesting, but little sets them apart. Timed mode gives you a preset amount of time (cannot change) to clear the board of the letter tiles. Letter tiles will not be added and the game ends when no more words can be created. Relaxed mode is the same as Time mode except for you now have unlimited time. Brain mode allows letter tiles to be added by “leveling up.” Leveling up requires forming words. The better the word score, the more experience you receive. Once enough experience is received, you level up and get letter tiles based on how many words you created, how many letters are in each word, and how many points the words are worth. Brain mode is easily the most fun (think of it as endless mode).

Throughout all three modes there are four important features. The first is the ability to shuffle letters. This helps when no word is clearly visible and you get frustrated. The second ability is the “help” ability. It can be used three times per game and it scans the board for a word. The third important feature is that high scores get tracked (locally). High scores are tracked based on longest word, highest scoring word, highest score in each game mode, and more. The fourth important feature is that the UI (User Interface) is extremely handy. It displays the longest word created for your current game, time left, how many words made in your current game, score, tile color value (certain tile colors are worth more points than others), and more.

If you feel adventurous and try to create “new” words, you may be surprised. Some letters may combine to form a word that may not be a word at all (according to Webster’s College Dictionary – 100,000+ definitions!) Regrettably, there is no viewable dictionary in the game to check. WHY NOT!? This is a game all about creating words and there is no dictionary for reference? That strikes this game quite a blow.

The other problem with the game is that it lacks Multiplayer (online and/or offline). Even turn-based would have been better than none. It is just another game that sets up the gameplay perfectly, but never executes as much as it should. (I am looking at you Xeno Arena!)

OVERALL: 6/10

This game accomplishes what it sets out to do. It gives decent gameplay with an addicting “Scrabble” feel. The fact that I can create words that are not real words takes away from the experience. Where is the fun in that? That just leads to random letter joining! A viewable dictionary is much needed in a game of this style. Multiplayer (offline and/or online) and more music variance is needed as well. Try the trial a few times and see if it is for you.

Other Games by Fuzzy Bug Interactive (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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6.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
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World Revolutions - The Last Defense (KillPox Prod

Indie Game (IG) under Review: World Revolution – The Last Defense
Developed by: xPox (KillPox Production)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Shooter
Version: ?
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 32.29 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-10 Minutes
Overall Rating: 6/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
Other Features:
- 6 Playable Regions (North America, South America, Europa, Oceania, East Asia, Africa)
- Top 10 high scores tracked by score (summary of defense rating, remaining ammo, remaining cities
and multiplier).
Puzzling:
- No resume function
- No online Leaderboards
- Font is hard to read on a Standard Definition Television
- Some areas of the globe (random spots?) do not allow the player to move past them
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

World Revolution is a game about saving the world from global terrorists by shooting down their missiles threatening the few remaining cities in your region.

Note: I did not buy this game because important features can be played and beat before the trial ends.

GRAPHICS: 4/10

The graphics are decent, but I wish they had been expanded on. The game consists of a 3D-like globe that details the layout of the world. However, the “detail” is misleading. The world is (evidently) all brown probably from all the warfare). If it is from all the warfare, then why not detail the world more to reflect this? Add craters, dead trees, etc. and make the cities look like cities. The game would look better by replicating the graphical style of Civilizations or Empire: Total War (but still use the 3D-like globe).


MUSIC: 6/10

The music is decent, but lacks variety. It probably will not bother most people though.

STORY: 5/10

“It is the year 2305. Terrorists have destroyed most major cities while the military is powerless against them. The terrorists now plan their final assault against the few cities left. It is up to you (the player) to protect your cities as long as possible. The terrorists get stronger by the day (day = wave of missiles).”

A good reason to play the game and it gives the game a back-story. A lot of community games throw the player into the action, but this game gives you a reason to play. Unfortunately, no matter how long you survive, you cannot win. The game could have expanded upon this story incorporating why the military was powerless, where the terrorists started, etc. (getting further into the game unlocks back-story).

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 6/10

World Revolution tasks the player with choosing one of six regions and then makes them defend the remaining cities in that region from terrorist missiles. The controls work well and the zoom in/zoom out feature is great for those close shots. I wish it had a control button that takes the player back to the center of their region. This would be useful for dealing with missiles on opposite oceans/continents/regions.

Enemy missiles are destroyed by firing a missile and having the enemy missile fly into it. While it is easy to spam missiles, don’t. There is a limit to the amount of ammo the player has each round (though it is not displayed…). Attacks can be chained for more points (creating a multiplier) by stringing together attacks leading to the death of enemies. Destroying all enemy missiles ends the wave and begins the next wave. Waves are known as days within the game. As the days increase, the missiles get faster and will become more unpredictable. One unpredictable missile is the one that zigzags (common), but there are others.

The top 10 high scores are tracked by the summary of defense rating, remaining ammo, remaining cities and multiplier. This gives some replay ability, but the lack of online Leaderboards is depressing. Why get a high score if it cannot be shared with the world (no pun intended)?

One problem I have with the game is that the missiles seem to be unsure of what to attack. It is clear they have been programmed to destroy a city, but what about when that city is destroyed? The missiles will continue to detonate on a city that no longer exists. Their programming does not auto-adjust within a wave until a new wave begins.

Another problem is that the story font is hard to read on a Standard Definition Television (maybe High Definition as well). This is not because the font is too small, but because the words jumble together and they look like one giant blob of text. Moving on, the game has no “resume” function. If the player has to leave within the middle of a game, they have to restart later on.

The last problem with the game is that navigating the globe can be frustrating. Some areas (seem to be random spots – not intentional) do not allow the player to move near them. At first, I thought this was only the two poles (North and South), but it happened in other random areas as well. Not only is this annoying, it makes navigating the globe difficult which could lead to the death of your cities.

OVERALL: 6/10

Overall World Revolutions is a decent game that suffers from a few “hiccups”. The game could have expanded more upon the gameplay (fight back against the terrorists) or offered more game modes (online component), but as it stands, it is worth checking out.

Other Games by xPox (KillPox Production) (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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6.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
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Xeno Arena (Lemunde)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Xeno Arena
Developed by: Lemunde
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Shooter
Version: 1 (First Release)
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 25.93 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-10 Minutes
Overall Rating: 6/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p Support
Other Features:
- Randomly generated levels
Puzzling:
- Lack of save/load feature
- Sound effects are not loud enough
- No story
- No multiplayer (online or offline)
- Only one control scheme
Rating:
Violence - 3/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 3/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

A top down shooter where the player travels through randomly generated levels killing Xenos. As the levels increase, more weapons and enemy types become available. Weapons, ammo, and health are found on on the ground throughout the levels.

GRAPHICS: 6/10

The fog of war and character looks good, but the levels get generic. There are only a couple of different “skinned” level themes (blue cave, brown cave for example). The levels never really progress into much besides being random.

MUSIC: 6/10

The music varies between levels, but repeats often. It is not bad, but will become repetitive. Sound effects are missing in-game. The menu’s have sound effects but enemies do not. I am guessing this was on purpose to let enemies surprise the player easier. When fired, weapons give off sound effects, but they are so low that I have to strain my ears to hear them. There is no option to increase the volume.

STORY: 1/10

See how far you can get into the “facility” before being overrun by the Xenos. I only know this because it describes it in the download section. Once playing the game there is no story whatsoever.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 6/10

The controls and game play hold up very well. What this game does, it does exceptionally well. The fog of war system is one example of this. The fog of war keeps the player on their toes at all times. Even if a player has scouted somewhere before, the fog of war may replace the area with fog if it is out of the character’s viewpoint. Another welcome feature is the Mini-map in the top-right corner of the screen that shows where the level exits are. The real problem lies in what this game does not do.

The first problem is that there is only one control scheme. In this control scheme the Right Bumper is used to fire, and Left & Right Triggers are used to switch weapons. I would rather like it to be the other way around (fire with Right Trigger, switch weapons with the bumpers). The next problem lies in the fact that there is no save/load function. This means that if somebody gets to a high level and has to get off, they must restart at level one later on. This is the biggest downer about the game because players will spend too much time on the lower levels and not make it far unless they have a lot of time. Moving on, no Leaderboards track how far someone has gotten. This gives people no motive to beat their best level.

Finally, Multiplayer (online and offline) would have been a great addition. Coop and/or Versus modes would have given the game more replay value. New game types would have been great as well. More game types could help with the overall “never know what’s around the next corner” feel. Maybe a mode could have been made that is like the original except for the game is darker, and the player must use a flashlight that only illuminates in front of him/her.

OVERALL: 6/10

After speaking with Lemunde, I found out that this game was made to test the engine he uses, and the requirements to get a game on Xbox Live. I respect his decision to do so, but wish that he had added more content to an already great game. Xeno Arena’s main problem is that it does not have enough content; but if you like what it has, then this game is definitely for you.

Other Games by Lemunde (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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9.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
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Zoomaroom (FourBrosStudios)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Zoomaroom
Developed by: FourBrosStudio
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Platformer
Cost: 80 Microsoft Points ($1.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 17.20 Mb
Learning Curve: 5 Minutes or less
Overall Rating: 7/10 (New Price --> 9/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 1080p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Create custom levels with a lot of depth
- Play other people’s custom levels
- Collect more than 350 coins to unlock 70 well designed, built-in rooms
Puzzling:
- Lack of worldwide Leaderboards
- Levels only download from someone else playing Zoomaroom
- Only five backgrounds for custom levels
- Only allows up to five coins per level
- No upload music option
Rating:
Violence - 1/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 1/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Zoomaroom is a physics based platformer where you use items, the environment, and even enemies to collect coins and beat the level. With over 350 coins to collect to unlock 70 levels of increasing strength, this game will keep you addicted. There is also a feature that allows you to see who has gone through a level the fastest with and without collecting all the coins. You can also create your own levels using a built-in editor and share them over Xbox Live!

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 9/10

200 MSP ($2.50) -> 80 MSP ($1.00)

I loved this game for $2.50 and now that it is $1.00 I don't see any reason not to buy it. It offers so much and it costs less than a King Sized Candy bar!

GRAPHICS: 3/10 (Second Look: 7/10*)

Really nothing special here. An example is how “Fire” is just a red square/rectangle/circle/etc. Surprisingly, the game fits this way. It works and you don’t really end up thinking about it much.

*Looks a lot better than most indie games.

MUSIC: 5/10

The music lacks variance and could actually do with a larger variety when making a level. Once you press start on the title screen you have a choice of two tunes. Opening up the menu is one, while playing/editing a level is another. You might want to play your own music after a while.

STORY: 0/10

There really is no story other than play the levels and collect coins to unlock more!

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 8/10

First off I just want to say that playing and creating levels is fun. The 70 built-in levels are all well designed and challenging. You will replay them a lot to figure out how to get the coins. There is also a lot of content available when editing/creating maps.

Unfortunately, Zoomaroom leaves out a lot for a game that relies on level creation. Levels can ONLY be downloaded from someone who is playing Zoomaroom at the same time as you. Usually it is only one other person, if anyone (at least you can chat with them). There also isn’t any substantial leaderboards other than the first person to get through a level the fastest with and without collecting the coins. The background can only be one of five choices, each boring in design (checkers blue, checkers pink, circle, etc.). A level you create also has to have the same music as every other level. On top of all this, there can only be five coins in each level and it is only single player. It would really benefit from allowing friends (or anyone) to build the same level simultaneously.

After all those con’s I bet you are wondering why I gave Zoomaroom an “8/10” for Gameplay. Despite the above setbacks, the game really offers creation depth in 14 varying enemies, 14 varying items, 14 varying costumes, and objects where you can change their properties to wood, metal, fire, etc. The game also offers an ENORMOUS area to create a level. I highly doubt anyone could fill the space up if they wanted to! Help boxes can also serve as “story points” when creating a level because you can type what you what into them, and when the player touches them it shows up!

Even if creating levels isn’t your thing, playing the 70 built-in levels is well worth the money. They will make you angry at times, but when you finally get that frustrating coin, the satisfaction is worth it. And then you repeat the cycle!

The game lacks some things, but makes up for it with its addictive nature. Collecting coins and creating levels is fun and will entertain for hours.

OVERALL: 7/10 (New Price --> 9/10)

While the game is well worth buying, the con’s don’t warrant this game any higher than a “7/10” (I contemplated “6/10” for awhile). But with the new price, it is well worth a 9/10! Nevertheless, I recommend this game to anyone who likes addicting platformers. If you’ve played “Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, SNES)” than this game may be for you. After all, the trial downloads fast and its free to play, so give it a try!

Other Games by FourBrosStudios (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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8.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

ZP2K9 (Ska Studios)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: ZP2K9
Developed by: Jamezila (Ska Studios)
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Platformer
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 19.45 Mb
Learning Curve: 10-15 Minutes
Overall Rating: 8/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- System Link 2-10
- Online Multiplayer 2-10
- HDTV 720p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Mic Support
- Ability to choose Team (Humans or Zombies)
- Ability to choose Character
- Ability to have 0-5 AI bots
- Ability to “Take a Break” during play (AI takes over until “Take a Break“ is off)
- 4 Game Modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag)
- Massive randomly selected (not generated) levels
- 13 Weapons and 6 Grenade Types
- Unknown number of suits that change character’s appearance and perform different functions
- Multiplayer Sidescroller
Puzzling:
- Lack of worldwide Leaderboards
- Occasional Lag
- No Xbox Live Private Match Feature
- No Level Editor!? (just kidding)
Rating:
Violence - 3/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

ZP2K9 is a game devoted to giving intense action from beginning to end. From the melee katana to the bee suit that allows you to fly, this game offers a lot more depth than I had originally believed.
This is a game that requires a little patience when playing for the first time. To get used to the game, enter a single player match with 0 AI bots. Now you can go at your own pace without being constantly killed. I also recommend looking at the “Controls” menu page because it really helps.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

It is hard to complain about ZP2K9’s graphics when they look so good for a game of this style. Explosions, Gore, Character Animations, Weapon Animations, Level Art, and even the backgrounds look fantastic. My only complaint with the graphics is that the Title Screen and Menu’s look “thrown in.” Don’t get me wrong, they go okay with the game, but they could have been implemented better through stylistic visuals. The Title Screen is only “ZP2K9” slowly going across the screen over and over with a blue menu box in the center. The font is also a little small on a non-HDTV (still readable though).

MUSIC: 8/10

ZP2K9 lacks some music variance, but what it does, it does well. The title screen has its own music, and playing a match has its own randomly selected music. Other than that there is no other music. I know that sounds bad, but the music is good enough that I’m still not tired of it. Half the time it gets cut off from all of the explosions and guns anyway! Regardless of all this I still believe that more music soundtracks should have been implemented for the levels.

STORY: 0/10

No real story to speak of. It’s a Multiplayer game where you play one of the four game modes with humans and/or AI bots.

GAMEPLAY: 9/10

This is where the game shines. After getting over the learning curve, the game really opens up in depth. Mastery of the weapons is crucial, as some will require you to fire at different angles. Suits will also make a difference in your survival. Different suits perform varying functions. For example, the “Cat Suit” allows you to jump higher and run instead of merely rolling. The “Bee Suit” allows you to fly. I had a lot of fun messing around with this suit while playing with a few friends. We removed the AI Bots and would all get the Katana and/or Buster Blade. Then we would all get Bee Suits and change the game mode to deathmatch (bots and game mode can be changed at any time). Now we would have a fight to the death in the sky using our melee weapons. It still hasn’t gotten old.

If your friends aren’t on, you can always play a single player match against bots. They are competent and may surprise you sometimes. Unfortunately, they are still AI’s and will sometimes do something that will make you say “a human couldn’t have noticed or done that!” Thankfully, this is rare because it is evident time was spent making the bots as good as humans. And they are, if not better, half the time!

You can always go onto Xbox live to play and chat with people. Every time I’ve logged onto ZP2K9 so far, there has always been AT LEAST one match going. The only problem with Xbox Live matches is that there is a small chance of lag. Lag where you cannot even move. Thankfully, if the game lags, it will lag when you join and not just randomly appear while playing. Just leave and try rejoining, otherwise join someone else. Its only a slight annoyance as it is quick and easy to leave and find another game.

There is also a feature that I loved from “Left 4 Dead (Valve, Xbox 360).” If you have to do something while playing, you can press start and turn on “Take a Break.” The AI will take over for you until you are back to play. This is good for when you have to take out the trash, use the restroom, or whatever you have to do!

FEATURES: 7/10

The number of weapons, suits, grenades, characters, game modes, and bots is excellent (could always use more though). Unfortunately the game lacks any kind of leaderboards, character customization (color, clothes, etc.), trophy/reward system, and my personal favorite, LEVEL EDITOR! This game would be totally awesome if it had the ability to make new maps (or even edit the existing ones) and share them with the world. However, I won’t hold this against it.

OVERALL: 8/10

This game is a steal for 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50). If it had the Level Editor I would even buy it for 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00). I hope that Ska Studios does a remake/newer edition soon with tons of new features! I personally recommend ZP2K9. After all, the trial downloads fast and its free to play, so give it a try!

Other Games by Ska Studios (as of 8/26/09):

- The Dishwasher (Arcade Game - 800 Microsoft Points)
- ZSX4 Guitarpocalypse (Indie Game - 200 Microsoft Points)
- I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 (Indie Game - 80 Microsoft Points)


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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
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Rumble Massage (ZXB Games)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Rumble Massage
Developed by: Justin Le Clair (ZXB Games)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Other
Version: 2
Cost: 80 Microsoft Points ($1.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 924.00 Kb
Learning Curve: Instant
Overall Rating: 0/10 (New Price --> 1/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1-4
- Co-op 2-4
Other Features:
- Control the controller vibrations
Puzzling:
- Why make this…?
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Massage yourself using your controller by controlling the rumble speed and strength.

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 1/10

200 MSP ($2.50) -> 80 MSP ($1.00)

The new cost is better, but this should be free.


GRAPHICS: 1/10

The visuals look hand drawn and are not done very well (too basic).


MUSIC: 0/10

No music or soundeffects. Seriously.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 0/10

The game in a nutshell: Control massage speed and strength in 1-4 controllers. No "play" in this game.

OVERALL: 0/10 (New Price --> 1/10)

First off, I just want to say that this game CAN ruin the rumble pack in your controller if used enough. Second, this game is a serious waste of money (unless you are a pervert and need a cheap vibrator). It infuriates me that this game continues to be a popular game while more polished “real” games go unnoticed. Supporting a game like this is like children supporting crappy Nintendo DS games. If the children buy crap Disney games, then more of them get made. STOP SUPPORTING THIS GARBAGE!

Other Games by Justin Le Clair (ZXB Games) (as of 8/26/09):

- Zoom (Indie Game - 80 Microsoft Points)
- Torino-X (Indie Game - 400 Microsoft Points)

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
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RPaints (Remyremrem)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: RPaints
Developed by: Remyremrem
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Other
Version: Update 1
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 668.00 Kb
Learning Curve: Instant
Overall Rating: 1/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 1080p
Other Features:
- Paint using 4 styles and 4 colors
Puzzling:
- Where is the reason to play?
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

A game where the player creates a picture using a system worse than Microsoft’s Paint application.

Note: I did not buy this game because the important features can be played and beat before the trial ends.

GRAPHICS: 0/10

You mean other than the graphics created by the player? Virtually none.

MUSIC: 0/10

No music or soundeffects. Seriously.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 1/10

Paint using 4 styles (brush, line, star, burst) and 4 colors (green, red, blue, yellow). Mixing colors is easy and a very welcome feature. Unfortunately, unlike the community game “Let’s Draw A Picture Together” RPaints only allows for one person to paint a picture. The picture can be saved/loaded but what’s the point? There is no way of sharing it with anyone else. The gameplay does not outlive the trial version.

OVERALL: 1/10

Anyone with a computer has a better paint application than this. I do not recommend this game in any way.

Other Games by Remyremrem (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown

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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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8.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Revenge of the Evil Aliens (Harald Maassen)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Revenge of the Evil Aliens
Developed by: Harald Maassen
System: Xbox 360
Version: 1
Genre: Shooter
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 50 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-15 Minutes (hours to master on higher difficulties)
Overall Rating: 8/10
Main Features:
- Players 1-4
Other Features:
- 3 Campaign Missions
- 7 Challenge Missions
- 4 Difficulties (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane)
- Powerups!
Puzzling:
- No online mode
- Only three campaign missions
Rating:
Violence - 2/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four minutes before the trial ends.
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Revenge of the Evil Aliens is a sequel to Evil Aliens. In this sequel, the player commands an Unnamed Hero whose sole purpose is to defend Earth. Thousands of shuttles stand before him and the alien Mastermind, but with the Earth burning below, the Unnamed Hero rises to the challenge. Players command the Hero using the two analog sticks (twin stick shooter) in an old school game with challenging missions, difficulties, and unique locations.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

Normally, the graphics in this game would not appeal to me. I am usually not a fan of bland color schemes and that is what this game offers. However, for some reason, I like it. Maybe it is because the game play, story, and music work so well with it. When I am sweating trying to stay alive, then I know a game has done something right. The explosions are nice; the detail on some of the Aliens is amazing, and the power ups are easy to identify. This is important because in the heat of battle, the player should not have to think about what power up they are getting. The game simplifies this by color and letter on the power up.

The scrolling backgrounds in the game are nicely detailed. My favorite is Earth during the first mission. The attentive detail is amazing and after moving through the level, the player will eventually go back over Earth, except this time Earth is smaller. The game gives the impression that the player is actually flying farther away from Earth.

The title screens and menus really grabbed my attention and I enjoyed navigating them. My main beef with the graphics is that Bosses are just bigger versions of other aliens. Even the Mastermind is a bigger version of another alien with some added features.

This level tasks the player with staying alive and worrying about hitting the walls.

MUSIC: 10/10

The techno music never gets old and fits with the game play style. After all, who doesn’t like techno when they are blasting away at Aliens? The music changes to fit the game play in the missions and challenges.

STORY: 7/10

Revenge of the Evil Aliens is one of the few games to start and end with a story, keeping it going throughout. The whole “Aliens attack, one man saves all” part of the story is now a cliché, but it does make me want to learn more about the world. Why are the Aliens there? Where did they come from? What is happening on Earth now that the Aliens have invaded? Who is the Unnamed Hero?

And even more questions! Maybe a sequel could add a lot more detail and depth, but the one present in this game is decent, albeit standard.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 8/10

After starting Revenge of the Evil Aliens, a few things are apparent. The title screen only has a few options to choose from. Play the Tutorial or Missions, change the options, or exit the game. Challenges and Awardments appear after one has been unlocked. Let’s start by taking a look at the options page and customizing the game for our play style. Once the option screen is open, a few things become apparent. This game offers a lot more changeable options than many other games. These options include:

• Enable/Disable Music
• Reset All Progress
• Modify Screen Size
• Gamma Correction
• Controller Settings

They do exactly what they say, and the Controller Settings option actually opens up a new options page. Here every player (up to four) can customize their experience to have Rumble ON/OFF or swap the Analog Sticks (Movement/Fire-->Fire/Movement). Modifying the screen size is extremely useful because the game would have stuck out too far on my Television without it.

Now that the game is customized, let’s try the Tutorial. It is a basic tutorial that explains a few things, but only those new to this genre should give it a try. It explains the core game play which is to use the Analog Sticks to maneuver and kill enemies without dying. The most helpful part is the explanation about Power Ups and Enhancements. Power Ups include larger bombs, exploding bullets, bouncing bullets, faster shields, and in Multiplayer, faster respawn. Enhancements include increased rate of fire, increased range, shield, and more. Both, Power Ups and Enhancement are useful, especially on harder difficulties and when playing alone. Dying causes the player to lose all Power Ups and Enhancements, while killing enemies and gaining combo’s helps to upgrade them.

Okay so we have passed the tutorial now. That means that our next stop is the first mission on Easy. Why Easy? Higher difficulties have to be unlocked in a consecutive manner. The difficulties vary by:

1. Easy – Infinite lives per level and wave
2. Medium – Infinite lives per level, one life per wave (dying restarts wave)
3. Hard – Limited lives per level, one life per wave (dying restarts wave)
4. Insane – ??? (Unlock to find out)

I am not going to detail a whole lot about the first mission, but it does include a great Asteroid sequences. Sequences in the missions are split into waves. In each wave, there are different colored aliens mixed with the regular ones. Different colored aliens means they hold something special! Kill them to collect the Power Up/Enhancement they have that corresponds with its color.

Enemies wrap around the screen so if an enemy goes off screen to the left, they will reappear on the right and so on. Players (one to four) can cooperatively help each other throughout the missions and even latch to one another. After playing through the mission, at least one Challenge and Awardment is unlocked. There are seven challenges total and a few include:

• Braineroids
• Evil Aliens Classic
• Paratrooper

Some of the ten Awardments include:

• Complete Mission 1
• Complete Mission 2
• Complete Mission 3
• Complete the game on Hard
• Play through a level on Hard without firing/dying for 90 seconds

Notice that there are only three mission Awardments. Why? Because this game only has three missions. Don’t let this turn you off. They have their own set of waves and intelligent, varying levels that entertain again and again. The difficulties and introduction of new aliens throughout the missions help make it a new, and harder, experience each time. The challenge missions are entertaining side-missions in themselves as well. They offer game play variety and are something I would like to see expanded upon in a sequel. They really are fun to play!

My two complaints with this game are that there is no online multiplayer, and that there are only three missions. The game offers a lot already, but I am hoping that a sequel will offer more now that the foundation for the game has already been laid down.

OVERALL: 8/10

Revenge of the Evil Aliens has a lot of polish and I am actually disappointed people are overlooking it. The 200 Microsoft Points go a long way and are worth spending for an enjoyable experience. I can honestly say that I am holding out hope for a sequel. The sequel could expand on the story (include a lot more), include more missions and challenges, new Awardments, unique Bosses, and online multiplayer. As this game stands though, it cannot be missed.

Other Games by Harald Maassen (as of 8/26/09):

- Rocket Riot (Arcade Game - 800 Microsoft Points)

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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 30, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Remote Masseuse (Entrager)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Remote Masseuse
Developed by: Entrager
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Other
Version: ?
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 876.00 Kb
Learning Curve: Instant
Overall Rating: 0/10
Main Features:
- Players 1-2
- HDTV 720p
- Online Multiplayer 2
Other Features:
- Control the controller vibrations for you or someone else offline/online
Puzzling:
- Why make this…?
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Massage yourself or someone else using your controller by controlling the rumble speed and strength.

GRAPHICS: 1/10

The background can be made within minutes using GIMP. I know because I have created the same one. Besides that there is nothing impressive.

MUSIC: 0/10

No music or soundeffects. Seriously.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 0/10

The game in a nutshell: Control massage speed and strength in yours or someone else’s controller.

OVERALL: 0/10

First off, I just want to say that this game CAN ruin the rumble pack in your controller if used enough. Second, this game is a serious waste of money (unless you are a pervert and need a cheap vibrator). It infuriates me that this game continues to be a popular game while more polished “real” games go unnoticed. Supporting a game like this is like children supporting crappy Nintendo DS games. If the children buy crap Disney games, then more of them get made. STOP SUPPORTING THIS GARBAGE!

Other Games by Entrager (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 29, 2009
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Rabid Gophers (Quantum Squid Interactive)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Rabid Gophers
Developed by: Quantum Squid Interactive
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Shooter
Version: ?
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 10.67 MB
Learning Curve: 5-15 Minutes (varies by game mode)
Overall Rating: 9/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p
- Custom Soundtrack
Other Features:
- Three game modes (Gopher Blast, Gopher Bombs, Gopher Sniper)
- High scores tracked locally and online!
- Change the sensitivity of analog sticks
- Enable or disable online score sharing
- Enable or disable gore
Puzzling:
- Only three mini-games
- Online score sharing was not instant. I had to disable and re-enable it for it to begin working.
Rating:
Violence - 3/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Rabid Gophers is a game that will keep you coming back for more. The three reaction based mini-games are entertaining and mainly ask the player to do a certain function as fast as they can.

GRAPHICS: 10/10

I am pleased by the graphical work done by Quantum Squid Interactive. Not only in this game, but in their others, it never disappoints. From blowing off gophers heads, to navigating the menus, I am pleased by the visuals. The title screen shows the porch of the farm house with a shotgun laid against the railing. The background has the barn and fields. It is an interesting title screen that (along with the music) sets the mood for the game.

The graphical area of the farm changes depending on the mini-game. Gopher Blast takes place on a large patch of soil. Gopher Bombs takes place near one of the fences surrounding the farm, and Gopher Sniper takes place in the fields.

The graphics are great and I could not find a reason to dislike them. Getting attacked by a gopher is a funny graphical bonus to the game.

MUSIC: 9/10

The musical quality is great and fits the game’s atmosphere quite well. The title screen has one soundtrack that constantly repeats, but it never seems to get old. It fits the game’s style that well. The mini-games do not necessarily have music, but they have cricket sounds to symbolize the time of day (night). Believe it or not, the lack of music actually helps Rabid Gophers. The cricket sounds are just perfect and allow the player to relax and stay focused. Music in the mini-games could have been distracting.

My only grudge is that there could be more music variety for the title screen, but it is a little thing.

STORY: 1/10

Kill the Gophers in order to save the farm. It is not built up in any way which is disappointing. (No matter how hard you try to save the farm, you will lose!)

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 8/10

Rabid Gophers is a reaction based game. Three mini-games (Gopher Blast, Gopher Bombs, Gopher Sniper) each require the player to do a specific task. Gopher Blast is a game about pressing the right button in order to shotgun a gopher. Players do so by looking at the various gopher holes that correspond with a certain control function (A, B, X, Y, LT, RT). When a gopher pops up, the player must press the right button as quick as they can. If they do it fast enough, the gopher gets shot. If they are too slow, the player loses because the gopher steals the bait. Pressing the wrong button will jam the gun. The gun can only be jammed three times before the player loses. The game tracks how long the player survives, and as time goes on, the gophers pop up more frequently.

Gopher Bombs is a reaction game about pressing the right combination of buttons in order to blow up gophers. At first there are only three combinations to detonate the bomb, but as time goes on, it leads up to six combinations. Players play this mini-game by looking at the various gopher holes that correspond with a certain control function (A, B, X, Y, LT, RT). When the gophers pop up, the player must press the right button combination as quick as they can. If they do it fast enough, the bomb detonates and the gophers blow up. If they are too slow, the player loses because the gophers attack him/her. Pressing the wrong button at any time will force the player to restart the button combination. Sometimes messing up once can spell the end for the player. The game tracks how long the player survives, and as time goes on, combinations have to be entered faster.

Gopher Sniper is the only mini-game that allows the player to move a cursor around. The cursor in this case is a sniper scope which is moved via analog sticks. The sensitivity for the analog sticks can be changed (low, medium, high). This is a great addition that helps accommodate for everyone’s style of play. Low sensitivity is great for making the perfect shot. High sensitivity is great for quick shots. Medium is for players who are in-between. Gopher Sniper is played in a field of gopher holes. Gophers pop up and the player must kill them by shooting them. This is done by navigating to the gopher and pressing the (A) button. If the player is too slow, then the gophers attack him/her. The game tracks how long the player survives, and as time goes on, the gophers pop up more frequently.

Other than the mini-games, the game has a few interesting features. One of these allows gore to be turned off for those with children. The best feature however is the one tracks the best times locally and ONLINE. The fifteen best times for each mini-game are shown to the world. While I wish that I could view all the scores, the game only allows the fifteen best to be displayed. If the player chooses, they can turn off online score sharing so that they only see their own scores. Because of the ability to enable/disable online score sharing, I ran into a slight problem with Rabid Gophers. I purchased Rabid Gophers (have to buy to use online sharing feature & play Gopher Bombs and Gopher Sniper), but online sharing was not instant. I waited for some time, but it did not work until I disable and re-enabled online sharing. I am sure now that Quantum Squid Interactive did this so that people would not be forced to use it at first if they did not want to. It would have been nice if the options page had showed online sharing was off though (showed it was on the entire time).

My last complaint with the game is that there are only three game modes. A game like Rabid Gophers could be filled with a lot more mini-games (and the menu looks like it should be), but the three present are solid and fun.

OVERALL: 9/10

Overall Rabid Gophers is worth checking out. It is game that is easy to start up and play without messing with extra settings. The online Leaderboards is a huge plus because it is one of the few community games to do so. The musical and graphical quality is great and the game has a lot of polish. For 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50) this game cannot be overlooked.

Other Games by Quantum Squid Interactive (as of 8/26/09):

- Dock’em (Indie Game - 200 Microsoft Points)
- Battle Havoc (Indie Game - 400 Microsoft Points)

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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Overall Fun Level 
 
9.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 29, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Miner Dig Deep (James, Brendan, and Will Ribaux)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Miner Dig Deep
Developed by: Robir (James, Brendan, and Will Ribaux)
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Action & Adventure
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 9.54 Mb
Learning Curve: 1-5 Minutes
Overall Rating: 9/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Randomly generated mine & resources
- Randomly generated surface trees & grass
- Purchase & upgrade a number of items to dig deeper!
- Dig too much in one area and Earthquakes occur, causing cave-ins!
- Ability to Save/Load
Puzzling:
- Why can’t Teleporter’s go down as well as up?
Rating:
Violence - 1/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Miner Dig Deep is an addictive casual game where the player tries to expand their mine to find riches in the depths below.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

Some of the graphics look like they could be made in Microsoft’s Paint, but the game fits this way. The game’s main focus is on game play, and when addicted, nothing else matters.



This area of the surface is the only "above ground" area the player will see.



The elevators help reach the depths and make traveling easier. The blue teleporter is also helpful in doing this.



Use ladders where you can or you might get stuck!



There are many different ways to dig through a mine and ladders will help the player move around.

MUSIC: 8/10

There are two music variations. The first music variation plays when the player is on the world’s surface. The second play’s on the title screen and while in the mine. While they are nothing special, they do not grate on the ears. They flow with the overall feel of the game, and the fact that there is little variance is lost amid the game play. The character sounds, grab hook, drill, pick, and other items do not get annoying either.

STORY: 9/10

You are a miner trying to become rich by digging the deepest mine. A story that sets the background for the entire game, and culminates in an amazing ending with a careful choice to make.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 9/10

Miner Dig Deep involves exploring a very big mine to collect and sell resources at the shop on the surface. While doing so, it is important to never get stuck. Always make sure that there is a route back to the surface. Otherwise the player must be rescued and the collected resources are lost. Selling resources awards the player with money to buy or upgrade items. Some items such as elevators and ladders help the player explore the mine and create easy routes to travel around.

Every time a new game or new mine is started, the surface is randomized. The grass, the background trees, and the foreground trees are all placed differently which helps give it a fresher feel. The mine is periodically randomized to keep resources (and boulders) available to be mined. Why mine these resources? Because the Miner needs to explore the depths and to do so they must have their equipment upgraded. Upgrading equipment is the element that will keep people coming back for more. Just wondering how much better the experience will be if the drill, grab hook, or any other item is upgraded one more time is a blast. Getting the last upgrade ends the reason to play, which means its time to start a new mine.

One element that adds to the mining experience is the occasional Earthquake. Some people may go through a mine without ever having an Earthquake, while some will have many. An Earthquake occurs when too much of the mine is dug away in one area. This leads to cave-ins. Another element is the addition of Teleporters at certain depths within the mines. These Teleporters quickly take the player back to the surface and are very useful.

The only problem I have with the game is that Teleporters take the player up, but not back down. This leads the player to have to use elevators to go down more than 1000 M! They are like the elevator rides from Mass Effect. Amazing at first, but they quickly become tedious. There should be Teleporters on the surface that activate once the player reaches a certain depth. For example, when the player reaches 250 M, Teleporter 1 activates. They now have the ability to use Teleporter 1 on the surface. This could be done for all of the Teleporters.

I recently spoke to the Robir Team about the above problem and they had this to say:

"The team definitely considered the idea of having Teleporters go both ways, however we felt it made the game too simple after a point. If you can Teleport up and down then it makes the space between the Teleporters useless. Players building a slow inefficient mine are punished by having to constantly navigate a messy mine to hit the bottom. If you could just skip to a certain point in the mine after reaching it then players would just messily dig down and not have to worry about the consequences. The idea of an increasing challenge and time taken to travel also gave purpose to getting new items."

I will let you make up your own mind about it.

OVERALL: 9/10

The game has an infinite number of randomly generated mines and surface types. For only 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50), this game will keep you coming back for more. Even if mining does not interest you, you should try this. I was skeptical at first. However, after I bought the game, I played for three hours straight!

Other Games by Robir (James, Brendan, and Will Ribaux) (as of 8/26/09):

- None

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 29, 2009
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Iris (Altered Reality Entertainment)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Iris
Developed by: Altered Reality Entertainment
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Music
Version: 2
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 1 Mb
Learning Curve: 5 Minutes
Overall Rating: 9/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p
Other Features:
- 10 visualizers (Wheel, Ghost, Tank Wars, Stars and Stripes, Gravity Wells, Symmetry, Kaleidoscope, Spheres, Equalizers, Burn Baby Burn)
- Customize the visualizers
- Explore the media library (Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, Playlists, Now Playing)
- Turn visualizer Shuffle ON/OFF
- Turn color shuffle ON/OFF
- Turn rumble ON/OFF
- Select various media sources (Xbox 360 and/or Windows PC)
Puzzling:
- No dedicated search feature (type in an artist/album/song and then have Iris find it for you)
- Main Menu (start menu) does not flow right
- Cannot create and save playlists in Iris
Rating:

Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Iris is like having Windows Media Player on your Xbox 360! Ten visualizers are built-in ready to be customized and played. Play songs from your Xbox 360 or Windows PC using Windows Media Connect with an intuitive interface.

Note: This game was reviewed using the latest .ccgame file provided by the developer. This has not influenced the review in any way.

GRAPHICS: 10/10

The visualizers are fantastic! Customizing them is amazing as well. Simply changing the colors of the visualizers can make them feel new each time. In addition to color changing, some allow other features to be customized such as gravity strength (Gravity Wells), inverse symmetry, smoothing (Symmetry), piece width, piece height, reflection opacity (Equalizer). There are ten visualizers in all (Wheel, Ghost, Tank Wars, Stars and Stripes, Gravity Wells, Symmetry, Kaleidoscope, Spheres, Equalizers, Burn Baby Burn). The Burn Baby Burn visualizer look familiar? That is because it is the main Iris logo. My favorite visualizer would have to be Tank Wars because it is not a common visualizer.

The music navigating menu graphics are crisp, easy to read (even on an SDTV), and well implemented. They do not overdo themselves and take away from the visualizers which is a great thing.

MUSIC: 10/10

The game has no music besides your own. This is a good thing so that you only hear your music and nothing else. No more having to worry about the game’s background sounds, only your own music! If you do not have music, the game is not at fault. Iris is built to play music and not provide it. Judge this field by how good your music is!

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 9/10

Iris is a Media Player that works remarkably well. First turning on the game asks the user what storage device they would like to use. If there is music on the hard drive, it is an option. All computers connected using Windows Media Connect are options as well.

To learn how to connect a Windows PC to the Xbox 360 using Windows Media Connect, click here. Make sure that both are already connected on the same network (routers are the most common way).

Now that the two are connected, Iris can stream music from your PC to your Xbox 360. I speak only for myself, but I have had a bad experience using the Xbox 360 Dashboard’s Windows Media Center. It constantly freezes up so Iris is a pleasant change in that I have never experienced a problem with it. Iris will load the music library which can take a few minutes. This is not bad because the way it loads everything else is very intuitive. Everything is loaded as you use it and loads fast. Designing the game this way was very smart. This way Iris does not spend extra time loading music that you may not listen to. Instead it loads it when you need it and you do not have to reload it until exiting the game and replaying Iris.

The music library can be explored by looking at artists, albums, songs, genres, playlists, and now playing. It is easy to navigate and is helped by the ability to easily change music from the main control screen. These options include previous song, next song, play/pause, volume, shuffle/repeat/normal, enter media library, and change visualizer. Song length and song progress is displayed as well. If you are not doing anything, the screen will fade to show the visualizer until you press a button.

The main menu (start menu) allows for some options to be changed. Rumble can be turned on or off. The controller rumbles when selecting an option in the media library and everywhere else. Color Shuffle and Visualizer Shuffle can also be turned on or off. These options are nice and help customize the experience to your liking.

With all of that said, I come to the complaints. The main menu (start menu) is my first of two complaints. It does not feel like a main menu, but just another random menu. Thankfully, the main menu does not even have to be used to play or change music. My second complaint is that Iris does not provide a “search” feature. The search feature could use the Xbox 360 controller (similar to typing a message) to type an artist/album/song and then have Iris find it for you. Easier to find what you want to play this way.

OVERALL: 9/10

Iris is a strong Media Player with few faults. The faults present do not do enough to truly matter so if you listen to music on your Xbox 360 (or have ever wanted to) try it out now!

Other Games by Altered Reality Entertainment (as of 8/26/09):

- Endless Swarm (Indie Game - 80 Microsoft Points)


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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 29, 2009
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Happyface (DSRush)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Happyface
Developed by: DSRush
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Version: ?
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 380.0 Kb
Learning Curve: Instant-1 Minute
Overall Rating: 1/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
Other Features:
- Match 5 happy faces of the same color
- Keep track of the best 5 high scores (local)
Puzzling:
- No music or soundeffects
- Where is the fun?
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

A game where the player must match 5 happy faces horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Once the trial ends the player may then want to strangle themselves as they press the (B) button to not purchase it.

Note: I did not buy this game because all features can be played and beat before the trial ends.

GRAPHICS: 1/10

The background consists of a light blue screen and the board consists of white lines. The happy faces are nothing more than circles with various colors, and black for the eyes and mouth. The only particle effects come from destroying five blocks.

MUSIC: 0/10

No music or soundeffects. Seriously.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 1/10

This game forces the player to play one mode. This mode forces the player to match 5 happy faces of the same color. Sounds simple enough, right? It is. In fact, it is TOO simple. The game begins with a few happy faces and moving them allows more to fall each turn. Matching 5 can become hard, but only because happy faces always fall in your way (or so it would seem). Matching three would probably have allowed for more excitement, but I guess we will never know. The one thing the game does do right is tracking high scores. Even then however, who would you want to show your high scores to?

OVERALL: 1/10

Happyface is a cheap-budget game (as evident when playing) that lacks any form of the word fun. Very, very few people would even enjoy playing it. Do not download the trial. I am warning you.

Other Games by DSRush (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown


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4.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 29, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Grid Chasers (Bright Night Games)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Grid Chasers
Developed by: MightyMN (Bright Night Games)
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Action & Adventure
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 4.67 Mb
Learning Curve: Instant-1 Minute
Overall Rating: 3/10 (New Price --> 4/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1-4
- HDTV 720p Support
Other Features:
- Choose between three level varieties.
- Choose number of lives (1-5)
Puzzling:
- Lack of Trophy/Awards System
- AI is unintelligent
- No Xbox Live Matches
- Only three levels
- Why charge so much for so little?
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Use “Chess Knights” to try to delete pieces of the board and make other characters fall to their death in this multiplayer focused game.

Note: I did not buy this game because all features can be played and beat before the trial ends (with the exception of multiplayer which plays the same as single player).

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 4/10
400 MSP ($5.00) -> 200 MSP ($2.50)

A lower price is always a good thing, but this game isn't even worth the new price.

GRAPHICS: 3/10

The particle effects are good and I like the way the board falls in a 3D-like style, but the “levels” (boards) are just varying colors. The characters are just varying colors of the “Chess Knights”.

MUSIC: 3/10

The music sounds like something that would be in a card game. There are only two varying “songs” to listen to. They occur on the title screen and in-game. They are easy to forget amidst the game play.

STORY: 1/10

Play the game and try to achieve first place!

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 3/10

This game would be fun to play with a few friends and share a few laughs, but it won’t last long enough to make up for buying it. Multiplayer can only be played on the same system and then there are only three boards to choose from, each one no different than the last. There is no Trophy or Awards system to even try for replay ability and the AI’s will sometimes walk into their deaths (or not try to leave it).

OVERALL: 3/10 (New Price --> 4/10)

The trial is worth playing, but asking to pay 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50) seems like a crime. If anything this game should be free (unfortunately, Indie Games cannot be free), or at least 80 Microsoft Points ($1.00).

Other Games by MightyMN (Bright Night Games) (as of 8/17/09):

- Unknown

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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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Shooter
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
6.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 29, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Groov (Funkmasonry Industries)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Groov
Developed by: Barryman (Funkmasonry Industries)
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Shooter
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 43.36 Mb
Learning Curve: 5 Minutes or less
Overall Rating: 6/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p Support
Other Features:
- Every action has a musical reaction
- Three Game Modes (Original Mix, Expert Remix, Jam Session)
- Jam in Jam Session by choosing what tunes to play
Puzzling:
- Lack of worldwide Leaderboards
- Lack of Trophy/Reward System
- Lack of musical enemy variety
- Aiming not as good as Geometry Wars
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Groov is a dual stick shooter much like Geometry Wars that makes you a conductor of an intergalactic jazz fusion orchestra. Every action in Groov has a musical reaction. Groov has three modes, randomized music, and the ability to slow down enemies and the song for a certain time length.

GRAPHICS: 6/10

The graphics are basic shapes with a little morphing done to them. The title screen and menu’s are little more than colored screens with font. The levels have no background except for black stars.

MUSIC: 5/10

Groov is a game about music so it is not surprising that the music greatly enhances the game. Killing certain enemy types plays a different tune and leads to some good music. However, for a game that really needs music variety, there are not a lot of enemy types which means you’ll end up hearing the same musical tunes often.

STORY: 0/10

There really is no story other than play Original mix to unlock Expert Remix. Then play Expert Remix to unlock Jam Session.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 6/10

Groov features three game modes. The first is Original Mix. You’ll play this one until you get a High Score of at least 25,000. Then you’ll unlock Expert Remix. What’s the difference? In Original Mix you are given four lives. In Expert Remix you have only one life, and have to get a High Score of 25,000 again to unlock Jam Session.

Original Mix is where you’ll spend a lot of your time. I had some trouble getting over 25,000 points, but I recently completed it. Then I tried Expert Remix! It is a great mode to play if you are looking for an adrenaline rush mixed with frustration when you get below 25,000 points. I beat it after a few tries. There is a trick, but this is not a guide so I’ll let you figure it out. Once you unlock Jam Session you are given the ability to mess around with the music for yourself and YOU CANNOT DIE! This feature is cool, but their isn’t any new music so its not going to hold your attention for long.

You may get high scores, but no one will see them. This game lacks worldwide Leaderboards which disappoints because that would at least offer some more replay value. A Trophy/Reward system would also offer more replay value.

The aiming could use some work as it may not always shoot where you want it to which may lead to your inevitable death. Another disappointing feature allows you to slow down enemies and the music by using it at a specific beat (ONE two three four). Most of the time you don’t know when this is, and it rarely activates when you really need it to.

OVERALL: 6/10

This game has problems, but if you can look past them you may find it to be enjoyable. Download the trial game and test it. You don’t lose anything by testing the trial. If you have Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 or even an Geometry Wars then this may not be for you. If not, then this may be a good way to get your quick fix. I find it enjoyable to play and I own Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2.

Other Games by Funkmasonry Industries (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown


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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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9.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 26, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Trino (trinoteam)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Trino
Developed by: trinoteam
System: Xbox 360
Version: 1
Genre: Shooter
Cost: 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 26.03 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-15 Minutes (hours to master on higher difficulties)
Overall Rating: 9/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p
Other Features:
- 10 enemy types
- 40+ challenging levels
- Live scoreboard
- Evolve
Puzzling:
- Live scoreboard
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four minutes before the trial ends.
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Trino is a game about an evolving alien named Trino who must escape a nano-robot swarm known as the Nanites. Trino flees because he has been imprisoned for his powers. Along his 40+ level journey, Trino will evolve and take on ten different enemy types while competing on a live scoreboard.

Note: This game was reviewed using the latest .ccgame file provided by the developer.

GRAPHICS: 10/10

The graphics are done very well. From the menus to the in-game sprites, Trino doesn’t leave anything to be desired. The levels are very diverse and offer some interesting challenges as well as new strategies. The enemies all vary enough that they don’t look like re-colored sprites. The backgrounds help give the levels a…calming feel. Calm while killing enemies and trying not to die!? It works.

The title screen!

The levels are interestingly designed providing varying enemy types and the evolution of Trino!


The levels are interestingly designed providing varying enemy types and the evolution of Trino!



Boss battles can be tough!

MUSIC: 9/10

The music is soothing and never gets old. I’m not sure how many tracks there are, but it never bothered me enough to think about it. The sound effects might grate a little, but you might not notice them a whole lot. After all, you can always turn them down in the options menu!

STORY: 8/10

The story is about an evolving alien named Trino who must escape a nano-robot swarm known as the Nanites. Trino flees because he has been imprisoned for his powers. Along his 40+ level journey, Trino will evolve and take on ten different enemy types and bosses!!!

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 8/10

Enter Trino, a game with a lot going for it. Once the title screen appears, you may notice one thing; how calming the menu and music is. This is a contrast to the game play which is chaotic and may get you sweating! From here, the player can start a new game, learn how to play (which is helpful), select a level (once unlocked, is always available), view the scoreboard (total, chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3) change the options (music & sound fx volume), or view the credits.

The “How to Play” section is self explanatory as it is a tutorial. So let’s begin by starting a new game. Starting a new game only means that the player starts from level 1. Note that it does not mean the player has to re-unlock the levels that he/she has already played.

The game play for Trino is simple, yet hard to master thanks to the ten varying enemy types.

The goal in Trino is to create triangles to trap enemies in. Simple right? It is at first because one enemy type only moves straight ahead and does nothing else. Throw in faster moving enemies, enemies that try to destroy your triangle(s), along with other enemies and it can become complicated fast. Thankfully, Trino is not without his own abilities. As Trino evolves, he (or she) will be able to create more triangles at a given time, essentially creating combination kills. That is not the only thing Trino can evolve, but I will leave it to you to figure the rest out! This is VERY useful for staying alive and taking down multiple Nano-robots in multiple areas. Certain Nano-robots (recognizable by green orbs) will drop what I will coin Nanaway. They are orbs that help to seal off a level. Once enough are acquired, the player has to create a triangle around the entire level to seal it from the Nano-robots. Hence, Nanaway is a pesticide (with an electrical shock) for…Nano-robots!

The game gets more intense as you play through the levels and beat the game! Boss battles are present in the game, but I will not say too much about them. They provide a nice change from the other enemies though.

The controls work great, really only requiring the left analog stick and the (A) button. The HUD is also intuitive and never "gets in the way" of the action. My only question with this game is the “Live Scoreboard.” How does it work?! No matter what I tried, I only ever saw my scores. Besides that though, this game is a must have.

OVERALL: 9/10

Trino is definitely a game that should be admired for pushing the boundaries of game play a little more. The triangle killing component, and stacking them, is something that provides some very deep strategy. Throw in ten varying enemy types and Trino offers a lot of challenge sprawled over 40+ intense, varying levels.

Other Games by trinoteam (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown


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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 26, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Mania (Tower17Games)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Mania
Developed by: Tower17Games
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Puzzle and Trivia
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 40.61 MB
Learning Curve: 45+ minutes
Overall Rating: 5/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 1080p
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Level's and Combo's
- 2 game modes (Arcade and Endurance)
- Options (music, sound fx, vibration, switch control sticks, camera direction)
- High scores (local/online)
Puzzling:
- Online high scores
- Controls
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four minutes before the trial ends.
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Mania is a game that appears simple enough. Rotate a cube while at the same time changing its color in order to match incoming shapes. In addition to this simple game play, Mania provides two game modes (endurance and arcade).

GRAPHICS: 6/10

The graphics are simple so that they do not distract from the game play. This was a good idea, but more simple areas could have been created and used. As it is, the only “playing field” is a green plane with a well on it. The game play takes place in the well above the water, yet under the roof. The cube is in the center while the challenge shapes come from the four sides of the well.

The HUD is simple and intuitive enough. There are two bars at the top of the screen. The first bar shows the player’s health and the next bar shows level progress. Health is lost by incorrectly placing an incoming shape with either the wrong shape or wrong color on the cube. Health is regained by correctly joining an incoming shape with the correct shape on the cube and the correct color.

The game's graphics are in HD, but there is not enough present to fully appreciate the HD quality. The problem with the HD part is that SD is forgotten in one case. The “How to Play” section has small font that is hard to read.

MUSIC: 8/10

The music for this game had me reminiscing to the days of Harvest Moon (Natsume). It’s a soothing melody that doesn’t distract from the game play. There is some variety, but it can still get a little repetitive. Regardless of this, I can’t help but love the music.

STORY: 0/10

None.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 5/10

This game has one of the highest learning curves in any indie game I have played. The reason for this is because a simple control issue makes the game really difficult; and not in a fun way either. Mania is a simple game requiring the player to control a cube. The cube has a different shape on each side. The color of the cube can be changed to Yellow, Blue, Red, or Green and is done so by the corresponding color button on the Xbox controller.

Progressing through the game will take the player through progressively harder levels with faster incoming shapes. Matching shapes and colors in a row can result in combo’s which means more points!

While playing, some options are presented to help. Most notable of these is switching analog sticks because one controls the camera and one controls the cube. The last notable option is the ability to change camera direction (default/invert). I personally didn’t use it, but some might like the ability to do so.

Scores and High Scores are tracked and recorded in two ways (arcade and endurance in local and online scoreboards). What is surprising is the claim of “online” scoreboards. While this is technically true, it is disappointing that scores are only shown from people playing the game at the same time.

Now going back to my main problem with Mania, we can see how one simple error can ruin the experience. Rotating the cube left<->right is easy enough, but rotating up<->down is a real pain. Instead of rotating the cube up/down front to back like I would expect, it rotated it in a confusing way. Hard to describe because it’s something that has to be experience to fully understand why it’s so hard to like.


OVERALL: 5/10

The controls are really the only problem with this game. They lead to a very high learning curve, but if you can get past it you might find this game enjoyable. It doesn’t offer much depth, but it’s fun enough when it works.

Other Games by Tower17Games (as of 8/26/09):

- Unknown


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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 17, 2009
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Easy Golf Course Architect (Barkers Crest Studio)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Easy Golf Course Architect
Developed by: Barkers Crest (Barkers Crest Studio)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Sports & Simulation
Version: Final
Cost: 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 105.82 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-20 Minutes
Overall Rating: 10/10
Main Features:
- Players 1-4
- System Link 2-8
- HDTV 720p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
- Online Multiplayer 2-8
Other Features:
- Create & Share courses over Xbox Live
- Unlockable character accessories
- Player Statistics Tracker
- Course Records
- Weather Conditions
- Background Choices
Puzzling:
- Nothing!
Future Game Ideas:
- More character accessories (not limited to hats and robot color)
- More weather conditions & natural disasters (earthquake splits course in half!)
- More background choices
- More items added to the course creator
- Find out why the Xbox 360 does not like the polygon count for some trees
- Ability to change the time of day
- Accommodate for Microsoft Avatar’s (when Microsoft allows)
- Online Leaderboards
- Upload rooms for people to download whenever (if possible)
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Easy Golf is a game that is easy to pick up and play. Try the built in courses, download more from friends, or create your own! The possibilities are endless!

GRAPHICS: 9/10

Some of the best graphics in a community game to date. Everything seen in the game is spectacular. I was amazed that a community game was able to accomplish great game play while maintaining a high polygon count (some lag may occur with too many polygons). However, there are a few graphical hiccups. The first is when water and land meet. If the golf ball lands in the water near land, the water animation does not accommodate for land (the animation acts as though the land were water). In addition, shadows occasionally disappear beneath the ground. Despite all of this, none of the graphical hiccups or rare lag ruin the experience.

MUSIC: 10/10

The music is soothing and the weather music adds to the golf experience. The options page even allows for the game music to be replaced by your own (hard drive or USB device)!

STORY: 0/10

You are a golfer and you golf! Other than that the game does not build up a story or any ending whatsoever.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 10/10

There is so much to do I do not know where to begin. Courses can be played offline with (1-4) players or online with (2-8). If on the same console, player’s will take turns playing, with turns being calculated by who is furthest away from the hole. Playing online is faster because everyone takes their turns at the same time. The only waiting that occurs is when you have already made your golf ball into the hole and you are waiting for everyone else to finish. Other player’s are represented by a golf ball with their Gamertag’s name and picture. You cannot mess with other people’s golf balls (you will go straight through them).

Afraid that no one plays Easy Golf? Do not be. The creator, barkers crest, is still active in helping people find others who play easy Golf. He will even play and share courses with you! He really helped me get acquainted with Easy Golf along with the help of the fantastic course creator, Shake N Baco.

The controls are solid and the attention to detail is evident. As you change your golf club type and style (driver, putter, etc.), the club in the robot golfer’s hand changes. The game even accommodates for backspins and topspins. This is literally a game that gets easier the more you play. Within an hour or two you can be good, but that hole-in-one may still elude you for awhile!

Doing certain deeds unlocks hats for your robot (hole in one unlocks a hat), but online players will not see what you have. This may or may not be a downer for some people who work hard for a hat so that they can show it off. I do not mind because I can see them and swell with pride at my accomplishment!

Course creation is fast, fun, and easy. This is where your creativity is allowed to be set free! The editing is easy to use, but switching to and from the cameras can be a little annoying until you get used to it. Once you finish a course it can be shared with friends by inviting them to your “share” room. I thought this was a bit of a downer, but I understand barkers reasoning. He did not want random people to be able to join and download your courses (even though they cannot edit them).

The title screen changes to accommodate the last course styles you played which I thought was amazing because then I do not have to see the same screen all the time. Courses also track your best record and your golf career stats are tracked as well.

Now with all of that said you are probably thinking why I have found nothing about this game puzzling. The answer is that it does everything right. The “Future Game Ideas” section was added because I would like those things added, but Easy Golf 1 does not need them to be great. It already offers so much.

OVERALL: 10/10

This game is one of the best Community Games on Xbox Live. When it first released it sold for 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00), but has since been reduced to its now price tag of 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00). Even if you do not like golf you should give this game a try. I had never played and liked a golf game until I tried Easy Golf. This is a game that should not be passed up. If you have tried a past version then retry this game. Barkers Crest Studios has put a lot of work into the updates and making it the amazing game it is today. Just think about it this way:

This game is cheaper than ordering a combo meal from a fast food restaurant (e.g. Jack in the Box).

Other Games by Barkers Crest (Barkers Crest Studios) (as of 8/16/09):

- Unknown


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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 17, 2009
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DUOtrix (Binary Zoo Studios)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: DUOtrix
Developed by: Mo (Binary Zoo Studios & Caffeine Monster Software)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Version: ?
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 5.46 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-10 Minutes
Overall Rating: 8/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Classic Mode (Power-ups off)
- Arcade Mode (Power-ups on)
- Puzzle Mode (25 levels)
- Zoots (trophies for doing certain deeds)
Puzzling:
- Nothing!
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

A color matching puzzle game where the player controls two boards simultaneously. Blocks being moved down (or up depending on the board) can be switched with each other for more strategy. Arcade mode even has a Powerup that prevents swapping for a certain amount of “turns.”

GRAPHICS: 5/10

The graphics work for the game, but they are nothing special. The only great thing is switching the options so that the graphics can take you on a “psychedelic trip” when earning combo’s, among other things. The title screen looks like more time could have been put into it.





Some example matches. Notice the difference between visuals which are changed in the "'options" page.

MUSIC: 5/10

The music is decent, but suffers from a lack of variety. It gets repetitive way too fast.

STORY: 0/10

No story whatsoever.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 10/10

Anyone who has ever played Tetris will feel right at home here. This game is the very definition of color matching, except for without the angles that Tetris required. Arcade mode adds some nice Powerups that help give the game more life and more stress, while Classic mode offers great game play for those who do not want to hassle with Powerups. Higher difficulties will have you sweating while you look at both boards and swap pieces (regardless of mode), all the while trying to keep both boards from overflowing. Scores are tracked offline between the two modes.

Zoots are the game’s version of achievements. Performing enough zoots unlocks a graphical mode that is worth the wait. The graphics will have your head spinning! To understand what I am talking about you must play the game and mess with the graphic options. One example of a Zoot is getting a 20x combo. Good luck!

OVERALL: 8/10

This game plays well and is fun, but does not shine above any other game. The only thing that sets it apart is the fact that it allows the player to control two boards at the same time. This allows for new strategies and game play that will make you sweat on higher levels. The puzzle mode is challenging, but worth the satisfaction you get when you beat a challenge. They increase in difficulty. This game is worth checking out for its addicting game play and cheap (200 Microsoft Points - $2.50) price tag.

Other Games by Mo (Binary Zoo Studios) (as of 8/16/09):

- Unknown


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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 17, 2009
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Dock'em (Quantum Squid Interactive)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Dock’em
Developed by: Quantum Squid Interactive
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Strategy & Simulation
Version: 1
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 10.51 MB
Learning Curve: 5-10 Minutes
Overall Rating: 8/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p
Other Features:
- One mini-game
- High scores tracked locally and online!
- Enable or disable online score sharing
Puzzling:
- Only one mini-game
- Cannot change any settings for mini-game to change gameplay
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Dock’em is a multi-task game where the player must safely navigate multiple ships into their correct ports. While doing so, players must be sure to avoid collisions with land or other ships.

GRAPHICS: 5/10

I am pleased by the graphical work done by Quantum Squid Interactive. Not only in this game, but in their others, it never disappoints. The title screen, water, ports, and ships are all done really well. Ship types also vary by sail boat, cruisers, and a few others. Why did this receive a five then? Because every time a player starts a new game, the ports are all in the same spot. There is no graphical variety to the game because there are no levels, only level. I know some people like to play the same level over and over, but that is why people can choose what level to play. The font in this game is fuzzy on a Standard Definition Television.

MUSIC: 8/10

The musical quality is great and fits the game’s atmosphere quite well. The mini-game does not necessarily have music other than “portly” sounds (waves, ships, etc.). This is a good and bad thing. It is good because it leaves the player to concentrate on what they are doing. It is bad because the lack of music can sometimes make the game a bit boring. It will certainly vary by person, but I everyone would like more music variety.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 9/10

Dock’em is a game that tests the multitasking skills. The one mini-game (yes, it is a mini-game) is the entire game. This mini-game tasks the player with navigating multiple ships to their respective ports (at least three ports). The game starts out easy at first only giving the player a few ships to navigate, but as time goes on, more and more ships come at once. This leads to retracing new paths after already tracing a path for a ship. Tracing a path is easily done by highlighting a ship, holding the (A) button, and tracing a path to the ship’s respective port. Then move on to the next ship while the one you just set follows your course! If a ship does not have a course set for it, then it will move forward until it collides with something or it receives a course. A red anchor shows the next incoming ships and from where they are coming.

A great feature that Quantum Squid Interactive has taken to using is Online Leaderboards (local and online). With this game they have even upgraded upon their system. In Rabid Gophers, players could see the best fifteen players for each mini-game (three total). In Dock’em, there is a scroll function so that ALL high scores can be viewed. This is a welcome addition and was one of my few complaints with Rabid Gophers. Online score sharing can even be disabled if the player chooses to.

This section received a 9/10 because there is only one mini-game and its settings cannot be changed. The number of ports, islands, time limit, etcetera. These features would have added more depth to it which is always good. Another thing I find odd is that the game does not allow the player to change the analog stick sensitivity. Rabid Gophers allowed this for Gopher Sniper, why can’t Dock’em allow this for…Dock’em?

OVERALL: 8/10

Dock’em is a fast-paced thriller that will make players sweat as they navigate more and more ships to their respective ports. The game is solid and has good polish, but does not have as much content as it could and should. For what it has though, it is a great game for 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50).

Other Games by Quantum Squid Interactive (as of 8/16/09):

- Rabid Gophers (Indie Game - 200 Microsoft Points)
- Battle Havoc (Indie Game - 400 Microsoft Points)


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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 11, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Couples Sudoku (JDPCreations)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Couples Sudoku
Developed by: JDPCreations
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Version: ?
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 18.62 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-15 Minutes
Overall Rating: 7/10 (New Price --> 8/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1-2
- Co-op 2
- HDTV 720p
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- Unlimited Sudoku Puzzles
- 6 game modes (3 single player, 3 multiplayer)
- Five difficulties
- High scores tracked by game type and difficulty (local)
- Resume Puzzle (Until Xbox 360 is shutdown or a new puzzle is started)
Puzzling:
- No online Multiplayer
- No online Leaderboards
- Only one background
- Little music variance
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Couples Sudoku is a Sudoku puzzle game geared towards (you guessed it) couples. There are single player game modes, but couples can go head to head or help each other one puzzle at a time.

Note: I did not buy this game because important features can be played and beat before the trial ends.

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 8/10

200 MSP (2.50) -> 80 MSP ($1.00)

A lower price is always a good thing! Anyone interested in Sudoku (especially couples) should take a look at this. It's cheaper than the puzzles in the newspaper!!! And there is an unlimited supply in this game!

GRAPHICS: 5/10

The graphics are what would be expected from a Sudoku game. The font is bright and clear to read (thankfully). The boards are easy to see, as are the numbers (even on Standard Definition Televisions). One game board is a shame because it looks like it is replicating a desk. There are a lot of desk types with different objects on them and the game should have taken advantage of this.

MUSIC: 5/10

There is very little music variance (hence the low score), but what is present is above average. It appealed to me and never made me feel that I needed to listen to something else.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 7/10

Couples Sudoku tasks the player with solving Sudoku puzzles (Sudoku rules are found here). The six game types are: freeplay, time trial, first to #, arcade mode, coop freeplay, and coop timed trial. Freeplay and Coop Freeplay play the same with no time limits or pencils (lives). Arcade mode offers levels which increase by completing puzzles. Higher levels mean higher difficulties. In Arcade mode the player has three pencils which serve as lives. If the player puts a number somewhere it should not be, a life is lost. When all lives are lost it is game over. Time Trial and Coop Time Trial task the player(s) with completing a puzzle within a certain amount of time. The last mode, First to #, pits two people against each other where they race to be the first to complete a certain # of puzzles.

While playing these modes, cockroaches will randomly run across the screen and run off with numbers. While this at first seems to be a cool idea, it gets annoying very quickly because you are pulled back to that area of the board to put the number straight back. The second annoying feature in the game is setting numbers in slots (especially in arcade mode). Sometimes your finger may slip, or you will accidentally select the wrong number because it scrolls farther than you thought. The game places the number, and in arcade mode, you lose a life if it is wrong. This means arcade mode may not last long because you lose lives in annoying ways.

Have to leave while playing a puzzle? No problem! The game saves the last puzzle played. The only problem is that it erases when the Xbox 360 is turned off. Why!? Creating a permanent cache seems like a logical choice (like so many games have done).

High Scores are tracked locally by game type and difficulty. This feature works, but as with many community games, no one will see them (online at least). This is regrettable since there could be a Leaderboard for most completed puzzles with all game types combined.

The last feature missing is online multiplayer. Need I say more?

OVERALL: 7/10 (New Price --> 8/10)

Couples Sudoku is an average game that accomplishes exactly what it states. It provides a working game that has randomly generated puzzles, difficulties, and the ability for couples (or just friends) to play with or against one another (locally). The lack of online and background varieties are a minor setback, but anyone who enjoys Sudoku should certainly try this game.

Other Games by JDPCreations (as of 5/11/09):

- Unknown


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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 11, 2009
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CarneyVale Showtime (MIT Gambit Game Lab)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: CarneyVale Showtime
Developed by: gambitsg (MIT Gambit Game Lab)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Platformer
Version: ?
Cost: 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 62.70 MB
Learning Curve: 10-45 Minutes (hours to master)
Overall Rating: 9/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
- HDTV 720p
Other Features:
- 20 built-in acts (levels)
- Unlock 12 Trophies
- Unlock Concept Art
- Unlock Ranks by getting more stars in each performance
- Unlock new abilities as player progresses through acts
- Voice work (done very well)
- Map Editor (create and play)
Puzzling:
- Maps cannot be shared online
- Only eight custom maps can be created
- Maneuvering character (in any way) can sometimes be awkward
Rating:
Violence - 1/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

CarneyVale Showtime is a platform game that stars the circus acrobat Slinky. In this vertical ragdoll game, the player tries to rise up the ranks by performing a variety of death-defying stunts. As his fame increases, Slinky must perform in increasingly complex arenas.

GRAPHICS: 10/10

CarneyVale Showtime has some of the most impressive indie graphics on the Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace. From the character animations and physics, to the particles and flames, the game does not disappoint in this department. With my time playing the game I have never encountered a graphical hiccup or file failing to load (or lagging). The colorful art scheme just screams circus style down to the very lighting effects in the buildings. Every building, menu, and screen has been created with the circus theme in mind, as have the levels. CarneyVale Showtime offers twenty well-designed levels which offer branching paths within the levels. As Slinky rises to fame, the level backgrounds change and become more extravagant to show he is getting more recognition.

MUSIC: 10/10

The music is outstanding and the voice acting is superb. The circus music is really high-quality and fits the theme of the game perfectly. The announcer will announce what tricks Slinky performs, and even hearing the same lines being repeated doesn’t get old.

STORY: 8/10

“This is a story of a very special circus known as CarneyVale.” This line still sticks out in my mind because of the excellent voice work. CarneyVale Showtime follows Slinky (an inhuman circus acrobat) and his rise to fame. What gives life to Slinky? He is animated by the raw magic from the CarneyVale circus. Slinky is unlike the other non-human objects because he has dreams and aspirations. He dreams of becoming the most famous acrobat in the world and so the game follows his rise to fame. As Slinky rises to fame, he moves from the Lowntown circus area to the Casino to the Restaurant to demonstrate his increasing fame. The story is good in setting the backdrop for the game, but does not build on it as much as it could.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 8/10

CarneyVale Showtime is a vertical platform game with a lot to offer. From the twenty built-in levels to the map editor, there is little that disappoints. Let’s start this section with the game play.

CarneyVale Showtime tasks the player with getting from Point A to Point B while performing stunts, collecting balloons, trying not to die, and finding the hidden star. A level begins with Slinky condensed inside a little cannon and ready to spring. The player is able to move the cannon’s firing angle in order to get the best shot. Once fired, Slinky sails through the air at wherever the player has fired him towards. Hopefully it is a grabber. Grabbers reach out a certain distance and can pull Slinky in. From there, a grabber can be spun around or stopped at a certain angle. Letting go of the grabber button will send Slinky flying again. Slinky must make his way all the way to the top of a level where he must enter the “Ring of Fire” which signifies the end of a level. Once Slinky passes through, the level is completed and the stats for that level are tallied. Slinky is judged in 5 areas (1-5 stars):

1. Getting through the Ring of Fire (finishing the level)
2. Collecting all balloons (hundreds of them sometimes – vary by level)
3. Never lose a life
4. Finishing the level under a specific time limit
5. Finding the hidden star

Finishing the level and finishing it under a time limit is a common theme in games, while the others are not. Collecting balloons adds another fun game dynamic that offers replay value. Another replay value item involves finding the hidden star within a level. Doing this usually means sacrificing other judging areas, (e.g. never lose a life) because hidden stars are hidden out of the way and behind elaborate traps. Finishing the level without losing a life is easy early on, but gets really difficult as the levels progress.

Levels are made up of grabbers and many other objects that help give each new level a unique feel. Because new abilities for Slinky are introduced as he progresses through the levels, (which can be used on earlier levels once unlocked) and because new objects are always being added, the game succeeds in giving the player a new experience throughout. Example objects include:

1. Grabber
2. Lives
3. Balloons
4. Rotating flames
5. Electrical barriers
6. Much more!!!

Moving past game play we come to the little things that add to the game. Besides the twenty in-game levels, the game comes with twelve trophies to unlock, concept art to unlock, higher ranks to unlock, and a map editor.

Let’s start with the unlockables. The trophies task the player with completing a certain feat before they are unlocked. One example trophy wants the player to gain a number of fans. How does Slinky gain fans? Gaining more stars and performing high-end stunts will gain Slinky more fans. Concept Art is unlocked as Slinky ranks up. Slinky ranks up by gaining more stars in the levels. What happens when Slinky reaches the top? We won’t spoil this for you, but it is a nice little treat. Here is the rank tree (best at top):

1. Legendary
2. Magnificent
3. Awesome
4. Great
5. Acrobat
6. Newbie
7. Unknown

Another little addition occurs at the end of levels and has newspaper style quotes based on how many stars Slinky received which I thought was neat. The only problem with the quotes is that they lack variance and repeat after a few levels of getting the same number of stars. Now let’s move on to everybody’s favorite (or at least my own), the ability to create custom maps and play them. Maps have the ability to be customized by:

• Map name
• Theme (Lowtown, Casino, Restaurant)
• Level Height/Width

After that initial set up, a cursor (controlled via Analog Stick) is used as the placer. Objects are created and placed using an intuitive menu. As Slinky progresses through the game, more objects are unlocked and ready to be placed. Objects can be rotated and scaled, and placed wherever. The game offers the player the chance to create their own eight level circus using the map editor (just play them in order). Eight maps is high, but why the limit? If we are drawing off of the Xbox 360’s memory, why can’t we have a much higher limit, or no limit? Besides that the map editor allows trophies to be unlocked. This is not good or bad, but if someone really wants a trophy badly, they now have a chance to create a “glitch” level to get it. Why would someone do that though? Not only does it ruin the fun, but who’s going to see the trophies anyway?

My main complaint with the map editor is that maps cannot be shared online. I know this is because Microsoft won’t allow servers to be created to host files, but Easy Golf Course Architect (Barkers Crest Studio) and Zoomaroom (Four Bros Studio) managed to pull it off. Maybe Gambit could have created a gamertag to host people (in the friends list) who own the game so that they could find each other and share maps.

Moving past that complaint I come to my last one. Sometimes controlling Slinky can be awkward and clumsy. This mainly happens after he loses a life. The game advertises that Slinky is still controllable, but he gets pushed away by the life-taking object (usually into another one). The game tried to do this so that Slinky would get out of the area and not lose another life, but it fails and frustrates when it just pushes Slinky into another life-taking object. Another example of the awkward control involves the use of the special ability (has to be unlocked) that jumps Slinky. While in the air, Slinky can push himself in a direction indicated by the player. This is used a lot. Where does the problem come in? The Analog Stick is used to do this so the slightest error and Slinky flies in the wrong direction. Very frustrating at times.

Other than that, this game is well worth the occasional frustration.

OVERALL: 9/10

CarneyVale Showtime is 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00) of fun. With all that it offers there is no reason to pass it up. Sure, it could use a little more polish, but it is still a must-buy.

Other Games by gambitsg (MIT Gambit Game Lab) (as of 6/15/09):

- Unknown


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Classics
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
9.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 11, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Bricks4Ever (Running Pixel)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Bricks4Ever
Developed by: Running Pixel
System: Xbox 360
Version: ?
Genre: Classics
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 18.34 Mb
Learning Curve: 5 Minutes or less
Overall Rating: 9/10 (New Price --> 10/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1-2
- Co-op 2
- HDTV 1080p Support
- Custom Soundtracks
Other Features:
- 4 Game Modes (Classic, Never-Ending, Zen, Bi-polar)
- Change Neon Intensity (Low, Medium, High, Psychedelic)
- Loads of stages (50+) offer hours of replay value
Puzzling:
- Lack of worldwide Leaderboards
- Lack of Trophy/Reward System
- Coop Mode is single console only
- Options don’t save
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

A classic brick breaking game with 2 Coop modes, 50 Classic levels, a Never-Ending mode, Zen mode (infinite lives), and Bi-polar mode for hardcore gamers (control two paddles and two balls at once).

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 10/10

200 MSP (2.50) -> 80 MSP ($1.00)

The new price makes this game a must have. It was worth it at its old price and now that it is cheaper, make sure you pick this one up.
GRAPHICS: 9/10

For a game like this the neon graphics suit it well. The neon intensity can even be changed from low to medium to high to psychedelic. I recommend testing all four or trading off to find which one you like best and get a “fresh” experience. My only small complaint is that the background is a little fog effect. It looks cool, but would do better with variance.

MUSIC: 9/10

The music really goes with the game and is soothing to listen to. I just wish it looped with itself better because when the “song” ends and restarts, its evident to the ear.

STORY: 4/10

"In the beginning there was nothing. Then the big-bang created the universe. Neons were born in the first instances of life. This is the story of the Neon star, the first voyage between dimensions. I am Lumen Prox, Star Captain. We need your help, humans, to get past these obstacles!" An okay story with no real backing. That text just pops up when the game starts. After that there is nothing.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 9/10

For an old school player, this game has the title “Played it before.” Even then though this game is worth revisiting. From the music to the graphics it has a newer feel to it. Destroying blocks can lead to the possibilities of a random power-up. Example power-ups include, shrink, enlarge, 2x points, 3x points, multi-ball, superball, etc.

Moving on, the 2 Coop modes are Classic and Zen. In them, each player has a paddle and “deploys” a ball. While interesting to play, it must be noted that they can only be played with someone on the same console. This is puzzling since it would have been great over Xbox Live.

Another puzzling choice is that your options don’t save. Once you stop playing Bricks4Ever and come back, you have to reset your options. This isn’t a major thing since you may not visit the options page much, but it raises the question, “Is it really that hard to implement?”

Another question I continuously find myself asking is “Why don’t indie games have ACTUAL LEADERBOARDS!!!?” I mean why don’t they track and compare stats worldwide. I know some do, but this game does not. It tracks your top ten from each game mode to be shared with…You! Once again, it’s a little thing, but it would have been nice to have it.

The game may cause aggravation when you have to get the ball into an area to destroy the final blocks. What makes this hard? Some blocks can’t be destroyed and the ball has to get through them from a certain angle (end of Zen mode *shudders*). Once you figure out the trick its easy to do.

Classic mode has 10 stages and 10 substages within a stage. However, only stage 1 in Classic mode is unlocked at the offset. To unlock stage 2 and so on in that mode, you must complete the 10 substages within the previous stage. This is easier said than done and adds so much replay value its amazing. Bi-polar mode is amazing and will make you sweat when you get to later stages. You have to play it to see why.

OVERALL: 9/10 (New Price --> 10/10)

This game offers enough depth for 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00) or more, but is only 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50). Try this game! After all, the trial downloads fast and its free to play. I am interested to see what Running Pixel does next, and eagerly await playing Crystal Crush (just downloaded trial game).

Other Games by Running Pixel (as of 8/11/09):

- Crystal Crush (Indie Game - 200 Microsoft Points)


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For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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Racing & Flying
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
8.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 11, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

BluePrint Racer 4D (ARCHOR GAMES)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: BluePrint Racer 4D
Developed by: ECHS BACHS (ARCHOR GAMES)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Racing & Flying
Version: 1 (First Release)
Cost: 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 42.59 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-15 Minutes
Overall Rating: 8/10
Main Features:
- Players 1
Other Features:
- Three car choices (each with individual stats and ability to change color)
- Three tracks/difficulties (beginning, advanced, expert)
- High Scores Tracker
Puzzling:
- Only Three tracks (beginning, advanced, expert)
- No Track Creator
- No Multiplayer (online or offline)
- No Online Leaderboards
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending upon release
date).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

A racing game where the player chooses one of three cars (pre-unlocked) and races on one of three tracks (by difficulty) in 4th Dimensions.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

The graphics take on the role of Blueprints. Literally. The landscape is covered blue in the style of blueprints. The only varying color lies in the color choice of the player’s car. Surprisingly, this gives the game an edge. It gives it a sense of something new, something creative.

MUSIC: 7/10

There is some variety to the music (techno style), but it can get repetitive.

STORY: 0/10

None other than race to win.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 7/10

This game holds up well as a racer. As soon as the game begins it has every feel of a racer. The old school title screen especially helps with this. The simple controls and well designed levels are a blast to play, and the cars vary enough that they are all fun to try. Cars vary according to max speed, acceleration, braking, friction, and more. Changing the color of a car is actually fun and helps the graphical experience. Eventually, you will come to like one car the best (of course) and the tracks will become a breeze. The only opponent racer(s) lies in the “ghost” car of the player’s best time. Best times are tracked by difficulty.

Unfortunately, I have a couple of major problems with this game. The first is that there are only three tracks. We need more (track creator…)! The second is that you only race against yourself and the ghost car. The third is that car handling and collision detection can sometimes be a pain. There is not enough to hold peoples interest for long and that ruins the experience. The game will die out a lot sooner than it had to.

OVERALL: 8/10

This game is a great racing game that fails because it does not have enough tracks or Multiplayer. If more features/levels get added then this game will definitely get played more by me and others. As it is, it is the best racing community game on Xbox Live right now.

Other Games by ECHS BACHS (ARCHOR GAMES) (as of 8/10/09):

- A Kitchen Sink War (Indie Game - 200 Microsoft Points)


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Puzzle & Trivia
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
6.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 11, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Alchemist (Reiser Games)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Alchemist
Developed by: Aeon (Reiser Games)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Version: ?
Cost: 80 Microsoft Points ($1.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 22.17 Mb
Learning Curve: 5-10 Minutes
Overall Rating: 6/10 (New Price --> 8/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1-2
- HDTV 1080p
Other Features:
- Match three colors and try to chain combinations!
- 15 second turns
- High scores tracked (local)
Puzzling:
- The feather cursor does not register as well as it should on the title screen
- No Online Multiplayer
- This game is a rip-off of Puzzle Quest’s battle system
Rating:
Violence - 0/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Play a rip-off of the Puzzle Quest Battle System where the player matches three colors horizontally or vertically.

Note: I did not buy this game because important features can be played and beat before the trial ends.

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 8/10

200 MSP (2.50) -> 80 MSP ($1.00)

The new price will certainly help this otherwise feature lacking game. For a small fee of $1.00 people can now enjoy the benefits of multiplayer (still local) and an unlimited time limit. It still might not be for everyone and might be better in short bursts, but it's cheaper than a candy bar.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

For a game of this style, the graphics are well done. The backgrounds are all gorgeously drawn, but they have no effect on the game. The gameplay graphics (color circles) are better than most, and the font style is a welcome change from the same old font used by other games. The special effects are amazing at first, but never change (except for color).

MUSIC: 5/10

The game contains little music variance, but the music flows continuously and it never just “restarts”. The music flows so well that it feels like one long song. Eventually it can, unfortunately, get somewhat repetitive.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 5/10

Alchemist is a rip-off of the Puzzle Quest Battle System where the player matches three colors horizontally or vertically. Once colors are matched and removed, more fall from the sky to create possibilities of combos. If a color is moved to an area that does not match three or more colors, an “illegal move” occurs. The turn is then skipped for the player who did an illegal move. Matching certain ruins can lead to spells, which give extra points and special effects. The special effects are well done, but they never change. The only change is the color of the special effects based on what colors were matched.

Players can play against an AI opponent or a friend (locally). Playing with a friend is a lot better than playing with the AI. It is more fun, but does not evolve past the same old gameplay. High scores from each game (except practice mode) are tracked locally.

Alchemist does not have the ability to tailor the game to a specific type of play. There are no options to change before playing a match, you just play. If playing single player, the game can get somewhat boring because of this. I would like to change features such as turn time, AI difficulty, cursor type, etc.

Practice mode allows the player to learn the game by removing turn times and an opponent. While this is good for beginners, it is not something to come back to gain more skill. Most of the game is luck anyway.

The game uses a feather cursor (similar to mouse cursor) that is not as responsive as it should be. Moving it over title screen text may or may not let you select it depending on where it has been placed. Through testing I have found the tip of the feather to be the “point”. It sounds obvious, but the feather is bigger than a standard computer cursor and just moving it over the text should work.

OVERALL: 6/10 (New Price --> 8/10)

This game does some things well, but it needs to remember that there is a reason Puzzle Quest used it only as a Battle System. It is fun to play in short bursts (four minutes), but not for an extended period of time. It is all up to the Eye of the Beholder however, so give the trial a few tries and see what you think!

Other Games by Aeon (Reiser Games) (as of 8/10/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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Racing & Flying
 
Overall Fun Level 
 
8.0
ExaltedLegions Reviewed by ExaltedLegions    August 11, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -  

Air Legends (Bionic Shark Studios)

Indie Game (IG) under Review: Air Legends
Developed by: Sharky NZ (Bionic Shark Studios)
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Racing & Flying
Version: 2
Cost: 240 Microsoft Points ($3.00)
Download Style: Full Game/Trial Game
Download Size: 18.18 MB
Learning Curve: 5-10 Minutes
Overall Rating: 8/10 (New Price --> 8/10)
Main Features:
- Players 1-2
- Coop 2
- HDTV 1080p
Other Features:
- 5 game modes (Air War, Patrol, Duel, Air Show, Flight School)
- 3 game speeds (Normal, Speedy, Manic)
- 4 aircraft types (2 ally planes, 2 axis planes)
- Change background (sunny, morning, dusk)
- Win Goals (none, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 500 points, 1000 points, 2000 points)
- Hints shown before each game
- Killing enemies upgrades rocket capacity
Puzzling:
- Only three backgrounds
- Only four aircraft types (no real difference between them)
- No Leaderboards (online or offline)
- No Awards/Trophies
- No online multiplayer
Rating:
Violence - 1/3
Sex - 0/3
Mature Content - 0/3

INDIE GAMES INTRO:

Please Note: Unless otherwise specified, I have bought and played all aspects of the games I review.

Downloading Indie Games:
1. Turn on Xbox 360 and sign into XBOX Live.
2. Navigate to: Game Marketplace=>Explore Game Content=>Indie Games
3. Look around and download games!

Important Indie Game Reminders:
1. They are NOT rated by Microsoft or the ESRB.
2. They can only be played while connected to Xbox Live.
3. They can only be played for four or eight minutes before the trial ends (depending on when released).
4. Some features may be locked in the trial mode.

REVIEW INTRO:

Air Legends is a game of World War II dog fighting. The player chooses a game mode, their side and plane (axis or allies), then has some good old fun.

PRICE DIFFERENCE: 8/10

200 MSP (2.50) -> 240 MSP ($3.00)

The new cost does not take away from the game's worth in any way. After all, it's only $0.50 more. If you like this game, it is definitely worth the extra cash.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

The graphics are decent and the planes are detailed nicely. The backgrounds have enough of a difference that they are enjoyable and can (at sometimes) give the player the impression that they are fighting in a 2.5D or 3D world. The particles/smoke for the game mode “Air Show” are done well and disappear very slowly (if they do at all). The clouds run in the foreground and background of the “battlefield” and give the illusion of depth (which is nice).

The graphics are not bad, but only three backgrounds to choose from is a downer. The three backgrounds (sunny, morning, dusk) specify the time of day but why is there no night? Playing a night “level” would have been fantastic. There is so much that could be done at night via lighting and shadows. Maybe this could be added in a second game?

Coop mode is split-screen.

A classic dog fight leaves a lot of smoke (and damage).

The ship detail is nice and the impression of 2.5D or 3D is done very well.



As close to a night battle as it gets.

MUSIC: 8/10

The musical quality is really good for this game. It could (and should) have more variety, but what is present really helps to capture the overall feel of the game. It makes you feel like you are there fighting your enemy.

STORY: 0/10

No story.

GAMEPLAY & FEATURES: 7/10

Air Legends is a game about sky supremacy. The player begins by choosing one of the five game modes (Air War, Patrol, Duel, Air Show, Flight School). Air War is an all out war between 5 Allies v. 5 Axis. Patrol is a mode where the player and wing mate get ambushed while on patrol. This mode has 2 versus many. Duel is a head-to-head classic mode. Air Show is a mode where bullets are replaced with smoke (to replicate air shows!). Flight School is a tutorial level full of hints and tips. The five game modes are okay, but I wish there was a different game type other than “kill the enemy”. Air Show did a great job of doing this, but a Capture the Flag or King of the Hill mode would have been fun. I know they are constantly used in games, but it is because of how popular and fun they are.

Once a game mode is established, the player chooses their plane and settings. There are three backgrounds to choose from (sunny, morning, dusk),three game speeds (normal, speedy, manic), and many different goals (none, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 500 points, 1000 points, 2000 points). The three game speeds are each entertaining and change the gameplay a lot.

Now the player chooses a plane. There are four planes to choose from. Two are tied to the Allies, while two are tied to the Axis. It is disappointing that there is only four and that they have very little difference between them. After choosing a plane, the player presses start. While the game loads, hints are displayed onscreen. When the player is ready, they hit the (A) button and play!

Maneuvering a plane in the skies is really easy and responsive (thanks to the update). There are even special maneuvers that make the planes roll, swerve, and etcetera. Killing enemies without dying allows the player to “level up” which increases their rocket capacity. Rockets are one hit kills so this is a good thing. Spawning has been better (thanks to the update) and allows planes two second invincibility after respawning. This ensures no more spawn killing!

Tired of playing with one person? Then hook up a second controller and play any mode with a friend! Players do not have to be on the same team (and cannot be for Duel). Playing with or against a friend is a lot of fun, but makes me wonder, why is there no online multiplayer? Air Legends is the perfect game for this feature but goes without it.

So what’s next after playing the game modes? Nothing. The game has no Leaderboards of any kind and does not offer trophies or awards. If the game modes are not for you, then the game will not have much replay value.

OVERALL: 8/10 (New Price --> 8/10)

Air Legends is a game that has been polished thanks to the update. The update fixed a few problems and really helps the game (I played both versions as I reviewed this). For 240 Microsoft Points ($3.00) you cannot find a better community game that allows you to fly.

Other Games by Sharky NZ (Bionic Shark Studios) (as of 8/10/09):

- Unknown

For more full reviews, visit the ExL Studios Website .

For quick reviews, visit the ExL Studios Blog .

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