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manasteel88 avatar 10:02 AM on 11.14.2010  (server time)
Indie Games Winter Uprising Breakdown

The Indie Games Winter Uprising is a cute little promotion that a group of indie developers are putting together for the first week of December. While I'd like them to have spaced this out so we don't have games right on top of each other, this is a really cool plan to highlight some good looking games. This will hopefully boost sales in the same way XBLA's Summer of Arcade seems to help the XBLA titles.

Let's look at the games.

Created by Dragon Divide
Other games by this studio: None
Price: 240 MS Points ($3)

Alpha Squad is a top down shooter reminiscent of Commandos with some interesting art designs. Controls are built around the dual stick format with 1-4 co-op play online and locally. Seems like a good shooter with an emphasis on creating a storyline. The game was delayed from a November release so hopefully the extra time will be spent polishing it up. I do have to note that the character art is good quality, so hopefully they won't squander that on mediocre story or gameplay.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5


Created by Lunatic Studios
Other games by this studio: Aphelion: Graves of Earth
Price: Unknown though the first episode was 240 MS Points ($3)

Wings of Omega is the sequel to Graves of Earth with a list of improvements that you can see below. Playing Graves of Earth left me feeling like the game was trying to fit a Breath of Fire battle system into a Phantasy Star universe with a Mass Effect leveling system. The characters were a bit stiff, but it is a noble attempt by a small studio. My only complaint from the first game is that the battle system button sticks to the last command instead of defaulting to attack. So if you used an item last turn you'll start off with an item the next turn making button mashing through easy enemies a pain. Hopefully with these new features, we'll see them grow the series into something great. If you like episodic RPGs then this might be something to look for.

Wings of Omega features:
* A new playable character
* A more intuitive interface
* New skills
* Improved Boss AI
* Improved Animations
* Character Portraits
* Painted Cutscenes
* Status Effects
* Side Quests and More Optional Content
* Faster Paced Combat and Dungeons
* Teleportation System

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Graves of Earth Trailer:

Created by Evil Robot Logic
Other games by this studio: None
Price: Unknown

This being the developers first game, there are a lot of unknowns, but it might just be quirky enough to be something unique. The choose your own style idea behind the game is giving it a different feel to the dodge everything mechanics even if it might not actually change anything other than the style. The developer has also enlisted some help from others to create some interesting music and art. The Classic Mode features some Jack Kirby-esque inking on the asteroids that you can really only appreciate once you're stopped. Also, Double Rainbow Mode is amazing, check the trailer out below to see what I mean.

You can hear the music here. You can see who did the art here.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5


Created by Zombie Monkey Games
Other games by this studio: Chaos Node
Price: 80 MS Points ($1)

Break Limit is a shooter and it's hook is also the title of the game. The Break Limit is when the ship gains temporary invincibility to crash into objects. This is a great way to get points and should act like an electrified solo in Guitar Hero increasing points with timing being a crucial part to the points multiplier. The humor looks cute, but I haven't seen much more than that single static background. Hopefully there will be more to this shooter when it releases. Also, Pew Pew.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Created by Tribetoy
Other games by this studio: None
Price: Unknown

Chu's Destiny looks like a fighting game built upon a similar concept as Smash Bros. The art style is a traditional Chinese affair and the game looks to be story based. What makes this game a bit different than your average Smash Bros. game is it's more explosive attacks and painted art style. It looks stunning. Hopefully, the gameplay matches as Xbox owners have already had to suffer with Small Arms.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5


Created by Radian Games
Other games by this studio: Crossfire, Fireball, Fluid, JoyJoy, and Inferno
Price: Unknown though Crossfire debuted at 240 MS Points ($3) and is now reduced to 80 MS Points ($1)

Crossfire was a little shmup darling that changed the way we look at Space Invaders. It's a surprisingly good concept and at $1 is hard to pass up. Radian games seems to be a small shmup powerhouse with the quantity of titles they are producing and hopefully we'll see them push their creativity instead of burning out. They do have Inferno 2 coming out later in December as well. Nothing is revealed other than the music program the team is using, so check out the trailer for the first game to see the concept behind the series.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Trailer for Crossfire:

Created by Zeboyd Games
Other games by this studio: Breath of Death VII and Molly the Were-Zompire
Price: 240 MS Points ($3)

Breath of Death VII was a hit because of its low price, humor and content. Now at the higher price point, we'll see if Zeboyd can deliver again on their wit. The game has seen an upgrade from the 8-bit to the 16-bit styling, but I'm not really sure if we're seeing a great graphical leap. The developer has been promising a lot of things with this game like a more focused use of ailments, better testing, and better balancing so we won't have a repeat of the castle from VII. If the game can retain the humor that Breath of Death had, this would be a hard RPG to pass up. They also had some post game content that they were planning to put in the game, but couldn't. It is suggested that this could be an update a few months after release.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Breath of Death VII Trailer:

Created by Xona Games
Other games by this studio: Decimation X
Price: Unknown though Decimation X debuted at 80 MS Points ($1)

Xona is improving on their Decimation gameplay with X2 for windows phone and it seems like they want to keep it going with X3. Since it's still in progress not much is revealed, but I can only assume that it is similar to Decimation X. I wasn't big on Decimation since I had a hard time seeing enemy bullets, but it is a cool little Space Invaders clone.

In a unique twist to this event, the developer has made a public statement defending "crap games" before, so it is funny to see them join a group that is "fighting back against mediocrity and lameness". In fairness however he was talking about delistings.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Trailer for Decimation X:

Created by Eyehook Games
Other games by this studio: Colorbox
Price: Unknown

Eyehook is promising a 50 level dungeon crawling experience with 4 unique character classes. While I'm not sure I like the art style of the characters, they do have a certain CD-i appeal to them. The gameplay looks like your typical affair with an interesting set of spells and a huge inventory system to back it up. The unique humor might push the game into indie darling status, but they have to make sure it works right. I'm intrigued, so hopefully they come through.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5


Created by Funinfused Games
Other games by this studio: Abduction Action and Nasty
Price: 80 MS Points ($1)

This is actually currently available so I don't really need to say much about it, check it out yourself. Apparently there is an update that is a part of this event, but I'm not really sure what it is. The developer has stated that the game has undersold his expectations, so maybe this is a good way of advertising it and trying to drum up sales. The game itself looks pretty good and the retro style should be perfect for enthusiasts.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5 mostly because it's up already.


Created by MagicalTimeBean
Other games by this studio: Soulcaster
Price: Unknown though Soulcaster came out at 240 MS Points ($3)

Soulcaster is probably one of the biggest changes to the tower defense formula we've seen recently. It really is a unique twist that is one of the standouts of the Community Games. Soulcaster 2 looks to improve the formula greatly with animated decorations, lots of scripting changes and multiple background layers which should bring the game from the 8-bit era to the 16-bit. It looks like just enough to push the sequel out and hopefully they've expanded more upon the game with the new level creator they designed to make development easier. The dev also seems to be a bit of a stickler for coding so hopefully we'll continue to see the tight design of the original.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Soucaster 1 Trailer:

Created by BadgerPunch Games
Other games by this studio: None
Price: Unknown

I love me some Qix. This game follows that formula but makes the lines more linear which creates a unique challenge aspect to the game. A twist in the game gives the player power ups that allow you to divert enemies and it creates new possibilities. The arena's also look to be well polished and as long as the developer creates something entertaining, this game could turn into a fun little puzzler. At least if it's deep enough.

Anticipation: out of 5


Created by Ska Studios
Other games by this studio: The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, ZP2K9, Zombie Smashers X4 Guitarpocalypse!, and I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1
Price: Unknown though ZP2K9 is 80 MS Points ($1)

Ska Studios is known for two things: violent dishwashers and zombie shooters. Throw some pterodactyl's into the mix and well, you've got something potentially amazing. Currently there is nothing but the cover art up for this game, but it is a game that people are going to pay attention to. The reason nothing is up yet is that Ska Studios is planning a web hub centered around the games release and they are working on that. ZP2K9 however just never interested me so they'll have to bump up ZP2KX with something really good. Pterodactyls is a good place to start.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

ZP2K9 Gameplay:

Rickenbacker vs the Aliens
Created by Big Daddio
Other games by this studio: DrumKit and Invader
Price: Unknown

There is no website or video, so here is the description from the event page: "From the developer of the best selling Drum Kit comes a new shooter in the style of the 1942 series featuring stunning cel shaded graphics." I do like 1942.

Anticipation: Cthulhu's out of 5

Invader Trailer:

Anything interest you guys?

Also, if any devs read this and want to give me a free copy of your game I promise to review it! I've already done so with Figment and Perlmania. And it will be a fair review. In reality, I'm just a whore for free games...

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