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Xbox Live Indie Games

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Xbox Live Indie Games is shutting down

Just... very... very... slowly
Sep 10
// Joe Parlock
Xbox Live Indie Games, the program that allowed people to make and sell their own games through Xbox Live, is in the process of what is possibly the slowest shutting down I have ever seen. An email sent out to developers on t...

You are a fish with a gun, and you must shoot other fish

Jan 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Shütshimi is a retro-style shoot 'em up where you are a gold fish with bad memory problems and big beefy arms. With those beefy arms you will shoot up other fish because who cares. You're a fish with beefy arms and guns...
Ska photo

Ska Studios snuck one last game into 2013

A time-traveling viking
Jan 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ska Studios came into the gaming consciousness with one of the most successful Xbox Live Indie Games, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1. Now they have returned to that platform one more time to put the final nai...

Beat Hazard Ultra has made over $2 million since release

Made by one guy
Aug 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Beat Hazard Ultra is an arcade shooter that uses your own music library to create a pretty addictive experience. It's been three years since the original release of Beat Hazard on the Xbox Live Indie Game channel. So after r...

Deals photo

Some of the best Xbox Live Indies bundled for PC

Eight ports in one package
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
In collaboration with Indie Gamer Chick, Indie Royale has put out a new bundle that's essentially a "greatest hits" compilation of the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. There are gems to be found for those who take the time to ...
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Vote for One Finger Death Punch on Greenlight!

Jordan and Conrad unearthed a real gem on their Saturday Hangover show
Jul 01
// Alasdair Duncan
On their weekend show Saturday Morning Hangover, Conrad and Jordan brave the wilds of the Xbox Live Indie Games section, desperately looking for something good to play. Well this weekend they found One Finger Death Punch, a ...
Dtoid TV photo
Try not to fall into their hypnotic trap!
Late the other night, during a session of broadcasting over at Dtoid.TV, I was looking for some of the most off-the-wall titles in the indie section of Xbox Live to play with the live crowd, and ran across this little gem.&nb...

Sup Holmes murders Charlie with Ska Studios' James Silva

Jun 08 // Jonathan Holmes
Get to know the people that make great videogames
ALERT! Sup Holmes will be on a Saturday this week. Same time though! 1pm PST/4pm EST.  This week we'll be talking to James Silva, creator of The Dishwasher series, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1NIT!!!1, the upcoming (and ...

No love for indies? photo
No love for indies?

Xboned! Indies can't self-publish on Xbox One

Microsoft not reaching out to the little guy?
May 22
// Tony Ponce
[Castle Vidcons by Tyler Rhodes] Both Sony and Nintendo are bending over backwards to make their platforms as attractive to indie developers as possible, from waived licensing fees to free patching. Microsoft has been slippin...
Dtoid TV photo
Dtoid TV

The sweet science of Foosball 2012

Watch Saturday Morning Hangover every weekend on Dtoid TV!
Apr 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
Today on Saturday Morning Hangover, I knew we were going to have something special going on. See, my wife fancies herself quite the Foosball player and is extremely competitive, so I thought it would be fun to see how she do...

Review: DLC Quest

Mar 30 // Jim Sterling
DLC Quest (PC [reviewed], Xbox Live Indie Games)Developer: Going Loud StudiosPublisher: Going Loud StudiosReleased: March 18, 2013MSRP: $2.99Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI) DLC Quest is an action-platformer with a very simple premise -- defeat the bad guy and save the day. Light on story, lighter on the action, Quest exists solely as an excuse to drain your wallet and compel you to keep playing, for very little reward, just to spend more cash. In the wake of games like Final Fantasy: All the Bravest, this scenario rings particularly poignant. Fortunately, you don't have to actually spend your real-life cash to buy all the fluff.  Currency is earned simply by navigating the environment to collect floating coins. When the game begins, you can't even jump or walk left -- like everything else in the game, such luxuries must be unlocked as extra content. You walk right, collect some coins, then talk to a shopkeeper to buy the necessary physical abilities. This sets the satirical nail in place for DLC Quest to hammer again and again.  Need a sword? You can hammer "X" at a grindstone roughly 10,000 times, or you can buy a perk from the shopkeeper to speed up the process. Ledge too high? Collect enough scratch and acquire a double jump. Every new challenge is an excuse to offer a fresh piece of content, while hidden collectibles unlock optional DLC, such as "sexy" NPC costumes, a useless pet, and armor for the horse you never use.  While all this stuff is utterly useless, even more so than comparable items in the games it mocks, DLC Quest nevertheless nails the unsettling ease of which one's desire to hoard crap can be exploited. I found myself nabbing every coin excitedly, eager to see what happens when I purchase the zombie pack, gleeful at the idea I could enable particle effects for such a low price. Like so many modern games, there's little gameplay on offer, yet somehow I found myself needing all the abortive junk DLC Quest relentlessly offered. It may be a one-note joke, but it's a joke that becomes more effective the more it uses the player as a continuous punchline.  There are two campaigns on offer: DLC Quest and Live Freemium or Die. DLC is shorter, shallower, but gets the joke across with brevity and class. Freemium is longer and more focused on gameplay, with funnier jokes, but drags in places and gets more annoying as it continues. Together, they're both worth playing, each one providing a slightly different take on the presentation's core ideas.  While amusing, DLC Quest does sometimes risk becoming the very thing it satirizes -- especially the Freemium campaign. Constantly sending players back to the merchant is funny at first, but can grow a bit tiresome, and simply pointing out how annoying it is to backtrack doesn't take away from the fact players are still being made to backtrack. Likewise, the relative lack of gameplay makes a good point about the structure of free-to-play and DLC-heavy games, but nonetheless can fail to stimulate, even in an experience that won't last two hours.  Still, for less than five dollars, there's enough charm to justify the entry fee. The game's dialog induces anything from smirks to cringes, while the retro-themed graphics and music are joyful in their simplicity. It's a cheap game, with a rudimentary premise, that does enough to keep its joke fresh and feels inherently validating for a player who's grown weary of the game industry's less savory practices.  At the very least, you'll get your money's worth, which often cannot be said for the many games DLC Quest owes its creation to.
DLC Quest review photo
Review Score Unlock Pack only $5.99!
Downloadable content is a touchy subject among the vocal game playing community. While I personally think such content has its place, the piecemeal selling of a game risks becoming a tasteless endeavor -- and videogame publis...

Death Goat photo
Death Goat

Hellish creations abound in trailer for Death Goat

Metal mayhem
Mar 29
// Conrad Zimmerman
It's not often that I get to post excitedly about an Xbox Live Indie Game, but this trailer for Death Goat has my blood boiling. It's a top-down shoot-em-up with all manner of horrible monsters from the bowels of Hell, ...
Dtoid TV photo
Dtoid TV

Scaling the Dragon Keep in Magic Sword

Watch Saturday Morning Hangover every weekend on Dtoid TV!
Mar 23
// Conrad Zimmerman
We had a truly wonderful time on Saturday Morning Hangover today. It was a send off to our set, as we prepare to move to a new location, and it went out with style.  The Xbox Live Indie demos were mostly sequels this we...
Dollar Dash photo
Dollar Dash

Dashing for Dollars on Saturday Morning Hangover

Watch Saturday Morning Hangover every weekend on Dtoid TV!
Mar 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
We had another passably entertaining time on Saturday Morning Hangover this week. We checked out Dollar Dash, recently released on Xbox Live Arcade and wound up with some mixed opinions. I thought it was pretty fun, though t...
Dtoid TV photo
Dtoid TV

We played Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds on Hangover

Watch Saturday Morning Hangover every weekend on Dtoid TV!
Mar 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
We had a delightful little Saturday Morning Hangover this morning, playing the recently released Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. Jordan, Katrina and I all piled on in this one and found it to be an enjoyable beat-em-up...

Arcadecraft resparks '80s nostalgia on Xbox Live Indie

Relive the magic of arcades without the sticky floors and greasy knobs
Feb 05
// Allistair Pinsof
'80s arcade management sim Arcadecraft is now available on Xbox Live Indie Games (240 Microsoft points; $3.00), where indie games go to die unless they are zombie-based or Minecraft rip-offs. Bringing to mind that title in na...
XNA is dead photo
XNA is dead

Microsoft abandoning XNA Game Studio

XNA to be retired next year
Feb 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Those in the know have seen this day approaching for quite some time, but Microsoft has made it official. XNA Game Studio is effectively done. A leaked internal email revealed the company is prepared to retire the development...
Sup, Holmes? photo
Sup, Holmes?

Samurai Gunn to have one-player mode, may come to XBLIG

Watch Sup, Holmes? every Sunday on Dtoid.TV!
Jan 18
// Jonathan Holmes
Samurai Gunn is poised to be the next big local multi-player PC hit, having garnered tons early buzz on the festival circuit. It even scored an IGF nomination for excellence in design. We were lucky enough to have the game's...

Behold the burger of your destruction!

Oh Noes!!2 charmed the hell out of us on Saturday Morning Hangover
Nov 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
Each week on Saturday Morning Hangover, we perform the public service of playing through the demos of new releases on Xbox Live Indie Games. While it's probably charitable to call the service "hit or miss" in terms of the co...

You need to play Super Amazing Wagon Adventure

Think Oregon Trail as a shmup roguelike
Sep 06
// Jordan Devore
Many of us can agree that Oregon Trail is pretty great, even if it isn't the most terribly exciting game all these years later. Even still, we have fond memories and independent developers have been able to capture that spiri...

Indie Games Summer Uprising III starts next week

Community organized promotion on Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace will bring nine titles to service
Sep 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
It's almost time for you all to start paying attention to Xbox Live Indie Games again for a while. There's an Uprising coming next week, with nine games aiming to represent the best the service can offer. Starting on Septemb...

Grab some Penny Arcade On the Rainslick 3 DLC for free

Jul 31
// Chris Carter
It looks like two free quest DLC packs weren't the only thing Penny Arcade had up its sleeve, as a surprise free skin pack has just landed for Penny Arcade's On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness. As of this mo...

Penny Arcade On The Rain-Slick 3 getting free DLC

Jul 24
// Chris Carter
Penny Arcade sure has been in the spotlight lately. With their recent Kickstarter, their new game, and PAX Prime steadily approaching, don't expect them to fade away anytime soon. In terms of the video game realm, Tycho has s...

21st Games saving Techno Kitten franchise via Kickstarter

Jul 09 // Brett Zeidler
They may be asking for quite a bit for such a seemingly small title, but it's all much-needed cash to make Super Techno Kitten Adventure the best one yet. Super is promising to jump into 3D graphics, have even more amazing licensed music, Create-A-Kitteh, and so much more. Just look at the prototype footage in the video above, it's already shaping up to be amazing. The tiered rewards also look like they'll be some of the best rewards I've ever seen on Kickstarter. I absolutely need that rainbow vinyl. You not only get one, but you get two so you can keep one in its packaging! Simply brilliant. The Kickstarter for Super Techno Kitten Adventure has almost been up for a day, and it's already at $3,000 as of this writing. Let's make sure this one doesn't slip past us before time's up on August 7th, yeah? I absolutely need more Techno Kitten Adventure. Make it a point to watch the video at least, as it's sure to be some of the best four minutes of your life.

I love Techno Kitten Adventure. I don't just love it, it's one of my favorite things ever and is among the few games I actually paid for on my Windows Phone without even trying out first. Techno Kitten Adventure is one of th...


Penny Arcade's Rain Slick Precipice 3 arrives July 10th

Jun 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
The third installment in the Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, currently in development by retro-RPG maker Zeboyd Games (Breath of Death VII, Cthulhu Saves the World), now has a firm date with ...

Escape Goat is double jumping to PC

May 04
// Chris Carter
Retro fans will be pleased to know that Xbox Live Indie hit Escape Goat is heading to PC. Created basically by the one man show Ian Stocker, Escape Goat is a short, incredibly fun puzzle platformer with a rockin' soundtrack. ...

Boot Hill Heroes is an EarthBound-inspired Old West RPG

Apr 19
// Tony Ponce
We live in a wonderful age where, if a specific game doesn't exist, an inspired individual will just up and say, "It shall be done!" The tools of creation have never been more easily accessible, and it has resulted in both o...

Check out Axiom Verge, a one-man Metroidvania

Apr 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
This is the first trailer for the upcoming indie game, Axiom Verge, a one-man project from developer Tom Happ and I'm ready to throw down some money now. A 2D, sprite-based "Metroidvania," the trailer depicts a variety of we...

On first glance, They Bleed Pixels comes off like a cross between classic Castlevania and Super Meat Boy. In reality, the game isn't quite as punishing as either of those two titles, thanks in part its innovative c...

Penny Arcade's Rain-Slick 3 reboots the series

Apr 12 // Darren Nakamura
The most obvious difference in the transition from Hothead to Zeboyd is in the graphical style. Where previous entries in the series attempted to emulate Mike Krahulik's art in a three-dimensional world, Rain-Slick 3 features Zeboyd's signature Final Fantasy VI-esque pixel art. As in their previous efforts, the environments and character art are about what one would expect from a big budget title twenty years ago, and I mean that in a good way. The next big change is in the battle system. In earlier episodes, combat featured a time element where more powerful abilities became available depending on how long a character waited before acting. Rain-Slick 3 is pretty strictly turn-based, although Zeboyd's take on the old formula feels familiar despite existing in an entirely different battle engine than previous episodes. Characters begin battles with zero mana, and accrue one point every turn. Thus, after a few turns of vanilla attacks, characters can use more powerful abilities. One slight bummer for fans of the series is that the protagonist from the previous games, who the developers referred to as "man or woman with the rake," will not appear in the third episode of the series. As an upside, there will be many more playable characters in Rain-Slick 3 than have been in the other episodes, with Anne-Claire appearing as the third party member in the PAX demo.  As for the man (or woman) with the rake, his (or her) absence will be explained through the narrative, for those curious. Speaking of the storytelling, Jerry Holkins's writing is just as present in this entry, if not more so than in the previous two. The dialogue between characters is great, and the tongue-in-cheek enemy design is hilarious. One of the coolest elements of the demo is what Holkins refers to as "world building." Each enemy type has a few lines of flavor text associated with it, which serves to really flesh out what would normally be a relatively standard RPG battle. In one instance, I found myself fighting a barbershop quartet, and each member's unique flavor text imparted a bit of personality to him, despite the fact that they all essentially behaved the same as one another. The demo ended just as it was introducing the class mechanic. It appears to be akin to the job system found in games like Final Fantasy V or Tactics, where each character can equip different classes in order to gain different sets of abilities. Unlike the job system in those games, characters in Rain-Slick 3 can equip multiple classes at one time. Fans of the On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness series have a lot to look forward to in the third episode. Although the manner of exploration and battle is substantially different, it maintains the narrative feel of the series. Zeboyd expects to release Rain-Slick 3 some time this summer, on Xbox Live Indie Games, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

It's difficult to believe that it has been nearly four years since the last game in the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness series released. Many were heartbroken to hear that the original plan of four episodes would be cut...

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