Posts from ‘Xbox 360’ Category

The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

By: Derek Yu

On: April 12th, 2011

The gory 2d slash ’em up Vampire Smile was recently released on XBLA by James Silva and Ska Studios. It’s the sequel to The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, which came out a year ago.

TIGdb: Entry for The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile


By: Derek Yu

On: March 2nd, 2011

The Copenhagen Game Collective has released their 2-8 player party game, B.U.T.T.O.N. (Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally O.K. Now), for the PC and Xbox 360. You can also buy the game from Steam. The game is on sale right now for GDC at $2.70 (normally $3.00).

Holiday Trailers

By: Derek Yu

On: December 16th, 2010

As everyone knows, the holidays are a very sexy time of year. And in the spirit of such an occasion, I bring you five very sexy indie game videos to watch while you drink hot marshmallows and launch missile toes at your loved ones. Enjoy!

To begin: here’s some new footage of thatgamecompany’s latest project, Journey. It looks beautiful, natch. But also so very ronery…

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By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: October 1st, 2010

“Just like lemonade, but with explosions,” Explosionade is the latest action romp from Nathan Fouts (Mommy’s Best Games), creator of Grapple Buggy, Shoot 1UP, Weapon of Choice, and more.

Due for XBLIG this coming Monday, Explosionade features Nathan’s usual (impressive) level of polish: two player co-op, online leader boards, destructible terrain, not to mention his trademark, sickly art style, which I’ve grown quite fond of. And it’s only 80 MS points — $1 USD! Not a bad way to start October, eh?

Sweet Indie Animation Coming to XBLA

By: Derek Yu

On: June 15th, 2010

Wow, there are some really, really nice-looking indie games coming out soon. First off, it was recently announced that Dean Dodrill’s Dust: An Elysian Tail is heading to XBLA in 2011. The music is being done by Hyperduck Studios.

Here’s an E3 trailer for Klei Entertainment’s violent, side-scrolling platformer/beat ’em up Shank. EA Partners is publishing the game and helping to bring it to XBLA, PSN, and the PC. Klei has also been working with God of War writer Marianne Krawczyk to craft Shank’s storyline (which hopefully involves a lot of stabbing). According to Jamie Cheng, the two met at GDC in 2008 and discussed collaborating on an indie game together.

Also at E3, it was announced that multiple IGF award winner (Visual Arts and Technical Excellence) Limbo is going to a part of XBLA’s Summer of Arcade.

Finally, animator/illustrator Michel Gagné’s Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is also coming out on XBLA.

Coming to Consoles Near You

By: Derek Yu

On: June 3rd, 2010

Retro City Rampage

Wow. Do you guys remember Grand Theftendo (web archive), Brian Provinciano’s homebrew NES demake of Grand Theft Auto? The game first came to my attention around 2004, but dropped out of sight after a year or so, only to resurface in 2009 as an entrant in that year’s IGF! It seemed like a pretty sweet project.

Anyway, after IGF the game went back into hiding, so it comes as quite a surprise that just a few hours ago Brian’s company, Vblank Entertainment, announced Retro City Rampage for WiiWare. According to the game’s website, RCR is slated for a Fall release. More details will be released in the upcoming issue of Nintendo Power.

It just goes to show you – never give up! Who knows? Maybe someday They Came From Hollywood will even see the sunshine! (Okay, so there’s probably not enough hope in 50 million Obamas for that outcome. But we can dream.)

(Source: Tiny Cartridge)

2010 IGF Grand Prize nominee Joe Danger is arriving on PSN much sooner. Specifically, it’s coming out on June 8th (North America) and June 9th (rest of the world). Developer Hello Games had originally announced that they were looking at XBLA, PC, and PSN, but earlier this year it was revealed that the game would be a PSN exclusive.


Speaking of IGF nominees and PSN, Eufloria is also heading to the PlayStation Network in early 2011. According to Alex May, “this reboot, much of which will come as a free update to current and future owners of the game, will feature some of the things we wanted to get in the first time around but couldn’t because of pesky things like day jobs and deadlines and other such nonsense”. Sounds great! And dude quit his job to work on the game full time! Congratulations!

Oh yes, and then there’s this:

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Crate Expectations

By: Guest Reviewer

On: March 29th, 2010

[This is a guest review by PerrinAshcroft. If you’re interested in writing an article for TIGSource, please go here.]

Crate Expectations is an Xbox Live Indie Games title released in October last year. It didn’t receive a lot of coverage at the time which is a real shame. XBLIG is a strange service with an eclectic mix of the great and the terrible and sadly real gems such as this can just sink into the depths of Xbox menus never to be seen again. The developer recently released a patch for the game and so now seems as good a time as ever to shed some light on this lovely game that may have passed you by. I even contacted the developers to see if they could tell us a little more about their experience developing for XBLIG.

Crate Expectations

Looking at screenshots your first impression is probably that this is a Sokoban-style block-pushing puzzle. That was certainly what I’d thought, but the reality is very different. Create Expectations is actually a fiendish multiplayer strategy game. While the goal of the game is simply to spawn your blocks and push them along a sliding surface to the exit, there’s no real puzzle to how you’re going to get there. The real challenge of the game comes from the other players, whether they be AI or ideally your friends, as you find ways to get your blocks to the exit while simultaneously stalling and screwing over your opponents attempts to do the same.

At its absolute best this becomes a chess-like process of thinking multiple moves ahead. Deciding how many turns will it take them to reach the goal and figuring how can you increase that number for them. You can spawn ice blocks that will disrupt them for a few turns or even sacrifice some of your own blocks, leaving them static while they halt your opponents’ progress. A massive selection of maps each presenting different routes and bottlenecks means there’s a huge amount of depth to the tactics and strategies to employ in winning.

In terms of graphics and level of polish the screenshots almost speak for themselves, it’s clear the developers put as much care and attention into this as any commercial title seen on Xbox Live Arcade.

Crate Expectations

So what’s the catch here? Why didn’t this game make a bigger splash when it came out? Well I think this game was always going to have a hard time reaching the kind of players who’d love it. It has the look of a casual puzzle game but is in fact something for people into multiplayer strategy. While the AI is perfectly sufficient at kicking your ass if you set it hard enough, this is like Bomberman in that the real fun comes from playing it with two mates in the room, screaming at them when they’ve just totally shafted you.

If you’re the type of person who’s enjoyed sessions of Worms or Bomberman and can bring a few friends over to play a competitive game like this, then there’s a lot of joy to be had for only 240 Microsoft Points. I would certainly suggest you dig into NXE menus and hunt for this title.

Crate Expectations

Finally, I contacted the developers to see if they’d answer a few questions about developing the game. Rather than talking specifically of the game itself I thought it would be more interesting to find out about their experience developing for Xbox Live Indie Games and the lessons they’ve learned:

Where did the idea for Crate Expectations come from? Any other games that were influential in deciding to make it?

Duncan: I’m probably going to come across as quite cryptic by saying this, but the idea was mostly a result of the circumstances under which we had to make it! I’ll spare you the boring details, but initially we had a very small time window in which to develop the project, so we scoured through game ideas we’d had in the past to find something simple and fun that could be done justice in as little as a week of development. Crate Expectations was a distillation of a larger design that Alex had been dreaming of for some time that seemed to fit the bill.

Alex: I originally came up with the idea behind Crate Expectations quite a while ago but it really was fleshed out when we started actually making the game. We wanted to make the kind of game that we wanted to play and we wanted to play something competitive, huddled around a TV in a cosy fashion but with the option to really play dirty as well. Crate Expectations kind of became a mash up of four player chess and the crate-pushing puzzle game, sokoban with a hefty spiking of something really evil like Sorry. Local multiplayer is very important to us in our games and we’re really glad that it seems to be coming back in style!

How big was your development team and what kind of prior development experience did they have?

Duncan: The core team at Haiku consists of myself (Duncan), Alex, and Jock. One designer who pretends to be a programmer, and two programmers who pretend to be designers. We had enough dirt on ex-colleagues and talented friends that they were easily blackmailed into showering us with the great quality artwork, trailers, music and sound that we wouldn’t have had any hope of making ourselves!

Alex: Jock and I have been in the industry for quite a while doing all sorts of things for all sorts of companies. Both of us worked on so called ‘Triple A’ titles before joining our previous employer, Outerlight, the creators of The Ship Online, where we met Duncan. We were, and possibly still are, working on something that’s potentially related to The Ship in some way but we’re wrapped up in so many NDAs that we couldn’t say for certain. Crate Expectations is our baby though, we love it dearly and it’s definitely the game I’m most proud of from my career so far.

Any important lessons you learned from making and releasing the game?

Duncan: Maybe puns aren’t as big a selling point as I’d like them to be! We fell in love with the name of the game as soon as it was suggested, never for a second considering changing it. In truth, I imagine a significant number of people probably thought “Crates? Nah” and skipped right over us. Box art and title are all people judge you on when scanning through the Xbox Indies section of the marketplace. I love both of ours very much indeed, but perhaps that love isn’t universal.

Alex: Yeah, we learnt a lot of lessons, mainly don’t let your game look like a puzzle game when it’s a strategy game. Everyone ends up sad – the puzzle game enthusiasts jump in and download the trial and have their minds blown when there’s no puzzle to solve and the strategy game lovers skip straight over it because it’s probably another crate pushing game. We had an absolutely amazing Trailer made up by a really great friend from The Creative Assembly, the guy that does all the trailers down there, but looking back on it, we should have added more text explaining what the game is actually about. I suppose if we’re truly honest we also learnt that games built for the Xbox Indies Channel need to be made as quickly as possible to maximize the chances of profiting from them. Crate Expectations took two months for four people in total so the initial outlay was high and we certainly haven’t made that back but we’ve learnt so much in the process that we think it was worth it.

Why did you decide to go with Xbox Live Indie Games as your target platform, any regrets with that decision?

Duncan: Our main reason was the ease with which we could do so. We had the equipment and software we needed to get the game built ready to hand, and the costs of releasing on Xbox Indies is trivial in comparison to many other avenues. Plus developing using XNA is a real pleasure; it makes it easy for even rubbish programmers like myself to be productive!

Alex: I suppose our only regret currently is that we didn’t make a PC version of the game too. We’re thinking very, very hard about that. There is a significant outlay of work to get the game’s online multiplayer aspect working on PC and we’re not entirely sure that it’s going to be worth it but we’ve had such good feedback from the people who’ve actually played the Indies version that we’re edging closer and closer to just doing it. The Indies Channel is a great place for people to start making games but there’s no doubt that there is a larger market for strategy games like Crate Expectations on PC.

Can you share any future plans for Crate Expectations or new projects you’re working now or would like to one day?

Duncan: We’ve actually not long released our first update to Crate Expectations, which added a bunch of new levels and numerous fixes and improvements that should hopefully make the game far more accessible and enjoyable. Whether we’ll do any more updates remains to be seen, but if there’s anybody out there that would like to see it happen then speak up – it wouldn’t take a great deal of encouragement for me to crack open the level editor again!

Alex: As I mentioned above I think if we do anything with Crate Expectations it might be to make a PC version and look at Steam as a potential way of distributing the game. As for other projects, we have the aforementioned title that is very much under wraps at the moment, we’re very, very excited about that though and then we have another Indies title that is coming along quite nicely. It’s a totally different game to Crate Expectations but so far it’s looking really promising. It’s already fun to play with and it’s very much still in the prototype stage.

Mostly Xbox 360 Previews

By: Derek Yu

On: February 25th, 2010

Sneaky Andy Schatz steals the IGF trophy from Team Meat in Monaco!

Ska Studios is working on a sequel to their XBLA game The Dishwasher. The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile will be done “when it’s done”.

(Source: Michael Rose, via

I had the fortune of bumping into this video mere hours after it launched. Shoot 1UP is a shoot ‘em up from Mommy’s Best Games that was just launched on Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 points. The game features a option-like 1up mechanic, branching paths, and the inimitable art style of MBG.

(Source: the2bears)

Finally, here’s a video about some French indie games from my favorite French-fried game reviewer, Benzaie (after the jump):

The three games he mentions are Lethal Judgment, Streets of Fury, and a remake of Toki that has really nice graphics.

Your Doodles Are Bugged!

By: Guest Reviewer

On: February 12th, 2010

[This is a guest review by anosou. If you’re interested in writing an article for TIGSource, please go here.

Your Doodles Are Bugged! is quite the game. Created by German developer Spyn Doctor (responsible for Golden Tangram and Kuchibi), this is one of the most unique, personal games on Xbox Live Indie Games.

So, what the heck is it? Well, to speak in gamer’s terms, it’s a combination of Lemmings and Paint. Its genius is in its simplicity. Your task is to guide the little bugs to the jar of honey, passing the various “doodles” that block your way or form your path. To do this you basically draw lines for the bugs to jump and walk on. The gameplay is almost rudely intuitive and it’s a breath of fresh air in an ocean of twin-stick shooters, platformers, and massaging apps.

You control your doodling pen with the right analog stick, which responds pretty well to your touch. To draw you hold down A and to erase you hold down X, simple as that. You can go faster by holding the right trigger, a much-appreciated addition for the bigger levels, and you can undo with the B button. The most important control feature is the ability to zoom. The levels in YDAB! are remarkably advanced at times and without zooming on you wouldn’t have much luck trying to complete them.

To add a bit more depth to the gameplay you have a limited supply of ink. This might seem obvious and harmless at first but it really provides a challenge in the later, densely doodle-populated levels. It’s really good fun trying to figure out the best way through the dragons and clouds and fishes and smiling faces and trolls and squids and trees and birds and… oh sorry, kinda lost my train of thought there. What I mean is, there’s much challenge in just finding the least ink-draining route. You soon figure out that you might only need a little dot to get your bugs over a gap that a lesser player just would’ve made a bridge over. Overall it’s a very rewarding albeit sometimes time-consuming experience to make it perfect. Add to this a classic timer to compare your high score to your friends and you’ve got some terribly addictive gameplay. Add to that some very clean and pretty the doodled graphics, in-game tutorials, and an adorable story, and you end up with quite the package.

I have a few very minor issues with the game though. The first, and least intrusive, is in regards to the music. There’s only one track looping infinitely and even though I appreciate chiptune-infused folk music for mandolin and accordion as much as the next guy it gets a bit grating after a while. Another issue is that the bugs can be quite the little assholes at times. If one of your drawings is a pixel off that might result in a squadron of bugs leaping to their death. It does add a lot to the challenge and you get used to it but it’s still a bit disturbing.

Overall though, YDAB! is one of the absolute best on Xbox Live Indie Games. The amount of love and polish in this game is just amazing. There are plenty of levels and they’re suitable for a pick-up-and-play session basically anytime. I mean really, for 80MS (1 PUNY EARTH DOLLAR!) you’d be an idiot not to pick this up. There I said it, you’d be an idiot.


By: Derek Yu

On: February 9th, 2010

The Behemoth’s “Game 3” is now officially called BattleBlock Theater (website under construction).

On the Super Meat Boy front, here’s a sneak peek at Chapter 2, which takes place in a haunted hospital. Lots of hypodermic needles abound! Possibly inspired by Edmund’s gruesome surgery? More videos of this chapter can be found at IGN.

Notch has been hard at work on Minecraft. This fan-made video shows off some of the new additions to the game, including crafting, farming, and DYYY-NO-MITE!

Sky Invader is a really nice-looking MMF2 game that’s in early development. In the game you control a giant alien spaceship against an army of Earth defenders. Clement, the creator, promises in the YouTube comments that the final game will be “more tactical than shooter”. Thanks to the Pixel Prospector for prospecting this one!

Lots of progress on Michal “Soldat” Marcinkowski’s Link-Dead. Michal’s been working hard on AI lately – the above video shows him fighting one of his new bots, which has pathfinding and cover/reload logic. (The graphics are still procedurally generated.)

Also, no videos but… fans of Gesundheit! and Cortex Command will be happy to know that their creators are updating once again.

Thanks for tuning in!