Every few weeks we here at Kotaku make a selection of some of the best Indie games that Xbox Live has to offer. These are our latest favorites.
You'll be able to find the list here for reference, or in the "Kotaku's favourites" channel in the Indie Game section of Xbox Live's Games Marketplace.
SpeedRunner HD (240 MS Points): Sure, there are a lot of these type of games around. It's a side-scroller in which you find yourself running and jumping over a number of obstacles. But SpeedRunner HD gets things right and is my top pick of the new Xbox Indies.
There is not much to the story: run like crazy in each level to dismantle a bomb before the timer runs out. Use tools like a grappling hook and crazy acrobatic abilities that put any parkour fanatic to shame to aid you on your quest. It's fun and simple gameplay, and looks particularly good.
It's even better when you load up multiplayer. You and three friends duke it out, running around like Olympic sprinters, using power-ups and tools to try and dissuade your opponents. Funs time, I guarantee you that.
VideoWars (80 MS Points): This one is a bargain. It's a real-time strategy game that will give you a bang for your buck. Think of StarCraft, had it been made in the 80's on an Atari or Famicom. Build a base, set up a defence, and create units to eliminate the enemy (who's doing the same thing, probably faster than you). I give lots of credit to this game for making good use of the controller's buttons in order to manage things pretty smoothly. Go through a quick tutorial and that'll be all you need to get you through the rest of the challenges. My favourite thing about this game? Its retro look. The simplicity of the visuals gel very well with the easiness of the gameplay. It's an Indie match made in heaven.
Kobold's Quest (240 MS Points): This game made me laugh from the get-go. And it has some good gameplay, to boot!
Here's the deal: you're a little Kobold in service to your baby-hungering master. Get that guy babies, stat, or else your neck is on the line. The charming cutscenes allow you to comprehend what the heck is going on.
Kobold's Quest keeps things simple. The gameplay is side-scrolling. All you need to control your little minion is the directional pad and a jump button. The goal is to invade villages and seek out babies, all while avoiding the townsfolk who want you dead. It's super-simple, and super-difficult, which is what made it so fun for me. Figuring out the best path to a baby can be tricky. Games with this level of difficulty are hard to come by nowadays, and I appreciate that.
Quest has some replay value in the multiplayer. Snatch babies with your friends and laugh about how silly what you're all doing actually is.
Train Frontier Express (240 MS Points): Train Frontier Express was a nice break from all the side-scrolling Indie games on the channel.
What is it? A creation game. Mould the landscape, build towns, and incorporate train tracks all over so you can ride through your creations on a steam locomotive. It's essentially a virtual model-train game. For those of you who enjoyed building houses more than raising Sims in the Sims series, this game is for you. It looks particularly sharp for an Indie game. And there are hundreds of options to suit all your landscaping and town-building needs.
When you're done building your masterpiece, share it online for the world to see or jump inside to show it off to your friends. This little buy could probably keep you occupied for a few hours. I spent a hefty amount of testing, simply trying to de-rail my train. Give it a go. At the least, you'll walk away satisfied causing a train crash or two.
The Jump Hero (80 MS Points): If you could bottle up a dance club into a video game, it would look something like this.
Jump Hero is another side-scrolling run and jump adventure. For the price, it's a not too bad a buy. Lights, strobes, explosions and more will appear as you find yourself running, jumping, diving, and flying to gather points and make it to the end. Collect power-ups on the way, and keep an eye open for the giant dancing lady who appears every now and then in the background (she's hard to miss).
When it all comes together, it's hilarious (and I'm not too sure if the developers had that intention, which only makes it funnier). Nothing in this game makes sense, but that's why everything about this game rocks. If you want a good laugh and something to keep your attention for awhile, The Jump Hero is your Indie buy.
Redd: The Lost Temple (240 MS Points): Last but not least, we've got Redd. It's a knock-off of Indiana Jones, but if that's your thing (and who isn't into Indie? Pun intended) then you'll be intrigued.
It's a top-down adventure, reminiscent of the classic Zelda games of long ago. Redd, with the aid of Allie (who will give you tips throughout the game), is tasked with delving into temples to solve an unexplainable phenomenon that has plagued the world. The gameplay consists of running around (painfully slow; buy those boot upgrades as soon as you can!), using dynamite, and solving puzzles. Looking back on it, it's remarkably similar to the gameplay of Zelda, except with an Indiana Jones protagonist. What's not to love about that?