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 favorites" channel in the Indie Game section of Xbox Live's Games Marketplace.
Robofish (80 MS points): Robofish is a twin-stick shoot-'em-up in which you control a fish who shoots other sea creatures with lasers. The graphical style is bright and colorful, with neon explosions frequently flashing across the screen. the game also comes with a weapon customizer. You can create your own "weapon" for your little robotic fish to use in-game, choosing what direction you want it to fire in, what color the projectiles are, how they dance around the screen, and more. There's also a store where you can spend the "pearls" you earn in-game to buy skins, and more ways to customize your weapon. The level of customization put into Robofish is staggering, and gives this little indie-gem some real staying power.
Astral (80 MS Points): Astral is a strategy-driven ambient game. In Astral, you start with one planet. You can send your planet's satellites to other planets to capture them, and they, in turn, will start producing more satellites, which you can then use to capture more planets. Once you capture all the planets on the map, you win, and the level ends. There is also an opposing team (sometimes two!) that is vying for dominance of the universe, so you must capture their planets while protecting your own. Astral can be extremely frustrating, but as infuriating as it might be, the ambient music and visual style are very soothing.
Craftimals: Build to the Sun (80 MS Points): Craftimals is a part building game, part 2D platformer, the goal of which is to build your way up to the sun. As you get to certain heights, you unlock new features such as different colored blocks or hats for your animal character. The game is somewhat monotonous and tedious, but in that Minecraft-ian satisfying kind of way. Craftimals also has 2-player split-screen, so you and a friend can pool your building efforts. Why does continuously building higher and higher result in fun? I couldn't tell you, but I had a really hard time prying myself away from this game.
Redshift (80 MS Points): Redshift is a neat little shoot-em-up that looks like it could have been at home on the Virtualboy. Everything here is standard shmup protocol - tons of enemies trying to destroy your ship and bullets flying all over the place. There is one special weapon that the player has at their disposal, however. You can slow down time, making it easier to dodge the barrage of projectiles that will inevitably be coming your way.
Attanck!3 (80 MS Points): In Attanck!3, the player controls a tank made of mock-ASCII art. In fact, everything is in the game is seemingly made entirely out of text characters. Controlling the tank is tricky - the left stick controls the left tread and the right stick controls the right one. If you only move one tread forward, rather than having the tank turn in circles, the entire stage rotates. This is disorienting at first, but mastery of tank-control is essential to succeeding at this game, especially in the later levels. Attanck!3 provides a fairly hardcore experience for its price tag.
Retro Arcade Adventure (80 MS Points): If you were to streamline Smash TV and add some elements of high fantasy, you would get Retro Arcade Adventure. The idea is simple - a bunch of enemies flood the screen and the player has to clear 'em out, utilizing power ups and the hero's trusty sword. The cheeky wizard who acts as the hero's guide throws around Zelda references like it's nobody's business. There's not a whole lot of depth here, but the game is fast-paced and fun, and well worth the one dollar.