Every couple of weeks, we recommend some of the best games on the Xbox Live Indie channel. These are the games on the fringe of the Xbox 360 platform, made by regular folks and indie dreamers. They're peer-reviewed, not Microsoft-approved and thankfully they're not all about talking to pretty girls or posing your Xbox Avatar.
Our favorites—a mix of new and established Indies, all of them cheap—are listed here and listed in the Kotaku's Favorites channel in the Indie Game part of Xbox Live's Games Marketplace.
We'll have new recommendations, here and on Xbox Live, in two weeks. Enjoy!
Platformance: Castle Pain (80 MS Points): You will be charged just $1 to play a game that has one massive level, and in that level you will die many times as you try to jump through the sharpest, meanest traps imaginable. Even easy mode is murder, but at least the game checkpoints your progress, inch by painful inch. -Stephen Totilo
Miner Dig Deep (80 MS Points): All you do is dig and find stuff that lets you dig better. Start with an axe and dig well enough and properly enough so that you can escape with plunder back to the surface. Cash it in and buy better gear for more digging. Simple; a great accompaniment to an audio podcast. -Stephen Totilo
NLL 11 (400 MS Points): NLL Lacrosse is likely the only fully licensed sports simulation in indie games. This game the sequel to last year's, offers a completely new game engine, enhanced motion-captured animations, all 10 NLL teams and its 230 players, and even fighting. -Owen Good
Starzzle (80 MS Points): Beneath Starzzle's simple exterior lurks the sort of sliding puzzle game that has irked RPG and adventure gamers since the first button-pressing crate was set on an inexplicably slick surface. -Mike Fahey
Swamp Defense (80 MS Points): I'm a sucker for tower defense games, and this one is colorful, competent and totally worth the price of admission. It's the bayou versus zombies, and you'll have to dispatch "Old Flint" and big-busted "Maggie"—among others—to stall the invading horde. The artwork is clever and consistent, and from my limited time with the title, it appears that the developers have taken the time ensure that the units are distinct and well-balanced. -Drew Cohen
Udder Chaos (80 MS Points): This is a relatively simple, real-time defense game in which you'll be eliminating waves of UFOs (and other associated baddies) before they make off with your cows. The game has the appearance of having been constructed from old Mario Paint art-assets—and it works. With essentially no learning curve and a swiftly-advancing level of difficulty, you'll find yourself addicted in a matter of minutes. -Drew Cohen