Photo by Jeff Kubina
Last month, we spread the word that we wanted to poach as many Xbox Indie games as possible from Microsoft's console based XBLIG service. Today, I'm here to tell you that the exodus is well under way. Here are
ten eleven of the most promising-looking XBLIGs which are already planning to boost their audience by making themselves available to the millions of happy, sweet-smelling PC gamers. Strap yourselves in, web-travellers, we're going on a journey into the heart of our Xbox Indie Outreach Roundup!
They Bleed Pixels
Spooky Squid games, who you may remember as the makers of Night of the Cephalopods and Cephalopods Co-op Cottage Defence, are currently busy working on the XBLIG version of They Bleed Pixels, but as soon as they wrap that up, they are planning to start work on a release for the PC.
It's a lovely looking pixelated platformer, and that juggling centric, combo-building, combat looks like a real treat. Fast paced wall jumping and baddie killing action can be found in this trailer:
All the Bad Parts
Here's a sidecrolling beat 'em up from Well Bred Rhino. It's a bit like all those games from arcades in the 90s, where you have to walk from left to right, punching all the dudes as you go, but it's had a bit of a polygonal makeover. The PC version is still in "the final stages of polishing", and the developer has "contacted Steam, and are reviewing other digital distribution options".
The Rhino has a monocle.
I wonder what the "HD" stands for. Hard drive maybe? I already had this grappling hook toting platformer in my line of sight, but it's great to hear I'll be able to play it on the PC instead of on the Xbox.
I like the big bright backdrops, and it gets pretty crazy when the levels start falling apart.
DoubleDutch Games say this about their planned PC release: "Nothing is set in stone, though, so we're cautious about shouting this from the rooftops. Hopefully, we'll have more details for you soon."
Duality ZF has been quite long in the making. I remember looking at this as far back as June 2009, but Xona Games have been busy working away at it for all that time, and they've also put out a series of brilliant smaller games, the Decimation X series.
Sadly the developers have had a few set backs:
"We are interested in having our games on PC and have been rejected from Steam due to (only due to) our low sales on XBLIG. It's very sad. We even had unofficial acceptance at Steam for our games before the official review in which I was honest about our horrible XBLIG sales."
It's a real shame to hear that they ended up getting rejected from Steam for Duality ZF, especially if the main reason was poor sales on a platform that isn't particularly adept at sorting all the wheat from the chaff at the best of times. Hopefully Xona Games are able to sort out distribution, because I'd very much like to play their game. If placing well in Microsoft's own Dream Build Play competition isn't enough to secure a decent distribution deal, perhaps Microsoft should be stepping up and publishing PC version of some of these games.
It's got a grid of hexagons. What are they thinking releasing this on the Xbox?
Andreil Game are currently working on the PC version of this, but have some Xbox footage in the meantime. They reveal that "it's a bit like risk".
Developer Chris Zukowski describes how City Tuesday works:
"You play a man who is stuck reliving the final 5 minutes of his life. At the same time, a shadowy terrorist organization has planted bombs throughout the city and if you can defuse them it just might un-stick you from time."
More details on his website here.
Here's a trailer. Watch out for that first step, it's a doozy.
Astralia looks like a mashup of a twin stick shooter, and an RTS. You fly around shooting up all the baddies, and at the same time commanding a team of wingmen, managing resources, and picking up the things that the baddies drop.
The developer, Astroboid, actually started off just developing this for the PC using XNA. Earlier this year they decided to release it for Xbox too.
Here's how Fox English (that is the developers actual name) describes this RPG:
"It's a more traditional action/adventure RPG in the vein of Ys and Secret of Mana, but with deeper dialog trees and exploration with an influence deeply rooted in the classic Ultima VII - the game was made to be less of a hack-and-slash and more of a true RPG."
Here's some relatively early footage showing off some of the role playing and action bits. I'm told the music is just a placeholder.
Chris is also going to be adding a host of features to the PC version, such as "additional levels (including user generated ones), a level editor and my technical ability permitting some global highscores".
Kings of Nevermore
Who's harder? A lady with blue hair in a red dress, or blue dragon thing? Thanks to Kings of Nevermore, from Lone Dragon Games, we can finally answer that question. It's a 2D fighter, in the vein of classics like Street Fighter, using hand drawn animation.
Originally planned as a cross platform release, the developer's frustrations at the indie games service means they're considering only bothering with the PC version: "Though with the indie games service pretty much forcing super low prices, and having bad visibility, I might end up going with a PC only launch at this rate."
Blocks That Matter
Already released for the Xbox, Blocks That Matter is going to be receiving a PC release within a matter of weeks. Developer Swing Swing Submarine have taken elements from both Minecraft and Boulder Dash, and come up with a new design for a 2D platformer. Check out it's mad styling here:
That's your lot for now, but no doubt we'll see more XBLIG developers consider PC releases of their games in the future. If you missed the deadline for this roundup, we still want to hear from any XBLIG devs that are targetting the PC. Please get in touch here.
What do you lot think? Have any of these games successfully grabbed your attention?