The Indie Games (formerly Community Games) section of the Xbox Live Marketplace is overshadowed by the XBLA and rest of Xbox Live, but it has some really great games that you can get for dirt-cheap. We share our picks for the ten best Xbox 360 Indie Games right here. We looked for good gameplay, obviously, but slick graphics and good music and sound also had a big impact on our choices. Note: The Order they are listed in doesn't mean anything. This is just our picks for the 10 Best Xbox 360 Indie Games, not a ranking of how these 10 compare to each other.
Blow – 400MSP – Blow is a fascinating game that involves bubbles and fans, and it is your job to place the fans in the correct spots to blow the bubble to the goal. You can change the temperature of the air the fans blow as well as the speed, among a few other gameplay nuances, and the result is surprisingly addictive and fun. It doesn’t hurt that it looks and sounds amazingly good.
Artoon – 200MSP – Artoon is like the classic game Q*bert in that your character jumps on blocks to change their color. This isn’t a simple clone, however. For example, Artoon has a slick art style and nifty music that blow crusty old Q*bert out of the water. The maps and puzzles are also incredibly well designed and challenging and a lot of fun on a level Q*bert never dreamed of. Well worth a download.
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 – 80MSP – Twin stick shooters wore out their welcome on the Xbox 360 quite a while ago, but I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 justifies its existence with a few key features. 1. It has zombies. 2. Addictive power-up fueled gameplay. 3. The best music ever. It is fun and crazy awesome just for the music. The game only lasts about 13 minutes (as long as the song lasts), but it is fun enough to play over and over again.
Groov – 200MSP – Another twin stick shooter, but another one that makes good use of a gimmick. Everything in Groov has a musical sound associated with it, so every shot you take makes a sound, and each enemy type makes a distinct sound, so by shooting enemies you create music. The tempo changes, new enemies are introduced, and your song becomes increasingly more complex. It is really amazing and worth a look.
Easy Golf – 240MSP – Easy Golf is just that. An easy to pick up and play golf game. It goes the extra mile by offering a pretty decent course editor and a huge number of features and modes. The gameplay won’t exactly floor you if you are used to Tiger Woods 9 or 10, but it is good enough to keep you occupied for a good long while once you get used to it.
Kodu Game Lab
Kodu – 400MSP – Kodu is a simple game creation tool. You make game worlds filled with enemies and obstacles and then run characters through your newly created lands. You build everything with a clean and simple visual interface, so it is pretty darn easy to make some impressive stuff. Worth a download just to see what you can come up with.
Solar – 200MSP – Solar is a “God Game” on a bigger scale than we’ve ever seen before. You aren't just building a civilization; you are building a complete solar system. And that is freaking amazing. You start as a sun, and you fly around the galaxy attracting planets and the planets in turn attract moons. If you make the planet absorb a moon, it evolves (even up to the point it has space travelers who come out and protect your solar system from other “aliens”). By absorbing planets, your sun becomes more powerful and can attract and hold more planets in orbit. Solar is really slick and awesome and addictive.
Miner: Dig Deep
Miner: Dig Deep – 200MSP – Miner is a neat little game where you are a little miner and have to dig down into the Earth to find precious metals and gems. You then take those treasures up to the surface to sell them so you can buy better equipment so you can do a better job mining. It is simple, but amazingly fun.
ZP2K9 – 200MSP – ZP2K9 is a 2D side-scrolling deathmatch shooter. It is sort of like a normal platforming game, but jacked up on deathmatch steroids. Players can walk on walls and ceilings and there are a ton of weapons to use. When you get a group playing on Xbox Live it is pretty darn good.
A Fading Melody
A Fading Melody – 240MSP – A Fading Melody is a side-scrolling 2D platformer where your character must defeat enemies to brighten the world. The graphics are clean and simple, and while the gameplay doesn’t add much to the genre, the music and overall presentation and the interesting story (that is slickly told through text that scrolls along above you as you explore) make for a pretty good game. A bit artsy fartsy, but this is the sort of thing the Indie Games section was made for.