XBLA Reviews

Abyss Odyssey (Xbox Live Arcade)

Abyss Odyssey (Xbox Live Arcade)

A rogue-like by any other name...

The term "rogue-like" has undoubtedly been slow to grow in popularity, but in recent years it seems that it's finally starting to catch on. It's a phrase that comes from a sub-genre of RPGs that abide by a set of game design choices, including procedurally-generated worlds and permanent death — which titles like...

The Bridge (Xbox Live Arcade)

The Bridge (Xbox Live Arcade)

A point of view.

When it comes to ticking all the indie boxes, someone at intriguingly named developer Quantum Astrophysicists Guild seems to have had a long old list to run through when it comes to The Bridge. From furnishing the game with a black and white pencil sketch art style, via allowing you to fast-rewind time with a simple button press,...

Final Exam (Xbox Live Arcade)

Final Exam (Xbox Live Arcade)

No flunking here

Before playing Final Exam, we’d heard it be described as a sidescrolling Left 4 Dead, and, in all honesty, that’s a fairly apt comparison; it’s a 4-player zombie slayer with online co-op, a level set in a subway, and a massive, hulking enemy called a Tank. Superficial, skin-deep comparisons aside, Mighty Rocket Studio’s...

Girl Fight (Xbox Live Arcade)

Girl Fight (Xbox Live Arcade)

Psi-what?

You can safely bet from the cover art and screenshots to Girl Fight what sort of game you're getting yourself in to. Kung Fu Factory shows no shame in taking what gamers secretly wanted in Dead or Alive all along: remove all of the male fighters and put a strong emphasis on beautiful, digital vixens with odd fashion senses and a refusal to...

Foul Play (Xbox Live Arcade)

Foul Play (Xbox Live Arcade)

With Xbox Live Arcade going through one of its quality spikes of late, it seems that every week, there’s another big-name title just waiting to separate you from your cash. In the past month or so, we’ve seen Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Charlie Murder, Disney Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, DuckTales Remastered, and

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows (Xbox Live Arcade)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows (Xbox Live Arcade)

It's not a party, dude.

When Out of the Shadows was unveiled back in March of this year, fans were in an uproar about the new look of their beloved Turtles. Instead of going the cartoony route of the current TMNT series on Nickelodeon, developer Red Fly Studios was presenting something a bit more mature, with the Turtles faces actually resembling...

Cloudberry Kingdom (Xbox Live Arcade)

Cloudberry Kingdom (Xbox Live Arcade)

Painfully Pleasing

Cloudberry Kingdom is platforming insanity, and it fully exposes itself for what it is before even allowing you to reach the main menu. Upon booting the game you’re welcomed to a video that shows the main character, Bob, traversing the most densely packed environments you’ll likely ever see in a side-scrolling platformer...

Charlie Murder (Xbox Live Arcade)

Charlie Murder (Xbox Live Arcade)

Hybrid Moments

Charlie Murder is unabashedly punk rock; it is what it wants to be, and doesn't care if you like it. That’s something we can commend, even if it doesn't always work out for the best. Charlie and his band of misfits are on a mission to stop a rival metal band, Gore Quaffer - and their army of minions - from being the most rockin'...

DuckTales Remastered (Xbox Live Arcade)

DuckTales Remastered (Xbox Live Arcade)

Rewriting History

Back in 1989, the original DuckTales was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System to great acclaim, and set a new standard for what could be expected of a licensed game. Even to this day, it's so highly regarded by many, that the retro-tastic people of WayForward and Capcom decided to give it a fresh coat of paint, and...

Capsized (Xbox Live Arcade)

Capsized (Xbox Live Arcade)

Space madness

Capsized is a 2D adventure-platformer with similarities to Super Metroid in its atmosphere and some of its mechanics, but at the same time retains a style and feel all of its own. Instead of a sprawling, interconnected world, you move from level to level completing various objectives; such as simply reaching an exit, destroying sacred...

Storm (Xbox Live Arcade)

Storm (Xbox Live Arcade)

Doom and gloom or a perfect storm?

Storm tries so desperately hard to be that soothing, relaxing gameplay experience. Something that can be picked up and played at someone's leisure after a stressful day at work. On paper, Storm has the makings of an indie hit and the folks at IndiePub do convey some rather interesting ideas. Unfortunately,...

Fireburst (Xbox Live Arcade)

Fireburst (Xbox Live Arcade)

Throw it into the flames.

Arcade racing games are tough to get right. For many years, they’ve been viewed as being something of a safe bet. Put some crazy characters in some even crazier vehicles, throw in some sort of apparently unique selling point, and the job is done. Or so you’d think, given the amount of titles that fit that description...

Aqua Kitty - Milk Mine Defender (Xbox Live Arcade)

Aqua Kitty - Milk Mine Defender (Xbox Live Arcade)

Nearly Purrfect

Aqua Kitty is a game about cats harvesting milk from the floor of the ocean. Turns out, it’s the only place left to obtain the delectable drink, and these kitties are so dependent on it that they’ll overcome their fear of something they despise even more than dogs – mass amounts of water. Mining operations are now fully...

Telltale Games' Poker Night 2 (Xbox Live Arcade)

Telltale Games' Poker Night 2 (Xbox Live Arcade)

Hold 'em or fold 'em?

If you’re making a game about poker, you should really focus on the getting the features of the actual cardplaying right – or at least up to speed with your competition – before throwing in characters from a bunch of franchises, and a witty script. That doesn’t seem to be what’s gone here, though. Poker Night 2...

God Mode (Xbox Live Arcade)

God Mode (Xbox Live Arcade)

By the beard of Zeus!

Sometimes, it can be good to settle in with a game that attempts to do away with the hours of cutscenes and hundreds of pages of story scripts that most modern titles come bundled with, and just get down to the core of things. That’s what God Mode attempts to do, throwing the player directly into a third-person shooting fest...

Sacred Citadel (Xbox Live Arcade)

Sacred Citadel (Xbox Live Arcade)

Old-school meets new-school.

Back when the excellent Castle Crashers released in 2008, the gameplay contained within the adorably-designed package was something of a revelation. You could have a number of characters on the go at a time, playing through the game as each of them in turn as you tried to get them all levelled up to the point of being...

Motocross Madness (Xbox Live Arcade)

Motocross Madness (Xbox Live Arcade)

Back once again...

Back in the day, Motocross Madness was a technically impressive, addictive PC game that did away with the narrow borders of conventional racing games, providing a relatively open world for the player to barrel through. The last entry in the series – Motocross Madness 3 for the original Xbox – was a bit of a stinker when...