Download Games Roundup

Bloody! Go! Boom! Nimbus! Dice!

While the whole world gets caught up in Kinect fever (or not), it's reassuring to know that it's possible to completely ignore the whole thing and still end up playing some real gems.

In the week when indie developers were collectively kicked in the nuts over the whole 360 dashboard update debacle, it's especially interesting that our favourite download game happens to come from an independent studio.

The point, really, is that good games are good games, and if Microsoft doesn't see the benefit to consumers of flagging up the best ones in its own Games blade, then we will.

Dice XY

  • Xbox Live Indie Games - 240 Microsoft Points (2.56)
1

Roll playing game.

Now that indie games have been exiled kicking and screaming to the 360's equivalent of the Siberian salt mines, expect hidden gems like Dice XY to remain the sole preserve of the determined and the tenacious.

Even so, those balaclava-donning, pistol-wielding few who dare to scale the razor wire-topped electric fences of the 360's new 'Speciality' store may easily forget to bust KakCAT's dice-rolling puzzler out of gaming's new purgatory. It doesn't look like much.

The simple task at hand is to make the dice disappear off the grid by pushing them next to one another. But as you carefully plot to match awkwardly placed dice, like all the best block puzzlers each and every round can quickly turn into mini obsession.

To start with you'll be focused on matching pairs, but once you figure out how to dispose of three or more it's a totally different story, and a near-genius piece of simple game design.

With its sparse presentation and basic block-pairing mechanics, Dice XY wheezes apologetically among the morass of stinking indie filth when it should be kneeing the detritus in the nuts and whistling The Great Escape.

But stick around, because once you crank up the difficulty, you'll quickly discover that underneath Dice XY's feeble exterior is a growling Steve McQueen of a game, ready to mount a Triumph Trophy and ride on out of the wilderness and smash through your stony heart. [Good grief. -Ed]

8/10

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