Now that there's several years worth of quality download content in the respective archives of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft – not to mention the various PC and Mac services – it's harder than ever to make a substantial impact.
The more content that piles up week after week, the more price promotions for the back catalogue appear. Indeed, only last week we saw Microsoft temporarily slash 50 per cent off the price of the likes of Limbo, Shadow Complex and Trials HD, while Steam and the PSN scene are routinely awash with tempting offers.
And, just like the boxed market, it's not uncommon for canny souls to hold off buying things until the deals appear. And why not? The simpler nature of downloadable games often makes them immune to feeling tired and dated in the same way as a big-budget epic. It's not like you're going to enjoy Limbo any less now than you would have nine months ago, eh?
But for those of you who absolutely have to have everything the moment it comes out, here are the latest afternoon delights...
- Xbox Live Indie Games - 80 Microsoft Points
- Also available on Windows Phone 7.
- Coming soon to iPhone.
At a pretty dreadful time for the Xbox indie gaming scene, Starzzle stands as a beacon of hope that not everything has to involve zombies and avatars all the bloody time.
As an alternative, the suitably named Bionic Thumbs has crafted one of those instantly endearing games that manages to make the noble pursuit of star collection somehow interesting.
The goal of this charming affair is to steer a smiling red blob around an environment, collecting wonky-eyed stars in the least number of moves. As tedious as this sounds, it's as catchy as a Holland-Dozier-Holland riff on a summer's day.
But as happy as this blob obviously is, he's also a bit simple. Push him in one direction, and he'll just keep on moving until he hits a wall.
With various bits of scenery to negotiate, plotting an economical path requires forethought – but not too much, because you'll also want to also get the best possible completion time.
And to make things more interesting, you eventually acquire the services of a sleepy blue square, who you can shift around and utilise as a temporary wall to aid your progress.
The best part? Not only is it insultingly cheap, but there are dozens of levels to bury your smiling face in. Don't even bother downloading a trial. Just buy it and tell everyone you know to buy it.