Redd: The Lost Temple

Ever since the mighty Atic Atac blew our tiny minds a million years ago, discerning gamers have known the power of the humble top-down action-adventure.

Blazing Forge Games evidently knows all the tricks and makes no apology for pushing Redd: The Lost Temple down the path less travelled.

Looking every inch the lost mid-period 8-bit title, Redd sends an intrepid explorer into a spooky subterranean network of abandoned temples in search of treasure. What our intrepid torch-wielding adventurer finds, of course, is a plethora of sinister hazards, collapsing floors and traps to tiptoe around.

4
Redd dead evolver.

Armed only with bombs, Redd is certainly no action hero. Progress relies more on nimble avoidance and patient exploration, but there remains a niggling desire to keep playing despite - or perhaps because of - the game's rather limited scope.

If you're in the mood for nostalgia about how you wish old games used to be, dim the lights and make believe that's a Competition Pro in your hands.

7/10

Chester

With Chester's proud use of NES-style cover art, you know exactly what shapes developer Brilliant Blue-G wants to throw.

Yes, we're firmly in retro 2D platforming territory, but it's a hyperkinetic offering with a few interesting tricks up its sleeve.

During this restless tale of stolen cupcakes, you find yourself scooping up - among other things - stamps. Grab enough random tat over the course of the game and all-important stuff unlocks that not only allows you to switch between new characters, but also to re-skin each level on the fly with a completely new visual theme.

5
The search for Ian Rush goes on.

In terms of the characters, it's not merely a different-looking dude you'll be switching to, but one with different weapons and slightly varying jumping abilities, which have subtle implications depending on what you're facing at any given moment.

Flicking between them is seamless and can often completely change the feel of the game. This is often just as well, because the fundamental level design rarely feels very interesting once you strip away the novelty value of flicking between different characters and visuals.

Still, for a couple of quid, a basic 20-level platformer with a couple of neat tricks earns a nod of appreciation from me. It's no Apple Jack, sure, but Chester is still better than 95 per cent of the drivel you'll find on Xbox Indie Games.

6/10

The rest...

After some of the excellent releases that have appeared on the Xbox Indie Games channel, expectations were high that the Indie Summer Uprising would provide something of a showcase for the scene. But of the remaining five releases, the quality is, to be polite, variable.

Bottom of the pile is undoubtedly the truly dreadful hack-and-slash Raventhorne. Battle High: San Bruno, meanwhile, has a stab at a high-school-themed Street Fighter II but fails pretty miserably by being too easy to win by repeating the same move over and over.

Cute Things Dying Violently should have been awesome, with a name that good, but with its painfully frustrating aiming system, the business of throwing things at critters soon becomes a chore. Take Arms fares a little better with its valiant attempt at blending side-scrolling 2D platforming with Capture the Flag and Deathmatch, but ultimately falls flat where it matters most - the combat. Doom & Destiny isn't too bad, either, but my tolerance of top-down RPGs was never high in the first place - never mind 20 years after the fact. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

Contributor

Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

More articles by Kristan Reed

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