Xbox Live Community Games Roundup • Page 2

The best of Xbox 360's indie offerings.  

Blow

  • Price: 400 MS Points

A genteel puzzler, Blow requires you to position a limited number of fans to safely guide bubbles past obstacles, while hitting specified flowers along the way. There's a rather twee backstory about faeries (spelled the posh way) but the core of the game is more than enough to work on its own in any setting. You get a generous 70 levels to start with, but the inclusion of a procedural level generator means that you're essentially getting a game with infinite replayability.

Colosseum

  • Price: 800 MS Points

Look past the misspelled title and you'll find one of the more visually impressive Community Games on offer. Colosseum (a game I need to keep retyping because my word processor insists on correcting it) is a 3D fighting game, a sort of bargain basement God of War. The controls are slightly clunky, as is the camera, but it's still a considerable achievement, with local four-player team games and a generous array of modes, characters, weapons and attacks. It's a little too rough around the edges to really justify its top tier price-point, but it's an impressive offering all the same.

Easy Golf: Course Architect

  • Price: 800 MS Points
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One of the most ambitious Community Games, Easy Golf sets out to offer more than just a basic golfing simulation. It's a multiplayer golf course construction kit, supporting up to four players online and offering the chance to show off your creations in real time. It comes with two pre-designed courses for those who just want to tee off, but the design element is so thorough and intuitive that there's no excuse not to come up with your own. The ball physics are rather rudimentary when compared to the more professional golf games out there but Easy Golf can certainly hold its own against Live Arcade's Golf: Tee It Up!

Exisled

  • Price: 400 MS Points
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This top-down helicopter shooter plays a bit like Desert Strike crossed with Assault Heroes. You venture forth from your base, and must battle the teeming hordes of enemy vessels sent to meet you. Tiny bullets fly all over the place, and it doesn't take long to realise that your best bet is to just keep moving to minimise the inevitable damage. You can return to base for repairs, and to load up on the bombs you'll need to take down the enemy fortresses. With only eight levels, and no co-op or multiplayer options, Exisled is perhaps a rather slender experience but it's still one of the more polished shooters in the Community Games folder.

StarPilot

  • Price: 400 MS Points
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You can't have a homebrew games service without at least one Tron tribute, and this variation on lightcycles in space fits the bill quite nicely. Offering online multiplayer, or offline solo play against AI bots, there are also challenges (or "challanges" as the game insists on calling them) to work through, learning the ropes as you go. Control is tight, while the ability to loop and curve around your opponents, rather than being restricted to right angle turns, makes things much more interesting. As with a lot of the mid-priced Community Games, there's a lack of polish that may put off people used to Live Arcade titles, but the gameplay underneath is rock solid.

Weapon of Choice

  • Price: 400 MS Points
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This Contra-style shooter is pretty much the best Community Game available, almost by default. That's to be expected though, since creator Nathan Fouts worked on Resistance: Fall of Man and is therefore not your average bedroom coder. Cleverly designed, and packed with innovative features, it's hard to see why this is debuting under the Community Games banner, especially since previous XNA entry The Dishwasher will now be launched as a Live Arcade game. The hand-drawn graphics are colourful, while enemies are large and impressive. In terms of features, you have "death-brushing" which allows you to dodge imminent death in cheesy slo-mo, and the Vengeance Missile which lets you exact revenge on whatever killed you. You also have a "spider-pack", a robot rucksack that grabs onto sheer surfaces to save you from deadly falls. Anyone who loves Metal Slug or Bionic Commando would do well to give this a try.

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About the author

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead

Senior Contributor, Eurogamer.net

Dan has been writing for Eurogamer since 2006 and specialises in RPGs, shooters and games for children. His bestest game ever is Julian Gollop's Chaos.

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