There are plenty of great indies out right now to suit any gamer looking to show some love to smaller developers and companies. The Indie Gala has launched a new lineup of games, where, depending on how much you want to pay, you can end up nabbing yourself over ten games if you pay over $5.99. A pretty great deal if you ask me, so, check it out here.

I’ve also been showing some love to Nothing’s Gonna’ Stop Me Now, a brilliant browser-based bit of nostalgia and wish fulfillment. The less said about this one, the better. Just enjoy.

Some titles currently available on the XBOX Live Indie Marketplace have been very spotty lately, including Heroes Of Hat, a slower-paced platformer with a lot of potential. The game makes use of an interesting mechanic in that whatever hat your character has on, a different power set is assigned. For example, wearing an archer’s hat gives you access to archery abilities, firing arrows, making platforms out of strategically-placed arrows, etc. Not very Hawkeye, but still neat. The price may be worth it at 80 Microsoft Points (a dollar), but as mentioned, it’s a tad on the slow side.

The polar opposite of Heroes Of Hat is Compromised, a hectic and wildly fun twin-stick shooter. Set in a rather dystopian-looking computer-enhanced science fiction universe, the player must vanquish enemies that are invading an intergalactic city’s borders. Or something. Regardless of how convoluted the story is, the gameplay is a blast, the levels are huge, however; be warned, the price is a tad steep at 240 Microsoft Points (around three bucks), but the game promises free DLC in the future including two more game modes.

Indie Flop:

Mambow, Mambow, Mambow. How do I say your name? Why are your visuals so beautiful? Who came up with such a fun and silly storyline, but didn’t bother to pay for English localization? As it stands, Mambow is a turd wrapped in sparkly foil. Had the designers taken the time to actually dedicate funds to a proper English translation, perhaps I wouldn’t be so harsh, but poor grammar, bad spelling, and a myriad of other mistakes makes Mambow a failure in every way. The gameplay needs to be sped up, Mambow himself needs more variation in terms of his moveset, and the levels need more of an enemy population.

As it stands, Mambow is a weak Donkey Kong Country clone, with incredibly beautiful visuals, a great soundtrack and an interesting (horrifically spelled) story. To make matters worse, the fools who made this game have propped up a price point of 400 Microsoft Points, which is five dollars. Five dollars for a game with no polish is a huge mistake. Right now, you can buy Beyond Good and Evil HD for the same price, and you get a lengthy masterpiece. Any indie game developer asking for five dollars for their game without delivering the content to back it up is an idiot.

Indie Darling:

Gentlemen, Start Your Engiiines is a racing game with intentional title misspelling courtesy of Maximinus, a developer I’ll be paying attention to from now on. Ridiculously vibrant and colorful visuals, plenty of room for personalization on the cars, a 43 car field to race against, an amazing soundtrack and loads of charm, Gentlemen, Start Your Engiiines is the direct opposite of Mambow in terms of a higher price point warranting your money and attention.

I’m not a huge racing game fan. Never have been. But I’m incredibly pleased with Gentlemen, Start Your Engiiines as it’s just the right amount of customization options with a steep enough learning curve where I don’t feel overwhelmed by the game’s mechanics. It’s truly a competent, inspired and stylish little racer with candy-coated visuals and an unbelievable amount of charm.

So there you have it, dear reader, plenty of great indies (not Mambow, Mambow is shit) out there for your purchasing needs. Give the Indie Gala a look, show some love to indie developers.

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