Between steamrolling two games for review for you delightful readers, it was another tough week for indies. Tough in the sense that there were a lot of great games released so finding a turd amongst the gems was difficult. We got there in the end, though.

Andy’s Notepad Chapter 1: Saucers is a delightful twin-stick shooter where players control one of nine available spacecraft as they attempt to blast eachother into space debris. The goofy mouth-generated sound effects (think like when you used to play with GI Joes and stage q race war against the X-Men. You never did that? I did. Weird.), hypnotic score reminiscent of Zombies Ate My Neighbors (a game I do not invoke lightly), and solid gameplay make Andy’s Notepad Chapter 1: Saucers a worthy pickup at only 80 Microsoft Points (a dollar). Add in multiple weapons, ships, upgradeable weapons and boss battles and you’ve got a steal.

Zeboyd Games (Cthulhu Saves The World), given the blessing of the dudes at Penny Arcade (the internet’s favorite gaming-centric comic strip), have created The Rain Slick Precipice part 3, the third installment in the Penny Arcade gaming series. Or something. The game is typical Zeboyd, fantastic dialogue, quick, Final Fantasy-inspired battles with Fruit Fuckers, Mimes and other baddies. Add in the humor of Penny Arcade and you have a game that’s worth its asking price of 400 Microsoft Points (five bucks).

Washington’s Wig is a weird and ridiculous title in which a bald George Washington tasks his dog (aptly named Dogsworth) with fetching his powdered wig during the fateful crossing of the Delaware. Yep. With a relatively steep learning curve, a techno soundtrack and comical dialogue, the game is 80 Microsoft Points and features four modes of gameplay.

Shit Taco Award:

As mentioned, this was a tough week. There weren’t too many games released that weren’t quality, so I was happy to find this one shiny example of failure among all the competent games listed in this week’s entry. Avatour – Vegas is that game.

First of all, if you’re a game developer and want to use Microsoft’s Avatars as the stars of your game, then fuck you. You deserve flogging. Public flogging. It’s a cheap way to save on art assets and is the best possible way to lose immersion in your game. Unless there’s a game that comes out that allows my Avatar to engage in a frantic threesome or orgy with those on my friends list (all 80+guys and three girls), which I’d be fine with.

Utilizing “4D” technology, Las Vegas is badly rendered in the original Twisted Metal (PS1) style graphics and set in the day time. How could you make a game about a city that looks beautiful at night and set it during the day? Jesus, what a joke.

The game affords the player multiple options to navigate the city, but in all honesty, why bother? A lack of interactivity in any way (is it that hard to create fake slot machines?), a horrific soundtrack and shoddy, snail-like controls make you wanna’ kill yourself before you reach Mandalay Bay. Avoid this game like the fucking plague of bullshit it is.

Indie Darling:

Go Gimbal Go is a speed-driven track/platforming hybrid in which a purple ball/creature must save captured children in a candy-colored, ecstasy-fueled world. I added in the “ecstasy” part, but seriously, this game’s art design is beautiful in a way only MDMA could help envision.

Building up speed with the right bumper and blasting through levels at rates that would make Sonic blush, Gimbal leaps over chasms, smashes through foes saves kids and earns costumes (along with other assorted goodies). The costumes, in particular, are fun, my personal favorite being Mr. Rainbow, where Gimbal sports a Cat in the Hat-style hat only rainbow striped. He looks like a club kid with a purpose as he makes his way along the tracks. 240 Microsoft Points (three bucks).

There you have it. Play some indies! Reviews of two huge games will be coming this week!

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