Tuesday, 21 October 2014

100 More Gruesome Games (29-25) - XBLIG Special Pt. 1

There are literally thousands of games available on Microsoft's Xbox 360 that a lot of people will never have played or even considered. Some gamers looking at the Indie Game section on the dashboard will see games you can buy for 69p/$1 and automatically dismiss them as being pointless rubbish that's not worthy of their attention. Other's will look at the fact that some of the most popular games just involve minimum gameplay and badly-animated, big-boobed, scantily-clad girls and again think that the Indie section of Xbox is to be avoided. And there is a lot of pointless, sexist and just plain rubbish stuff floating around on there....

But there's also a lot of great games! Some of which are a damned sight more entertaining & innovative than a lot of the full price releases on the console....some that are totally unoriginal and steal stuff from other places, but are still a massive load of fun! But it's finding these games that are worth playing that can be tricky! So I've decided to give a mention on the list to 10 horror-themed titles that I've considered good enough to buy, and once Halloween is over I might let you know about some other games that are worth a lot more than the few pennies the creators are asking for them!

29 - Bloody Death (XBLIG) :

Remember when FMV was the future of gaming? Almost every game that came out at one point in the nineties had some sort of live-action element in it! And then it just sort of fizzled out and went back to pixels & polygons....Well, thankfully a group of Italian (I think?) game developers decided that we needed anew Night-Trap style game and provided us with this little gem!

It's obvious right from the start that English is not the first language of the stars of this game...a slaughter takes place at "Quite River" which was surely meant to be "Quiet River"? Maybe not, maybe it is quite the river! Anyway, the rather blood-soaked tutorial introduces you to the Quick Time Event controls you'll be using for the entire game. Yes, it's just a case of bashing buttons as they appear on screen while you watch a really bad horror movie, but what a great bad-horror movie!

Our heroine escapes the slaughter, and we join her 3 years later as a couple of friends join her and her boyfriend for a night of booze and Xbox! Unfortunately, in true schlock-style, the killer from Quite River has tracked her down and phones to let the group know he intends to murder them all! You have to try and keep them alive by using the aforementioned QTEs...

The acting is terrible, the script hilarious and sometimes you'll successfully manage to hit the correct combination of buttons only for the character to be horrifically murdered anyway, but it all makes for a hugely entertaining 20 minutes or so play, and the fact that they've even attempted to resurrect FMV games is to be applauded, as is the fact you can pick it up for £1.99! If you love cheesy, so-bad-they're-good horror movies this'll be right up your street, and as a fan of such fare I highly recommend you download it immediately! 

28.5 - Hell's House (XBLIG) :

Look! It's the star of  Bloody Death Francesca Mamo in a sort-of sequel! This one has our star wandering around a Haunted House, and again you have to QTE your way through the game as you try to stop her dying horribly! This one doesn't have a lot of talking...in fact I can't actually remember if there's any talking at all, so it's not quite as funny! It does mean that the acting doesn't seem quite so bad too though, so we may see Francesca in a Dario Argento movie yet!

Anyway, it's another fun little interactive movie and again worthy of the £1.99 it asks for the pleasure of sitting through it!

28 - Dead Pixels (XBLIG) :

This one is a great retro-style side-scrolling shooter that has you trying to make it to freedom across a town filled with zombies! It's got a brilliant Grindhouse-inspired intro, and groovy music throughout! You can stop at shops to sell items you pick up along the way and purchase health packs, ammo & guns, and there are  several types of zombies to try them out on! The zombies will drop extra cash too, but try not to die as you pick it up before it disappears!

Dead Pixels is packed with references to zombie movies & games, and there's some free DLC that adds a survival mode, and another set of levels that changes gameplay a bit to keep you on your toes! Both of these extra DLC modes come with their own great intros and it makes for quite a large package of stuff to play through! It's awesome and could quite easily have been an Arcade release....And yet it's yours for 69p/$1!

27 - Midnight Bite (XBLIG) :

Draku's parents have flown off on vacation, but they forgot to stock up the fridge before going, and so it's up to us to guide the little vampire through a stealth action game so he can snack on the villagers, quench his first and emerge unharmed when his parents return!

You'll have to evade the guards, who have Metal Gear Solid style lines-of-sight, and hide in the occasional box to avoid being seen. If you keep your eye on the guards, you'll get to know their patterns, and you can slip past to the villagers! Once you get to a villager you can feast on their blood, and when you've got them all you'll move on the next screen via a magic mirror exit. Soon, extra dangers are added to the mix, like cats that'll wail if they see you and garlic that'll slow progress even more!  

It's a fun little puzzler with a cute style that'll appeal to any little monsters that happen to be lurking in your own crypts, as well as anyone who generally loves sneaking around as a bloodsucker! 

26 - I Maed A Gam3 W1th Zombies 1nit!!!1 (XBLIG) :

This game is as much a music video as it is a Robotron-style twin-stick shooter! You battle to survive hordes of zombies, picking up various power-ups and trying to last to the end of the creator's 15-minute or so song about the very game you're taking part in! It's a game with zombies in it, for goodness sake! What more do you need to know!? Go spend your dollar!

25 - Saturn 9 (XBLIG) :

Sent to a suddenly silent spaceship to find out what happened to the crew, you discover that things have gotten a little out of hand and some sort of creatures are running riot! This might not sound like the most original set-up for a game, but Saturn 9 was a pleasant surprise when I discovered it!

Taking influence from games such as Fear, Dead Space & Eternal Darkness, this first-person survival horror has hallucinations making you question just what is really happening, and what's in the protagonist's head. These occur when your character is running out of oxygen, which you'll need to keep topping up. Locked doors provide some password hunting and puzzle solving, and you'll need your wits about you to work some of these out.

The atmosphere of the game was really surprising to find in an Indie title, with the constant breathing coming from your character as they move around the incredibly dark levels in their spacesuit and the diary logs left by the crew creating a truly spooky environment..

Again, it's worthy of reaching a larger audience than the one XBLIG has, and like a few other games here it looks like you'll soon be able to get it on Steam too! It's well worth a look, especially for under a quid!


  1. "I Made a Game"-(whatever) was one of the first 360 games I ever played, it's a heap of fun - even downloaded the song separately!

    Didn't know there was FMV games in the indie store - I took all my details away from the Xbox over a year ago when transactions started getting made without me saying so, so I currently don't have a way of playing these... Cheers for bringing them to attention though!

    1. Worth checking to see if ones that take your fancy are on Steam or other PC type places, as I know at least 2 or 3 of the ones I'm covering have PC versions available too! :)