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Indie-cent Exposure #2

Posted July 6th 2011 by Brandon Schmidt.

If you didn't get around to reading the inaugural edition of this feature, have no fear. I'm back with a couple more indie games to whet your appetite for experiences outside the mainstream. The theme of this edition is familiarity. Our first title is from the makers of another of my favorite indie titles in the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace The second was created by one of our own forum members for the iOS platform.

Cthulhu Saves the World

One of my first indie game experiences on the Xbox 360 was a title called Breath of Death VII. That title was right in my wheelhouse. It combined the style and mechanics of 8-bit RPGs like the Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest series with the humor that an old-school gamer like myself could appreciate. It continually poked fun at the typical story conventions and character stereotypes in RPGs of that era. Zeboyd Games picks up right where it left off with Cthulhu Saves the World in what I consider a stronger effort. You play as the titular Cthulhu, weakened by an unknown power. Despite his current situation, Cthulhu is arrogant in a way that's both humorous and endearing. Along the way you'll pick up more and more party members who each have their own strengths, weaknesses, and jokes to add to the experience.

I won't bore you with a description of the game mechanics - simply go check out any '80s RPG. The game features a metered combo system for launching stronger attacks. It also includes a sanity component to certain attacks that can create potent effects when combined with other attacks. The combat system in general is deeper than most older RPGs. Even if you're not a fan of the genre, the humor in the game might be enough to win you over. Simply put, you must play this game. It currently runs 240 Microsoft Points in the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.

Match Box

I'm actually new to the Apple gaming front, not having owned an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, so when Tyler LaGrange announced he'd released his own game for the Apple platforms, I was naturally disappointed I wouldn't be able to try it out. Now that I've picked up an iPad,Match Boxwas one of the first purchases I made. At its core, the game is simplistic. However, there's an addictive quality that becomes most apparent when you reach the middle of your game and the challenge of speed threatens to overwhelm you. The basic premise is that you're presented with a screen of colored boxes. You must match each pair of boxes before a number of beats in the background music have occurred. Accidental taps/mismatches result in penalties. Once the beats run out, a new set of boxes appears. This pattern continues until the overall timer has completed. Each game starts off easy, but the challenge really comes in later in the game when you're presented with a dozen or more boxes to match and you're struggling to beat the timer before the boxes disappear. The game features half a dozen or so different levels, each with their own catchy song. Yes there a lot of puzzle games out there, some involving music. However, this one's great in that you can pick it up and understand it immediately. It's just a natural extension of games we all played as little tykes. Plus at 99 cents, it's hard to say no.

Well, this concludes another entry in our ongoing look at what the indie development scene has to offer. Unlike the last edition, we're starting to branch out from the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace onto other platforms like Apple. A world of creative and fun games awaits us all, but the two above are a great place to start. Have any of you tried them? If so, feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in our forum. And if not, what are you waiting for? Support your fellow gaming community! See you next time.

Tags: Match Box, Cthulhu, Apple, Indie, Indie-cent Exposure

Posted in: Features

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Cthulhu Saves the World is seriously great.

Thursday, July 14th 2011

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