The Indie Zone Reviews – Episode 2

Corrupted, B.U.T.T.O.N., Spanker’s Army and 2010: A New Threat are reviewed in the second episode of our Indie Zone reviews.


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Corrupted is a top down view hack and slasher. It is nice to see a game where you play as the bad guy, instead of rescuing princess’ from a castle you are helping to kidnap them. The presentation reminds me of Castle Crashers with a selection of playable characters which you can upgrade their stats. Levels are accessed via a world map and can be repeated if you want to do a little level grinding to pay for some upgrades.

Your characters have mêlée and ranged attacks, it is up to you how you use your character by beefing up their stats which include improving damage and attack chains for close combat or speed and manoeuvrability for ranged. In addition to attacks there are elemental and magic attacks which are built up by killing enemies. There are in total a dozen or so stats which keeps the game feeling not too RPG like and accessible for everyone.

The levels vary in length but not so much in location, often you will find yourself in forests and fields and the occasional castle. The graphics are used sparingly but they are well drawn and the sprites have good animation. Little touches such as buildings roofs and tree tops turn invisible as you go underneath them were nice. I loved the mêlée chain animations which at its highest level ends with a satisfying ground smash knocking over nearby enemies. The enemies are fairly intelligent and do have some basic attack patterns, bosses are more intelligent with clear patterns of attacks which should be exploited to defeat them.

Corrupted is a very enjoyable game for both single player and with support for up to four players locally in the campaign as well as an arena combat mode this is great value for 240 :MSPoints:. I have played for a few hours which includes some level grinding and it does feel a little repetitive but it is definitely a game you can come back to in both single and multiplayer modes. Buy this game now! You can download the trial or buy the full version from the Xbox Marketplace.


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B.U.T.T.O.N. is a party game for two or more players. Depending on the number of controllers you have, you can play up to four players on one controller, with each player using one of the coloured buttons, or up to four players each using their own controller.

The aim of the game is simple, beat the other players by completing the on-screen tasks. The game pans out like this: put the controllers down, take a random number of steps backwards, perform the stated physical action and then do the controller or button action. Physical actions come in many varieties; from doing push ups, posing like a superhero and reciting Shakespeare through to the more adult themed actions such as swapping clothing and touching another player. There is an adjustable adult filter so it should be safe for kids.

The controller actions are simple as they need to be quickly read and performed. From pressing the button several times and holding the button for a number of seconds through to more devious prompts for the first player to press their button losing. You never know what will appear so it ends in a mad scramble to complete the physical and controller actions. While I only played the game with one other player I would say that with a party of four (or more) after a few drinks that this game would be a riot, quite literally!

Presentation is done well with clear and large text which is necessary as you will be playing further away from the screen. Graphically the game fares well with a colourful cartoon like style that adds to the fun, especially when your player is zapped. Music and sounds are good  with lounge style music and faster tunes when the action is ramped up that fits in nicely.

B.U.T.T.O.N. is not a single player game so obviously if you play alone then look elsewhere. If you have a few friends over and are bored of prancing around on Kinect and want something physical, extremely fun and competitive then look no further. You can download the trial or purchase the full version from the Xbox Marketplace.

Spanker’s Army

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Evil critters have locked up all the pets and it is your task to set them free by commanding Spanker’s Army. You travel from area to area in search of the animals and must defeat any enemies along the way and rescue the animals from captivity who then join your growing army.

The game is played in a kind of top down perspective with you controlling one of a few available characters. You can control your army by issuing orders to follow, stay or to attack enemies. The combat seems a little random and your army can get lost or confused when issuing orders so often you will be left to attack enemies by yourself. You do fare better with the long-range soldiers as they attack from further away. Weapon upgrades are available to buy between levels such as clubs, lances and bows.

There is a good idea in the game but it is unfortunately executed poorly. I liked the idea of being able to recruit new soldiers but their help in the game is badly done. With some improved AI the game would work better and would cause less frustration. Graphically the game is poor with very basic sprites and backgrounds, again some improvements here would work well. The music does not fit well with the theme of the game and most importantly there are no sound effects which was disappointing. As there is no audio feedback in the game so you do not know if your army are being attacked elsewhere.

Spanker’s Army costs 80 :MSPoints: which is unfortunately barely worth the price. With some improvements to the graphics and audio and some tweaks to the AI it may have been worth the price, but as it stands this is one to avoid. You can download the trial or buy the full version from the Xbox Marketplace.

2010: A New Threat

Stick Em Up VS Arena

2010: A New Threat is a twin stick shooter featuring several modes to play on in single player and versus. The game is set in space with you controlling a ship that has upgradeable weapons, armour and engines. You play in a static screen where reaching the boundaries of the screen will teleport you to the opposite side. Depending on the game type you could be shooting aliens and asteroids or capturing stars.

The variety of game modes are quite good, many share familiar themes such as the survival games where you must stay alive for as long as possible against waves of alien craft. The Star Thief and Merchant Race modes are multiplayer based games and play similar to capture the flag modes. Other modes include defending a planet for as long as possible against the aliens. There are a few single player based games but all the fun modes such as the Star Thief and Merchant Race modes need two or more human players. Adding in CPU bots for these modes would have been a welcome addition but unfortunately you can only access half the game if you are playing on your own.

Graphically the game is fairly plain, there is nothing wrong with the graphics but they do not dazzle you either. The various backgrounds which act as maps look OK and the sprites, while drawn well, do look basic. The menu animation when changing between screens drags on a little too long which did start to annoy me as I was playing the different modes. Also the final score screens lack in presentation quality compared to the rest of the game.

If you have two or more friends to play 2010: A New Threat with then you get good value for your 80 :MSPoints: which gives you access to all the game modes and is worth checking out. If you plan to play on your own you may want to look elsewhere as there are better single player based twin stick shooters. You can download the trial or buy the full version from the Xbox Marketplace.


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