Pillar was developed and published on Xbox 360 Indie Games by MichaelArts. It was released on February 17, 2015 for $4.99. A copy was provided by MichaelArts for review purposes.
Pillar is a perplexing assortment of puzzling mini-games by Michael Hicks of MichaelArts and was released with trophies on PlayStation 4 and as an indie game on Xbox 360. Hicks was responsible for the game's design, programming, score and other components. In fact, only one other person, Gonçalo Antunes (art), is credited with working on the game in a role other than tester. As a game that was largely created by one person, the attention to detail is significant, and the player can feel the developer's passion. Hicks also seems to be very sentimental about his work and appreciative of his family, friends and the community. If you have any interest in Pillar, you may want to take a look at this blog post at some point. It's pretty heart warming.
As for the game itself, it abruptly starts off with a screen asking, "Who Are You?" and then follows with one inquiring "What Are You?" You are then thrown into the game with no rhyme or reason. In fact, you don't even see a semblance of a title screen until you press pause. While it's tempting to cut some slack for a lack of features due to the incredibly small team of people behind Pillar, I'll be treating the title like any other game. Unfortunately, Pillar's seeming lack of direction hampers the potential that it could have.
Racedrome Offroad was developed by Rendercode Games. It was released on March 27, 2012 for 80 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Rendercode Games has a history of 80 MSP hits. Concept Car Series 2010 and Avatar Racedrome were both solid releases, and we were really pleased with 2011's Avatar Karting. Though we don't do much in the way of XBLIG reviews any more we were more than happy to take their newest title, Racedrome Offroad, for a spin around the track. As the follow up to Avatar Racedrome the game moves things indoors and trades old Grand Prix-inspired cars for a set of wheels akin to dune buggy. Tracks are tight and varied, and two player versus is offered.
DLC Quest was developed by Going Loud Studios. It was released November 2, 2011 retails for 80 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for retail purposes.
DLC Quest is a hilarious parody that completely lampoons the entire DLC concept. It contains a great deal of referential humor that goes all the way back to possibly the most infamous DLC: the horse armor. The backbone of the game is platform exploration that allows you to collect coins, meet NPC’s, and find secret passages. It is the collection of coins that allows you to buy the in game DLC packs that cause the game to progress.
Cute Things Dying Violently was developed by ApathyWorks. It was released on August 24, 2011 for 80 Microsoft Points. A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.
Despite its bloodthirsty title, Cute Things Dying Violently doesn't require the death of walking smiley faces–Well, not exactly. Instead, it requires the sacrifice of some of these nameless optimists so that the others may live and have baby smiley faces of their own. Of course, you're always welcome to dismiss the goal of the game and kill all of them but then you must welcome us dubbing you a genocidal maniac.
The goal of the game is to fling (let's call them the walkers) the walkers into a black door that for all we know sends them into an inferno of fire and spinning spikes. You use the left thumbstick to control the cursor which you place on the walkers and the right thumbstick to flick them in any direction you please. The more you pull back on the right thumbstick, the more powerful the fling. But any number of killer obstacles will try and prevent this from being a smooth transition.
Train Frontier Express was developed by Team Train Frontier and released on August 30, 2011 and retails for 240 MSP. A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.
So many of us have a childhood love of toy trains. We let our imaginations run wild with our train sets. As the train moved along the tracks we would make choo choo noises with our voice. Sometimes we created fictional disasters that would throw the train off track and have it burst into imaginary flames, but hey, it was all good fun. If you were one of those kids (including the bout of destruction) then boy is there a video game for you!
Train Frontier Express is one of the titles in the Indie Games Summer Uprising promotion and deservedly so. Although there really is no "game" here or set of definable goals, it is the closest thing you'll ever have to a model train simulator on the Xbox 360, and the freedom to share your creations with friends on Xbox Live places this into the top tier category of XBLIG.
T.E.C. 3001 was developed and published by Phoenix Games. It was released on August 24, 2011 and retails for 240 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
T.E.C. (Telsa Energy Collector) 3001 is a fast paced platformer, but unlike most T.E.C. 3001 is not a side-scroller of any sort. It is actually a fast paced, third-person running game where you must traverse different obstacle courses by dodging, sliding, or jumping. With the camera locked in the air behind you as you travel forward into the distance, T.E.C.3001 immediately sets itself up to look and feel different then everything else in its genre. Will this be enough to set it apart and stand out in one of the most crowded genres on any console?
Doom & Destiny was developed by Benjamin Ficus and HeartBit. It was released August 25, 2011 and retails for 240 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Chosen as a finalist in the Indie Games Summer Uprising promotion, Doom & Destiny is a turn-based RPG. It’s the first game created using RPG builder software to be given a commercial release and anyone familiar with Super Nintendo era JRPGs will feel right at home. The story revolves around a group of Dungeons & Dragons nerds up for some good clean role-playing fun only to find themselves transported into a real fantasy realm with magical creatures and bad puns.
Battle High: San Bruno was developed by Mattrified Games and retails for 80 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Battle High: San Bruno is a one-on-one fighting game akin to classics such as Street Fighter 2 and The King of Fighters. It was originally released in February 2011 but has since undergone a revision and has been named one of the finalists of the Indie Summer Uprising. Battle High is the sum of years of fighting game tropes put together. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in playability. It even benefits from the classic story of competing high school students ripped straight from Rival Schools. The inspirations for this game are many. In fact Battle High really reminds us of classic Neo-Geo fighting game Rage of the Dragons. But does this game have enough to excite fighting game fans?
Motorbike Stunt Agent Julie was developed by Mattini Games. It was released on August 17, 2011 for 80 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
What happens when you mix Trials-style gameplay with a twin-stick shooter? Motorbike Stunt Agent Julie, that's what. Julie is a retired secret agent now working as a traveling stunt rider. When a crisis threatens the globe she is brought back into service to help take down the evil Dr. Kreutzer. The game spans 20 missions and has enough variety in both terrain and objectives to keep things fresh.