Archive for the ‘Xbox Live Indie Game’ Category


Milkstone Studios is back with another indie game called Little Racers Street, but is the game worth your time, consideration or money?  Simply put, yes on all fronts.

Little Racers Street is the latest Xbox Live Indie game from developer Milkstone Studios.  Milkstone has established themselves as a reputable Indie developer on the marketplace and their excellent reputation is only perpetuated by Little Racers Street.  LRS is an isometric arcade racer that offers an incredible amount of content in a small indie game package (and price).  The racing is fast and intense will have you clamoring for more after each play session.

Gameplay

The gameplay in LRS is by far its most defining feature.  Most of us have played some sort of isometric racer before, but I promise you none that perform like this title.  The point of racing game is to obviously beat your opponents by crossing the finish line before them, but what sets every racing title apart is how you go about doing that.  LRS has very basic, but delicate controls.  In order to win races and stay ahead of the competition you need to perfect the handling of each vehicle, because while this game emphasizes speed and acceleration; precision cornering and nitrous management is what wins races in this game.  The slightest miscalculation will run you into a wall and could cost you the race, while mismanaging your nitrous will leave you in the rearview of your opponents.  This might sound like a disadvantage for LRS, but the addictive nature of this title will bring you back to races to perfect cornering to increase lap times and finding the best spots to deploy nitrous.  With nitrous aside, I applaud LRS for putting emphasis on cornering because far too many games allow you to ride the wall and still have the ability to win; that is not the case in LRS.  The game also has 5 difficulty setting ranging from easiest to unfair (unfair is the difficulty description for clarification).  So depending on how fast you pick up the controls you have a difficulty to match.  One last thing to note; like most racing games LRS does factor in damage when credits are dispersed at the end of each race, so less precise or careless driving will net you less money after each race making it another reason to fine tune your skills.

Graphics

The graphics in LRS are very pretty for an Indie Game.  I’d even go as far as to say that it is probably one of the best looking indie games available on XBL.  The car models are very simple, but the lighting effects and driving animations are fluid and a sight to behold.  Smoke trails are left when drifting and nitrous trails light up the screen when boosting and I must say I was very impressed with these effects in particular.  An outline of your car will also illuminate when things hit the fan or when your view is obstructed behind scenery (and both will happen).

The environments are nothing to sneeze at either.  The variations in track designs while minor keep things fresh and also the weather effects (rain and snow) add a nice touch.  Day, Night and Dusk variants of each track also showcase different details making the same tracks look different which I thought was pretty clever.  Overall the game exhibits great design and the frame rate remains stable most of the time.  It has dipped on occasion, but nothing that interrupts the flow of a race or makes the experience any less enjoyable.

Presentation

LRS has a very simple layout and I think it suits the game very well.  There is no mystery as to what does what and you can jump into whatever you need to do with great ease.  The background at the main menu is dynamic which adds pleasant imagery when you are maneuvering through the menus.  The presentation isn’t a huge selling point for this game, but it doesn’t hurt the experience either.

Sound

The audio in LRS is superb for an indie game.  The sound effects for the cars are really good.  Engine noises are mostly uniform amongst the vehicles, but the sound effects are welcomed nonetheless.  Tires squeal when drifting, metal scrapes when you rub against walls and other vehicles beep when you hit them or cut them off.  The soundtrack steals the show in the audio department.  It boasts a well done mix of electronic music that compliments the “street” racing very much so.  Racing games usually have an eclectic mix of music that is all over the place, but the choice to go with an entirely electronic mix was an entirely appropriate choice to me.

Future Playability

LRS has a lot of content packed under its mini sized hood.  There are several challenges to complete with a ranking system for offline play and online leaderboards for lap times.  There is competitive multiplayer over Xbox Live and for system link play.  There are lots of cars to purchase (30+) and every car has the ability to be upgraded so that can also consume quite a bit of your time if you so choose.   All in all LRS has a ton of content for you to explore and will likely satisfy your need for an arcade racer.

Final Thoughts

I have spent a good amount of time with LRS and have taken a real liking to it.  It offers really fun and addictive gameplay and for only 80 MSP ($1) you can’t go wrong.  It is the most fun I have had with an arcade racer since NFS: Hot Pursuit if you needed anymore validation as to how good this game is.  It also has a car similar to the AE86 from Initial D (the Relampago 1.6 L) which is killer.  Also it will help support Milkstone Studio’s future products and updates (which LRS has gotten a few already).  Lastly the game does have a trial so if you are curious about it before making that huge financial commitment, give it a spin and see what you think.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.  If you try out Little Racers Street and like it sound off in the comments section or shoot Milkstone an email, I’m sure they would love the feedback as well.  Until next time be easy everyone.

Little Racers Street was purchased by me for 80 MSP ($1).  It is currently available in the XBLIG market on the Xbox 360.  I have invested around 4 hours into the game prior to this review and plan to invest many more.

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Firing Range is the latest Xbox Live Indie Game from Milkstone Studios (Motor Heat, Avatar Panic, Raven Thorne, etc.).  This game is super narcotic in nature and I mean that in the best way possible.  I have several brand new retail games staring me down, but I continue to play Firing Range, not because it is superior title, but more so that it provides instant gratification (I am also currently ranked 82nd in the world).  The game blends simple design, good controls and an infinite amount of replay value into an Indie game offering.

The game has the simplest premise and that is shooting targets both dynamic and static.  You use three different firearms from round to round in hopes of achieving a high score.  There is a Pistol, an Uzi and an Assault Rifle at your disposal (you don’t get to choose, but that doesn’t effect the experience).  You can also customize the skins of your weapons and the color/design of large and small targets.  Also there are 24 unlockable awards, which can add immense replay value to the game.

Getting busy with the Assault Rifle

The scoring system is what really drew me in though.  Who doesn’t love chasing high scores and besting their friends at a game?  I enjoy the hell out of beating my friends and Firing Range’s simple yet robust leader board system lets me know when I am accomplishing just that.  There are point goals that you need to meet in order to advance to the next round (make sure you hit those bulleyes).  After each round your score is compounded into an aggregate score that will pit you against yourself, your friends and the rest of the world.  After each round the game also tells you where you stand on the leader boards so you know whether or not to step your game up or maintain a winning pace.

Firing Range has tight controls and good graphics for what the game aims to do (no pun intended).  If offers a fun and addictive experience that for only 80 MSP ($1) should be in everyone’s collection that has a Xbox 360.  So next time you are shopping around on Xbox Live check this game out and get hooked like I did.

I purchased Firing Range for 80 MSP ($1).  This game is available on Xbox Live in the Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace.  I have invested over 2 hours into it and have unlocked 5 weapon skins and plan to unlock most of them by weeks end.  I wasn’t lying about this game being addicting folks.


The video game industry always seems to be taking itself way to seriously and never attempts to have a moment of relaxation.  Many developers attempt humor with their creations, but only within the context of that specific game; not aiming at a higher target.  Rarely do you see a game do such a thing; maybe one that provides satire for the very industry it inhabits.  DLC Quest is looking to change that about video games and provides a satirical adventure about one the biggest trends/practices in gaming today; that being downloadable content.  The latest game from Going Loud Studios pokes fun at the industry in a way that shouldn’t be construed as anything other than fun humor and answers the question; “What do you do when DLC goes too far?”

DLC Quest sets you upon an age old adventure to save the Princess, but one that can only be advanced through the purchasing of in-game DLC; don’t worry, the game doesn’t actually have “DLC” and will be sure to remind you of that.  All the DLC in the game is purchased with in-game coins.  The DLC you purchase within DLC Quest is almost as absurd as some DLC you purchase for your retail games.  For example the ability to walk, pause the game and double jump are featured as DLC alongside other things that come standard in most games.  The satire in this game is quite thick, but you don’t get sick of it.  I found myself consistently laughing throughout the game’s short adventure.  Everything from the variety of DLC to the NPC interactions have charm and even pay homage to real pieces of DLC (i.e. The Horse Armor pack for Oblivion).  The game also manages to poke fun at achievements with their own brand called “Awardments”.  These are given out for finishing certain objectives in the game just like their retail counterparts.  Another great thing about this game is that it is only a $1 (80 MSP) and like all XBLIG has a trial version available for your previewing pleasure, but let’s move on to how this game performs and looks.

Gotta get that Double Jump DLC, dawg!!!

The game has a retro art style (16-bit flavor) that is hard not to love especially if you are into retro games like me.  Great music and sound effects also bring me back to the good old days.  The game has tight controls and simple platforming mechanics that make this game accessible to just about anyone.  Traversing the game’s colorful world is fluid and fun.  The 16-bit slaughtering of sheep was also a nice bonus if I do say so myself.  While the game isn’t terribly long (I believe I finished it in about an hour) it definitely falls into the quality over quantity field of judgment.  You will enjoy every minute you spend with DLC Quest and once you are done you can clear your data and take it for another spin (like I did a few times already).  This game is extremely polished and it shows through every facet of its design.  DLC Quest is far and away one of the best Xbox Live Indie Games I have ever played and is something you should definitely experience.  Kudos to Going Loud Studios on this title and hopefully we can see a sequel sometime in the near future.

DLC Quest was purchased by me for $1 (80 MSP) and I have invested over 4 hours into the game through multiple play-throughs.  It is available for purchase in the XBLIG section of the Games Marketplace on Xbox Live.