With the dawn of a new year comes the yawn of Xbox's indie games. What was once a creative outlet for many looking to unleash their games to the masses has become the most shameless place on the Xbox dashboard. For every one inspired game you have a multitude of others, like several different rip offs of Minecraft, generic Avatar games, games that entice you with women, and of course, vibrator games. Indie games on Xbox are like the equivalent of the iTunes app store. You go in to find a game and buy it for a buck. You play it for about 10 minutes and never look at it again. The difference is that iTunes seems to have some sense of quality control. Ladies and gentlemen, there is literally an indie game that lets you send mass messages to all of your friends on Xbox Live…A FEATURE THAT IS ALREADY INCLUDED ON EVERY XBOX 360 CONSOLE SINCE 2005! What’s worse is that this is one of the top downloaded Indie games available. And don’t even get me started on Avatar DeathMatch.
If this picture makes the game look like your Avatar will be placed inside of the newest Call of Duty, prepare to be disappointed. First off, I love the level selection. One. You get one level to play in. Also, death match? Not much of death match considering the weapons you use shoot Nerf darts. That is all perfectly fine, but the picture looks like I’m going to be kicking some serious ass in the war-torn middle east, not my nephew’s school playground! But if you don’t like this Avatar shooter, don’t worry, there are fifty other more to play. Avatar Laser Wars 2, Paint Ball War, Avatar Paintball, the list goes on. Too be fair, there aren’t that many shooters in the indie game section when compared to pure clones of other famous games.
Don’t have the money for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, an almost five year-old game? Then just download Avatar Brawl. Can’t plop down 15 big ones for Castle Crashers? Well for 80 points, Ninja War-Stolen Scrolls, can be yours. Ninja War features four elemental based warriors, who travel across an over world map to find the main bad guy after he has taken four important objects. IT’S LIKE THE SAME GAME! What about Angry Birds? Just too damn lazy to grab your iPod to play it? Well why not try Angry Fish? The list of inferior rip-offs goes on forever, but the most disgusting act of plagiarism stems from the Minecraft clones.
The most profitable indie game of all time is CastleMiner Z. With over one million copies sold, the game has you playing as your avatar, killing zombies and dragons using a pistol and other shitty weapons. Oh, and you can craft stuff just like in Minecraft. However, the interface is clunky, the graphics are disgusting, and you can walk (mine) on the water. It is the purest form of trying to make a quick buck. The game makes you wish that those million people would have just bought Minecraft, or donated the money to charity, or read Buried!, anything but play CastleMiner Z. Even worse, this isn’t the only Minecraft clone. You can also download: Murder Miners, The Original CastleMiner, Total Miner: Forge, Miner of Duty, Block World, Fortress War, Miner4Ever, FortressCraft Chapter 1, Xenominer, Avatar Block War, and finally, Miner Style. There could be plenty more, as Miner Style was only indie game number 125 out of 2795.
This is the problem with the indie game market. There are 2,795 games yet here I am bitching about mining games. There are probably nuggets of gold in that pile of shit, but do I really feel like digging though it to find out? Maybe, but does the average consumer have the time and patience of that? No. Many people will never get to experience games such as Super Amazing Wagon Adventure (which is seemingly a parody of Oregon Trail) Seriously, this game is badass – buy it now! Games such as this restore my faith in indie games, but you have all these bad avatar and mining games ruining the fun for everyone else. If Xbox cared at all about its indie games, which they seem to do considering the dashboard as of late, they need to improve the system. Make it easier to find GREAT games and sort out the bullshit. Put the games into categories…wait there are categories? Never mind, moral of the story – avoid these awful clones and support the indie developers who actually give a damn about creating a great experience. Quark Out!
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