Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 8:00 am June 9, 2010

Purchased from: Xbox Live
Price paid: 80 Microsoft Points (equivalent to $1 American)
Platform: Xbox 360

One of the great things about the Indie Games channel of Xbox Live is that pretty much anyone that wants to pay the entrance fee can develop and publish their vision for the world to take in, which also is one of the biggest weaknesses. Pretty much any pile of dreck can make it to the service, which can make sifting through them to find the gems a chore.

But that’s what I’m here for.

One of the games that maed some waves last year was (and I quote) “I MAED A GAM3 WITH ZOMBIES IN 1T!!!1″, a game with a four-pronged hook.

Prong 1: Using ridiculous ‘Leet Speak‘, which virtually nobody uses seriously any more, to ‘maek the gaem’ look like it was put together by some kind of gamer. ‘One of us’, so to speak. But since I don’t know anyone who actually uses that kind of phraseology, I can only assume it’s supposed to be some kind of ‘inside joke’ that’s so not a secret that anyone who’s had access to the Internet for more than five minutes knows all about it.

Prong 2: A ridiculous self-referential theme song that plays for the length of the game. Throughout the first few minutes of the game you’re treated to (what I’m pretty sure is) the author of the game singing about how great his game is, about all the zombies, and how he hopes you buy it because it’s only a dollar. I’ve found several references that say that this song lasts for 13 minutes and 37 seconds, or 13:37, which is another reference to the ‘Leet Speak’ referenced above. I haven’t actually managed to find my stopwatch to time it, so I don’t actually know if that’s true or not.

Prong 3: You might remember a little game from a few years back called Geometry Wars that kind of exploded all over the Internet for a while. It’s a game that features you, a thing that moves around a playfield, shooting waves upon waves of things that aren’t you until they disappear. It’s probably safe to assume that the mechanics were ripped off from Geometry Wars, but since those mechanics were lifted almost wholesale from Smash TV, that’s not too big of a deal.

Prong 4: The game costs $1. You’re bludgeoned over the head with this fact repeatedly until you’ve lost consciousness, and then it’s jammed sideways into every open orifice on your person. There’s a good chance that you’ve got a dollar sitting in your Xbox Live account after buying shirts for your avatar, and this guy really wants you to use it to get his game instead of some pile of fetid bleu-cheese masquerading as a game.

And should you?

Well, that depends. The game is fast-paced, challenging, and kind of silly… And you can pretty much experience everything the game has to offer by watching the video above. Not to mention that playing it by yourself is kind of boring. But if you have two or more people, then it starts to get interesting. You can either work as a team or play for yourself, but I can guarantee* that there will be a lot of cross-chatter, some backstabbing, and a general good time held.

Unless your friends don’t like having mindless, silly fun. And who really wants to play video games with those people anyway?

*Not actually guaranteed.