ID@Xbox unleashes new games from independent creators

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Microsoft spent time during their E3 press conference to highlight quite a few of the indie games that are coming to Xbox One. The ID@Xbox program allows indie developers to self publish their titles. They released a ton of trailers for upcoming titles, which I have embedded below and will give a brief overview of each game. Microsoft says that over 300 developers are signed up and have development kits with plenty more that are interested. I haven’t seen release dates for any of these games yet, but will update if I find out. Which games from this roster are you interested in?

Another World: A 20th anniversary port of the platformer/action adventure title that was originally released in 1991. I believe the console port, like the PC versions that were released last year, will have the option to toggle between HD graphics and the original graphics.

Aztez: A very stylish looking title that combines elements of real time strategy and beat ’em ups set in the world of the Aztecs. The trailer only shows off the combat side of things, but man does it look nice. It looks like the combat flows very naturally, and I’m interested in seeing where the RTS elements come into play.

Fenix Rage: A fast paced 2D platformer that reminds me a bit of Super Meat Boy. I tend to be absolutely terrible at games like these but there’s definitely an audience for them.

Castle Storm: Zen Studios’ Castle Storm has been released on mobile devices and just about every other console, but the Definitive Edition will bring the game and previously released expansions to Xbox One. The trailer below tells next to nothing about the game other than what the in-game graphics look like, but it’s a physics based tower defense title.

Chariot: A physics based co-op platformer that has a princess and her suitor transporting the funeral wagon of a dead king through all sorts of different environments. Nintendo posted this same trailer earlier in the day for Wii U, which the game will also be releasing on.

Forced: A four player co-op action RPG set in a fantasy gladiator setting. The game originally released on PC last October, and it has yet to be announced if the Xbox One port will bring any changes with it.

FRU: An Xbox One puzzle platformer that uses the Kinect to directly incorporate silhouettes of the player directly into the gameplay. It looks absolutely bizarre in the best way possible.

Get Even: A new title from The Farm 51 that is attempting to blur the line between single and multiplayer while going for photorealistic graphics. Like in Dark Souls, players will be able to invade the world of other players and team up with enemies. There’s still not a whole lot of information available on this one, and the trailer doesn’t answer much.

Guacamelee Super Turbo CE: You’ve probably heard about this Mexican themed action platformer that originally came out on PS3, Vita and PC. This enhanced edition adds new levels and bosses and should be out this summer.

Threes!: A puzzle game about matching numbers. Not much else to say about this one.

White Night: An old-school survival horror game in the style of the original Alone in the Dark. The game is set in the ’30s and is entirely in black and white. It’s one of the most interesting games out of this indie batch in my opinion, and I’m ready to see more of it.

Woolfe: A platformer featuring Little Red Riding Hood that promises a fairytale setting with a darker atmosphere. Looks like Alice: Madness Returns without all the gore.

Roundabout: A puzzle game where you control a limousine that won’t stop rotating. Make your way through each level and don’t worry about the pedestrians, because running them over appears to have no penalty. It looks totally silly and could be quite fun.

Source: Explore an alternate dimension as a firefly that can manipulate the energy of all living creatures.

#IDARB: A constantly changing, crowdsourced game that supports 8 player battles that are completely unpredictable and have an 8-bit look. New input is submitted through Twitter and constantly changes the game, and you can create your own character via the game’s website. I really don’t have any idea how to fully describe this, so check out the trailer and see if you can figure it out.

The Golf Club: A golf simulation that promises realistic visuals and the ability to procedurally generate courses. It looks like a potential indie alternative to EA Sports’ golf offering, but we’ll have to see if it can stack up.

There Came an Echo: A real time strategy game that lets you use voice control to move your units around the battlefield. This title was a successful Kickstarter project now making its way to Xbox One, and Wil Wheaton plays one of the characters in the story.

Hellraid: I don’t know that Techland can really be classified as an indie studio, but I guess the point Microsoft is trying to make is that this one is self published. It’s a hack and slash action game with a first person perspective, and recently made the jump over from Xbox 360 to Xbox One which promises engine improvements.

Nero: The description for this one says it’s a visual novel as explored through a first person perspective. That has me intrigued, and the mystical setting of the trailer does look neat.

Never Alone: A puzzle platformer that explores the lore of the Inupiat people of the Arctic. The game was developed in partnership with the Alaska Native community, and looks like it will offer plenty of interesting things for the player to discover.

Hyper Light Drifter: I’ve been following this one since it appeared on Kickstarter. The game is a 2D action RPG that channels quite a bit of Zelda influences but manages to have a feel of its own, and I love the overall look of the world so far.  The gameplay mechanics look solid so far, and I’m interested in seeing how the final game will be able to deliver.

Pure Pool: I actually think that every system needs a decent pool simulation of some kind, as they’re always quite a bit of fun to play. This one is from the developers of PS3/Vita pool game Hustle Kings so that makes me think it might deliver just what I’m looking for.

Kick Beat SE: Another Zen Studios title, this one is a rhythm beat ’em up game that features a diverse soundtrack from artists like Marilyn Manson and Pendulum. The special edition will bring new features and more songs.

Lifeless Planet: An astronaut discovers an abandoned Russian town on a distant planet while searching for signs of life. This action adventure recently came out on PC, and while I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet I’m very interested in doing so in the near future.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: A co-op platformer/shooter hybrid where players must navigate platformer levels inside a spaceship to reach the weapons and take out threats in space. It has a retro graphical style and looks like it could be a frantic and fun game.

Cuphead: A run ‘n gun platformer that looks like a 1930’s cartoon. Each time I see this game I’m in awe of its overall look, and can’t wait to play it.

Grave: An open world survival horror/exploration game where each enemy is said to have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The world is procedurally generated and promises surreal gameplay, with the developers citing Eraserhead as an inspiration.

Gunscape: Worried that all of the Minecraft style FPS titles would be on PC only? Gunscape offers block building and plenty of shooting in both single player and multiplayer options.

Habitat: A space themed strategy game that has you using floating space junk to craft a base and trying to survive.

Wulverblade: A side scrolling beat ’em up/hack ‘n slash that is attempting to channel the gameplay style of the 90’s arcade scene.

Spectra – 8Bit Racing: A racing game that has you flying through ribbons of light in space while avoiding obstacles. Features music by Chipzel (Super Hexagon).

Mighty No. 9: Many of you are already familiar with Mighty No. 9, but for those of you that aren’t it’s a Megaman style action platformer from original Megaman creator Keiji Inafune. That in itself is reason enough for a lot of gamers to get excited.

Plague Inc.: Evolved: A strategy game where your pathogen has infected “Patient Zero” and your goal is to evolve and spread a deadly plague across the world.

Knight Squad: A top-down competitive action game that takes influence from Gauntlet and Bomberman.

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