50 Best Indie Games

FEATURE: Hand-dived gems from Xbox Live

If people ever ask you about the biggest difference between this hardware generation and the last, don't think about Achievements or horse armor. Think about this: for the last few years, the Xbox 360 has let ordinary people create their own videogames and sell them on a console.

Okay, so a lot of these games are not very good. Surfing through the Xbox Live Indie Games menus you're going to find broken shooters, bone-headed platformers and creepy study guides filling you in on how to talk to girls.

You're also going to see design at its most creative, however, as coders with no marketing departments to answer to offer up unlikely collisions of old genres, and ink-splattered sketches of genres that are yet to come.

Because it's worryingly easy to find nothing of interest, we've selected 50 of the best Indie Games currently available. These are the titles you shouldn't miss out on if you want to see the fruits of Microsoft's great experiment at their bizarre, unpredictable, and brilliant best.

50. Retrofit: Overload
Developer: Wam! Games
Price: 80MP (70p)

Most of the really old-school vertical shooters on the Indie Games platform tend to take Space Invaders as their point of origin. Retrofit: Overload opts for Galaga instead, and you can feel the developers' love for the game emerging as the colourful swooping waves progress. Murderously hard in its later stages, this is homage design at its most engaging.

Madrism. We haven't the foggiest either.

49. Twin Blades
Developer: Press Start Studio
Price: 400MP (£3.40)

Hack away at the undead or shoot them into millions of tiny pieces in this beautiful anime-styled action game that ensures the medieval enemies keep pouring in and the thick red blood keeps pouring out. Baddies are little more than points-fodder for you to chew through, but the chewing's good and the upgrades just keep coming.

48. Radiangames Crossfire
Developer: Radiangames
Price: 80MP (70p)

The prolific Indie Games dev puts its spin on Space Invaders with this hectic action game that sees you flipping your turret from the top of the screen to the bottom as you take on waves of baddies. Power-ups and new enemies keep you interested in the short term, while the long game belongs to the high-score table.

47. Groov
Developer: Funkmasonry Industries
Price: 80MP (70p)

Groov combines twin-stick shooting with ambient music to surprisingly non-boring effect, allowing you to sculpt a plinky-plonk score by sniping away at an array of abstract baddies. Sterile and rather melancholy, it's a lot more refined and considered than the noisy chaos of most Indie Game blasters.

46. Radiangames Inferno
Developer: Radiangames
Price: 80MP (70p)

Clean lines, smooth beats, and twitch controls dominate in this astonishingly polished four-player blaster. Upgrade your drones, discover secret rooms, and spend absolutely ages titting about with locks and keys as you fight your way to the exit. It's something of a looker, too.

Treasure Treasure: FFEE. (Game)boy and girl go on a grand adventure.
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