Crowded as it is with farting massage simulators, it can be hard to find worthwhile titles on Xbox Live Indie Games. That's why we sift through all that rough to unearth a few gems. That way, you get the skinny on quality games and we get to indulge our secret passion for fart machines. This week, we take a look at Salmon Steve Productions' passive shooter, Squid.
There are plenty of shooters available on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. More than a few of them pack in neon graphics, pulse-pounding music and lots of eye-catching explosions. In this respect, Salmon Steve Productions Squid is no different. What does make it different from most shooters out there is pretty simple: You can't shoot.
Playing Squid will immediately bring to mind Geometry Wars 2. More specifically, it's a more fleshed out version of the addictive Pacifism mode. As I said, the player's ship cannot shoot and therefore has to come up with more creative ways to dispatch enemies. Typically, this means forcing enemies to run into their own projectiles.
Unlike Pacifism, however, the number and type of enemies becomes more varied as the game progresses. Each enemy has a different attack and movement pattern. Some enemies fire homing bullets, others fire bullets that bounce off the wall, some lay mines and others don't fire at all and simply chase the player around the screen.
Salmon Steve's Sam Zeckendorf that he set out to create a game that can be appreciated in quick bursts, something that "even people with only five or six minutes of time on their hands, would be able to enjoy for all the reasons people enjoy playing games." He adds that the project was a labor of love, "just two guys who don't really play too many video games (or even own an Xbox) trying to make something cool."
Spend a few minutes with Squid and I think you'll agree that they've succeeded.
Want to try out Squid? You can queue the trial version for download here on Xbox.com! The full version is 80 MS Points ($1). If you've discovered (or created) an outstanding Xbox Live Indie Game and think it deserves some more visibility, email Richard aat joystiq dawt com, subject line "Xbox Live Indie Gems." Want to find more indie gems? Check out the archive.