Don't you want to get the most bang for your buck? Xbox 360 games are expensive, and some are just not worth the price tag. Don't keep stuffing the pockets of large companies that don't even pay the developers their dues (bad Activision!).
With $60, you can support a lot of independent developers and get a whole lot more games. IGM breaks down the 12 indie games you can get for 4,800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live. So forgo the next mediocre big-budget game, and use your hard-earned money to get more variety, value, and gaming goodness while supporting the little guy in the process.
Let’s get the bigger and better-known Xbox Live Arcade titles out of the way first….
Super Meat Boy ($15 or 1200 MS Points)
SMB is the best platformer around, and you get a ton of game and challenge with it. This is an absolute must for every Xbox 360 owner who owned an 8-bit or 16-bit system.
Braid ($10 or 800 MS Points)
Braid is one of those experiences that stick with you even after the game is over. It’s not the longest adventure, but it is a memorable one. The time-based gameplay and story blend together into something really special. This one is a work of art.
Castle Crashers ($15 or 1200 MS Points)
Currently the bestselling XBLA of all time, Castle Crashers is a multiplayer beat-em-up masterpiece. Grab three friends online or locally for some classic side-scrolling brawling; don’t forget the RPG elements and collectibles while you’re bashing heads.
Puzzle Quest ($10 or 800 MS Points)
What kind of list would this be if a solid and addictive downloadable puzzle game wasn't in the mix? Puzzle Quest is super addictive and has a much more fleshed-out adventure than most match-three games. You’ll lose hours to this one.
Wow, $50 down and only $10 left! Run away from that expensive Arcade Channel and boot up Xbox’s Indie Games Channel. It can be tough to sift through all the junk, but there are some incredible games here at ridiculously low prices. Support these Indies and buy these games. You can’t lose at these prices:
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1 ($1 or 80 MS Points)
The best-selling XBLIG of all time is worth every penny here. This quality top-down zombie shooter is almost overshadowed by its catchy theme song (trust me, you’ll be singing it).
Epic Dungeon ($1 or 80 MS Points)
If you’re not killing, looting, or selling, then you’re not playing Epic Dungeon. It's a typical dungeon crawler, but with 50 floors to explore, endless enemies to slaughter, and great retro graphics, Epic Dungeon lasts much longer than your typical $1 iPhone game.
Miner: Dig Deep ($1 or 80 MS Points)
Miner is a simple but wonderfully relaxing exploration game. As a miner you search for resources to sell at the surface shop, but you can buy some great items that help you more easily navigate your mine. This game was a deal when it was 200 MSP; now it’s a steal.
Shoot 1UP ($1 or 80 MS Points)
Shoot 1UP is an old-school, top-down shooter with a twist: You can take all your 1UPs into battle at the same time. This mechanic introduces an awesome risk/reward dilemma. Do you risk all your lives to increase your firepower? Or do you play defensively?
Cthulhu Saves the World ($3 or 240 MS Points)
It is rare to find a game that is both entertaining and funny — especially on XBLIG — but Cthulhu succeeds in both departments. The game imitates the classic RPGs of the 16-bit era, right down to the first-person-perspective battles. It’s a great quest that RPG vets will get a real kick out of.
ZP2KX: Zombies and Pterodactyls ($1 or 80 MS Points)
ZP2KX is a fantastic and frantic 2D multiplayer deathmatch game…with jetpacks, zombies, pirates, ninjas, and — you guessed it — pterodactyls. You get a ton of weapons, customized characters, and class perks. If you like blasting friends to bits, you’ve got to try this game.
Fluid ($1 or 80 MS Points)
Fluid is a fast and furious arcade game with amazing graphics. It’s sort of like Pac-Man except you’re a tadpole, and there are no ghosts. The game has top-notch production values and is a blast to play.
Explosionade ($1 or 80 MS Points)
This is my absolute favorite Xbox Live Indie Game. Explosionade is simply a blast to play. I would pay $10 for it. In Explosionade, you control a badass mech and blast baddies away in the sewers. Grenades blow up the environment, and you have this crazy shield that lets you bounce around and crush enemies. Explosionade is sort of like Contra — except it’s not as frustrating. It even has local multiplayer!
One dollar! I must be dreaming, but every time I pinch myself, Explosionade is still just 80 MSP.
So there you have it: 12 games for 60 bucks. I hope everyone checks out at least one of these indie gems on Xbox 360, but hey, if you can’t buy them all because you’re saving money to get an Indie Game Mag subscription, I’ll understand.