If you’re wondering how exactly I choose the Indie Games to play each time, it’s simple really. I go to the newest releases, and then choose three that look the least awful. Finding three is much harder than some may think, and this week proves it as I bring you three absolute gems. Gems in a good way, you ask? No, not at all, I say. Except for my main man, Guppy. He’s okay.
Price: 80 Points
Mister Jump features an unnamed main character (I call him Mister Jump, because that makes sense) that does one thing, and does it well, and that is jump. Saying he does it well may be a bit of an overstatement as the way he softly floats upon jumping can be a bit annoying when attempting to jump on enemies. That’s right, Mister Jump is a Mario style side-scroller, where you move from left to right, jump on enemies, get to the end, then move to the next level.
The saddest things about Mister Jump is the fact that it features no music, recycled levels, poor animation, and poor execution in every way. Making a semi-fun sidescroller is not that hard, just ask the Indie Game Oh Noes!!! There really is nothing else to Mister Jump, it’s an uninteresting piece of work that serves as nothing more than just another layer of garbage in the dumpster that is the Xbox Live Indies
Guppy: Collects! 2 may be the best of the bunch this week, although that isn’t too hard to achieve. Guppy: Collects! 2 doesn’t deliver some refreshing, innovative experience; it does however give out some well-drawn visuals, reminiscent of a morning cartoon. Though the main character, Guppy, never talks, his personality is exuded through multiple costumes you obtain throughout the course of the game. The costumes range from something that makes Guppy look like an ice cream cone, to a costume that portrays him as a light bulb. The personality Guppy pulls off simply through costumes is an admirable achievement, without a doubt.
The issue is that actually playing Guppy: Collects gets dull very quickly. The object is that the player has to press whatever button is on screen, similarly to a rhythm game, each button you hit provides a certain note and you must continue hitting the notes until the level is over. The catch is that you have three cats following behind you, and each button press you miss, you lose a cat. Once you lose all your cats or you run out of time before finishing the level, you fail and must restart the game over. Like I said, Guppy: Collects is not a gameplay experience you’ll remember past an hour after you stop playing it, but it’s easy to recommend simply to get folks to see the personality the little blob Guppy manages to show off.
Unlike Guppy, Dead Sea is something you will remember for a while to come. No matter if it’s the opening cutscene (watch this teaser, you’ll understand), the piss poor controls, or maybe even the repeated shark attack animation you get over and over again. The idea of Dead Sea, though derivative, is an intriguing one. A girl (Shelly) and her boyfriend (Rick) go out on a boat, he proposes, she accepts, shark eats him; I know we’ve all been in that situation before. The boat then gets toppled over by a monster shark (4 monster sharks?) and Shelly falls over with it. You must then swim to the nearest buoy to find some kind of safety, though that safety is short lived. Now readers, guess how you swim. Move the left stick you say? That’s much too simplistic; you repeatedly press the left and right trigger, until your fingers get tired!
Watch out though because on your way to that buoy, the shark will be attacking. And by attacking I mean instigating a quick time event that requires you to move the left stick in a certain direction. After you reach that buoy and things do go bad, you must swim to a ship, then to another ship. After that third ship, credits roll. I shall not spoil the mind bendingly unique ending (what I said there is a lie) but know this, you will be pressing many buttons on your Xbox 360 controller in quick time event fashion.
There’s no mistake about it that Dead Sea is nowhere near a quality product, but for some maddening reasons, I enjoyed my time with it. The controls are trash, the story is a joke, but there just manages to be something about it that kept me laughing at every awkward animation. For the record, I don’t think Dead Sea should be played by anyone; instead, do your best to convince your friend to play it, then sit back and enjoy.
While there’s not an actual great game in this bunch, I’ll admit I had fun with two of the three. Like I said, Dead Sea is trash, but it delivers quite a few unintentional laughs. On the other hand, Guppy: Collects! 2 delivers some intentional ones with a nice art style and some comical outfits.
Pick ‘em up: Dead Sea (80 Points) and Guppy: Collects! 2 (80 Points)