Xbox Live Indie Games has had it’s price structure changed for some time now and at the time of writing over 50 developers have taken the opportunity to reduce the price of their games to $1 (£0.70 approx.). Obviously the quality varies wildly, but there are some that at the price of a can of pop you just have to try. Zoomaroom, bricks4ever, Dr Popper and Ladybird Galaxy being some.
You can find a list and user ratings of all the $1 games at XNA Ratings and user recommendations at Xbox Indies. Make sure you check them out regularly as many more developers are expected to drop their prices to $1 after seeing the success that others have had increasing their sales by making this move.
Drop Zone is the first NEW Xbox Indie Game to be released at $1 and we thought it would be well worth a look at it.
The format of Drop Zone is very simple and most people will have played similar games in the dim and distant past(or on you I-Phone), you control a single cannon trying to stop as many paratroopers as possible from landing and planting a bomb on your turret. You have 10 lives and have to rack up as high a score as possible by blasting these hapless guys out of the air. If you miss the paratrooper but get their parachute, they fall to the ground taking out anyone in their way before crashing to earth with a satisfying thud.
You can also shoot down the helicopters that are trying to deliver the little guys on their mission.
With an ever-increasing number of paratroopers being delivered it is only a matter of time before some start to get through to plant bombs on your turret. Luckily occasionally you get a few seconds of rapid fire, this is indicated by a flashing A button at the top of the screen. This can be a lifesaver as during rapid fire you can also shoot the men that have already landed.
Drop Zone is a simple yet fun game and ideal for playing in short bursts when you need a break from, well in our case Splosion Man.
At the new $1 price point you have to recommend the Drop Zone, but unfortunately for a game that’s primary aim is to get as high a score as possible there are no leaderboards, not even a local one. This does hold the game back significantly as the replay value of Drop Zone is surely in trying to beat your own or your friends scores.
Maybe this is a sign of things to come and we will be seeing more paired down titles with fewer features released at $1, let’s hope not as surely Drop Zone would sell many more games if it had global leaderboards. You never know maybe North West will see fit to release an update with them. With leaderboards we would have made this a five joystick, excellent game, but as it stands we are going to award Drop Zone 4 Joysticks – Good