Top Ten Community Games

Welcome to XboxHornet’s Top Ten Community Games, this is your chance to tell us your top ten games, we will then keep a league table of your favourite games. Readers can send their top ten games in once a month and I will keep a league table of the games. Please include your gamer tag when you send in your lists.

Send your top ten in to:

xboxhornet@gmail.com

March League Table

Game Points
Miner Dig Deep 19
Easy Golf 16
Colosseum 10
Blow 10
Zoomaroom 8
ZP2K9 8
Carneyvale 7
Word Soup 7
Bowling X 6
Johnny Platform 5
Snake 360 4
Poker Squares 4
Cavein Miner Rescue 3
Tomato Blaster 2
Brick4Ever 1

Readers top ten:

Ralphcardboard – March ’08

1. Colosseum, 2. Miner Dig Deep, 3. Blow, 4. Easy Golf, 5. CarneryVale Showtime,  6. Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp, 7. Snake360,  8. Zoomaroom,  9. Tomato Blaster,  10. Bricks4Ever

Xbox Hornet – March ’08

, 1. Miner Dig Deep2. Easy Golf, 3. ZP2K9, 4. Word Soup, 5. Bowling X, 6. Zoomaroom, 7. Poker Squares, 8 Cavein Miner Rescue, 9. Blow, 10. Carneyvale Showtime

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Nick’s top 10 XBLCG video

This week to celebrate the 10th episode of XNA Roundup, Nick looks at his top 10 favourite Community games.

So in the same spirit her are XboxHornet’s top 10;

1. Miner Dig Deep

2. Easy Golf

3. ZP2K9

4. Word Soup

5. Bowling X

6. Zoomaroom

7. Poker Squares

8 Cavein Miner Rescue

9. Blow

10. Carneyvale Showtime

What are your favourite XBLCG?

Check out what other users are saying here;

http://www.xnaratings.com/xna-ratings/menu/order:rating/page:1/limit:50/

Xbox Live Community Game poll

Has Xbox cracked the casual market

 

 

Has Xbox cracked the casual market?
 
 
 

 

Well the obvious answer is no, but let’s look a little closer at the question.
Not so long ago, just last year in fact, the Xbox 360 was being written off as a hardcore gamers machine. Perceived wisdom had it that the console was going to finish in third place this generation, but be loved by FPS players around the world.
What a difference a year makes; Microsoft (MS) didn’t just sit back and accept that third place was good enough (although to be fair, third place in the current round of games machines is not that bad a thing). There are many more gamers in the world now and the market can cope with three viable platforms.
That was not good enough for MS though. No, they looked at what the big N was doing with casual games and decided they wanted a piece of the action.

First thing was to compete on price, so in September ‘08 we saw major price cuts for the 360; next came the launch of NXE, with the friendlier dashboard and the introduction of Avatars. What a fuss that caused across the forums – Avatars were either the next big thing or an evil attempt to copy Nintendo. Well the launch came and went and three months later, after proving their support for Avatars with regular outfit updates, the fuss seems to have disappeared and pretty much everyone has bought into their miniature look-alikes.

Now for the third and key element – using their price advantage. This was always going to be the hardest part, there is no point being the cheapest if Joe Public doesn’t want to play your games. The key was to aim games at the whole family. The 360 already had some of these games on the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA), notably Bomberman Live, Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, UNO and Pac Man CE. The problem being, you don’t get to know about these games until you are on Xbox Live or someone recommends them to you. Not the best marketing in the world!

Luckily for MS, Harmonix gave them a helping hand by making a little game called Rock Band and making it timed exclusive for the 360. Quick to make sure they added some of their own titles to the casual gaming list they released Scene It Box Office Smash, Lips and You’re in the Movies in time for the Christmas rush. EA also released Monopoly. Unfortunately the sales of all these games were sluggish at launch to say the least; it looked like the MS assault on the casual market had failed and there were many pundits out there willing to proclaim it so.

MS had one more card up their sleeve or, should I say, one fat wallet. Pre-Christmas, MS launched the largest advertising campaign in gaming history and the public took the bait. Consoles were flying off the shelves in record numbers and their casual games started to sell well too. These sales have continued well into the New Year and all the games are still selling well today. This is undoubtedly helped by the fact that the games have been bolstered by downloadable content, unlike earlier efforts at breaking into the casual market (the original Scene It comes to mind).

The buyers of Xbox 360s over the last three months have helped change the demographic of the Xbox owner, and casual games are selling accordingly. The current crop of casual XBLA games, notably A Kingdom for Keflings, Funtown Mahjong and The Maw, are all selling well.

MS have made a conscious point of using XBLA to push casual games. Already we have had the release announcement of the ultra addictive Peggle. Plus probably the most exciting move, the announcement of The Hasbro Family Game Channel on XBLA. This will be a one stop shop where you have a virtual games cupboard and your host Mr Potato Head guides you to your favourite Hasbro games, including Scrabble, Boggle, Battleship, Yahtzee, Connect Four and Sorry, with more classic games to follow later in the year.

The one area that is relatively untapped and unknown right now is the Xbox Live Community Games Channel (XBLCG). I highly recommend that you download the demos of Blow, CaveIn-Miner Rescue Team, Classicard, Hexothermic, Lady Bird Galaxy, Poker Squares and Word Soup. Right now XBLCG doesn’t get much publicity, but I think you will find that over the next couple of years there will be a large number of very good Community Games and it will become a very important part of the MS push for the casual gamer.

So, has Xbox cracked the casual market? Well in my opinion not yet, but with MS’ clear appetite to continue the assault, it can only be a matter of time before the answer is yes.

Now if Rare would get off their hands and announce the heavily rumoured motion controller, MS could be set to challenge Nintendo in the casual market even sooner. A 360 Fit would be nice too! (Note: look out for more on this topic…)

As for those of you reading this that already play casual games on your Xbox, congratulations on being ahead of the game. You have plenty more to look forward to.

 

 

 

 

Xbox Live games that deserve your attention.

Below is my list of games on Xbox Live Community Games the I think deserve your attention. The list is in alphabetical order. You can see user reviews here;
Don’t forget you can download demos of the games straight to your 360 here;
 
 
Biology Battle is a modern, fast-paced take on the action arcade genre. Fight for topscore in our online challenge, or battle your friends through 12 unique ‘party game’ modes. Features: VERSUS and CO-OP Mulitiplayer, Single player Action, Global Topscore Lists (Gold Members), Awesome Party Games, High Replay Value, High Production Quality

Biology Battle is getting a lot of press and the user reviews are excellent, it may be expensive at 800 points but if you are a Geometry Wars fan and are looking for a new shoot em up fix, take a look. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

 

Bloc

Bloc is a new twist on the top-down shooter. Destroy blocks by firing like-coloured orbs while dodging a swarm of enemies.

The graphics may be simplistic, but the game is far from it. Destroying the blocs by firing the like coloured buttons is quite challenging, the local multiplayer works well too.

 

 

Blow

Use wind to guide your bubbles safely to the exit. Journey though the magical canopy of the ‘Great Tree’ collecting ‘Flames’ with help from the Fairies. Experience 70 handcrafted levels and infinite procedurally generated levels for endless variety.

Blow is a pleasure to play, easy on the eyes and the ears. The tutorial leads you in at a steady pace and the puzzles get progressively harder, but with the soothing sound track the game has, it doesn’t get too frustrating. it just keeps you coming back for more. At 400 points you are going to get many hours play out of Blow

 

 

CarneyVale: Showtime

CarneyVale: Showtime is a vertical ragdoll platform game. In the game, you play as Slinky, a circus acrobat trying to rise up the ranks by performing acrobatic tricks and death-defying stunts through increasingly complex arenas.

Carney Vale: Showtime was winner of the 2008 Dream-Build-Play competition and as such I expected to see it turn up on XBLA for 800 points. But I was very pleasantly surprised to see it come to XBLCG for just 400 points, it is a very polished game and exudes class in every aspect of it’s design. It challenges the best of XBLA games at a fraction of the price.

 

 

CaveIn – Miner Rescue Team

There is a collapse at the San Marino Mines! Join the Miner Rescue Team to save the trapped miners before it is too late. Explore 80 dangerous puzzle-filled levels in this addictive 3D adventure.

CaveIn is a fantastic puzzle game using cell shaded 3d graphics, it is one of the games that has set the bar for all other XNA programmers, there are a few getting there. Again a bargain for 400 points with hours for game play this is one puzzle game you would be mad to miss.

 

 

Classicard

Enjoy a game of euchre, hearts, oh hell, spades, knockout whist or romanian, whist solo or with your friends. It’s a classic card game for up to four players over live or system link. Invite your friends and let them join while you play.

If you are a fan of card games go out and get this. It has more games than any other card game on the Xbox at 400 points. It has had one update already and another one is in the pipeline at the time of writing, so it is a well supported game. Anyone who has play UNO will feel at home with game play so why are you waiting

 

 

Easy Golf

Create golf courses and share them with friends online through Xbox Live. The incredible course editor allows you to easily create fun and playable golf course holes in minutes. Play against your friends online and watch their golf balls fly around on your created course in real time. Laugh, smile, and enjoy an amazingly fun experience playing Easy Golf. Easy Golf is for people of all ages.

The beauty of Easy Golf is found in the course architect, it’s simple you use, yet with practice you can create the most amazing courses. Not only that, but it’s had an update that will let you share courses online. Once you have downloaded them they are yours to play whenever you like. What a brilliant feature, it will give you almost endless playtime. So don’t be put off by the 800 points price, there is a good community following this game so you will probably make some more Xbox buddies too.

 

 

Find Teddy

A puzzle game for young children. Find the Teddy that matches the clues and then make your own Teddy.

Find Teddy is made for young children, but what it does, it does very well. So if you have them and are worried about finding a game they can play, give this a go.

 

 

Groov

Groov is a frenetic dual-stick shooter that makes you the conductor of an intergalactic jazz fusion orchestra. Every action in Groov has a musical reaction, and with three unique modes, randomised music, and powerups that slow down the song (and your enemies), no two playthroughs are ever alike!

You could be mistaken for thinking that Groov is just another Geometry Wars clone with poorer graphics, but play it for any length of time and you’ll find yourself enthralled with the music reaction that every bullet makes on contact with the enemy. Dual Stick shooters are two a penny these days, so save yourself time looking for a good one, get Groov for only 200 points.

 

 

Hexothermic

Hexothermic is a puzzle game that will blow you away! With 4 different game modes, awards and highscores, Hexothermic is fun for all the family!

Hexothermic is another game that uses music in the most unusual way. When you first play it you’ll probably find yourself thinking “what the hell is going on”, but the hypnotic use of music will mean you won’t care. Stick with it and the puzzle solving becomes clearer, you’ll be getting plenty of relaxing game play for your 200 points.

 

 

Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp

Play as Johnny Platform himself in this retro-styled platformer! Do death-defying double-jumps and solve puzzles in your quest to defeat the evil robot army… and don’t forget to drink plenty of coffee along the way.

Old fashioned platforming has been bought back to us by this game. It has been on the top sellers list since it’s release. And it’s another game for only 200 points.

 

 

Ladybird Galaxy

Steer your rocketship in the galaxy and boost your way through the stars. Pick up the gems and build up your combo multiplier for the highscore, but watch out for the evil ladybirds trying to destroy you. Play single player and co-op arcade or battle your friends in this fast-paced action game.

Ladybird Galaxy is best played against your friends and is one of the many Community Games to be bringing local multiplayer back to our living rooms and for that I think you should give it a go.

 

 

Poker Squares

Place 25 cards in a 5 by 5 grid to make the 10 best poker hands. The better the poker hands the bigger score. Three modes of play: Solo, against the A.I. and against another Local Player. Each of these can also be played as a Speed Game. A number of top 10 high score tables are kept. Both USA and UK scoring systems are supported. Watch out! The A.I. is very hard to beat!

Poker Squares is one of my favourite games, so I was very pleased to be able to interview it’s creator Stephen Bennett a little while back. You can read the interview on the links to the right of this article. The game has such a simple concept and you don’t need to be a poker expert to play it. Playing against a friend locally is fantastic and with four player local and maybe 32 player online on the way(fingers crossed) this game has a big future. 200 points that you will be very pleased you spent.

 

 

Snake360

Fast-paced arcade-style Snake game with over 200 levels, co-op play, battle modes for up to 4 players, Internet Ranking, full 3D graphics and a pumping soundtrack!

It may only be Snake but with 4 player local play and a plethora of modes and levels, Snake fans should give this a go.

 

 

Weapon of Choice

INSANE ACTION and HUMONGOUS ALIENS tied together by a TWISTED STORY. Branching levels, 4 unique endings, 7 characters each with a Weapon of Choice. Reap revenge with the Vengeance Missile. Cheat death with Deathbrushing! Scale walls with the Spiderpack. Rock out to original, blistering metal guitar tracks. Enough gameplay to rot your teeth! Third Place Winner of Microsoft’s Dream Build Play 2008.

I must admit, I haven’t played Weapon of Choice, but it’s getting very good user reviews and a lot of hype is surrounding this game, so give the demo a go. I will be soon.

 

 

Word Soup

This word game is easy to play and maddeningly addictive. Join the blocks to make words of three or more letters. Blocks can be joined horizontally, vertically and diagonally.When a word is made, the blocks used disappear and the blocks above collapse. Every move creates new combinations.

Now it may be last on the list, but only because it is in alphabetical order and I couldn’t possible have a list of games that need your attention without Word Soup on it. It has had more gaming time in my house than any other since December. It is such a simple game and anyone who has played a word search magazine will feel straight at home. Do yourself a favour, use the old grey matter a little.
Thanks for taking the time to read my list, let me know what games you think people should be trying.