It can cost a lot of money to make a video game, but not always. The small-time creators who contribute their games to the Xbox Live Indie marketplace get by on a shoestring and a dream. Some of their games are awesome, but others… aren’t so much. Because the barrier to entry is so low, some seriously crazy stuff gets uploaded to the service. In this article, we’ll share ten of the weirdest indie games on Xbox Live.
No Luca No
If you want to explore the absolute nadir of lazy Xbox Live indie games, you have to start with No Luca No. Developed by Silver Dollar Games, probably the kings of shovelware, the premise is simple: you want to keep your cat Luca away from your bowl of delicious cereal. A non-animated picture of a cat comes in from the right side of the screen and you have to press your analog controller right to push it away. Over and over and over again. The game never changes, the cat never changes, it’s an exercise in tedium and weirdness that has to be played to be believed.
Some of these games are characterized by a lack of ambition, like the designers just wanted to crap something out quick and cash in. BloodyCheckers… is not. The project of indie firm BigCorporation, this is a checkers game with a seriously weird twist. In between sessions of the classic board game, you explore a castle in first-person view, solving puzzles and finding treasure, which you can use to buy traps for your checkerboard. Oh, and everybody you’re playing against is a ghost trapped in a painting, and if you start to lose you can just flip the board over like a bratty kid and run away.
Don’t Be Nervous Talking To Girls
Video games can probably teach you how to be a better soulless mass murderer, but we truly doubt that they can help you improve your skill at talking to girls, no matter what Don’t Be Nervous Talking To Girls may tell you. This totally bizarre pseudo-educational title from Silver Dollar Games puts you in the role of a hapless dork confronted with tiny video footage of a lady who asks you trivia questions and makes you do math problems for her twisted amusement. The dialogue in this game is so bad that it might have been written by people who have never spoken to or even seen a woman before.
Four Winds Fantasy
The games made by the developer known only as “Quimdung” straddle the line between incompetent and genius, and smarter people than us have tried and failed to figure out exactly what he’s doing. Four Winds Fantasy seems, on the surface, to be a traditional Japanese-style role playing game where a grieving father must explore a strange world and discover what happened to his son. But all the graphics look like they were done in MS Paint, the music is ridiculous and the gameplay is virtually nonexistent. It’s a very strange piece of work indeed.
Get Rich Or Die Gaming
This Australian game is a walking disaster, with barely-functional controls, inept art and a pitifully short storyline. But, like an awful car crash, it’s impossible to look away. The plotline has you controlling a young fellow who wishes to become a “baller” by selling weed to thinly-disguised versions of semi-famous people. The art style is a mix of inept cartoons over Photoshop-filtered backgrounds, and the voice acting is just a mess. The developer is currently working on a game about accountants.
One of the weirdest things about Xbox Live indie games is how many titles there are for lonely nerds featuring grotesque 3D models of girls showing virtual cleavage. One of the dumbest and strangest is Kiss Kiss, a trivia game where each correct answer gets you slightly closer to a jiggling girl in a low-cut dress. If you answer a ton right, she plants a very disturbing kiss right on your TV screen and you can pretend you’ve had contact with a human female. Oh, and you can also play it in 3-D for extra lonely points.
Maids With Balloons
Appealing to the fetishes of video game players is a good way to make a quick buck, but when you look at something like Maids With Balloons things start to get a little confusing. This totally idiotic little game opens up with grainy video footage of three barely-attractive women cleaning a bedroom and segues into three minigames where the maids have to chase away seagulls (which look like they were drawn by a third grader) by releasing slow-moving balloons. It’s basically Space Invaders as interpreted by an idiot. The other two games are no better, and the same awful seagull animation is used throughout.
Sure, we want video games to be about more than beefy dudes with guns shooting aliens, but Office Affairs isn’t quite what we had in mind. This perplexing title makes you think you’re in for a fun and sexy time where you hook up with co-workers and try to keep it secret from your boss, but what it actually is is more like digitized suicide. When you boot up the game, you’re prompted to press the A button, which sends your corporate drone player character jumping off a roof to his death. Watch out for other falling objects, catch pictures of girls, and after a few minutes splatter on the pavement below. Sounds like a normal day at the office to us.
Rainbow Ball Into Adventure
With a lot of these games, it’s hard to understand the mindset that created them, but thankfully Rainbow Ball Into Adventure bucks the trend – it was designed by kids. Sure, the code was written by a professional programmer, but all of the art, sound effects and game design were executed by his four kids, and it shows. The game is a sort of Katamari Damacy-alike that has players rolling a sticky ball through environments picking things up and growing in size, but playing it is a whole new ball of wax, akin to locking up a bunch of toddlers in a room hopped up on Red Vines and letting them loose on your cerebral cortex.
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Wirral Railway & Garden Plants
Let’s close this list with what is probably the most inexplicable piece of software ever uploaded to the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace. Wirral Railway & Garden Plants isn’t a train simulator, or even a farming simulator. Instead, it’s basically a PowerPoint presentation about the railway stations in the Wirral Peninsula of northwest England, as well as nine common garden plants that grow in the region. Oh, and once you’re done with that fascinating stuff, there’s a bonus section about “the historical development of passenger airplanes.” The creator has also used Xbox Live to publish his fantasy e-book, “Oxadania.”