I love authentic old-school games whether they came out 30 years ago or yesterday so here are 5 nifty retro titles for Xbox One.
Huntdown Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Running and gunning has been fun for decades and when you add cover and shoot gameplay; you're left with one very cool formula.
Huntdown has you try and take down a series of hunts which act as the bosses of each of the campaign's stages. You play by running, gunning, jumping, and taking cover while utilizing all sorts of weaponry that's scattered around the stage. The challenge relies on your ability to gauge whether to play it safe or play aggressively in order to thin out the onslaught of enemies. This constant juggle makes for some exciting 2D action and when you factor in the fantastic music and top-notch pixel-perfect game world that consistently feels gritty and alive; you're left with one super-fun retro game. Sure, things will get brutally difficult at times but as long as you keep a cool head, learn from your mistakes, and try to play it safe then you'll overcome whatever challenges Huntdown throws at you and once you do, it feels awesome. Oh, and there's a 2 player local co-op option which is the icing on the already delicious cake.
Few games capture the joy and excitement of discovering a supremely well-done retro game as well as Huntdown does.Huntdown gameplay video → More 2D Indie Games
Fury Unleashed Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
2D action games come in a variety of flavours so here's one that combines twin-stick shooting, a roguelike setup, and RPG elements.
While playing Fury Unleashed, the first thing you'll notice are the fantastic comic book visuals which reminded me a great deal of Sega's classic Comix Zone. In fact, it plays similarly in that each room acts as a cell in a comic book; the main difference is that this is a twin-stick shooter. Anyway, you play by exploring each room for treasures while taking out all of the enemies with an assortment of guns, grenades, and power-ups. As you do, you'll earn experience points that will level-up your character at the end of your run so you can purchase upgrades with skill points. You'll also discover new weapon types, fight hulking bosses, and you can even play cooperatively with a friend. Overall, I found the gameplay loop to be quite exciting as no 2 runs feel the same. It's really great stuff!
Roguelikes rarely feel as rewarding and enjoyable as Fury Unleashed and the fact that you can play it with a friend is a nice bonus.Fury Unleashed gameplay video → More roguelike twin-stick shooters
SuperMash Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆
Here's a game that promises to blend classic game genres in interesting ways so let's see if it actually offers some worthwhile retro fun.
I was looking forward to playing SuperMash a lot when I first saw the trailer for it. Unfortunately, my excitement gradually depleted as I played multiple game combinations and realised that none of them are particularly enjoyable but I'm getting ahead of myself. SuperMash is basically a game where you play as a guy in a game store who discovers a console that has 2 cartridge slots. You can plug different genres of games into each slot such as platformer, stealth, JRPG, action adventure, and shoot 'em up to create a game then you play it. The goal of each game changes so you may have to defeat enemies, find an item, or rescue someone. Although this sounds excellent, the games are extremely generic and only feel like one genre most of the time; I'd often forget what the second one was. That isn't to say that it's not imaginative. In fact, it has one of the best premises for a game ever and I hope they make a much-improved sequel.
An awesome game premise will only get you so far and unfortunately, SuperMash doesn't really live up to its clever foundation.SuperMash gameplay video →
Pushy and Pully in Blockland Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
There's nothing quite like a good old single-screen arcade-style retro game so here's an indie that'll surely bring you back to the '90s.
Pushy and Pully in Blockland has you and a friend push blocks in order to defeat enemies and advance through its tricky stages only to fight challenging bosses at the end of each area. This is a formula that's been around for decades and Pushy and Pully in Blockland actually looks like it has been. In fact, it reminds me a great deal of Chew Man Fu which released for TurboGrafx-16 back in 1990 and its retro aesthetic is very well accomplished as it looks and sounds like an authentic 16-bit experience. At the same time, its gameplay is very simple and the most exciting part is combining blocks to form bombs and such but that doesn't really add much to the overall formula. In the end, it's an excellent game to play if you want a short-lived nostalgic trip back to the early '90s and it's rather cute, too.
If you grew up enjoying arcade-style 16-bit games then you'll definitely want to play the delightful Pushy and Pully in Blockland.Pushy and Pully in Blockland gameplay video →
Infinite - Beyond The Mind Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
Recreating a classic 2D ninja action game formula must be tricky with so many wonderful ones already released so let's check this out.
Infinite - Beyond The Mind has you play as either Tanya or Olga or both if you want to enjoy co-op with a local friend. The gameplay merely involves running through stages while slicing up enemies and both characters are impressively acrobatic as they can double-jump, leap up walls, deploy special bomb attacks, and dodge enemy advances with finesse. There is some variety throughout the campaign such as shoot 'em up segments, bosses, and exploration is rewarded, too, as you may find health upgrades scattered around. Although the gameplay is tight and satisfying, I wish there was more of a challenge as things can feel a bit too samey after a while. Also, some parts get a little too visually chaotic which makes it hard to avoid enemies and such but it's still an overall enjoyable game.
Although Infinite - Beyond The Mind doesn't take many risks gameplay-wise, it's still a solid and fairly fun 2D ninja action game.Infinite - Beyond The Mind gameplay video →