Yes, it’s officially Summer - a time to enjoy the heat of the sun, wading out into the ocean, or just spending the day doing nothing. For me, it’s just a time to turn up the AC. But if I manage to turn off my air conditioner and just open up a window – ack, the burning sunlight – then maybe I can save eleven bucks to buy five games. Like these great indie titles from Xbox Live. Even if you're looking for RPG adventure, hardcore platforming, or just want to chill out; there’s something for everyone and it won’t cost you that well-earned ice cream money. As with all of these titles, you can try before you buy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to apply another coat of SPF 100 before opening my window again.
Price: 240 MS
Have you ever wanted to see yourself inside an RGP? Probably not, but if you're looking for a decent RPG with enough modifications and a DIY slant, then this one may be for you. Avatar Legends take those little guys you maybe spent twenty minutes on and gives them their own RPG with real-time combat and multiplayer action. It’s not the prettiest game around but it surely makes up for that with the amount of content. Beyond just another downloadable RPG, up to six players can jump onboard for excitement or you can create your own adventures to share with others. With all the different environments, monsters, NPC characters, and changes you can make to the games; Avatar Legends gives you all the tools you need to make your own epic adventure.
Back when I was young, every platforming game required nerves of steel, split-second timing, and more free time than Father Time just to get to the next checkpoint. With that in mind, the Platformance series returns with Temple Death, a quirky homage to Indiana Jones without the fridge. Fair but tough comes to mind when navigating the hidden temple of spikes, traps, and rushing water. Save points along the way make it easy to focus on sections rather than getting bogged down with the task before you. One of the aspects that I love about the series comes from the ability to zoom out all the way to see this picture of doom appear before you. If squinting isn’t a problem for you, players can work their way through the entire map with their player being only a couple of pixels tall. The world may be a beautiful pixilated masterpiece, but you’ll be cursing it for the whole journey.
Price 240 MS
The question of if drill robots and molemen can ever be friends can finally be put to bed. The answer is “yes.” In this platformer, you play as one of the kindly robots investigating a drill from another world sent out to rob the planet of all its resources. You stumble across the original inhabitants living underground, and it’s okay since they’re mole people and that what they should have been doing all along. The mystery slowly unravels as you collect acorns around the map. Other characters you run into exchange much needed information and skills for these delicious nuggets. Since you are a drill robot, you come fully equipped with a drill that can dig through soft rock and you're also wearing a helicopter hat (naturally). Tapping on the A button only gets you so high before running out of juice and needing to recharge. The platforming won’t tax you too terribly much but it’s the gorgeous design that will keep roaming for acorns for some time to come.
Price: 80 MS
Some days you wake up in the basement of a mad genius, am I right?. As an experiment gone wrong, your job is to work your way to the top of this dual-stick shooter. Between you and sweet freedom is a horde of squarehead zombies, just waiting to devour your little round noggin. Fortunately for you, the evildoer in question loans you a gun as well as scattered chests with new weapons and ammo around the rogue-like levels. With every splatter, you gain a little experience that will go into your stats to help you become a better crack shot or be able to take a few more hits. You can only carry two guns around with you but you’ll have a bat that can come out swinging even if you need to reload. For the sense of humor and ability to level up your character, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better game at only 80 MS points.
Price: 240 MS
Just when you thought it was safe to roam the universe – Solar 2 happens. Okay, it has never been really safe to roam the universe. I mean, I still get a little antsy when I walk down the block. But none of this matters because I’m playing Solar 2, the sequel to the indie game that had you smashing into other heavenly bodies. You still do that here but there’s more direction this time around. You start off small – like a rock. Build yourself up to a planet, star, and then a whole frakking solar system. Throughout the galaxy, you’ll find missions to complete such as destroying other civilizations. The newer version also gives you more of an idea about how much it takes to grow to the next sized object. There’s also an achievement system if you just can’t wait to get to that next mission. If Carl Sagan would have played a game just to chill out, it would have been Solar 2.