Five indie XBox games worth your cash
Easy ways to have fun on a budget with the XBox 360
Connor McCann
Class of 2012

Being a college student is synonymous with have very little money on hand.  What money we do have is usually used on things like food, rent and other vital things. On the rare occasion, we do splurge and buy ourselves something like a video game – we better enjoy it to make up for that purchase price.
   This is where indie games, available on Xbox Live, bridge the gap between fun and money. These five indie games I have selected are among my top five favorites and all cost only one dollar.  Most of these games are completely developed by one person with no intention of really profiting from these sales.  These developers are in it for fun, not money.  
  While it’s possible to look at the indie games and sort them by the highest rank, but I don’t really follow that.  Most of those are just Minecraft spin-offs.  If you want to play Minecraft, play Minecraft. I look for games that have their own unique taste.  That’s what puts the following games above the rest.

Bad Golf

   For a group of people wanting something to do, Bad Golf is a perfect remedy.  At its core, it is simultaneous, two-dimensional golf with up to four people.  The courses range from simple hilly terrains to something that resembles a Rorschach test.  The key is that it’s never anyone’s “turn.”  When the level starts, it’s open season for the hole.  While you are scored on time and number of strokes, the real challenge is having fewer strokes than your opponents.  Don’t worry about going over; there is no limit to strokes.  Yelling usually ensues from bad physics paired with insults from other players.

Hidden in Plain Sight

For HIPS, it’s all in the name. In all of the five game modes, your first task is finding which one of the many characters you are on the screen. 
  Your character and location are always random to keep things interesting. 
  Assassin is probably one of the best game types and involves a group of assassins trying to kill people, and a group of snipers trying to stop said assassins from killing people. 
  The fun part is that a noise is played when a person is killed, but the dead body is only shown after the crosshair lights it up.  The character will keep walking around the screen until the light from the crosshair shines on them.
  Up to four people can play at a time so you can play with your friends, and the choice of sniper or thief/assassin is up to the players.  Learn to mimic the computer’s movement!

Zombie Estate

While there are more twin stick zombie shooters than I’d care to count, Zombie Estate stands above the rest. 
  The main difference between Zombie Estate and other twin stick shooters is you actually press a button to shoot − which sounds minor, but it’s not − giving you a more genuine feel, versus a bullet hose. 
  There’s also a primitive money/shop/inventory aspect where you can buy any of the 25 different weapons available, ranging from a basic shotgun to the almighty Cow Launcher. 
  In addition to the unashamed 8-bit graphics and home grown spooky classical background music, you can select one of 30 characters to be for your zombie massacre. 
  Set aside some time though: to get through the 25 waves you will need about two hours. 
  Watch out for wave 24, it’s a doozy.  Moooo!

Cursed Loot

Made by Eyehook Games, a fancy name for a one-man show, Cursed Loot is a sort of classic styled RPG dungeon crawler where you select one of six different characters to take through 50 levels of a dungeon, with each level getting progressively harder.  The hard part is that if you die, that’s it: you’re done.  You can continue a game later, but the show is over if you die.  It really is a test of your patience and reflexes.  Regardless, it’s a fun ride with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and random encounters to keep you laughing and entertained.

Tacticolor

Shooters, golf and dungeon-crawling not your style?  Prefer something more strategic?  Tacticolor can be summed up as a fast-paced and simplified Risk.  It’s a basic units race to gain more randomly generated territory against up to four opponents.  I had the pleasure of playing against the game’s developer.  I think he let me win the first time, then I couldn’t spell win if you gave me the letters. Unlike most indie games, this one looks very finished – which is not uncommon with many indie games.   It leaves you with a short, but tense and occasionally chaotic, land-grab experience.