I don’t really ‘get’ a lot of the indie games I come across. I am assuming that many of them are tech demos, or practice pieces that have somehow managed to find their way to market. I think what Microsoft are doing in giving indie gamers and developers a forum is admirable, and very clever, but you can’t really hide that fact that there is a helluva lot of crap on there.
And, sadly, Play As You Go is one such bit of crap. It’s a small collection (only three as far as I can tell) of retro games that adds nothing to the originals, and will, at most, give you a confused chuckle for a couple of minutes. I would like to think that this was made by a schoolkid as his or her GCSE project, as anything else would simply be an embarrassment.
The first game is a Galaga rip off. I was never a huge fan of Galaga, but this offers even less than the original. I just can’t see why anyone but a stoner or a simpleton would want to play it. It’s basic in the extreme, and only gets a tad less basic with each passing hour.
Then there’s a colour matching mini-game that just sees you hitting the right buttons in the right sequence. Who wants to play a game that is simply a never-ending QTE? I guess there may be some therapeutic value in it, but short of lowering my estimation of your intelligence, there’s just no way I can say that it’s anything but utter pony.
Lastly, and probably the best of the bunch, is a Breakout rip off called H1N1 a.k.a Swine Flu. Rather than a paddle, you control a needle that bounces some weird stuff up the screen to kill the H1N1 virus. Now, I have to say that this did make me giggle. I’ve never seen such an incongruous mix of concepts before, and I suppose that deserves some kind of accolade. Sadly, however, this sticks with the formula and adds nothing new.
Had this been a collection of 100 titles of similar quality, you could probably rate it as a nice trawl through your gaming memory banks. It’s not. It’s three games and they’re all rubbish. Like I said, if this is someone’s first attempt at making a game, I applaud them. They at least have some idea of the history of videogames. Something tells me it’s not though.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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