For the most part, Xbox Live Indie Games have been defined more by their quantity than their quality. Of course, the openness of Microsoft’s indie storefront is what makes it admirable, but it has nonetheless resulted in all manner of games appearing on the platform. Plenty of them are success stories, offering a coherent and complete experience, but many more are sketchy, half-finished “my first game” projects. Needless to say, finding good XBLIG titles can often involve a lot of sifting.
As such, when a game like Rad Raygun turns up, you stand up and take notice. If you’ve seen the game in action you’ll know what I’m talking about. The game just looks incredible, and is a massive cut above its XBLIG competition presentation-wise. The developers at TRU FUN Entertainment have adopted the monochromatic visual style of classic Game Boy games, along with an excellent chiptune soundtrack by Fantomenk, to create an authentically retro-feeling experience. The game’s premise also taps into the 80’s spirit by lampooning the classic Red-fearing cold war plot lines that were prevalent in the era, positioning the titular Rad Raygun as the lone American hero who will save the world from communist robots.
I was pleased to see Rad Raygun finally release yesterday, having followed the game’s development for a little while. I can only hope that there is still enough interest in the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace for the game to reach an audience, and that Microsoft”s constant attempts to bury indie games from sight doesn’t affect TRU FUN Entertainment’s fortunes too much. One would also hope that a PC port is in the works, as this is becoming increasingly common in the XBLIG development community. As someone who does not own an Xbox 360, I would definitely welcome Rad Raygun on PC. I really don’t want this one to pass me by, like so many other promising XBLIG-exclusives have.
If you are an Xbox 360 owner, you can play Rad Raygun right now and I am jealous. The full game is available for a mere 80 of Microsoft’s proprietary currency, which translates to $1.00/£0.69 in real money. A bargain, I’m sure you’ll agree, but there is also a free trial out there for any who fancy a try before they buy.