The Hidden Levels Top ID@Xbox Games
The ID@Xbox program has turned into a crucial part of the Xbox infrastructure and has helped many developers bring their games to the Xbox audience. On Friday April 21st the 500th game, Cities Skylines, was released and that got several of us at The Hidden Levels talking about all the great games we’d been able to check out since the Xbox One released. With this in mind and to tie it in with the 500th game celebration I figured I would compile our thoughts on our favourite ID@Xbox games and share with you just what we’ve enjoyed over the last few years. Each member of The Hidden Levels was asked to pick three games, and as always we have a very diverse mix of titles for you to check out and enjoy.
1 – Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect
We start with our #1 pick from Sangriaz, who once again surprised me with a game I didn’t really expect anyone to pick. Sangriaz picked this game because it was “The most fun Kinect game I’ve played through my years of playing Kinect games. I played nearly all of the Kinect games available on 360 and One, but none caught my attention as much as this game.”
1 – Rogue Legacy
Your eyes do not deceive you, we do in fact have a two-way tie for favourite ID@Xbox game from Sang. If you happened to read our Game of the Year 2015 article you’ll remember that this is what Sangriaz chose for his favourite game “This was the first rogue-like game that really got my attention. The game is not perfect by any means, but provided a good challenge and just made me want to keep playing. I actually ended up playing about 70-80 hours on Xbox One and then played more on PS Vita”.
Honourable Mentions – No Time To Explain, The Little Acre
1 – Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight is a game that has had my attention for quite a while however I have yet to play it due to an ever increasing backlog of games. After reading what Count Aizen had to say about the game however I may need to make this a priority purchase “Shovel Knight is flawless to me. It is a perfect blend of platforming, brilliant execution, music and simply fun. With the treasure trove update just around the corner it’s replayability will extend again for me. Overall a must have recommendation for me and if you’ve never bought an ID@Xbox game before at least buy Shovel Knight”.
Honourable Mentions – Furi, Binding of Isaac
1 – WE ARE DOOMED
WE ARE DOOMED came to the Xbox One before I acquired my console, so I am yet to really see that much of it, however Smokin Cheez picked this game because it was frustratingly addictive “There was something about WE ARE DOOMED that simultaneously wanted me to give up and keep trying because of its fun and simple game-play. It had colourful yet minimalistic visuals and satisfying sound effects whilst destroying hordes of enemy spaceships coming at you from every direction”.
Honourable Mentions – 6180 The Moon, Funk of Titans
1 – Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (to give it its full title) started life as a iOS game back in 2013 before later being ported to almost every other platform available, including Xbox One. What I initially wrote off as a Zelda knock-off actually turned out to be one of my favourite ID@Xbox games. Ozane93 clearly agreed with this as he picked it for his #1 game “This little ID@Xbox game boasts vibrant visuals and meticulously crafted environments that adds a layer of cuteness to the game which draws you in. The soundtrack is composed by famed FF composer ‘Nobuo Uematsu’ and is beautiful to listen to. The various instruments like pianos and violins give us a sense of simplicity which goes hand in hand with the design of the small villages and people living their everyday lives. Oceanhorn has an adventurous spirit that lets you explore plenty of islands each with their own zelda like puzzles. The puzzles are succinct and requires the use of many items that you have like your bow/bombs to shoot things from a distance or your sword to slash and break things to reveal items. Oceanhorn sounds, looks and plays beautifully.”
Honourable Mentions – Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic, Paladins: Champions of the Realm
1 – Plague Inc: Evolved
Plague Inc: Evolved is another game that started life on the PC where it quickly found a lot of success due to its innovative game play. Instead of having to manage countries and continents you instead have to try and kill off the worlds population before humans develop a cure for the illness you are using to kill them off with. Shaggy696 liked Plague Inc: Evolved because of how many options there were and also because of the unforgiving difficulty level that requires you to really raise your skill level “I’ve picked Plague Inc Evolved as the game I like the most because I like the pandemic simulation, the ability to name your disease how you want, the multiple choices of diseases you can pick and the difficulty of the game itself (Mega-brutal really lives up to its name!).
Honourable Mentions – Zombie Army Trilogy, Rocket League
1 – Dex
I’m a big fan of anything that looks like it has a cyberpunk theme so when I saw the first batch of screenshots for Dex I was immediately drawn to it. I was a huge Shadowrun addict too, when the game released on the Super Nintendo I couldn’t stop playing it, and for some reason Dex gave me a very familiar vibe. Once I got my hands on the game I knew that my initial thoughts were correct as I absolutely fell in love. The soundtrack was great, the visual style was something I felt really suited the game as well, and I also really liked the fact that the side quests had multiple outcomes that felt like you were developing your character. The combat was easy to learn and had a few light RPG elements to it which allowed you to play in different ways instead of being tied to one style. I started the game one evening and actually ended up playing all through the night, only stopping to take a short break for food and drink before signing back in and finishing the game, all side quests and every achievement. If you haven’t managed to give Dex a look yet I really recommend that you do, especially as there is now a free playable demo on the Xbox marketplace.
Honourable Mentions – Aaero, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
1 – Stardew Valley
Our second member of the team who picked a game that they previously chose for their Game of the Year submission, The LeBaron went with Stardew Valley because “Since its release, Stardew Valley and the lovely inhabitants of Pelican Town have never stopped amazing or engaging me. This game is just as whimsical and quaint today as it was when it launched last year”.
Honourable Mentions – Slime Rancher, Flinthook
1 – Candleman
Candleman was a shining example of why the ID@Xbox program is so pivotal to the Xbox Marketplace. Originally a game that released only in China, it ended up getting a very positive reception which in turn saw it released across the globe at the start of 2017 to more glowing reviews. This has led to the developer of Candleman stating that there will now be free DLC dropping sometime later in 2017 which will include additional levels as well as ‘the real ending of the game story’. Manic Ado picked this for his favourite ID@Xbox game as “This title was very exciting to me as when it was announced I knew very little about it. Doing more research I found out it was developed by a Chinese game developer which is very exciting as expanding to new countries is always very good. Hopefully ID@Xbox can continue to help these unique countries bring their unique games to the Xbox platform for a long time ahead. The game itself is very solid and a fun title to play.”
Honourable Mentions – Every Artifex Mundi Title, Riptide GP2 & Riptide GP: Renegade
1 – Overcooked
Last but not least we have Shadow Tobuscus who went with Overcooked, the critically acclaimed game from Ghost Town Games and published by Team17. In Overcooked your objective is simple, players control a number of chefs in kitchens filled with obstacles and hazards which you have to navigate while trying to prepare meals and beat the time limit. “I loved this game because it can be one of the most hectic couch co-op games you can possibly play while aiming for 3 stars, from earthquakes to moving tables this game is certain to make everyone panic with excitement as the clock slowly counts down to zero”.
Honourable Mentions – Ittle Dew 2, Trulon: The Shadow Engine
I hope this little look at some of our favourite ID@Xbox games turned up a few surprises for you, as I know when I saw some of the initial submissions I was shocked. The great thing about the ID@Xbox program is that there are so many wonderfully diverse games being released that there is something for everyone and with over 1,000 titles already confirmed as being in development the future of Xbox One is looking better than ever.
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