Sometimes you have to take a break from all of the AAA titles and enjoy a unique indie game. The Xbox Live Arcade offers a great selection of games for this purpose alone, but I often find that there are no new releases that interest me or I simply don’t have $10 to burn on a five-hour long game. It’s at times like these that I turn to the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.
This past week, I got lucky and stumbled upon a great little game called Demon House: FPS.
Demon House is a $1 3D FPS on the Indie Marketplace that offers about five hours of robot-blasting fun. The game has tight controls and perfect frame rate. It also has an amazing option menu featuring custom button mapping, aim tweaking and visual adjustments. The gameplay is fluid and engaging.
The campaign puts the player against a house full of robotic demons controlled by the souls of the dead. The protagonist is a scientist who has invented a Ghostbusters style technology for fighting the undead. The player uses a combination of four weapons, a rifle, a pistol, a shotgun, and a crossbow, to fight the army of undead robots and stop the villain from taking over the world.
The campaign features three levels, each with new enemies, locations, and puzzles. The puzzle sections are very simple and straightforward, but they effectively break up the monotony of the simplistic combat.
The locations are visually crisp and varied. Level design is creative and refreshing. The combat is a little slow and can be repetitive, but the gun-feel is good enough to make it enjoyable.
The enemies also keep things interesting. Steampunk skeletons will rush the player with battleaxes while evil monks will be spamming fireballs that deal heavy damage. There are healing units and small, difficult-to-hit helicopter units. My least favourite of the enemies were the robotic walkers. They weren’t bad enemies in terms of game design, but I found them highly annoying. They fire lightning at the player and rarely miss.
The game also features an arena mode with split-screen multiplayer. The arena mode plays like your standard horde mode in any FPS; it also suffers from the same issues. The waves become repetitive as you will keep seeing the same enemies, just in different combinations and in higher numbers.
Demon House is far from perfect, but it is one of the few $1 FPS games on the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace that is enjoyable to play for more than five minutes. I had about three hours of fun with this game in between missions of Assassin’s Creed 3 and Dishonoured. For gameplay footage and a video review, head over to my YouTube channel at youtube.com/Vok250.