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Seven great Xbox 360 Community Games you need to get

Microsoft's Community Games service was designed to deliver amateur-developed Xbox 360 games cheaply to the masses. The problem is, most amateur-developed games suck.

Most … but not all. There are some great games here – and we’re here to help you find them. We gloved up, sifted through the whole bowl of almost 200 titles available at post time, and plucked seven kernels of pure gaming corn from the crap. Each offers something unique, is bargain priced between $2.50 and $10, and stomps the giblets out of a more expensive XBLA game.
 
You can get all seven for $42.50 total, so buy them immediately. Then download demos for any other games that catch your eye (or ear, in the case of the intriguingly audio-only In the Pit). If you find anything else you like, BUY IT. This is how indie developers get started, and unless you’re content playing Skateboard Shooter Licensed Music Game 20XX every year, you’ll want these eager upstarts to succeed.


Colosseum

Price: $10

What is it?
Colosseum is medieval arena fighter with snazzy cel-shaded visuals and local four-player competitive play. The single-player campaign is loaded with corny dialogue and waves of A.I. drones, but various challenges give players something extra to strive for, plus you can create your own character using a variety of body types, helmets, shoulder pads, and weapons.


Why does it rock?
Despite some drab menu screens, Colosseum looks fairly awesome in motion, with well-animated characters and solid cel-shading for a downloadable game. The combat sort of cribs the right-analog control scheme from Too Human, and while the single-player campaign is fairly repetitive, the customization options and local multiplayer modes make this a good party pick for all the amateur pit fighters out there.

XBLA Games it's better than: Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball, Happy Tree Friends False Alarm


Weapon of Choice

Price: $5

What is it?
Contra-cribbing run-and-gun sci-fi shooter packed with heavy metal, crazy firepower, wicked aliens, and auto-grappling, mecha-tentacled backpacks that enable whichever character you’ve chosen to crawl all over the place like a very heavily armed Doctor Octopus. And it’s all gloriously over-the-top – some enemies are the size of buildings, and one of the default characters carries a flame-vomiting jet engine as his main weapon.

Why does it rock?
You read the part about jet engine gun and grappling backpacks and ginormous bosses, right? We didn't even mention the sharp, highly animated 2D/3D visuals, the crazy, mutant art style, the death-brushing feature (which gives you a slow-motion moment to avoid being killed), or the multiple paths. Weapon of Choice is very much a hardcore, challenging shooter, but what it lacks in finesse it makes up for in spades with a surprisingly successful kitchen sink approach to over-the-top action. We’d recommend Weapon of Choice even if it was $15, so the fact that it costs a mere $5 makes this a ridiculous bargain.

XBLA Games it's better than: War World, Rush'n Attack


Biology Battle

Price: $10

What is it?
Primarily a Geometry Wars clone, so much so that it even follows the same naming conventions (subject you hated in high school plus generic combat term). However, it also features 11 multiplayer games that are pretty well executed, including the aptly titled giant worm-evading game, Worms, as well as distinct Life and Death variations on five other concepts.

Why does it rock?
Biology Battle lacks the polish and pure unadulterated awesomeness of Geometry Wars 2, but it does a few things very well. The single player Global Challenge mode is thrillingly tough, often packing the screen with a hundred or more enemies, including much larger boss foes. And though the lack of online play is a drag, the numerous four-player games offer a lot of variety. The $10 price tag is a little off-putting, but Biology Battle is one of the rare Community Games that potentially justifies such an investment.

XBLA Games it's better than: Wing Commander Arena, Battlestar Galactica

21 comments

  • gutlessVADER - February 27, 2009 8:23 p.m.

    sweet article. I'm so original
  • Oxfordcomma4 - February 27, 2009 2:28 a.m.

    I guess the developer behind Blow was on blow at the time. *giggle* Must refrain from bad punning. AAAARRRGGGHHHH reCAPTCA: RIBPOA 10 FTW
  • FierceDeity - February 27, 2009 1:44 a.m.

    after playing some communtiy game where the screen is just black and you can hear some monster breathing freakily i lost all faith in the community games but this has rekindled some of that. the blow game looks kinda cool
  • GoldenMe - February 27, 2009 12:15 a.m.

    This article got me very interested in the first 3. I might pick these up when I'm geeting Halo's new map pack. reCAPTCHA: 11-game Ellery ...........wat
  • EDfromRED - February 26, 2009 11:22 p.m.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I like the Word Play community game and this article convinced me to get Weapons of Choice. I just wish that they had some Achievement Points available to earn. Even if it was just 50 per game it would compell me to buy more of them. P.S. A investigative feature on, abuse of/injuries caused by, rumble controller Massage titles might be in order.
  • jamminontha1n2 - February 26, 2009 11 p.m.

    Just imagine that at one point community games were gonna be free.
  • zymn - February 26, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    hmm... i might check some of these out. but naming a game Blow is kinda questionable...
  • Gotxxrock - March 2, 2009 2:34 a.m.

    I already have all these games, and I love the coverage that they are getting. and the fact that many of these are cheaper than most XBLA downloads is just so encouraging. Oh yeah, they also make me feel really fab and indie =P. Thanks GamesRadar!!
  • Smeggs - March 2, 2009 12:48 a.m.

    LOL Blow...
  • Daywalkr - March 1, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    Does anyone know if the ppl who make these games(the amateurs) get paid through Microsoft points?
  • garnsr - February 28, 2009 9:54 p.m.

    These games are all in the contest winner section in the community section of XBLA.
  • Kang81 - February 28, 2009 4:23 a.m.

    Blow is without a doubt the best game on this list. I play it more than 90% of all my XBLA titles and even some full retail release games as well. Don't pass it up, it deserves a try at the very least!
  • GrantG - February 27, 2009 5:17 p.m.

    garret the slug is a hilarious game, but only get the trial version, its like snake, except he goes nomnomnom when you eat a thing
  • drprofessor - February 27, 2009 2:03 a.m.

    I grabbed Weapon of Choice right after it released that game is AWESOME. it oozes win if you love old school gaming the likes a contra.
  • mrandydixon - February 27, 2009 12:32 a.m.

    I am very thankful for articles like this. I've perused the Community Games selection in the past and known that there must have been gems hidden in there, but couldn't find any recommendations online. Thanks to you, I'm downloading Weapon of Choice and Artoon as we speak, and I'll probably end up getting Colosseum in the very near future.
  • RebornKusabi - February 26, 2009 11:19 p.m.

    I too am heavily considering getting Weapon of Choice after reading this article.
  • Yellowhat17 - February 26, 2009 11:16 p.m.

    Weapon of Choice and Colosseum look pretty good. I'll be looking into that.
  • Pyro240 - February 26, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    I might get Weapon of Choice. Theses look like great games. I hope the developers succeed so we can see more of these.
  • CABride - February 26, 2009 10:48 p.m.

    That Johnny Platform is pretty fun.
  • xFnKxTaLeNtx - February 26, 2009 10 p.m.

    Also what about Miner Dig Deep, it may look a little cartoonish, but for $2.50 it gave, and is still giving me hours of entertainment. But all these games are nice ways to get sidetracked from Halo,CoD, or whatever and broaden your horizons a little.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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