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Seven great Xbox 360 Community Games you need to get

CarneyVale Showtime

Price: $5

What is it?
Oh, just one of your basic clown throwing games. Wait, clown throwing? Yep. After launching him from a cannon at the bottom of the stage, you use floating claws to grab and toss the clown in question, slinging him from claw to claw until you reach the flaming hoop up top. Various hazards are placed around the course, and your performance is judged on how quickly you ascend the stage and how many balloons you collect in the process, among other objectives.



Why does it rock?

CarneyVale Showtime plays like an old-school arcade game – increasingly difficult level arrangements eliminate the need for over-complicated controls and gameplay, but the advancing challenge keeps things exciting. The game actually feels out of place on the Community Games service, but not because of the potentially creepy subject matter. Rather, the polished visual look and meaty feature set (including a very easy-to-use level editor) suggest an experienced developer and a pretty decent budget, not to mention a game that could pretty easily be released on the Xbox Live Arcade as-is. No matter – it just means we get to pay less (only $5) for a pretty entertaining game.

XBLA Games it's better than: Screwjumper!, Shrek-n-Roll


Artoon

Price: $5

What is it?
Artoon is sort of like a modern-day Q*Bert, except you play as a bouncing ball that hops between floating 3D blocks or platforms. Touching 60% of the platforms opens up the exit, and you must keep moving to maintain your ever-increasing multiplier. As you continue on, you'll encounter blocks that must be bounced upon multiple times, moving platforms, and levels in which you cannot bounce on the same colored block in succession. Also, for some reason, the game shares its name with the developer of the disastrous full-sized suckfest Vampire Rain. Fun fact!

Why does it rock?
Vivid art design catches your eye from the outset, and while the game only contains a handful of distinct environments, each pops with thumping animations and brilliant effects. Artoon isn't the most challenging game out there, but you can get more out of it by aiming for high scores and touching all of the panels in each stage. Moreover, Artoon serves as a nice diversion – easy on the eyes, easy to pick up and play, and only $5 to boot.

XBLA Games it's better than: Frogger 2, RocketBowl


Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp

Price: $ 2.50

What is it?
A port of a homebrew Nintendo DS game, Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp finds your agitated protagonist hopping on robot heads and collecting cups of coffee. Designed to look (and ultimately play) like an 8-bit platformer, Biscuit Romp takes place on a vertically-skewed section of the screen that equates to just over one-third of a standard widescreen display. Alternatively, you can choose the option to display the game sideways, for those of you who have your TV mounted vertically (or simply want to lay on the couch).

Why does it rock?
Biscuit Romp isn't meant to be mind-blowing, but it has a lot of panache for a $2.50 game, not to mention some compelling level design. In many stages, the sides of the screen loop from one to the other, which means you can exit left and appear on the right, or drop down a hole at the bottom and appear back up top. This serves a strategic purpose most of the time, though many stages simply find you stomping on robots before heading for the goal. It's short and sweet, but this throwback feels just right for less than three bones.

XBLA Games it's better than: Bliss Island, Rocky & Bullwinkle

 

Blow

Price: $5

What is it?
At heart, it’s a puzzle game, despite the fact that there isn’t a brightly colored block or gem in sight. You’re in charge of safely guiding a parade of slowly drifting bubbles through mazes littered with all manner of obstacles. You do this by arranging fans in strategic locations and adjusting their strength. It's not your average puzzler - it’s prettier for one, with lush, forest-y backgrounds and a natural, holistic feel offset by a sparse, tastefully low-vibe soundtrack.

Why does it rock?
As simple as the concept of placing fans sounds, there’s tremendous depth in the nuance of it all. Plus, when you complete the 70 existing levels, the game can generate new levels on the fly, so your bang for the buck is astronomical.

XBLA Games it's better than: Brain Challenge, Interpol: The Trail of Dr Chaos

Feb 26, 2009

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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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