Alawishus Pixel Platform: Xbox Live Indie Games (Xbox 360) Price: 80 MSP / $1 USD All I wish is for more games like this. Gameplay: Alawishus Pixel is a puzzle/platforming game that adopts the tried and true "screen wrap-around" mechanism to create some decently challenging puzzles. The goal of each level is to push a block onto a button that will open an elevator, which takes you deeper into the strange cave complex you've become trapped in. As you progress, you find helpful and humorous messages from someone who came before you. Controls are simple, consisting of moving left or right, jumping, running jumps, and level reset. The learning curve has a slow ramp-up that requires increasing precision as you approach the final levels (40 levels in all). Things start to get interesting in the mid-teen levels, where the game will begin to challenge your timing and platforming skills. Occasionally it seems that the difficulty backtracks, although this may just be from mastering the latest scheme. The more advanced levels offer a good challenge by varying timing, sometimes requiring you to be fast and sometimes to go slow. From start to finish, it took me a total of 90 minutes to complete the game. Things seemed to just be getting started when the game ended. For the price you can't complain too much, it's still a much better price-to-play-time ratio than all but the most epic of $60 retail games, but 10 more well crafted levels would really put this game over the top. Ogre won't get off your lawn? Time to use excessive force (gravity). Graphics & Audio: The game's impressive box art really caught my eye when I first saw it appear in the Game Marketplace on Xbox Live. The character style and game title are boldly colored and the NES Castlevania-style box art lets you know that this game is aiming for a retro feel. This is backed up by the game graphics, which land somewhere between 8-bit and 16-bit (I'd say somewhere around 10-bit, if that had ever been an actual gaming generation). As I progressed through the game, I began to pick up visual cues that were reminiscent of classics like Bionic Commando, Mega Man, and Contra. I felt some of the animations could use a bit more complexity, but it's not a serious detriment, especially given the intended retro style and the $1 price point. Sound effects are sparse but sufficient, although some of the music doesn't always seem to mesh with the spirit/character of the game. The main music is great, evoking memories of 8-bit and 16-bit RPGs, while the "level complete" music just doesn't seem to match up. Things are just starting to heat up. Replay value: At the end of the game, you get to see how many times you died and the number of level resets you used. Alawishus Pixel is lacking leaderboards, so the only real replay value is to try to improve your personal best by reducing your death and reset numbers. This will appeal to some and not others. Overall: Alawishus Pixel is a great example of what Xbox Live Indie Games has to offer. This is all the more impressive when you realize the Frog the Door Games is a one man operation, and that Alawishus Pixel is their first title. At the lowest price point available on the channel, the game offers a good gaming value and some funny tongue-in-cheek gaming humor through the "tutorial" signs and the final scene. Pros: +Humble price is just about spot on +Great retro styling, right down to the box art +Chuckles Cons: -Game is short -Low replay value Alawishus Pixel earns itself a 8.25/10 for hitting it’s target well and providing nostalgia in a [virtual] box… A review copy was used to evaluate the game.