Year One of theXBLIG

Today, theXBLIG officially turns one year old! Pay no attention to the fact that the first post on this site was a review for Birth Order, on May 26th, 2012. Officially, the site went ‘public’ on the 19th of June last year, with the review of Apple Jack 2. Between then and today, there’s been 175 reviews / articles posted, totaling 75,000+ views, with 1,243 comments (438 of which are mine, as I really love to hear / see myself talk). The most popular review, by far, has been for the original White Noise. The least-read post is the review for Guppy: Collects! 2, which to me is surprising, given some of the clunkers I’ve reviewed since starting the site.

It’s been a hell of a run so far! Had you told me a year ago the site would be where it sits today, I’d have said you were in need of a medical evaluation. My thoughts then on the future of this site were as follows— 20 to 30 views a day, and maybe Alan (from The Indie Ocean) would stop by and comment on a review here and there. I am beyond pleased to say that those prophecies went unfulfilled, as I’m pretty sure Alan would have tired from humoring me by now.

More important than the numbers though, is You, the person reading this. All the words I can throw on a page mean nothing if no one’s around to read them. So thank you, You, for coming back to this corner of the web and continuing to peruse my completely-unqualified opinions and suffer my long-winded rants. The comments section of this site has usually transitioned into a lukewarm cauldron of pop culture, movie quotes, and the like, but it’s honestly been the best part of the job, just kicking back and talking about games and life in general. Thanks for making it fun.

And though it goes without saying, I need to thank the community of writers and fellow review sites around me, not just for their help they’ve given me in the past, but for being incredibly awesome people that I remain truly honored to know and have the chance to interact with. I started up with Gear-Fish, working with some incredibly gifted gentlemen (Nate, Jason, and Zach) that wanted to change the world, or just take a stab at Gaming Journalism. Sadly, the site has gone into a deep slumber, but I owe theXBLIG and everything else to them. I will never forget that. A heartfelt thanks to my friends who remain in the field, including Catherine and the crew at Indie Gamer Chick, Alan from The Indie Ocean, Brandon (and crew) from The Indie Mine, and last but most certainly not least, Tristan (and crew) from Clearance Bin Review. I may be the only idiot dedicated solely to XBLIGs, but we’re all in this one together.

Another set of ‘Thanks’, a much larger set, goes out to all of the Xbox Live Indie Game Developers that I’ve corresponded with and talked to, mostly about their games, yes, but especially those that have kept in touch beyond the game. There’s too many to name (this is a good thing), and I’m sure I’d forget some in the process, so I won’t even try. Just know that I’m grateful for the conversations, your advice / encouragement, and the friendship. You are a talented bunch that deserve all the respect and success that is possible. Regardless of how this whole XBLIG thing pans out, it’s been a real pleasure knowing you all. I thank you, sincerely.

Ah, yes, time to wrap this up. I did want to keep it short. To tell you the truth, I went back and forth on how to start this, where to take it, and how to end it, the culmination of theXBLIG’s first year of internet life. This article was originally a much darker, negative piece. I’m glad the optimist side of me won out. Sure, there’s plenty of cause for concern (XBLIG slowly dying, being neglected on the Xbox One, itself an unmitigated disaster coming out of E3), and sure, there’s a very good chance that theXBLIG doesn’t live to see a second birthday (long story short: I preordered a PS4, not an Xbox One), but what the hell— it’s my party, and I say we celebrate. Today, we put aside all the future trouble and unanswered questions, and we do exactly what it is we all love to do; play videogames.

So consider me your fairy godfather (Marlon Brando with a wand and pink wings, if you insist on an image), gifting you the gift of game. Old-ish games, to be exact, as these are all the leftover codes from previous reviews that I have in my possession. No guarantees on their condition, however, as some may have already be claimed. I did my best to sort the good from the bad. Feel free to take any and all that you’d like, just be kind enough to leave a comment below, letting everyone else know which games are still in play. Enjoy, and thank you again for reading.

Keep Calm and Play XBLIGs


Monster King (RPG)

  • V4YMG-F2636-9JXFJ-6X4X2-B8XVT

Star Wings (Shooter)


Star Wings 2 (Shooter)

  • JWP7G-QYW7H-R4277-JFJGJ-67P7M

Null Battles (FPS)


Pester (Shooter)


STRACO: Episode One (Shooter)


27 thoughts on “Year One of theXBLIG”

  1. Late congrats Tim! Your reviews are awesome and always fair IMO. Not overly harsh, but not a free pass either.

    Seems like the codes went really quick! I guess I should have given you more! OK, OK, stop begging, here are 5 more 😉

    (EDIT: See above, in article, for codes.)

    1. Thanks Mike! Very awesome of you to offer up more codes for the game, and thanks for the kind words. You pretty much summed up what I’m trying to do here— honest reviews without letting developers off the hook, even if they’re selling it for a dollar. Fun is fun and not fun is… you know. Thanks again!

      If anything reading this is interested in trying out STRACO: Ep. 1, check the end of the above article for a free code. Make sure to leave a comment letting everyone know which code you claimed. Thanks.

    2. Very generous of the developer! I took the 2nd code (starting CT6HK); the 1st code was already taken.

  2. Just wanted to say thanks again for liking March to the Moon. That review is a big part why I’m getting more serious for the sequel and getting a real artist rather than just letting it end and do something else.

    1. Absolutely no problem, Curtis. Someone makes a great game, I will champion it to whoever’ll listen. It’s unfortunate that looks sell everything in life, no matter how much sweat goes into the gameplay or how good the story is. You can’t fight it, I suppose, so bringing in an artist will certainly help in spreading the gospel.

      And if anyone reading this hasn’t checked out March to the Moon, do so! It’s a different (and excellent) kind of shooter.

  3. Congrats. Hope I didn’t miss much.
    Hey tim, heres a PS4 indie you can reveiw: Primal Carnage Genesis.
    The future will arrive, With a dinosaur FPS!
    Anyho, great year for indies.
    Except uproar. That game was terrible.
    And Zombie Outback.
    And the monastary
    But it was still fun.

    1. Thanks!

      All those games left a bad taste, and now you can add ‘Make It Rain’ to that list after the review posts later this morning. Lot of highs, and certainly a lot of lows.

      PCG is looking pretty sweet, although whenever I hear ‘Primal’ anything, I think of that awful fighter called ‘Primal Rage’. Bad memories of playing that on the SNES, or the Genesis, or maybe both. It was terrible on any system.

    2. Primal rage.
      The game was terrible on console due to the team basiclly locking away the rom. No one can accurately emulate it since they refuse to unlock it.
      Anyho, PCG looks like a good stand in for Dino Crisis 4.

    3. With reboots / sequels being all the rage, Capcom’ll resurrect it sooner or later, probably sooner. I call it now. Dino Crisis AND Onimusha will make next-gen appearances.

  4. Tim, CONGRATS on 1 year. Love the #1 (candle) as the i in XBLIG and ever since I found you site I’m addicted to reading your reviews. I love playing Indie games and with your reviews I was able to steer clear of some duds as well as get confirmation on games the I enjoy and decided to buy after reading your reviews. I must say we have very similar tastes in games (and other pop culture things for that matter) and I’ve enjoyed our exchange in your comments. Only wish I would have found this site sooner as I know this addiction will eventually come to an end. Especially reading that you are headed to the dark side (PlayStation) 😀 I hope you make it another year before this finally ends but the life of intellectual game reviews (ie blogs) are very short lived these days. (you noticed I remembered you told me this wasn’t a blog?)

    And now a special birthday song just for you:

    1. That song really caps the day off nicely. 🙂

      I’m really glad this site has done what I set out for it to do; bring like-minded people together to play and talk about indie games. There’s plenty of other avenues / ideas I’d like to explore (and still may) with it, though I am completely happy to hear it’s played a small part in people’s lives. Thanks for everything you’ve done to make that possible. 🙂

      It’s sacrilegious to mention the Playstation name here, but yeah, it’s going to be my next-gen system of choice, even with Microsoft backpedaling on their previous positions for Xbox One. I’ll own both eventually. That said, the 360 is going to be around for awhile still, so I don’t see a reason why XBLIGs, or theXBLIG, wouldn’t be as well.

      Oh, and yeah, ‘blog’ is a bad word here. Thank you for remembering that. With being online for a year now, I think we can upgrade it to ‘small hipster society’ or some such thing. Only things missing are a secret handshake and decoder rings for all the tenured members.

  5. Good sir, thanks for the mention and congratulations on the milestone. We’re approaching our 2nd anniversary next month. The site has ebbed and flowed but we’ve stuck through it all and so will you.

    I don’t visit theXBLIG site nearly as much as I should, but I read damn near every article of yours that hits my mailbox. I always enjoy seeing if we have like-minded reviews of the same game and more often than not we do. And I’m genuinely entertained by the reviews of the games I haven’t had a chance to try.

    I’ll be curious to hear your plans if XBLIG goes the way of the dodo, but it’s my genuine hope to see another of these articles next year.

    1. Thank you for the support and kind words (and all the Twitter #FFs)! It’s meant a great deal to me.

      An early ‘Congrats!’ to you for two years online! It’s a tough, tough, business, running / writing for a website AND balancing real-life commitments, so that’s an impressive milestone. You guys have been doing really well, too. I hope I have the chance to celebrate the same and do this all over again next year. 🙂

  6. Congrats on a year well spent! But you should’ve tagged the article with Marlon Brando just for some giggles … now I’m off to read about Guppy Collects.

  7. Hey congrats on the year!! Site like this are perfect for ppl like me, that are more into those indie games. I play some AAA like Skyrim, but for me Skyrim is like a pretty girl with big boobs and no brains, it might not be a keeper, but is good to fool around (will get Deus Ex: Human Revolution pretty soon 2). So, indie games have taking most of my gaming time, and site like this are more than welcome, although I only discover this like two weeks ago. I arrive late at the free dollar party again lol, but oh well, those indies deserve our money, its still hurts the five dollars of Bleed, but that game REALLY WORTH it. Congrats again.

    1. Thanks, man!

      Even though you just found the site recently, I appreciate you coming back and using the reviews to find some hidden gems. Well deserving of our money, like you said, especially ‘Bleed’. I’ll preach that game’s merits to anyone that will listen. Fantastic game.

  8. Many congratulations on the milestone! I’m glad to hear your expectations were surpassed, it goes to show that the XBLIG scene has excellent taste in writing.
    Reading your articles is always a pleasure, so a HUGE thank you to you for keeping us all informed and entertained!

    1. Thanks for reading, Edgar, and for the compliments. 🙂 It’s good to hear that the site has made an impression on people. Hopefully I can continue to do so for a very long time. Much appreciated!

  9. Thanks! I picked up Null Battles and Star Wings but seems most others are gone…just as an FYI. Love the website and Twitter Feed!

    1. Thank you, sir. Enjoy the games. A few of those codes I wasn’t too sure about. Which other ones did you try, so I can eliminate those as well? (EDIT: Nevermind. All taken. I’m terrible at sorting…)

  10. I took STraco second code…1st code showed redeemed already. I’ll be back to comment on this later today…working and don’t have time right now!

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