Survivalist

REVIEW: Survivalist

Survivalist ($2.99) will be notable for two things. The first, sadly, will be its higher cost (*It was $4.99 at the time of this writing). Gamers are a risk-adverse bunch when money is involved, specifically when it comes to XBLIGs. To some, spending five dollars on an indie game is tantamount to dropping sixty dollars on an unproven retail title. Most will simply never take the chance. To those that do, the game’s second notable quality will apply: Survivalist is one of the most impressive XBLIGs ever produced.

The game puts you in the top-down viewpoint of Joe Wheeler, a rich snob (with his own private desert bunker; how nice) turned reluctant savior, trying to live in a world that has been decimated by several different strains of a terrible zombie infection and society’s subsequent collapse. Think of it as a cross between Fallout and last year’s excellent State of Decay. Survivalist follows in that latter vein, putting the emphasis more on building / being part of a community and securing relationships, over the undead and outright gunplay.

Survivalist - Screen

Even with overwhelming firepower, combat is dangerous.

Though killing zombies is a part of it, for sure. The mid-western United States never looked so desperate and sparse, and in-game, it’s a large open-world wasteland teeming with trouble and treasure. Singly, the undead don’t pose much of a threat, but in packs, they can catch you off guard and overwhelm. Depending on the strain of infection (green is mild, white is instant death), traveling unprepared and alone into unknown territory (the map fills in as you explore) is generally not advised.

The good news is, you won’t have to, as the game features a robust economy based on gold and a cast of hundreds willing to do anything for you provided you have said gold. Or medicine. Or weapons. Or just a safe place to crash. You’ll carry out plenty of story missions and side quests in your time, but basic survival is the goal. To do that, you’ll recruit other survivors, scavenge (and scavenge, and scavenge some more), and build a functioning home base, complete with buildings, crops, and protective fencing as you see fit.

The characters that you meet and team up with, too, are a complicated sort. They each have their own motivations and desires, and actually react to you and remember the decisions you make. Show you can handle yourself in a firefight, and people will take notice, looking to you as a leader and joining your community if you ask them to. Threaten a trader or a townsperson, and be prepared to get the cold shoulder from your constituents. Take on a former looter after you’ve killed his friends, and of course the dude will harbor a deep hatred for you. This kind of interaction (and their consequences) within the world of Survivalist happens regularly, and it’s truly awesome to see it all play out, dependent on your choices.

Missions can be dealt with in a number of ways. You can go solo, or roll up with your entire posse if you so wish, to even the odds. Play it smooth, or as a chickenshit, and you can avoid a fight altogether. Don’t like your current quest or your benefactor? Lure them away from town, then kill them and loot the body, if you so desire. You may be at war with an entire town afterwards, but it’s your choice. The human condition is reduced to its more feral form in Survivalist. Zombies play host to the game’s overall storyline, though they are hardly the real enemy.

Like The Walking Dead has prophesized before, the real danger in any post-apocalyptic scenario is the people around you. Traders won’t take pity on you or your concerns, and villagers won’t automatically trust you or readily give you work. Zombies are capable of plenty, but looters, often surly and well-armed, can take out your entire party in a hail of gunfire if you don’t play nice and / or have the proper loadout. Bandages are your friend, yes, but having party members with higher skills in medicine, weapons, etc., is just as valuable.

Survivalist - Screen2

Conversations can play out multiple ways.

So if it seems I’m painting a somewhat romantic portrait of this apocalypse, be forewarned— Survivalist is a massive undertaking, a game of extremely-incremental progress. Food, water, medicine, and supplies are always at the forefront of your community’s mind, and are absolutely essential to its survival. Residents will set off in search of these items as they are needed, though it’s always helpful to send search parties out to gather whenever possible (you can direct them to known stashes via the map). The vast distances between viable supplies, towns, and missions, though, can make this a risky proposition.

The game is difficult. Death waits around every corner and barren desert outcrop. Humans and zombies alike will track you and pursue you across the land. Staying put and resting on small successes is just as deadly. Both you and your people need constant upkeep (there’s a character that needs insulin on a regular basis), and that perpetual foraging means the game can start to feel unfair and more like a chore of micromanagement than actual fun.

Of course, it could be argued that this IS the end of the world as we know it, so, naturally, life would be unfair. And I guess you could always banish the weaker links from your community, because choices, man. That said, I would have liked the constant fear of starvation, thirst, and infection to be a little less, well, urgent. There’s plenty of other things in Survivalist that can kill you just as easily. Why spoil all that fun?

Looking past all the hardship, this is easily one the best survival-focused zombie games I’ve played. Save for some fairly-minor hiccups and technical issues, there is not a single serious reason to balk at the price. Survivalist is an intense experience, one of the most content-packed, feature-rich games on the indie channel. It is not to be missed.

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Review on The Indie Mine

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86 thoughts on “REVIEW: Survivalist”

  1. Over the Christmas period, Survivalist for XBLIG is on sale at the lowest price point of $1.00. So get it while it’s cheap, if you haven’t got it yet!
    Also: Survivalist got greenlit on Steam this week! Thanks to anyone from here who might have voted for it.

    1. Sweet googlie mooglie!! Well there you go I’m giving you more of my money Bob!!! Won’t really play the PC version but any chance I get to give you a few bucks I’ll take it.

    2. Oh, of course! Excellent game, so it’s a no-brainer that it’d make the ‘Top XBLIG of 2014’ list. On that note, it’s never spam when it comes to Survivalist. 🙂

    1. No problem. And I did indeed! Really in-depth take on the zombie genre, and certainly one of the largest XBLIGs ever produced. Glad to see you guys cover it, get some more press going for the Dev and the game.

  2. What all is in the newest update. It would be nice if you could send people who bought it an update/planned feature log, current project(s), miscellaneous stuff. To our email or a message(s) on XBL. If you agree, like and post your opinion and if you don’t agree, dislike and post your opinion

    1. Most indie developers have a website that they keep their customers updated on the goings on of their game. Here is a link for Survivalist’s: http://www.indiedb.com/games/survivalist

      The updates are so numerous to post here and there is at least one more coming soon it looks like.

    2. @ImTheMetalLord: Thanks for posting those links, David, and for answering the questions!

      @idisir: Thanks for stopping by, man. As David stated, the patch notes / updates list for games of this size are often much longer than they would be for other games. There’s probably no way the developer could ever email / instant message everyone who buys the game, so your best bet would be to follow those two sites. Another option would be to follow him on Twitter, which could be a form of ‘automatic update’, if you don’t want to constantly check the websites for new info.

      http://twitter.com/bob_the_pr_bot

    3. I personally think is a good idea to have a in-game log, like an option in the title screen or something just like Murder Miners and I think the digital DNA games to that 2. And is you have not play the game in a while you can check what that new update is right away. The websites are good of course, but a in game update log would not be bad either.

      This game make remember why I love PC so much, I hope more indie developers big or small do more isometric RPG’s on console, direct control feels better than point and click. I will love to see a ciberpunk like Shadowrun Returns, or an amazing beautiful written story like Planescape Torment. I just love this types of games, I just do.

    4. Thanks for the info, Bob. That ‘patch notes’ section should help out those that aren’t into keeping tabs or scouring the internet.

      Oh, and you had impeccable timing with your post, as I was just literally changing the ‘featured image’ on the review to make it stand out better!

      How have things been going for the game? Has it been getting more visibility at the lower price, or is it about the same?

    5. He’s online on the 360 everyday working on the game. He’s the man. He’s Bob the Builder LOL

    6. “How have things been going for the game? Has it been getting more visibility at the lower price”
      The purchase/trial ratio went up to about 45% when I dropped the price. But sales have dropped anyway as it slid down the New Releases list. It’s what you’d expect from XBLIG I guess. I’m currently working on making the fonts larger, as I think some people could have been put off by not being able to read it, and then after that I’ll bring it to more platforms 🙂

    7. Ah, gotcha. Dropping off that new release list is a bitter pill to swallow. XBLIG is what it is, sadly, and though it has plenty of great games, they get swallowed up in clones of AAA games and, of course, the boob stuff.

      So long as you can catch some promotional articles from bigger sites, you should do better on PC (and potentially, Steam). I’m hopeful that we’ll see games like yours and others I’ve covered here on PS4 and Xbox One at some point, when spending $3 or $5 dollars on a game wouldn’t be met with as much skepticism from consumers.

    8. Happy to do it! Good games deserve the recognition. I saw the screenshot with the review quote, by the way. It’s just as thrilling for me to see stuff I’ve written have an effect on what people buy or trial, and for developers to appreciate the critiques / praises. 🙂

  3. So, after the huge disappointment of Ground Zeroes, I feel cheated, robbed, raped. Not only for how short it is, call me old fashion, or a guy that live in the past, but that was not a Metal Gear game, I enjoyed more the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. So, I wanted some bang for my money after this, and I picked up Survivalist, I have to say, is one of the best decision I made since I started visiting strip clubs behind my imaginary girlfriend. I have not played much of the game (but more than I have played Ground Zeroes) and I liked it so far. Keep in mind that I love this isometric RPG’s, so it was nice have one like this on a console. There’s Diablo yeah, but thats more of the action type. So thanks to Bobby the Bot for giving some bang for my bucks, because Kojima and the strippers…. they just take my money, and giving me almost nothing in return. Hope the games sells well and see more of you in the future, console only gamers need to see the magic of those old PC RPGs.

    1. So you didn’t like Ground Zeroes, huh? I feel this kinda had to be the direction the series was headed for (open world, more third-person shooter-like), but not for that price. That’s way too costly for what really is a glorified demo. ….And yet, I bought it, so who’s the idiot, right? I’ll have to get back to it eventually, so I can’t speak of how good (or bad) it is. I can’t argue about the direction it took, and I get the feeling players will appreciate The Phantom Pain more once its complete.

      As for Survivalist… good on you, sir. Plenty of bang for your buck here, as you said.The strippers will have to miss you for the week until your next paycheck comes in. 🙂

  4. Whoo wee.
    55 comments.
    Congrats Mr. Dev.
    This has been buzzing things like crazy.
    A good game deserves this attention.
    Survivalist is a good game.

  5. Thought I’d provide another interesting video. For anyone that may still be on the fence on this game you gotta take advantage of the price it’s at right now. He says this price might only be for a short time till he feels all the bugs are fixed. JUST SAYING

  6. Hope I’m not too late for the party.
    Kudos to the developer for releasing such an excellent game, haven’t really played anything else since I bought it a week ago.

    I’ve always been a sucker for open world “do-it-your-way” games and Survivalist is pretty good in that. Can’t be asked to get some insulin? Be mean and don’t bother. Don’t want to follow the main storyline? Use your imagination and create your own. Wanna build a compound no one can penetrate? Find some cement and build a pillbox etc…
    Graphics are nice and it got some good tracks as well (my favourite is Well-Meant Arson).

    And thanks to Mr. Hurley for the review, which actually convinced me to buy the game.

    PS I’m just wondering what’s gonna happen when MS stops to support the 360 (whenever that will be). Does it mean that XBLIG will be lost forever because you can’t connect to the servers or might they release some sort of patch to be able to play them offline?

    1. Actually sounds like you been to busy playing the game to be here talking about it. Never to late to party. Interesting thought on the XBLIG after they stop supporting it. I would hope that they would do as you said.

    2. @Soosh: You’re completely welcome. Always nice to hear when I’ve had a part in getting people to play deserving games. 🙂

      That ‘open-world, open-story’ aspect is something that I really think sets this game apart from others, and not just other zombie games. I was actually playing last night, and by handing off a ‘tasteful erotic novel’ to a character in my party, she actually started quoting off lines from the book during a lull in the action. It’s the little things like that, that make you appreciate the larger whole of the game. You just don’t see that in most XBLIGs.

      @Soosh & ImTheMetalLord: The future of playing XBLIGs on the 360 is still murky. I hate to be a pessimist, but I’m thinking this past generation will end with no resolution on that question. Given how long developers go without answers or fixes to basic problems, I highly doubt MS will introduce a patch, or anything otherwise, to make XBLIGs playable offline. They’ve got ID@Xbox to get off the ground, as well.

      On the bright side, the 360 still has more than enough life left in it. This fall’s big releases will attest to that, and even though next-gen (or is it now current-gen?) versions will get priority over the old, you can expect the online components of 360 to last for a while yet.

    3. @ImTheMetalLord: Yeah, been quite busy with the game. Must have played it for about 20 hours now and haven’t even explored the whole map (yes, I need my bloody time… or perhaps I’m just getting old?).

      @Tim: I remember one of the first quests I’ve done was an escort mission where I had to accompany a woman to a police station to question some dude about a certain gold truck iirc. He threatened the woman and I told him that I only care about the whereabouts of the gold and not about her (nice, I know).
      After that the whole compound disliked me…

      And the Reed family, oh dear… well, I “accidentally” took some of their corn and Mrs. Reed was chasing me with her shotgun so I had to defend myself. Now poor Toby takes care of my corn. Seeing him walking through the plants with his watering can, all alone, makes me feel guilty.

      Regarding XBLIG’s: I really hope they don’t just pull the plug and that’s about it. Would be a shame.

    4. See, now that’s cool. Unintended collateral damage, but cool. That’s the reason I’ve got two save files going; one with Alice alive and me playing it nice, and another where I booted Alice, and I’m playing a little less sympathetic with my quests and such. I haven’t gone and murdered anyone just for kicks (for ‘testing’ purposes in the review, I don’t count), but with the amount of variables at play, everyone that plays the game would have their own unique ‘community’ taking shape as they go.

    1. That was fast. Much appreciated. I for one would be interested to see if that makes a difference in your sales.

    2. Myself as well. The price should help, but also interested to see how and where word of mouth takes it.

      I will make a note at the beginning of the review to state that the game is on sale, just to avoid some confusion.

  7. What happened? Did we reach our reply limit on that one part of the thread? I’m just saying I don’t have a chance to click on reply on the bottom 20 or so comments.

    As far as the rating goes I don’t get how often that is updated. I mean it has been at 14 votes for almost a week and I did put in a vote when I saw it at 14 so it hasn’t updated since I added mine. Oh and I gave it 5 stars of course.

    @Bob I think waiting to promote till the patch is in is a mistake. By the time your efforts today in promoting it gets published the patch will be in or about to be in and actually letting people know you are fixing it will sway a lot to buy knowing you are still supporting it after the release.

    @Tim It was a nice little interview you did with Bob however little is the key word. I enjoyed it’s humor and insight but just as I was starting to enjoy it was over so fast.

    1. Yep, that was me messing with the site options. 🙂 I changed the way you can reply to comments, making it so you only reply to the original commentator. Replies can still go on as long as people want, but this will keep everyone’s comments in line with each other, cutting down on scrolling and those tinier columns that happened near the end.

      This will make things easier to look at on phones and tablets, I hope, but the downside is, conversations on older posts (like this one) will look a little funky and disjointed. Apologies for the confusion, all.

      Yeah, short-ish interview. I’ve got another one coming up tomorrow with the guys behind Shipwreck. I’m still working the kinks out with the interviewing. Right now, it’s basically four or five questions, with the option open to the interviewees to keep the answers short or as long as they like. Hopefully the end result is both entertaining and informative, regardless of length. 🙂

    1. Oh, I got ’em. Need to keep the undead all nicely-corralled in their own zombie-tagged pen. Easy reference, yes, but also because zombies on the loose without a tag are a big no-no. 🙂

  8. Very interested by this game and about to buy it.
    I’m just curious: how long does it take to complete it or how long did you play it so far?

    1. Hey Jeremy. All told, I put about five hours into it. That time was spent mainly exploring / testing out the game’s mechanics, etc, for review. For actual progress, I completed about six or seven quests, and was working my way to the second bigger ‘town’.

      If the parts of the map still shrouded in darkness are to be believed, I uncovered about a quarter of the entire landscape, which means there’s still plenty to see (and do, certainly) after five hours even.

  9. And we thought the golden age of XBLIG indies was over! It certainly seems like the pendulum has swung back in favor of quality over quantity nowadays.

    1. No kidding. XBLIG has been funny like that. For most of the month, it was struggling with new releases, period. Now at the end, we get a flurry of titles. And another Flappy Bird. 🙂

  10. WOW. Before I get into the actual review I need to point out something. Starting at the bottom if you go 4 paragraphs up, the last sentence you said “….can made this a risky….. ” and it should be make.

    This is even more of a glowing review than I had expected on this game. I’m going to skipped a happy meal and pick this up right away now. I mean you called it “one of the most impressive XBLIGs ever produced.” AND you said “Survivalist is an intense experience, one of the most content-packed, feature-rich games on the indie channel. It is not to be missed.” Man if I was the maker or the person trying to promote this game those are quotes I would have on my webpage.

    Speaking of which, I can’t seem to find them. I did come across this video on YouTube but it wasn’t from them either. LOLZNOOB is the developers and I don’t believe they even have a website.

    This game needs to be promoted better especially at this price point even though you point out it’s worth it there isn’t everyone on the interweb searching for info on things like this and like you said the trial just don’t get you into what the game really is all about.

    1. No worries on the multiple posts. I left them as is, as they all link back to various sources of info for the game. Much thanks on doing all the legwork for me! 🙂 If I caught this earlier, I would have said that they do include the website on the game’s main screen, though it doesn’t look like it’s updated regularly.

      I found it when searching for a trailer to post with the review, though like you said, there doesn’t seem to be an official one. Splazer is always good for the gameplay vids, so that could suffice for a rough outline of what to expect in the full game. Also, if anyone’s interested, the developer does have a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/bob_the_pr_bot

  11. Listen lad, this review, what I read, it was exactly how i though Astralis would have been. That youtube video you know OPEN WORLD!!!!! DECISIONS!!!!! Not saying Astralis was a dissappoinment, just, this is what i was expecting. This seems like a very unique game, its got the style of those PC rpg of the 90’s. But as you say 5 dollars, is a bit too much. I know developers put a price based on the content and work they put in it but… is already next gen, pride will not get you far now. If it was 3 dollars maybe I would have pick it up. And after that sale Microsoft put online, I know they are hundred of wallets hitting rock bottom. Maybe I will pick this one up, maybe not, but, congrats to the developer to make what its seems a very good game. Also, I notice a game that kinda look like a top down Zelda, did you check that one out?

    1. While I agree that the $5 price tag will probably put a lot of people off, after such a glowing review I’m going to buy it anyway (as soon as I finish what I’m currently playing).
      The top down Zelda game… are you referring to Shipwreck? If so, then I’m also hoping Mr Hurley will be reviewing it.

    2. I get what you mean. Astralis’ ‘decisions’ may have lacked weight, but that game was always kind of intended to be a pure shooter. And an excellent one it was, with excellent controls. Here, the choices you have definitely show results. The dialogue system is really quite expansive, and even though it can seem very ‘good vs. evil’, it applies to the situation.

      It does have that retro viewpoint, for sure. I should have stressed it looked more like pre-Bethesda Fallout. 🙂

      The price will hurt some, and it is somewhat bad timing for indie games, with the huge sales both Microsoft and Sony are having, next-gen games, etc. David (ImTheMetalLord) brought that up as well. Clearly a LOT of work went into this game, though. It’d be a shame for people to pass it up. I’ll tell you what I would like to see with Survivalist: a re-release on Xbox One once indies are given the full go-ahead. Add some online co-op (this game would benefit from it), add achievements / leaderboards, maybe, and I think people would take notice. It’s basically an indie version of State of Decay, and that was a universally-praised game, pretty much. Hopefully Microsoft will court developers like this and work to get their games exclusively under the MS banner.

      And yes sir, Mr. Edgar Alan, the top-down Zelda known as Shipwreck is next! Looks really good, kind of a remake of ‘Link’s Awakening’. Interesting stuff.

    3. Thanks for the links! It’s good they’re talking more about it, though it still seems they’re only focusing on ‘bigger’ indie studios at the moment. Not a bad thing, and it’s a start. Eventually, they’ll open it up a little more. The list of new Devs that are on-board is promising. Good to see some XBLIG lads on there, including Brushfire Games, the ones responsible for my next review, Shipwreck.

      Kind of funny that I’m basing my eventual purchase of a One on when smaller indie games begin to be released. 🙂

    1. It uses every megabyte of that file, too. 🙂

      The size means it couldn’t be sold for anything less than $3, but honestly, after playing through (maybe) a quarter of everything here, $5 is a steal. The eight minute trial just can’t give you an accurate indication of everything involved.

    2. Developer here – Do you guys think I should lower the price of the game to $2.99? It seems to get mentioned it a lot and it seems like it might be putting some people off.

      Having already paid for it, Tim, would you feel it was unfair to you if the price dropped just a week or so after launch?

    3. The price point question on XBLIGs is always a bit of a tricky one. On the one hand, you have what sounds like a content packed high quality game, so charging a higher price for it seems perfectly reasonable. However, on the other hand, unless you are really lucky and your game suddenly starts getting talked about all over the internet, XBLIGs are something of an unknown quantity to people. Because of the varying quality across titles, for most people buying an XBLIG is a somewhat risky proposition, as they will generally have just the trial to assess whether something is worth buying or not. So, from that angle I’d guess there would be less people willing to give something a go at a higher price point.
      Coincidentally, a podcast I regularly listen to, briefly discusses your game in their latest episode. It’s mentioned in the first few minutes, so you might want to give it a listen, as it kind of echoes some of the problems around the price point. You can find it here:
      http://www.thefiniteplaylist.com/2014/02/28/episode-102-fetch-me-my-whiskey/

    4. That podcast was interesting but I do want to say one thing… Survivalist was not “modelled on State of Decay” 😉 They weren’t really around when I started. It’s modelled on Fallout, Dragon Age, Command and Conquer and some others.

    5. I think ImTheMetalLord brings up another interesting angle on the price question. It’s a real tricky one, and I certainly don’t envy you having to make such a decision. Maybe your best bet would be to contact some other XBLIG developers who will have more of an insight on the subject.
      I also agree with ImTheMetalLord in that getting the word out is key. You need to promote the game as much as possible. If people get an idea of what the game is about from a site/blog/podcast that they like, then you’ve removed the uncertainty element from the equation and they will see the price without thinking of it as a risk.
      As for the podcaster saying that your game was “modelled” on State Of Decay, well, that’s clearly a mistake on his part. Since he said he’s trying to contact you, you should easily be able to clear that one up. I can see why that would be annoying, since you don’t want to give the impression that you’re just ripping a game off. However, when it comes to your game being “compared” to State Of Decay, I personally wouldn’t see that as too bad a thing. It’s an easy way for potential buyers to get a quick idea of what the game’s about, plus State Of Decay seems to be very well liked.
      Well, that’s my opinions anyway. I’m certainly no expert on the subject, just an XBLIG fan who wants to see good games on the service do well. I’m really looking forward to playing your game!

    6. Oh yeah, it’s really nice to be compared to State of Decay, that’s for sure. I just don’t want people to think I ripped them off. It’s not annoying – I expect lots of people will think it, because it’s the logical thing to think.
      Thanks for the advice. Do you know of any sites that would be likely to cover it? The only one I know that seems to still be active, besides this one, is indiegamerchick.com.

    7. @Bob: You could try ‘The Indie Mine’ and ‘Fate of the Game’. They’ve covered XBLIG games in the past, and still do, though they are more PC-centric. You could contact ‘IndieGraph’ as well. All of the sites are linked in ‘The Friends’ sidebar up top.

      Armlessoctopus.com too, covers indie games. Haven’t seen many XBLIG there as of late, but it’s worth a shot!

    8. @Bob: Writings of Mass Deduction covers XBLIG titles as well, and he has been doing so (at the rate of one per day) for the last 1208 days, give or take.

    9. Yeah, I can see now it couldn’t have been much of an inspiration at the start because of the development time. At any rate, it makes it easier for myself and others to sort of ‘classify’ the game quickly for a review or for describing the gameplay in a sentence or two.

    10. So my opinion on the price point is that I think lowing it now would do you a disservice. I think being a new game that more would have picked it up on first try if your price was lower however I don’t think you will win those people back by now lowering the price. I think you would be better served using websites like this and the podcast that Edgar Alan posted below and things of the like to get them to help promote what you got going. Talk about any updates you have planned and show you want to continue to support and improve the game at this point and maybe even explain your positioning on that price might just serve you well. This of course might only be one persons opinion however I will be buying it even if you raised the price.

    11. Well, I make be mistaken but, One Finger Death Punch got a lot of attention, it even got like 60 comments or more in the review on this site, got amazing reviews, won some competition… and even so, the game did not sell that well even at one dollar. I think XBLIG is not much about advertising (though it helps A LOT), the ones that sells are clones of the bigger games, like Castleminer Z, Avatar Warfare, and Murder Miners (Ace of Spades clone). Is more about luck and stuff, but I have to say, I tried the demo plus this review, I think I might pick it up but sometime in the future, being a fan of the the Isometric RPG on PC I have to try this game. I dont remember playing something similiar on a console. If you check Tim’s leaderboard I think less than 5 games are in the top sellers, and those are very good games. So, the high price plus how the XBLIG works, I dont know… But again, I think I will pick it up in the near future. And this is a young guy personal opinion,(not saying all youngters think 2 much about getting a 5 dollar indie game). What I mean is… the game worth the 5 dollars? Hell yeah!! If it was XBLA it will be a gold mine, but XBLIG… only time will tell.

    12. Another good point, and the whole OFDP thing still baffles me. Excellent game that won Microsoft’s own competition for indies, and they didn’t ask to put that on XBLA (part of the prize IS consideration for an arcade release)? Perfect example of a great game at a low price still not being enough to sway people. Another one that deserves a re-release on Xbox One. Maybe then people will take more notice.

    13. Hey Bob, great game, sir. I can’t even begin to imagine the man-hours and effort that went into building this game. To pull it all together into a cohesive product… major props to you. Well done.

      For me, personally, I wouldn’t feel cheated by a price drop. Part of my mission in reviewing XBLIGs is paying for each game I review, thus supporting indie development (in a very tiny way). Sure, that all adds up over reviews / time, but two dollars wouldn’t change the experience I had with it at all. Maybe I curse your name in private, but publicly, no offense will be taken. 🙂

      As for the price drop itself, I would say yes. I may have sounded a little melodramatic in the opening paragraph, though a lot of that is based on experience, hearing about it or reading about it elsewhere. Indie games on the Xbox come with a certain stereotype, a reputation for being cheaply-made, and are— you can thank all the boob games and clones for this— not to be taken as serious games / developers otherwise. Is that fair? Not at all. Plenty of great games and great developers out there. But such is the label they’ve been stuck with (something I hope will be removed entirely for their run on Xbox One, fingers crossed), and with that label comes the idea that absolutely NO game on XBLIG should cost more than a dollar, regardless of quality or content.

      Obviously, you can’t drop it to that price level with the current file size, but by moving it down to $2.99, you will open the game up to a larger audience. There will still be some that refuse to part with $3 for an indie game, but that can’t be helped. Given the brief lifespan of XBLIGs (developers have said that their game loses most of its sales momentum once it drops off the new release list), whatever you decide, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

      By the way, is the sales data for XBLIGs still broken? I’d ask how the Trials / Purchase ratio is, but if I know Microsoft like I think I know Microsoft, nobody has done anything to fix that yet.

    14. Not that it will make you feel better, but I have heard of worse. 🙂 For a $5 title, that might be better than expected. Not sure, as only a handful of other games really test the waters at that price point.

      I am curious about the 3-star rating it’s sitting at right now. I wonder if people are down-rating purely because of the price, as I can’t imagine anyone who has bought it voting it as merely ‘average’.

    15. I agree, that ranking seems quite curious and undeserved. I’ve seen loads of far worse games with higher “early” rankings, and that is worrisome.

    16. The thought did occur. All the feedback I’ve got has been good, although there have been bug reports, which I’m trying to get a patch out for. If you like the game, please help support it by rating it up 🙂

    17. I’d also include IndieGames.com, they often feature XBLIGs.
      If you have the time, it might be worth putting a press kit together (text document with info about the game, screenshots, trailer) and mailing it to the bigger gaming sites as well. They’re always looking for content so you never know whether they’ll pick it up or not.

    18. I second that motion started by Edgar. Normally, indie games from smaller teams can’t pierce the armor of bigger sites, but since your game is larger than the typical indie release and more… forgive me, not the phrasing I want to use… ‘professional-looking’, they may be more receptive to it. Worth a shot, as everyone has been saying.

      Also, off-topic, but I apologize about the ‘comments’ section taking a confusing turn. I altered the format to where you can only reply to the original comment made. This will keep everyone’s subsequent reply in line, without all the ‘shrinking down’ that occurred previously. It was a change I wanted to make for awhile, but after viewing the site on my phone last night, I was feeling sorry for everyone on a mobile device / tablet that would have to scroll down through the longer replies in those tiny columns. This will make things a little cleaner and easier to look at.

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