Tag Archives: Shutshimi

And ‘theXBLIG of 2014’ is…

Yes sir, it is that time of year again. That time when we unanimously say, ‘Out with the old and in with the new’, make a whole bunch of resolutions we’ll have forgotten about by February, and hope the new year brings us some sort of sign / luck / love / money / whatever. And if not, we’ll complain about it on Twitter.

For ‘theXBLIG’, the end of the year means an all-new ‘Best-of’ list, narrowing down all of the games released in 2014 into one handy leaderboard, voted on by the community. That’d be you guys and gals, the loveable readership of this fine site1. Just like last year, I’ve rounded up my personal choices for ‘Game of the Year’, listed them in no certain order, then asked you guys to vote on them to see which game would come out on top.

Interestingly enough, though plenty have been spelling doom for XBLIG for some time now, I actually labeled more games ‘leaderboard quality’ this year than last. Whether that trend will continue in 2015 is anyone’s guess, but it’s not a bad ending to an otherwise up-and-down year. Seems you’ve felt the same way, as some games saw massive interest in voting, while others struggled to net a handful of votes. Strange times, but, without further ado, here are the Top Ten…, excuse me, Top Nine (and one write-in), XBLIGs of 2014.


(Sort of but not quite) 10. Fright Light (5 Votes)

Fright Light is the ‘write-in’ vote winner, and I can’t be entirely sure that developer Chris Antoni didn’t just vote five times for his own game, but… so be it. Horror on the cheap, with visuals and production to match, Fright Light did its best Five Nights at Freddy’s impersonation, and didn’t do too bad at it.

9. Shipwreck (3 Votes)

Imagine a classic The Legend of Zelda game. Got that? Okay, now picture that series being handed off to an indie developer. Scared? You shouldn’t be, as Brushfire Games did an excellent job porting over the look, the feel, and the puzzle / dungeon design those games are known for. It’s an overlooked gem.

8. STRACO: Purge & Conquest (4 Votes)

The STRACO series (this game is parts two and three of a trilogy) may not impress you from the start, but its charm and playability wears on you the more you play it. A top-down shooter with heart, humor, and… Optimus Phillip, it’s well worth the look.

7. Dead.Kings (5 Votes)

Dead.Kings

Dead.Kings is a lot like the original BloodyCheckers, which may hurt its originality, but it’s more fun and player trolling per square inch of checkerboard than the now-boring real-life version of the game.

6. Amazing Princess Sarah (10 Votes)

If large breasts and throwing corpses around a stage sounds like an excellent retro-ish platformer to you, then Amazing Princess Sarah is the game for you. This kind of stuff sells itself.

5. Survival Games Season 1 (21 Votes)

Survival Games Season 1

Take the look of Minecraft, add in the survival mechanics and the merciless backstabbing of DayZ, and you’ve got the general idea behind this game. Each match can be a tense affair, a mad dash for limited supplies. Or you can play silly dress up and hide in your private corner of the world. Your choice, no judgement from me.

4. ApocZ (23 Votes)

An impressively-large, post-apocalyptic world full of zombies, the harsh reality of survival, …oh, and the real threat; other asshole humans shooting you in the back and taking all your carefully-scavenged equipment and weapons. Thanks a lot!

3. Shutshimi (37 Votes)

A fish with human arms (and giant muscles). A fish with a cigar-smoking problem. A fish with a ten-second attention span. What does that equal? Neon Deity Games’ ridiculously-fun shooter, which tosses new powerups and modifiers your way every ten seconds.

2. Dead War (49 Votes)

Part overhead shooter, part storyteller, part roguelike, Dead War mixes the good ole’ ‘zombie game’ with those aforementioned pieces to good effect. A nice change of pace from the usual zombified suspects that appear on XBLIG with alarming regularity.

1. Survivalist (139 Votes)

Survivalist

It’s tempting to dismiss XBLIG as a juvenile playground of avatar games, zombie shooters, and Minecraft wannabes, but Survivalist is one of those rare types, the type that sneaks up on you without anyone realizing it. Sure, there’s zombies, but they’re hardly the focus. The game presents you with a huge open world, the onus to survive, and dozens of characters that will remember your actions. One of the best XBLIGs I’ve ever played, Survivalist is a special game.


  1. Not a blog. 
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REVIEW: Shutshimi

When your hero is a cigar-smoking fish with human arms and the muscles to back it up, you just know a game like Shutshimi ($1.00) is going to come after you. If Super Amazing Wagon Adventure was the modern day, hyperventilating re-telling of the Oregon Trail, then Shutshimi is the shooter equivalent of a game jacked up on steroids (come on, you know that fish is juicing), humor, and TL;DR gameplay.

Like SAWA before it, Shutshimi specializes in sample-sized servings of kinetic gameplay, served up in randomized and disparate pieces that somehow manage to form a coherent package. You’re never in the clear or in total control of your fate. Just as you settle into one style or type of weapon, the round is over and the game forces you to switch up your approach and tactics.

Everything in the the game happens in ten-second increments, and it’s more than just a unique hook or bullet point for the back of the game box. Here, that caveat makes perfect sense, stemming from the long-held belief that goldfish only had a few precious seconds of memory (they don’t; in fact, they’re quite clever). Truth be damned, though, if it makes for quick, intense firefights.

Waves end whether you shoot or kill anything, followed up by a ‘shop’ round, where you must choose from a trio of temporary powerups or powerdowns. This can range from a new weapon (shotgun, lasers, etc.), defensive items (fishbowls are life in Shutshimi, saving you from certain death) or…. er… party mode (lots of flashing lights). Either way, it doesn’t come easy, as each effect is hidden somewhere in the often-humorous description. This too, is made all the more thrilling by the short time allowed to select. ‘Read fast and choose wisely’ is the best advice.

Shutshimi - Screen

Even with the constantly-changing modifiers and loadouts, the emphasis is always on shooting and keeping the challenge dialed up. Boss fights provide that test, multi-round affairs that see you whittling away their health over a series of waves (or in one go, if you’re awesome like that), broken up by regular rounds / shop visits. The game’s difficulty options are tiered, allowing you extra lives to get your feet wet (…get it?), before throwing you into the deep end of the pool (…get it?) on the higher settings and tougher fights.

Playing on medium difficulty and above (‘Heartless’ is truly heartless), the game tracks your scoring records and saves progress towards a number of awardments and unlockables. You can don a number of fancy hats that give your fish a certain style, or open up a few other extras if you’re sufficiently skilled (….I …I am not).

That doesn’t change the fact that Shutshimi is one seriously badass fish. Sure, it’s random and all over the place, but that’s exactly what makes it fun and worthy of your time. No two gameplay sessions ever play the same. It takes a risk in throwing the ordinary shooter conventions aside, ultimately relying on its charming, schizophrenic style and challenging gameplay to win you over. And it does. This fish comes highly recommended.1

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Review on Indie Gamer Chick


  1. This review is also featured at Indiepitome 

‘Shutshimi’! Ah, gesundheit!

Okay, so fine, maybe it’s not the sound someone makes when they sneeze, but it got your attention, didn’t it? Shutshimi is instead a retro-themed side-scrolling shooter coming from Neon Deity Games early in the new year. It stars a fish, with beefy human arms, carrying a shotgun. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

In keeping with the ‘fish’ theme and myths that just won’t die, everything in the game lasts ten seconds, which is the length of our aquatic friend’s damaged memory. That goes for the waves of enemies you’ll face, and the amount of time you’ll have to shop for powerups (both good and bad) between rounds. With randomized items and levels, the quickened pace, and plenty of headgear to don (who doesn’t enjoy a good hat?), Shutshimi should be… different, to say the very least.

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Shutshimi will cost you $1 when it releases in January. You can follow the developers on Twitter here, or swim over to the main site (a PC demo is available).