We’re late, and it seems that’s become somewhat of a trend for us lately. Our Game of the Year awards weren’t doled out until January, and now our look forward at the XBLA and Xbox One XBLA-type games of 2014 is just making its way to you in February. You were on your own when it came to planning out January’s releases, but now it’s time for our annual look ahead at the top downloadable games likely to arrive on an Xbox platform during the (remainder of) the year ahead. Read on to find out what you can expect out of Xbox over the next (not quite) 365.
Developer: International Games
Set aboard a doomed space station in which the flow of time has stopped, Constant C has you playing as a rescue robot navigating the paused wreckage to save the station and its survivors. Constant C is a 2D-platformer boasting gorgeous soft blues and reds on a jet-black background. As the rescue robot, you will manipulate time and space to overcome the puzzles and challenges you’re pitted against. The time manipulation is based on your touch; whatever you touch returns the object to the flow of time, such as blocks paused in mid-fall. The gravity manipulation consists of tilting the 2D screen in 90-degree rotations. Both abilities will be crucial to traversing the 100+ mind-blowing stages. Met with favorable reviews on PC, Constant C is now on its way to XBLA this spring.
Developer: Hitbox Team
Cleaning has never been so badass. Not convinced? How’s fast-paced 2D acrobatic platforming across gorgeous matte environments rich with exploration and challenge sound? See, cleaning is cool. Dustforce tasks you, a kickass janitor, with traversing levels to clean dust, leaves, goo and whatever other icky gunk you can find to leave a spotless terrain and the utmost janitorial bragging rights. The game actually puts you in the role of four characters, each with their own unique abilities to annihilate those dust bunnies. This “sweep ‘em up” platformer has over 50 levels to cleanse, in-depth leaderboards for your best high scores, and even a competitive multiplayer mode with 10 maps and a level editor. Last we heard, Dustforce was coming early this year on Xbox 360 (it’s already out on PS3 and PS Vita), so grab a broom and dustpan to begin practicing around your home as you anticipate the game’s Xbox debut.
Developer: Moonspider Studio
Harold‘s titular character loves running, and running and more running. He loves running so much that he seems to forget the deathly obstacles in his way. That’s where you come in. You play Gabe, Harold’s guardian angel, responsible for removing these obstacles and providing a safe path for Harold. What could potentially be an evolution of the runner sub-genre, this fast-paced side-scrolling platformer will take you across colorful hand-drawn worlds reminiscent of old Disney movies, all set to dynamic gospel music. According to Moonspider Studio’s Facebook post back in September, we should be seeing Harold early this year, so hopefully we won’t have to wait long for what’s promised to be quite the fun, twitch-savvy platformer.
Game of Thrones
Developer: Telltale Games
Telltale has become quite the favorite among the staff here at XBLA Fans, and chances are it’s one of your favorites too. Breathing new life into the all-too-often-overlooked adventure genre with its critically acclaimed hits of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, Telltale aims to tackle two more beloved franchises this year with Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones.
Not much is known about the story of Telltale’s adaptation of Game of Thrones so far. Will we assume the role of our favorite characters from Westeros? The coming-of-age John Snow? The clever imp Tyrion Lannister? Or the vengeful exiled Daenerys Targayren? Also to question is whether we’ll assume the roles of multiple characters or just one. Maybe we’ll assume someone entirely new and different from George R.R. Martin’s novels. With the ever-expanding realm of Westeros and Essos, the opportunities are endless, but we’re excited either way for Telltale’s Game of Thrones later this year.
Developer: Drinkbox Studios
Metroidvania games have become an exciting sub-genre over the years by tasking players with insightful exploration and engaging backtracking to complete games. Contrasting the alien Metroid and gothic Castlevania, Guacamelee! re-skins the genre with a flavorful Mexican motif full of vibrant color pairings and wrestling masks. You play as Juan Aguacate, tasked with saving El Presidente’s daughter from an Evil Charro Skeleton. The game enjoys a strong melee combat component and dimension shifting that blends the line between fighting and platforming. Guacamelee! was met with very favorable reviews on PS3, PS Vita and Steam, so we’re waiting with great anticipation for this gem to (reportedly) grace our Xbox Ones this spring.
Wondering what other games are headed to XBLA and Xbox One in 2014? Check out the rest of our look at the year ahead and wonder no more:
XBLA Fans Games of 2014 graphic designed by Brandin Tyrrel.