This week in ID@Xbox: Bulb-headed boys, witches in school, and ninja show downs

Bulb Boy Xbox One

Welcome to our column that looks back at the week’s ID@Xbox releases for Xbox One!

It has been a very busy ID@Xbox release week, with no less than thirteen new indie games on the market. Five different shooters, two ninja games, and one very creepy adventure game will keep players on their toes as Halloween month kicks off.

ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug X

ACA NeoGeo Metal Slug X Xbox One

Japanese publisher Hamster’s ACA series is a collection of emulated NeoGeo arcade classics – we reviewed one-on-one fighter ACA World Heroes 2 and found it pretty solid and well-emulated.

SNK’s Metal Slug series is a long-running line of run-and-gun shooters that continues to this day. Metal Slug X is a revamped version of Metal Slug 2, considered by many to be the best in the series. It features two-player local co-op and (hopefully) easy Achievements.

Metal Slug X costs $7.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch.

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Battle Chasers: Nightwar

Looking for a clever RPG with turn-based combat? Battle Chasers from Airship Syndicate and THQ Nordic is just such a game. The game starts with introduction overkill – you get three different intros before the game begins.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar for Xbox One

Eventually, you’ll find yourself in control of a couple of your mercenary team’s members who fell from their airship into unfamiliar lands. Exploration in Battle Chasers is divided between randomly generated 3D environments and a 2D overworld map. The 3D exploration parts are zoomed out a bit far, but the colorful art style makes up for the smallness. Battles play out in classic turn-based style. They’re both nostalgic and fun, which is exactly my impression of Battle Chasers so far.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar for Xbox One

Battle Chasers: Nightwar costs $29.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Switch.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Bulb Boy

October is the month for spooky games, and Bulb Boy from two-man Polish developer Bulbware is the first creepy ID@Xbox game of the month. It stars the titular Bulb Boy, a weird but cute lad who can remove his head and use it as a light bulb.

Bulb Boy is a point-and-click adventure game featuring a monochrome green color palette, weird music, and utterly bizarre characters. All dialog is delivered via speech bubbles filled with drawings. There is no text at all, just as in adventure classic Machinarium.

Bulb Boy Xbox One

The story kicks in when Bulb Boy, who lives with his grandpa and moth-dog, goes to sleep one night. A dark presence enters their home and transforms gramps into a hideous monster. Things just get weirder from there, as Bulb Boy must toss his head around light fixtures to avoid the many grotesque arms of the invader. With an incredibly unique and bizarre aesthetic, adventure/puzzle fans with a love for the macabre will eat Bulb Boy like candy.

Bulb Boy Xbox One

Bulb Boy sells for $8.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Switch.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

The Culling 1.0

After joining Xbox Game Preview back in June, The Culling from Xaviant Games has finally launched as a full game. The launch version gets a bunch of new weapons, items, and bug fixes.

In The Culling, 16 online players must fight to the death as contestants in first-person combat. Most weapons are melee weapons that cause different types of wounds on opponents, but you can wield bows and guns too. Players can also craft equipment and build traps. Hopefully, this will be a bloody good time for the online battle royale crowd, but the Steam version is said to be a ghost town.

The Culling costs $24.99 on Xbox One and Steam. The game is also said to be coming to Windows 10, at which point it will become an Xbox Play Anywhere title.

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Inversus Deluxe

Ready for something different? Inversus Deluxe from Hypersect is a competitive 2D shooter/puzzle game in which you play as either a black or white shape. Players can only move through space of the opposite color, so they’ll blast away at the environment to create room to roam. Arcade mode supports solo-play and two-player local co-op, whereas versus mode lets up to four local gamers compete. Inversus might not have flashy looks, but it certainly plays like nothing else out there.

Inversus Deluxe sells for $14.99 on Xbox One and Steam, with the PlayStation 4 version simply titled Inversus.

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Iron Wings

You don’t see many aerial dogfighting games on Xbox One, but Iron Wings from Naps Team is exactly that: a WWII aerial shooter. This is an arcade-style third-person take on the genre in which you can switch between two planes with unique armaments at any time, completing missions to advance the story. Iron Wings is said to be unfairly difficult at times, but dogfighting fans might want to take it for a test flight anyway.

Iron Wings costs $23.99 on Xbox One and $19.99 on Steam.

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JYDGE

10tons, makers of Neon Chrome and Time Recoil, have just unleashed another twin-stick shooter. JYDGE draws inspiration from Judge Dredd and RoboCop but takes place in the Neon Chrome cyberpunk universe. Play as your own highly customizable futuristic judge, rescue civilians, and dispense death to the guilty.

JYDGE Xbox One

Although JYDGE has separate levels, it cleverly uses rogue-like elements – items you collect and doors you open stay opened, making replaying missions for more medals and money that much easier. Customizing your judge’s powers and weapons is genuinely fun and addictive, making this a fine return to form after the disappointment of Time Recoil. Don’t miss it.

JYDGE Xbox One

JYDGE sells for $14.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam. During release week, get it for $11.99.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Let Them Come

Here’s a different sort of shooter from Tuatara Games and Versus Evil. Based on movies like Aliens, you play as a lone soldier trapped in a corridor besieged by vicious aliens. You’ll man a turret the entire time, fighting to survive waves of enemies.

Let Them Come Xbox One

This would be pretty fun, except you can only aim with the left stick – highly counterintuitive on a controller. The developers need to patch in support for right stick aiming before I can possibly recommend Let Them Come.

Let Them Come Xbox One

Let Them Come sells for $7.99 on Xbox One and $4.99 on Steam.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Marble Void

Navigate a heroic marble through over 40 3D mazes as a marble in this challenging platformer. Rolling as a marble through complex levels is said to be fun for a while, but word is the challenge gets too high eventually. Still, if you’re looking for something like Marble Blast Ultra, this is the only Xbox game that will fill the void.

Marble Void rings up at $4.99 on Xbox One and Steam.

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Mystik Belle

If you don’t own a 3DS and Metroid: Samus Returns, you can still experience great Metroidvania platforming gameplay with Mystik Belle, from one-man developer Lost Dimension and WayForward.

Mystik Belle Xbox One

Playing as a young witch, you’ll have to defeat beautifully-drawn monsters and solve lots of puzzles to save your school – and the world! It’s a vibrant adventure with cute characters and impressive 16-bit artwork and effects. The puzzles can be very challenging at times, but that helps give this platformer a feel all its own. See our full review for more details.

Mystik Belle sells for $14.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

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N++ (N Plus Plus)

Metanet’s long-awaited sequel to classic Xbox 360 platformer N+ is here! You’ll play as a tiny ninja who must run and jump through a lengthy single-player campaign. N++ features over 4,000 hand-crafted, short-but-tough levels. Get your multiplayer fix with four-player co-op and competitive modes.

The first N+ wasn’t my cup of tea, but this one is more colorful and packed to the brim with content. If you like punishing platformers, you’ll probably want to give in and get N++.

N++ costs $14.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

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Ninja Shodown

Need more slicing and dicing in your ninja games? Ninja Shodown lets up to four shinobi warriors fight it out in a variety of 2D platforming arenas. Play cooperatively or competitively in six different game modes, battling bosses and striving to be the last ninja standing.

Ninja Shodown

With a great Bad Dudes-like retro art style and fun premise, this looks like a great way to practice your ninja skills with friends.

Ninja Shodown sneaks out for $14.99 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and $12.99 on Steam.

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Zombie Party

One last twin-stick shooter before we go! Zombie Party is a roguelike twin-stick shooter in which players travel through time to save the world from armies of zombies and other fierce monsters. Over 50 playable characters, loads of weapons and loot, huge bosses, and local co-op all sound like a great time. But the art style falls on the ugly side, and the gameplay is said to lack variety and excitement. Still, with friends this might be a zombie party worth attending.

Zombie Party costs $9.99 on Xbox One and Steam.

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Which ID@Xbox games are you getting this week? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you for your visit on this page This week in ID@Xbox: Bulb-headed boys, witches in school, and ninja show downs

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