Soul (XBox 360 Indie Games)

by PaulEMoz in , , , ,

I had thought about downloading a few indie game demos, and maybe doing a little featurette on them. And then I came across a game called Soul, and was completely stopped in my tracks.

In this game, you start off dead. There you are, just lying there, dead. And then a light rises from your body... your soul. The idea is to guide your soul into the light, and away from the bowels of hell.

The basic gameplay is very straightforward... it's basically a "don't touch the wire!" game. In other words, each screen has a course you must navigate with your soul, without touching anything. Touch something and your soul will burst, and you'll go back to the start of the screen.

This one's relatively easy... there's only one way you can go!

It's the way the game is presented that makes it so effective. The game has a dirty, grimy look to it, which is very atmospheric. Besides the backgrounds, there are nasty, growling monsters which spring up (or down!) at you. And at rare moments, a scary face pops onto the screen and screams at you, which is quite unsettling, at least the first few times it happens.

The only downside is that once you press Start, that's it. You can't pause the game, and you can't save it. And there are no lives or score... you just play to get to the end, or not at all. It can be a bit frustrating at times, but that's the nature of the gameplay, and your own cack-handedness.

Still, I don't see those problems as gamebreaking. Soul is actually a real little indie delight. It's extremely compelling, once you get started, and although there are those frustrations which might see you switching it off, you'll probably come back to it soon after. I mean, come on. It's 80 points. That's about 65p in UK money. Just buy it. I dare you.