Taking a look at the XBox Live list of “Indie Games” one doesn’t get the impression that there’s a lot of quality titles among them. Baby Maker Extreme? Prank Call? Minecraft clones , odd dating sims, it’s just a sea of ridiculous games of highly questionable quality. It almost makes it seem like there’s nothing good available, but if you thought that you’d be very, very wrong.
Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is a tribute to an old PC staple, Oregon Trail. This “edutainment” title was in most schools right next to such greats as Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and the Encarta Multimedia Encyclopedia. Sparsevector’s version however is light on the edutainment, and much heavier on the frantic animal murder.
Taking the concept of three people in a wagon making their way to Oregon in the 1800s, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure updates it to make it a rail shooter that constantly keeps you on your toes, not with a screen full of bullets or insane boss fights, but with random events that could be anything from exploring a cave full of giant spiders, to taking mushrooms and fighting off imaginary demons. The concept is fantastic and even has branching choices in parts of the game that could possibly make it harder or easier to make it to the end of the trail. Once you get to the end Shuffle mode is unlocked and you can play an even crazier version of the story mode.
For 80 Monkey Banana Raffle Tickets (or whatever Microsoft calls their fake currency) it is one of the best games you can buy on XBox Live, period. Not just a good Indie Game, but a great game all around. These guys did an excellent job making an enjoyable, funny game that’s the right mix of nostalgia and interesting new gameplay. If you don’t absolutely love this game I hope you die of dysentery.