impulse weekly

Darwinia Comes to XBLA, And The Return Of Blaster Master

by Matt Miller on Feb 09, 2010 at 07:09 AM

This week’s downloadable game releases, delivered in one neatly tied package.

Darwinia was originally released on PC and Mac in 2005, but its latest version is now headed to Xbox Live Arcade. Darwinia+ combines all the gameplay of the original and combines it with the multiplayer-enabled Multiwinia, then proceeds to update both for a first appearance on consoles. The game blends strategy, puzzle, and action elements to great effect. The Darwinians are tiny AI creatures that live within a massive network of old computers. They are pit against a computer virus that’s out to destroy them, and it’s the players task to help them survive, flourish, and expand their population. This clever and original title will hit on Wednesday, February 10th, for 1200 Microsoft points, better known to your credit card as $15.

Don’t let your head explode or anything, but there’s a sequel to Blaster Master. Yep, you’re as surprised as we were. Blaster Master Overdrive is available on WiiWare, and it retains many of the features that made the original such a beloved classic on the NES. Gameplay alternates between side-scrolling vehicle levels and top-down action stages. The game’s out now, and available for download for 1000 Wii Points ($10).

A late announcement came our way last week, so it didn’t make it into last week’s installment of Impulse Weekly. But it’d be a shame to miss out on mentioning Fret Nice, which showed up on PlayStation Netwrok last Thursday. Tecmo’s downloadable game will happily populate your hard drive for $14.99. The game’s a strange beast. Ostensibly a platform game, Fret Nice can be played with either a normal controller or a guitar controller. While playing, nailing particular musical riffs will destroy your enemies. Each enemy type has its own unique combination that must be played to finish it off. The highly stylized paper-cut-out look of the game and the unique control mechanics are worth a look.

As always, wondering which of these, if any, you’ll be picking up. Any other short-form downloadable games on your radar in the coming weeks that you'd like to hear more about?