While big budget button bashers are great there’s a lot to be said for small indie game makers these days. With the tools for cheap publishing made available a lot of great ideas are making it to your console. We’ve found the best for the Xbox One ready for you to download and enjoy on the next gen console.
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
Max is a side-scrolling platformer, but unlike some, it doesn’t demand jumping precision thanks to a floating jump, allowing you to focus on good story and surrounding visuals - fully immersing you in the game. The story is of Max travelling to an alternate universe to save his brother’s life - after creating a portal to get rid of him in the first place. This is a sequel to Max and the Magic Marker and is also available on Xbox 360.
Max uses his magic marker from the first game to create platforms from the earth for climbing and jumping through the level. This will mean plenty of puzzles from the environment to keep your mind challenged as you progress.
The game, developed by Press Play, adds a new level of depth to the series as it goes from pure 2D to 2.5D with giant 3D monsters chasing after the hero for a movie-quality feel. It’s one of the best looking side-scrollers you can get on a console today. Not bad for a meagre £12.
The follow-up to one of the greatest arcade-style puzzle games ever is here for Xbox One. Set in the same peg-popping paradise this sequel adds 120 new levels, improved power-ups, top multiplayer modes, gesture controls with the Kinect for Xbox One, and the ability to costomise Peggle Masters who host the game.
Like the original game you launch balls down a board filled with blue and orange pegs. Pegs struck by the ball are eliminated from the board, and it's your job to remove all the orange pegs before running out of shots. Purple pegs boost your score, a moving bucket that earns you free shots when you catch a ball with it and, most important of all, green pegs activate your chosen Peggle Master's special ability, which generally makes clearing out orange pegs much easier.
For many this sequel will be a purchase of necessity rather than choice after getting the Peggle addiction. But at $12 (£7) it’s a small price to pay for your fix. And with four new Peggle Masters you’ll learn new powers which you can use with up to four mates in Peg Party mode.
Halo: Spartan Assault
The downloadable Halo: Spartan Assault was a huge draw for many Xbox One console buyers, and with good reason. The top-down shooter is perfect for online multiplayer while also offering a wide variety of locations. Set between Halo 3 and 4 this is 343 Industries and Vanguard Games’ new chapter in the Halo series.
For your $15 (£10) you’ll get 30 missions which reveal more on the Human-Coveneant backstory, online co-op missions, the first appearance of the Flood in the Spartan series, Operation Hydra from the Windows 8 game, more weapons, armour and upgrades.
If you’ve bought Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 you’ll get it on Xbox One (or Xbox 360 from January) for $5 (£3).
Despite apparently being aimed at the Xbox 360 originally Powerstar Golf is an addictive, fun RPG-like sports game. The Pixar style graphics are a lot of fun and the progression system will have you hooked. While the asynchronous multiplayer will keep the game on your regular play list long after you’ve completed it once through.
Each character poses superpowers including temporary boosts to shot distance or slowing of the swing timer. Other cool powers include Henry the illusionist’s magic ball that splits into five after your’ve hit it.
Little XP bonuses will have you hooked. Achieve par or better on three holes for a boost, or land an approach shot within a short distance to the pin for more. And as you build up your skills improve like reducing hook, skim the ball across water, or improve clubs for power. Not bad for $20 (£12).
Hailing from 1995’s Panzer Dragon this Japanese-made game is visually stunning and is, essentially, an on-rail shooter. While the left analogue stick steers your dragon the right aims your firing reticules for an immersive control style that should keep you focused.
Earn XP to upgrade weapons, skills and wingmen. These wingmen can be commanded to protect your rear or fight out in front, or sit at your side giving access to limited smart-bomb attacks. Other weapons on your dragon include screen-swiping lasers, flurries of rockets, and lock-and-release missiles.
If this proves successful its creator Yukio Futatsugi says he’d like to return to create a full-blown RPG version of the game. Get Crimson Dragon on Xbox One now for $20 (£12).