Back in 2011 Microsoft acquired the Indie studio, Twisted Pixel. Best known for developing the addictive and difficult platformer, ‘Splosion Man’, they failed to make much of an impact while under Microsoft’s umbrella. They did however develop one of the Xbox One’s launch titles. Sadly that game was the notorious ‘LocoCycle’. Microsoft are now spinning out the studio who will be returning to their previous state as a privately held independent company.
Twisted Pixel co-founder Josh Bear had the following to say;
“Microsoft has been an incredible partner since day one and we’ve always kept a background dialog open with them about the idea of returning to an independent studio model if the timing made sense for us,”.
One could be forgiven for thinking that Twisted Pixel were of little relevance following their poor showing since 2011 but prior to this off period they developed a number of indie gems. In 2009 they developed ‘The Maw’, the action-adventure game about Frank the alien and his amorphous buddy known as The Maw. The game was well received and was even a finalist at the 2009 Independent Games Festival. Later that year they released ‘ ‘Splosion Man’, the game all about an escaped science experiment with the power to explode himself. This extremely challenging platformer was a resounding success proving to be one of the best selling games the week that it launched. No small feat for an indie.
In 2010 they released a lesser known title but one that was equally admired by both critics and fans. ‘Comic Jumper’ is a 2D sidescrolling beat-em-up with a great sense of humour. When Captain Smiley’s own comic fails to succeed he is forced to jump into other, more popular, comics to try and find out why they work. While the gameplay was solid it was the art that really made this game shine as they cleverly switched between comic genres switching up the visuals with each new comic. It’s worth the price of entry just to play the Manga levels.
2011 saw them release ‘Ms. ‘Splosion Man’, a superb sequel to a superb game with added shoes and sparkle. This actually managed to be even more difficult than its predecessor much to the delight of the majority although co-op levels may have resulted in the ruining of several friendships. Their second game of 2011 was the Kinect title, ‘The Gunstringer’, a third person rail shooter designed as a play based on the Wild West. Just like in all our childhood games this was a hands for guns game and was one of the more enjoyable titles to use the Kinect 1.0.
Since joining with Microsoft they have only developed LocoCycle, widely regarded as one of the worst launch titles of this generation. Hopefully this news will see them return to their old form and we’ll see some great games from them in the near future. Perhaps it’s finally time for ‘ ‘Splosion Man Jr.’ .
Source: Twisted Pixel