Let's face it: a lot of the games in the indie section of Xbox Live are filth. Most are priced at $1, and who ever develops these games seems to think the cheap price point justifies a shoddy product. Bat Country Entertainment is not one of those developers, because AardBloxX is not one of those games. AardBloxX is more than what it seems. On the surface, it is simply a 3D puzzle game. In reality, it is the first combined effort of former Vicarious Vision employees (Activision) . It is difficult to judge how developers will react when separated from the army of overseers; they could sink or float. Bat Country Entertainment is no different.
The idea behind AardBloxX is that you (the player) are looking down a corridor from above, and blocks are falling down. You arrange the blocks to fit neatly around each other. The better you do, the more points you get. Pretty standard stuff. The game is very similar to another arcade puzzle game from the late 80's. If you have played it, you'll know how this game plays.
What makes AardBloxX stand out are it's overwhelming customization features. This is where it shines the brightest. You might wonder, "how many options could there be for a simple puzzle game?" The answer is "a lot". There are many themes and tweaks to extend the longevity of the game. Many of these are changes to the environment. And I don't mean a simple palette or texture swap. The entire environment could be altered to make the game, at a glance, unrecognizable as the same game.
AardBloxX is not without faults, however. The first time in the menu screen, I chose the "advanced" option to take a look. Afterward, I went to "done". Immediately, the game began. I found out later that if I were to start the game from the regular menu, it would have given me instructions for the controls. Without them, it took a while for me to adjust to the game. There were other minuscule errors hardily worth complaining about as well. The menu says "alpha 1.0", which for some reason, I doubt as being true. The music, which although is appropriate and fits the game well, has a noticeable gap before it loops.
Compared to many other Xbox Indie games, the flaws of AardBloxX are nonexistent. In other XBox Indie games, I've seen text running off the screen. I've experienced nonexistent loading screens. I've seen entries so broken that I can't believe they made it as far as they have. It's embarrassing, really. Admittedly, AardBloxX is not very original as a game. But this is no simple side-scroller either. It's an intricate 3D puzzle game that is leaps and bounds over others available in the same genre. For $1, it's a bargain. In essence, Bat Country Entertainment have shown they are competent and willing, and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us next.