IndieTrials
Master of the Seven Teas
Developed by Gaslight Games
Released on March 13th 2013
Sold on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on March 17th 2013 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for the game is nice and bold but doesn't really give away anything about what the game is about (except for a pirate scull beneath the logo text).

Upon loading the game you're presented with a rather nice and bold menu system. Everything is large and clear and I quickly jump in to a game (noting that the default difficulty seems to be set to very easy).
Trial experience
The game loads and you're presented with a few of a teacup with flies buzzing around and items floating in the (pretty gorgeous rippling) water. Then down pop a few pirate ships and you're pitted head to head against another pirate ship in the tea-cup sized ocean.

The controls are fairly intuitive as far as movement and firing is concerned. I was able to navigate the teacup fairly well for the most part and soon figured out that each of the triggers would fire my cannons on the port and startboard sides of my ship. It takes me a few minutes to destroy all of the other ships across three waves and I'm dropped in to a new teacup on level two. I quickly die though and think I should check out the tutorial on the menu.

The controls screen on the tutorial shows there's a lot more to the game with the ability to raise and lower your cannons for longer shots and also some special abilities which can be picked up while navigating the tea-cup.

I start up another game and this time try out a few of these special abilities but didn't quite understand how or when to use them. A few levels later and my trial is up.
Overall thoughts
The game is quite enjoyable to play, the controls are simple enough that you can just jump in to the game and start blowing up ships but I'm sure with more ships in the teacup and using some of the special abilities things can get pretty hectic in there!

The graphics are absolutely perfect for this game. Easily on par with what you'd expect to see on XBLA for a game like this. The levels have unique tea-cup designs and also show a little of the surrounding area behind which is nice, but at times I did feel like it was just taking up a lot of space on screen when the tea-cup could be rendered much larger.

While I imagine multiplayer is going to be fun in this game I couldn't see any clear indication of progression in the single player. If it'd told me my times or how many ships I'd taken out or how many levels I'd completed it would provide an incentive to continue playing (past the trial) but it seemed like each new-game was an entirely separate experience.

Good game though and not a lot of games of this quality on XBLIG so definitely worth trying!
Rating