IndieTrials
Missing Reel
Developed by CS419
Released on February 5th 2010
Sold on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on March 22nd 2011 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for Missing Reel is very well designed and looks as good as some of the box art for games available on Xbox Live Arcade. THe intro screens to the game are nice, but the first screen has a jumpy animation (presumably loading at the same time) and the backgrounds to the menus look a little dated with that pre-rendered look games from the 90s had. First impressions are good but we're not sure what to expect from the game at this point.
Trial experience
Upon loading up the first level you're shown the view of a crossroads which is nicely designed and lit by only four street lights. You have 3 companion AI players (who would be 'real' players if you were playing co-op or on Xbox Live presumably.

After a few seconds the first wave starts and I start blasting away at the enemies, the controls are well thought out and the movement and animation of the aliens that are attacking is nice too. The background music is an eerie slow alien sounding piece, I do wonder if a faster more arcade style music track would suit the game better but it sets the mood of the game.

The camera movement in the game works very well, with small movements while keeping the player in view.

While playing, I can't help but think this game would have made a great zombie shooter too, it almost has a Left 4 Dead feel to it and we know how well zombie games generally do on XBLIG.

After playing though each wave we finally reach the bos battle, the boss fires out more projectiles than the smaller aliens and I get hit by most of them while trying to shoot back at him. Unfortunately the trial ends just as we're about to kill the boss but the game has kept me playing right to the end of the trial.
Overall thoughts
Missing Reel is a frantic twin-stick alien survival shooter with a 50's B-movie theme which sets it apart from most other shooters.

While I think the introductory art work could have been better the actual gameplay more than makes up for it.

The game is really nice to play, it feels fluid and genuinely challenging. I like how you have the AI players working with you and it really does feel like you're covering each-other. They're not just mindless bots making you do all the work. I imagine this being much more fun playing with friends too.
Rating