Excerpt: With the introduction of spiders, things rapidly became more difficult. I had to rely on grenades to damage them, as they seemed immune to laser fire. Making that difficult was their habit of suddenly pouncing at my unit when within range. Until I'd really enhanced my grenade-throwing range and could blast them before they noticed my squad's presence, they were able to decimate squads with ease.
Excerpt: Unapologetically retro, Darwinia was released to critical acclaim back in 2005, exclusively for the PC. In the following year, Introversion’s game brought home three out of five awards at IGF (Independent Game Festival), setting a record for the most wins at IGF which remains untouched to this day. Within that year, a straight port was announced for Xbox Live Arcade, with plans to release the downloadable title relatively quickly.
Excerpt: In 2005, indie developer Introversion released Darwinia , a quirky, silly RTS for the PC that garnered a good amount of critical acclaim. Hoping to continue on that success, the developer followed it up with a multiplayer component, aptly entitled Multiwinia , and announced plans to bring their games to the Xbox Live Arcade.
Conclusion: Darwinia+ is an excellent addition to any Xbox Live Arcade library. With a full length campaign mode and a great variety of fun multiplayer maps, it’s definitely 1200 points worth of win! The experience, however, is strongly reliant on Xbox Live connectivity. If you beat a location in the single player campaign, and aren’t connected to Xbox Live at the time, the game doesn’t even register your score!
Conclusion: Owners of the PC version won’t find anything in the XBLA port to convince them to part with their money a second time unless they’re desperately looking to experience the game from the comfort of a sofa. The team at Introversion have added nothing new to their games, but Darwinia+ is a well-handled port, with a competent re-imagining of the control scheme, of a game that’s comfortably stood the test of time.
Conclusion: Overall, Darwinia+ is basically just a good port of the original games. Nothing in Darwinia+ is spectacularly breathtaking, but it manages to rope you in with all its charm and subtle nerd humor, and you just don’t want to let go. The story is original and cleverly delivered through short blurbs of text from Dr. Sepulveda, and the gameplay stays fresh long enough for you to enjoy yourself the whole way.
Summary: Darwinia+ combines the story-based Darwinia, and the multiplayer-focused Multiwinia. The bundle delivers one of the most robust and satisfying experiences to hit Xbox Live Arcade, and while it has a few issues here and there, there is a lot to love.
Pros: Great mix of RTS and action, Charming and quirky design, Fantastic sound design and soundtrack
Cons: Controlling units can be frustrating at times, Not always clear what to do/how to do it