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It's been a while, but we're back with another installment of our Xbox Live Developer Interview series! This time we talk with Paul Kelly, director of IronSun Studios. The British development house has already brought IonBallEX, Battlewagon, and MonstaFish to Xbox Live. Here we discuss some of their influences, design philosophies, and even their next Live game. Head past the break for the full interview and lots of exclusive concept art!

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A short while ago, the prices of seven Xbox Live titles permanently dropped to 99 cents each – the lowest a paid Live game has ever cost. But seven games was not enough for some people. “More!” you cried. Microsoft and a couple of publishers heard your cries, and now three more games have dropped to 99 cents.

Now, I'll abstain from commenting on the quality of these games, but the lower prices should certainly make them more palatable... Especially Deer Hunter 3D, which launched at $4.99 even though the iOS version has long cost 99 cents. And it has one broken Achievement which Glu Mobile officially decided not to fix. Okay, so I picked on one of the games. I do it because I love you guys. If you’ve been looking cheap games to play, at least your options continue to expand.

Thanks to TNTJudbud for the tip!

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IronSun Studios’ second Xbox Live title, Battlewagon, suffered from a bad case of broken Achievements when it launched last year. Like any responsible developer, IronSun quickly set out to fix those Achievements – but they didn’t stop there. The Battlewagon version 1.1 update includes a few additional tweaks that make for a more enjoyable game – fancy that!

Battlewagon version 1.1 release notes

  • All Achievements are now attainable
  • Added a restart button to the Pause menu
  • Changed the wagon launching mechanism
  • Added a power and angle indicator for lobbing

The new restart button should make replaying levels for higher ratings far more pleasant – no more suffering through additional tries when you’ve blown your first life or two. The wagon launching is much less finicky now, thank goodness. The shot power and angle indicator (displayed numerically at the top of the screen) also improve the gameplay. I still find aiming to be kind of awkward, but at least now you can replicate effective shots by paying attention to the numbers.

Battlewagon is a unique and very British game that takes place during medieval times. The object is to retake your lands from four evil barons, Robin Hood-style. Battlewagon’s 68 levels encompass a variety of gameplay styles, and the colorful Amiga-like artwork is quite appealing. We’ll have a full review soon.

Battlewagon costs $2.99 and you can get it here on the Marketplace.

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Joining the free game Breeze on Xbox Live this week are two paid titles, Battlewagon and Doodle God. Both games are now available on the Marketplace.

Battlewagon is a curious and very British game that takes place during medieval times. The object is to retake your lands from four evil barons. Battlewagon’s 68 levels encompass a variety of gameplay styles: firing a catapult from a stationary wagon, winding up the wagon just the right amount to stop it within a designated zone, jumping over or barreling through obstacles and enemies, and tossing bombs at specific parts of enemy castles.

While the gameplay is creative and the art charmingly retro, Battlewagon shows a few rough spots out of the gate. The slingshot mechanic could work better as you don’t have much room to aim without hitting the edge of the screen; it’s easy to fire accidentally too. The game seriously needs a retry option from the pause menu and after failing levels as well.

Doodle God is a popular indie game that has been upgraded to Xbox Live status. It’s a hard game to describe, but think of it as an alchemy simulator. You start out with only four elements to mix and match, each combination creating a new element. The object is simply to make them all, which requires tons of experimentation and thought. What makes glass in real life? Fire plus sand. Combine those ingredients in-game and you’ve just unlocked glass, which can then be mixed with many other elements.

Doodle God may look simple in screenshots, but it’s bolstered by terrific British voice acting and a sharp UI. The interface is actually optimized for Windows Phone (swiping left and right to switch pages, etcetera), something you don’t see in many iPhone ports. It also includes several minigames to unlock and a Windows Phone-exclusive quest.

Battlewagon costs $2.99 and you can get it here on the Marketplace. Doodle God is also $2.99. Pick it up here, chemistry enthusiasts.

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We’ve already mentioned that our friends at IronSun Studios (that’s SUN, not SON) will be releasing Battlewagon on Xbox Live next week. But that is only half of next week’s story. WPCentral is proud to announce that there will be two Xbox Live releases on December 14!  Joining Battlewagon will be Doodle God, from the fine folks at JoyBits.

Doodle God surprisingly doesn’t have much to do with doodles, but it’s got the god part pretty well covered. Players take on the role of a creator by combining numerous elements to create even more elements. Discovering every element will take lots of time and creativity. It’s like chemistry, but fun!

Interestingly, Doodle God was previously available as an indie title but has now been removed from the Marketplace - just like IonBall disappearing when IonBallEX came out. Doodle God is also the second Xbox Live title from a Russian developer, following last month’s strange and addictive Farm Frenzy 2.

Doodle God and Battlewagon will both be available on Wednesday, December 14. Each game will cost $2.99. You can try the free Flash version of Doodle God right now.

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Battlewagon storms to Xbox Live next week

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that IronSun Studios’ Battlewagon would be coming to Xbox Live soon. At last, Battlewagon has a release date: December 14, next week!

Battlewagon is a lot like Robin Hood, but with a rolling death machine instead of a bow and arrows. Four evil Barons have taken the player’s kingdom, and it’s time to get it back! Equip your wagon with instruments of destruction and then storm the bad guys’ fortifications in 68 levels of medieval mayhem. Not only is Battlewagon a totally fresh premise, it also has that lovable Amiga-like British artwork that has all but disappeared these days.

Battlewagon debuts on Wednesday, December 14. It will cost $2.99.

Head past the jump for the full Battlewagon announcement press release.

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IronSun Studios' IonBallEX (review) nicely filled a niche in the Xbox lineup. Their new title BattleWagon looks to do the same, but this time it doesn't fit an established genre so closely.

The developer describes Battlewagon as an arcade action/strategy game. Players equip a medieval Battlewagon with various weapons and upgrades and then send it to invade enemy castles. Combat uses simple, one-touch controls that should be well-suited to mobile play. With 68 levels that take place across the four seasons and some lovely Amiga-esque graphics, Battlewagon should provide a fresh and lengthy gameplay experience.

Battlewagon is currently targeted for a late December release. It will require Mango out of the gate, which shouldn't be a problem by then. We’ll let you know when the release date and price become official.

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