8-Bit Adventure Anthology

Welcome to our column that looks back at the week's ID@Xbox releases for Xbox One!

With Halloween behind us, the horror games have almost dried up. But the ID@Xbox games keep coming. This week we've got a classic game collection, a beat 'em up, a strategy game, a card game, and lots more indie goodness.

8-Bit Adventure Anthology

Back in 1985, ICOM Simulations developed a point-and-click adventure game engine for Apple Macintosh called MacVenture. This engine would power Déjà vu (1985), Uninvited (1986), Shadowgate (1987), and Déjà Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas (1988). Now Abstraction games has packaged the NES versions of Déjà Vu, Uninvited, and Shadowgate into 8-bit Adventure Anthology: Volume One for modern consoles and PC.

8-Bit Adventure Anthology

All three games hold up as challenging adventure titles, complete with beautiful pixel art, memorable soundtracks, devious (and sometimes obscure) puzzles, and the threat of death when you make a mistake. This collection provides several good display options and filters, plus attractive widescreen borders that fit each game perfectly. If you enjoy the adventure genre, you owe it to yourself to play Shadowgate and its brethren. See our full review for more details!

8-Bit Adventure Anthology: Volume 1 costs $7.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam. During launch week, it'll be on sale for only $6.95. Get it while it's hot, adventure fans!

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99Vidas

99Vidas is a side-scrolling beat 'em up from Brazilian developer Qubyte Interactive. It takes place in modern times but is packed with references to classic games and pop culture. The story involves a group of friends fighting to steal a mystic artifact from a heinous villain.

99Vidas

The big draw here is four-player local and online co-op, allowing for big groups of friends to team up and bust heads. Players can select from 11 characters (quite a lot for the genre), and take on story, versus, and survival modes. The pixel art style looks a bit awkward and the levels are reportedly overly long, but it's always great to see a new beat 'em up with co-op support.

99Vidas sells for $9.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Vita, and Steam. Buy the Xbox version this weekend to get ten percent off, making it $8.99.

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ACA NeoGeo: The King of Fighters 97

ACA NeoGeo: The King of Fighters 97

Japanese publisher Hamster's ACA series is a collection of emulated NeoGeo arcade classics – we reviewed one-on-one fighter ACA World Heroes 2 and found it pretty solid and well-emulated.

SNK's The King of Fighters series brings together characters from Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, Athena, and more in a gigantic team-based fighting game package. Players will select a team of three characters and battle challenging AI opponents or another local player. With 30 playable characters, one secret character, and several bosses, King of Fighters 97 has lots of fighting bang for your buck.

ACA NeoGeo: The King of Fighters 97 costs $7.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch.

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Dead Exit

Now here's something you don't see every day: a zombie-themed card game with a heavy emphasis on base management. Dead Exit comes from indie developer RadiationBurn, makers of some very indie-looking games. This one's not that bad looking though, as the card art generally has a professional appearance.

Dead Exit

In Dead Exit, you'll play solo or online, taking turns playing cards inside or outside your base and manually drawing more cards from the city section of the table. You'll play numerous types of cards, including heroes and vehicles. Most cards have a different effect whether played inside or outside your base, which adds a lot of depth.

Dead Exit

On the downside, the card descriptions are confusingly written and the text is way too small. Don't try playing this one from a couch. But if you're a big card and board game player and have the patience to learn a complex new game, Dead Exit has the potential to provide a rewarding experience.

Dead Exit sells for $9.99 on Xbox One and $5.99 on Steam.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Dying: Reborn

Dying Reborn

E-Home Entertainment, a joint venture between Microsoft and Oriental Pearl Group, is responsible for publishing Xbox One games in China and then releasing those games abroad. One such game is Dying: Reborn, a first-person horror adventure game with a pleasantly bizarre and creepy atmosphere. Where else will you encounter a man with the head of a fish?

Like Layers of Fear, Dying: Reborn is a first-person adventure game without any danger from enemies – the atmosphere is the scary part, not the challenge of fighting and/or escaping deadly foes. That said, this one has a much larger focus on puzzle solving than narrative. It's chock full of puzzles of all shapes and sizes. You have to put up with some indie clunkiness and awkward dialog, but I still had a good time with it. See our full review for more details!

Dying: Reborn costs $19.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Vita. Buy the Xbox version during launch week for a 25-percent discount, making the price $14.99.

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Maria the Witch

Maria the Witch is a port of a mobile game from Naps Team, makers of the flight combat game Iron Wings. The premise is that a couple of hooligans have stolen everyone's mail and spread the letters all over the world. Now Maria, a young witch in training, must get them all back.

Maria the Witch

At first glance, Maria the Witch looks like a shoot 'em up. But there's no actual shooting here. Instead of steering with the analog stick or D-Pad, you'll use the X and B buttons to control Maria's movement. Tapping a button shoots Maria forward, whereas holding it causes her to lift up (and eventually fly in a circle if held long enough). It's a bizarre control scheme that takes some getting used to.

Maria the Witch

Every little thing in a level will cause Maria to crash and die, so the challenge comes from fighting the controls enough to collect items and reach checkpoints before you hit something. Despite the strange controls and steep challenge, Maria the Witch ends up being pretty fun and unique. Given the low price of five bucks (a dollar cheaper than the Android game!), you haven't got much to lose by trying Maria out.

Maria the Witch sells for $4.99 on Xbox One and Steam.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Mutant Football League (Game Preview)

Back in the 1990s, Electronic Arts released a fantasy-themed sports game called Mutant League Football on the Sega Genesis. The Mutant League series was popular enough to get its own cartoon, and yet EA has never brought it back to modern consoles. But its spirit lives on thanks to Mutant Football League from Digital Dreams Entertainment. It features 18 teams made up of monsters like skeletons, orcs, mutants, and aliens. Naturally, they clash in violent tackles that will humorously make a mess of unlucky players.

 Mutant Football League

The cleverly named Mutant Football League features single player matches and seasons, four-player local play, 2-player online matches, and commentary from Tim Kitzrow of NFL Blitz and NBA Jam. That's a good lineup of features from a Game Preview title; hopefully this one will live up to the games that inspired it when it fully launches in the future.

Mutant Football League costs $24.99 on Xbox One and Steam.

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Numantia

RecoTech is a Spanish developer known mostly for unleashing terrible games like Toro and Yasai Ninja on unsuspecting Xbox gamers. For that reason, I didn't have my hopes up for Numantia. But as it turns out, this one is of acceptable quality!

Numantia

Numantia is a turn-based strategy game set during the 20-year war between Spain and Rome. Players can choose to be on either side of the conflict. The game really wants players to learn the history behind the war. Fully-voiced (but somewhat ugly) cinematics dryly explain the story, which could be appealing to history buffs.

Numantia

As for the actual strategy battles, they're just as complex as you'd hope. An extensive tutorial lays out all the mechanics, but it's so long (and the text so small) that your eyes might glaze over a bit by the end of it. This style of strategy game is very much an acquired taste, but from my brief time with it, Numanitia seems to be fairly solid and robust (although plain looking).

Numantia sells for $29.99 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and $19.99 Steam.

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Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Over to you…

Which ID@Xbox games are you getting this week? Let us know in the comments!