[Originally published on XNPlay, Robert Fearon summarizes the top ten indie releases from last year in this special one-shot article, complete with links to their respective Xbox LIVE Marketplace pages.]

It's time to run through the XNPlay Best Indie Game releases of 2009. I'm much more at home and much happier celebrating the good things about the service than dwelling on the bad so rather than waste time on the old introductory text of death, let's just crack on and get down to business.



Download Echoes+ To Your Xbox 360
"Sure, on the surface we've got a twin stick shooter, a take on asteroids that's very much owes a debt to Geometry Wars and the glowing vector revival that followed in its wake but Echoes+ is its own game. Very much so. And it's what makes it so brilliant."



Download Kodu Game Lab To Your Xbox 360
"It's a good thing for creativity, it's a good thing to encourage folks to believe that yes, they can make a game no matter how simple and no, they don't need to know diddly squat about floating point numbers or vector maths or anything like that to do so. It's good to encourage people to push this sort of thing ever further, let's get more developers and publishers to understand there's a market out there that doesn't just want stuff like this, it needs it."



Download I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 To Your Xbox 360
"Untypeable name aside, ZOMB1ES is exactly the game I'd like to see more of on the Indie Games service: cheap, impulse-buy games which set out to do one thing, and do it well. 80 Points is so easily justifiable, if the game is quite fun, people will have no problem in buying it."



Download Bailout To Your Xbox 360
"The thing that makes this game great, then, isn't the nostalgic retro-standards for graphics and sound, nor is it the dodge-about gameplay. The thing Bailout! does that would have made it a classic were it released a quarter century ago is the same thing every great game does: it makes the player feel empowered, in control of his destiny, and able to game the system to his advantage – whether or not it’s true."



Download Halfbrick Echoes To Your Xbox 360
"Halfbrick Echoes pretty much does everything right. When it drops I heartily recommend you take a gander. I've had immense fun with the darn thing (and swore a few times too after blocking my own route to a crystal like the fool I can be), it's fast, silly and overwhelmingly fun stuff."



Download Miner Dig Deep To Your Xbox 360
One of the few games we've reviewed that earned its recommended tag after the first review had gone out. Compulsive? Addictive? Pointless? Yes to all 3. Great stuff all the same. Dig deeper little miner man, dig deeper.



Download Arkedo:Jump To Your Xbox 360
The only game in our list that we haven't actually gotten round to reviewing at any point. Which is a big shame as Arkedo: Jump is not only the best of the 3 Arkedo series of games but a lovely, stylish retro inspired platform game in its own right. It'd make the list on looks alone but a great game too? Oh yes.



Download JPSC To Your Xbox 360
"...it's clear that Ishi understands the genre he's playing in and understands what's needed to make that all important fun factor come to the fore. As appealing as the odd masocore platformer has become, you can't beat a proper old school single screener done well. JPSC is done well."



Download Leave Home To Your Xbox 360
"I don't think there's been a time before Leave Home came along that I felt like I'd really managed to completely piss a game off. Oh, I haven't nearly enough fingers for the amount of times a game has managed to piss me off, but y'know, never before have I felt like I've done something to really wind the bloody thing up. Such is the genius of Matt James' wonderful Leave Home."



Download Solar To Your Xbox 360
"Remember all the buzz around fl0w? Remember how you checked it out and harrumphed that it was nothing but a "big fish eats little fish" game with pretty graphical effects? Remember how you played it for hours regardless?

Yeah, Solar is like that."