My #3 Favorite Dream-Build-Play 2008 Winner: 'Weapon of Choice'

Today we have exclusive hands-on impressions with Microsoft's 2008 Dream-Build-Play winners. Of the six winners, we've picked our three favorites…

The easiest way to describe "Weapon of Choice" is to imagine a floaty version of "Contra" set against some of the most grotesquely trippy visuals ever.

"Weapon of Choice" is strange, bizarre, slightly unnerving and, yes, fun, at the same time. It's not unlike any other 2D platformer you've ever played, but it's the conventions it toys with and the acid-induced art style that make it distinct.

"Weapon of Choice" looks and plays like a "Contra" game but avoids toss-your-controller player deaths. The game warns you of imminent danger, slowing the action down and providing a chance to dodge. It allows the game to toss random objects around without death happening every five seconds. This happened a little too often when I played, but it was appreciated. I suck at "Contra."

You're fighting aliens, or something. It's never really explained what you're doing. It doesn't matter. Bullets, blood and crazy creatures cover the screen and I love it. Look at that screen and tell me you wouldn't want to at least try it.

"Weapon of Choice" won third place in the contest and could be an Xbox Live Arcade game. The developer, Mommy's Best Games, was awarded $10,000.