Xbox Live Arcade December line-up announced

A spot of backgammon maybe? Or perhaps some Robotron tempered with a 2005 Independent Games Festival winner?

Xbox Live Arcade has already developed quite the critical following, with all and sundry praising the ability to download and play classics such as Gauntlet, Smash TV and Joust for but a fiver, online with friends and a worldwide-updated score table.

The announced December line-up is considerably less high profile than the exceptionally cool initial offering but, featuring Midway and Popcap's best and the excellent Geometry Wars, that's not to say it sucks.

Gamers on Xbox 360 Live Arcade can look forward to the following titles this month:

  • Hardwood Backgammon - backgammon
  • Hardwood Hearts - a card game
  • Hardwood Spades - another card game
  • Robotron 2084 - that age old classic, reborn online for our wrinkled ageing hands
  • Fable of Souls - nothing to do with Big Blue Box's Fable, but rather an ingenious and simple title where you use your tongue to launch yourself off mushrooms. It won an IGF award don't you know
  • Crystal Quest - you collect crystals and avoid bombs. It'll probably be quite fun or at least better than the disappointing Hexic

You can see some visual media on these very games over at

On top of that, we've discovered that Xbox (not 360) owners can also enjoy Live Arcade goodness, by way of the following titles:

  • Alien Sky - a shooter
  • Astropop - a puzzle shooter, part Arkanoid and part Puzzle Bobble
  • Bankshot Billiards - billiards
  • Bejewelled - classic crack-cocaine puzzle gaming
  • Dangerous Mines - mine sweeper
  • Fuzzle Fever - one of Popcap's more simplistic titles, but still addictive as hell
  • Guardian - side-scrolling shooter
  • Hardwood Solitaire - solitaire
  • Mutant Storm - shooter
  • Ricochet - Arkanoid-inspired game
  • Super Collapse 2 - sounds a bit like Meteos, but in reverse
  • Zuma Deluxe - another Popcap time-killing puzzler
  • Feeding Frenzy - an 'eat em up'
  • Marble Blast - a game where you roll a marble around
  • Atomaders - a shooter
  • Dino and the Aliens - no idea but it sounds intriguing
  • Think Tanks - shooter
  • Hamster Ball - Monkey Ball, with a hamster
  • Orbz - Pinball style puzzler
  • Ms Pac-Man - Pac-Man's woman
  • Namco Vintage - not a wine created by Namco, but rather a pack of three that includes Dig Dug, Pole Position and Galaga
  • Bookworm Deluxe - a word puzzler that seems to have some fans

If any of those tickle your fancy, you can get more info from Microsoft's official Xbox website.