Microsoft lines up Games for the Holidays

Purchasing entire family-friendly lineup of Raskulls, Ilomilo, A World of Keflings to unlock new characters in each game; early releases available for two of three titles.

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Microsoft already celebrated the Summer of Arcade, a fall GameFeast, and the spring Block Party. Now the company is going four-for-four on seasonal showcases of downloadable games, as the company today rolled out its Games for the Holidays lineup.

Beginning later this month, Microsoft will release a trio of family-friendly games (none rated higher than an E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older) in consecutive weeks. First up on December 22 is A World of Keflings. A follow-up to 2008's well-regarded A Kingdom for Keflings, the latest effort from developer Ninja Bee will let players use their Xbox avatars to help build a world for the game's titular residents.

Clearly, this Raskulls ninja is skull-king in the shadows.
Clearly, this Raskulls ninja is skull-king in the shadows.

Halfbrick Studios' Raskulls will follow on December 29. Originally conceived as a Mr. Driller-style game for the DS, Raskulls was reenvisioned for the Xbox 360 by the Australian developer over a year ago.

Finally, Southend Interactive's puzzler Ilomilo will officially launch on Xbox Live January 5. The game lets players control protagonists Ilo and Milo independently, navigating their way through cube mazes trying to repeatedly reunite the pair. All three Games for the Holidays titles will sell for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

Ilomilo is already available for gamers who know where to look.
Ilomilo is already available for gamers who know where to look.

Games for the Holidays is experimenting with a few new sales tactics for Microsoft. First off, purchasing all three titles will unlock new characters pulled from the other games. For instance, Ilomilo's Ilo and World of Kefling's Doug will be playable in Raskulls.

Additionally, gamers won't need to wait until the official release dates to get their hands on Raskulls and Ilomilo. Raskulls will be available to purchase from an in-game menu of World of Keflings, while Ilomilo is already available on Xbox 360 through slightly circuitous means. By visiting a "supersecret website," players can get a code that can be redeemed on Xbox Live Marketplace for a demo version of Ilomilo. The full version of the game can then be purchased from within that demo.

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