Stacking climbs onto XBLA this week

Xbox Live Update: Double Fine's puzzle game hits download space next to TNT Racers; Games on Demand adds Darksiders, Mini Ninjas; 50% off retro shooters this week.

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No Caption Provided Last week Call of Duty: Black Ops' First Strike downloadable content was the center of attention on Xbox Live. This week, however, the focus is on Russian stacking dolls.

Leading the pack this week on Xbox Live Arcade is Double Fine's Stacking ($15). The game arrives on Wednesday and follows the story of Charlie Blackmore, the smallest of a family of Russian stacking dolls, as he aims to reunite his family after they become separated in the wake of tough economic times. The game's puzzle element involves stacking the dolls and making use of each one's different abilities to overcome challenges that often have multiple solutions. Players will unlock more dolls as the game progresses and Charlie's story unfolds.

Stacking vaults to the XBLA this week.
Stacking vaults to the XBLA this week.

Also debuting tomorrow on XBLA will be TNT Racers ($10). From dtp Entertainment, the zany racy title has up to four players racing around 18 distinct courses using power-ups like the confetti mines, candy cannon, space rockets, and other items to thwart the progress of competitors. The title also boasts online leaderboards, 45 challenges to compete in, time trials, and custom races.

Switching to the Games on Demand hub, Microsoft added two titles to the download space today, the first of which is THQ's Darksiders ($20). The game drops players into the role of War, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse of biblical fame. Astride his flaming steed Ruin, War triggers the end of days on Earth after falling victim to the foul machinations of a demon known as The Destroyer. He then sets out on a quest to vanquish The Destroyer's minions along with the archdemon itself.

The other Games on Demand title out now is Square Enix's Mini Ninjas ($20). The title tasks gamers with engaging in nonlethal fisticuffs, as well as stealth and magic, to rid the countryside of marauding samurai. Rather than collapsing in a heap of rent flesh and blood, defeated enemies revert back to their adorable animal forms and flee to greener pastures.

Gamers looking for a deal can enjoy savings on a range of retro shooters. Titles like Duke Nukem Manhattan Project, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, Geometry Wars 2, and others are marked down 50 percent or more. For the full list of discounted wares, check out Major Nelson's blog.

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