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Undertow pulls in upcoming XBLA lineup

A spate of puzzlers join THQ's foray into downloadable games in the "coming weeks"; Doritos Challenge demos now available.


Although Microsoft typically reveals its weekly Wednesday addition to Xbox Live Arcade on Mondays, the publisher will occasionally tip its hand on the upcoming lineup. Today, Microsoft did just that, revealing seven more games that will be added to Xbox Live "in the coming weeks."

Undertow, the Unreal Engine III-powered action game announced in April, will soon be swimming to Xbox Live. In addition to a 15-level single-player campaign, the game includes competitive multiplayer for up to 16 players, as well as two-player co-op play.

Microsoft has a pair of gravity-influenced puzzlers slated for imminent arrival. N+, which began as an Adobe Flash freeware game according to its developer, Metanet Software, is an action platformer in which players attempt to escape a level before time runs out. The game includes multiplayer modes and a level editor. In Sierra Online's Switchball, players guide a ball through labyrinthine courses. To add a layer of complexity, the ball can be morphed into various forms to change how it interacts with the different levels.

For those who prefer their puzzles of the pen-and-paper variety, InterServ International is creating Word Puzzle, a word-search style game that offers single-player and online competitive modes. Lastly on the puzzle tip, Activision will release Shrek-N-Roll, which will sport more than 20 characters inspired by DreamWorks' family-friendly film franchise. The publisher did not reveal further details on the game.

As noted last week, THQ will be entering the downloadable console-game market with SpongeBob SquarePants: Underpants Slam, as well as Screwjumper. In Underpants Slam, players raid Krusty Krab's kitchen, the Flying Dutchman's ship, and an armory in Atlantis in search for 99 pairs of elusive underpants. In Screwjumper, players nosedive into mine shafts to destroy alien mining gear in both single- and multiplayer modes.

Microsoft also announced today that demos for the Doritos Unlock Xbox Challenge are available for download. From now until November 18, Xbox 360 owners can play the user-inspired demos and then vote for their favorite at Doritos' Web site. The winning demo will be fleshed out into a full XBLA game.

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