There was a time when we didn’t know what games were coming out on Xbox Live until the night before they launched. Those dark ages are behind us now, thank goodness. Lately we’ve been alerted to Xbox Live release dates more and more in advance. Now, it seems we may have learned about the release date of two Xbox Live titles more than two weeks before the fact!
Has my intensive course in astrology finally paid off? Venus isn’t in the right house to say for sure. Instead, the Xbox.com Windows Phone 7 page has provided a possible glimpse of the future. We’ve mentioned before that the page’s Too Many Games section lists a few unreleased games along with most current Xbox Live titles. The release dates of upcoming games are usually left blank. While pouring over each game’s product pages, however, we discovered two games with April 13 release dates listed. The date could be a placeholder or an error, but it’s tantalizing to think about.
What do we know about these April 13 maybes? Head past the jump and all your questions will be answered.
Centipede on Windows Phone 7 comes from Krome Studios, the same developer responsible for Full House Poker. Centipede is the first Game Room title for Microsoft’s mobile platform. These games are arcade emulations that include bonus content like 3D recreations of the original arcade cabinets as well as historical data. WP7 Game Room games share Leaderboard data with the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live (PC) versions. This high score integration could make Centipede the first WP7 Xbox Live title with a true global Leaderboard – all previous Xbox Live games have been limited to friends-only Leaderboards.
In case you’re too young to remember Centipede, the 1980 arcade game from Atari was a huge hit. In it, players control a garden gnome who fends off invading centipedes and other vile bugs. The original version utilized a vertical screen orientation and a trackball controller. The vertical playing field looks authentic on Windows Phone 7, but the location of the on-screen trackball is cause for concern. As the above screenshot shows, the trackball is placed on the very bottom of the screen… right above… the annoying capacitive Windows Phone 7 Back button! Unless alternate control methods or locations are included, be prepared for plenty of accidental pauses.
We first mentioned Harbor Master when it accidentally leaked for a few hours on March 19. The leak lead to speculation that Harbor Master would release soon, which seems to have been not far off the mark. Harbor Master draws obvious inspiration from Flight Control, so you’d be forgiven for thinking of it as “Flight Control with boats.” Both are line-drawing games in which users direct vehicles to their destinations by drawing pathways. Yet Harbor Master is actually a faster, more complex game. Ships don’t just disappear when docked; they occupy the dock while unloading cargo (preventing other ships from using it) and must be redirected upon exiting. Pirates, monsters, and cyclones spice things up as well, oh my. We’ll have a full Harbor Master preview very soon.
If their Xbox.com product pages are correct, Centipede and Harbor Master will come to Xbox Live on Wednesday, April 13. We expect each title to cost $2.99.
UPDATE: We have confirmation that these are the correct releases for April 13. You heard it here first!