January 10th 2012 10:00 am PT

House Party & Must Have Games Details

Building on a legacy of the best downloadable games for your console and smartphone, Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party and Xbox LIVE Must Have Games are both back by popular demand and will launch this February. If you’re at CES, you can check out these games in the Microsoft booth, although you’ll have to wait just a bit longer for the full experience.

Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party

Beginning Feb. 15, Xbox LIVE will deliver four back-to-back releases of the best downloadable games, with one new title a week. Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party provides ongoing fun for you and your friends, in your living room and across the globe, bringing four more of the most highly anticipated titles to your Xbox 360 console. The latest House Party title line-up includes:

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Microsoft Studios): In this brand-new stand-alone experience, Alan Wake fights the herald of darkness, the evil Mr. Scratch. A thrilling new storyline, hordes of creepy enemies, serious firepower and beautiful Arizona locations, combined with a fun and challenging new game mode, make this a must for Alan Wake veterans, and the perfect jumping-on point for new players. Can you survive until sunrise?


I Am Alive (Ubisoft): One year after a worldwide cataclysmic event has wiped out most of human civilization, a man struggles for survival. Faced with an insecure, decaying and hazardous world, he scours a desolated city, searching for his long-lost wife and daughter. Survive the suffocating, murky streets covered in dust. Climb the teetering remains of last-standing skyscrapers to reach breathable air and find untouched resources. Explore the crumbling ruins of a once-thriving metropolis. Discover a changed human condition, punctuated by distrustful survivors, dangerous armed gangs and victims in need.


Nexuiz (THQ): For centuries, the Kavussari and the Forsellians have waged war. They have a fragile truce but, because of their seething disgust of each other, still pit warriors against each other in arenas rather than on the fields of war. These episodes of lethal combat are broadcast throughout the galaxy as entertainment — a spectacle known as The Nexuiz Competition — an arena-based first-person shooter where you can alter the rules of the match and the laws of physics while dominating opponents in ever-changing hostile environments.


· Warp (EA): “Warp” is a puzzle-based stealth action game where you play as Zero, a lovable-yet-lethal orange alien with a big score to settle! Captured by the villainous Commander and imprisoned in his underwater facility, Zero must plan his ultimate escape using his arsenal of alien abilities — warp, frag, echo, swap and launch.


Must Have Games for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone

Once again, Must Have Games brings the biggest names in mobile games to Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone. Kicking off in early February, one smash title will be released each week, complete with Xbox LIVE Achievements, Leaderboards and more. The second wave of Must Have Games for gamers on-the go includes:

BulletAsylum (Microsoft Studios): Annihilate invaders with a wall of firepower in this insane arcade shooter. With an insane amount of firepower at your fingertips, vibrant graphics and an all-you-can-shoot buffet of alien hordes to destroy, “BulletAsylum” will blow you away!


Chickens Can’t Fly (Microsoft Studios): Join the ranks of our scientists and see what chickens are capable of! Countless hours of fun await you: fall down an experimental pit, avoid obstacles, use power-ups and power-downs, gather corn, and make it through to the end. Use the skills you learn to get a high score in Survival Mode and show off to your friends on the Xbox LIVE and global leaderboards.


Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (Electronic Arts): It’s time to fulfill your need for speed. Drive up to 20 precision-performance cars in adrenaline-fueled showdown across 24 day-and-night tracks. Take it to the limit in 48 total Cop and Racer Career Events, collect bounty, and rise to the top of the ranks.


Splinter Cell Conviction (Gameloft): Unleash the ferocious skills of renegade agent Sam Fisher, a highly skilled Special Forces operative, and fight a corrupted secret agency to get your daughter back. Run, jump, fight and shoot using a handgun, a shotgun, an AK-47 assault rifle and a bazooka, or maintain stealth by improvising with nearby objects. You are now a renegade spy agent; you don’t follow any orders except for your own rules of engagement.


Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp (Microsoft Studios): Wage war on a tiny scale in “Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp,” which brings the fun and addictive shooting gallery mini-games from Xbox 360’s “Toy Soldiers: Cold War” to your Windows Phone.


Arcade, Windows Phone By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • http://twitter.com/Navarin Bennijin Turbo

    But how much will they cost?

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure that news will come later (along with the order of release) but the XBLA games definitely all strike me as 1,200 MSP games & considering one was originally going to be a retail game and another is a sequel to a retail game, that seems reasonable to me.

      • Anonymous

        I see them as 1600+ with the way things have been going over the past few years.  The economy goes into the tank, but the price of XBLA games skyrockets. =

        • http://twitter.com/Navarin Bennijin Turbo

          I would think, and I would hope, that MS know 1200’s as far as they can really push it, and that should only be reserved for the best of the best. The few games that have tried to release on XBLA at 1600 have tanked.

          Hopefully we’ll get some kind of bonus game or rebate scheme this time, otherwise Deal of the Week it’ll be!

        • Anonymous

          The price hasn’t skyrocketed. It went from 400 & 800 to 800 & 1,200. A $5 increase isn’t skyrocketing, especially given what it has meant for XBLA as a platform.

          Before the gradual price increase, we were mostly getting straight ports of 20 year old Arcade games and simplistic puzzle/dual stick shooters.

          Now we’re getting brand new, original games of significant length and content, that in some cases rival the quality of $60 games (I’ve barely found a 2011 GOTY list that didn’t have Bastion on it).

          Yeah, paying more sucks but given what we’re getting in return, I’d rather things be how they are now than how they were years ago.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnCollins24 John Collins

    Thanks for the information.  Wow, Wake, I am Alive and Splinter Cell on my phone!  Warp sounds interesting as well.  May have to pick that up.

  • Anonymous

    Cannot wait. Been waiting for both Alan Wake and Iam Alive for ages.

  • DHX

    0.0 Yessssssss! I am Alive and Alan Wake are must haves! Didn’t know they were coming out so soon. DOPing both of those! This is great news, Thanks Larry! The WP7 titles look interesting as well. I’ll be trying out Bullet Asylum, SplinterCell and TS for sure.

  • Anonymous

    are there any offers this time around for buying all 4 games?

    • Anonymous

      Major, please respond to this question… 

      4 games at 1,200+ MSP is pretty steep to ask of us is a span of 4 weeks.

      • http://www.majornelson.com Major Nelson

        I don’t know yet if they’ll be a promotional offer. If I get details on one, I’ll be sure to let you know. 

        • Anonymous

          Taking the base 1200 MSP X 4 titles assumption, it will be wise for the marketing team to have some kind of 4000 points special promotion for a combo of all four games.
          It will allow many people to pick all of these games up up using a single 4000 points card, and this will probably help drive sales. Just food for thought.

          • Anonymous

            That’s not a bad idea except that it would do nothing for those outside the US where MS Points Cards aren’t sold in that denomination (we only get 1,400 & 2,800 here in Canada for example).

      • Anonymous

        To be fair, it IS the price of a single retail game. If you know where to look, you can get it even cheaper too.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T7LOQAEEWPFE7UBMQGVCTNELQI huck

        that isnt a question…

        • Anonymous

          Smart guy, I was referring to the question >>I<< replied to.  Nice try though.

    • Julian Manderson

      I beleive it’s the Summer or Arcade promotion that rewards you for buying all the games, not the House Party promotion.

      • Anonymous

        House Party had a similar promotion two years ago. I remember because that’s the only reason I bought all four games (would’ve skipped Perfect Dark otherwise but it was basically free for me).

        I don’t remember if they did something similar last year or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EDDS86 Rick Dodkins

    splinter cell was announced like friggin a year ago for windows phone, what the hell has it been doing?

    • Anonymous

      its there on your phone, stealth…

  • Anonymous

    im sorry, was i supposed to be impressed by this list?

    • http://twitter.com/Hunky_Dory Jeff Rosen

      “I Am Alive”

  • C F

    arent those wp7 games exclusive to nokia users 1st? as mentioned in the wp7 blog

    • C F

      & also when are is nokia going to release snake?

  • http://twitter.com/SamboTaylor Sam Taylor

    After seeing the trailer for I Am Alive, it seemed VERY rough. Alan Wake out ran its course during the DLC. Nexuiz looks decent, but as with all fps games on XBLA it will die within weeks. No idea what Warp is.

    Poor list.

    • Anonymous

      Your comment about XBLA shooters is sad but true. BF1943 was probably the only exception to that rule as I can usually still get a full game in that one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000081692800 Iskandar Dzulkarnain

        Weird how I can always find a game in BF1943, but never in BC2….nowadays…

    • http://twitter.com/mightyfiregoat mighty goat

      monday night combat #sadface

  • http://twitter.com/mightyfiregoat mighty goat

    WHERE IS CLASS3??!!?

  • Anonymous

    Alan Wake: Day 1 purchase for me. Loved the first one and can not wait for this part.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thief000 J.A.J.G. Thiéfaine

    Getting a couple of those XBLA games for sure! The WP7 games look great too, but it’s nothing but trials for me.

    Major, could you get in touch with the people that decide about billing options at MS so that they add MSP and PayPal support for Zune and Games on Windows Phone 7. I want to buy media and games from the WP7 Marketplace but I can’t without those options (I simply refuse to get a credit card for just one marketplace, no matter how awesome it is).


    • Adam Lein

      You can also buy a Visa/Mastercard/Amex Gift card at someplace like BestBuy or Walmart, add $50 to it and plug that into your Windows Phone for a decent bucket of app spending money.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t Nexuiz a free FPS for pc?

    • Anonymous

      Who wants to invest more time in FPS. Such a boring, over saturated market now. Save your monies and get COD or BF3 on personal preference.

      • Anonymous

        While it may be oversaturated, it takes newcomers to break to rut the genre is in (to bring in something fresh) even COD came in at a time where everybody was making WWII FPSs and it broke out and look where it is now. There should never be just two FPSs out there, because then another genre will become like the sports genre where every sport really is a one-trick pony (One or two games hold a monopoly on the market).

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for giving Alan Wake IP some love, tell Remedy I want to give them money for more.

    Isn’t the I Am Alive thing by the Jade Raymond brain dead figurehead institute?

    • Anonymous

      Whats that supposed to mean?

  • Anonymous

    Just pay to port Goldeneye 64 already – you know it’s going to sell over 1 million in the first week alone.. and don’t mess it up by trying to enhance it. Just give us a direct HD version with some online multiplayer capability in the range of 16 players.

    If in the first year you follow that and it doesn’t become your #1 XBLA best-seller of all time… I’ll give you my left arm.

    • Anonymous

      They did port it (technically) already with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, and it had online multiplayer.

  • http://thetjhzone.blogspot.com Tylerh1701

    +1 for buying WP7 games with my Microsoft points please.  

  • ElektroDragon

    Windows Phone needs some RPGs!  Bring Superbrothers, Infinity Blade, and make the excellent Dungeon Stalker that’s already on there into a Live game!  I wrote to the developer, he already applied to be a Live game.  Well?  What are you waiting for?

  • Anonymous

    Alan Wake, I Am Alive and Warp are on my radar… will be demoed, could easily turn to a purchase.  Slightly disappointed that this party doesn’t include Trials Evolution.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XOTBJKUR4IW74YLQH2LHQTE2BU Kairu

    “must have games” That’s debatable…

  • Anonymous

    Not sure if I’m sold on an arena FPS, but the other 3 games look interesting enough.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely must have Alan Wake and I Am Alive. Should be great games.

  • http://twitter.com/JuanCabrera Juan Cabrera

    I’m looking forward to Hot Pursuit.  I absolutely loved the 360 version!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HE3YA3SJVSTERSWY7743R2I62I Michael

    when i think of alan wake i remember the song “make it real” by the jets. put that song on repeat while playing the game and see if if doesn’t take you to another dimension.

  • Anonymous

    Good for AWAN but when a real Alan Wake 2??
    Where are the exclusive for 2012??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Engin-Akgöz/709582298 Engin Akgöz

    Before Alan Wake : AN release , what do you prefer XBL Arcade games ? 

  • http://twitter.com/fcviotto Fernando Coli Viotto

    Could anyone answer if Xbox Live Arcade games are compatible with Windows Phone? This would REALLY be something to consider instead of an iPhone