We've seen deals before. Buy this game and get that one free. Buy these games and get money back. But... buy these games and they'll blend into each other? The Xbox 360 people are trying something different.
In late December, Microsoft will start selling the first of a trio of Xbox Live Arcade downloadable games themed as Games for the Holidays. This is like the Summer of Arcade, which they've done in recent Augusts as well as this fall's Games Feast. The difference is that people who buy all three games this time — world-building World of Keflings, side-scroller Raskulls and puzzle game ilomilo — get special overlapping features that connect the games.
Here's how the World of Keflings developers described the cross-over:
"If you buy Raskulls or ilomilo you can build homes for characters from those games in A World of Keflings. Then those characters live in your game world and you can kick them around with the rest of your Keflings. At the same time, if you own A World of Keflings you can choose to have a Kefling as your playable character in Raskulls or dress up ilo and milo in swanky Kefling costumes."
OK, and here's how the Raskulls people put it:
"If you purchase all three GFTH titles, extra characters will unlock within the games. For example, you can unlock ilo and Doug as playable characters in Raskulls, and also unlock Raskulls characters within ilomilo and World of Keflings by purchasing the full range of games."
No word yet on what the ilomilo people's take on this will be.
Here's the other odd thing: The games have release dates that aren't true. Keflings is supposedly downloadable first on December 22, with Raskulls following on the 29th. But ilomilo and Raskulls will both be purchasable from within Keflings on the 22nd.
Oh, and you may have been able to buy ilomilo already, if you were crafty. So Is this a theme month of games or a lab experiment?