Escape, build and shoot in December 2021’s Xbox Games with Gold

We’ve reached the end of another year and another four Xbox Games with Gold titles are about to arrive. Full details can be found here but the games in question are:

  • The Escapists 2 (Xbox, Dec 1-31)
  • Tropico 5 (Xbox, Dec 16-Jan 15)
  • Orcs Must Die! (Xbox 360 BC, Dec 1-15)
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Xbox 360 BC, Dec 16-31)

Of all the games here the only one that I have any real experience with is a demo of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet which takes a Metroidvania and mashes it with a twin stick shooter. It also has wonderfully distinct art style that helped it stand out at the time. It’ll probably be the first I’ll dive into when it arrives in the second half of the month.

With the backward compatibility program no longer adding new titles after this month’s last hurrah of 70+ games I wonder if that means we may reach a point where Xbox sees little return in providing the older games this way. I could be wrong – there’s still a lot of old Xbox games to give away – but the new year might give the team a reason to change things up too. We’ll see!

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