Badminton and block-matching for XBLA

Tomorrow's releases.

Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service continues to swell past the 200 games mark it hit a few weeks ago with the addition of Blazing Birds (400 Microsoft Points - GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.80) and Gel: Set & Match (800 MSP - GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60) tomorrow.

The first of the two new bumps is a 2D robot badminton game developed by Vector 2 Games, another veteran of the 2007 Dream.Build.Play competition which also produced The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai.

In it, you aim smashes and drop shots over a net with manual or automatic aiming, saving up for dramatic power shots to try and out-cock one of 60 AI opponents over three difficulty levels.

"Only the best will face Signum IV," the website declares, but you can at least face your friends in two-player games, or up to 19 of them in round-robin tournaments.

Otherwise it's the more expensive Gel: Set & Match from Gastronaut Studios, where you try to match blocks on a grid, which then melt together when the colours align. In addition to a straightforward Puzzle mode, there's a faster-paced Action alternative.

There's also multiplayer, with support for up to four players competitively and two in co-op, and the website suggests some varied arena layouts along the way.

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