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Backbone, The Forgotten City, And More

Backbone, The Forgotten City, And More

A fox wearing a suit and a beaver wearing a v-neck sweater drive a car in Backbone.

Screenshot: Raw Fury

I’m starting to wonder if Xbox Game Pass isn’t a potential pox on game sales. Full disclosure: Amid the deluge of stuff to play this year, I’ve demurred on picking up several interesting-looking games—like Backbone and The Forgotten City—holding my breath for the possibility that, some day, they may land on Microsoft’s games-on-demand service. Well, over the next few weeks, several are. Would you look at that?

October 19

  • Into the Pit (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Outriders (PC)

October 21

  • Dragon Ball FighterZ (Cloud, Console)
  • Echo Generation (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Everspace 2, via game preview (PC)

October 28

  • Age of Empires IV (PC)
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Console, PC)
  • Backbone (Console)
  • Bassmaster Fishing 2022 (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • The Forgotten City (Cloud, Console, PC)

Meanwhile, the following are leaving the service on October 31:

  • Carto (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Celeste (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Comanche (PC)
  • Eastshade (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s (Cloud, Console, PC)
  • Knights & Bikes (Console, PC)
  • Unruly Heroes (Cloud, Console, PC)

By the way: Play Carto while you can! It’s a neat puzzle game about manipulating a tile-shaped environment to proceed between levels, and strikes the ideal balance between chill and challenging. Definitely one of my favorites from last year.

Read More: Carto’s Cozy Puzzles Are Just Tough Enough

Look, I won’t presume to make assumptions about anyone’s purchasing habits. Personally, I tend to wipe my plate clean before loading up on another portion. Once I finish [list of games too long to type], I’ve got my eye on two of this month’s Game Pass offerings: the noir detective game Backbone and the time-loop puzzle game The Forgotten City. Now, it seems like I’ll no longer need to pay to play.

I’ve also held off on one of the fall’s big blockbusters: Deathloop. Seeing as the game’s published by a Microsoft-owned studio, it’s a safe bet that Deathloop will eventually come to Game Pass, but Microsoft has not publicly stated one way or the other. (When reached for comment, a representative for Microsoft didn’t immediately have an answer.) According to NPD sales data, Deathloop, easily one of the most hyped games of the season, wasn’t even one of the top-five best-selling games during its release month.

Developers I’ve spoken to say that showing up on Game Pass is a sales boon in the long run, noting that the publicity boost from appearing in front of some 23 million players is nothing to scoff at. But it’s key to remember that Game Pass is still in its relative infancy. I’m curious to see what the impacts are in the long term.