Stepping up to the challenge of matching PlayStation Plus's monthly generosity, Games for Gold has started rewarding the Xbox 360's tier of Gold-level subscribers with a fortnightly free game.
Defense Grid: The Awakening
Excellent tower defense game "Defense Grid: The Awakening" is first up to the plate, following a Facebook giveaway for the PC version in May.
Originally released in 2008, it is still considered a high watermark for a diverse genre that now accommodates the likes of "Plants vs Zombies," "Dungeon Defenders," "Sanctum," "Fieldrunners" and "Kingdom Rush."
Development of "Defense Grid 2" is well underway at the Hidden Path Entertainment studio, with the sequel anticipated for release in 2014 and its progress being profiled as part of a long-running series at Polygon.
Hidden Path was also involved with the development of Valve's "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" and the recent retro upgrade "Age of Empires II: HD Edition."
When announcing its Games for Gold scheme at June's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft led with prestige titles "Assassin's Creed II" and "Halo 3," but those are now expected at some point over the next few months.
"Defense Grid: The Awakening" will remain free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers between July 1 and July 15; a new game will be made available on July 16.