Microsoft has started tossing in surprise games like Generation Zero and Townscaper, with no announcement or teaser, making for pleasant surprises when checking whats on Game Pass each week. (Spoilers! -Ed.)
Microsoft announced all of the new games for Xbox Game Pass this December, and it's a great list, displaying some major titles and bangers like Halo Infinite and Stardew Valley. Nonetheless, if you log in to Game Pass today, you'll notice that the lovely city builder Townscaper, which was not included in the December list, is also accessible to play through the service. It's also a demonstration of Microsoft sneaking in a surprise game into its popular subscription service.
Generation Zero, a first-person survival-focused shooter published in 2019, started on Game Pass on November 30 with no announcement or teaser from Xbox or Microsoft. Eventually, the business informed folks that the game was part of its Game Pass library, but its appearance was a genuine surprise at the time.
Townscaper followed a similar path, appearing on Game Pass today without a formal announcement from Microsoft ahead of time, and I'm not complaining! Townscaper is a truly cozy December surprise.
I have no idea why Microsoft is rushing games onto Game Pass. Maybe the devs or publishers behind these games are meeting deadlines, so they may cram in after a major press rollout. Perhaps they are urging the secret release, urging sites and users to talk about it online, paying more attention to their games. (Thankfully, we'd never fall for a trick as obvious as that.)
I'm a big fan of finding fresh, free games when I boot up Game Pass on my Xbox or PC, and I check it regularly now to catch up on tiny games I missed, and to check if papa Xbox has slipped in a little extra gift for me (and the millions of Game Pass subscribers.) Unspoilt surprises are a treat in 2021. Original surprises, even tiny ones like a small game appearing on Game Pass without warning, are a treat. Keep it coming, Xbox.