Image: Dan Sipple

IN APRIL, MICROSOFT XNA (the software company’s games division) struck gamer gold with The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, in which the protagonist is—yep—a dishwasher who wields meat cleavers and lays waste to a cyborg army. XNA discovered the game through its Dream-Build-Play competition, a five-month-long contest in which independent developers from around the country submit their ideas to vie for publication and $40,000. Dream-Build-Play 2009 is now under way (winners will be announced in August). We know XNA knows its market—Dishwasher is currently among the top-10-selling Xbox Live Arcade games—but we’re skeptical about these other titles, which the company has green-lighted for inclusion in its online Community Games program.

FIREPLACE “Enjoy the awesome ambience of a crackling fireplace in your living room. With realistic smoldering embers and flickering flames it sets the perfect backdrop for a relaxing evening.”

GROOV “A frenetic dual-stick shooter that makes you the conductor of an intergalactic jazz fusion orchestra.”

IN THE PIT “An ‘audio-only’ stealth action game. Control a horrible monster who lives at the bottom of a dark pit and eats the people who fall in!”

XFART “Fart jokes that will split your seams, 35 fart trivia questions, and a custom soundtrack with all your favorite fart hits!”

RUMBLE MASSAGE “Put a controller behind your neck and feel the soothing vibrations of the Xbox 360 controller. With the ability to control the rumble intensity and pulse, relaxing after a hard day of gaming has never been easier.”

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