Minecraft, Fable Heroes lead Arcade Next promotion in April and May

It was revealed at E3 almost a year ago, but we can all rest easy, the Xbox Live Arcade version of Minecraft finally has a release date. Mojang’s blocky adventure game will headline Microsoft’s recently announced “Arcade Next” promotion, which will also feature Trials Evolution, Bloodforge, and Fable Heroes.

Trials Evolution will lead off the “Arcade Next” promotion on April 18, with a new game to follow every week until Minecraft’s debut on May 9. This quartet of games will also be among the first to enter the XBLA with 400 Gamerscore Points.

Everybody knows what Minecraft is all about, but what about the other three? Hit the jump for more information on all of the “Arcade Next” titles or check out the trailer above.

April 18 – Trials Evolution (1200 Microsoft Points)
Trials Evolution is on every front, the next dimension of the smash-hit, award-winning Trials HD. Bust out of the warehouse into an outdoor world of night and day, curved driving lines, and spectacular scenery. Multiplayer comes alive in your living room or on Xbox Live. Build your own tracks with the in-game editor or download those of any other player from the new Track Central. Customize your bike and rider with awesome gear and unique parts, enjoy innovative skill games, try ghost racing, beat your friends’ scores and more! Don’t miss the madness!

April 25 – Bloodforge (1200 Microsoft Points)
With a brutal combat system, stunning art style, and a deeply compelling story, Bloodforge empowers you to slaughter hordes of demonic soldiers, deformed worshipers, and the gods themselves, using ferocious Rage Kills, devastating Rune attacks, and furious Weapon Combos. Help seal Crom’s fate – and the fate of the rest of the world – in this dark, visceral story of revenge, betrayal, and destiny.

May 2 – Fable Heroes (800 Microsoft Points)
Fable Heroes is an action-packed, hack-and-slash adventure built for Xbox Live Arcade. It delivers a fresh spin on the Fable franchise with a unique art style and gameplay that takes playful competition to the next level. Whether on the couch or using Xbox Live, up to four players work together to defeat enemies while also competing with one another to collect gold coins and level up. Precious gold collected in Fable Heroes can be imported into the forthcoming Kinect title, Fable: The Journey, providing players with a valuable head start from day one.

May 9 – Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (1600 Microsoft Points)
The infinite possibilities in Minecraft just got bigger. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition brings the global phenomenon to console gamers for the first time. The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game features an innovative new crafting interface, natural controller movements, a full Tutorial mode to teach the basics and for the first time in Minecraft, split-screen multiplayer as well as over Xbox Live.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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