Yesterday, Rovio’s Amazing Alex launched on Windows Phone 8 as an Xbox Live title, whereas Microsoft’s long-awaited Ms. Splosion Man debuted only for Windows Phone 7 devices. More than one reader remarked on the irony of the graphically simpler Amazing Alex heading straight to Windows Phone 8 while a more complex game turned out to be incompatible with it.
Rovio has a history of releasing separate Windows Phone 7 versions of its Angry Birds games though, so it should surprise no one that Amazing Alex has just turned up on Windows Phone 7 minus the Xbox Live features. Let us not mourn the death of an ironic situation but instead celebrate the life of a new Windows Phone 7 game. But are Windows Phone 7 gamers ready for 100 levels of amazing physics puzzles?
Amazement will ensue
Amazing Alex is Rovio’s first non-Angry Birds game in years, but it’s still a physics puzzler. However, instead of slingshotting things around, this game is based on an older mobile title called Casey’s Contraptions. And that game was inspired by The Incredible Machine, so that tells you what Amazing Alex will be like.
This game stars a little blond boy named Alex who loves to invent things. He basically shows up in the menus and such to give the title some personality, but not during actual gameplay. The game starts out very simply, with the tutorial levels sharing the goal of helping a rolling ball fall into a basket. During each level, players have a few objects they can place to help things along. As the game progresses, you’ll eventually be assembling much more complicated machines out of household items.
Nothing left behind
The Windows Phone Store page for this version makes no mention of sharing levels, and so we were afraid that feature might be missing on Windows Phone 7. Thankfully, the ability to create, upload, and download levels online did make the cut! Of course, you'll need to complete several levels before the creation option actually unlocks. Alex must learn to crawl before he can build multi-part death machines.
Downloading levels looks to work the same way as the Windows Phone 8 game. You can either browse a big group of them or just cut straight to the good ones; Rovio’s favorite level picks are grouped as the Levels of the Week. The level creation and downloading should give Amazing Alex a fair bit of replay value. For more impressions, check out Simon’s review at Android Central.
The only downside we can see in this version other than the lack of Xbox Live Achievements is the touch input itself. It seems less responsive than the Windows Phone 8 game. Would anyone else who has tried both versions like to comment? And should Rovio keep building two separate versions instead of making a Windows Phone 7 game that runs on newer devices too?