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Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Platformers

Now that Fitness Month has passed, we'll return to our regularly scheduled roundups for the other various games and apps available in the Windows Phone Store. This week we revisit platformer games.

We grabbed a handful from the "Top Free" platformer section of the Windows Phone Store that includes a bouncing ball, a lost space traveler and a hedge hog.  As with all our roundups, if you've got a favorite platformer game sound off below in the comments with your recommendation.

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Trader Media Group (TMG), parent of UK Auto Trader, is set to replace its iPhone arsenal with Windows Phones. It's said that Android will not be considered as it has too many security vulnerabilities. In an interview with Computing, TMG CIO Tim Jones revealed that the company has operated in an iOS ecosystem for the last five years, because the iPhone was the more mature smartphone available on the market. But now the group is looking at alternatives. 

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Quiz time. What makes me and the rest of the crew at Windows Phone Central happy? Hint. It probably makes you ecstatic too. The answer? Any single time we get a new app on the platform or an app gets an update. It’s a situation that you can’t help but channel your inner Sheen and shout ‘winning’. Today we win by getting E*TRADE to update and support a few features of Windows Phone 8.

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Last month we were excited to learn that Ubisoft’s Rayman Jungle Run would be coming to Windows Phone at some point in the future. The combination of endless runner with actual levels and the lovable Rayman is just what our favorite smartphone platform needs. What we didn’t know is that Jungle Run would also be coming to PC and tablet via Windows 8 and RT. Happy surprise - it’s out now and Xbox Live-enabled!  Plus it gives us a great idea of what to expect when the phone game comes along.

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Nokia backs Apple in their fight against Samsung

In the blink of an eye the technology landscape can change. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends. A company that’s dominating the market for a few years can become complacent and in turn need to fight for relevancy. So today we’ve got Nokia sticking up for Apple in the courtroom.

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Ever since Microsoft has been a bit more candid about some of the problems with the 7.8 update, specifically Tiles that either don’t update or suck down too much data, there have been reports of Microsoft halting the update in some countries. Germany has been pretty much confirmed at this point as throwing the brakes and now Russia is evidently joining the crowd.

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We're back for our post-Mobile World Congress catchup as well as covering all the week's news so far in Windows Phone. Join Jay Bennett and Daniel Rubino for another 90 minutes of chatter and answering your questions!

We're also joined this week by special guest Rob Greenlee, Content Manager, Podcasts at Microsoft for some Windows Phone info on the podcast front.

Stream the audio above or the HD video after the break or use our app, your pick.

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The late January release of Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone 7 and 8 might have quenched some players’ thirst for a mobile strategy game. But you can never have too many strategy titles, and besides, Skulls (while not a casual game) is not the most hardcore strategy game in the world. Windows Phone still needed a true strategy role-playing game like Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea that could keep a player busy pretty much forever.

Japanese developer HyperDevbox recognized that need, and now they’ve published the very first strategy RPG for Windows Phone 8: Spectral Souls.  Originally a retail Playstation 2 release, Spectral Souls promises hundreds of hours of role-playing goodness for dedicated players.

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GPS Voice Navigation is a turn-by-turn navigation app for your Windows Phone and it recently received a hefty update. The version 5.1 update for Windows Phone 7.x devices gets a map autozoom and search in contacts feature along with a few bug fixes.

The version 6 update for Windows Phone 8 devices also adds the map autozoom and search in contacts features but also adds 2D/3D map modes, full voice directions, night mode and offline maps through Nokia Maps.

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Nokia updates Camera Extras for Windows Phone 7.x

Nokia has bumped the Camera Extras app for their Windows Phone 7.x devices to version 2.0. We haven't been ignoring the update. It's just that we aren't exactly sure what the update brings to the table.

There's not a change log available, which doesn't help, but we did notice that the "Smart Group Shot" feature is now labeled "Smart Shoot". We've also received tips that you can now remove unwanted items with the Smart Shoot feature but wasn't that always there?

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A Taiwanese company by the name of Polytron Technologies has built a device seemingly from the future, or our dreams. Their creation is an almost completely transparent smartphone made up of smart glass with liquid crystal molecules that can display images. The result is a see-through phone, with the exception of the batteries, MicroSD card and some electronic components.

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There's nothing we love more than to see consumers create their own media to promote the platform and smartphones they use. There have been a  number of Lumia Switch Pitch videos created, but one that caught our attention is by the YouTube account benurfi. Titled "Benji_SwitchPitch," the video goes into some detail as to why the Lumia 920 is a good choice for consumers.

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Nokia to get more than it gives to Microsoft in 2013

Today Nokia released its financial Form 20-F to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission which outlines its long-term business targets and outlines their relationship with Microsoft. Amongst the dense financial lingo and obvious goals to grow their sales ahead of the market, while keeping costs down, came an interesting tidbit. In 2013, Nokia stands to receive more money from its partner Microsoft than it will pay out in royalties to them.

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The Unity team (behind the Unity video game engine that powers a number of popular titles) has announced on the official blog that the Windows Store apps early access programme is kicking off. With Unity 4.2, developers will be able to create games for computers and tablets running Windows 8 and RT, publishing them on the Windows Store.

This opens up the floodgates for both developers and consumers to connect with Unity-powered content, but what about Windows Phone?

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American coffee chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (www.coffeebean.com) has released an app for Windows Phone. The official app enables consumers to create custom beverages, including all of the signature beverages offered by the coffeehouse. As well as the customisation of drinks, the app provides a number of features that makes it a must-have for those who love coffee.

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comScore has released data for the three-month period ending January 2013, showing Windows Phone still battling hard against the popular iPhone in the US. Microsoft has a marathon to endure when it comes to consumers in North America, who are already set on either Android or iOS. Blackberry continued to fall at the end of 2012, but Windows Phone is hanging on (if not growing steadily looking at just how much the platform has dropped).

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The popular food chain SUBWAY has released an official Windows Phone app for the UK. The franchise is a popular destination for the general public who rather enjoy fresh sandwiches with more choice than what's on offer at local supermarkets. Fancy ordering lunch without moving from your seat? Now you can with the SUBWAY app.

The app unfortunately only covers Greater London for the time being, but it's stated within the app that more regions will be added over time (we couldn't imagine the company limiting access to just a single city). The SUBWAY app is particularly useful for consumers who actively utilise the SUBWAY SUBCARD.

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Fitness Month is over here at Mobile Nations for another year. Health and fitness should be a year-round commitment, and it's never too late to start so if you missed out during February be sure to check back through the blogs and forums for content you may have missed. Hopefully you found some apps or tips to help you meet your fitness goals, or maybe even found some moral support in the community to help keep you motivated.

All throughout the month each site was giving away prizes for participation. We announced some winners mid-month, and below are the final results from the remaining contests from across Mobile Nations. If you were participating in the forums or on the blog contests, be sure to look below and see if you're a winner!

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App to the Future Windows Phone design winners announced

Way back in early December we told you guys about a joint contest with design magazine core77 and Microsoft – App to the Future. The contest was simple, design an app that enables you to do, connect, or delight. The contest recently ended and below are the five winning designs. Go ogle the Metro Microsoft Design Language goodness.

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Use Postcard on the Run to send cards in the real world

While the internet and electronic communication may have been a dent in the postcard business, it also seems it might have a bit of a revival thanks to technology. Nokia just announced Place Tag, an app to help create digital postcards from our Windows Phones. We had some hands on with Place Tag during the 2013 Mobile World Congress and was impressed.

Another company, Postcard on the Run, is also offering a postcards app for our Windows Phone that share's the same name. What’s unique with the Postcard on the Run app is that you actually send physical postcards.  Postcard on the Run just got a little update bump and we decided to take a closer look.

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