We’re back with the second installment of our new monthly feature, the best Windows Phone games of the month. Every month we’ll look at a collection of the newly released Windows Phone games that stand out from the crowd. The titles we choose will range in genre and production value. Anything goes as long as it’s fun, original (not using someone else’s IP without permission), and freshly launched.
Windows Phone didn’t see a single new Xbox release this month. The last one, Hexic, arrived in late March. But we did get an awesome arsenal of new games to play. Strategy fans got two strong games to play - King’s Bounty: Legions and Braveland. Casual gamers received their due with the hidden object adventure Enigmatis 2 and addictive puzzler Jelly Smash. And RPG/card game fans will be busy with Magic Realms for a long time.
Quick impressions and Store links after the break!
Since publisher King stubbornly refuses to release Candy Crush Saga on Windows Phone, puzzle fans have to make due with clones like AceViral’s Jelly Smash. Luckily it’s really good!
What’s cool about Jelly Smash is how it gradually increases in complexity with each new level. Each of the early levels teaches a new mechanic that makes this more than just an average match-3 game. For instance: match four and you’ll get a glowing jelly that explodes horizontally or vertically when matched, taking out a whole line of pieces.
Make a t-shape of jellies and you get a special jelly that explodes diagonally, which really mixes things up. Or create a square out of four like-colored jellies to build a bomb that explodes radially. Finally, 5-in-a-row forms a rainbow jelly that destroys all jellies of one color.
The first 35 levels of Jelly Smash are free, after which players can choose to make an in-app purchase to unlock the rest. If you like the game and want to support the developers, pony up and get those extra levels.
- Jelly Smash – Windows Phone 8 – 20 MB – Free – Store Link
- Jelly Smash – Windows 8 and RT – 19 MB – Free – Store Link
Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood
Artifex Mundi makes the best hidden object puzzle adventure (HOPA) games in the world, and they even release them first on Windows platforms. Enigmatis 2 is another fine HOPA title starring a detective on a quest to stop the evil preacher from the first game.
While investigating the mysterious Ravenwood Park, you’ll encounter numerous puzzles and 25 minigames. Some of the items our heroine finds get marked as evidence and added to the evidence table. Discover enough clues and you’ll be able to draw conclusions that advance the story.
As our heroine progresses through this tale of mystery, she’ll encounter 19 hidden object scenes. These scenes are more complex and involved than in many HOPA titles. You’ll have to interact with objects multiple times, combining and fiddling with them as you find new tools scattered throughout the scene. The addition of mild puzzle elements give these scenes a unique flavor.
Enigmatis 2 is free to download, but you can only go so far before you’re asked to purchase the full game. If you like the genre, it’s well worth the purchase.
- Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood – Windows Phone 8 – 312 MB – $2.99 – Store Link
- Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood – Windows 8 and RT – 692 MB – $4.99 – Store Link
If you like strategy games but don’t feel the need to compete in player-versus-player combat, Braveland from Tortuga Team could be for you. Play as the survivor of a village raid who decides to form an army and take revenge on his attackers. You’ll move around on a map, meet new characters, and engage in a well-written story as you progress.
Just like King’s Bounty, battles take place on a hex-based grid. The main character doesn’t join in battles himself; he just directs the combat. Simply move your units within range of the enemies and tap them to attack. The battles move at a quick pace and look great thanks to the game’s cutesy RPG-inspired art style.
Another plus for fans of old-school strategy: Braveland is a paid game. Just buy it once and work your way through the lengthy campaign without fear of excessive in-app purchases.
- Braveland – Windows Phone 8 – 174 MB – $2.99 – Store Link
King’s Bounty: Legions
King’s Bounty: Legions is the mobile version of the venerable turn-based strategy series. Well, not just mobile. Legions supports cloud saves and cross-platform multiplayer via Facebook! You can start playing on Windows Phone and then pick up where you left off on Steam, Facebook, iOS, and Android. Talk about a true multiplatform experience!
Battles take place on a hex grid, much like the Heroes of Might and Magic series that shares lineage with this one. You command several units in battle, each one taking his or her turn before the enemies begin their turns.
To attack your foes, either tap the enemy for a normal attack or select a special ability from the list at the bottom of the screen. After confirming the attack or move, your unit will carry it out. Players get several types of units to command, including swordsmen, mages, and archers. It’s simple and easy to learn, but filled with strategic possibilities.
Legions offers hundreds of single-player quests and battles. Players can also form clans and engage in player-versus-player battles, providing an endless array of strategic challenges. The game is free to play and requires 1 GB of RAM on Windows Phone.
- King’s Bounty: Legions – Windows Phone 8 with 1 GB of RAM – 231 MB – Free – Store Link
- King’s Bounty: Legions – Steam – 789 MB – Free – Store Link
And now for my favorite Windows Phone game of the month: Magic Realms from Mobote Games. You wouldn’t know from the title, but Magic Realms is a port of an iOS and Android collectible card game called Elemental Kingdoms.
Think of Magic Realms as a more story-focused version of Magic: The Gathering. As you progress through each level, you’ll encounter RPG-style story scenes and unlock new cards. The individual levels are highly replayable since each one has three separate difficulties to complete.
Magic Realms has a simple but great combat system that takes no time at all to learn. Every round, players draw a random card from the deck, which then moves to the preparation zone. Cards in the preparation zone have a wait timer. Once the timer counts down to zero, players can select the card and move it to the battlefield.
Cards have HP and Attack attributes. They automatically attack cards lying directly across from them. If there is no card across from the attacking card, it attacks the opponent’s Hero instead. Deplete the enemy Hero’s health to win the battle.
On top of the single-player campaign, Magic Realms offers online PVP battles, clan support (join the WPCentral clan!), and global chat. It’s a truly massive game that card fans will love. It’s free to play, but if you can live with the usual waiting-for-energy mechanic then you’ll do fine.
We’ll be back with a full review soon… I just need to finish a few hundred more card battles!
- Magic Realms – Windows Phone 8 – 62 MB – Free – Store Link
How do you like my picks, awesome readers? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite games of April!