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The five best Windows Phone games of March 2014
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The five best Windows Phone games of March

Welcome to our new regular feature: the best 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.

March was a particularly strong month for Windows Phone because we got three new Xbox Live releases. Multiple mobile Xbox titles in a month is not a common occurrence nowadays. We’ve chosen two of those titles for this best-of list: Rayman Fiesta Run and Throne Together. Non-Xbox games tended towards average quality this month, but Machinarium, Castle Raid 2, and Super Polygon rise above the pack as excellent games.

Quick impressions and Store links after the break!

Throne Together

Throne Together

Throne Together is an Xbox Live-enabled block-stacking puzzle game. Each level starts out with a partially constructed castle. The player’s job is to add various shaped pieces to the castle without causing it to fall down. Put too much weight on the lower pieces and they will develop cracks or even break, so you need to distribute the weight evenly.

To place those pieces, tap and drag them down from the top of the screen. The pieces come in many shapes and sizes, not just squares and rectangles. Players will also unlock special pieces like doors and windows that provide bonus points when placed in specific locations.

Throne Together does have some difficulty problems stemming from its free to play nature; the later levels are virtually impossible to beat without purchasing boosts with real money. The game’s Facebook integration has been broken for some players (like me) since launch as well. But you’ll still have a great time until you hit the difficulty wall, and the developer continues to seek a solution to the Facebook issue.

With lots of different goals and castle pieces and a charming art style, Throne Together is a better than average puzzle game.

  • Throne Together – Windows Phone 8 – 29 MB – Free – Store Link
  • Throne Together – Windows 8 and RT – 42 MB – Free – Store Link

QR: Throne Together

Super Polygon

Super Polygon

Of all the games in this article, Super Polygon (a clone of Super Hexagon) from Dangling Concepts is probably the most different from the norm. Players control a tiny polygon as it travels through a 3D tunnel. The controls are simple – just tap left or right to move your polygon around the center of the tunnel.

Being a music and rhythm game, Super Polygon features catchy and energetic electronic music. As the song plays, players will have to dodge oncoming walls in order to keep your polygon alive. The obstacles and player movement match the beat of the music, creating a cool and hypnotic effect.

Because it’s so different from the norm, you really have to experience Super Polygon for yourself. And since the game is free (with a few optional IAPS such as removing ads), that should be very easy to do.

  • Super Polygon – Windows Phone 8 – 21 MB – Free – Store Link
  • Super Polygon – Windows 8 and RT – 25 MB – Free – Store Link

QR: Super Polygon

Castle Raid 2

Castle Raid 2

Here’s a game we haven’t covered yet. Castle Raid 2 comes from Arctic Mill, a small indie studio based in Sweden. And yet this game feels like it comes from a much larger studio thanks to its excellent hand-drawn artwork, voice acting, and clever gameplay.

Castle Raid 2 is a real-time strategy game in which two medieval fantasy armies battle for supremacy. RTS games are traditionally fairly complex, but Arctic Hill has done a great job of streamlining the core concepts for mobile play. Instead of sprawling maps, each map fits on a single screen. At either end you’ll find one of the two combatants' castles. Destroy your enemy’s castle and you’ll win the match.

Before you can start producing knights, archers, and other military units, you’ll have to gather some resources. Simply create a few peasants and they’ll gather up the resources automatically. A peasant can only collect resources once though, so you need to make a steady stream of them in order to keep the resources flowing.

Once you’ve got the necessary resources you can create military units to attack the enemy and protect your peasants. Again, these units automatically go to work so there’s no need to micromanage. Order up three of the same unit simultaneously and you’ll get an upgraded unit who can deal a lot more damage. The key is to release a good variety of units and cancel out your opponents’ forces.

It takes a few rounds to master the balance of resource gathering, attacks, and using your towers’ special abilities. But once you get a grip on Castle Raid 2’s battles, you’re in for an addictive campaign. Feeling competitive? Castle Raid 2 also supports 2-player head-to-head battles on one device.

  • Castle Raid 2 – Windows Phone 8 –  52 MB – $1.29 – Store Link
  • Castle Raid 2 – Windows 8 and RT –  41 MB – $1.99 – Store Link

QR: Castle Raid 2

Machinarium

Machinarium

Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game that stars a little robot named Josef. As the game opens, we see him dropped in a scrap heap outside of a gigantic industrial city. Josef wakes up, repairs himself, and sets off towards the city. Once the player helps him get inside, Josef sets about searching for his childhood robot friend. Along the way he’ll help robotic citizens in need as well as working to stop the evil Black Cap Brotherhood from destroying the city.

The story unfolds without any text or dialog. Instead, characters speak in voice bubbles that show little pictures about what they’re saying. This sells the idea that everything happens within an alien world. And yet the story is surprisingly involving and emotional, thanks to the gorgeous art-style and hand-drawn animation of each character.

Machinarium is one beautiful game. It feels like an interactive cartoon, just like most of the best adventure games of yesteryear. The robots’ world comes to life through an amazing attention to detail. Although Machinarium suffered from a crashing bug upon its release, the latest update fixes the problem. Buy it without fear, adventure game fans.

  • Machinarium – Windows Phone 8 – 221 MB – $4.49 – Store Link
  • Windows 8 and RT versions coming soon!

QR: Machinarium

Rayman Fiesta Run

Rayman Fiesta Run

When Rayman Jungle Run appeared on Windows Phone and Windows 8, it quickly took the mantle as the best platformer on mobile Windows platforms. The sequel Rayman Fiesta Run ups the ante, improving on its predecessor in both gameplay and visuals, and it even offers much more reasonable Xbox Live Achievements to boot.

Rayman and his friends now travel across a sprawling world map where they will access a total of 76 levels. Like Jungle Run, the goal of each level is to collect 100 Lums. But the Lums you collect can now be spent on power-ups and unlocking new characters and artwork. Rayman adds swimming to his repertoire of moves, and yet the controls remain perfectly simple and responsive.

Fiesta Run is a beautiful game, with vibrant colors and impeccable artwork. Besides gorgeous new character art and background themes, Ubisoft and Pastagames have also added 3D platforms into the mix. These don’t appear in every single level, but they add a great sense of depth whenever they show up.

For my money, Rayman Fiesta Run is the single finest Windows Phone game released in the month of March. Check out our full review for more impressions!

  • Rayman Fiesta Run – Windows Phone 8 – 81 MB – $2.99 – Store Link
  • Rayman Fiesta Run – Windows 8 and RT – 97 MB – $2.99 – Store Link

QR: Rayman Fiesta Run

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Reader comments

The five best Windows Phone games of March

100 Comments

I really appreciate WPC for trying to help us fans from going crazy. I appreciate that they have tried their best to find random WP related topics just to keep our minds focus until the big update... Because, if not for WPC's steady stream of support,,,,,,,,,,, I might not have made it through these last few weeks...... :-)

Seriously, man, well said. It really gets crazier on the weekend!! Slow to trickle news. But hey, they need a weekly off-day too!

 

Unfortunately this is true. I guess we can ask the editors to do one thing if this suggestion isn't bad.

On weekends allow 2-3 articles by us, readers/moderators of the the site and publish which is of a great caliber. In that way they can also get a rest and we can also get articles.

And now I'm ready to accept that they can drive a spear through my chest after this suggestion.

Lol!!!!! Funny... But, I'm not complaining about slow news on weekends.. Rather, I'm commending WPC for doing a great job holding us over until WP8.1 is unveiled.. Get it?❔❔

I have one... Lol!
I can get you a WP Lanyard.. I will try my best.. I've gotten MS to send me a box full of WP goodies, and I'm sure I can get you some as well.. As a matter of fact,, I think we should make a big deal of this... I'm gonna try to get Satya personally to present you guys with a BIG thank you... It's on now❕❕❕... Remember I said this❕
...................
The last picture on the bottom is one of the t shirts that a member of the WP team sent me.. If you ask then you shall receive....
https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=85f5d4ad91cf254c&id=85F5D4AD91CF254C%2110...

Lol!! I sure do appreciate what you guys at WPC do!!

PS. Lanyards are stupid. Imho. Sorry Paul.

Rodneyej get working on them goodies dude!

Just use the emoji key.. Emoticons key to the far right.. Some of those work on this site... The WP keyboard saves the ones you use most.. I'm so used to tapping that key that I don't even think about it anymore....

I'm working on it as we type.. I'm serious, and something is going to happen.. You just wait, and see.. You guys support for WP will be rewarded, and recognized❕... And, hopefully I can get you guys a few lanyards from MS.. Lol.
I'm serious, and soon I will email you guys some pictures of what I'm doing..

To be clear, it wouldn't surprise me if Daniel gets stuff from Microsoft sometimes. They've just ignored me for the last 1-2 years since they dropped their PR team for mobile games. Also, they do a really bad job with mobile games and I always point that out, so maybe someone there hates me?

Anyway, if you can scrounge those up for us, it would be super awesome. Appreciate it, man.

Ahh okay, for some reason I can't view what you posted! But if it's like the one in the link I posted, I fully understand! I wouldn't give it away either if I had that, haha! Enjoy!

I wouldn't have kept my Lumia after the 14 days Verizon let me try it if it wouldn't have been for the preinstalled WPC App. Since I'm immune to iPhone cultism I'm glad I did.

I'm glad that THIS(❗❗❗❗❗❗❗) is the first positive comment on here vs the whiny biatch complaining of slow news.
So for posting this, I thank yee, sir!

Naive how? It is a rip-off. I'd say it's more accurate to say something like Wave Wave is inspired by Super Hexagon, as opposed to a straight-up recreation like Super Polygon.

rip off or not, it is good for the platform, especially when the original developer (who incidently, hired people to port his flash game to android) refused to allow the developer of super polygon to port his game, saying he does not believe wp deserves a port. The dev of polygon deserves a big thank you, for spending 3 months and bringing a great title.

That's certainly true. You take a look at Gameloft, that, for all intents and purposes, has been ripping off popular console and PC games since the original devs didn't see the value in coming to mobile. Over time, the opportunistic stopgap became a permanent fixture. Gameloft now makes some of the best-looking games on mobile. By all means, if you have fun with the game, have at it, I just have a hard time heaping praise onto unoriginal ideas, especially after reading how the developers of Threes! have had to deal with clones.

If you have a different list then post it so we can all see another collection of great games, the more the merrier!

Hey Paul, how on earth can I buy games without a credit card? It's getting kinda frustrating, I am ready to pay but the store has no option for a debit card payment. :/

I am from India and i use both debit and credit card to buy apps in the store. Not sure Why Yours is not accepting... Are you using Mestro card? If yes try to get a VISA or Master card. Should definitely work

Hexic! Pause and play between Win8/RT and WP8 versions, gorgeous colorful UI, stackable Xbox achievements, solid game play (but does suffer the same freemium problems as Throne Together, an unfortunate trend and the reason I'd still call Hexic Rush the best puzzle game on Windows Phone).

Yeah, actually, having played both the WP and W8 versions quite a bit over the past few days, I've become quite disappointed with the massive case of freemium-itis they suffer from. Akin to Tetris Blitz, you can't do well without using boosts, and using boosts makes leaderboards meaningless. I've always loathed freemium games, not only because developers seemingly never took an economics class ($6 for a handful of one-use boosts!), but because it adulterates the gameplay. A game like Hexic Rush is pure, unadulterated puzzle gameplay. It's challenging and consistent. This is also why Flappy Bird was so popular. This new Hexic, though, just feels like an excercise in earning money. I realize this has now become the sole purpose for game publishers, but I miss the days when they sought to make money via making a great game. Whereas games like Hexic (old ones, like Rush or HD) and Tetris will go down in videogame lore as classics, games like Hexic (this new one) and Tetris Blitz will not. Sigh. Disappointing.

I have Fiesta Run on my Dell Venue 11 Pro (5130) and it can get really laggy. I'd be interested in getting it for my phone, but does anyone know if progress syncs across the phone and tablet?

I'm interested in Machinarium. Are there any other good point and click games for wp8? Not only do I love adventure games, but I feel that genre really lends itself to touch screen control.

Jayant, what you're saying is literally stupid (how ironic!). Try to be more polite and useful with your comments if you wish to keep your commenting privileges.