Games

Last month Disney released Disney Solitaire for Windows 8 with word that a Windows Phone 8 version would be released soon. We are happy to report that "soon" happened today with the release of the Windows Phone 8 version of Disney Solitaire.

Disney Solitaire does feature saving your game progress to OneDrive, which will allow to pick up things where you left off from a Windows 8 device.

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Last week was a dry week as far as retail Xbox game releases. But both Xbox One and 360 got the phenomenal downloadable puzzle/shooter Super Time Force, so nobody should have complained too much. All of you FPS guys need to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed. Oh, but First-Person Shooter fans do have reason to celebrate this week. ..

Wolfenstein: The New Order from Bethesda and Machine Head Games has finally arrived on the Xbox One and 360! The latest entry in the series that basically started the FPS genre (yes, it preceded Doom and even Call of Duty!) is a single-player tour-de-force. And Xbox 360 gamers have a more lighthearted downloadable game to play now - Max: the Curse of Brotherhood. Read on for details and exclusive Wolfenstein screenshots!

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Anybody remember a little Windows Phone 7 shoot-em-up called Corona? Even for an older game, Corona continues to impress with its beautiful anime-style artwork and intense bullet hell shooting action. I thought Finnish developer Kajak Games had stepped away from Windows Phone development after completing Corona, depriving us of their high quality indie games.

As it turns out, Kajak has quietly released quite a few games lately. Today I checked out the studio’s Hopping Penguin, a platformer/endless runner starring a vampire bat – I mean penguin. Mundane title aside, Hopping Penguin offers some very good artwork and lots of platforming goodness in a free to play package. Check out our impressions and video after the break.

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7

Magic Realms for Windows Phone gets a glitchy update

Yesterday we reviewed Magic Realms, a free to play collectible card game for Windows Phone. The game impressed me with its fast and simple battle system, social features and player-versus-player battles, cloud saves, and a truly vast array of beautiful cards to collect and battle. I did wish for a few improvements such as a faster energy recharge rate and smoother campaign difficulty, though.

It looks like our review was well-timed, because today Magic Realms received an update. This update shrinks the file-size down by a hefty margin; it was a 62 MB game but now takes up only 48 MB. And of course it fixes a few bugs. But the update introduces a few new problems, and does nothing to solve the issue some users have with being unable to launch the game. Head past the break for full details.

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Gameloft, the popular games developer with numerous titles under its belt, has released a new app for Windows Phone. Game Hub enables consumers to quickly access top games, as well as check out what's available on the Windows Phone Store. Think of it as the hub to all your favorite Gameloft titles. We're seeing an early version, but there's potential to offer some real value to consumers.

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Maleficent Free Fall hit the Windows Phone Store last week in advance of the Disney movie Maleficent that is due out in theaters on May 30th. The latest Windows Phone 8 game from Disney Studios places a dark twist on the match three game.

The multi-level, multi-chapter game has you following a young Maleficent through the years tackling a wide assortment of match three challenges. You earn magic that can be used to unlock power-ups that will help you survive the puzzles.

Maleficent Free Fall is a well animated, entertaining gaming option for Windows Phone 8 and if you're looking for a challenging puzzle game, it's worth checking out.

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Anybody remember Doodle God, the alchemy simulator/puzzle game? The gameplay involved combining pairs of random ingredients in order to try to create new things. A sound enough idea in theory, but it boiled down to endless trial and error (or following a guide) and very little fun. If not for the easy Achievements and pretty good sense of humor, I’d never have finished it.

Somebody out there must feel differently though, because the Doodle series continues to multiply. Developer JoyBits has just released a new sequel/spin-off called Doodle Creatures on Windows Phone and Windows 8. On top of that, JoyBits is branching out into the hidden object genre with Around the World: Hidden Objects (just for Windows Phone). Now that’s a genre much closer to this gamer’s heart. Head past the break for descriptions and Store links!

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Magic Realms is the Windows Phone and Blackberry version of Elemental Kingdoms, a popular collectible card game/RPG. It also happens to be a re-skinning of an existing game called Lies of Astaroth, with the same game mechanics but totally different cards, art and story.

Origins aside, Magic Realms is a vast and endlessly enjoyable card game. You get a lengthy story mode, online player-versus-player battles, clan support, semi-weekly live events, cloud saves, and even cross-platform compatibility with the Blackberry version of the game. That’s quite a lot of value from a free to play game. Learn more in our in-depth review.

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Tap Master: Mondrian is a simple Windows Phone 8 game that will test your ability to react to commands and objects flying down your screen. The game's design is inspired by Piet Mondrian's minimalistic style and has you tapping colored shapes as they run down (or in some cases up) the screen.

The challenge to the game is that you can only tap the pieces as directed by the game. It sounds easy but as you progress through game play, the pace increases and you might be surprised how challenging it can be to keep up.

Tap Master: Mondrian has a simple layout, challenging game play and is a nice addition to the Windows Phone gaming library.

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At first glance, the Windows Phone game Shift may not be very impressive. It is a game of tic-tac-toe so it cannot be that challenging of a game, right?

While Shift is a tic-tac-toe game for Windows Phone 8, the game adds an interesting twist to the game. Game play is done in match style where you have to be the first to win three games, but you have to win by two games. Game play has a continuous pace until someone wins the match, which gives Shift that twist to make it stand out a little.

Shift is a fun, casual game for your Windows Phone gaming library and the twist in game play helps give the game a little staying power.

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A while back we reviewed Spirit of Hero, a 3D MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) from Vietnamese developer TeaMobi. Although fairly buggy and riddled with translation errors, the game offered a lot of content and a unique look at Vietnamese history and mythology. And there aren’t exactly tons of free to play MMORPGs on Windows Phone.

It turns out that TeaMobi is something of an MMO specialist. They offer two more massively multiplayer online games on our favorite smartphone platform: Ninja School and Avatar. Today we look at Ninja School (aka Ninja School Online), a free platforming RPG similar to the popular Maple Story series. Surprisingly, this one works with both Windows Phone 7 and 8. Do technical problems and poor translation keep this game from ninja awesomeness? Find out in our full review.

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Disney has kicked off a new game for their upcoming film starring Angelina Jolie called Maleficent Free Fall. The play is more or less standard match-3 fare, only following the theme of Sleeping Beauty's classic villainess. Players are presented with a grid of colored gems, and must swap adjacent tiles to match up those of the same color so they disappear. Every stage requires players to eliminate a certain number of gems in a limited number of moves. The standard freemium tropes are employed here, including in-app purchases for power-ups and a timer-based energy system.

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Every week, I like to look into the “Newly discovered games” thread in our forums to discover new Windows Phone games to play. Our dedicated readers seek out new game releases and share their Store links. Often the games are great - such as Magic Realms, which also has its own forum thread. But other times somebody will share a game that’s not so hot; those are the breaks.

One such game I discovered there is Hockey Fight (available in Pro and Lite versions) from Ratrod Studio. Ratrod has released some very impressive games on Windows Phone like the Drift Mania series and the Skateboard Party series. They have also released Hockey Fight. The idea of a game dedicated to hockey fights is fairly promising, but Hockey Fight lacks some of the polish and features we’ve come to expect from Ratrod games (including Moga controller support, sadly).  Read on for our full review.

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It’s a huge day for Xbox console hype with news that the Xbox One will now be available without a bundled Kinect, the Games with Gold and weekly deals programs coming to Xbox One, and video apps no longer requiring Xbox Live Gold on either the One or 360 (see the whole list of announcements here).

All fantastic news, but I’m almost as excited for another announcement coming from Blizzard: Diablo III is coming to Xbox One! In fact, the Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition will come to Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Playstation systems this August. The Ultimate Evil Edition collects both the main Diablo III game (which we reviewed for Xbox 360 back in September) and the “Reaper of Souls” expansion pack that landed on PC in March. Read on for pricing and character transfer details!

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