Windows Phone Games

Spinballs is a Windows Phone game that hit the Store shelves earlier this month. The puzzle game has you shooting a ball across a wooden puzzle where it should eventually land in a basket. We were tipped on this game, it looked interesting and we took the plunge to see what it was all about.

The puzzles have trap doors, re-directs and other twists to add some degree of challenge to the game. The concept is decent but glitches with the graphics and a few other factors noticeably holds this Windows Phone game back. It is available for low-memory devices.

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A few years ago, Microsoft partnered with Nokia and Aalto University to create the AppCampus. The initiative was created to help developers build new content for Windows Phone and has had tremendous success.

Some of the alumni of the AppCampus include Project Tripod, Dark Lands, Mash&Co. and Zombies got a Pogo. The collection of apps has grown so that the Windows Phone Store has an AppCampus Showcase Collection to highlight a few of the games that have darkened the campus hallways.

We have touched on this Collection before and felt it was time to revisit things and shine the spotlight on a few of these Windows Phone games for this week's Windows Central roundup.

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The latest mobile gaming app hit is Trivia Crack, but its method of using questions supplied by its many players has created a backlog of questions that are still awaiting approval. The app, developed by Etermax, gets an average of one million questions per day submitted by users, according to the developer's founder Maximo Cavazzani.

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Sometimes the simplest of games can be the most enjoyable. Rocket Fireworks is a Windows Phone game that hopes to fall into that category. Rocket Fireworks includes three gaming options where basically get to shoot fireworks on your Windows Phone. Sounds relatively simple, right?

Rocket Fireworks three gaming modes are designed to test your memory, reactions and tapping speeds. You also have time constraints and color sequences to match to keep the game from becoming too easy. The game concept is simple but mastering it may take some time. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Rocket Fireworks comes across as a nice fit for the simple but enjoyable Windows Phone mold.

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Make it Rain: The Love of Money is arguably one of the oddest and silliest games to land on Windows Phone (and Windows 8.1 soon too), but here it is. From the developers Game Troopers comes a simple game that is also evidently popular on Android and iOS.

The goal? Flick dollar bills as fast as you to, well, you know, "make it rain". Of course, there is more to the game than just that as you can score points and then "invest in venture capital, loan sharking, or offshore drilling." Sure, whatever.

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This morning, Plain Vanilla, Inc. and Gateway Apps, LLC have announced plans to bring QuizUp (QuizUp.com) to Windows and Windows Phone as a universal app. The release is timed with an expected major update to QuizUp for Android and iOS due sometime this year.

More importantly, we are told that the Windows versions include all the features found on competitor platforms with the addition of Live Tiles to make the experience more personal. Cross platform play with Android and iOS is also a planned feature.

QuizUp was previously close to a release on Windows Phone last year, but the project was postponed. It now looks like the company behind the game (Plain Vanilla, Inc) was waiting for a more appropriate time to re-launch the game with a feature refresh and taking advantage of universal programming libraries for Windows. Exact details of the QuizUp update for iOS, Android and Windows have not yet been revealed.

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Gun Strike 2 is an action packed Windows Phone game where you play the role of a local mercenary who faces a wide assortment of combat assignments. Game play is along the lines of a robust Hogan's Alley styled game with your enemies popping out from behind walls, through windows and other areas of cover. While the missions vary in context, the ultimate goal is the same, take the enemy out before they take you out.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Gun Strike 2 has plenty of weapons upgrades and mercenary types to unlock. The game has its fair share of challenges and comes across as an enjoyable title for our Windows Phone gaming library.

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Yog is a fun, casual game that requires great reflexes along with hand and eye coordination. Yog means union or conjunction in Sanskrit, or addition in mathematical context.

The game isn't a mathematical quiz, and you don't have to add numbers. As you go along, additions are displayed, and you have to specify if those are correct or not. As the game progresses, the difficulty level of question increases.

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Farmville is a popular online game developed by Zynga and has many Facebook users addicted to farm life. Farmville 2: Country Escape brings the Farmville concept to our Windows Phones and Windows 8 devices with a slight twist from the original game.

While the original Farmville was more free-play in nature, Country Escape is more task or quest oriented. You still have a farm to build and manage with crops to grow and livestock to raise, but the game seemed to have more structure.The Farmville gaming genre is a fun way to pass the time and Farmville 2: Country Escape came across as a nice installment.

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Windows Phone puzzle game lovers will be pleased with this week's myAppFree deal. It is Dwelp, a connect the dot styled puzzler that is not only available for our Windows Phone but the game is also available for Windows 8 devices.

The game has you linking similar colored dots that are scattered about on a gaming board. You aren't racing the clock but the fewer moves it takes to connect everything, the better. Normally Dwelp is priced at $1.99 in the Windows Phone Store but through the myAppFree deal you can pick it up for free. As an added bonus, being a universal app, you can also pick up the Windows 8 version free as well.

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Mash&Co is one of the latest Windows Phone games that is the product of Microsoft's AppCampus. For those not familiar, the AppCampus is a collaborative effort between Microsoft and Aalto University to help build Windows Phone content. AppCampus alumni include such hits as Dark Lands, Mossad, Sheep Up and Zombies got a Pogo.

Mash&Co. hopes to continue the AppCampus string of successful Windows Phone titles by bringing an interactive children's game to the table. Mash&Co. is a multimedia, episodic learning app (plays out more as a game) for pre-school children. The game includes performance monitors for parents to review and see how their children's skills are improving.

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The other week we took a look at the Windows Phone game Field Goal Tournament where you try your skills at kicking field goals from various spots on the football field. The same developer has released a similar game that centers around the basketball court to see how good of a jump shot you have.

Basketball Tournament has two gaming modes that will challenge your ability to make a basketball shot from various spots on the court. Some shots are gimmes while others send you downtown. As with Field Goal Tournament, Basketball Tournament is available for low-memory Windows Phones and is a fun game to pass short bits of time with.

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Q42, the developers who released puzzle game, 0h h1, for free without any ads, in-app purchases, or other catches, have just released another puzzle game. This one is also free without any strings attached. It's called 0h n0, and they've released it simultaneously for the web (0hn0.com), iOS, Android, Windows, and Windows Phone. If you're into puzzle games, 0h n0 is just as addictive as their previous game. Check out a sample gameplay in our hands-on video.

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Windows Central Roundup: Cute Monsters Collection

Monsters are often at the center of video game and the titles in the Windows Phone Store is no exception. More times than not the monsters play the role of the villain (often misunderstand) in such Windows Phone games as Evolved: Hunter's Quest or Halo: Spartan Assault.

However, there are occasions where the monster plays the central role in games - sometimes the hero or just the unexpected participant. The Windows Phone Store has put together a small collection of Windows Phone games that feature monsters in a non-adversarial role. The Cute Monsters Collection in the Store is a small gathering of games where the monster isn't looking to destroy civilization.

We've pulled a few of the titles from this collection to highlight in this week's roundup.

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Grand Theft Seagull is another endless runner installment to the Windows Phone Store that has you guiding an pesky seagull down city streets. You duck, dodge and avoid a wide range of dangers that includes cars, pedestrians, wrecking balls and more.

Oh and you get to shoot poo at various targets as you soar down the street. Grand Theft Seagull is available for low memory Windows Phones and has a slight level of appeal. Unfortunately, while the game tries to stand out from the crowded field of endless runner games, it falls a little short of the mark due to annoying ad-support.

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Pirates and Dragons is a relatively new Windows Phone game from MissinGames, an AppCampus alumnus. The game has an arcade, maybe even an endless runner feel where you pilot an airplane across thirty levels of game play, battling pirates, dragons and other creatures as you hunt down treasure.

While the game has a slight casual pace it doesn't lack in challenge. Graphics are well drawn up and in playing Pirates and Dragons over the past few days, it comes across as an addictive, entertaining Windows Phone game.

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Slingpin is an arcade styled Windows Phone game that puts an entertaining twist on the game of bowling. Instead of rolling your bowling ball down the lane to knock the pins down, with Slingpin you shoot your bowling ball from a slingshot.

To add to the challenge you have obstacles to bank your shots around, barriers that have to be destroyed to get to the pins and laser beams to avoid. Slingpin has over seventy levels of play that are spread across four difficulty levels. Available for low-memory devices, Slingpin may not be the most action packed sports game in the Store but it is a fun way to pass the time.

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