Last year’s Windows Phone Xbox Live Black Friday Week Sale wasn’t terribly exciting, but it did put three games on sale at once, a quantity only equaled in the Countdown to 2012 Sale a month later. A lot has happened between then and now, and today Microsoft has really upped the ante. The 2012 Black Friday Week Sale is live and includes a whopping six discounted Xbox Windows Phone games!
Head past the break for sale details, game impressions, and Xbox 360 Black Friday news too.
Xbox Windows Phone Sale
The following Xbox Windows Phone games are on sale from November 20-26. Note that the Windows Phone Store updates at different times for different people, so you may not see the discounted prices until later today or tomorrow.
Yes, Assassin’s Creed was part of last year’s Black Friday sale, but it cost $2.99 back then, so we get a better deal this time. Assassin’s Creed is a 3D platformer/action title set in the middle ages. With great graphics and full voice acting (though the acting is atrocious), it feels like a DS game squeezed into a mobile title (‘cause it is). The controls are fiddly and the platforming can be frustrating, but the story and action mostly make up for it.
Wow, Carcassonne came out less than a month ago and it’s already on sale. Carcassonne is a board game in which players take turns placing land tiles, trying to build cities, complete roads, and score the most points. The core game itself has been translated accurately to Windows Phone and can be very fun. The only problem is Carcassonne’s online mode is just about entirely broken, nullifying what could be a great selling point. Developer Exozet promises us they’re working with Microsoft to solve the server issues; let’s hope they succeed. Also, a couple of the Achievements will take over 100 hours of grinding.
Cracking Sands has only been out for five weeks, making it not much older than Carcassonne. Cracking Sands (oy, that name) is a combat racer set in a vaguely apocalyptic setting. Impish little drivers ride around on 4-wheel ATVs and take part in a variety of races. The difficulty curve is a bit off, as are the default controls, but at least those can be fixed in the options menu. If you can handle a slightly tough racer, give it a crack... Just don’t let the sand get in your crevices!
Gravity Guy is a super tough endless runner/platformer that mixes things up with the hero’s gravity-defying powers. Instead of directly jumping, players just tap the screen to reverse the hero’s gravity, sending him flying up to the ceiling or down to the ground. The graphics are lovely and the core gameplay proves addictive, but the game is definitely designed to make you want to buy PDLC. Even with the paid time-slowing powers, it’ll kill you over and over again without mercy. The iOS version only costs a dollar, but at least this sale brings our version a little closer to parity.
Mush is a bright and original platformer that plays a bit differently from the norm. The titular character gains unique abilities based on his emotions. Draw a smile and becomes so elated that he floats; make him frown and he sinks way down low. By switching emotions as necessary, you’ll help Mush solve puzzles and win a game of hide-and-seek with his friends. Besides the creative emotion mechanic, Mush also boasts a beautiful and appealing art style. It’s kind of short and easy, but so pretty you likely won’t mind.
Sonic CD just came out on Windows Phone, and we’re still waiting on the long-delayed Sonic 4: Episode II. Well, the first Episode isn’t as great as either of those games, but it’s still a very capable platformer. It plays much like the classic 2D Genesis games, except that this Sonic also has the modern homing attack to make killing enemies and crossing gaps easier. The touch screen controls work very well since the game only uses a single action button.
Owners of Sonic 4: Episode I will unlock four extra levels in the awesome Episode II (whenever it finally comes out), so don’t miss this one. Plus two bucks is the cheapest it’s ever been!
Xbox 360 Sale
Microsoft’s best-selling console gets a ton of discounted digital games this week, most of which are must-buys.
Daytona USA – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
The first arcade-perfect port of SEGA’s classic racer features lots of great enhancements like online multiplayer, challenges, and even a karaoke mode. Everyone should hear (and maybe sing along to) the famous “Dayyyyyytooooonnnnna!!!!!” theme once in a while. Best of all, the Achievements are dirt easy.
Magic the Gathering 2013 – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
The latest adaptation of Wizards of the Coast’s phenomenal trading card game may not be too different from previous years, but Stainless Games always throws in a new mode or two to justify the cost. These games are endlessly replayable for card fans, including yours truly. The first DLC expansion is also on sale for half off.
Rock Band Blitz – 600 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
Harmonix’s first XBLA game combines the popular music Rock Band is known for with a fast-moving rhythm game. No, it doesn’t play anything like the main Rock Band games and doesn’t require or even support plastic instruments. But if you like music and want a fresh and challenging experience, it’s very much worth a look. Rock Band fans in particular shouldn’t miss this deal because all 25 Blitz songs export to Rock Band 3 for free! Plus most Rock Band DLC songs work in Blitz, giving this game endless potential.
SEGA Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co. – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
Contains three classic SEGA games: Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Super Hang On, and Revenge of Shinobi, one of the era’s finest games.
SEGA Vintage Collection: Golden Axe – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
Contains the arcade version of Golden Axe, plus the Genesis sequels Golden Axe 2 and III. Check out my Co-Optimus review for more details.
SEGA Vintage Collection: Monster World – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
Contains Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy in Monster World, and Wonder Boy IV.
SEGA Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
Contains all three Genesis Streets of Rage games. Co-Optimus review
South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
As opposed to the awesome looking South Park: The Stick of Truth RPG we saw at E3, Tenorman’s Revenge is a 4-player platformer. The initial release was criticized for some balance issues, but the developers actually rectified those with a patch shortly thereafter. South Park fans should give it a shot.
Space Channel 5 Part 2 – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
A unique rhythm game from the Sega Dreamcast, this one features peppy tunes, bizarre visuals, and even an appearance by Michael Jackson.
Spelunky – 600 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
An ultrahard platformer that took hardcore gamers by storm earlier this year. How far down the cavern can you make it? Co-Optimus review
Warp – 400 MS Points – Xbox.com Link
A puzzle game with stealth elements in which players must help an alien escape from his cruel human captors.