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3 years ago

Square Off - Review

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Square Off - Review

Given that both Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox 360 and games on Windows Phone use the XNA development environment, it’s surprising how few indie games have made the jump from Xbox 360 to Windows Phone so far. Twin Blades is the earliest game to have made the transition (becoming an Xbox Live title, no less). Indie gaming fans sick of puzzle games now have a more hardcore game to play: Square Off, courtesy of Australian developer Gnomic Studios.

Square Off’s story, told through a series of full screen stills in the intro and ending, involves a prolonged alien invasion of the earth. Humanity is unable to defeat the aliens for some reason, so a mad scientist comes up with a plan. He splices alien DNA with his own brain cells, creating a team of Square Avengers. These little guys strap on jet-packs, grab some guns, and head out to save the planet.

While the silly story sets the stage, Square Off is really just about shooting a bunch of aliens. The game consists of seven levels: the first three have four regular waves followed by a boss wave, while the final level contains two waves and a big boss wave. In normal waves, a group of UFOs act as enemy generators. They spawn numerous smaller enemies and must be dealt with before the bad guys overwhelm you with numbers. Helpful color coded arrows indicate the location of off-screen enemies and UFOs. Finish everybody off and it’s on to the next wave.

Rocket past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

Pitfall! - Review

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Pitfall! - Review

Many younger gamers’ first exposure to Pitfall! came from the console title Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which featured a Pitfall! minigame. But Pitfall! started its life way back in 1982 on the Atari 2600. The product of a single Activision developer, David Crane, it sold over 4 million copies and skyrocketed Activision to stardom. Now developer Krome and publisher Microsoft Game Studios bring the ‘Fall! To Windows Phone as both an Xbox Live and Game Room title. Is it better suited to mobile play than cranky ol’ Asteroids Deluxe? Yes!

Pitfall! stars the adventurer Pitfall Harry. His sprite was comprised of four separate colors on a platform in which most sprites were made of only one or two colors. Harry’s surplus of colors produced such a realistic effect at the time that many people thought an actual human being had somehow become trapped in their game cartridge. Thanks to modern computer technology we now know that this was not the case, but Harry still retains a certain visual charm after all these years.

Grab onto a vine and swing past the jump for our full review!

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy shows up in their online smartphone guide

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As if there was any doubt left: the Verizon Trophy is near ready to launch, it's really happening.

First Best Buy, then the forums, then employee training, then a potential release date (May 12th) and now the phone has showed up on Verizon's interactive "online smartphone guide" in it's full glory.

Although they have yet to officially announce the device, this is pretty close to it and shows that this phone is finally on the cusp of release. So we can now say: yes, get excited, this looks real this time.

Source: Verizon; via Drewkkake; Thanks, Grubish360, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone vs iPhone 4 Task Speed Test [Video]

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The above video shows a task speed test between the iPhone and a Windows Phone 7 device (Samsung Focus), which included the following steps:

  1. Take a Picture
  2. Upload Picture to Facebook with Caption ("Check out my new hat!")
  3. Update Status ("I love weekends!")
  4. Find Directions to a Restaurant (Olive Garden)
  5. Get Movie Times ("Fast Five")
Unfortunately for our iOS friends, WP7 comes out tops due to it's simplicity and superb social integration. Does this remind everyone of the previous comparison adverts Microsoft released

Thanks James for the tip!

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Concept Running WP7

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Victor Cao, an artist from Vietnam, has created some concept designs for a Sony device running what appears to be a vision of Windows Phone 8. What's eye-popping about the design? The specifications of course, unfortunately we still can't wireless synchronise with microwaves and ovens but the proposed 1080p screen with a 12MP camera coupled with HD video capturing would be pretty nice.

Only issue I have with it is the UI, it's taken the simplicity of Metro and thrown in some gradients with glass effects. While I think the device looks promising (and the specification is on par with advancements), the prediction of WP8 looking as it does in the designs isn't my cup of tea. Check out some more images after the break.

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3 years ago

Shut The Box - App Spotlight

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Shut The Box - App Spotlight

Looking for an interesting game for your Windows Phone? Shut The Box is being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that is an Old English puzzle game.  It's a simple, yet challenging game.

You have your box, a pair of dice, and tiles (or shutters) numbered one through nine. The object of the game is to turn down all the tiles. You do so by rolling the dice and turning down the corresponding tiles that equal the sum of each roll. When you roll the dice with a sum that won't drop any tiles, game over.

It's a simple game that has a Yahtzee feel to it. Shut the Box has fantastic graphics and is an enjoyable way to pass the time with. Shut The Box also includes a statistics page so you can evaluate your performance and a settings page that includes a Move Hints settings. This is a good feature to help you learn the game strategy.

There is no trial version for Shut The Box and the full version will run you $.99. You can purchase the game here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Monkey Madness - App Spotlight

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Monkey Madness - App Spotlight

Phoebit Software is offering Monkey Madness over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. The platformer game has you controlling your monkey with the phone's accelerometer. You work your way through a moving maze/ladder to reach the top of the screen. Jumping is controlled by tapping the screen to leap through openings in the walkways or rungs in the ladder.

Along your journey you try to collect bonus items and avoid dangers such as snakes and ghosts. If one of the monsters catch you, you will loose one of your three lives. You also need to be careful not to bump your head on the walkway above or fall through the gaps in the moving rungs. You won't loose a life but your monkey will be stunned for a short period.

Monkey Madness has an online leader board to compare your scores with others. As you advance in levels, the game becomes more challenging and you really need to stay on your toes as the direction of the rungs will change.

There is a free trial version available for Monkey Madness with the full version running $.99. You can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

There Yet? - App Spotlight

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There Yet? - App Spotlight

Need to take a nap on the morning train commute? Car pool and want to doze off? Tempted but don't want to miss your stop?

Earthware Limited has released the Windows Phone 7 app, There Yet? to help with such dilemmas. The app uses Bing Maps to set geo-location alarms that will sound as you approach your destination.

In briefly testing out There Yet?, the only glitches I experienced was that at times it had difficulty acquiring my location and at times I wasn't sure if my destination was set.  Giving the app the benefit of the doubt, the location issues could easily be an issue with the area and not with the application itself.  While the app isn't too difficult to navigate around, a Help Section would be a nice addition to shorten the learning curve.

There isn't a trial version of There Yet? and the full version will run $.99. You can download your copy here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

100 Top World Wonders - App Spotlight

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100 Top World Wonders - App Spotlight

Ever wonder what's the world's largest volcano on earth is? How about the largest cathedral in the world?  Well, XIMAD has brought 100 Top Worlds Wonders to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace to help answer those and other questions about the wonders of the world.

From the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef, from the Grand Canyon to the Philippines' Chocolate Hills the 100 Top Wonders combines stunning photographs with quick facts on each wonder.  Each Wonder can be starred as a favorite for quick reference as well as shared through your Windows Phone email clients.  The app also has a keyword search function.

100 Top World Wonders comes in two varieties. There is a free, ad supported version here (opens Zune) and a paid, non-ad version (runs $1.29) here at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Mini-Review: World Weather

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Mini-Review: World Weather

Your Windows Phone helps you stay in touch with friends, family, news, sports, and weather. World Weather is one app that hopes to keep you up to date with current weather conditions and forecasts.

Key features include:

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Stencil Kit

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Windows Phone 7 Stencil Kit

UIstencils has released a Windows Phone 7 stencil kit coupled with a sketch pad, and it looks damn impressive. The stencil itself works precisely with the pad thanks to the involvement of the Windows Phone internal design team.

The sheer brilliance of this product will allow not only developers/designers to create hundreds of concepts with minimal effort, but it may appeal to any end-user who may wish to redecorate their house without the approval of their parent(s)/wife. What's included in the stencil kit?

  • Stainless steel stencil
  • Zebra mechanical pencil
  • Plastic protector wallet
  • 2 UI stencil stickers

You can grab the Windows Phone 7 kit for $24.95 and the pads are available at $12.95 each. Check out more photos after the break

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3 years ago

Stephen Elop to Keynote at Qualcomm's Uplinq 2011 Conference

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More interesting news on the Nokia front, along with Qualcomm. While both companies have a history in having a somewhat distant relationship, it seems they are really starting to come together, especially with Nokia's entry into Windows Phone 7.5 being just around the corner. The CEO of Nokia, Stephon Elop, will be keynoting at Qualcomm's Uplinq 2011 conference on June 2nd in San Diego.

Brilliant news for the Qualcomm and Nokia partnership, should the handset giant make a positive re-entrance into the competition under Microsoft's flag, since Qualcomm see promise with the handset manufacturer. Along with Nokia, HP and HTC are to be present at the conference.

Source: Qualcomm, via: MobileTechWorld

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Supporting Nancy Davis Foundation

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Daisy Fuentes (model and TV personality should you not know -- anybody remember her on MTV?) has recently tweeted about Windows Phone pledging to donate $500 to the Nancy Davis Foundation, should she publish a tweet and attach a photo. Which she (thankfully) has done. And we're perfectly OK with her doing so without actually showing a Windows Phone.

It's Nice to see Windows Phone (and Microsoft) back organizations such as this, especially after Bill Gates set up his incredible charity.

Oh, and after the break, a picture of an actual Windows Phone, just to cover all the bases.

Source: Twitter

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3 years ago

User Experience vs Statistics on AdDuplex [Developers]

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The AdDuplex team has posted an interesting article on their blog that goes into how some clicks aren’t registered in the system to maximise the user experience. Alan Mendelevich, a developer, explains:

As you probably know, there’s no multitasking in current version of Windows Phone. So as soon as you open a marketplace app via MarketplaceDetailTask the control is transferred to the MP app and the call to register the click on your server gets killed. There are 2 general ways to overcome this:

  1. Route all the taps through your web server.
  2. Delay opening the marketplace app until the click is registered with you server.

We’ve dismissed both of these approaches because of the effect they have on user experience and based on the understanding of what is the end goal for our clients.

The overall just of the click being counted is when a user taps on an advert, this click event is saved in Isolated Storage and the user is transferred to the Marketplace. Should that user return to the app where he/she performed the tap on the advert, the user is checked against a saved click. If one’s present it’s reported to the server.

Alan ran a short experiment to check how much CTR is actually lost due to the above user experience adjustments. Estimating from two identical adverts (one going to the Marketplace and the other via the web) Alan reached a conclusion that approximately 20% of the Marketplace links are not registered.

What do you think about this as a developer who uses the service? Should you have any suggestions or feedback, check the article via the link below to voice your opinion - every little shout helps.

Source: AdDuplex

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