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3 years ago

Polar Mobile signs deal with Nokia for Windows Phone apps

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We covered Polar Mobile awhile back. They were set to bring 500 apps to Windows Phone after they were hired by Microsoft last October. At last count, they still seem to be under 100 and we're gonna call a spade a spade here, they're not the most awesome apps we've seen. In fact, Polar Mobile basically makes "template apps" which are just RSS feeds. Meh.

So why are we revisiting this? Evidently, Nokia sees something in them as they've been hired to make some Symbian apps, apps for the N9 and some apps for Nokia's Windows Phones. This time around, they're contracted for another 300 apps over 12 months for these various platforms, which we expect to include Nokia's Windows Phone store--whatever form that ultimately takes.

Hey, we guess this is good news for Canada's luckiest software house, but we can't help but think that Nokia and Microsoft hire these guys to bump up the Marketplace count with some mediocre offerings. Maybe that's just the cynic in us though.

Source: Polar Mobile; via Mobile Syrup; Image via WP7Applist; Thanks, Colin, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Kinectimals to feature kinect-kitty, I mean connectivity

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When gamers learned that Xbox 360 Kinect game Kinectimals is coming to Windows Phone, undoubtedly many of us wondered whether there would be connectivity between the two versions. Wouldn’t it be cool to take your existing Kinect kitty on the go?

A Microsoft representative shared these details with us:

“The answer is yes, Kinectimals for Windows Phone does share connectivity with the Kinectimals for Xbox 360 version. You can import your favorite pet to your Windows Phone from your Xbox 360 by simply holding the phone up to the TV screen and capturing the QR code from the pet. The phone will recognize the code and add the pet to the mobile experience. Players can export their favorite mobile pets into their Kinect for Xbox 360 Kinectimals game by holding their Windows Phone up to their Kinect sensor which will read the QR code assigned to their pet and add it to their console experience. If players are logged onto their WP and Xbox 360 consoles with the same Xbox LIVE credentials, this process will happen automatically.”

That’s great news for Kinect owners. Kinectimals’ connectivity isn’t exactly using your Windows Phone and a Kinect simultaneously to control an Xbox 360 game, but it is the first interaction between the two devices. The last time we saw Xbox 360 connectivity of any sort was in Microsoft Game Studios’ Full House Poker.

Kinectimals on Xbox 360 is a combination adventure title/mini-game collection/pet simulator in which players adopt an exotic kitten on a mysterious island. It’s targeted towards kids, but I enjoy most of the mini-games and the overall sense of progression as new areas of the island, items, and animals are unlocked. I do wish harm on the narrator though, as his voice should be illegal in civilized countries. Thankfully his blithering can be turned off! Anyway, the Windows Phone version retains just about everything the console version is known for and adds a few new elements into the mix too. We’ll have more details soon.

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3 years ago

IAGWH2 - Review

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IAGWH2 - Review

Every now and again we run across rather unique games for your Windows Phone. IAGWH2 is not only a unique game but it also has an equally unique title. It stands for "I am great with headlines 2" and is part puzzle game and part trivia game based on the news headlines of the day.

It reminded me of a game show you'd fine on NPR such as "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" IAGWH2 is a simple, yet entertaining game and to find out more, you've gotta make the jump past the break.

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3 years ago

Fastball 2 - Review

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Fastball 2 - Review

Fastball 2 is not a baseball game for your Windows Phone. Instead it's a bouncy ball type of game where you have to guide your ball down a path, bouncing over obstacles.

Fastball 2 has 105 levels of play spread across three stages. The game also offers two themes, cartoon and futuristic (cartoon looks the best).

From the main menu you can access the game, options, and a help section. Options include sound and music on/off controls, your theme of choice and the difficulty level (easy, normal and hard). You may want to start off easy because the game can be rather challenging.

Continued after the break.

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3 years ago

Fantasy Ferret - App Spotlight

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Fantasy Ferret - App Spotlight

Into Yahoo Fantasy Sports? Bushwood Studios has released Fantasy Ferret that will let you view and manage all of your Yahoo Fantasy Sports teams. The initial release includes full features for your baseball and football teams. Additional support for hockey and basketball teams will hit with future updates.

Key features of Fantasy Ferret include:

  • View league details including Standings, Teams, Transactions and Messages
  • View a team’s roster
  • Edit your current lineup
  • Add and Drop players
  • Support for Head to Head and Rotisserie leagues
  • View Scoreboards and current standings
  • View match-up scoreboard

You also have the ability to view detailed match-ups for baseball teams with this feature being extended to the other teams in the near future. Fantasy Ferret is a free app for your Windows Phone and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Indie console developers discuss why they aren't porting their games to Windows Phone

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Our friends at WP7Connect have released the second article in their series about Xbox 360 indie games coming to Windows Phone 7. This time, the focus is on why individual developers do not plan to port their XBLIG titles to WP7.

I’ll summarize each developer’s response:

Novaleaf Game Studios, makers of The Sprit of Khon:

Spirit of Khon is unlikely to come to be ported due to its reliance on custom rendering shaders that WP7 can’t replicate. However, if interest is high enough, Novaleaf would consider porting it anyway.

Milkstone Studios, makers of Raventhorne:

The game uses too many buttons to be ported easily. Besides, Milkstone is located outside of the US and still hasn’t even been paid for their first WP7 game, Epic 7 Free.

Dannobot, makers of Pajamarama:

Dannobot really isn’t sure how to go about developing for WP7. But even then, they would want to wait for official multiplayer support (which is coming in Mango) before entering the fray.

DoubleDutch Games, makers of Speed Runner:

The game’s controls would be difficult to adapt to touch screens. Still, maybe someday.

Left: Breath of Death VII. Right: Cthulhu Saves the World

It’s no fun just paraphrasing somebody else’s article though. WPCentral spoke with Zeboyd Games, makers of awesome indie RPGs Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World about bringing their games to the small screen. Their response:

“[We’re] leaning against porting to WP7 at the moment - it just doesn't look like the market is big enough to make it worth the effort.”

Ouch! I don’t think the first four developers’ games are any huge loss. But Zeboyd’s titles would be perfect for touch screens and fill an important gap in the Windows Phone software library. Perhaps RPG fans should send Zeboyd an email.

Don’t think for a minute that all XBLIG makers are giving Windows Phone the shaft. Plenty of XBLIG games have graduated to mobile Xbox Live status, including Twin Blades, Z0mb1es (on teh Phone), and Shoot1UP, to name only a few.

Sources: WP7Connect, Zeboyd Games; Thanks, Dale F., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Video highlights 9 upcoming Xbox Live games for Windows Phone

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Today at Gamescom, Microsoft announced a ton of upcoming Xbox Live games. They have since provided a video that shows many of these games in action.

In the video:

  • Chickens Can’t Fly from Amused Sloth
  • Mush from Angry Mango
  • Fight Game Rivals from Khaeon Studios
  • Kinectimals from Frontier Studios
  • Toy Soldiers Boot Camp from Signal Studios
  • Orbital from BitForge
  • Shoot1UP from Mommy’s Best Games
  • Cro-Mag Rally from Pangea Software
  • Burn the Rope from Big Blue Bubble
  • Farm Frenzy 2 from Alawar Entertainment

You’ll notice that Shoot1UP wasn’t actually included in today’s announcement. But we do know it’s a 2D shooter and a port of an Xbox 360 indie game. We’ll have more details about the game soon.

Thanks Colin for the tip!

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3 years ago

Fujitsu IS12T pricing revealed--it ain't cheap

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Even though Microsoft is reportedly shooting for that low-end price range, eventually, with Windows Phone, the Fujitsu IS12T won't be the phone to do it. In fact quite the opposite.

Pricing for the phone in various contexts i.e. out of contract, in contract, etc. have been revealed on the website for KDDI-AU, the carrier launching the device. From NanaPho who was kind enough to do the math for us:

  • IS12T New retail price $958
  • IS12T MNP retail price $753
  • IS12T New price with 2-year contract $458
  • IS12T MNP price with 2-year contract $252

(USD/JPY = 76.715)

(MNP price is for NTT docomo and Softbank users who want to switch to KDDI)

Yowsers that's a lot, even for a waterproofed, brightly colored, 32GB, 13MP camera phone running Mango. So far, this is the only announced device for Japan, so a lot is riding on it for success. While it's nice to have a flagship high-end phone, we're hoping that some other companies can bring some more mid-range offerings to Nipppon for competitions sake.

Source: Official AU Blog; via NanaPho

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3 years ago

Fourteen new XBox Live titles heading to Windows Phone

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We have already mentioned the new features heading to your Windows Phone Game Hub with the Mango update. Well the other shoe that dropped with that news is that fourteen new XBox Live titles are also headed to Windows Phone.

We know about Beards & Beaks: Cave Area, IonballEX and Fight Game: Rivals and to see what the other eleven titles are, hit the break.

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3 years ago

More new Games Hub features for WP7 en route

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Back in May, we heard about some of the great new features and streamlined integration that the Mango Games Hub will bring to Windows Phone.  Today at Gamescom in Germany, the team announced four more things that mobile gamers can expect to see in the coming months.

  • Avatar Awardables: You can think of these as "wearable achievements." Unlock items during game play and they will become available in your avatar closet.  One of the first games to have these will be "Chickens Can't Fly."
  • Game Add-ons: Players will be able to enhance their gaming experience by purchasing in-game add-ons and downloadable content, like extra weapons and new levels, using MS points.  "Beards & Beaks" is one of the first to have this feature, but more are on their way.
  • Parental Controls: Pretty self-explanatory. This will come in handy with M-rated games, like “Splinter Cell: Conviction,” (Coming this Fall).
  • Fast Async: This service will improve multi-player gaming for turn-by-turn (or asynchronous) Windows Phone games.

Check out the entire Gamescom Press Kit for more details, and info on stuff like Xbox 360, Kinect, and more.

Source: WindowsTeamBlog

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3 years ago

4th & Mayor hits v2.7, gets a tease, bug fixes and more

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Gotta give 4th & Mayor developer and Microsoftie Jeff Wilcox credit--he's on fire lately, pushing out update after update.

Version 2.7 is now live in the Marketplace and brings some cool new features:

  • Fixes over 40 customer-reported bugs and crashes
  • Can now flag photos and delete your own photos
  • Exciting new features for early adopters

While fixing "over 40 customer-reported bugs and crashes" is itself no small feat (luckily we never saw 'em), those new features for early adopters are pretty awesome sounding. 

Yes, in v2.7 if you are running "Mango" you can pin your friends or favorite places right to your today screen--booya! [See image of Phil Nickinson for an example] Now, these are admittedly a tease--they don't yet "flip' to reveal information like most Mango secondary tiles do, but you can bet when "Mango" is officially released we'll be seeing these things happen. For now, when you tap on your friend's Foursquare tile, it'll bring you to their profile page as expected.

Very cool. You can pick up 4th & Mayor v2.7 here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

SkyDrive Player - not great, but not bad either

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We know there's a lot of SkyDrive users out there always looking for new ways to utilize the free storage service. A new freeware app in the Marketplace looks to augment that by allowing you to effortlessly and easily play music from your SkyDrive to your phone. Sounds pretty good to us but alas the initial version is a work in progress. Still, for what it is, what it costs and where it's going, you may want to pick it up or at least watch for updates. From the app description, written in some broken English:

"SkyDrive Player is music player with Sky Drive. At first, upload to SkyDrive which your a lot of music data. then you can download/listen music anytime. this app save your Windows Phone data space. Notice: when uninstall this app. clear downloaded files too. First version of SkyDrive Player is very simple functions. please feedback about this app."

This app tested Media type

  • [.mp3]
  • Up to 320 Kbps
  • Constant or variable bit rate
  • Up to 48 kHz
  • 1 or 2 channels

Next version plans...

  • Supports multiple Live ID.
  • Supports PlayLists.

Notice

  • Not supports download resume. please not switch to other apps when downloading.
  • Not supports streaming play. please wait for finish download file.
  • Not supports read mp3 additional data(artwoks. artists and more)

So the big deal here is that it doesn't actually stream music--at least not yet. In short, you have to "download" the track first and then play it, which is not very exciting. It does "save" the music files, siloed within the app itself so you can play it anytime without re-downloading--that's not half bad. And it is a way to quickly share music with yourself or others, though it looks impossible to then bring that music into Zune. Still, it's a neat idea and like we said, we're curious as to where this can go in the future, plus we imagine a few of you have some ideas on how to use this freebie. Perhaps this developer or someone else will pick up the ability to stream from SkyDrive within Mango and do an app to make the process more simple an elegant.

Grab SkyDrive player here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Beards and Beaks Cave DLC now available

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Beards and Beaks is the only mobile Xbox Live title so far to feature downloadable content. The game launched with both a free set of levels (Forest) and a paid set (Mountains). And now, the fifth and presumably final set of levels, Cave, is available for purchase.

In our Beards and Beaks review, I noticed that a ninja gnome appears in some of the between-level screens but not as a controllable unit. The Cave DLC rectifies that, as it introduces both the Ninja gnome and Sorcerer gnome to Beards’ gameplay. The Ninja is fast and kills enemies with extreme precision, though he can’t take as much damage as other gnomes. Yep, he’s easily my favorite unit. The Sorcerer is no slouch either, launching fireballs over long distances. Neither of the new guys can be used in older levels, but they do make the Cave levels feel fresh.

Adding units to one side but not the other wouldn’t be fair. To keep things balanced, the Cave also introduces new enemies – a super strong Football crow and another crow that’s extra fast on its feet.

As for the levels themselves, I encountered a new environmental hazard – a gate that players can manually open to let the gnomes through. But the gate closes after a few seconds, treasure-carrying gnomes can’t pathfind through it correctly, and when it raises back up, it kills any gnomes who were attempting to passing through. You tell me if it’s a good addition or not. The overall difficulty of the Cave levels is harder than previous levels, which makes sense as players will have already honed their strategic flicking skills on previous levels before taking on the Cave.

The Beards and Beaks Cave DLC costs 80 Microsoft Points ($1). While it sadly doesn’t add any Achievements, the new units, enemies, and overall challenge represent a great value for the money. Anyone who really likes Microsoft’s gnome versus crow game should not hesitate to give the Cave a download. 

Beards and Beaks can be purchased here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Deal Alert: eWallet Go! drops from $4.99 to $0.99

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Reviews seem mixed on eWallet Go by Ilium Software, a long time player with Windows Mobile of yonder. And we're not here to tell you how to spend your money but if you were considering Ilium's eWallet Go (see our App Spotlight here), you may want to pick it up for $0.99 which is a $3 price drop. No word if it's a sale or permanent.

There's no trial so you'll be out that $0.99 if you don't like and our readers are certainly mixed on it, which is why we recommend checking their comments first. If you still want it, here's the linky.

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3 years ago

MSFT and Nokia stocks get a boost from Google's deal

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While the long term impact of Google's acquisition of Motorola (Googarola?) is still anyone's guess, one short term effect appears be to Microsoft and Nokia's benefit. Microsoft's stock rose 1.63% (up .41 points) and Nokia's stock rose 17.35% (up .93 points) in today's trading activity.

In comparison, Google's stock fell 1.16% (6.54 points) while Motorola Mobility's stock made the biggest jump at 55.78% (up 13.65 points).  We're pretty sure the jump with Motorola was due to the 63% premium Google paid for them but it is a little surprising to see Google sag. In addition, it's now been disclosed that Google has agreed to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if the deal doesn't go through, a figure that is six times the average according to Bloomberg.

Granted none of this could have a thing to do with the $12.5 Billion deal and the stock market these days may not be the best litmus test.  As crazy as Wall Street has been lately, tomorrow we may see completely opposite results. 

Still, it's nice to see Microsoft and Nokia stocks doing well.

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