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Drop 7 clone from Zanga for Windows Phone 8
48

Unlicensed Drop 7 clone masquerades as an Xbox Windows Phone game [Updated]

We’re always, always glad to discover new Xbox games coming to Windows Phone. That’s the whole reason I started working here three years ago! Today an eagle-eyed reader by the name of John Lampard discovered a new Xbox Windows Phone game called Drop 7. I smiled, then frowned when I realized it’s just a puzzle game. After downloading the game my smile dropped even further…

Drop 7 is a puzzle game that launched on iOS and Android in 2012. Those versions came from developer Area Code, now known as Zynga New York. Wouldn’t it be rad if Zynga started making Xbox games for Windows Phone? You bet! But the Windows Phone game comes from a developer called Zanga. Something looks a little off…

Zang!

That developer name is quite the curiosity. Most software developers and publishers have a web presence, no matter how small. But search for Zanga on the web and you won’t find a web page or any information relevant to the software industry (that doesn’t revolve around Zynga, that is).

Zanga does have another non-Xbox published Windows Phone game: Flappy Bird. “Wait a second,” you say. “There is no official Windows Phone port of Flappy Bird. Also, Flappy Bird is hella lame.” You’re right on both counts!

All of that means the makers of this “Xbox Live” game have published an unlicensed clone of somebody else’s game and passed it off as the real thing. A bunch of other developers have done the same thing, and Microsoft has turned a blind eye to them all. But would they really do the same with an Xbox Live developer?

Drop 7 clone from Zanga for Windows Phone 8

Well, if we hope for more clues to Drop 7’s legitimacy within the game itself, we won’t find them. The game has no contact or copyright information at all. One of the Store screenshots reveals a title screen with Area Code’s name listed at the bottom of the screen. But Area Code’s name doesn’t appear on the actual title screen or anywhere else within the game.

It’s almost like somebody copy-pasted a shot from the real iOS or Android game and uploaded it to the Windows Phone Store. The tutorial screens shown on the Store page also fail to match up to those of the Windows Phone game. Brazen, stupid, or just incredibly lazy?

The false advertising doesn’t end there. The Store page also lists three key features, the last of which is online leaderboards. Yet you won’t find leaderboards in the Windows Phone version, just local scoreboards for each mode. Reputable companies do make Store description mistakes on occasion, but Drop 7 just doesn’t feel right.

Oh, and despite the Xbox Windows Phone banner on the game’s Store icon, it is NOT Xbox live-enabled. There have been one or two instances of mobile Windows Phone games bearing the Xbox banner but not providing Xbox Live connectivity at launch. The oddly-named Puzzle by Nikoli X Sudoku for Windows 8 comes to mind. That one took months to gain Xbox Live features. But again, given how shifty this port of Drop 7 looks, I don’t believe it will be getting those precious, precious Xbox Live Achievements.

I guess it plays like the real thing though

Drop 7 clone from Zanga for Windows Phone 8

Okay, so this Drop 7 isn’t exactly legitimate and Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store team has passed not only a blatantly illegal clone but a fake Xbox Live game. But how’s the game?

Drop 7 is sort of a falling block puzzle game that deals with numbers, much like actual Xbox Windows Phone game KooZac. Each regular piece that falls bears a number from 1-7. To eliminate a piece (AKA disc), either the row or column it lands in must contain the same number of pieces as the one displayed on that piece. In other words, put five pieces in one row and any of those pieces bearing a five will disappear.

The pieces don’t fall until you tap the screen, so there’s no time pressure. You will lose if the stack exceeds the top of the screen, though. There are also gray discs that will turn into numbers only if you eliminate an adjacent piece.

Drop 7 clone from Zanga for Windows Phone 8

The goal in Normal mode is to make enough moves (depicted as a row of tiny dots below the playing field) to move on to the next level. You’re mostly going for high scores, I guess. This Drop 7 offers two more game modes: hardcore and Sequence, but they play awfully similarly to Normal.

Drop 7 is a terribly boring game. The core mechanic just isn’t that compelling, nor does the game make up for that deficiency with flashy presentation. KooZac was already kind of boring and Drop 7 is more so thanks to the plain Jane graphics and too-simplistic matching mechanic.

I’m not the biggest fan of puzzle games nowadays, so you might have a better time with Drop 7 than I did. But we should all be asking why Microsoft allows developers to publish games that don’t belong to them on the Windows Phone and Windows 8 Stores.

It seems like a game’s Store description and screenshots should actually match the game too, just maybe? While we’re providing constructive criticism, I’ll go out on a limb and say that non-Xbox games shouldn’t be allowed to have the Xbox banner on them either. You guys tell me if I’m asking for too much here.

Update

Zanga's Drop 7 clone is no longer available to purchase, although their Flappy Birds clone still is.

  • Drop 7 – Windows Phone 8 – 2 MB – $.99 – Store Link

QR: Drop 7 clone

Thanks to "John Lampard" for the tip!

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Reader comments

Unlicensed Drop 7 clone masquerades as an Xbox Windows Phone game [Updated]

48 Comments

My God, The dev actually CHARGES for such a plagiarized crappy game... Thanks for the review, though. Staying far away from this.

Hey, Drop 7 was a favourite of mine when I had my iPhone, so I was ECSTATIC when I first saw this...then I read on.

This is ridiculous, to say the least. Some QC at the Store would be fully appreciates.

Go to the app and scroll down till you see the option to "report concern to Microsoft". Click on that, log in and go ahead and select the option for either misleading app or performance issues.

So devs can stop complaining about how hard it is to get a game on Windows Phone with XBL? These guys were able to get a clone up

The Windows Store standards are so abysmally low, sad really. Is it too much to ask to have decent content? Could Microsoft expend even a modicum of effort to cleanup the mess they've allowed to happen? Aren't WP costumers deserving of a decent experience, not the app spam, plagiarized garbage we have now?

Haha,thanks for the tip credits and calling me "eagle eyed",Paul. :)

Sorry,becuase it isnt an xbox game,I just saw the xbl banner and thought it was xbl,sorry. :(

Btw I noticed that you put inverted commas in my name again,looks like you have a good memory :p

As far as MS is concerned. Its another needed app to fill the voids. SMH at what point will quality supercede quantity for MS. All the Flappy Bird rips was prime example.

This is not a certified Xbox Live game:

1. It doesn't appear in the Xbox category of games. Certified Windows Phone games appear in the Xbox category of games. It is a perk of going through certification.

2. From your comments (I have not downloaded the game because I'm not going to pay for it) it appears they are not using any Xbox Live features. A certified Windows Phone game would, at the very least, have Achievements. This would be a requirement.

And, as someone who has worked at 2 Windows Phone game developers, I know that...

3. It is using the WRONG Xbox Live banner. Windows Phone games now use the banner that says XBOX, not the banner that says Windows Phone. This was changed by Microsoft right around the time Windows 8 came out. Compare it to all the games currently in the Xbox category. They all use the correct banner.

Games like this should be reported (especially since he/she is charging money for it and thus making money from a 'stolen' game) and hopefully Microsoft will take the game down. I expect this kind of crap from the iOS and Android marketplace, but not on Windows Phone.

FYI, you can download the trial to give the game a user rating. I did, gave it a poor rating due to stolen IP and the deceptive nature of the game, as well as reporting the app to Microsoft.

Hey, if Microsoft would quit being a bastard about limitations that stop people from making their games Xbox Live games, we wouldn't have this problem. There's so many games on WP that I'd care more about if they were Xbox Live games.

Microsoft has seriously dropped the ball. If windows phone 7 would've had a Halo, Call of Duty and Gears of War game at launch and continued with major games. Windows phones would have had some serious market share now. Instead it started weak and fizzled. Just imagine if Titan fall came to Windows 8 phones.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Very well written Paul, like the second always in the first line!
On topic: Weird stuff, MS is doing a horrible, horrible job with Xbox for WP.

For a company so hypersensitive about it's own IP, Microsoft seems to be far less concerned with others. These fakes apps fall through the cracks constantly and pollute the app store. Ironically, this is one of the things that people on these forums lynch Google Play for. We need to clean up our own backyard, we can do so much better than this and I know Microsoft can too.

Darn was hoping for a new Xbox game. Too bad really.

On a side note, MS publishing is pretty much a joke. I made an app in like 30 minutes, submitted it, and got the credentials to publish it no problem. Not that I like to talk down my app, but it is crap, and I was just curious of the process. They will pretty much publish anything...

I really enjoyed Drop 7 on iOS especially trying to beat my friends scores. Too bad this isn't an official version.

I really enjoyed Drop 7 on iOS especially trying to beat my friends scores. Too bad this isn't an official version, will not be supporting this copier.

I knew it was fake simply the app icon itself.  If you've noticed, all the official Xbox-enabled games simply say "XBOX".  They discontinued that horrible "XBOX WINDOWS PHONE" banner a long time ago, and most (if not all) official game apps were updated to show the new cleaner "XBOX" banner.