Games

Mirror's Edge

Our friends at Xbox360Achievements.org often discover Achievements lists for games before release, and sometimes even before a game’s announcement. Actually, much of the credit goes to French gamer Zebrasqual, who one site called ‘the best Windows Phone gamer in the world.’ Mr. Squal (as I like to call him) makes it his business not just to have the most mobile Xbox Live Achievements of anybody; he’s also great at finding Achievement lists and making them public.

The latest batch of Achievement lists ousted by Zebra and Xbox360Achievements.org include: Battleship and Mirror’s Edge from Electronic Arts and Fling from Miniclip. The two EA games are expected to be timed Nokia exclusives, so don’t let’s get excited about them just yet, non-Nokia owners.

Head past the break for previews of each upcoming Xbox Live game!

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14

Windows Phone Game Review: Get High with Words

Get High with Words for Windows Phone

Here's a rather interesting multi-player hangman game for your Windows Phone. Get High with Words is an online turn based game of hangman where you create the hangman puzzle from a random grouping of tiles and your opponent has to solve the puzzle.

Once your opponents turn is complete, they create the hangman puzzle for you to solve. If a hangman puzzle can't be solve within the allotted guesses, you lose a life. Lose all three lives and the game is over.

The concept is very similar to other online turned based games such as Words by Post and Alpha Jax. Except you're playing a game of hangman instead of scrabble.

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Droplitz Delight

Screenshots from Droplitz Delight coming to Windows Phone on May 23

Last month, WPCentral broke the news of three new Game House titles coming to Xbox Live: Droplitz Delight, Sally’s Spa, and Tiki Towers 2. We’re now delighted to reveal the official release date and exclusive first screenshots of Droplitz Delight on Windows Phone. It’s coming Wednesday, May 23 for just 99 cents!

Droplitz Delight is the mobile-exclusive sequel to XBLA and Steam puzzler Droplitz. In each level, players are tasked with guiding the adorable liquid droplitz from the top of the screen to the bottom. You’ll have to quickly rotate a bunch of tiles in order to create a safe path for the little liquids, and then do it all again after the old path disappears.

Droplitz Delight

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Gun Bros

Gun Bros

WPCentral was pleased to bring our readers the first announcement of Gun Bros and Contract Killer, two upcoming Xbox Live games from Glu Mobile. Not only do both games look pretty fun (especially Gun Bros), but they won’t break the bank. That’s because they’re freemium titles, meaning the games themselves cost nothing. Players can opt to spend real money (in the form of Microsoft Points) to purchase items, but PDLC is not required to complete either title.

We have it on good authority that one of these two games (probably Contract Killer) will launch within the next month or two, with the other soon to follow. In the meantime, let’s check out their Xbox Live Achievements! Glu has kindly provided us with the exclusive debut of Gun Bros’ Achievement list. Head past the break to see what it will take to complete Gun Bros and Contract Killer.

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WP Central

When Miniclip’s latest Xbox Live game Monster Island debuted four weeks ago, we were at once pleased and dismayed. On the one hand, Monster Island is easily the best Angry Birds-style game on Windows Phone. It packs an absolute ton of creative and well-designed levels – 252, with more promised in future updates. It even boasts multiple types of bombs, enhancing the puzzle complexity. But on the other hand, it also launched with an Achievement specifically for buying three dollars’ worth of in-game coins as PDLC. This raised the cost of earning Monster Island’s full 200 GamerScore from $2.99 to $5.99. Not cool on the developers’ part, and the game should never have made it through certification that way.

WPCentral broached the issue with Microsoft, who removed Monster Island from the Marketplace just two days after release.

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2

Windows Phone Game Review: Snake of Balls

Snake of Balls for Windows Phone

Snake of Balls is Windows Phone game that is designed in the tradition of the classic Snake game. Snake of Balls calls for you to guide and grow your snake through a multiple level, 3D maze. You grow your snake by gobbling up colored balls that are scattered about the maze. As you collect the balls, the length of your snake increases making maneuvering a lot more challenging.

Snake of Balls has potential and once you get the hang of controlling movement, it can be a rather challenging and entertaining game.

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Grow for Windows Phone

We covered the fish-feeding game Grow which came out about two weeks ago for Windows Phone and brought the great artwork and fun from Epic Pixel. The game has quickly racked up some outstanding reviews from new users and indeed, it is quite enjoyable.

One big complaint though that many had no trial quite the bummer for a $1.99 game. Sure, Epic Pixel is a reputable studio with multi-platform offerings but people want to try-before-they-buy, it's one of the main advantages of Windows Phone. While version 1.0 lacked this to many people's dismay, version 1.1 now has a trial-option leaving you little reason to not go grab this casual arcade game.

You can read our initial impressions of the game here or you can take those fish a spin for yourself. So go try it and holla if you like it. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

QR: Grow

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Pocket God

Now that some high quality games like Feed Me Oil are launching at the 99 cent price point, would you consider buying a crummy iPhone port for twice the cost? That’s what we get for the latest Xbox Live Deal of the Week: Pocket God from ngmoco:). It’s on sale again for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Pocket God started as an iPhone game from Bolt Creative. In addition to its cute art and humor, the iOS game is known for its frequent episodic updates, which add new environments, minigames, and other fun content, all for free (vanity PDLC packs are also available). ngmoco:), who handles both the Windows Phone and Android ports of Pocket God, simply hasn’t shown a commitment to maintaining parity with the primary version.

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geoDefense SwarmNow that Feed Me Oil, this week’s Xbox Live release is here, we’re neck-deep in oily physics puzzle goodness. But that doesn’t mean gamers don’t look to the future as well – especially those who’ve had their fill of physics puzzlers already. Kudos then to Microsoft for announcing next week’s Live release: geoDefense Swarm from Critical Thought Games.

geoDefense Swarm is the sequel to fan-favorite tower defense game geoDefense. The new entry switches from predefined enemy routes to a grid-based field. Enemies can approach from all directions, so players will need to construct mazes in order to keep them at bay. Like its predecessor, Swarm features an appealing neon geometric look and easy to learn gameplay. It will also likely suffer from balance issues, but said issues didn’t keep its predecessor from winning many gamers’ hearts. Most excitingly, the Windows Phone version of Swarm includes a new tower, a new creep (enemy), and new challenges. We’ll find out what those challenges are next Tuesday or Wednesday when the game debuts.

geoDefense Swarm comes to Xbox Live on Wednesday, May 16 – if not the night before, as many Live releases have done lately. It will cost $2.99, the same price as its predecessor.

Source: PlayXBLA

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33

Xbox Live: Feed Me Oil splashes onto the Marketplace

Feed Me Oil for Windows Phone

WPCentral broke the news of Chillingo’s Feed Me Oil coming to Xbox Live last month, with the promise that it would release within the next 1-2 months. It looks like we were right on the money, as Feed Me Oil has just debuted on the Marketplace. Even better news? It costs only 99 cents, just like its iOS counterpart. Also of note: Electronic Arts published the game rather than Chillingo, their subsidiary.

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ARMED! goes multiplatform

Sickhead Games’ ARMED! stands out as one of the most impressive indie games in the Windows Phone lineup – in fact, it even outdoes just about every Xbox Live title in graphics, UI, and multiplayer features. Even the title is extra exciting, with not only capital letters, but also an exclamation point! Why Microsoft hasn’t picked up ARMED! for Xbox Live status remains a mystery, but Sickhead continues to support their title, both with updates and plans to expand to other platforms as well.

Head past the break for the full scoop!

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There's a new Windows Phone game on the horizon and the developer is looking to recruit Beta Testers. Rum Run is a strategy game where you sail the high seas trading goods from village to village. You try to make as much profit from buying and selling rum, goods and food. Use your profits to upgrade ships and increase your fleet.

Rum Run reminds me a lot of the old Windows Mobile game Tradewinds which was a very nice game to pass the time with.  It will be interesting to see if the developers can match Tradewinds entertainment value.  Based on the trailer, it looks like Rum Run is on the right course.

Rum Run for Windows Phone

Rum Run has made it to the third round in Microsoft's Imagine Cup and Turtle Games, Rum Run's developers, are looking for beta testers to help ironed out any bugs that are in the game. If you're interested, just shoot Rum Run Games and email at info@rumrungame.com with your Live ID and why you want to join the beta test team.

You can find more information on Rum Run and Turtle Games here at rumrungame.com

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Pirated version of Guitar Hero Mobile?

Guitar Hero Mobile ($6.99), an Xbox Live title, was released over on the Windows Phone Marketplace back in October 2010. Guitar Hero Mobile ($2.99), a non-Xbox Live title, hit the Marketplace a few days ago.

Microsoft recently announced an increased effort to maintain Marketplace quality which included looking closer at copyrighted material. Is this a discounted version of Guitar Hero Mobile or a pirated copy that slipped in under the Marketplace radar? 

Our first impression is that the $2.99 is a pirated copy. First, the Marketplace description for the non-Xbox Live version comes up in Chinese where the Xbox Live version is not. Then you have the developer listed as Glu Games Inc. and it is the only title under Glu Games Inc.

Glu is the developer of the Xbox Live version but is listed as Glu. Glu also has other titles on the Marketplace listed in similar fashion.

Lastly, the Xbox Live version has a trial version, the non-Xbox Live version does not. It doesn't make sense for one to have a trial and the other not to if they were coming from the same source.

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3

From the Forums: Games Spotlight for May 5th

WP Central

It’s time to talk games and our Games Spotlight Forum has them. We all want quality games for our devices and our developers are hard at work getting them ready for us. We are going to take a look at a few that are available in our Spotlight area this week as our developers need your helpful comments to make their games the best around.

Paint Stuff: WP7 Pictionary  - Available in the Marketplace for $1.99 with a trial version this is a nice turn based game where you are given a word to draw (sound familiar?). Then your opponent has to guess what you have drawn. There are quite a lot of drawing options including colors, line thickness and even offers screen capture. These and other advanced options are only available in the paid version which also removes the advertisements. This is how baflink describes his game:

“I have tried a few of the pictionary games and they are pretty buggy to say the least. My girlfriend was getting flustered with playing with me because of the bugs. She wanted a simple pictionary game that didn't make random lines in your drawing, that was fast, had colors, took screenshots, could undo/redo and didn't have a time limit. So I sought out to make such a game.”

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Pac-Man Kart Rally

Prior to its release, I was enthusiastic about Pac-Man Kart Rally for a number of reasons: it’s a kart racer (fun genre), it features Pac-Man and other Namco characters, and it’s the first mobile Xbox Live game with wireless multiplayer (local Wi-Fi only). Then it launched to mixed reactions – the poor frame rate and repetitive music seem to be major turn offs for many gamers.

Frankly I find the negative reactions largely hyperbolic, as it’s still a competent and accessible racing game, light years ahead of the only other Xbox Live kart racer, Cro Mag Rally in quality. In any case, it seens someone at Microsoft may have noticed the tepid Marketplace ratings and reacted quickly. For whatever reason, Pac-Man Kart Rally has dropped from $4.99 to $2.99 just two or three days after its release.

Is this a price drop, random sale, or simply a marketplace glitch? We won’t know for sure until next week, when Microsoft will hopefully respond to our queries. It’s mostly good news, as gamers who were turned off at the relatively high five dollar price point now have more incentive to snap the game up right away. It’s probably wisest not to price a game with so many rough edges above three dollars, regardless of brand recognition or a novel multiplayer feature.

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35

Best Word Games for your Windows Phone

What's the best word puzzlers on Windows Phone? We rank the best of the best in our new guide!

Best Word Games for your Windows Phone

Keeping the "Best apps for your Windows Phone" series going, today we turn our attention to the best word games available at the Windows Phone Marketplace. We've looked at the best free apps, photography apps, must have games, weather apps and must have apps.  Now we take a gander at the games that test your spelling abilities as well as your powers of observation and speed.

Word games are a unique category in that they are great ways to pass long and short bits of time. Plus you might learn something along the way. We've compiled a short list of the Windows Phone word games we think top the charts. As with any of our "best of" lists, there might be one or two titles we overlooked. If so, feel free to speak up in the comments.

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28

Wordament Goes Dutch on Windows Phone

Wordament

Dutch

Microsoft could probably leave Wordament exactly as-is and it would still keep many of us busy for, like, ever. But what if you don’t speak English, the language that yours truly wields like swords? Hey, the developers have got your covered. The Xbox Live version launched with English and Spanish, allowing muchas personas to enjoy the game.

Now Wordament’s Dutch language support has gone live as well. Not to be confused with the movie Dutch, the Dutch language is spoken in Holland and the Netherlands, of which Holland is a region. Microsoft plans to add several more European languages to the game in the future: French, Italian, German, and Swedish – sorry Portugal!

Wordament is free and supported by ads. Get it here on the Marketplace. We'll have a full review soon.

Update: Even Portugese could be in the cards.

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2

Fable Heroes Xbox 360 impressions

Fable Heroes

As part of WPCentral’s ongoing Xbox 360 coverage, we’ll sometimes discuss console titles of interest to our readers. Last week’s Arcade Next XBLA release was Bloodforge, a dark and gory action game from Climax Studios. This week’s release, Fable Heroes cleanses the pallet with a much lighter tone and cooperative play.

Remember Fable Coin Golf, the Fable-themed Windows Phone exclusive that shared a connectivity feature with Fable 3 on 360? Fable Heroes is another spin-off, this time of the beat-em-up genre. It also skews younger than the mainline Fable series, putting players in control of wooden puppet heroes as they romp through stages based on the console games. You won't find a story of any sort here (unlike past Fable games), as it centers squarely on the multiplayer experience instead.

Head past the break for our full impressions.

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WP Central

Microsoft has plans to introduce a $99 Xbox 360 console package that will be accompanied by a two-year monthly subscription as early as next week. According to sources, the software company will offer the 4GB console package, which includes a Kinect sensor, at Microsoft Stores in the states. The bundle will be subsidised with a monthly fee of just $15.

As well as the console and Kinect, customers who make the purchase will have a Gold subscription activated on their Live ID Microsoft Account throughout the contract duration, and will be covered by a two-year warranty. There is likely to be an early termination fee for those who have the desire to break out of the contract prematurely, but how does the cost work out? Total amount comes to $459 ($99 upfront fee with a two-year $15/mo subscription) for the soon-to-launch package offer. But should you purchase the bundle with a Live subscription outright (without the offer), you'll be looking at around $400. 

Microsoft is targeting those who are keeping an eye out for a cheap entertainment centre. With Windows 8 on the horizon, not to mention a new music service, the software giant will look at more ways to attract potential customers to their new ecosystem. As a slight humorous side-note: the $15 monthly fee equates to $360.

Source: The Verge

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13

Windows Phone Game Review: I Spy Spooky

I SPY Spooky for Windows Phone

I Spy books have been around for years and I Spy Spooky is the latest installment of the series for your Windows Phone. I Spy Spooky is a search and find game where you, search and find objects that are hidden in plain sight in various pictures. I Spy Spooky is set in a spooky mansion with twenty one I Spy riddles and puzzles.

The goal of the game is to escape the mansion by solving the picture riddles in order to reveal seven hidden keys. The keys are needed to advance to the next area and eventually escape the mansion.  I Spy Spooky may not be everyone's cup of tea but I found it to be a fun, entertaining game for your Windows Phone.

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14

Gather The Harvest, the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

The Harvest

If you’re not interested in spending $4.99 for a multiplayer racer like Pac-Man Kart Rally this week, perhaps an action-RPG at the same price would be in order. The Harvest, from the recently-restructured South African developer Luma Arcade, is on sale for $4.99 (for the second time), down from $6.99.

The Harvest is an action-RPG set in a distant future in which aliens have conquered humanity. Thanks to the development of armored mech suits, the remaining pockets of humans finally have a chance to fight back. Our review praises the game’s beautiful 3D graphics, easy controls, multiple playable characters, and diversity of upgrade options.

The Harvest was one of the first quality Windows Phone-exclusive games. But many gamers passed over it or don’t know about it due to the lofty $6.99 price point. I would argue that a price drop is in order by now, but the sale price is fair enough for a game of this caliber.

The Harvest is on sale for $4.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace and start harvesting! Or stopping the aliens from harvesting, whatever.

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44

Pac-Man Kart Rally now live in the Marketplace

Pac-Man Kart Rally for Windows Phone

We mentioned Pac-Man Kart Rally was heading to the Windows Phone Marketplace on May 2, 2012. Well... it arrived just a wee bit early.

The Windows Phone game from Namco Bandai went live just a little while ago and brings all the goodness of Wifi Multiplayer to your Windows Phone. Pac-Man Kart Rally is the first Xbox Live title with local Wifi multiplayer which allows two players to compete against each other in the same room using two phones connected to the same network and two copies of the game.

Pac-Man Kart Rally

Pac-Man Kart Rally includes ten characters, thirteen tracks, and plenty of power-ups and upgrades. There is a trial version available with the full version of Pac-Man Kart Rally running $4.99. You can find Pac-Man Kart Rally here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Keep tabs on the site and we'll have a full review up as soon as we can get Paul off the race track.

Thanks, Zebrasqual, for the tip!

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Pac-Man Kart Rally title

When you play every single Xbox Live game that comes to Windows Phone, it’s easy to become jaded. I mean, how many physics puzzlers and Angry Birds clones do we really need? Still, today I write about a genuinely exciting game that I can’t wait to play: Pac-Man Kart Rally from Namco Bandai. It comes out this Wednesday; and WPCentral has some exclusive details to whet your appetite.

First, a little history. Pac-Man Kart Rally originally debuted on older mobile phone platforms in 2010, including Windows Mobile and Blackberry. The title drew inspiration from Pac-Man World Rally on Playstation 2-era consoles, but was not a direct adaptation. In late 2011, Pac-Man Kart Rally received a serious graphical upgrade when it made the trip to the Android platform, exclusively for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play handset.

Head past the break for the full scoop on Pac-Man Kart Rally's characters, tracks, and multiplayer!

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