Games

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Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Gone Fishing

WP Central Game Round-up: Fishing Games

WPCentral's collection of Windows Phone fishing games

There are a handful of fishing games over on the Windows Phone Marketplace that might help you get through the days when you can't escape to your favorite fishing hole. These games may not replace the relaxation of being in a boat on the water trying catch that trophy fish brings, but they can be decent time wasters.

These fishing games stood out from the crowd and we think they would be nice additions to your Windows Phone gaming library.  Still, we may have missed a title or two and if that's the case, it shouldn't reflect poorly on that game. If we've missed something, feel free to share with the crowd in the comments below.

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Alawar Casual Connect Table

Among the many developers we’ve spoken with here at Casual Connect is Russia-based Alawar Entertainment. You might remember a little game they published to Xbox Live called Farm Frenzy 2. Well, sadly the Farm Frenzy 4 they’re currently promoting isn’t coming to Windows Phone just yet. But we do have a morsel of good news…

Officially, Alawar doesn’t have any new Windows Phone titles to announce. However, we believe they have a title brewing for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Will it be a time management, hidden object, or puzzle game? Maybe they’re working on the country line dancing game the market has craved – nay, demanded for years now.

Windows Phone Central will reveal more details of Alawar’s next game in the months to come. Stay tuned, gamers!

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36

Windows Phone Central visits Microsoft headquarters

Giant Phones

We're in Washington this week for Casual Connect Seattle, one of the country's largest game developer-centric conferences. As you might know, Redmond is only a stone's throw away from Seattle. As such, we threw our own stones over to Microsoft headquarters (also known as the Microsoft campus) for a little visit. The campus consists of over 40 buildings spread across 300 acres - a lot to take in! In the interest of time, we focused on Studio C (home of the Windows Phone game marketing team) and the Visitor Center. Lots of pictures follow the break!

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geoDefense

geoDefense has returned as this week's Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week on Windows Phone. Previously taking the title back in November 2011, it's good to see the futuristic light show tower defence game returning with a discounted price tag. The much loved Xbox LIVE title now has an older brother, geoDefense Swarm, but many still power up this classic while on the move.

geoDefense puts the player in charge of forming a tower-based defence around a generated path. This path is where creatures and critters will make their way along to the end where a number displays the remaining lives. Should a creep make their way to this point, a life will be deducted. A solid strategic mind is required to ensure the placement of towers, as well as types used, prevents these pests from making it.

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WP Central

Fulfilling our tradition of badly punned headlines, this week’s Xbox LIVE title is Asphalt 5 from Gameloft. And it's ready for your challenge. The weird part? This game was one of the "original 50" Xbox LIVE titles for Windows Phone, meaning it's like just 2 years late.(Seriously, it was announced in August 2010).

Racing games can be fun and Asphalt 5 should make many folks pleased with some punchy high resolution graphics of dreamy sports cars. Well, at least that’s how Gameloft is selling the game. In fact, it features over 30 cars including such beauts as the Audi R8, Ruf Rt 12, Ford Shelby GT500, Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.

The game clocks in at 109MB, so you’ll need Wi-Fi to install and it’s priced at a moderate $2.99. While that won’t please you “It must be $0.99!” folks we’re okay with the $3 price range for games—especially ones which have high replay value....

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Battleship: Xbox Windows Phone Review

Battleship

When Windows Phone launched way back in 2010, Electronic Arts released a competent version of board-game classic Monopoly as an Xbox Live title. Board games are naturally better when played with friends though, and that port of Monopoly sadly lacks online multiplayer and costs a lofty $4.99 for some reason. Nearly two years later, EA is back with another licensed board game: Battleship. With online multiplayer, two new game modes, and a lower price, Battleship certainly seems poised to one-up its predecessor. Sadly, a number of issues threaten to torpedo the game’s fun factor.

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Infinite Flight for Windows Phone

Infinite Flight is one of the most comprehensive flight simulators you will find for Windows Phone and possibly any other mobile platform. Since it's release, the app has been updated several times adding new features and planes to the mix. With Infinite Flight you can fly everything from a bi-plane to the Space Shuttle.

...or in my case, barely get the aircraft off the ground only to stall out and crash into the countryside.

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When it comes to games on Windows Phone we have quite a few puzzlers, lots of zombies and a plethora of tower games. But one area we sometimes overlook is the class strategy game—the one where every move counts and requires some thought akin to chess.

Nova by Jeffrey A. Voigt fits the bill nicely and for $0.99, it’s well worth the investment.

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Mush is probably the most charming platformer in the mobile Xbox Live lineup – and it’s an exclusive to boot. Developer Angry Mango has kindly provided Windows Phone Central with some exclusive goodies to share with you.

First off, Mush is a generally easy game. Like ilomilo you can’t die, so the challenge comes entirely from the puzzles. It does get harder as you progress though – take the puzzle at the end of Level 5: Catfish Capers, for example. Getting the ball where it needs to go in order to activate a switch and open the door might just stump some gamers. Fear not; the above video shows exactly what to do. Whichever lovable writer got stuck on this puzzle was most certainly overthinking things.

Next up we have a bevy of beautiful Windows Phone-sized wallpapers. Check ‘em out after the break.

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Windows Phone Game Roundup: FORE!

WPCentral's Roundup of Golf apps

Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Golf Games

The Open Championship is this week in sunny Lancashire, England. The Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club is hosting the Open and in honor of the Championship, this week's round-up is dialed into golf games for your Windows Phone.

We've got an Xbox Live title, a few miniature golf courses, a pirate and for good measure we toss in a golf app that should be on every duffer's Windows Phone. As always, if a title doesn't make it to the roundup it shouldn't reflect poorly on things. If we missed one, chime in below in the comments and let us know.

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The Summer of Arcade officially kicks off today, and we’ve got a big batch of Xbox Live Arcade news to share with you.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HDFirst off, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is now available for 1200 Microsoft Points. The HD version takes seven classic stages compiled from the first two Tony Hawks and adds true HD visuals, new physics, and online multiplayer. Opinions are divided on this one, with some lamenting the new physics, stage selection, inability to customize the musical playlist, and lack of split-screen multiplayer.

Personally, I’ve had a great time with it so far. The levels have lots of stuff to collect, providing great incentive to explore. The robust arsenal of moves gives players lots of freedom and variety. And while you can’t fast-forward or customize the songs, the soundtrack still rocks – especially the song from Bad Religion! My only serious complaint is the lack of a tutorial mode or in-game moves list, two modern standards that would make the game much easier to learn for new players. Heck, even those with Tony Hawk experience could probably use a refresher after all these years.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD costs 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). Get it here on the Xbox 360 Marketplace. More Summer of Arcade and XBLA news after the break...

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MiniSquadron Pulled from Marketplace

This week we got a surprise double release on Xbox Live, with not only Contract Killer but also Lode Runner Classic launching simultaneously. Still, the overall number o Xbox Live games only increased by one. Why? MiniSquadron from Supermono and Fat Pebble Games was pulled from the Marketplace.

MiniSquadron looked like a very promising Xbox Live title – we were super excited about it prior to its release last year. Once the game finally came out, things looked a bit different. It suffered from numerous bugs, including a weapon that consistently crashed the game and a broken Achievement worth a whopping 50 GamerScore. The virtual d-pad and buttons were also tiny and awkwardly positioned. We still gave it a positive review overall, but with the assumption that original developer Supermono would do the right thing and commission an update from Fat Pebble, the porting team.

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Splinter Cell: Conviction

It took a bit longer than usual, but we have a new Xbox Live Deal of the Week at last. And I do mean new – Splinter Cell: Conviction is on sale for the first time. It’s just $2.99 this week, down from $4.99.

This version of Splinter Cell tells the story of series lead Sam Fisher’s investigation into the death of his daughter. To do that, he'll need to sneak around in the shadows, killing hundreds of guards when they’re not looking. That's what they get! A number of voiced cinematic sequences drive home the console-like feeling.

That makes sense because Conviction is actually a port of the excellent Xbox 360 game, though the level designs are different. Despite the rudimentary 3D graphics (darn XNA) and a few difficulty spikes, Splinter Cell is a fun and easy 200 GamerScore overall. Check out our review for more details.

Splinter Cell: Conviction is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace. QR code after the break...

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WP Central

You can run, but you can't hide on Xbox LIVE

Although Contract Killer was known to be coming to Xbox LIVE today (and sure enough, it’s out) it looks like Microsoft slipped in a 2nd title—Lode Runner Classic.

The game fetches for $2.99 and is a throwback to the old school arcade games from the 1980s. In fact, many of you will have childhood flashbacks with this one as it was quite popular with home PC systems which include the Apple II series, the Atari 8-bit family, the VIC-20, the Commodore 64 and the IBM PC and it’s known to be the first game with a level editor.

Gameplay is straightforward—run through mazes and do things. Okay, we’re way oversimplifying as this game actually has a lot going on for it (just see the tutorials). There are an included 150 levels which should keep people busy for a long time and it seems like a fair amount of gameplay versus what you’re paying for it.

Check our video hands on and more details after the break...

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Contract Killer now available

Ready to shoot some thugs, Windows Phone gamers? As we promised yesterday, Contract Killer from Glu Mobile is now on the Marketplace.

Contract Killer allows players to take on the ruthless world of corporate business, making deals with unsuspecting investors only to leave them high and dry at the last minute. Wait, wrong kind of contract! Actually, you play as a hitman in this game. Missions involve sniping one or more targets from a first-person perspective. But watch out – they shoot back.

Assassin's Guild

Contract KillerLike Glu’s recently-released Gun Bros, Contract Killer boasts some compelling social features. The folks on your Xbox Live friends list who play Contract Killer are automatically added to your Assassin’s Guild. The more members of your guild complete optional objectives (like getting 10 headshots in a row without missing), the more rewards everyone gets. Rounding out the co-op options, players can send gifts of Medkits, Sodas, and Reactix to each other.

On the competitive side, the Target Friend mode allows you and your friends to shoot each other (asynchronously). I wasn’t able to eliminate any of my friends as they haven’t downloaded the game yet, but it sounds like a cool feature. What will the rewards for Target Friends missions be?

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Windows Phone Game Review: Finger Grinder

Finger Grinder for Windows Phone

Finger Grinder is a reflex game for your Windows Phone that if you're too slow your finger tips could be toast. Well...in a virtual sense of things.

Not sure when all these finger smashing games snuck into the Marketplace but Finger Grinder is a well animated, reflex challenging game from this genre. You have three devices to try to avoid with either one or two fingers.

From Finger Grinder's main menu you have options to play the game, view the local leaderboards, access the options (volume/vibration on or off) and the developer's about screen. Once you start the game you have to choose your poison.

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Ready for another freemium Xbox Live game this week? Good news then, because Glu Mobile’s Contract Killer launches this Wednesday (if not a few hours early). Today, we exclusively debut the Windows Phone version’s trailer.

Contract KillerContract Killer is a first-person sniping game in which the titular assassin takes on secret missions for a variety of clients.  He’ll choose from dozens of sniper rifles, machine guns, and other NRA favorites in order to dispatch his foes. Each mission comes to life in a realistic 3D environment populated by multiple people. Find the right target, swipe to aim your gun, steadying it if necessary, and press Fire to ruin the bad guy’s day.

Each mission costs a certain amount of energy to take on. Energy restores over time, but you can also purchase snacks with Microsoft Points and get right back in the action. As with Gun Bros and Bug Village, the PDLC here is completely optional and just lets you get through the game quicker. Just buy something if you like the game, or spend nothing if you don’t.

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Windows Phone Game Review - Bomberman vs. Zombies

Bomberman vs Zombies for Windows Phone

Zombies just can't catch a break on our Windows Phone. We're constantly hunting them down and ruining their day. Bomberman vs. Zombies is no different but instead of shooting the Zombies up, your blasting them to smithereens. Bomberman vs. Zombies has seen a fair amount of success on the Blackberry and Android platforms. Success the developers hope will carry over to Windows Phone.

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Chickens Can't Fly updated

Last month, the long-awaited Chickens Can’t Fly version 1.1 update added tons of great features like Avatar awards and asynchronous multiplayer. It also rebalanced the game’s difficulty, which we exclusively explored in detail. A few bugs slipped through the crack though. As Robocop villain Dick Jones would say, “The last update made a mistake. Now it’s time to correct that mistake.”

Chickens Can’t Fly version 1.2 release notes:

  • Aquarium Lab unlocked for people that finished the Physics Lab before the 1.1 update was released
  • Everyone can now unlock the ‘Hungry Hungry Chicken’ Achievement faster (this was not working on some phones after 1.1)

Note that you’ll need to earn Gold medals in every single stage, including the Aquarium levels, in order to unlock the ‘Chickens Can’t Fly’ Achievement. In that respect it’s gotten a bit harder than before the version 1.1 update when it could’ve unlocked after finishing the Physics levels. However, it wasn’t exactly easy to get all Golds before the version 1.1 difficulty adjustments, so I’d still say gamers came out ahead in the end.

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Shuffle Party for Windows Phone updated

Speaking of Xbox Live game updates correcting issues with previous updates, last month’s Shuffle Party version 1.1 update actually introduced a nasty texture bug into the game. Microsoft quickly pulled the game itself while they investigated the issue. Developer Babaroga found the culprit, and now both a new update and the game itself are back on the Marketplace.

Shuffle Party version 1.2 release notes:

  • Improved stability when connected to Network
  • Avatar no longer turns backward

Shuffle Party

If users happened to have completed the 1.1 update a few weeks back, then this update also corrects the following:

  • Incorrect textures on table

That’s it; the developers just wanted to make sure the game experience consistently stable and polished. Thanks guys! Now we can all get back to knocking down bowling pins and collecting coins with our shuffleboard pucks. And when we're done with that, we'll play Shuffle Party! To learn more about Shuffle Party’s many game modes and unlockables, read our review.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Brutal Chase

Brutal Chase for Windows Phone

Brutal Chase is a Windows Phone game that I found entertaining, in an odd sort of way. You play the role of the police chase car and it's your job to repeatedly crash into the bad guys car until they can run no more. No pit maneuvers, no peacefully pulling them over, just crash and crush them into submission.

Brutal Chase is well drawn out, has nice controls, and is an entertaining game for your Windows Phone.  If you like bashing up cars that is.

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Dave Lang

It’s time for another installment of Windows Phone Central’s Xbox Live Developer Interview series! We jumped at the opportunity to speak with Chicago-based Iron Galaxy Studios, developers of the upcoming Ms. Splosion Man for Windows Phone (based on Twisted Pixel's XBLA hit), Wreckateer for Xbox Live Arcade, and many other fine titles. CEO Dave Lang fills us in on the challenges of developing fighting games, working with the Kinect, bringing the same game to both Windows Phone and iOS, and much more.

Head past the break for our lengthiest interview yet, filled with brilliant concept art and exclusive Ms. Splosion Man screens!

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