Games

Ghostscape Ringtones

Back in January, WPCentral mentioned that Ghostscape would be receiving free ringtones in a future update. Just a couple of months later, that update has landed, and we’ve got the full details.

Ghostscape version 1.2 release notes:

  • Fast App Switching support
  • Framerate increased to 60 FPS (not that that makes much diff to a point and click puzzle game)
  • Resolution of room images has increased to show more detail
  • Live tiles added (one of five different images appears at random)
  • Five free ringtones added under ‘Help & Options’ menu (not available in Trial version)

That’s a fairly hefty batch of improvements. The ringtones are actually quite good and remind me of classic Amiga soundtracks. If you own Ghostscape, I highly recommend installing them. And if you haven’t picked the game up, perhaps these tones and tweaks will convince you to cross the threshold.

WP Central

Ghostscape's creepy new Live tile images

Ghostscape is a first-person horror-themed adventure game. It’s short and has delightfully easy Achievements – see our review for more details.

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iStunt 2 snowboarding to Xbox Live next week

iStunt 2

You know what type of game we need on Xbox Live for Windows Phone? RPGs! Sigh. But another hole in the lineup is snowboarding games, which will soon be filled by iStunt 2 from Miniclip. It’s next week’s Xbox Live release.

iStunt 2 is a simple game in which players navigate a snowboarder around 2D courses, collecting stars and trying to earn high scores. The courses have crazy loops, buzzsaws, gravity portals, and stuff to make things interesting. Control should be a snap on Windows Phone. You just tilt to adjust the board rotation, and that’s it.

In addition to hunting down stars in the game’s 88 levels, players can unlock new boards and riders in the game’s shop. As this is a Miniclip game there will probably be optional PDLC to make things easier. The PDLC was sort of annoying in Gravity Guy but rather innocuous in Fragger, so it’ll likely be fine here.

iStunt 2 comes to Xbox Live on Wednesday, March 28 for $2.99. If you’d like to try it out before hand, the Flash version is free to play (and fun) on MiniClip’s website.

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Vote for April's Deal of the Week

Microsoft has shaken things up a little for April's XBox Live Deal of the Week selections.  Rather than just putting it out there, they want to know what games users want to see discounted by creating a poll of four games.  The choices offered up for your consideration are: ZOMB1ES on teh ph0ne, Earthworm Jim, Doodle God, and Deer Hunter.  To vote, simply head to the source link and click on your choice, then click "Vote."  You can also find a link to the poll in your Windows Phone Games Hub.  Once you've made your decision, you will see what game leads the pack. 

There's no telling whether or not this will become the standard for Deal of the Week going forward, but it's pretty cool to see MS looking for users' input.

Source: Microsoft; Thanks for the tip, Natres!

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Tentacles and Glow Artisan on sale

The new Deal of the Week is a repeat sale, but thankfully it's for a game that hasn't been on sale in a while: Glow Artisan. You can get it for just $1.99. If that's not savings enough, Tentacles has also received a permanent price drop to $2.99. What else do both games have in common? They're not easy!

Glow Artisan is a colorful puzzle game with an artistic bent. Players are tasked with recreating a pixelated picture by drawing colored lines and overlapping lines to make new colors. Achievement-wise it gets pretty tough due to some strict time limits, but if you’re just playing for fun, this title will give you a glowing smile. Check out our review for more info.

Tentacles is the story of Lemmy, a microscopic, artificially-created, tentacled creature. He journeys through 40 stages inside a mad scientist’s body, eating tons of eyes along the way. That’s the good part – the bad part is the countless unnecessary deaths due to poor design decisions like taking control away from the player when you’re getting hit and the occasional horrible currents that push Lemmy to his doom. For the full story, check out my review. But Tentacles has a lot of fans who don’t mind the whacked-out difficulty, so the sale price may be right up your alley. It also just received an 80 MS Point DLC expansion that adds 16 new levels but no extra Achievements.

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Zombies!!! 3.5: Not Dead Yet!

We mentioned a few weeks ago that Babaroga’s survival horror-themed board game, Zombies!!! (review) would soon be receiving its first PDLC expansion pack, known as ‘Zombies!!! 3.5: Not Dead Yet!’ As it turns out, the expansion has quietly slipped onto the Marketplace and won’t require a new title update. Finding it might prove a challenge though – you have to actually start a New Game and then select Expansion Packs from the top of the screen. While ‘Not Dead Yet!’ may not be easy to find, its price is fairly easy to swallow: 160 MS Points ($2), a bit lower than anticipated.

Head past the break for WPCentral’s exclusive detailed descriptions of the expansion’s contents, hands-on impressions, and Achievement tips.

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Splinter Cell: Conviction - Xbox Windows Phone Review

Splinter Cell: Conviction Lead

On Windows Phone, Gameloft is known for producing some glitchy games. There’s Brain Challenge, a game with an amazing six broken Xbox Live Achievements; and even the otherwise great Let’s Golf 2 has one Achievements that’s impossible by design. Yet on the iOS platform, the ‘Loft has a much different reputation. They’ve made a name for themselves by either porting or cloning big-name console titles to iPhone, usually quite competently. Splinter Cell: Conviction falls into the licensed game category. And luckily for Windows Phone gamers, it’s free of technical problems and glitched Achievements that have plagued previous Gameloft ports.

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WP users will have to wait to fight pigs in space

Sad news from the outskirts of space: Windows Phone won't be getting Angry Birds Space on March 22 when Android and iOS do.  An email from Rovio, developer of the mega-popular phenomenon, told DailyMobile that while they are "working day and night to get the game to all relevant devices," they do not have the resources to get deliver to all platforms at once.  Having been wait-listed for the first installment of Angry Birds, only to be missing 105 levels when it finally did arrive,  this comes as another heavy blow from Rovio.  Being that Android and iOS dominate mobile market, it makes sense that Windows Phone takes a back seat, but it doesn't sting any less.

Rovio declined to share any information about specific features of the newest add-on to the Angry Birds franchise.  However, the game was previewed at SXSW on Samsung's Galaxy Note, which benefits from Samsung's partnership with Rovio by getting exclusive in-game content.  For now, you can get a small taste from the teaser below.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Tile Attack

Tile Attack for Windows Phone

Looking for a challenging game for your Windows Phone? Give Tile Attack a try.

It has a little bit of a Tetris feel to it with a little Bejeweled mixed in.  Your goal is to eliminate tiles by grouping three or more of the same colored tiles.  Add three game modes with multiple levels and you've got a decent little puzzle game for your Windows Phone in Tile Attack.

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Chickens Can't Fly

Chickens Can't Fly Lead

The 2012 Must Have Games consisted mostly of established console franchises – titles that are guaranteed to sell based on name alone. Yet for many gamers, the true standout title in the lineup was the sequel to a little-known indie game for Windows Phone. I speak, of course, about Chickens Can’t Fly, the follow-up to Chickens Can Dream – both from British developer AmusedSloth. In case the silly name didn’t clue you in, CCF (as I’ll now shorten it) is a highly creative title with a delightful sense of humor. Just watch out – the difficulty is sometimes less friendly than the rest of the game.

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Tentacles

The popular and highly rated Xbox Live title Tentacles (check our review) has just received an update. This latest version includes level and gameplay tweaks (including challenges being reset after death), along with a number of minor bug fixes. But that's not all, as the "Dog Eat Dog" DLC is now available for purchase (for 80 MS Points).

What's included in the Downloadable Content?

  • New electrifying gameplay mechanic!
  • New enemies to satisfy your appetite!
  • 15 levels in brand new worlds!
  • 2 new bosses to beat!
  • Another chapter in the absurd story of Dr. Phluff!

This is next to follow Beards and Beaks, which was the first Windows Phone game to feature DLC. You can download Tentacles from the Marketplace for $2.99 (£2.29), should you not have the Xbox Live game already.

QR: Tentacles

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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WP Central

Back in 2010, we first reported that Microsoft was planning to bring the ability of "three screens and a cloud" to modern devices. That involved a demonstration of playing a game on the a Windows Phone 7 Series device, pausing it and then picking it up on the Xbox 360.

Users salivated over such a feature, yet here we are in 2012 and it still does not exist between the Xbox 360, Windows Phone nor the PC. However... Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode II, due later this Spring, is evidently going to be the first title to support such a feature.

The Official Xbox Magazine site (oxmonline.com) ran a story this evening featuring a "hands on" demo of the new Sonic game destined for Xbox 360, Playstation, iOS and Windows Phone (called erroneously "Windows Mobile 7", grrr...). At about the 4:20 mark, we can hear Ken Balough, Digital Grand Manager on Sonic Episode II, talk about this unprecedented new feature:

Sonic

"...and one of the cool things about it is that the Windows Mobile 7 (sic) and the Xbox are going to be able to work in tandem in ways that are completely new. So when you pick up the Windows Mobile 7 and you'll be able to play Sonic Episode II, save it, stop, boot up your Xbox 360 and pick up right where you left off. And that's a really cool thing Microsoft has going between the devices and I'm a huge fan of it..."

Call us crazy, but that sounds exactly like the feature first demonstrated two years ago that the world has been waiting for on their phones, perhaps the coup d'état between gaming and mobile that Microsoft desperately needs.

Could this Spring be the begriming of a whole new Xbox-Windows Phone interaction? We anxiously await. Check both videos after the break...

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We first broke the news that the developer behind Blue Tomato (aka Sonic's Jewels, the Sega Master emulator) was wrapping up work on Purple Cherry.

Purple Cherry, in keeping up with generic, non-copyright infringing names, is the re-working on Wario's Jewels (WJ7), a Gameboy Pocket emulator that came out last year but was only homebrew i.e. you had to sideload it to your device. That prevented many of you from using it as you need a developer unlocked device to enjoy that feature.

Purple Cherry Gameboy emulator

While WJ7 was nice, it also lacked the finesse that Blue Tomato had like Skydrive support and that beautiful new UI. So the developer, BeGood1 Soft, reworked various aspects including improving the core emulator, giving reportedly much better performance during game plays across devices.

Overall, this looks to be a killer purchase if you like playing old school games on your phone, so it seems well worth the price of $1.29 should you choose to buy it after using the free trial.

(Note: For initial release, there is no sound. But like Blue Tomato, Purple Cherry will be getting sound emulation in the near future. Stay tuned as we'll keep you posted.)

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Windows Phone Game Review: BlastCannon

BlastCannon for Windows Phone

Here's a fun Windows Phone game to pass the with. BlastCannon is a simple, yet challenging game that has you defending your base from falling asteroids.  

BlastCannon has a simple, minimalistic design and game play but as you progress through the various gaming levels, the pace of the game picks up. It may not have flashy graphics or complex controls but BlastCannon is a challenging, entertaining game for your Windows Phone.

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DoDonPachi Hibachi

DoDonPachi Maximum may be the hardest mobile Xbox Live title to date – it’s certainly right up there with Doodle Jump and Gravity Guy, at any rate. Most gamers won’t be able to get even 100 GamerScore of Achievements from Cave’s latest shoot-em-up, to say nothing of the two secret Achievements. The method of unlocking those two Achievements has remained clouded in mystery… Until now.

You see, Japanese gamers are known for being the most highly-skilled shmup players. One such gamer, ele2424, was the first to earn DoDonPachi Maximum’s secret Achievements, and he has kindly chosen to share them with us now.

  • INFERNAL HERALD - 2GS
    Destroyed ]-[I/34<#!.
  • DEFEATED - 3GS
    Cleared all stages on all ranks.

The description for ‘Infernal Herald’ may be confusing. It’s actually for beating Hibachi, the traditional secret DoDonPachi boss. To reach the robotic bee, you’ll need to take down the regular boss of Stage 5-E, the hardest version of the fifth stage. Only then does Hibachi appear. Meeting and beating him will be no easy task – I personally can’t handle Stage 5-A, let alone the harder variants!

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Kinectimals

Most of us were pleased as punch when Kinect exclusive Kinectimals made the trip to Windows Phone – see my review, for instance. Then it got ported to iPhone for some reason, sending some nasty mixed signals about Microsoft’s faith in their own mobile platform. That aside, we can at least be glad that Kinectimals on Windows Phone received a nice little update last week.

Kinectimals version 1.1 release notes:

  • Fast app switching
  • Enhanced/interactive game tile:
  • Pin on your start screen to always know your how your cub is doing.
  • LIVE tile will tell you if your cub is hungry, happy, thirsty or needs a bath.
  • Additional in-game language support (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Brazil Portuguese)

It’s good to see Fast App Switching support at last – Kinectimals launched at a time when some users didn’t have Mango yet, so they wouldn’t have been able to play it before upgrading. And more languages means the game can be sold in more markets – a smart move.

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BulletAsylum: Xbox Windows Phone Review

BulletAsylum Lead

Does anybody remember the 1980 arcade game Missile Command? It was quite a hit back at the dawn of the vidja game phenomenon, though we haven’t seen too many modern sequels beyond the updated XBLA and iPhone versions. Indie developer UberGeekGames (one word) certainly seems familiar with Missile Command, and the tiny team has created a modern tribute in the form of BulletAsylum (also one word). Microsoft considers this a ‘Must Have Game,’ but sadly you won’t find much depth beneath its flashy exterior.

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IonBallEX

Wow, somebody at Microsoft is on the ball this week. Not only has Gerbil Physics appeared on the Marketplace ahead of schedule, but so has the new Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Said deal happens to be IonBallEX from IronSun Studios. It’s on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

IonBallEX is an Arkanoid-style game in which players use a paddle and ball to break bunches of bricks. This game is more interesting than many of its brethren (especially 3D Brick Breaker Revolution, ugh) thanks to its gothic steampunk setting, a wide variety of block types and power-ups, lots of enemies and bosses to fight, and an addictive upgrade system. Check out our full review for more details.

IonBallEX is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace and start knocking some balls around.

Thanks to Tyler1701 for the tip. Kid’s got the heart of a champion!

QR: IonBallEX

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Gerbil Physics photo

WPCentral broke the news that Pencel Games’ Gerbil Physics would be coming to Xbox Live this week a little early. So it’s only fair that we should also reveal that the game has hit the Marketplace a few hours ahead of time as well. That’s right, you can get Gerbil Physics right now.

Gerbil Physics is a physics-based puzzle game that’s overflowing with cute and dripping with adorable. Each level presents stacks of adorable, well drawn gerbils which players must then knock over with well-placed bombs. The Windows Phone version includes 72 levels (three times as many levels as the original Xbox 360 game), lots of new animations, music, and some entertaining story sequences, too.

Gerbil Physics

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Twin Blades R.I.P.

Press Start Studio’s Xbox Live hack-and-slash game Twin Blades has had a rough time of things. Last year it was pulled from the Marketplace over concerns about its violent content, only to return four months later with the zombie blood replaced by harmless green goo.  But even then, the game proved to be incompatible with the Windows Phone Mango update, which wasn’t rectified for another three months.

Fast-forward to March of this year, and Twin Blades is once again gone from the Marketplace. Not only that, but the Xbox 360 indie and iOS versions, as well as Press Start’s other Windows Phone title, Butterfly, are also gone. As usual, they all disappeared without warning.

We contacted Microsoft about the delistings and received this response:

Due to unforeseen circumstances both Microsoft and the developer are unable to make these games available in the Mobile Marketplace going forward.  We have appreciated the opportunity to share these games with our customers.”

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Windows Phone Game Review: FrogSling

FrogSling for Windows Phone

Frogs aren't doing too well over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. You've got the classic game of Frogger where cars are trying to run the poor frogs over. Then there's Blow up the Frog where you try to inflate the frog for style points. Now you have FrogSling where you're using a sling shot to toss frogs into a bucket. These little guys just can't win.

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Purple Cherry Gameboy emulator

For those of you who remember Warrio's Jewels (WJ7), a sideloaded/homebrew Gameboy emulator, you'll be pleased to know that it has been renamed to 'Purple Cherry' and is on its way to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Yes this is from the same developer who brought us the Sega Gamegear emulator, Sonic's Jewels which was later renamed to 'Blue Tomato' (due to copyright infringement). In trying to avoid the same legal issues, the developer has opted for a renaming and rebranding before submission this time and the emulator is expected to pass.

Purple Cherry Gameboy emulator

New images show that Purple Cherry is using the same design as Blue Tomato, something we're all for as it has an excellent layout with bold, clear fonts and UI elements. What's more, many fixes and improvements have gone into this updated emulator with more games running smoothly now e.g. Kid Icarus, WarioLand 2 and better Pokemon playability. In addition, SkyDrive support is there too allowing easy loading of ROMs to the emulator.

No word on pricing but we bet the same $1.49 price range can be expected. We'll follow up more as we get closer to release.

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Zomies Ate My City

It was only late last year that we covered the news of Chaos Created, a UK based studio, asking for volunteers in and around London to dress up as zombies and act out in footage for their upcoming Windows Phone title, Zombies Ate My City. The game has now been released onto the Marketplace and is available for... wait for it... absolutely nothing ($0 / £0).

So what is Zombies Ate My City all about? It's a 'transmedia' title that is part movie, part game, part augmented reality and part location discovery. A real mixup, which is unique to Windows Phone and is also a platform exclusive. You're tasked with heading to different locations using Bing Maps, much like Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst, and defend the area from zombies. Achievements are unlock-able as well as more powerful weaponry.

Zombies Ate My City App

Windows Phone UK caught up with Ali Maggs, co-creator and programmer of the game:

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Gerbil Physics papercraft

We gave you an exclusive preview of Gerbil Physics, next week's Xbox LIVE title for Windows Phone, showing off the graphics and gameplay including details, story and history of the game--truly a must read (so go read it!).

Now, in preparation the developers of the game, in conjunction with Microsoft's Play XBLA site, are sponsoring some gerbil papercraft goodness. Basically go and print up those pages, cut and fold your way to a little afternoon project. What better way to spend your office work time (instead of surfing Reddit)? And if you submit your photos, Play XBLA might just post your pictures for full internet glory.

Source: Play XBLA

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Toy Soldiers Boot Camp Lead

Signal Studios’ XBLA Toy Soldiers games provide an inspired twist on the tower defense formula. The setting involves a conflict between two factions of army men, making for fun use of scale and nostalgia. The gameplay is unique because players not only purchase turrets to thwart incoming waves of attackers; they actually get to take control of said turrets and other vehicles, infusing the strategy with some much-appreciated action. The most recent entry, Toy Soldiers: Cold War also introduced a variety of minigames to keep players entertained between campaign missions. Now Krome Studios has shrunk some of those pint-sized minigames down into an even more compact package in Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp for Windows Phone.

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