There are basically two German developers we can count on to make great Windows Phone games: Flare Games (makers of Royal Revolt 2) and Handy Games. The latter entered the scene with Epic Battle Dude and Aces of the Luftwaffe, two fine free to play games.
This year, Handy Games finally has more Windows Phone games in store for us. A short while ago they released 1941: Frozen Front, a serious turn-based strategy game. We interviewed them about it at Casual Connect a while back. Today Handy follows up with SPS: Football, a very pretty and fun 2D soccer/football game. Both games are free, 512 MB RAM-compatible, and a whole lot of fun. Don't miss our impressions and hands-on videos!
Super Party Sports: Football
You know what tends to be kinda boring? Physics puzzle games. I mean, there are a million of them. I can count five thousand Angry Birds games alone. Some people still love the genre though. Well, I have finally found a physics game I can love again in the form of SPS: Football.
This is no traditional soccer game. The entire thing takes place in a 2D side-view. You might think that limiting soccer to a horizontal plane would change the rules of the game a bit, and you'd be right. SPS: Football is actually a puzzle game in disguise.
The goal in each level is to get the ball past the opposing team's goalie. But you don't just pass the ball from teammate to teammate. Kicking a ball into an enemy player actually knocks the enemy into pieces. As you knock out the opposing team, you'll charge up a shot that can take the goalie down. Send him down in flames to win the level.
You have a couple of side goals during the level. First, complete it as quickly as possible. The faster you finish, the better trophy rating you'll earn for that level. Fail to beat the level within the time limit and you lose, just like everyone who ever went up against me in a spelling bee. Just kidding, I lost on the word rhytyhm. I mean, rhythm!
Also, every level has coins you can collect by kicking the ball through them. These coins can be spent on new uniforms for your team, pre-game boosts, or continuing when you fail to win a match in time. Players can also choose to buy coins via in-app purchases or turn off the banner ads for $1.99. I recommend doing that because the ads are way too big.
SPS: Football is a surprising good game, but it's not perfect. During my short playtime, the frame rate often stuttered on more complex levels. That shouldn't be happening with a 2D game on a Lumia 1520. But if you can put up with a few performance issues, you'll be hard pressed to find a more charming soccer/football game on Windows Phone. And it's coming to Windows 8 eventually as well!
- SPS: Football – Windows Phone 8 – MB – 40 Free – Store Link
1941: Frozen Front
Just as Aces of the Luftwaffe takes inspiration from World War II, so does 1941: Frozen Front. But this one is a turn-based strategy game, not a shoot-em-up. Units move along a hex grid, exploring maps to remove fog of war, and discovering enemy units hiding on the battlefield.
Players begin each mission with a variety of units: infantry, tanks, artillery, planes, and more. You'll move each unit across the map's hex grid, uncovering the fog of war as you search for the enemy. Each unit gets one attack per turn, so you'll need to consider whether it will survive an attack (the game tells you how much damage both sides will take) before assaulting an enemy unit.
Killing enemies gets you gold which can then be spent on new units, armaments, and refueling existing units. Complete missions skillfully to earn a gold bonus too. Or you can buy gold (and turn off the obnoxiously large ads) as an In-App Purchase. I haven't gotten far enough in the game to tell, but the difficulty must spike eventually. Otherwise, you'd never be tempted to make a purchase. Still, grinding previous missions for gold is always an option.
Frozen Front runs very well, but it's not the flashiest game in the world. The units just slide around the map as they move and attack, never turning to reflect the direction they face. It looks a bit odd, but I guess we play games like this for the strategy, not the sprite work.
On the plus side, the game offers pass-and-play multiplayer to keep you busy between campaign skirmishes. Handy Games hopes to release 1941 on Windows 8 eventually, but couldn't say when it will arrive. For now, grab your phone and help keep the enemy tanks at bay!
- 1941: Frozen Front – Windows Phone 8 – 18 MB – Free – Store Link