Monopoly Millionaire and Da Vinci Pinball for Windows Phone

It’s been a few weeks since Nokia published a batch of exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games: the fine Vampire Rush and much less fine Storm in a Teacup. Since then, former Nokia exclusives Risk and Connect 4 became available to all Windows Phone users, knocking the number of Nokia exclusives down by two.

Clearly Nokia believes we Lumia owners need lots of stuff to brag about beyond the generally beautiful looks of our phones, and so they’ve just thrown a couple more exclusives our way in order to balance things out. Today we get DaVinci Pinball from Chillingo and Monopoly Millionaire from EA.

Both games are interesting in their own ways, but Monopoly Millionaire especially so because it’s the first Nokia exclusive Xbox game that requires Windows Phone 8 (and 1 GB of RAM). Could this mean we’ll start seeing more EA games that take advantage of Windows Phone 8’s increased horsepower? I hope so! Check out our impressions of both titles after the break.

Monopoly Millionaire

Monopoly Millionaire for Windows Phone 8

Monopoly originally launched alongside Windows Phone 7. A decent, workmanlike port, its only crimes were the lack of online multiplayer and a too-high price of $4.99.

Does Monopoly Millionaire improve on its predecessor’s faults? Well, not the two problems I just mentioned. The Windows Phone 8 game supports pass-and-play and loca Wi-Fi multiplayer for up to four players (just like the iOS cersion). Lack of online play is kind of a downer, but at least it has more multiplayer options than in the original game.

As EA’s first Windows Phone 8 game, Millionaire features a shiny new 3D engine and a sharp visual style.  It looks so much prettier than the old game, you’ll want to ask it on a date the first time you play. Then you’ll realize how silly that would be since you want to be unattached when the next big Gameloft release comes along.

Millionaire plays a lot like the original Monopoly, but EA has revamped the rules and gameplay for mobile devices. The goal is now to earn one or two million dollars before the other players - much more manageable than having to bankrupt everyone else. In addition to the existing Chance cards, new Fortune cards let players steal or force property trades and other cool effects. Declining to buy a property automatically starts an auction with a super slick interface.

Millionaire doesn’t have a beefy single-player mode or online multiplayer as we would have liked, but it does provide a better and more enjoyable experience than its predecessor. The Achievements shouldn’t be too hard either. We’ll have a full review soon.

Monopoly Millionaire is a 70 MB download for Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices. It also requires 1 GB of RAM for some reason, so lower-memory devices won't be able to play it. Get it here from the Store.

QR: Monopoly Millionaire

DaVinci Pinball

DaVinci Pinball for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft announced Pinball FX2 for Windows Phone way back in February 2012, and we interviewed the developer later that summer. Sadly that game looks like vaporware, but Gameprom has come to the rescue. DaVinci Pinball is the first Xbox-enabled pinball game for Windows Phone. It’s only got one table, but the premise and smooth gameplay certainly don’t disappoint.

As the name implies, the DaVinci Pinball table is themed around Leonardo DaVinci’s fantastic inventions and sketches. The table is wooden and chock full of levers, pulleys, and other era-appropriate gadgets. The inventor himself also provides vocal narration which I highly enjoyed. The controls are simple: tap the left or right side of the screen to move the appropriate flipper. Shake the device to tilt.

You can play DaVinci Pinball like any other pinball table and simply try to get the highest score you can. On top of that, the game packs a total of 10 optional missions. Each of these involves activating a machine such as DaVinci’s helicopter by hitting the proper targets. Naturally  many of the Achievements are tied to completing the missions. Check out the DaVinci Pinball Wiki for a full mission list. And speaking of Achievements, the in-game Achievement menu is surprisingly homely and unhelpful compared to the rest of the game.

The interesting thing about DaVinci Pinball is that on iOS it’s simply a PDLC table sold for $1.99 within a larger game called The Pinball HD Collection. For some reason, Gamesprom and Chillingo have chosen to sell the table individually on Windows Phone instead of through a hub game. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because Windows Phone 7 doesn’t work well with In-App Purchases. On the plus side, this game’s appearance means we could get more tables from Gamesprom in the future, each one with 200 GamerScore to its name.

DaVinci Pinball works for both Windows Phone 7 and 8. It costs $2.99 and clocks in at 60 MB on Windows Phone 8. Nokia owners can get it here at the Store.

Via: InsideGames.Ch; thanks to Guilherme, Jey Si, and Mark for the tip!

QR: DaVinci Pinball