Reviews

Strung Along is one of the more unique platformer games that is available for Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices. You control a wooden string puppet across multiple levels of game play.

You will have to avoid obstacles and avoid over extending your puppet that will break its strings. The levels are timed, so you will need to balance speed with caution to avoid snapping your puppet's strings. The Windows Phone version is available for low-memory devices and after spending a little time with the game, it does have a bit of appeal.

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This is the special golden edition Nokia Lumia 930

In early January, Microsoft officially announced special golden editions of its Lumia 830 and Lumia 930 smartphones for various markets, including Europe, Asia Pacific and China, and India, the Middle East and Africa. Coming in either matte black or glossy white, the gold-framed versions of the latest Lumias add a little sophistication to the previously colorful devices.

I managed to get my hands on the matte black gold Lumia 930, which can be found unlocked for around $430, including on eBay. Here are some photos and a video to show you what it is all about.

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If you like Dungeons and Dragons styled games, the Windows Phone game Dungeoneers might be something of interest.

The game is a dungeon exploration game where you create a party of four adventurers from a handful of unique classes . Dungeoneers has tons of monsters to defeat, plenty of gold to fill your pouches and a few treasure chests to plunder. The game is available for low-memory devices and while I enjoyed playing Dungeoneers, it may take you a little time to get used to the interface and dark graphics.

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The Surface Pro 3 is a magnificent device, but it is also a pretty hefty investment, regardless of which model you get. For that reason, you want to protect it as much as you can. A good case or sleeve will get you far. However, you may want to go that extra mile and get yourself a screen protector as well.

The BoxWave ClearTouch Ultra, anti-glare screen protector, has some admirable qualities, but it may not be for everyone.

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Dragon Mania Legends is a city building styled Windows Phone game where you rebuild he kingdom of Dragolandia where you breed dragons and fight off neighboring Vikings and their dragons.

Dragon Mania Legends includes over one hundred species of dragons to discover and plenty of side missions to tackle. Combat sequences are turned based pitting your dragons against the Vikings. The game is available for low-memory Windows Phones, as well as Windows 8 devices, and after spending a few days with the game, Dragon Mania Legends is a fun way to pass the time.

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Goblins! Problems! - a Windows Phone game of survival

Goblins! Problems! is a Windows Phone game where you are tasked with battling wave after wave of goblins. You hack and slash your way through an endless number of these wicked creatures, earning gold along the way.

Goblins! has an RPG feel with upgradeable character traits and specialized attacks. The graphics aren't too shabby and while I don't know if I could spend the afternoon playing Goblins! Problems!, it might not be a bad option when you need help passing shorter bits of time. The game is available for low-memory Windows Phones.

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Pigment Puzzle is a Windows Phone game that is heavily inspired by the Rubik's Cube puzzle that first surfaced in 1980.

Instead of dealing with a three-dimensional combination puzzle, Pigment Puzzle has you solving a one dimensional combination puzzle. The game has three puzzle sizes and four color schemes to keep you challenged.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Pigment Puzzle can be a little frustrating at times but overall, it is an appealing puzzle title for your Windows Phone gaming library.

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If you have the need to secure your photos from unwanted use or distribution, take a gander at PhotoScrambler.

PhotoScrambler is an app available for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices that will encode/decode your JPEG or PNG photos. Images are stored as any other image file but all that is seen is a static image. PhotoScrambler takes a little time to get accustomed to but once you get the hang of things, the apps does have a bit of appeal.

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.NOON. is a Windows Phone game that will test your reflexes, patience and to some degree, your sanity. The game is available for both Windows 8 devices and Windows Phones (including low-memory phones). We have received a few tips on the game and found the game to be a nice time waster even though a game rarely lasts more than a few seconds.

The premise of the game is rather simple, tap the clock as the minute hand strikes noon. While the goal sounds easy, .NOON. is designed to make such a simple task challenging. Dare I say nerve racking?

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Last week at CES, Dell won over crowds with their new XPS 13 with infinity display announcement. Winning various awards and high praise from our staff, the new XPS 13 Ultrabook is a head turner.

Last night, I managed to pick up the new Dell XPS 13 with a Core i5 processor and 1080p non-touch display. Here are my initial impressions after using it for the last few hours.

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4Shot is a Windows Phone photography app that may be best described as a photo booth for your Windows Phone. It triggers off a burst of 1 to 6 frames that can be framed as a collage or filmstrip like you would get from a photo booth.

The app has editing support for the basics (brightness and contrast) as well as several effects filters, textures and masks that can be applied to your photos. While 4Shot probably won't be your daily driver for photo editing, it does a nice job of things. I can see it being a nice photo app for the times you want to be a little creative in how you present your photographs.

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Review – Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

These days, when it comes to peripherals for computers, a lot of attention is given to mobile keyboards and mice for tablets and laptops. But what if you are one of the remaining desktop computer users or use your laptop or tablet on a dock as your primary computer in your home or office? You will likely want a full-size mouse and keyboard to fill out your command center.

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is a fresh and comfortable setup that combines functionality, versatility, and style.

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Imperium - ROTS is a relatively new fantasy adventure for Windows Phone that has you battling a host of foes as you search for the crystals of ancient imperators so you can rule the world.

The game has a bit of a RPG approach and may be best described as a Yu-Gi-Oh styled card battle game. You can work your way across the gaming map taking on opponents or take on other gamers with the Online Battle mode. There are over 120 imperators to catch and plenty of attacks to learn and improve upon. I would describe imperators as battle avatars or character that are under your control during combat sequences, much like you would find in the Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon type games.

Available for low-memory devices, Imperium - ROTS (short for Rise of the Sun) does make a nice first impression and I can see it being a Windows Phone game to keep you occupied for some time.

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Soppy's Adventure is a Windows Phone game that has you guiding a lost water droplet, Soppy, across multiple levels of play that are full of dangers. The goal is to help Soppy get through three worlds of danger and back to his home world.

You guide Soppy by a series of screen swipes to keep the water droplet in motion. Graphics are nice, game play challenging and there is a slow motion mode available to help with multi-tasking. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Soppy makes a nice first impression but takes way too long to regenerate gaming lives. Soppy's Adventures could make for a nice time waster of a game for either the Windows Phone Kid's Corner or your main gaming library, you just have to pace yourself a bit.

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I do not consider myself exactly on the edge of trendsetting, nor do I claim always to know what the next 'big thing' is, but Trivia Crack (TriviaCrack.com) has recently caught my attention.

I started playing the game a few months ago as it came to Windows Phone back in September. Sure, it is fun, but I thought it was just another game for Windows Phone. Then, all of a sudden a few weeks ago, I started getting requests from friends on Facebook to play the trivia game. I had no idea it was even on other platforms. Weeks later and friends of friends are telling me it is all the rage.

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Breaking Ted is an interesting endless runner Windows Phone game that has you controlling an angry old man who apparently has an issue with gummy-like bears. You have to guide the old man up an endless staircase chasing the bears. When the old man catches up to them, he'll use his chainsaw to turn the bears into a blob of jelly.

The Windows Phone game will test your sills at timing, patience and reflexes. Game play is challenging and the graphics aren't too shabby with Breaking Ted. The game is available for low memory Windows Phones and in playing Breaking Ted for the past few days, it comes across as a fun game to pick up every now and then to help you pass the time.

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Whether you are trying to keep a New Year's Resolution or already a gym rat, there are plenty of fitness apps in the Windows Phone Store to help you manage, track and set up your gym routines.

The Windows Phone app has over 130 exercises with guides on how to perform them correctly and the ability to add your own custom exercises. You can create and monitor your exercise routines and receive notifications to help remind you when it's time to hit the gym. WinGym also can be structured for male and female exercises.

In briefly exploring WinGym, it comes across as one of the more basic Windows Phone fitness apps but not too short of features.

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Last week on 8th, Runtastic finally pushed out their first update for their new Me application. Initially released before Christmas on Windows Phone, Me is the official companion app for Runtastic's Orb fitness tracker. The problem was, the app was previously useless for many, myself included as it crashed soon after trying to sync wit an Orbit.

Now, version 1.0.1 on the Store fixes all of that as we have regularly been syncing with our Orbit.

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LOD Tactics is a combat game that is available for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone that focuses more on team strategy than run and gun tactics. LOD Tactics (short for Line Of Defense Tactics) has you commanding a team of four Galactic Command marines as they battle their way through various missions.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones, the game has sixteen missions (first three are free), which are based on the Line of Defense comics. Your four-man team can be trained to improve their skills, upgrade and improve their weapons and give their stats a boost as missions are completed.

LOD Tactics has a bit of a Halo Spartan feel to it and while it's not a difficult game to pick up, you may need a little time to get used to the gaming controls. LOD Tactics has seen a decent amount of success over on iOS and Android platforms, as well as being a popular online MMO game. After tackling a few missions, the gaming title should do well in the Windows environment.

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Review - Cassnova Denim Laptop Case

Laptop sleeves are a great solution for protecting your device and holding a few accessories without carrying around a bag or briefcase. However, they are also known for being fairly stripped down of compartments and options, which can be inconvenient at times.

Cassnova has bridged the gap between bag and sleeve with their 13-inch Denim Laptop Case. It offers up the thin design of a sleeve with enough storage and features to fill in as a laptop bag.

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Frankencircus is a relatively new Windows Phone endless runner game that takes on the gaming genre in a slightly bizarre and unique manner. The back-story for the game is that an explosion rocks the local zoo and animal parts are at a market low. This opens the door for a local surgeon to fulfill his childhood dream of running a circus. The result is a bit of a freak show with different animals (and clowns) parts being combined for big tent shows.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Frankencircus has decent graphics, challenging game play, and thirty levels of play. Frankencircus has potential of being a nice time waster of a Windows Phone game but is held back slightly by an odd menu layout and confusing game play.

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Last week we reviewed the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel, the best steering wheel available for Xbox One at present. Racing wheel controllers are not meant to be used on the lap – just imagine if your car's steering wheel shifted about every time you turned or moved your legs. The TX Racing Wheel includes a clamp for attachment to a table or desk, but that's not especially sexy and might be tough for living rooms.

Thus your best wheel mounting options are a racing wheel stand or seat. Netherlands-based company Playseat has the gaming chair market cornered, offering more than 10 different gaming chairs for racing and flight games. Given that Forza Horizon 2 is one of my top Xbox One games of 2014, I jumped at the chance to try out the Playseat Evolution Forza Motorsport Edition. Read on for my full impressions, complete with exclusive video review and unboxing and assembly videos!

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Definitionado is a relatively new Windows Phone word game that had a crossword puzzle feel about it. Imagine working on a crossword puzzle without the words crossing and just solving the word clues and you come close to Definitionado.

You are presented with clues that define a particular word and a collection of letters that can be used to spell that word. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, the lack of a gaming clock gives Definitionado a casual feel. The game does have hints for the more difficult words, 500 puzzles and a very clean appearance.

After tackling the first dozen word puzzles, Definitionado comes across as a very appealing word game to add to your Windows phone gaming library.

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If you have ever had the urge to see how far you can jump a Winnebago, the Windows Phone game Top Gear: Stunt School might spark your interest.

Top Gear: Stunt School is the second official Windows Phone game from the popular television series Top Gear (we also have Top Gear: Race the Stig) that puts you behind the wheel of a vast assortment of cars to see if how successful of a stunt driver you can be. Cars can be upgraded, the graphics are well drawn up and the stunts full of challenge.

The game is available for low-memory Windows Phones and Windows 8 devices. For the most part Top Gear: Stunt School is a fun Windows Phone game to spend some time with but the game is noticeably held back by less than stellar controls.

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Shuttle Shuffle is a Windows Phone puzzle game where you are tasked with helping aliens find their spaceship (or shuttle) and fly home. Each ship's color corresponds with its alien pilot and you have a set number of moves to get each alien to their ship.

Shuttle Shuffle has 72 gaming levels plus a level editor where you can create, share and try puzzles created by other Shuttle Shuffle players. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, the game takes on a casual pace with no timers to race. Shuttle Shuffle comes across as a fun game to pass the time with when you are in the mood for a Windows Phone game with less pressure but plenty of challenge.

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