Reviews

NFC Safe is an interesting Windows Phone app that allows you to secure important date, images and credentials on your Windows Phone. The app utilizes your Windows Phone's NFC abilities to create a NFC Tag key that will open the app. Otherwise, your information is locked up and secure from prying eyes.

NFC Safe includes OneDrive support to back up your information, Live Tile support for direct access to folders and you can create multiple NFC tags just in case you are prone to losing things. It's an interesting app and a handy way to keep things private on your Windows Phone.

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The Xbox One launched with a killer fighting game that continues to be updated even now. That would be Killer Instinct, which will start its second season of content next week. While the new Killer Instinct was originally developed by Double Helix, Chicago-based Iron Galaxy Studios eventually took over on development duties. Iron Galaxy has quite the history with fighters, having developed/ported several Xbox 360 fighters for Capcom.

Now Iron Galaxy has just published its own fighting game Divekick: Addition Edition + on Xbox One as part of the ID@Xbox program. Divekick is anything but serious, filled with joke and parody characters and requiring only two buttons to play. It's a fighter boiled down to the barest essentials. Bring your sense of humor and appreciation for fighting games and you're going to love the art of divekicking. Read on for our detailed review and watch Jonathan Dollison and I divekick it on video!

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They say the simplest things in live are often the most enjoyable. Square Me is a Windows Phone game that hopes to tap into that philosophy and find its way into your Windows Phone gaming library.

Square Me isn't a very complicated game. You are presented with a collection of colored squares and have to find the one square that doesn't match the rest. The goal is to try to solve as many puzzles in one minute. While all this sounds easy, you may be surprised how hard it is to find the one tiny little square that is just a fraction of a shade different than the rest.

Available for low-memory devices, Square Me is an appealing, addictive, sometimes frustrating Windows Phone game that is a nice option to choose when you have a few minutes to kill.

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If you are a fan of celebrity food fanatic Alton Brown, you may know that the one thing he steers clear of when equipping his kitchen is a "unitasker," an object that can only perform a single function. That is what I like the most about the Patriot FUEL Active Mobile Rechargeable Battery. It combines a mobile device battery charger, something many of us will only use occasionally, with a flashlight.

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Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One is a really huge game, with more than 200 cars to collect and race throughout the cities and countrysides of Europe. For some automotive enthusiasts, no quantity of cars could ever be enough. That's where DLC cars come in. The game launched with a VIP membership that offered five exclusive rides and some additional goodies. But even still, Forza Horizon 2 lovers like me wanted more.

This week, Microsoft released the Mobil 1 Car Pack to help fill that need for speedsters. The pack adds six new cars to the game. These can be bought individually, together as a pack, or as part of the Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass. And as a bonus for all Horizon 2 players, the Mobile 1 Car Pack's 1988 BMW M5 is completely free to all.

We recently picked up the Car Pass and took all six Mobil 1 cars for a test drive in order to bring you these detailed impressions.

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Early this summer, a big batch of Xbox Windows Phone and Windows 8 games disappeared from the Store and into the ether. Some of these games would return without their Xbox features, we reported, while others would stay gone for good. One of those delisted titles was Carcassonne, a strategic board game from German developer Exozet games. This week, it finally returned to Windows Phone.

Formerly a Windows Phone 7 title, Carcassonne has been upgraded to Windows Phone 8 status. The new version looks better and plays faster than ever. It has a new cross-platform online multiplayer mode that should make playing with friends easier than before. And even better, Carcassonne supports universal purchases. Buy it once and get the Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT versions. Read on to find out how the game plays and what changes the Remastered version brings!

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Over the summer, Roku officially released a Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 version of their Roku app, which turns your device into a handy remote control for your Roku device.

The Roku app has a simple interface and will automatically detect your Roku devices. We've been using it for about a month and find it to be a nice app to have handy for situations such as when you've lost your Roku remote, too lazy to get up and get your Roku remote or are in the mood to battle your better half with dueling remotes.

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FIFA 15 for Xbox One Review

I've been playing FIFA 15 on the Xbox One in the past two weeks and I'm hooked. I don't follow football closely, but I love playing this game. It looks great, and it features several modes that are going to make Xbox One owners keep coming back for more. Whether it is a quick single player game, tournament, or online multiplayer, it's hard to get bored with FIFA 15. I haven't even mentioned FIFA Ultimate Team yet, which is EA Sports' most popular mode that I thought would be overwhelming, but has become my favorite feature of this game.

If you're still undecided whether you should buy FIFA 15 for the Xbox One, continue reading for the full review and watch our video demonstration.

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Review: TYLT VU Qi Wireless Charging Pad

There isn't a lot that goes into a Qi charging pad, or at least you would think. After all, you plug it in, plop your phone on it and there you have it. Most charging pads are designed with this mindset, being nothing more than flat pad with a plug that your phone sits on.

The TYLT VU Qi wireless charging pad is an exception to that. It is thoughtfully designed to be a little bit more than just a place to lay your phone to power up.

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Enhance your Windows Phone photos with Afterlight

Afterlight is a Windows Phone photo editor that joins the crowded field of photography apps available in the Windows Phone Store. Afterlight hopes its simple design and snappy tools will help it stand out from this crowded field of apps.

Afterlight offers 8 adjustment tools, 57 filters, 66 textures, 79 frames and cropping tools to fine-tune your photos and give them a little pop. You also have in-app purchase opportunities to expand your editing tools, Instagram integration, Pictures Hub integration to choose Afterlight as an editor and an in-app camera app.

On the surface Afterlight comes across as a capable Windows Phone photo editor but a cumbersome interface and tiny thumbnail controls holds this editor from standing out from the crowd.

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Back at the beginning of September, Microsoft pulled the curtain back on three new Lumia phones: the Lumia 730/ Lumia 735 and the Lumia 830. Just four weeks later and those devices can be found at various retailers and carriers around the world.

Today I am taking a closer look at the Lumia 735 including an unboxing video, sample camera images, high-resolution photos of the phone, and my first thoughts on the successor to the Lumia 720.

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A few weeks back, Bungie finally released its first post-Halo game under the Activision label: Destiny. Destiny revolves much more around completing missions and hunting for loot cooperatively with friends than Halo, with far less narrative driving players forward.

Everyone knows about Destiny, but did you know the Xbox One has another cooperative action game with just as much content and even more features at a fraction of the price? Warframe is a free to play third-person action-shooter, similar to Destiny and multiplayer classics like Phantasy Star Online. With tons of missions and playable characters, full clan support, and a very fair free to play model, Warframe has become one of the Xbox One games I just can't put down.

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Bit Raid is a retro-styled arcade game for Windows Phone where you are tasked with protecting your bit-base from bit-bombs that fall from the top of the screen.

Graphics are minimal, much like you would find with a Pong era game than a current day video game. Game play is fast paced and has a decent amount of challenge.

Available for low- memory devices, Bit Raid may not appeal to everyone but if you are a fan of retro styled games, it comes across as a fun time waster.

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HiLight is a simple Windows Phone game where you have to retrace flashes of lights. The game's backdrop is a collection of wonderfully drawn up landscape images.

However, don't let the game's simple premise and good looks fool you. HiLight can drive you a little crazy trying to keep pace with and remembering the light's path. HiLight is a challenging, fun game to pass the time with and it's available for low-memory devices.

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Forza Horizon 2 is one of this year's biggest exclusive games for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The latest in the Forza racing game series, this installment allows players to explore and participate in a huge variety of races throughout an idyllic European countryside. With unparalleled graphics, realistic AI opponents, robust online features, and tons of gorgeous cars to collect and drive, Forza Horizon 2 is the racing game to beat. No wonder we gave it such an enthusiastic review.

Although Forza Horizon 2's in-app purchases have been toned down significantly compared to last year's Forza 5, the new game still has some optional up-sells for serious fans of the game. Chief among those is the VIP membership. Becoming a VIP promises extra cars, faster progression, and in-game recognition for other players to see. We've tried out the $20 membership in order to bring you detailed impressions of its benefits and value.

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Mini Dogfight is an air combat Windows Phone game that puts you behind the controls of World War I era fighter planes. The mission oriented game pits you against a host of enemy Aces where you battle to be the Top Ace.

Available for low-memory devices, Mini Dogfight offers a host of planes from single winged fighters to sea planes to bi-planes. Power-ups and health bonuses fall from the sky during combat missions to help improve your chances and there are currently ten missions where you will face off against enemy Aces to fight.

Graphics are nicely drawn up, game play challenging and overall Mini Dogfight is a fun game to pass the time with.

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Every now and then, we check out Windows Phone Store title designed for our younger audience, finding ourselves stumbling upon a gem of a game or app. Pango Zoo is one such app that is an attractive, dare I say impressive, Windows Phone children's game that lets your child interact with a host of zoo animals.

The game has more of a storybook feel than a gaming feel with five adventures for your child to discover and play through. The illustrations and animations are nicely drawn up and while the user interface does require a little exploration, that isn't necessarily a bad thing for children's game.

Available for low-memory devices, Pango Zoo comes across as a fun Windows Phone gaming title well suited for your Kid's Corner. It is a fun time waster of a game that you and your children should enjoy.

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Bow Man HD, archery duels from your Windows Phone

Bow Man HD is a Windows Phone game that will test your skills at archery by way of a dueling contest where you need to take out your opponent before they take you out. The game has three dueling modes along with target shoot where you get to shoot down passing birds.

Bow Man HD is a sequel of sorts to the original Bow Man game that was released earlier this year. The original was in black and white and the HD version simply adds more color to the mix. Even with the added color, graphics are minimal with Bow Man HD.

Game play is mildly challenging and Bow Man HD is available for low-memory devices. It's not the most action packed game in Windows Phone Store but if you are in the hunt for a decent time waster, Bow Man HD is worth a try.

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Defense Grid 2 is the sequel to Hidden Path Entertainment's 2009 critically-acclaimed Xbox Live Arcade tower defense strategy game. Having achieved so much with the first entry, Hidden Path still felt like they could outdo themselves with a next-gen version. And indeed Defense Grid 2 is easily the best tower defense game on Xbox One right now.

If you're someone that likes tower defense games, but feel as if most of them are too easy, perhaps this is the game you need to play. Defense Grid 2 has layers and layers of complexity. This isn't just "put down the towers at the beginning of the wave and watch it defeat your enemies." This is more of a scramble fast to build your towers and put them in the right spots early, or watch your enemy easily pick you apart. Check out our detailed review to learn how it all works.

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The Return of the Ducks is a Windows Phone shooter game that has you battling evil ducks who are dead set on stealing your pumpkins.

As you might guess, you are tasked with blasting these ducks out of the sky before they can abscond with your pumpkins. The game includes twenty levels of play, a wide assortment of guns and not too shabby graphics.

The game is available for low-memory devices and while The Return of the Ducks presents itself as a fun game to pass the time with, several performance issues holds this gaming title back.

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SensorCore is the technology made by Nokia in conjunction with Qualcomm to enable tracking of your location, steps, and level of activity using your Windows Phone while not killing your battery. Found on the Lumia 630, Lumia 635, Lumia 730, Lumia 735, Lumia 830, Lumia 930, and Lumia 1520, SensorCore is also open to third-party developers to make new apps that leverage the tech.

Sensie is one of those apps, and it is quite ingenious and well polished, especially being relatively new, (it first launched at the beginning of September, but received an update today). The app is designed to visualize your travels and recent activities, leveraging HERE Maps.

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Last year, the Xbox One launched with a graphical tour-de-force racing game known as Forza Motorsport 5. This year, Microsoft and developer and developer Playground Games (plus Sumo Digital, who handled the Xbox 360 version) have returned with the more approachable, open world spin-off Forza Horizon 2.

The new Horizon improves upon Forza 5's gorgeous graphics engine and photorealistic cars, creating the best looking racer yet. Players drive across southern Europe solo or online, exploring the countryside and participating in hundreds of events at their leisure. You won't find another racing game with Forza Horizon 2's sense of exploration and adventure. Learn about the game's wealth of races and social features in our comprehensive review with video, and be sure to join the WPCentral club!!

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Cops is a retro styled Windows Phone arcade game that has pixelated, monotone graphics and mildly challenging game play. You play the role of one of the most wanted criminals and have to navigate through the nine platform styled gaming levels.

You can run, jump and shoot your way through all the coppers who are determined to throw you in the big house. Along with the run of the mill street cops, you will also have to face off with two bosses.

Reminiscent of the old GameBoy, or maybe even the Commodore 64 video games, Cops does have a certain level of appeal and is available for low-memory devices.

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Run Down, a fast-paced survival game for Windows Phone

Run Down is a fast paced, arcade styled game of survival where you have to control a falling ball and make sure it never reaches the top of the screen. Call it a reverse jumper game for Windows Phone.

It's a game of survival with simple controls, three difficulty levels and a handful of ball styles to choose from. Run Down isn't an overly complicated game but has it's fair share of challenges. The game is available for low-memory devices and Run Down isn't a bad gaming option to have in your Windows Phone gaming library for the times you need a little help burning a few minutes.

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We're taking a look at the $179 dual-SIM Windows Phone from BLU!

BLU is starting to make waves here in the Americas with their Win line of Windows Phones. Both the Win JR and Win HD offer customers yet another viable option for jumping on to Microsoft's growing platform while on a budget.

Previously, we showed you the Win JR, an $89 Windows Phone that left us impressed. Today, it is the Win HD, its bigger and much cooler looking sibling. Running for $179 on Amazon and Microsoft Stores (soon), the Win HD is one lovely looking Windows Phone.

Let's see what it is all about!

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