Reviews

7

Tanks are rolling into the Marketplace

Windows Phone games such as Alphajax and Words by Post are turn by turn word games that you play online. But what if you want a little more action in your online gaming? Say, a need to blow things up? Tanks might do the trick.

Tanks is a turn by turn combat game that you play online with the goal of capturing cities and wiping out your opponent. You'll need to register your email address with the game's server and once that's done, you're off to battle.

More after the break.

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10

Case-Mate Pop - Case Review

One of the challenges of using the Samsung Focus is finding a decent case for the Windows Phone. The smartphone case industry seems to be hesitant to flood the market with cases but every now and then you run across something decent.

Case Mate has been in the smartphone case business for some time now and is offering the Pop case for the Samsung Focus. The Pop is part rubber case and part hard shell case. It get's its name because it "pops" into place but how much pop does the Pop have? Follow the break to find out.

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12

Gelaskins - Review

We mentioned the Gelaskins last week, liked what we saw and ordered a pair. Gelaskins are adhesive, protective skins for your Windows Phones that comes in a wide assortment of patterns. You also have the ability to order custom skins using your images.

First, the ordering experience went smooth. We ordered a stock skin and a custom skin for the Samsung Focus. Creating the custom skin was simple using Gelaskin's online wizard. The order shipped within twenty-four hours of placing it and, shipping UPS ground, the full turn around was six days. Not too shabby considering the order involved a custom skin.

The order arrived packaged with the skins in cardboard envelope that was inside another cardboard envelope. Sturdy enough to significantly reduce the chances of the skins being bent or folded in transit.

To read about the fit and feel of Gelaskins, slide on past the break.

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IAGWH2 - Review

Every now and again we run across rather unique games for your Windows Phone. IAGWH2 is not only a unique game but it also has an equally unique title. It stands for "I am great with headlines 2" and is part puzzle game and part trivia game based on the news headlines of the day.

It reminded me of a game show you'd fine on NPR such as "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" IAGWH2 is a simple, yet entertaining game and to find out more, you've gotta make the jump past the break.

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2

Fastball 2 - Review

Fastball 2 is not a baseball game for your Windows Phone. Instead it's a bouncy ball type of game where you have to guide your ball down a path, bouncing over obstacles.

Fastball 2 has 105 levels of play spread across three stages. The game also offers two themes, cartoon and futuristic (cartoon looks the best).

From the main menu you can access the game, options, and a help section. Options include sound and music on/off controls, your theme of choice and the difficulty level (easy, normal and hard). You may want to start off easy because the game can be rather challenging.

Continued after the break.

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Tank Battle - Review

The title of this Windows Phone game says it all; Tank Battle. Your goal is simple, destroy the enemy tanks. The battlefield is peppered with obstacles that not only hinder your movement but also acts as protection from enemy fire.

To see how big or tiny a blast Tank Battle can be, power your way past the break.

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3

Word Blast - Review

Okay... here's another word game for your Windows Phone. Word Blast is a scrabble-like game that allows you to compete against other users online or pass and play with someone in person.

Where AlphaJax, Words by Post and Spellit follow the Windows Phone Metro theme, Word Blast takes on a more traditional layered design. You have a main menu that gives you access to creating games, view games, view the leaderboard, and access your gaming options. From there you're sent to other menus to access more particular parts of the game.

More after the break.

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16

Words by Post - Review

We've covered our fair share of word games for the Windows Phone. Some may argue that there are way too many word games in the Marketplace.  But, word games are an easy way to pass the time and can be entertaining, challenging and competitive.

Words by Post is such a game. Sure, it's another scrabble type game but Words by Post expands your opponent base by jumping platforms.  Words by Post is compatible with the games iPhone and Android versions.

Among the scrabble-type games,  AlphaJax may be the front runner with its fantastic appearance and large player base.  But the cross platform feature definitely makes a case for Words by Post to be the top dog.

Head on past the break to see how Words by Post measures up.

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6

Basecamp - Review

Basecamp is a tracking app for your Windows Phone that should help you from loosing your way while your out hiking, climbing, surfing or whatever voodoo that you do while in the great outdoors. Basecamp helps you remember what to do at the fork in the trail as you head back to camp, where you parked your car, and will also remind you when to start heading back to camp.

The core function of Basecamp is to set a GPS coordinate for your base camp and help track yourself back when you venture out. Basecamp will also help you send out an SOS should you find yourself in trouble. To see how well Basecamp can tracks your steps, hit the break.

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Activity Roulette - Review

Having a hard time deciding what to do? There's a Windows Phone app to help you with that.

Activity Roulette is available over at the Marketplace to help you make those tough choices on dinner, recreational activities, movies, office pranks and more. Activity Roulette includes a series of preset topics that can be listed by popularity or newness. The topics include not only social activities but roulettes for more personal activities such as studying, doing your homework, and choosing a color.

Continued after the break.

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5

Monkey Mini Golf - Review

There simply is not enough golf games over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. But things are looking better with the release of Monkey Mini-Golf.

While it's a miniature golf game (nothing wrong with that but would it be so bad to have an 18 hole EA Sports golf game?), it has a certain appeal to it. Graphically, it reminds me a lot of the Donkey Kong games that hit later in that titles lifespan. The miniature golf holes do have a degree of challenge to them and gaming controls are simple, yet effective.

To read more on Monkey Mini Golf, ease on past the break.

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MustEatBrains - Review

At some point Zombies became popular and your Windows Phone isn't exempt from their influence. It wasn't long ago we first shared with you the latest game involving the undead, MustEatBrains. Since, we've had some time to spend some hands on time with the game and found it to be a mixed bag.

Graphically, the game is well presented. I like the hand-drawn, retro feel to the game. Animations are nice, game controls decent, and the plot simple. To learn more on the latest zombie game to hit the Marketplace, hit the break.

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Quask - Short Take

We present to you Quask from Skyboost. Quask is a question-answer app for your Windows Phone that responds to questions that are entered via the keyboard or submitted by voice. Quask will then try to answer your question audibly.

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6

Beards and Beaks - Review

Real-time strategy games can be tough to get right on platforms other than computers. Console controllers can’t match the speed and accuracy of a mouse, so most developers don’t even try. Smartphones are much better at recreating mouse-style controls thanks to their touchscreens, but the lower screen resolution compared to PCs still complicates things. Thus, non-PC strategy games tend to be of the less click-intensive tower defense variety. But Microsoft Game Studios has bravely crafted a casual RTS experience with Beards & Beaks, the Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live title.

Beards & Beaks (which I always want to type as ‘Birds & Beaks’ for some reason) revolves around two warring tribes: gnomes and crows. Each side competes to collect treasure before the other, inflicting as much harm as possible along the way. Strangely, the game is completely devoid of an actual story - a missed opportunity given the unique and adorable character designs. Even Angry Birds (whose ‘birds versus pigs’ premise is similar enough) has story sequences, after all!

Flick past the break for our full review.

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2

Frogger - Review

Updating a classic game for modern audiences is tricky business. Change it too much and you’ll turn off people who liked the original. But stick too closely to the original and it might not appeal to today’s gamers. For examples of perfectly accurate classic ports that are unlikely to gel with people living in the now, see Asteroids Deluxe and Lunar Lander. The Windows Phone port of Frogger, oddly enough, is simultaneously too similar and too different to make much of an impression. It’s not as bad as getting hit by a car, but Konami could have done a lot better.

What qualifies Frogger as a classic? The game made quite a splash when it debuted in arcades in 1981. Its premise and game play are fairly unique: help a group of frogs cross the highway, one at a time, and make it safely to their homes. Most importantly, it inspired a terrific early Bad Religion song.

Jump across the street and past the break for our full review.

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3

Falling Skies - Review

TNT is a forward-thinking network. First they picked up the sci-fi series Falling Skies, which comes from executive producer Stephen Spielberg. Science fiction can be expensive to produce so we don’t see nearly enough of it on television. Only a few episodes of the show have aired so far, but it’s already been picked up for a second season. Further showing support for the show, TNT has also released a companion app for Windows Phone. It comes to us from Chaotic Moon Studios, the developers of numerous official apps like Best Buy and FlightAware.

Before we talk about the app, let’s touch on the show itself. Falling Skies takes place six months after a malevolent alien race has conquered the earth, killing most of the human population. A group of freedom fighters, the Second Massachusetts, struggles to push back the invaders while protecting as many civilians as possible. These defenders include the protagonist Tom Mason, a former history professor (played by Noah Wyle); his teenage son Hal Mason (Drew Roy); Captain Weaver (Will Patton) – the military leader of the group; and Anne Glass (the always attractive Moon Bloodgood), a pediatrician-turned-medic. The show features plenty of action and intrigue. Occasional sappy moments, mostly involving Tom’s youngest son Matt (Maxim Knight) may induce groans, but they’re largely overshadowed by the better bits.

Head past the jump for our full review.

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4

Bubble Town 2 - Review

Windows Phone is just crawling with puzzle games, both of the indie and Xbox Live varieties. Puzzlers are probably the single easiest type of game to develop and they’re well-suited to playing on the go, so it makes sense. Bubble Town 2 from I-Play is one such game, released early on for Xbox Live. It’s an adaptation of a once-popular Facebook game that since been pulled by the publisher. Bubble Town may be a ghost town on Facebook, but is it worth visiting on Windows Phone? Perhaps…

Bubble Town’s got something of a story, aimed at the young‘uns. A bunch of evil aliens called Lumps are invading Bubble Town, and it’s up to the Borbs to stop them. See, even though Bubble Town has the word bubble in its name and is a clone of a spin-off of Bubble Bobble  - Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble, the game doesn’t technically contain any bubbles. They’re Borbs. The writing in the pre-level story sequences is about what you’d expect from a cut-rate kids’ cartoon show, though it does at least inject some personality into the proceedings. Impatient gamers can always skip past them anyway.

Shoot past the break for our full review.

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Bandit: Rustler - Review

Cattle Rustlin' has hit the Windows Phone. Where Crazy Horses calls for you to lasso and corral horses, Bandit: Rustler has you lassoing and collecting stampeding cattle.

The game is well presented with colorful, cartoon animations. But good graphics is but one aspect of a quality game. To find out more on Bandit:Rustler, mosey on past the break.

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Apple Bin - Review

Looking for a game for your Windows Phone that's challenging, entertaining and unique? Check out Apple Bin from Escape Development.

The goal is to toss an apple into the bin in the fewest throws possible. Much like the paper toss games but as you progress through the levels, the game throws obstacles in your way to hinder your shots.

More after the break.

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3

Tiki Towers - Review

When you think of puzzle games, falling-block games like Tetris and match-three games such as Bejeweled probably spring to mind. But there is another type of puzzler that differs greatly from those games. I speak, of course, of the physics-based puzzle game. These games challenge players to place items throughout a level, using their interaction with the level and the game’s physics to accomplish a goal. Tiki Towers from Game House falls into this cerebral sub-genre.

The premise of Tiki Towers involves an airplane dropping numerous boxes of monkeys onto several different islands. All five of a box’s monkeys must make it from their box to the goal in order to complete a level. The monkeys have their own AI and will walk and jump short distances. But each level contains peaks, pits, and other hazards that the simians can’t surmount on their own. That’s where the player comes in.

Grab a banana and swing past the break for our full review.

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