Reviews

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Windows Phone Game Review: Daredevil Mouse

Daredevil Mouse for Windows Phone

Looking for a painfully difficult physics game for your Windows Phone? Take a look at Daredevil Mouse.

This multi-level game has you controlling a mouse through multiple jumps to get a piece of cheese.  Daredevil Mouse is a game where you send your mouse, encased in a hamster ball, through a series of jumps, twists and twirls to snag a piece of cheese.  The multi-level game isn't for the faint of heart (either that or I'm really bad at this game) and while the challenge can be frustrating, it also seems to draw you back to the game.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Quick Shift

Quick Shift for Windows Phone

Quick Shift is a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that not only challenges your powers of observation but your speed. The game presents you with a five by five grid of numbered tiles (numbered 1-5). Your job is to find number straights that run vertically or horizontally.

Each round is timed and you have a target score to meet before you can advance to the next level. The challenge comes with a secondary timer that will shift the tiles every eleven seconds. At the end of the eleven seconds, your straights are collected and points awarded.  It takes a little time to catch the hang of Quick Shift and you've got to be quick at the touch.  All in all, Quick Shift isn't too shabby.

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Windows Phone App Review: Fhotoroom

Fhotoroom for Windows Phone

There are plenty of photo apps for our Windows Phones but few will has as many features as Fhotoroom. The application not only lets you edit and share photos via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Tumblr but it also has its own camera app.

Fhotoroom offers a wide variety of modifications, adjustments, filters and effects for your photos.  At first launch, you are prompted to sign up for a free membership to the Fhotoroom website. Once signed up you can establish your user profile, send other members messages and enter your Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or Tumblr account information for easy sharing of photos.  You can use Fhotoroom without signing up for a membership but in signing up you get access to the Fhotoroom network where you can message other members and view their photos.

Fhotoroom is appealing not only for it's vast amount of editing tools but also for the relative ease of use.  Navigation around the app does take a little getting used to but not to the point it detracts from the app.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Permutile2

Permutile for Windows Phone

Permutile2 is a new puzzle game that has landed over in the Windows Phone Marketplace. You swap tiles around the game board to find their targeted position. Permutile2 supports single player, two-player and you vs. the computer mode. With the single player you try to get all the tiles into the right position in the least amount of moves. With the two-player or vs. computer mode, you try to get more tiles into position than your opponent.

Add four levels of play and up to five board or grid sizes and Permutile2 has plenty of gaming to keep you challenged. Game play is simple yet challenge and the Permutile is well presented from the graphics to the menu layout. It's a nice puzzle addition to the Windows Phone game line up.

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5

Windows Phone Accessory Review: RF3 ENVi Headphone

RF3 ENVi mono earpiece

Here's a relatively new Windows Phone accessory that jumped off the computer screen at me. The RF3 ENVi corded headsets use AirCom2 technology to keep potentially harmful radiation away from your noggin'. Using natural wood earpieces is another feature that makes these corded headsets unique.

We took a look at the Mono-earphone model (comes in a two piece stereo model as well) and the RF3 performed really well. The ENVi headphone does approach things a little differently than your typical corded headset. Typical headsets send the audio signals through wires directly to a speaker that sits in your ear. The ENVi uses a SPL enhanced sound chamber that then channels the sounds up air tubes to a natural wood earbud. It basically puts the speaker down from the earpiece.

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Windows Phone App Review: Dance Central 2 Dance*Cam

Dance Central 2 Dance*Cam Lead

The potential of connectivity between Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 console is vast. We’ve seen mobile Xbox Live games function as companions to their console counterparts (Full House Poker, Kinectimals, and Fusion: Sentient) and a couple of apps that connect with the console (Halo Waypoint, Xbox Companion App). The Dance Central 2 Dance*Cam, which WPCentral first discovered in December, falls in the latter category... Unfortunately, the app comes from a developer called AKQA rather than Harmonix, and they don't seem to understand what Dance Central fans would actually want from an app like this.

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Windows Phone Game Review: El Cagao

El Cagao for Windows Phone

El Cagao is a fun, easy card game that you can take on three computer opponents or challenge up to three of your friends. Then game is nicely animated, fairly easy to pick up and challenging within it's own right.

El Cagao is a card game where each player is dealt 12-13 cards. Amongst these cards is the Joker or El Cagao. On each turn a player will take a card from the next player and then discard any pairs in their hand. You continue to take turns until one player is stuck holding the El Cagao.

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Windows Phone App Review: AutoPanorama

AutoPanorama for Windows Phone

AutoPanorama, as the name implies, is a panorama app for your Windows Phone. The app is very similar to Pano and will stitch two or more images together to create that wide panoramic look for landscapes, indoor shots or any other situation where you can't step back far enough to get everything captured in one shot.

AutoPanorama can do a decent job at merging the individual photographs to create panoramas.  But I found that the app struggles more times than not to create a seamless, level stitching or merging of the photographs.  AutoPanorama is a nice option for Windows Phone cameras that lack a native panorama feature but you need a bit of patience and a sturdy tripod.

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Puzzle Quest 2: Xbox Windows Phone Review

Puzzle Quest 2 Lead

Puzzles games often feature enjoyable gameplay, but they rarely give users a reason to keep on playing beyond chasing high scores (or Achievements). That’s what made the original Puzzle Quest so special. Australian developer Infinite Interactive (later bought out by Firemint) had the revolutionary idea of combining the core gameplay of a puzzle game with a sizable RPG adventure. Naturally a slightly less-inspired sequel followed, this time branching out to even more platforms. Namco handled the Windows Phone port of Puzzle Quest 2, squeezing the lengthy console game into a tiny mobile package.

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Windows Phone Game Review: ByeByeBrain App-ocalypse

BBB: App-ocalypse for Windows Phone

The other day we took a look at ByeByeBrain, a zombie slaying tower defense game for your Windows Phone that has been around since the dawn of time and it simply flew beneath our radar.  ByeByeBrain is a marvelous game and it has recently spun a sequel, ByeByeBrain: App-ocalypse. BBB: App-ocalypse, for short, takes the ByeByeBrain game to a new level by adding more stages, levels, and weapons into the mix.

The object of the game hasn't changed. You still need to position your characters in such a manner to prevent the zombie hordes from crossing the screen. As you wipe out the zombies you earn cash that can be used to purchase (or is it enlist) additional characters. You get twenty lives and with each zombie who survives your defenses and passes across the screen, you lose a life.

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ZTE Tania hits the UK, available from Clove for £250

ZTE Tania Front

The ZTE Tania, a budget Windows Phone, has arrived into the UK. While the ZTE handset isn't the most feature rich Windows Phone available on the market, it wont have a negative impact on the user experience. Packing a 1Ghz processor, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM, 4.3" screen and 5MP camera, the Tania is no slouch and even left us surprised at CES 2012

All that's left is for the company is to surprise us with a high-end smartphone with 16GB+ storage and an AMOLED (or Super LCD) display. Should you be interested in purchasing the budget handset, head on over to Clove where you can pick one up for just £249.99 (incl. VAT), but note that stock wont be in until February 13th. We'll look to see the device available on contracts with UK carriers soon enough for £10-£20/mo.

Check out the press release after the break.

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Windows Phone App Review: BoxShot

BoxShot Review

BoxShot, if you haven't guessed already by the name, is a Dropbox client for Windows Phone, which can be found on the Marketplace for just 79p ($0.99) with a free version also available. Should you be a frequent "boxer" then this app will be perfect for your file synchronising needs. It's a simple, light app that gets the job done.

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Windows Phone App Review: Nokia Drive

Nokia Drive

One of the selling points Nokia is hoping to attract customers to the Lumia series Windows Phone is the software exclusively available from Nokia. We've touch on the ESPN App that is exclusive to the Lumia phones and now turn our sites to Nokia's navigation app, Nokia Drive.

Nokia Drive utilizes Navtech maps and offers users a basic navigation app to guide you down the road. One of the more appealing features of Nokia Drive is the ability to only download the maps you need. This will go a long ways to help with managing your Windows Phone storage but also reduce the dependency on a data connection.  Overall, Nokia Drive is a nice, basic navigation app for the Nokia Lumia Windows Phones.  It gives the Lumia line a nice selling point but there is some room for improvement.

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Naztech Mini Boom Speaker

Not content with your Windows Phone speaker for audio playback? Looking for a compact, external speaker for your Windows Phone? We may have just what you're looking for over at the WPCentral Accessory Store with the Naztech Mini Boom Speaker ($18.95).

The compact speaker isn't much larger than a golf ball, can act as a stand alone MP3 player, and comes in three color choices (pink, black and blue). The Naztech Mini Boom Speaker is an option to consider and while the sound quality didn't knock my socks off, it wasn't too shabby for such a small speaker.

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Breeze

Breeze Lead

While it’s tough for indie games to get noticed on Xbox 360, several of them have found new life as Xbox Live titles on Windows Phone. Breeze is the latest game to make the jump. Developed almost entirely by one person – Rob Hutchinson of Null City Software, Breeze doesn't quite share the scale of most other Xbox Live games. Thankfully it’s a free (and ad-supported) game, and should go over well with a wide variety of gamers.

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Windows Phone Game Review: ByeByeBrain

ByeByeBrain

Yes... it's another zombie, tower defense game for your Windows Phone. But don't be too discouraged. ByeByeBrain is a wonderfully animated addition to our zombie/tower defense game line up.

Armed with five different, upgradable, volunteers to defend your city from the invading horde of zombies, the game takes on the typical tower defense goal. Prevent the hordes from passing from one side of your Windows Phone screen to the other. As you wipe out the zombies you earn cash and for each zombie that survives your onslaught, you loose a life (you only get twenty of them).

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Windows Phone App Review: Timelapse Pro

Timelapse Pro for Windows Phone

Found a nice time lapse photography app for your Windows Phone the other day. Timelapse Pro is available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace for a steal of a price ($.99).

What makes Timelapse Pro a really nice photography app for your Windows Phone is the settings menu (more on this in a second). In a nutshell, Timelapse Pro takes control over your camera and captures an image at pre-determined intervals. The photos are then compiled into a video for some neat time lapse images.

Timelapse Pro's interface is fairly simple. You have one page to work from with a three dot menu that pulls up options to access the settings, read some tips/tricks, and view the About screen.

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: MiniSquadron

MiniSquadron Lead

For the longest time, Rise of Glory was the only aerial combat game in the mobile Xbox Live lineup. Not a bad game, but the relatively complex tilt controls and sterile atmosphere kept me out of the pilot seat. A year later, MiniSquadron finally touched down on the Marketplace. Both games feature mid-air dogfighting - and still they couldn’t be more different. Created by indie developer Supermono and ported by Fat Pebble, MiniSquadron is simple, silly, and incredibly addictive. Even steep challenge and rampant glitchiness can’t keep it down.

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Windows Phone App Review: Nokia's ESPN App

Nokia ESPN App

Nokia will be offering several exclusive apps for their Lumia Windows Phone lineup. One such app is the ESPN App. We mentioned it in the Lumia 710 review and now we'll take a closer look at things.

The app is broken down into three panoramic pages that cover scores, videos, news and ESPN social feeds for all your favorite sports leagues. A fifth page is present to allow you switch between sports leagues and covers the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA Basketball and Football, Soccer, Formula 1, Cricket and Rugby.

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Windows Phone Review: T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710

Nokia has had a good amount of success with the European launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 and has hopes that success continues as the company begins its push into the North American market. The first Nokia Windows Phone for the U.S. Market is the Nokia Lumia 710, that is now available over at T-Mobile.

The Lumia 710 is a compact, entry level Windows Phone that sports a 3.7" screen that is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass. The latest Windows Phone feels solidly built and comfortable in the hand.

As with other second generation Windows Phones, the Lumia 710 is designed more for a specific audience and may not appeal to everyone.  Some will find the 8gb of storage limiting and the missing front-facing camera disappointing. It may not suit your fancy but the Nokia Lumia 710 is a very good Windows Phone and a nice entry level model. It represents Nokia very well as their first U.S. Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Ghostscape

Ghostscape Lead

Adventure games were once a thriving genre, filled with absolute classics from LucasArts, Sierra, and others. These days, they exist in much smaller number, but they do keep coming thanks to TellTale games and the occasional indie developer. Ghostscape is a product of the latter. Originating as free flash game on Kongregate, Microsoft eventually picked it up as a mobile Xbox Live title. The development staff doubled from one to two people, and that brings us to this non-free version of Ghostscape. It retains a strong low budget indie vibe that will likely scare off mainstream players, but adventure fans will want to give the game a look.

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Windows Phone App Review: Pano

Pano for Windows Phone

Second generation HTC Windows Phone (Titan and Radar) owners have a panoramic setting in their camera app to let them stitch together three images to create a wide, panoramic image. But what about other Window Phone models? Enter the Windows Phone app Pano.

Pano was recently released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that will allow you to stitch together up to sixteen images to create a massively huge panorama.  Pano has had a decent amount of success over on the iPhone and based on what we've seen, should be just as successful with Windows Phone users as well.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Crazy Survival

Crazy Survival is a successful Blackberry title that has crossed over to the Windows Phone platform. Crazy Survival is a fast paced, rather simple game for your Windows Phone but don't let the simplicity fool you.  This Windows Phone game can be a handful.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Bubble Popper XXL

Bubble Popper XXL

Bubble Popper XXL isn't your bubble popping game for your Windows Phone. Sure, you have to pop bubbles of two or more of the same style to gain points but there's a little more to it with Bubble Popper XXL.

Bubble Popper XXL is a multi-level game that calls upon you to remove a certain number of bubbles in a limited number of moves per level. You've got a few bonus bubbles to help you along the way and even with the help, Bubble Popper XXL can be somewhat of a challenge.

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