Reviews

5

Super Monkey Ball - Review

Back in elementary school, I once bit into a piece of fried okra thinking it was a Tater Tot. What should have been a delicious, tiny hash brown actually tasted like green death, forever ruining okra for me.

Super Monkey Ball on Windows Phone is a lot like that. On the outside, it has all the makings of a quality game – cute characters, a fun premise, fairly good graphics, and catchy music. I was really looking forward to it before it came out. Beneath Super Monkey Ball’s tasty exterior, however, lies an unpleasant surprise: utterly abhorrent tilt controls.

The Super Monkey Ball series has made quite a name for itself since its debut in Japanese arcades and subsequent release as a GameCube launch title. Players guide one of four monkeys (each inside of a clear ball) across one or more floating platforms and through a goal, avoiding hazards and collecting bananas along the way. The only significant difference between the monkeys is the annoyingness of their voices – I found GonGon to be the most tolerable. Anyway, instead of directly controlling the monkey, you tilt the maze itself and try to steer the monkey where it needs to go. It’s a fun and unique concept.

Roll past the break for our full review.

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3

Shuriken Ninja - Review

Shuriken Ninja has been sitting in the top five Windows Phone apps for some time now and it's about time we took a look at this popular gaming title. Shuriken Ninja is an ad-supported, free game for your Windows Phone where you play the role of a ninja.

Continued after the break.

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4

Hydro Thunder GO - Review

One of the latest XBox Live games to hit the Windows Phone Marketplace is Hydro Thunder Go from PixelBite. The racing game has sentimental value to me in that I can remember playing it in arcades and eagerly waiting for its release on the Nintendo 64 platform over a decade ago.

It has since been released in some shape, form or fashion on multiple gaming systems and has now landed on your Windows Phone. It's a pricey game but if you like racing games, especially boat racing games, it's well worth the price of admission.

We've spent some time with the PixelBite developers and after the break you can find out more on Hydro Thunder Go.

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20

AT&T HTC HD7S - Review

T-Mobile customers have been enjoying the HTC HD7 for some time now. The large screen Windows Phone is now headed to AT&T as the HD7S. The "S" is for the Super LCD WVGA screen. Personally, I would have liked to have seen AT&T go with something more creative like the HTC Slate. HTC HD7S is fitting but it can be somewhat of a tongue twister.

We ran a first impression video earlier and was impressed with what we saw. Over the past few days we've used the HD7S exclusively and while it still makes a good impression, there is some room for improvement.

Move on past the break to see how well that first impression lasted.

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2

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX - Review

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX papercraft

A long time ago, Pac-Man was king of the arcades. If you were a gamer, you were either playing Pac-Man or wishing you were playing it, and you never failed to ask asked your mom to make Pac-Man pancakes in the morning. Over the years, the yellow guy’s popularity has waned despite the occasional (and generally mediocre) sequel.

Fortune turned back in Pac-Man’s favor with 2007’s downloadable console title, Pac-Man Championship Edition. Critics and gamers alike praised CE’s return to classic-style game play and looks. Three years later, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX improved on CE’s foundations, creating the perfect Pac-Man game for the modern era. Now DX comes to Windows Phone with a few less features than the console version but just as much retro modern charm.

Turn a corner, watch out for ghosts, and head past the break for our full review.

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2

PhotoSafe - Review

Need a secure area on your Windows Phone to store photos? PhotoSafe is a Windows Phone app that will allow you to store photos and is password secure. PhotoSafe won't password protect the galleries in your Photo Hub but it will provide a safe harbor for sensitive images.

PhotoSafe features include:

  • Import photos from your existing Photo Hub
  • Take pictures with your Windows Phone camera directly from PhotoShare
  • Integration with Photo Hub Extras
  • Slideshow creator

Move on past the break to read more on PhotoSafe.

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2

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Review

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when thinking about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Chris Tarrent perhaps, or possibly the background music?

Either way, the game is on the Marketplace and it’s a great resemblance of the TV quiz show when it was a relatively successful hit a good decade ago, originating in 1998. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on Windows Phone 7 is an Xbox Live (achievements enabled) general quiz game which sports an easy-on-the-eye interface and features the classic music present in the shows on TV.

Continued after the break.

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5

Prime TV - Review

One of the benefits of a Windows Phone is the amount of information it can pull up. If you need to find out information on your favorite television shows, Prime TV is one resource that will bring plenty of television information to your Windows Phone.

Remember the TV Guides your mom used to buy in the grocery store checkout? Prime TV is a lot like TV Guide but on steroids. To find out all the information Prime TV will bring to your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.

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2

LazyWormApp's Youtube apps - Review

Some time ago we first mentioned LazyWormApps YouTube app for Windows Phone after it was recently updated. The YouTube client made a very good first impression and after tinkering with the app for a few days, that impression hasn't faded.

The app comes in two versions, Youtube and Lazytube. LazyWorm's Youtube app is a free, ad-free, app that gives you access to YouTube. LazyTube is a paid app ($.99) that also gives you ad-free access to YouTube as well as HD Streaming and a chameleon live tile that adapts to the phone theme.

Oh, before you make the jump to read more about LazyWormApps Youtube apps, you might be interested that the developer is running a fully featured free trail of LazyTube. Not sure how long this offer will last but you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Pirates Assault - Review

Pirates Assault is available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace and put's a swash buckling twist on the tower defense games. The goal with Pirates' Assault is to protect your treasure chest from raiding pirates.

You do so by strategically placing canons along the coastline in hopes of blasting the pirates out of the water before they can sail off with the loot. Pirates' Assault is a little more than your typical tower defense game and to find out how it keeps you on your toes, sail on past the break.

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2

The Onion 7 - Review

The Onion has come to your Windows Phone. The Onion is a news website that covers news, sports, politics, and other issues of the day. But with an interesting, humorist twist much along the lines of The Daily Show and SNL's Weekend Update. The Onion 7 is an unofficial companion app that brings the Onion news stories to your Windows Phone.

On the Onion you can read about HP's new non-computer for those who don't need a computer. Or sports stories such as how every MLB player begins hitting home runs after copying Albert Pujols' batting stance. The Onion 7 brings the lighter side of the news to Windows Phone 7.  There are audio casts reporting where McDonalds stock tumbles as consumers turn to food and videos reports on how an internet outage forced people into the streets to voice their opinions.

Continued after the break

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Manhattan 2020 - Review

Manhattan 2020 is an unique sort of game for your Windows Phone. It has a retro look to it with plenty of pixels and a very simple objective.

You play the role of a jetpack hero who is flying through a futuristic Manhattan. To help make your travels interesting, angry birds (that really look like bat - probably because of the pixels), helicopters and evil jetpackers try to mess you up.

While the game's objective sounds easy, Manhattan 2020 is a surprisingly challenging game. Jump on past the break to read more.

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With the recent theatrical release of Fast 5, we thought it would be a good time to look at Fast & Furious: Adrenaline from I-play. I’ve only seen the first Fast & Furious movie, but I gather the series revolve around street races, import and muscle cars, and incredibly wooden performances by Paul Walker. Everything that makes the films special is also in Adrenaline, with the exception of Walker’s acting (though he is sort of in the game).

Fast & Furious takes place within the same universe as the films. Dom (Vin “Iron Giant” Diesel’s character) has left Los Angeles, leaving a void of power in the illegal street racing world. It’s up to the player to join one of four rival racing crews and take over the city by racing, racing, and more racing. Yes, basically the same setup as Speed Racer, except there’s no monkey - unless you count Paul Walker!

Race past the break for our full of-actor-references review.

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3

Lunar Lander - review

The Game Room series is a great way to enjoy nostalgic gaming experiences as well as try classic video games for the first time. I happily did both things while preparing for my Centipede and Pitfall! reviews. Unfortunately though, not every game stands the test of time. Some games are pretty tough to get into if you didn’t play them when they were first released. Lunar Lander is like that. Sure, it’s historically important, but I doubt many Windows Phone gamers will actually care to play it.

Lunar Lander blasted off into arcades in 1979, the year of my birth. Its arcade competition that year consisted primarily of Space Invaders (1978) and Galaxian. While those two games feature science fiction themes and aliens to blast, Lunar Lander is grounded in reality. The player pilots a lunar landing module as it descends to Earth’s moon. Death comes not from unfriendly visitors but from crashing into the landscape or even just landing too quickly – again, a more realistic setup than the competition. This is still a video game though, so players do get more chances to play until they run out of fuel.

Rocket past the break for our fuel review.

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1

Lushington Springs - Review

Windows Phone games that have descriptions that read, "Please Note: This game is intentionally difficult" tends to attract attention. Such is the case with Lushington Springs.

Lushington Springs is a tower defense game that will eventually throw everything at you (maybe even the kitchen sink). The story goes that Lushington Springs needs help in defending the territory from hostile attacks (as if there was friendly attacks). Terrain ranges from forests to snowy passes to deserts to urban areas.

Follow the break to find out more about this fast paced tower defense game.

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2

Pandas vs Ninjas - Review

I never knew that Pandas and Ninjas didn't get along. Apparently they don't or the Windows Phone game, Pandas vs. Ninjas, wouldn't have been developed.

In the spirit of Angry Birds, XIMAD Inc. has created a puzzle game of destruction where you (the panda) attempts to take out ninja strongholds.  You do so by hurling an assortment of critters, with various abilities, at the ninjas. The ninjas are protected by an assortment of bamboo, stone, and metal structures.

I've gotta admit Panda vs. Ninjas is a fun, somewhat addictive game and to read more, slide on past the break.

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1

Pandemic Evolved - Review

The viruses from Pandemic have mutated into the Windows Phone 7 game, Pandemic Evolved. Z-Games is offering the free game over at the Marketplace that puts the viruses into a tetris-like environment.

The game has groups of three viruses dropping from the top of the screen and you have to stack them up to create a match of four or more of the same viruses to contain the outbreak.

Continued after the break.

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1

Hypership Out of Control Lite - Review

Fun Infused Games has released a fast paced, space shooter, arcade game for the Windows Phone that definitely lives up to its title. Hypership Out of Control Lite has you in control of a space ship that is, well, out of control. No brakes and the accelerator is stuck. Luckily your weapons system is stuck in the "on" position.

Your goal is to navigate your out of control ship through through various obstacles, collecting coins, bonus items and destroying various items as you fly towards the finish line. Once you cross the finish line, you move to the next wave that will progressively get harder.

Continued after the break.

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Anyone who has small kids knows that they are fascinated by both phones and videogames. Handing off a phone to your child while in the car or at a restaurant can be a great way to keep the little one occupied. Indie developer Ganlok Studios has produced three fine kids’ games for Windows Phones: Mazoocard, Toy Xylophone, and Simon Cow. Each title offers clean, attractive graphics, simple gameplay, and a great user interface.

Head past the break for our full three-game review.

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4

Earthworm Jim HD - Review

During the 16-bit gaming era, Shiny Entertainment’s Earthworm Jim made quite a splash. It boasted very unusual character designs, an off-beat sense of humor, and excellent graphics and sound. It was also frustratingly hard, but so were a lot of games back then. Earthworm Jim was such a success that it spawned a few sequels and its own cartoon series.

Fast-forwarding several years, Gameloft - the developer/publisher known for producing mobile clones of popular console franchises – has brought the original Earthworm Jim to Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title. Is Earthworm Jim still as groovy as he ever was? Yes and no. This version is pretty rough around the edges thanks to some poor design decisions from the ‘loft.

Swing past the jump for our in-depth review.

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4

Infinite Flight - Review

If you are a flight simulator fan, Infinite Flight is being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that might suit your fancy. You can pilot a Cessna 172SP or a Cirrus SR22 (future updates will bring more aircraft to the app) around the San Francisco Bay area.

From realistic flight controls to multiple airport destinations, there is a lot to Infinite Flight. And to read more on this Windows Phone flight simulator, glide on past the break.

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6

Password Manager - Review

One challenge most of us will face is keeping up with all those blasted passwords. You could choose one password for everything but one size doesn't always fit all and experts say that's not the moset secure practice.

Password Manager is a simple application for your Windows Phone that comes with Dropbox Sync functionality and PC sync. Password Manager allows you to store internet passwords, banking information, credit card information or miscellaneous passwords/info.  If you have serial numbers you need to maintain, Password Manager would be a good option for that as well.

Continued after the break.

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1

DisneyBot - Review

Heading to Disney World Resort this summer? There's a Windows Phone app out there that may lessen the headache of finding your way around the theme parks.  DisneyBot is a travel application that maps out Disney World covering restrooms, rides, attractions and park times. The app uses your Windows Phone location services with Bing Maps to guide your way around the parks.

For more on DisneyBot, slide on past the break.

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