Windows Phone has grown steadily since its introduction in 2010, recently surpassing Blackberry as the third most popular mobile OS in the United States. As that growth continues, more and more app and game developers are dipping their toes in the Windows Phone ecosystem. One of the most recent game developers is Alda Games, based out of the Czech Republic.
Alda is a relatively new indie developer, with two published mobile games to its name. Both of those games are now available on Windows Phone 8: Save the Snail (a physics puzzler) and World of Cheese (a logic puzzle game). Head past the break for impressions, video, and Store links for Alda’s newly-released games, which happen to be completely free!
Save the Snail
This game takes me back to the early days of Windows Phone gaming, as it happens to be a physics puzzler. Each of the 24 levels requires players to save one or more snails from various hazards like deadly sunlight and a hail of rocks, I think.
Unlike many physics games which let you place tools anywhere on the level in order to achieve a desired effect, the tools in Save the Snail can only be dropped down from above. For instance, you can drop a pencil onto the two objects beside the snail in order to create a shelter for it. The drop-down mechanic simplifies the gameplay a bit, making it appropriate for younger players or people who are new to physics games.
Levels also contain one or more stars that you can collect by dropping an object onto them or causing the snail to roll into them. These contribute to your star rating for the level. You also need to move quickly, as a count-down timer will add to your rating if you solve the puzzle before it expires. This provides a good challenge and reason to replay and perfect levels.
While Save the Snail is fun and easy to play, it does have a few rough edges. The game currently asks for users’ location data, even though the gameplay doesn’t use location in any way. That’s surely a submission error that can be easily fixed. The actual graphics also look a bit stretched on my Lumia 1520’s display, as if they weren’t properly optimized for the Windows Phone aspect ratio. The “More Games” link on the title screen doesn’t work. Finally, there’s no music.
On the plus side, the game really is free with no In-App Purchases. Instead, it’s supported by ads between levels.
- Save the Snail – Windows Phone 8 – 25 MB – Free – Store Link
World of Cheese
No, this isn’t a sequel to World of Goo. The premise of the game is that a couple of mice are out to do whatever they can to get some tasty cheese. I never much cared for cheese, but this game allows me to better understand the mouse perspective. I mean, cheese is like their favorite thing!
The game consists of 40 levels divided up into various themes. You might struggle to understand what’s going on the first time you play, due to a complete absence of tutorial text. But once the concept becomes clear, it’s actually quite a simple game.
Each level consists of a scene with a mouse and different interactive objects. One features a fence that is missing two boards, along with some wood, paint, and nails on the ground. Simply dip the paint brush in the paint, then drag it to the boards to paint them. Place the boards on the fence, add the nails, and then hammer them in. Once you’ve completed the scene, your mouse will get some cheese.
World of Cheese is perfect for kids since it encourages critical thinking. Without instructions, your kid will have to experiment and find the interactive objects in each scene. It’s a cute game. Of Alda’s two initial releases, this one also seems to be the most polished. The “More Games” link leads to the publisher’s web page, and the game itself features a catchy tune. No location services either... But that Game Center icon on the main menu needs to go.
Like Save the Snail, World of Cheese is completely free. I didn’t even see any ads during my brief time with it, though they might pop up later on.
- World of Cheese – Windows Phone 8 – 65 MB – Free – Store Link
Next up: Defend Your Life
Alda’s third game has yet to be released on any platforms. But thanks to the Unity Engine, it will launch on Windows Phone alongside iOS and Android.
Defend Your Life is tower defense game with a unique premise. Players take on the role of a human body’s immune system, tasked with defending the body against viruses and other threats. You’ll be able to build and upgrade four different towers as you battle 20 malevolent enemies.
Like Alda’s first two games, Defend Your Life looks like it’s aimed at a younger audience but has enough gameplay and polish to entertain adults as well. With 15 levels of tower defense action, it should be a fun bite-sized experience when it launches on Windows Phone within the coming months.
Seeing as how Alda’s games are all built with the Unity Engine and simple touch interfaces, they would seem to be a good fit for Windows 8 and RT as well as phones. Alda Games tells us that they haven’t started working with Windows 8 yet, but they’re definitely interested in bringing the tablet experience to Windows gamers. All told, Alda Games has the potential to be as big a hit with mobile Windows gamers as another Alda we know...