AppCampus

A few weeks back we reviewed TouchFox, an app that allows Windows 8 gamers to play PC games using touch screen virtual controls. Control issues aside, being able to play computer games on a tablet is pretty impressive. But you know what's even more likely to knock someone's socks off? Playing PC games on a phone.

That's just what KinoConsole makes possible. Kinoni, makers of the Kinoni Remote app (no longer published), have just released a gaming-specific version of that app called KinoConsole. By installing both the Windows Phone and PC apps, players can stream and play big-screen games to their phones. KinoConsole provides (iffy) virtual controls and even supports MOGA controllers! The app is free and works with 512 MB phones.

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Another popular game from iOS, Android, and Blackberry has just made its way to the Windows Phone Store. Sheep Up! has been a big success with over a million downloads on other platforms, and now Windows Phone users get to play it, too. In collaboration with Nokia, Microsoft, and AppCampus (appcampus.fi), the developers have included exclusive content with a new edition of the game to launch on Windows Phone. It's called Sheep Up! Black Light. Head past the break to watch some gameplay on the Nokia Lumia Icon.

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Microsoft and Nokia do a lot to inspire indie game development for Windows Phone and Windows 8. Most notably, Nokia's AppCampus program helps train indie developers and fund game development in exchange for timed exclusivity for Windows platforms. As for Microsoft, the big tech giant recently held a Unity Porting Lab in Switzerland that aimed to help Unity developers bring their games from iOS and Android over to brighter shores.

Both programs helped contribute to the lineup of indie games that arrived on Windows Phone and Windows 8 in June. For part two of our indie games roundup, we played Mind: Brain Training, Pigs Can't Fly (newly available on Windows 8!), Pop! Food Factory, and The Quest: Anniversary Edition. Some indie games are better than others, as you'll find out from our impressions and hands-on video!

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The Xbox One received a ton of new indie game releases this week, including a variety of genres like adventure, sports, and driving. But you know, Windows Phone and Windows 8 have quite an active indie scene as well. This weekend, we're taking a two part look at the indie games of June.

For part one of our indie games roundup, I played a word game called Alpha Pop, puzzle game Dino Tribes, memory skill game Ditto, endless running game Firefly Runner, and a 3D racing game known as Formula Force. Which games belong on your Windows Phone or tablet? Let our impressions and hands-on video help you decide!

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We first covered the Youmigo beta back in November when we first found out about it. The app was being backed by the AppCampus program from Nokia, Microsoft and Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. Youmigo aims to be an intercultural exchange on Windows Phone.  You can use it to find penpals around the world or ask a question to folks in a specific region. After months of hard work, Youmigo is out of beta and now available for download.

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It was last June that we first talked about Project Tripod, an upcoming photography app with a lot of potential. This is an app that is coming out of the AppCampus program. That means the Project Tripod team received funding and help from Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. In exchange, apps from AppCampus are exclusive on Windows Phone for 90 days before they’re allowed to join competing platforms. Project Tripod is an app with so much potential we can’t wait to see it go multi-platform, but in the meantime we’ll very much enjoy this Windows Phone exclusive.

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1 Phoenix Force is one of the latest Windows Phone 8 titles funded through the AppCampus project. It is a fast-paced shooter where you control a variety of Phoenixes as they battle over seventy bosses to save the Earth.

We have seen some fantastic titles being generated through the AppCampus such as Dark Lands, SongArc and Foundbite. In the short time we’ve spend with 1 Phoenix Force, it has the potential of being another success story for the AppCampus project.

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Collectible card games are a fairly popular genre of video games as of late. You’ve got the likes of Hearthstone in closed beta from Blizard (the company behind World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo), but there are also small gems out there looking to tap into the market. This movement includes the likes of Permia Duels (www.permiaduels.com) from Seepia Games. If you’re seeking a fantasy adventure, while being able to build an unbeatable deck of cards, pass the break for more details as this is the mobile game for you.

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Location-based games and mobile are a great fit since smartphones usually have a GPS built in and people take their phones around everywhere. Why not work that into a game, right?

Israel-based developer GreenShpits recently released its own location-based/augmented reality game for Windows Phone 8 called Mossad as part of the AppCampus program. The word “Mossad” means “Institute” in Hebrew and is used to refer to the Israeli equivalent of the CIA. Mossad allows players to travel around playing spy and acting out their own missions, but some major bugs cut into the fun.

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Imagine you’re packing for a trip to Paris, France and plan to visit The Louvre (www.louvre.fr) while you’re in the city. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get more out of the experience with your Windows Phone? That’s exactly what ArtGuru – Louvre does. It’s a companion app, which serves as a guide of sorts for the museum. Tour on pass the break to see what it's all about.

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Nothing beats some Goblin, Orc and Ogre bashing on your Windows Phone, especially when you don't have to pay for it. Dark Lands is an interesting game from the AppCampus program, the venture backed by Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University. If you've not heard of the title prior this article, think of Dark Lands as an infinite runner with some RPG elements to it

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If you're looking for an action packed, battle riddled, monster filled, see-how-long-you-can-survive type game for your Windows Phone, take a look at Dark Lands.

Dark Lands is one of the many products being generated from the Microsoft/Nokia sponsored AppCampus.  It is an infinite-runner styled game with RPG combat elements. We've been tinkering with the Beta version for some time now and are happy to report that the game has finally been unleashed to the Store.

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We’re big fans of apps that chose to launch exclusive on Windows Phone first before going cross-platform. We’re also big fans when those apps revolve around a unique idea. Youmigo is an app that’s currently in beta for Windows Phone 8 users that is not only exclusive to Windows Phone, but pretty unique. Let’s check it out and give you details on joining this beta.

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Quality apps that are exclusive to Windows Phone make us very happy. Foundbite is one that we’ve covered in the past in beta form and it’s now available for you to download. This is an app we’ve been looking forward to hitting the Store for a long time. Now that it’s here we’ll check it out and hopefully help convince you to get on board with one of the coolest apps to come out of AppCampus.

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The Machine is a new game for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 that should make many diehard players quite pleased. The game, developed by IĮ Farstall, comes from the highly regarded AppCampus project, a joint venture between Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University (see example titles here). That means you can expect a decidedly polished, visually exquisite title that is unique (and exclusive) to Windows Phone.

The Machine delivers in every aspect.

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An exclusive behind the scenes look at AppCampus, the joint venture between Nokia, Microsoft and Aalto University

Windows Phone Central was invited to travel to Espoo, Finland and check out the magic that occurs at AppCampus. You may already be familiar with the name — we’ve covered the program in the past — and how Microsoft and Nokia are working together with Aalto University to help build new content for Windows Phone.

As lightly touched on above, the project aims to offer developers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to get cracking on ideas and turn them into apps for the Windows Phone store. Some of the top apps and games you download from the store will have gone through this very program. So, what's it all about?

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We first mentioned Dark Lands a few months ago. It's an action/adventure game for our Windows Phone that is being developed by Mingle Games and is one of the many projects associated with the Microsoft/Nokia sponsored AppCampus.

Dark Lands is an infinity running game that also has elements of a fighting and RPG game. A battle runner game if you will.

We have been given access to the beta version of Dark Lands and it makes a very admirable first impression. Graphics are well drawn up, game play challenging, and controls nicely responsive. It's a fast paced game that should appeal to many.

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Learning a new language isn’t easy – especially Asian languages. Of course you want to immerse yourself in the language you’re learning as much as possible. It also helps to make the learning process fun somehow. After that, it’s up to your personal dedication and interest in the idiom.

Indie game developer MNE Creations (located in Shangai, China) has taken all that into account when creating their Windows Phone 8 exclusive game, Tawkable Chinese. They aim to get users started on the road to learning Mandarin Chinese by wrapping language lessons up in an adventure game. The main game is free, with language drills sold as a single In-App Purchase.

Head past the break for our full impressions and hands-on video!

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