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carcassonne

Early this summer, a big batch of Xbox Windows Phone and Windows 8 games disappeared from the Store and into the ether. Some of these games would return without their Xbox features, we reported, while others would stay gone for good. One of those delisted titles was Carcassonne, a strategic board game from German developer Exozet games. This week, it finally returned to Windows Phone.

Formerly a Windows Phone 7 title, Carcassonne has been upgraded to Windows Phone 8 status. The new version looks better and plays faster than ever. It has a new cross-platform online multiplayer mode that should make playing with friends easier than before. And even better, Carcassonne supports universal purchases. Buy it once and get the Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT versions. Read on to find out how the game plays and what changes the Remastered version brings!

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Xbox games for Windows Phone have fallen on hard times. New releases are all but non-existent on Windows Phone, and Windows 8 releases have dwindled to a smattering of casual games that Microsoft likely commissioned long ago. This has caused a measure of discomfort to some gamers who joined the mobile Windows platforms for Xbox Live games. I felt pretty bad about it for a while (a year ago).

As if the lack of new mobile Xbox releases and PR from Microsoft wasn't bad enough, the existing lineup of Xbox Windows Phone and Windows 8 games is starting to disappear. Last month we brought the news of Zombies!!! disappearing from the Windows 8 store, only to reappear as a non-Xbox game. Many more games have been delisted within the last few weeks as well, including Carcassonne, The Harvest, and Rocket Riot. Read on for a full list and some insights into why mobile Xbox games are dropping like flies.

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It’s another week with no new Xbox Windows Phone game. Things could be worse – most of us are probably too busy with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (and maybe even Throne Wars) to feel Achievement pangs. But a little Xbox Red Stripe Deal action can’t hurt either. This week’s deal is Carcassonne from Exozet Games for 99 cents. Carcassonne was part of a Black Friday sale in 2012 but has never been a Red Stripe Deal before.

The remaining Red Stripe Deals offer some fine gaming choices as well. There’s Action Bowl 2 from Atomic Bullfrog, Duudle from Visiarc, and Mini Dash from PlayCreek – all for 99 cents. Artifex Mundi’s high quality hidden object game Dark Arcana: the Carnival rings up at $1.49, and the handy app Lock Widgets from Windows Phone Hacker is 99 cents too. Descriptions and Store links after the break!

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In the last week or so we’ve brought you interviews and announcements from German developers Handy Games and Flare Games. Now we’ve made it a trilogy by speaking with Exozet Games, the studio who brought popular board game Carcassonne to Xbox Windows Phone last year.

Matthias Hellmund, the Head of Mobile Development at Exozet, sat down with us to discuss the development process of Carcassonne, its online multiplayer, and even the notorious grinding Achievements! Few game makers come prepared with as many development stories. Head past the break to learn the full picture behind how Carcassonne arrived on Windows Phone.

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As bargain hunting Xbox Windows Phone gamers are surely aware, the fairly new Carcassonne is part of Microsoft’s Black Friday week sale which ends today. Until now, we’ve had mixed feelings about Carcassonne due to its ridiculously grindy Achievements and broken online multiplayer. Thankfully, one of those issues is now fixed at last. Carcassonne’s online multiplayer now works!

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Last year’s Windows Phone Xbox Live Black Friday Week Sale wasn’t terribly exciting, but it did put three games on sale at once, a quantity only equaled in the Countdown to 2012 Sale a month later. A lot has happened between then and now, and today Microsoft has really upped the ante. The 2012 Black Friday Week Sale is live and includes a whopping six discounted Xbox Windows Phone games!

Head past the break for sale details, game impressions, and Xbox 360 Black Friday news too.

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Carcassonne: Xbox Windows Phone Review

People living outside of France can probably be forgiven for a lack of familiarity with the real-life town of Carcassonne and its historical significance. According to my best friend Wikipedia, the town was fortified by walls and was strategic significant from about 100 BC to 1659. Fast-forward to the year 2000 and a German board game designer named Klaus-Jürgen Wrede created a game about building medieval cities and kingdoms by the same name. The single console adaptation of Carcassonne to date has been the XBLA version, which came along in 2007 from Sierra Online. German developer Exozet Games created their own version for Android and Blackberry in 2011, which they’ve now adapted to Windows Phone.

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Way back in February, Microsoft announced a handful of Xbox Windows Phone games. Only two of those games have yet to be released: Pinball FX2 and Carcassonne. The Windows Phone version of Pinball FX2 still needs more development time, but the good news is Carcassonne has gone gold at last. It even has an official release date: Wednesday, October 24.

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