chillingo

Less than a week ago we reported that two former Nokia exclusive Xbox games: Dream Track Nation and Tiny Plane become available to all Windows Phone users. Several more former exclusives have just followed, right in time for the weekend: Vampire Rush from A-Steroids, Storm in a Teacup from Cobra, and The Sims Medieval from Electronic Arts. Okay, The Sims Medieval actually went non-exclusive a little earlier but we’re just getting to it now.

With three more Xbox games available to all Windows Phone users, the list of Nokia exclusive Xbox titles grows ever shorter. Head past the break for details, Store links, and an updated list of the remaining exclusives!

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Windows Phone 7 users must be feeling a bit left out of the Xbox gaming fun lately. We spent the majority of last week celebrating the release of Halo: Spartan Assault and publishing detailed strategy guides for Order & Chaos Online, both excellent Windows Phone 8 games. But what are the Microsoft mobile users who haven’t upgraded to Windows Phone 8 yet going to play?

Former Nokia exclusives, of course! Less than two weeks ago, Chillingo’s pretty decent Picnic Wars became available to all brands of Windows Phone. And just a few days ago, two more games dropped their exclusivity: Flight Control Rocket and Blobster. If you liked the first Flight Control, you’re going to love FC Rocket! Oh, and Blobster. Yayyyy.

Read on for details on both games and an updated list of current and former Nokia Collection exclusives!

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When is the last time a new Xbox game came out for Windows Phone 7? It must have been Rabbids Go Phone in May. That’s a fun little game for kids and Achievement hunters, but you can also beat it in a couple of hours. Non-Nokia Windows Phone 7 users also gained access to Jet Set Go in June when its Nokia exclusivity ended. Obviously, new Xbox releases for Windows Phone 7 are winding down now that Windows Phone 8 has seeded the market.

Still, general Windows Phone 7 users have plenty of Nokia exclusives whose exclusivity will eventually end to look forward to. In fact, one of those games just became available to all users today: Picnic Wars from Chillingo and Swiss developer Crown Adam. It kind of leapfrogged iBomber Defense as far as general availability goes, but iBomber and the other two Nokia games that launched alongside Picnic Wars can’t be far behind.

Read on for Picnic Wars details and an updated list of current and former Nokia Collection exclusives!

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Dream Track Nation and Tiny Plane (two games from Canadian indie developer PowPow Games) arrived on Xbox Windows Phone simultaneously a few months back. Electronic Arts’ indie label Chillingo publishes both games, which originated as Nokia exclusives but are now available to all users.

Seeing as how we reviewed Tiny Plane last week, I thought it only fitting that we take a critical lens to its brother Dream Track Nation as well. Is this physics-based racer really a dream or more of a nightmare? Read on to find out.

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The endless running game genre has become increasingly popular on smartphones in the last few years. The most popular entry by far – Jetpack Joyride – actually mixes flying with running, and to great effect. But suppose you want a pure endless flying game without all that fancy footwork? Then Nokia and Chillingo’s Tiny Plane is the only game in town.

Created by tiny Canadian developer PowPow Games (who also made Dream Track Nation), Tiny Plane can’t compare to Jetpack Joyride’s sheer scope and abundance of personality. But it packs a certain indie charm and some challenging gameplay that still make it worth a look.

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When Vampire Rush debuted as a Nokia-exclusive Xbox Windows Phone game at the beginning of April, it won my heart with its mixture of action and tower defense gameplay, humor, and a distinct lack of sparkles. But it did suffer from a couple of broken Achievements as well as a conspicuous lack of the iOS version’s Survival mode. The developers promised a patch, and so I didn’t stress over those issues too harshly in our review.

Not two months later, that patch has arrived. Unfortunately though, applying the update seems to break the game. It crashes on start-up and becomes unplayable. There is a workaround, however: delete the game and reinstall it. You’ll get the updated version, properly working and with some choice improvements.

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It’s been a few weeks since Nokia published a batch of exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games: the fine Vampire Rush and much less fine Storm in a Teacup. Since then, former Nokia exclusives Risk and Connect 4 became available to all Windows Phone users, knocking the number of Nokia exclusives down by two.

Clearly Nokia believes we Lumia owners need lots of stuff to brag about beyond the generally beautiful looks of our phones, and so they’ve just thrown a couple more exclusives our way in order to balance things out. Today we get DaVinci Pinball from Chillingo and Monopoly Millionaire from EA.

Both games are interesting in their own ways, but Monopoly Millionaire especially so because it’s the first Nokia exclusive Xbox game that requires Windows Phone 8 (and 1 GB of RAM). Could this mean we’ll start seeing more EA games that take advantage of Windows Phone 8’s increased horsepower? I hope so! Check out our impressions of both titles after the break.

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Tower defense is one of my favorite genres because of its versatility. There are so many variations between TD games, from the wholesome simplicity geoDefense to the undying awesomeness of Plants vs. Zombies. Sometimes developers even combine tower defense with action games, allowing players to run around the field attacking enemies in addition to the strategic planting of towers. Zombie Attack 2 did just that a couple of years ago, although somehow the game still ended up a big, stinking pile of boring.

Vampire Rush, a former Nokia exclusive Xbox game for Windows Phone comes from Chillingo and Lithuanian developer A-Steroids. While it doesn’t quite achieve its full potential, Vampire Rush does manage to provide the right blend of strategy and excitement that Zombie Attack 2 so woefully lacked. Read on for our full review!

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Of all the offsite meetings we engaged in during GDC, the most pleasant place to visit was probably Electronic Arts’ suite at the St. Regis Hotel. Within that cozy location, Android Central’s Simon Sage and I met with Dan Tausney, PR Manager of Chillingo. As you might remember from our article about their most recent Windows Phone releases, Chillingo is the arm of EA responsible for publishing indie games from all over the world. They’ve been a major Windows Phone supporter and will soon be doing the same for Windows 8 as well.

Check out our hands-on footage with Contre Jour for Windows 8, see your favorite mobile Games Editor in action on video, and learn about Chillingo’s future Windows 8 plans after the break!

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Ah, Chillingo. Where would Lumia owning gamers be without you? Just a couple of weeks ago, the indie-focused arm of Electronic Arts published a pair of new Nokia exclusive Xbox games: Dream Track Nation and Tiny Plane.  Those ports are a little rough, but the developer PowPowGames already has patches on the way. Besides, more Xbox games is always a good thing, especially after that drought we suffered at the beginning of the year.

Now Chillingo is back with two new Nokia exclusives for Windows Phone 7 and 8, each coming from a different developer. First up is the creatively named Storm in a Teacup from Cobra (makers of iBomber Defense), followed by Vampire Rush from Lithuanian developer A-Steroids. One game will be a hit, while the other seriously needs some work. Make your guesses about which is which and then head past the break to find out the answer!

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Windows Phone 8 has received so much Xbox game love this week (in the form of The Dark Knight Rises and Shark Dash) that Windows Phone 7 owners were surely feeling left out. I mean, they should all be busy with Galactic Reign, but that’s another story.

Apparently someone at Nokia saw the lack of releases for the legacy OS and said, “No! This should not be.” To that end, Nokia and Chillingo have just published two Nokia-exclusive Xbox Windows Phone 7 games: Dream Track Nation and Tiny Plane. Both games look like great casual titles to keep Nokia owners busy.

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A while back, Babel Rising was pulled from Windows Phone 8 due to the tiny problem of crashing on start up. It briefly returned to Windows Phone 8 despite still being incompatible. Well, today seems like déjà vu because another partially delisted game is back in semi-working order: the Nokia exclusive tower iBomber Defense from Chillingo and Cobra Mobile.

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Just when it seems like Xbox games for Windows Phone’s darkest hour, when all hope of a new release before January 30th has long been abandoned… Nokia once again comes to our rescue with a new exclusive Xbox for Lumia owners: Blobster from Chillingo (who we’ve barely written about today) and Divine Robot. With this surprise late-day release, there are now eleven Nokia exclusives in the Xbox lineup.

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After today’s disappointing news of another week without a new Xbox game for Windows Phone, our gaming readers could probably use some cheering up. Well, I’m pleased to share some win-win information with you now. Not one, but two partially delisted Xbox games for Windows Phone have just become Windows Phone 8 compatible: Feed Me Oil and Parking Mania, both from Chillingo.

That brings the list of incompatible games down to 23, the lowest it has been since Microsoft’s new mobile OS debuted. Hopefully it continues to shrink in the months ahead!

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Picnic Wars Review: Why can't food all just get along?

Chillingo, Electronic Arts’ indie publishing arm, has produced many fine Windows Phone games in the last year: Contre Jour, Little Acorns, and Feed Me Oil, to new just a few. Lately though, all of Chillingo’s releases have been Nokia Windows Phone exclusives – for better or worse. Their latest such Xbox release Picnic Wars comes from Crown Adam, a tiny Swiss developer and Philippines-based Anino Games. This interesting take on food fights starts out quite strong, but ends on a lemony sour note.

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You might have noticed that yesterday’s editorial/news piece about the extended Xbox release drought Windows Phone is currently experiencing made no mention of Nokia exclusives. After all, those exclusives don’t do people who own non-Nokia devices any good. Not one Nokia Xbox game has become available for all Windows Phone devices so far, even six months after the debut of Mirror’s Edge.

Still, in times of release famine, Nokia really does seem to come through for its customers. First they published iBomber Defense back in December, and now they’ve surprised us with another new Xbox game. Picnic Wars from Chillingo is now available for all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 7 or 8. As if that news wasn’t good enough, Nokia exclusive Spy Mouse is now available on Windows Phone 8 devices.

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Every time we report on Windows Phone 8 compatibility, it’s a good news/bad news situation. The Oregon Trail gained compatibility while Shoot 1 UP lost it… Babel Rising 3D sort of became compatible (which was a mistake), and KenKen lost it for no apparent reason…  Which brings us to this weekend.

Good news: Risk from Nokia and Electronic Arts is now available for Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8! On the other hand, two more games – both Nokia exclusives – have jumped ship from Windows Phon 8. Can’t win, can we?

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Slowly but surely, Nokia and Electronic Arts continue to pump out Nokia-exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games. These titles also include games from Chillingo, a popular mobile publisher owned by EA. The latest Chillingo-published exclusive iBomber Defense comes from Scottish developer Cobra.

Originally an iOS game, Cobra’s tower defense title has since branched out to other platforms like Steam and Windows Phone. Fans of the genre should be thankful for that, because other than some performance issues and rough Achievements, iBomber Defense is the best traditional tower defense game in the Xbox lineup.

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It’s always a good time to be a Nokia owner, but especially when a new exclusive app or game comes around. We’ve just received another surprise exclusive, this one turning up quite randomly on a Friday evening. A little advance notice would be nice, but it’s still good news for people with Lumias in their pockets.

The newly released Xbox Windows Phone game is iBomber Defense from Chillingo (EA) and Scottish developer Cobra Mobile. Like Jet Set Go, this one wasn’t part of the first 20 exclusive games announced by EA, so there could be even more titles included in the exclusivity deal that we don’t know about.

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Jet Set Go Review: Leaving on a jet plane...

The Xbox Windows Phone lineup has a spotty track record with time management games. Sally’s Salon was fantastic, but then it was followed up by the less impressive (and more bug-filled) Sally’s Spa. Both titles wore their feminine themes on their sleeves, making them less appealing to certain insecure male gamers. The only male-targeted genre entry, Star Wars Cantina got itself delisted last year, depriving WP gamers of the precious Star Wars license and lots of grinding.

Thankfully Nokia, along with developer Big Stack Studios and publisher Chillingo have come along with a more gender neutral time management title: Jet Set Go (not to be confused with SEGA’s Jet Set Radio). Not only can both guys and gals appreciate the game’s travel industry theme, but it even outdoes all the previously mentioned games in variety.

Jet Set Go started out as a timed Nokia exclusive before becoming available to all Windows Phone users in June 2013. Read on to see whether it’s worth a buy.

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