Drift Mania Championship 2


Windows Phone Central Roundup: Windows 8 Games

When people think of tablet games, they can’t help but bring to mind apps like Angry Birds, Temple Run, and Bejeweled. Gaming on Windows 8 can be more than just flinging neon colored birds at green pigs though. Whether you want to blast away zombie guts or put some pedal to the medal, here are eight Windows 8 video games sure to bring out the gamer in you.

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When Microsoft and Power A announced that the MOGA Pro Controller gaming accessory would support Windows Phone during GDC 2013 back in March, serious gamers were understandably excited by the news. Windows Phone 8’s improved Bluetooth accessory support was finally going to receive some of the accessory love that Windows Phone 7 always lacked.

To show off that support during GDC, Microsoft and its partners already had the indie game Drift Mania Championship 2 up and running on the show floor. Apparently it took Ratrod Studio less than a day to integrate that support into their game. But when the MOGA Pro Controller actually launched at the end of April, the game’s controller support was nowhere to be found. Windows Phone gamers who bought the controller had nothing to play it with.

Well, almost two months after the MOGA Pro Controller launched (and three months since GDC), Drift Mania Championship 2 has finally received the controller compatibility update!

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For Xbox fans, the best part of the weekly Red Stripe Deals promotion is undoubtedly the Xbox Red Stripe Deal. Each week, one game with juicy Achievements drops its price - often as low as 99 cents. The sale price depends on the starting price though.

Case in point: Puzzle Quest 2 from Namco Bandai usually sells for a crazy $6.99, but this week it costs only $2.99. The puzzle RPG previously went on sale for five bucks way back in March 2012. Three dollars might not be as sweet as 99 cents, but it’s certainly an improvement.

Also on sale this week are Drift Mania Championship 2 (only for Windows Phone 8), the indie racing game and a musical app called Synthpling. We’ve got descriptions, screenshots and Store links after the break.

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One of the biggest surprises coming out of GDC 2013 for me was undoubtedly PowerA’s announcement that its MOGA Bluetooth controller SDK would be coming to Windows Phone. On iOS and Android, videogame controller accessories are becoming increasingly popular with core gaming fans. Such peripherals can add more precise control and a console-like experience to smartphones. Sure, they can impact portability but they’re great at home and other places where you’d be playing for an extended length of time.

Windows Phone has always been a bit behind on peripheral support. We don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard, for instance. But Windows Phone 8 does add the ability for apps to communicate with Bluetooth. That ability now makes it possible for hardware add-ons like the MOGA Pro Controller to work with Windows Phone 8 games!

Head past the break for full details on the MOGA Pro Controller and a hands-on video.

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One of the big advantages for developers on Windows Phone 8 is the ability to use new gaming engines to drive the graphics. Unity is such an example, and it’s used by many gaming houses for development. The problem previously was that developers would have to rewrite their games specifically for Windows Phone with degradation in performance and appearance. Between the time and the final product, most developers walked away.

We’ve been anticipating the first Unity-driven game for Windows Phone 8 for some time and that day is evidently upon us. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore tweeted today that Drift Mania Championship 2 is the first game on Windows Phone to feature the Unity engine. The game runs for $1.99 with no trial and weighs in at 200MB.

The game itself is your typical racer game, complete with car customizations and head to head battles, but it also features the whole ‘drifting’ sub-genre where through controlled skids, you drift through turns. Doing so will get you points and doing it with flare even more so.

Peep our hands on video after the break...

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