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parking mania

This week's Red Stripe Deals are a little bit early over in the Windows Phone Store but who are we to complain.

For those not familiar with the deals, every week the Windows Phone Store taps one Xbox Windows Phone game, one independent gaming title and one app to go on sale. The deal lasts only a week when three new titles will be tapped for the savings.

For this week's deals, which are currently live, we have the Xbox title Parking Mania, the Akinator game, and the network utility UPnP Spy.

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Since summer of last year, Electronic Arts and Chillingo have been pumping out Nokia-exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games. Players not fortunate enough to own Nokia phones sometimes feel left out and/or upset because they can’t access those games from their phones. But we are talking about timed exclusivity here.

Six months after release, Mirror’s Edge became available to all Windows Phone users, followed by Risk and Connect 4. So while owners of HTC, Samsung, and other non-Nokia devices have to wait a while, Nokia’s deal with EA does pay off for them as well.

This week, two more former exclusives became available to all Windows Phone users: The Game of Life and Parking Mania. As if that wasn’t enough, Shoot 1UP, an Xbox game that was found to be incompatible with Windows Phone 8 has just gained compatibility. Gotta love being able to play more stuff!

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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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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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When Nokia announced that a Windows Phone 7-specific version of Angry Birds Star Wars was still on the way despite the availability of a WP8 version, a few readers commented that Nokia’s continued support of WP7 still seemed unlikely. Well, let’s not doubt the Finnish smartphone manufacturer too much. They’ve just released not one but three Xbox games for Windows Phone 7, one of which hadn’t been unannounced beforehand! All three games: The Game of Life, Jet Set Go, and Parking Mania are Nokia exclusives and will work on both Nokia’s WP7 and newly-released WP8 handsets.

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