The Windows Phone Store is filled will fantastic games to pass the time with and even lose track of time with. Over the years, Disney has built up an entertaining collection of Windows Phone games, many of which are also available for Windows 8 devices.
These games include match-three styled games, endless runner games and hidden picture games that will appeal to gamers of all ages. For this week's Windows Central roundup, we have pluck four of the top rated offerings from Disney to shine the spotlight on.
If we have overlooked your favorite Disney title, as with all of our roundups, feel free to offer your recommendation in the comments below. There is nothing sinister afoot by not spotlighting Where's My Water?, Temple Run: Brave or any of the other excellent offerings from Disney. It is just that we would be still writing in order to cover them all.
1. Disney Checkout Challenge
If you are looking for a Windows Phone game with a zippy pace, you may want to check out Disney Checkout Challenge. The game will test you grocery scanning skills at a frenzied pace.
You face a conveyer belt full of groceries and the automatic stop sensor is not working. You will have to tap each item to pick it up, rotate it to scan the bar code and move on to the next item. The object of the game is to scan the barcode from as many items as possible before the conveyor belt overloads and something hits the ground. Your game score is based on the cost of the merchandise you scan.
The more you scan, the further you advance in the game's experience levels. When you advance in experience, additional grocery items will become available. Luckily, the bar code placement is consistent on the merchandise. For example, on the carton of eggs the label will always be on the top. The cup of applesauce has the barcode on the bottom.
At some point in the game, you will get a slight break in the action with the "frenzy" mode. The "frenzy" mode will automatically scan the bar codes as you tap the item. This is an excellent opportunity to thin out the groceries that are racing down the checkout conveyor.
In just playing Disney Checkout Challenge for a short while, it comes across as a fun time waster of a Windows Phone game that should appeal to all ages. Unfortunately, Disney Checkout Challenge lacks a trial version with the full version running $.99.Is it worth the price of admission? I think so, but it would be nice if trial versions were available for these games.
2. Castle of Illusion
Castle of Illusion is a wonderfully animated platform game where you guide Mickey Mouse in a fantastical re-imagining of the Sega Genesis classic game. The game has been available in the Windows Phone Store for some time now and we recently gave the fantasy game a try. After tackling the game for the past few days, we found Castle of Illusion to be a fun and challenging Windows Phone platform adventure game.
The back-story has the evil witch Mizrabel kidnapping Minnie Mouse and it is up to Mickey to navigate through the dangers and save his beloved. The game has simple, on-screen controls to handle Mickey's movements and actions as he travels across five magical worlds. Additionally you have hidden challenges to discover that, when complete, will provide you access to classic costumes to customize Mickey with.
Castle of Illusion is filled with obstacles to guide Mickey through and evil minions to battle. Again, the animations and graphics are some of the best around. I like the small touches such as Mickey struggling to keep his balance as he teeters close to the edge or his facial expressions as he ducks a flying axes. These little touches help give the game's appeal a nice boost. The only downside to Castle of Illusion, as we see in so many of the Disney games, is that lack of a trial version.
A trial version may be more important with Castle of Illusion due to the cost of the game being $9.99. The game does score a 4.5 Star rating, which is right on the mark for this game. Tough call on whether or not the game is worth $10. Castle of Illusion does go on sale from time to time, which is definitely a sale to take advantage of.
If you have tried Castle of Illusion, let us know what you think of the game and if you feel it is worth the price of admission.
3. Inside Out Thought Bubbles
Inside Out Thought Bubbles is the official Windows Phone game for the recent Disney movie release, Inside Out.
Inside Out Thought Bubbles is a "bubble-burst" styled game where you have to shoot colored bubbles into the playing field to create matches of three or more of the same colored bubbles. When you make the matches, the thought bubbles burst and fall into the thought catchers at the bottom of the screen.
The game has 125 levels of play, a host of movie characters to unlock and a basket full of challenges to tackle. Additionally, the game has a small collection of power-ups to help you tackle your quests.
Inside Out Thought Bubbles has four gaming objectives (remove a number of bubbles, hit a set number of targets, etc.) that you have to meet in a limited number of shots. Any bubble shots left over will earn you bonus points.
Inside Out Thought Bubbles has excellent graphics, challenging game play and is a fun time waster of a Windows Phone game. It is a free gaming title in the Windows Phone Store and well worth the download. Should you prefer gaming from a larger screen, there is a Windows 8 version of the game that plays out nicely from a tablet.
4. Watch Disney Channel
The Watch Disney Channel app is one of the handful of non-gaming apps in the Windows Phone Store from Disney. We were a little hesitant to add the app to this week's roundup seeing that it only scored a 3 Star rating.
The main complaint was the app generated more errors than Disney Channel videos. However, we took a chance on the app and did not experience any errors. Videos streamed nicely (sometimes a little on the dark side though) and the Watch Disney Channel app made the cut.
The Watch Disney Channel app delivers full episodes of your favorite Disney Channel program to your Windows Phone. There are some restrictions in place that require you to log into your cable provider. However, there is plenty of content available to keep everyone entertained.
Along with past episodes, you can tap into live television broadcasts (one of those features requiring cable provider login). Shows range from Girl Meets World to Good Luck Charlie and can be enjoyed by all ages.