During the course of a month, I look at a lot of apps and games from the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Store. Through reviews, the AdDuplex HERO App posts, the myAppFree deals and other posts I can easily cover over thirty titles. Add what the other staff members cover and that number grows dramatically.
For this weekend's roundup, I'm pulling together a handful of apps and games that stood out from the Windows Phone and Windows 10 titles covered this month. There is no rhyme or reason to this list beyond the fact that I found these titles to be entertaining, useful and would easily recommend them. My best of the month in a manner of speaking.
If you have tried any of these titles, let us know in the comments below if you agree or why you disagree.
1. CSI: Slots
Casino games can be a fun way to pass the time with. You can say the same about mystery games and CSI: Slots blends the two gaming genres together. The Gameloft title was released this month and has you looking for clues, interrogating suspects and solving crimes by playing the slots and tackling mini-games.
Available from both the Windows 10 and Windows Phone Stores, the game highlights several of the popular CSI television series personalities throughout game play. CSI: Slots has a stand-alone gaming mode where you can play the slots to build up your cash reserves or you can dive into the Story Mode try your hand at criminal investigations.
In the Story Mode, you will be taken through various scenes such as autopsy, interrogation and the crime scene to hunt for clues. You will play the slots to reach scoring goals to advance through the story. For example, you are interrogating a suspect and you will have to play the slots to collect a number of symbols to get answers out of the suspect. To help add a little variety to the game, CSI: Slots has a series of mini-games and special daily challenges to try your hand with.
Graphics and animations are well drawn up, game play challenging and overall we found CSI: Slots to be an enjoyable game to pass the time with.
2. Polarr Photo Editor
If you are in search of a pro-styled photo editor for your Windows 10 computer, you may want to take a look at Polarr Photo Editor. Polarr is a photo editor that has a feast of pro styled features in an easy to use package. From the basics of cropping to the adjusting tones, Polarr will appeal to all levels of shutterbugs. It also takes up a smitten amount of storage space, requiring slightly under 5MB to install.
Polarr has support for importing and opening the most commonly used image files, such as .JPEG and .PNG, as well as support to open three RAW image files (.CR2, .RAF and .NEF). Images can be imported from your local hard drive or cloud services such as OneDrive and Dropbox.
Here is a brief listing of Polarr's editing tools.
- Color: Here you can adjust the image temperature, tint, vibrance and saturation.
- Light: This adjustment category has a wide range of controls that include exposure, brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks and a diffuse and dehaze tool.
- Detail: Fine-tune your images clarity, sharpness, color and luminance here.
- Optics: Tools include adding vignette to your images, adjust the grain of the image and add or compensate for any distortion or fringing.
- HSL: Here you can adjust the Hue, Saturation and Luminance for individual colors within the image.
- Curves: Edit the color curves for RGB collectively or the Red, Green or Blue tones individually.
- Toning: Adjust the color highlights, shadows and balance with this tool.
The layout of the editor is user friendly with adjustment controls running down the left and right side of the screen. Polarr does have live preview for your adjustments to let you see how your fine-tuning will look without the need to tap an "apply" button.
Polarr comes across as a very competent photo editor, well suited for Windows 10 devices that may have limited storage space. Some will balk at the price tag ($14.99) but with all Polarr offers, it is very reasonable. Polarr does have a thirty-day trial period to let you try things out before you make the investment.
3. 6 Little Letters
Word games can be an excellent option when you have just a few minutes to pass with a game and many can keep you busy for longer gaming spurts. 6 Little Letters is a word game for Windows Phone that has a simple design where you are provided six letters and you have to create a word from them.
The gaming concept sounds easy but you will be surprised how challenging it can be to create a six-letter word. 6 Little Letters is a game of endurance with the ultimate goal being to create as many six-letter words as possible. The Windows Phone game includes four gaming modes that include:
- Classic: Score as many words as possible before the game timer expires. Each word counts as a point and with each scored word, a little more time is added to the game clock.
- Lightning: The game timer is scaled down to 15 seconds. Score as many words as possible before the game clock expires and each scored word resets the game clock to 15 seconds.
- Time Trial: Similar to the Classic Mode in that you have a game timer and have to score as many words as possible before time runs out. The difference, scoring words does not award you extra time.
- Zen: If you are in the mood to be challenged but in a more relaxing manner, the Zen Mode is for you. The goal is to score as many words as possible but there is no game timer.
Each game mode offers you a number of skips that can be used to move on to the next puzzle. You also have the ability to pull up the definition of the word once you've solved things or failed where the correct answer is displayed.
6 Little Letters is available for low-memory Windows Phones. While it was a challenge to get into the double-digit scores, I found it to be a fun Windows Phone game to pass the time with. 6 Little Letters is a free, ad-supported game available in the Windows Phone Store.
4. Dark Guardians
Dark Guardians was one of the myAppFree Deals this month that delivers a challenging endless runner game to the Windows Phone Store. You play a hero racing through dark, Celtic forests who must battle a wide range of elemental monsters.
Controls are simple in that you tap the elemental power button that matches the element of the monster to slay them as you race through the woods. For example, if a beast is approaching that is aflame with the fire element, you will need to strike him with your fire element. In advance of your hero is a small lighted field that represents your weapon's range.
If you miss the beast, your hero will sustain damage and too many hits will result in your hero's death. You can earn gaming tokens during game play that can in turn be used to upgrade your hero's health, strike range and starting point in the game.
Graphics are excellently drawn up and game play will keep you on your toes. The game does have a slight Dark Lands feel to it and a fun option to have in your Windows Phone gaming library. It is well suited for the times you need a quick gaming fix, as well as the times you want to sit back and spend a little more time with a game.