Windows Central Roundup

There are thousands and thousands of Windows Phone apps available over in the Windows Phone Store.  To supplement our app and game reviews, our Windows Phone Central Roundups are designed to give quick snapshots of apps and games that we may not get to fully review.  Most of these roundups follow a common theme such as Spy Apps, Photo Editing Apps, Target Games, and Ninja Games.

While we put together a small collection of these apps and games, our Roundups are also an opportunity for our readers to offer their recommendations on apps and games of the same genre.

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Magma Mobile is a gaming developer that has quietly built up a rather impressive and popular portfolio of Windows Phone games. Many of the gaming titles are great time wasters with challenging game play and nice graphics.

For this weekend's Windows Central Roundup, we have plucked a few of the top rated games from Magma Mobile's collection to spotlight. You can find the full, 40 game collection through this link or simply by searching Magma Mobile in the Windows Phone Store.

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While the Microsoft Band is still somewhat limited in availability, the number of Windows Phone apps with support for the Band is growing at a decent pace. Sure, most are customization apps but being able to have the Band fit your personality and style is not a bad thing.

While we have a Windows Central page dedicated to Microsoft Band apps, we thought it was time to highlight some of the top Windows Phone apps designed for the Microsoft Band in this week's roundup. Plus, seeing that the Band is becoming available outside the U.S. as well as through Amazon.com, Best Buy and other third party retailers we expect more of our readers will be curious as to what apps are out there.

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The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament begins today and for those who partake in March Madness there are a few Windows Phone apps in the Store to help you survive all the highs and lows of the games.

March Madness, for those not familiar, is one of the most popular sporting events around. Seventy-two teams will compete over the next few weeks to ultimately crown a NCAA Men's Basketball Champion. The event will generate billions in revenue and millions will be lost in job productivity due to everyone calling in sick to watch the games.

The number of apps exclusive to the NCAA Tourney have slimmed down a bit over the years but we were able to find a few for this roundup that should only help contribute to the chaos we know as March Madness.

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The Windows Phone Store shelves are lined with a vast assortment of weather apps - some good, some bad. They come in an equally vast assortment of styles from the feature rich to those that deliver just the basics on the weather.

Spring is around the corner and in many parts of the U.S. that means it is time for severe weather. Many of these weather apps will help you keep in tune with the conditions in your area and help you prepare for what Mother Nature has in store. Severe weather aside, these apps can also help you year round with trip planning to finding a rain free day to mow the yard.

The Windows Phone Store has a Weather Collection that has a nice selection of weather apps and while we plucked a few from this Collection for this week's roundup, we are also highlighting a few weather apps outside the Collection that we have found to be useful.

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The 2015 Formula One racing season kicks off today in Australia with practice rounds for the Australian Grand Prix. While NASCAR is king in my neck of the woods, the open wheel racers have just as strong of a following globally.

In recognition of the start of the 2015 Formula One season, it was suggested by one our readers (thanks Harry) that we put together a roundup of the Windows Phone apps that will help you keep track of all the Formula One races. All of the apps listed will deliver news, standings, stats and racing schedules to your Windows Phone. The collection has a nice range of designs and some are also available for Windows 8 devices.

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One of the more popular genres of Windows Phone games are the shooter games. Whether it is a first-person shooter or an arcade styled shooter, these games can be addictive, entertaining and a fantastic way to pass the time with.

With the popularity of the movie American Sniper, we were curious if there were any long distance shooting games available in the Windows Phone Store. For this week's roundup, we will take a look at some of the top rated shooter games that focus more on your ability to reach out and smack your target from a distance. The games will test your speed, patience and ability to hold your aim steady.

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There is a wide variety of Windows Phone games available in the Store, many designed to educate and entertain our children. While these games may not appeal to everyone, if you have children these Windows Phone titles can come in handy. Whether it is for long road trips or waiting for a table at a restaurant, these titles can keep your children occupied and teach them a few things along the way.

The Windows Phone Store has a series of collections that group themed apps and games together, making it easier to find the Windows Phone title you are looking for. The For the Kids Collection groups a couple of dozen children's games together. We have visited this collection before and thought it was a good time to revisit things. For this week's roundup, we have plucked four titles from the For the Kids Collection to highlight.

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Twitch is a popular website that allows players to livestream games from their computers and Xbox One or Playstation 4 consoles. Watching someone play a game on Twitch lets you see a lot more of a game than you could from a trailer or video review. Every Twitch channel offers a live chat room, making the act of watching a stream a social experience. The host (the person playing) can even speak to viewers. It's like a live interactive podcast centered around videogames!

As regular Windows Central readers know, we do plenty of Twitch streaming ourselves through my channel Twitch.tv/Eastxtwitch – four or five nights per week, in fact! It's important to us that you be able to view and enjoy our streams. Unfortunately, Twitch does not offer an official Windows Phone app and our phones can't natively play Twitch streams. Thus we must look to unofficial Twitch apps for our phones of choice.

Not all of the unofficial Twitch apps for Windows Phone are created equal. I've put the five current best apps through their paces: 8Stream, Infinite Game Stream, LiveGaming, "Twitch TV," and Unstream. Read on to learn how they compare and which app is the best in its class.

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A few years ago, Microsoft partnered with Nokia and Aalto University to create the AppCampus. The initiative was created to help developers build new content for Windows Phone and has had tremendous success.

Some of the alumni of the AppCampus include Project Tripod, Dark Lands, Mash&Co. and Zombies got a Pogo. The collection of apps has grown so that the Windows Phone Store has an AppCampus Showcase Collection to highlight a few of the games that have darkened the campus hallways.

We have touched on this Collection before and felt it was time to revisit things and shine the spotlight on a few of these Windows Phone games for this week's Windows Central roundup.

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Windows Central Roundup: Cute Monsters Collection

Monsters are often at the center of video game and the titles in the Windows Phone Store is no exception. More times than not the monsters play the role of the villain (often misunderstand) in such Windows Phone games as Evolved: Hunter's Quest or Halo: Spartan Assault.

However, there are occasions where the monster plays the central role in games - sometimes the hero or just the unexpected participant. The Windows Phone Store has put together a small collection of Windows Phone games that feature monsters in a non-adversarial role. The Cute Monsters Collection in the Store is a small gathering of games where the monster isn't looking to destroy civilization.

We've pulled a few of the titles from this collection to highlight in this week's roundup.

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