Numerous Xbox Windows Phone games from Electronic Arts on sale, making December very merry
A few weeks ago, a bunch of Xbox Windows Phone games (mostly Nokia collection titles) went on sale at once. Nokia, who seems to have organized the sale, also announced that several more games would be discounted in early December.
Those titles (and a few more) are now on sale. We’ve got Contre Jour, Flight Control Rocket, Spy Mouse, Storm in a Teacup, Vampire Rush, and Zuma’s Revenge are all on sale for 99 cents. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, which regularly sells for $4.99, has been marked down to $2.99. All seven games come from Electronic Arts and/or its subsidiaries Chillingo and PopCap.
Head past the break for descriptions and Store links!
Contre Jour (Windows Phone 7 or 8)
Regular price: $2.99 Sale price: $.99 Download size: 33 MB Store Link
We’re still waiting on the Windows 8 version of Contre Jour, but at least we can get the Windows Phone version for cheap in the meantime.
Contre Jour is one of the loveliest Windows Phone games thanks to its effective use of light and silhouette, not to mention the haunting musical score. The goal is to get the tentacled protagonist Petit to each level’s exit while collecting all the lights along the way. Instead of directly controlling Petit, players manipulate the environment by stretching the ground and activating various gadgets.
Technically this is a physics puzzler, but the bold art direction and unique gameplay puts it in a separate league from other genre entries. The difficulty is pretty steep… But if you get stuck, there are guides available online.
Flight Control Rocket (Windows Phone 7 and 8)
Regular price: $2.99 Sale price: $.99 Download size: 41 MB Store Link
You’ve probably played the original Flight Control, but perhaps you missed its mostly superior sequel. This one switches things to a retro sci-fi setting in which players must help incoming rockets land on a space-faring mothership safely. You do this by drawing paths from each ship to the appropriate runway, all while trying to avoid collisions.
Not only is FC Rocket way prettier than its forbear, it also offers a lot more gameplay. The three modes each mix the gameplay up in interesting ways, changing up the combo scoring system, bonus rounds, and even mixing in stranded astronauts to rescue. Players can also purchase and equip a variety of robot helpers to customize the gameplay a bit.
The only catch is that FC Rocket’s Achievements are horrendously grindy. The original iOS game allowed users to make IN-App Purchases that would speed them up, but there is no such option on Windows Phone. Still, as I say in our review, if you ignore Achievements this is the best line-drawing game in town.
Spy Mouse (Windows Phone 7 and 8)
Regular price: $2.99 Sale price: $.99 Download size: 111 MB Store Link
Spy Mouse's developer Firemint is best known for popularizing the line-drawing genre with Flight Control. In this one, they’ve utilized that line drawing tech to make a stealth game. Players control the titular mouse by drawing a path around each level. He’ll need to grab cheese and reach the level exit without being nabbed by patrolling cats.
Each level has three optional goals such as not being spotted, drawing only one continuous path, and finishing within a certain time limit. Completing every level with those goals completed will net some tasty Achievements.
Storm in a Teacup (Windows Phone 7 or 8)
Regular price: $2.99 Sale price: $.99 Download size: 32 MB Store Link
The game stars a little boy named Storm who hops around in a teacup through fanciful levels dreamed up by his brother Cloud in this touch screen platformer.
Storm in a Teacup is extremely simplistic in the graphics department – the backgrounds don’t even use parallax scrolling, which they sorely need. And yet the frame rate is somewhere in the 10-15 FPS range. It’s like Gameloft’s 3D Windows Phone 8 games, only nothing complex is even going on under the hood. Blame Cobra, whose port of iBomber Defense also runs quite poorly.
Still, if you can tolerate crap graphics and love platformers, you might be able to put up with this one. I’d definitely play Sonic CD and Little Acorns first though.
Vampire Rush (Windows Phone 7 or 8)
Regular price: $2.99 Sale price: $.99 Download size: 99 MB Store Link
In Vampire Rush, players take on the role of Captain Greg, a British swashbuckler. Only Greg can stand between the gates of the city and armies of the undead in this mix of tower defense with hack-and-slash action.
You’ll run around each map, hunting down vampires and their kin on the map and swording them into oblivion. Sometimes they drop gold, which can then be used to build and upgrade turrets or purchase character upgrades. Just don’t let the enemies reach the gate or Greg and the village will meet an untimely demise. Check out our full review for more details.
Vampire Rush features both a campaign mode and survival mode, the latter of which was added in an update. That same update fixed a broken Achievement, but failed to fix another broken one. A-Steroids has told us they would like to get the final Achievement working, but it seems unlikely to happen at this point.
Zuma’s Revenge (Windows Phone 7 or 8)
Regular price: $2.99 Sale price: $.99 Download size: 197 MB Store Link
Zuma’s Revenge put players in control of a stationary frog who can rotate in any direction and shoot colored balls from his mouth. In each level, more balls roll on-screen along one or more paths. The frog’s job is to stop them from reaching the goal at the path’s end by quickly making as many colored matches as possible. Levels in which the frog can hop between lily pads, move along a slider, or battle boastful bosses keep the game fresh and challenging.
The mobile version of Zuma’s Revenge is pretty much a straight port of the PC game. Adventure Mode gives players a limited number of lives and they must reach checkpoints every few levels in order to continue when those lives run out. So the Windows Phone game ends up a bit harder than the Xbox 360 version. Beating levels unlocks them for free play in Challenge Mode, at least.
PopCap pretty much makes nothing but great games (most recently Peggle 2 on Xbox One), and Zuma’s Revenge is no exception. Read our full review to learn more.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (Windows Phone 7 or 8)
Regular price: $4.99 Sale price: $2.99 Download size: 113 MB Store Link
Need for Speed: Rivals might be one of the better Xbox One launch games, but not every Need for Speed is a winner. Take the Windows Phone version of Hot Pursuit, for example. Sure, it looks pretty for a Windows Phone 7 game and has the slick menus and licensed music you’d expect from this series. It even lets players choose between controlling a cop or a street racer, just like Rivals.
Presentation isn’t everything though; a game needs to be fun to play. Hot Pursuit starts out fun but gets insanely difficult and grindy before too long. You’ll need to do the same races over and over again in order to unlock the cars needed to compete in higher level events. Even then, some events simply require perfection from the player – not easy or fun given the phone game’s naturally less precise controls. See our review for more proof of frustration.
Get them while they’re hot
Nokia and EA haven’t advertised when this sale will end. Maybe it will last a week, maybe less. If you’re interested in a sale game, better to download them now rather than waiting.
What do you think of this sale selection, dear readers? Did you grab Zuma’s Revenge or any of the other games?
Thanks to Diego Magnani for the tip!
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Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!