Aztec Antics emerges on Windows Phone 8 with MOGA controller support

Windows Phone has been slow to pick up some of mobile gaming’s heavy hitters – though the promise of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas coming next week is certainly a big step in the right direction. Still, many of the most unique and interesting mobile games come from smaller developers instead of the big guys. Windows Phone is making great progress with indie game makers, as evidenced by the developers we interviewed at Casual Connect who are preparing to dip their toes into Microsoft’s mobile waters.

Yesterday we reviewed BigBot Audio Drop, and today we bring news of another just-released indie game for Windows Phone 8: Aztec Antics from Bouncing Ball Limited. Not only does Aztec Antics sport some terrific retro-style pixel art, it also features MOGA controller support! That makes six MOGA-enhanced games on Windows Phone 8 and counting.

Head past the break for our Aztec Antics hands-on video and the developer’s video guide for setting up a MOGA controller with Windows Phone 8!

We’re looking for treasure

Aztec Antics is a classic arcade-style game in which players control a treasure hunter as he grabs coins and avoids danger. The levels are basically single-screen, but they scroll vertically a bit on Windows Phone. It reminds me a lot of the original arcade Mario Bros, except you don’t attack enemies from below in this one.

Enemies constantly spawn from the top of the screen and descend toward the bottom. Our hero can jump on their heads to defeat them and score some points, but it’s tough because they move so quickly. At first you’ll only have to fight off enraged boars, but other types appear as the level goes on: the Aztec mummy, Nagual the jaguar, and Quetzalcoatl the god of death.

The main goal other than staying alive is to grab as much treasure as possible. Coins randomly appear throughout the level, but only one coin at a time. Thus you’ll grab a coin and then scramble to get the next one, and so on, until an enemy catches you or you fall into the pit at the bottom of the screen. Aztec Antics only gives players one life to work with.

Other than hunting high scores, collecting coins plays another important purpose. At the start of the game, only one level is unlocked. To gain access to the remaining four levels, you’ll need lots of coins. Every fifty coins collected will open up a new level. You can’t track how many coins you have from the main menu, and the level select doesn’t have a visual indicator of which levels are locked or not. But when the game ends, it at least displays how many coins the player needs to get a new level.

The Windows Phone version currently lacks online leaderboards – an important component for any score-based game. Thankfully Bouncing Ball plans to add them very soon in an update.

Controlling the antics

To move around in Aztec Antics, players can swipe left or right (basically an invisible virtual d-pad) on the left side of the screen. Tapping the right side of the screen jumps.

Gamers who don’t like virtual controls have another option as well: MOGA controller support! What better way to recreate the classic gaming experience than with a physical control pad and buttons? Developer Gary Ritches has even made a video demonstrating how to set up your controller to work with the game.

On iOS, Aztec Antics supports 4-person competitive multiplayer by using allowing each individual to control a character with an extra iPhone or physical controller. Bouncing Ball really wants to bring the same support to Windows Phone.

Unfortunately, MOGA controllers don’t support the simultaneous use of two controllers with the same device. As such, the game’s substantial local multiplayer component can’t work with Windows Phone just yet. If MOGA ever updates their software to support multiple controllers, the game will be updated to take advantage of that.

Future expeditions

Aztec Antics II features a new art style reminiscent of Another World/Out of this World

Luckily, Aztec Antics is coming to Windows 8 and RT within the next week or two. Windows 8 supports the use of multiple controllers, so crowding around a PC or Surface (along with a USB hub) and a few controllers will allow for a great multiplayer experience. We’ll be sure to let you know when the Windows 8 version arrives.

Bouncing Ball is also hard at work on a sequel: Aztec Antics II that will come to mobile Windows platforms and even consoles like the Wii U! Hopefully that includes the Xbox One as well.

Enter the jungle

Aztec Antics works with all Windows Phone 8 devices. It even runs at 60 frames per second on the Lumia 520. If you enjoy classic arcade games and/or retro graphics, give these antics a shot.

  • Aztec Antics – Windows Phone 8 – 9 MB – $1.29 – Store Link

Paul Acevedo

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!

  • Not available here in Brazil.
  • What's up with Brazil? I'm seeing comments like your all the time.
  • Change your region on Settings, install the app and then change back to Brazil (if you want to, I frankly don't understand why you have kept Brazil,as your region in the first place).
  • He's trying to help his home region grow, the average consumer won't know or care about dabbling with region settings.
    It has historically been incredibly hard to release games in Brazil, but that isn't necessarily the case any more.
  • Brazil and Korea require game rating profile for the game to be available in the local store. Maybe that's the reason it takes longer time.
  • Brazil since November last year accepts ESRB/PEGI certificates and almost every game has one of those. And you can get one instantly on web.
  • Thanks Jonas, for understand me. :)
  • Got a MOGA Pro at Best Buy for $29.99 yesterday. Will have to check this out!
  • Why didn't anybody tell me about that sale? Looks like it's $39.99 now.
  • Go to the store. It showed $39.99 on the website for me too.
  • No try, no buy
  • Yep agreed
  • I must have missed this, how does the moga connect to a windows phone?
  • Via Bluetooth. It's explained in the video.
  • NO xbo-Live NO buy
  • Yeah, stop leaving that comment on non-Xbox games please. It's repetitive and not useful.
  • Its not like it was ever announced as anything but what it is. The fact that its MOGA enabled is arguably a much better value proposition. I would like many of the games released as Xbox enabled. With that said until we know Microsoft's plan for Xbox on WP we can only be appreciative we're getting great games.
  • Hopefully GTA:SA will support moga in the future.
  • Ditto. That would convince me to buy one. Add Terraria and Asphalt 8 to that list :-)
  • What are the other 5 games?
  • Drift Mania 2 Spectral Souls EMU7800 Drift Mania Street Outlaws EmiPSX
  • Hey guys. I'm the developer of this game and just wanted to provide some feedback and also ask you guys a few questions. I'm new to Windows Phone, but I'm aware of free trials, could anyone provide a game name that implements this so I can see what's involved please? I'm not against offering a free trial providing it's not too much effort to implement. As for Brazil, although they accept PEGI ratings the whole submission process with ratings can be a nightmare. The Windows 8 app has been rejected again over a problem with rating certificates. If I get a bit of time over the Christmas holidays I'll expand the countries it's available in.
  • Gary, it's fairly common for paid Windows Phone games to have trials. 95% of Xbox-branded games do. A few non-Xbox games with trials: Asphalt 8, Survivalcraft, Freddy, Zero Defense, and Doodle Kingdom.
  • Moga pro now works with gamelofts asphalt 7 on WP8!!!!!!! Woohoo!
  • Was that added in the previous update or what?