The five best Windows Phone games of May 2014 are really quite good
Hey cool kids, are you ready for the latest installment of our new monthly feature, the best Windows Phone games of the month? Each month we look at a collection of newly released Windows Phone games that stand out from the crowd. The titles we choose range in genre and production value. Anything goes as long as it’s fun, original, and freshly launched.
This month we did get a couple of new Xbox-enabled games: Kinectimals Unleashed and Wordament Snap Attack. But for my money, it’s the non-Xbox games that took the cake during May. Competitive players received two excellent raiding games: Cloud Raiders and Royal Revolt 2. Racing and obstacle course enthusiasts got the Trials-like Old School Racer 2 to challenge them. And a one-man developer called Radiangames published a sleek twin-stick shooter called JoyJoy while giving away the amazing Bombcats SE completely free.
Quick impressions and Store links after the break!
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Although it launched on the first of the month, Game Insight’s Cloud Raiders remains one of May’s best Windows Phone titles. For one thing, it has unrivaled cross-platform multiplayer and cloud support. Jump between Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and Facebook at will – all of your progress will follow.
More importantly, Cloud Raiders is simply the best Clash of Clans alternative on our platform – better than Gameloft’s Total Conquest by a mile. Players will create a base on their own floating islands and then attack other players’ bases in order to steal their resources. But they can attack you as well, so you’ll need to design your base wisely and upgrade its many turrets and walls as often as possible.
The actual battles in Cloud Raiders are a bit on the simplistic side, as you basically just decide where and when to launch the various type of units you take along on the raid. But there is some real strategy in those decisions. Plus it’s always fun to see how much of an enemy’s base you can destroy.
I started playing this game months ago on Android and I still play it daily on Windows Phone. We even have a WPCentral clan that skilled players can join! There’s a lot more to say about Cloud Raiders, so check out our full review to learn more.
- Cloud Raiders – Windows Phone 8 – 84 MB – Free – Store Link
Old School Racer 2
Hey Trials fans, are you feeling left out due to Trials Fusion’s recent launch on non-Windows Phone platforms? Luck for you, Riddlersoft’s Old School Racer 2 is the next best thing. I’m talking about a 2D obstacle course-based motorbike game with detailed bikers and lovely parallax-filled backgrounds. And it’s hard as balls too, just like Trials.
The goal in Old School’s 40 levels is simply to reach the finish line, collecting all the coins you can along the way. But you’ll face numerous twists and turns, loops, pits, and other obstacles that threaten to knock your rider off his bike. Adjust his position with the left-right slider and work the gas, brake, and reverse pedals like mad in order to keep him in one piece and on the right track.
New to this sequel is the ability to morph the track at certain points. When the Windows Phone icon pops up above your racer’s head, shake the phone and the ground will raise, lower, or twist in order to create a new pathway for you to follow. It’s a fresh mechanic that opens up even more routes in the large and dangerous levels.
Other features include multiplayer (which unlocks a little later in the game), bikes to buy, and vehicle mods. Give it a download and prepare for lots of bruises and concussions!
- Old School Racer 2 – Windows Phone 8 – 43 MB – Free – Store Link
Royal Revolt 2
Although the original Royal Revolt was a single-player campaign-based game, Royal Revolt 2 is a multiplayer-oriented raiding game – much like Cloud Raiders. But the raids in this game play like the campaign levels of the original, meaning they’re all action with just a hint of strategy.
When attacking another player, your goal is to destroy as many of his or her defenses as possible, including the castle gate. The more damage your team does, the more gold you’ll steal from that player. Yes, you do command a squad of AI warriors in this game. But you also run around on the ground with them, hacking away at enemies and trying to stay alive. The battles are exciting and somewhat console-like, albeit with simple touch-screen controls.
The other side of the coin is defense! Each player gets to customize the path leading to his or her castle. You can unlock and upgrade a variety of towers to guard the path, as well as customizing the waves of soldiers who will defend it. Again, the defense component is similar to other multiplayer raiding games. But with Royal Revolt’s unique gameplay, it still feels very fresh and natural.
As with the first game, Royal Revolt does suffer from difficulty issues stemming from its free-to-play nature. We’ll examine those and reveal some upcoming features that Flare Games has planned for the game in our review, which is coming very soon!
- Royal Revolt 2 – Windows Phone 8 – 239 MB – Free – Store Link
- Royal Revolt 2 – Windows 8 and RT – 241 MB – Free – Store Link (opens in new tab)
Radiangames is a one-man development studio that has just published several Windows Phone games in the last two months. According to the developer, the porting process has been mostly painless thanks to the Unity Engine. Good news for us, because his games are really good!
BombCats Special Edition is a physics puzzle game, sort of like Gerbil Physics (remember that one?) but even better. The story goes that a bunch of round little kittens have ended up trapped in magical cages. Thus it’s up to the larger cats (who have the power to explode at will) to save them. They’ll do so over the course of a whopping 194 levels of cat-blasting fun.
In each level, the goal is to launch your cat towards the caged kitty and blow up the cage, freeing it. You’ll do so by pulling back and launching your cat sling-shot style. Sometimes you’ll need to make the cat jump another time by pulling and launching again mid-flight, making the gameplay more dynamic than single-launch games. The cat automatically asplodes after flying through the air a bit, and it can also be detonated manually when needed.
Bombcats is a beautiful game, with way-too-cute cat designs, vibrant colors, and plentiful layers of parallax scrolling. Besides offering a ton of levels, it also has lots of Achievement-like goals to complete and tons of silly costume pieces to unlock for the kitties. Best of all, the game is FREE for a limited time only. After that, it will switch to a paid app (no in-app purchases!) so be sure to download it right now.
- Bombcats SE – Windows Phone 8 – 77 MB – Free (Limited Time Only) – Store Link
Hey, another Radiangames title made the best of list in the same month! JoyJoy started life as an Xbox 360 indie game in 2010. The developer recently retooled the game for mobile and launched on all three major platforms simultaneously – again, very impressive for a new dev.
JoyJoy is a twin-stick shooter, something we don’t see much of on Windows Phone nowadays. Each level takes place within a rectangular arena, with swarms of enemies spawning on all sides. Think of it as similar to Geometry Wars, only without the neon vector graphics. Instead, the game has its own distinctive (and colorful) art style that perfectly fits the name “JoyJoy.”
It’s hard to imagine a mobile game with better twin-stick controls than this one. The ship’s movement and firing are extremely responsive. In fact, JoyJoy really puts Halo: Spartan Assault to shame. One guy working on his own churned out way more responsive controls than an entire team of developers – fancy that! Oh, and if you have trouble aiming and firing simultaneously, the ship automatically fires forward whenever you let off the firing stick.
The main game consists of 24 lengthy waves of enemies to eliminate. Every fourth wave is filled with crazy-large swarms of enemies. You only get a fixed number of lives per wave, but luckily the game can be restarted from checkpoint waves if you die or need to resume later. For extra variety, try the challenge mode and its unique timed levels. Both game modes offer several difficulty levels, so JoyJoy can be as FunFun or ToughTough as you like.
- JoyJoy – Windows Phone 8 – 45 MB – $1.99 – Store Link
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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!
Gaming on WP is a joke in comparison to Android and iOS. We had Xbox which was the single most unique feature but it's almost gone and we are told to accept it.
Don't accept it but keep pushing because Xbox and in my opinion only Xbox can get WP more market share.
Make no mistake: Android and iOS have super quality non Xbox mobile games and we will never catch up with that.
Would recreate and then it would randomly reset and I would lose everything. Could not recreate the account. But loved the game.
I would love to see them do both, with a Surface line of phones and a Nokia line.
One thing I have to remind myself is that Microsoft is in the business to make cash, nothing more!