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Mass Effect, NBA Jam, Real Racing, Tiger Woods arrive on Windows Phone as Nokia exclusives

According to our source at Microsoft, there won’t be a general Xbox Windows Phone release this week. That could be because N.O.V.A. 3 still hasn’t passed certification yet (as Gameloft has informed us) and neither has anything else, or maybe Microsoft just wants Xbox fans focused on the Xbox One this week instead of their phones.

Don’t fret, though! Non-Nokia owners just got two new Xbox Windows Phone titles to choose from: Spy Mouse and Trivial Pursuit. And Nokia owners, boy is this a good week for you…

Nokia and Electronic Arts have just released not one, two, or even three new games. That’s right, FOUR new Nokia exclusives rolled in overnight: Mass Effect: Infiltrator (requires Windows Phone 8), NBA Jam, Real Racing 2, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. In other words, most of the big games we’ve been looking forward to since EA and Nokia first announced their partnership!

The only bad news: Windows Phone 8 users with 512 MB RAM devices can't play any of these games, while Nokia WP7 users can. Weirdness...

Mass Effect Infiltrator

How fitting that the Mass Effect series, which started life on the Xbox 360 before branching out to other platforms has finally arrived on Windows Phone 8. Infiltrator is a side story to the main trilogy of games. It stars a Cerberus Agent named Randall Ezno (Ezno? I bet he got teased in school) who rebels against his employers when he discovers they’ve been up to no good.

As a companion game, Infiltrator focuses solely on the series’ third-person shooting and combat instead of its RPG elements. You move by swiping your left thumb and look and aim with your right thumb, not unlike twin-stick shooters and even Modern Combat 4. But the aiming and shooting is much easier here than in Gameloft’s FPS games because you can tap enemies to lock onto them and then just aim at specific parts of their bodies to fire – no separate shooting button, thankfully.

Ezno’s health recharges over time, but he’s bound to die if you don’t take cover. Actually attaching to cover can be difficult, though popping out to shoot and jumping to other pieces of cover works better. He also gets various weapons and Biotics (spells/powers) with which to kill anyone who disagrees with him. These weapons and powers, as well as melee abilities and armor can be upgraded with credits earned during gameplay. Like other Nokia exclusives, all four of these games lack the IAPs found in their iOS originals.

As the second Windows Phone 8-exclusive Nokia EA game (also the second $7 one), Infiltrator features fairly detailed 3D graphics and lavish production values. The story and even weapon descriptions in the store are fully voiced, so other than the pure combat focus, this feels just like a real Mass Effect game. Players sometimes get to choose between Paragon (good) and Renegade (bad) actions as well. Each choice can lead to a different ending and Achievement, so make sure you don’t mix and match before you’ve unlocked both endings.

Mass Effect: Infiltrator – Windows Phone 8 - $6.99 – 476 MB – Store Link

QR: Mass Effect

NBA Jam

The classic arcade basketball arrives on Windows Phone in fine form! Instead of 5-on-5, NBA Jam is a 2-on-2 game. This keeps the game much simpler and easier to follow than traditional basketball simulations. The whole thing boasts a fine sense of humor, with digitized player heads atop tiny bodies and the silly, iconic voice samples of announcer Tim Kitzrow. Boomshakalaka, indeed!

Choose from all 30 NBA teams before heading to the court. Each team has several real players to choose from, each with different stats. Not all players start out unlocked; you’ll need to earn Achievements to unlock the rest.

The Windows Phone version offers both virtual and swipe-based controls. I didn’t try swipes, but the virtual controls work like a charm. A virtual stick on the thumb controls running, while three buttons on the right represent shooting/blocking, stealing, and fire (a speed burst). Instead of having to hold two buttons at once to shoot while using fire, you just hit fire and then slide your thumb to the shoot button – a fine solution for touch screen gameplay.

NBA Jam offers three game modes: Play Now (single game), Classic Campaign (a series of matches), and local Wi-Fi multiplayer. Quarters can be set to two, three, or five minutes, so games take 8-20 minutes, depending on player preference. From my brief time so far, it looks like fans of the original arcade game will love playing this version on the go.

NBA Jam – Windows Phone 7 or 8 - $2.99 – 211 MB – Store Link

QR: NBA Jam

Real Racing 2

Windows Phone finally has a simulation-oriented racing game (think more Forza Motorsport than Project Gotham Racing) now that Real Racing 2 (also known as the last good Real Racing game) has arrived. For better or worse, it’s also a Windows Phone 7 game, so the graphics don't come close to matching Asphalt 7's beauty. But this game does provide a full and realistic cockpit view, which actually ends up being a very immersive way to play instead of a hindrance.

At the start of the game, you’ll choose between buying a 2010 Volvo C30 R-Design or 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI for your first car. Yes, all 30 licensed cars are 2010 or earlier models since that’s when Real Racing 2 originally came out.

From there, you’ll select from a variety of events in Career mode. Events have restrictions on what types of vehicles can enter them, just like Forza. Some events host up to 16 AI racers, while others involve just two or four cars. They pay in either money (used to buy upgrades) or rep. Career contains 50 events and a total of 89 unique races, so Real Racing 2 should provide a lengthy racing experience.

The game offers several control options, including tilt, steering via virtual touch-screen wheel, or steering by touching the sides of the screen. Acceleration can be automatic or manual, while braking remains manually controlled. As with any racing game, I recommend touch-screen controls for their superior accuracy compared to tilt.

Real Racing 2 supports local Wi-Fi multiplayer, although one reader reports that Wi-Fi  didn’t work when he tested it with two phones. Let us know your experience in the comments, won’t you?

Real Racing 2– Windows Phone 7 or 8 - $4.99 – 243 MB – Store Link

QR: Real Racing 2

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

It might not be FIFA, but the Tiger Woods series is another heavy hitter from EA Sports. Before heading to the links, you can create up to three golfers, choosing their gender, skin color, and style and color of clothing. These are realistic looking custom golfers as opposed to the cartoonish, premade characters found in Gameloft’s Let’s Golf 2. Stat upgrades can then be purchased with in-game funds, giving you control over how your golfer develops.

From there, aspiring golfers can participate in the PGA Tour career mode, which simulates a full year of golfing events based on the in-game calendar. Tiger Challenge mode contains a variety of individual events for players to purchase and participate in, though these must presumably be unlocked first in the PGA Tour. All events cost funds to enter, so you can’t just spend everything on character upgrades.

Tiger Woods 12 brings its own unique aiming system that differs from Let’s Golf 2’s more traditional system. After choosing the spot to aim for, you’ll draw a line down to select the power of your swing and then draw it back up to hit the ball. The straightness of the line determines the accuracy and spin of your shot. It takes a little getting used to, but certainly adds an extra degree of realism compared to just stopping a meter like other golf games.

This one supports local Wi-Fi multiplayer as well, but we’ve had the same report of the mode not working. Can any of you guys test it and report back to us?

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12– Windows Phone 7 or 8 - $2.99 – 225 MB – Store Link

QR: Tiger Woods 12

Thanks to TNT Judbud and Marcel of InsideGames.Ch for the tip!

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!

286 Comments
  • Great games!
  • I agree!
  • What happened to real racing 3?!?! That's the best one! Oh yeah its free.....
  • My friends will laugh at me if they see me playing this "ugly" game...
  • Get friends that don't judge you by your phone then.
  • +1
  • Get better friends, those seem shallow. Just saying, and I wear hand made suits.
  • Your friends have nothing better to do than sit around and watch you play games on your phone? Ok.
  • well said xD
  • good game is not game with good graphics (example crysis 3 on pc)
    good game is game with good gameplay (example killing floor, pc only game)
  • Nicely said.
  • Real Racing 3 is about 756 MB. It is means that lumia 720, lumia 620, lumia 520 will not support it cause of memory limitation.
  • sorry but you just said some nonsense :(
    temple run is 32mb and can't run on those device too because of all the ram occupied while running. When running an application it can "potentially" use endless ram, it's developer work to minimize it.
    Sadly develpers on windows phone seems pretty lazy and none of those game run on my lumia 720 because of ram limitation :(
  • Temple run now can run on 512MB devices!! Currently playing on my Lumi 520 <3 Sources --->>> https://twitter.com/TempleRun/status/347424390192967683
  • Doesn't matter:  Real Racing 2 requires 1 GB on Windows Phone 8 devices, so my Lumia 521 catagorically refuses to install it.
  • Its 200mb... If you need space just upgrade or delete crap and send it to the cloud?!?
  • Of RAM.  It requires 1 GB of RAM on WP8 devices, while it lets WP7.8 and earlier slide by with 512 MB.
  • 1 Gig RAM, not space.
  • The installment where you have to pay real money to refill your car's gas tank is the best one?
  • You don't have to do it, you just have to wait 5-10 minutes depending on the car. And yes, if in-app purchases are good enough for some of the apps WPCentral staff has recommended (Monster Burner being the latest), then they're good enough for Real Racing 3. This arrogant behavior of the WPCentral staff toward any criticism is highly unprofessional.
  • So if I want to play the game, I have to not play the game? That sounds terrible.
  • You're the first one to provide any criticism in this discussion and I certainly wasn't being arrogant in the first place. Suppose I was to tell you that having a chip on your shoulder is unacceptable? As for my/our stance on IAPs and timing mechanics, it must obviously depend on the individual game, not some all or nothing viewpoint.
  • He was criticizing Nokia, not you, but somehow you took it upon yourself to defend their decision to bring Real Racing 2 instead of 3. And you were quite arrogant about it, even if I agree with your fundamental point.
  • People need to look up the word arrogant. Paul wasn't being arrogant, cynical maybe, which I enjoy a little. All he thought was that its interesting that the version you have to pay to play per use is the one you prefer.
  • Thanks man. :)
  • Your welcome Paul... First thanked by Sam yesterday, next by you today! I'm on a roll, and I'm just being realistic is all...
  • +1
  • We need real racing 3 and with the same level of graphics the android version has... Real Racing 2 looks like crap..
  • Oh well, None for 512, but happy they are there for WP. more reasons to shut the mouth of those Android guys.
  • Dammit 1gb again
  • Omg. I love Nokia.
  • IAP?
  • In-app-purchases :)
  • Thank you, that one really had me stumped! Surely this is a good thing though? Unless of course we're missing out on something worthwhile as opposed to the typical cr*p you need to pay for these days like skins or in-game money.
  • It's not a good thing when a game that's designed to allow users to buy currency, items etc. with money loses that ability WITHOUT the game balance being adjusted to account for the change. Check out our Flight Control Rocket review for a great example.
  • Great! Cheers Nokia! Defo going to check out ME and NBA Jam :D
  • I had a few free gigs on my Lumia, aaaaand they're gone! :P
  • Woof :P
  • Yay I'm actually excited now if things are gonna pick up like this
  • I don't mean to be ungrateful but why on earth did Nokia bring these old games? We want Mass Effect 2 and Real racing 3 for god's sake. C'mon guys, wake up!
  • Errrm... Mass Effect 2 is a console game. Mass Effect Infiltrator is the lastest and only mobile version of Mass Effect as far as I know (and I'm damn excited to play it)
  • It's good but on the the feature that mass effect infiltrator influenced your mass effect 3 multiplayer experience is missing in the WP version :(
  • Yeah I'm a little disappointed about that as well. But honestly? I completed Mass Effect 3 twice already several months back, and finished all the DLC by now, so the connected experience is less important at this point.
  • Yes i agree and I am a big mass effect fan but for 7€ and one year after the ios and android release, I would at least expect a full port of the IOS version with all features.
  • I'm torn between the 2 of you. One one hand, my ME3 game is over and done with... 100% achievements, etc. I'm not going back and playing that anytime soon and I only played the online multiplayer for the sake of achievements. So the tie-in feature is whatever... but at the same time, it would be nice to have it. But still worth checking out the mobile game anyway. I don't buy EA games anymore, but when I do, they are EA mobile on my smartphone. lol.
  • There was another Mobile Mass Effect game, ME: Galaxy.  It was an iOS only game I believe and it was the inbetween ME1 and ME2.  Needless to say it was awful.
    I had Infiltrator on my iPad and thought the graphics were great, but the size of the device was the biggest limitation.  Time to cash in some Bing Rewards to give this a shot!
  • Isn't real racing 3 pretty universally despised because of the freemium model? Personally, I'm glad they went with RR2.
  • Lets hope for a price drop on all 4 soon. Though i am grateful for these, these prices for incomplete port is a little steep.
  • What is incomplete with NBA Jam? They made it 2-on-2 probably because 5-on-5 would be cluttred and sluggish on a mobile device. They could have expanded the rosters, I guess, but I'm not too bothered by that.
  • NBA Jam is the full experience other than the lack of IAPs, which most players won't mind. Mass Effect is clearly missing the connectivity feature, and Real Racing 2's graphics are slightly dumbed down. Don't know if there's anythign else to complain about with these ports.
  • Updated rosters are needed, IMO. To release this at the end of the 2012-2013 NBA season with Ray Allen on the Celtics is jsut a joke, IMO.
  • Uh Jam has been 2 on 2 since the coin-op version.
  • What about Space Jam, which was 3 on 3? :-D
  • I haven't played it in so long I forgot. Literally, it's been probably 10+ years.