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Asteroids Deluxe - Review

Centipede, the first Game Room title for Windows Phone, impressed many with its faithful arcade emulation and stellar presentation. Asteroids Deluxe is the second portable Game Room entry. It’s still a very faithful port (perhaps even more so than the console/PC version), but the game itself is more of an acquired taste.

Asteroids Deluxe is the 1981 arcade sequel to the original Asteroids. Players pilot a ship through an asteroid field, blasting space debris for points. Once a large asteroid is fired upon, it breaks into two smaller ones. Each of those splits into two really tiny, hard-to-hit rocks. Clear a wave of all asteroids and a new wave starts up with even more rocks to avoid and destroy.

Fly past the break and into hyperspace for our full review.

Steel Avenger - Review

Billed as one of the most cheesiest story lines for a Windows Phone 7 game, Steel Avenger turns out to be a rather decent game for your Windows Phone. Reminiscent of the classic arcade game Spy Hunter, Steel Avenger puts you in the role of Harry Kersey, an ex-cop who is trying to avenge hiis wife's brutal death.

Kersey takes out his revenge on the streets of downtown Farlix against the criminals responsible for his loved ones untimely death. With the assistance of sympathetic police force, who conveniently drop power-ups from helicopters, Kersey will weave through traffic taking his vengeance out on the bad guys.

Ease on past the break to read more on Steel Avenger and how you can help Kersey extract his justice.

Asteroids Deluxe now available on Xbox Live, no Pitfall in sight

Earlier this week we reported that two Game Room titles, Asteroids Deluxe and Pitfall, would be this week’s Xbox Live releases. Windows Phone retro gamers will have to wait a little longer for their Atari 2600 fix, as Pitfall didn’t come out today after all. I was jumping at the chance to play it, but I doubt legions of people will be disappointed at this news.

On the bright side, Asteroids Deluxe made it out the gate. The sequel to Asteroids, Deluxe is an arcade game that Atari published in 1980. Players pilot a ship through an asteroid field, blasting both asteroids and aliens. It uses vector graphics in which everything is composed of lines, not unlike upcoming Must-Have game geoDefense. As part of the Game Room series, Asteroids Deluxe has a 3D arcade cabinet, seriously great Leaderboards, and 10 Achievements that are awfully similar to Centipede’s.

Asteroids Deluxe is $2.99, and like all Xbox Live games there is a free trial. Classic gaming fans can grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

Head past the jump for our CES video of Asteroids Deluxe and Shao-Lin's Road.

Centipede - Review

Gamers and critics alike panned the first two Xbox Live retro arcade games for Windows Phone, Pac-Man and Frogger, for several reasons. Both games have sub-par touch screen controls, shoddy presentation, and annoyingly difficult Achievements. Pac-Man even has an audacious $5 price tag. But those shoddy ports are Namco and Konami’s wrongdoing. How would big and powerful Microsoft handle bringing a classic arcade game to their mobile platform? Surprisingly well, as Centipede proves.

Centipede is not as fondly remembered or highly sequelized as its contemporaries Pac-man and Space Invaders. But when it debuted in arcades in 1980, there really was nothing like it. Instead of a joystick, players controlled the main character with a trackball. The hero, a tiny garden gnome, could move in any direction and at greatly varying speeds thanks to the analog control input.

The goal is to destroy the titular centipedes as they descend from the top of the screen. If the centipede hits one of the many randomly-placed mushrooms, it moves down a little faster. Each shot the player hits the centipede with destroys one of its segments, but also spawns a mushroom and usually splits the centipede in two. Destroying an entire centipede causes the screen’s color to change as a new, faster centipede begins its attack. As if death by centipede wasn’t enough, jumping spiders and mushroom-dropping fleas and scorpions also threaten the pitiably outnumbered gnome.

Squash a few bugs and head past the jump for our full review.

Pac-Man - Review

Pac-Man is one of the most-ported games ever, and now Namco brings it to Windows Phone 7 as an Xbox Live title. This version is faithful to the arcade original, but lacks any bells-and-whistles to get excited over and introduces a few new problems.

Everybody knows how Pac-Man works, so let’s focus on what’s changed for Windows Phone 7. The game is played from a vertical orientation. The actual play field takes up the top two-thirds of the screen, with a virtual joystick on a plain blue background at the bottom. Super bland menus that use an ugly font further contribute to a mediocre presentation.

To find out whether our circular arcade hero gets the ghosts or if they get him instead, chomp a power pellet and head past the break.

Ilomilo is now available to UK fans

Live in the UK? Love cute, cuddly, adorable, puzzle games? Well you are in luck! Developer Southend Interactive has officially released Ilomilo a few days ago, which was locked to the AT&T network alone. Branching off from our review of Ilomilo, this beautiful little fantasy adventure will be ensuring that you forget Narnia, and focus on reuniting with your other half of the coin.

I have waited some time for this as some folk I know have explored the depths of puzzling on their phones, which has led to them to venture on a boasting spree. Installing and opening up the title, I hadn't put it down for a good hour and half making my commute on the train bareable. Below is a video from our review, by Rob, giving a great run through the game.

Head on over to the Marketplace to pick up this title for £3.99 ($4.99).

Game Room bringing classic arcade to Windows Phone 7

Classic gamers aka old people like us, have reason to celebrate. Game Room, the popular gaming service on Xbox 360 and PC that brings old school titles to today's devices, is coming to Windows Phone soon.

Game Room allows gamers to indulge in various arcade, Intellivision, and Atari 2600 titles, while competing in high score points on leaderboards, achievements and various other areas. The Xbox/PC version is promised to have over 1,000 titles over the next few years. So far, these titles are confirmed for Windows Phone: Centipede, Asteroids Deluxe, Shao-Lin's Road, Time Pilot, Lunar Lander and Pitfall. We dig those. In addition, we can expect "A shared "Game Room" profile and global leaderboards let you track your medals and top scores across the phone, PC and Xbox 360."

The real question for old school gamers is who will win out first: Game Room or the emulator? For the benefit of leaderboards, achievements plus games adapted for our phones, we're actually hoping Game Room pumps out titles very quickly. But we also know they can't just offer every NES game in the world, or any for that matter. Maybe the best of both worlds, eh? Now get off our lawn!

Source: PocketGamer

Impossible Shoota & Decimation X2 - Two great retro arcade games for WP7

There are plenty of great Xbox Live games in the Marketplace but there are way more indie games to be found and here are two that rise to the top.

Impossible Shoota is actually one of the top games in the Marketplace, sitting at number nine for free games and it has had over 13,000 downloads since its release just under a month ago. It's a classic ship bullet game with simple controls, great effects and some rocking sounds. A new update was just released which includes leaderboards and some bug fixes. Cost = free, so there is zero reason not to try this game if you want some quick arcade style fun.

The second is less known, which is a shame because it's pretty amazing. Called Decimation X2 by Xona Games, it's basically Space Invaders on steroids. With huge explosion effects, rapid fire game play and fantastic music, it's tons of fun. Plus, the company has Decimation X and the brand new Decimation X3 for the Xbox 360--those latter games are in the top five in Japan and we can see why after playing X2. The cost is $0.99 which we think is worth it and there is a try-before-you-buy. (Correction: Xona Games is based in Canada & X2 doesn't have bosses, just X3; they're also working on a small update to increase the finger bar size for easier usage)

But hey, just watch the video to see them in action. Grab Impossible Shoota here and Decimation X2 here.

Review: Namco Dig Dug

The only thing better than a moment of nostalgia, is a moment of geeky nostalgia. Classic video games are making a comeback for a number of reasons. Reason number one is that it doesn’t take a lot of hardware to run the games that we used to play 20 years ago. Reason number two is that the games have already been developed; they just need to be adapted and ported to a modern platform. The biggest reason in my opinion is that you don’t have to sell a game like Tetris or Galaga, because your customer is already familiar with the game and in many cases is simply renewing an addiction that has been on pause for the last 15+ years.

Namco is one of those names that is synonymous with classic games. I’ve already looked at Galaga and found it to be a fun game experience, but limited by the controls that are available to you. Another Namco classic, Dig Dug, is available from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. While Dig Dug isn’t as high paced as Galaga, there are some definite benefits to the way the game is constructed that lend itself to Windows Phones and the hardware that is available.

Hit the jump for more details.