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gears


Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Puzzle Games

Windows Phone puzzle games are a great way to pass the time with. Find the right puzzle game and you may lose track of time.

We've looked at puzzle games before in the Windows Phone Central Roundups and thought thought we'd take another glance at what's available in the Windows Phone Store. We've got a small collection of games that require you to solve the puzzles in a certain manner where you can move this way or that.  However, one wrong move will end your chances at success and send you searching for the reset button.

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Last year we mentioned the game Gears on the Windows Phone Marketplace, noting it was quite a fun little puzzler. The goal of the game is to connect two stationary gears on the screen with a finite selection of variable sized gears from your collection. You simply drag-n-drop them on screen, connecting them up to each other and the gears start spinning.

The game starts off easy but quickly ramps up to being more challenging. With 100 levels it should keep most users busy for sometime but replay value is obviously low since the puzzles aren’t randomized.

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Gears - App Spotlight

Gears hit the Windows Phone Marketplace a short bit ago and if you like puzzle games, you've gotta check it out.

The game premise has you completing the connection between two gears and provide power to the bronze gear. Sounds simple but you have a limited number of various sized gears to work with and at times you are required to turn the bronze gear a certain way. To add to the challenge you have this pesky little thing called gravity that won't allow you to place your connecting gears just anywhere.

The game screen has your connecting gear inventory displayed at the bottom, a reset button and your current level.  Once you accomplish connecting the two gears, you advance to the next level.

Gears has one hundred levels of play, with more on the way, and the only nit I can find with Gears is with how the levels are displayed.  As is, the screen looks crowded and you need a magnifying glass to read the numbers.

Regardless, Gears is an entertaining, addictive, well presented game. Graphics are great, sound effects nice and the game ran smoothly.

There is a free trial version available for Gears that has the first twenty levels of play available. The full version of Gears will run you $1.99 and you can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Just a few hours after we noted today's releases, Microsoft has gone and published those two new Xbox LIVE titles. Today's features are 'Rise of Glory' and 'Revolution'.

'Rise of Glory' is a pretty sweet World War 1 bi-plane simulator "...with arcade accents. Fly your favorite plane in the single player campaign or play skirmish user defined missions. Amazing graphics, realistic aircraft behavior, challenging AI, incredible game experience." and goes for $2.99. 'Revolution' also put out by MGS, is a cogs type puzzle game, but with...well gears. The game will allow you to "progress through 75 unique levels and discover new challenges! As levels increase in complexity, players will find new elements such as “No Cogs Zones,” and “Falling Stars” to challenge even the most skilled mechanical wizard". 'Revolution' also fetches for $2.99.

You can grab 'Rise of Glory' here and 'Revolution' here. Both seem pretty cool. Hit us up in comments on your thoughts if you've tried 'em.

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Google again is expanding its footprint on the mobile world. Its "My Location" feature, which uses cell towers to roughly triangulate your position in Google Maps, is now coming to mobile Web apps, thanks to the Gears Geolocation API.

"But, Phil," you say, "I already know where I am. What can this possibly do for me?"

For devices without GPS, it should mean a lot. We're talking about (eventually) more than just smartphones here. The Gears Geolocation API allows Web sites, both mobile and otherwise, to get your location and then customize their content.

Offered as an example is U.K. site m.lastminute.com. Simply click a link and the site tracks down your location. You then tell it what kind of food you want to eat, and it returns the restaurants closest to you.

If you're in the U.K., you can try it out now (IE Mobile only) at m.lastminute.com and m.rummble.com. For the rest of us, see the example video after the break.

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Google Gears for Windows Mobile

This is big news: Google Gears for Windows Mobile. Check it out:

Ever use a mobile web application and suddenly lose your cell connection? That's happened to me many times. If you've shared my pain, you'll be excited to know that we've launched Google Gears for mobile, which lets users access Gears-enabled mobile web apps offline. Initially available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, mobile web app developers have already started integrating Gears for mobile into their online services. - [Google Blog]

If nothing else, this throws a big old wrench in the Web apps vs. Native apps debate - because now web apps are native apps in many cases. One such case - online office suite zoho is already up and running with Google Gears. Native apps: still a heck of a lot better. Let's face it, running an app in PocketIE is neat, but it's nowhere near as neat as just running the app natively.

But sometime in the very near future Windows Mobile must get a great web browser and it must be a system-wide sort of thing, very close to the bones of the OS. When that happens, something like Google Gears starts to make a lot of sense.

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