geoDefense is backing up Windows Phone as this week's Deal of the Week for Xbox LIVE

geoDefense has returned as this week's Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week on Windows Phone. Previously taking the title back in November 2011, it's good to see the futuristic light show tower defence game returning with a discounted price tag. The much loved Xbox LIVE title now has an older brother, geoDefense Swarm, but many still power up this classic while on the move.

geoDefense puts the player in charge of forming a tower-based defence around a generated path. This path is where creatures and critters will make their way along to the end where a number displays the remaining lives. Should a creep make their way to this point, a life will be deducted. A solid strategic mind is required to ensure the placement of towers, as well as types used, prevents these pests from making it.

geoDefense Mango update adds Live tiles and more

geoDefense Swarm is out now and doing quite well, if reader comments and my own enjoyment are any indication. But the original geoDefense, which also happened to be the first good tower defense game on Xbox Live for Windows Phone, is still loved by many. As such, Critical Thought Games recently released an update to make geoDefense even better for current and future consumers.

geoDefense version 1.4 release notes:

  • 60fps on devices that support it  (previous cap was 30fps)
  • Live Tile (pin the game tile to the home screen, will flip to show progress)
  • Live Secondary Tile (hold down on level in list and it'll make a quick-jump live tile on home screen)
  • Supports Fast Application Switching
  • Fixed a bug with the targeting logic of locked laser towers (This was a big deal on some levels.)

Mango features are the standout additions. Many of us swear by Fast App Switching, so it’s great to see another popular Live game add that support. If only they would all follow suit (*cough, Plants vs. Zombies, cough*). Can’t go wrong with Live Tiles, either.

geoDefense is an easy-to-learn and addictive tower defense game. See our full review for details. The game costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

geoDefense Swarm is live and hexagonal on the Windows Phone Marketplace

Tower defense addicts, you can stop scratching and relax at last. geoDefense Swarm from Critical Thought Games in now on the Marketplace!

geoDefense Swarm is the sequel to fan-favorite tower defense game geoDefense. The new entry switches from predefined enemy routes to a grid-based field. Enemies can approach from all directions, so players will need to construct mazes in order to keep them at bay. Like its predecessor, Swarm features an appealing neon geometric look and easy to learn gameplay.

It also has the same balance issues as before (tower costs and abilities vary from level to level), but said issues didn’t keep its predecessor from winning many gamers’ hearts. Here’s a tip to get you started: switch the difficulty from Hardcore to Novice in Help & Options if you want to ease into things and take the stress out of those Achievements.

geoDefense Swarm costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

Thanks Zebrasqual for the tip!

geoDefense is the Deal of the Week. Ghostscape and Shuffle Party are the new Xbox LIVE titles.

Although the last few Deals of the Week have been "meh", this week's is pretty exciting. geoDefense, the futuristic tower-defense game with wowee-zowee sound effects will be going on sale from $2.99 to (we're guessing) the usual $1.99 price-point starting this Wednesday, November 30th.

In our review, we summarized the game as thus:

"geoDefense may not be the absolute finest tower defense game on Xbox Live (that honor goes to Plants vs. Zombies) but it is still a terrific title. Nothing it does rocks the boat, but that makes the game easy to understand and get into. Spikes in difficulty and the variable nature of tower costs and powers are minor annoyances that keep geoDefense away from perfection. But the game offers plenty of strategic fun and easy Achievements at a relatively low price, so strategy fans should lower their defenses and consider an immediate purchase."

The game is quite a lot of fun and well worth the $2.99 price. At $1.99 it's a steal, meaning we think you should give that trial a spin now so you'll be ready to purchase come Wednesday night. Seriously, once you upgrade your laser to max and hear that thing fire, obliterating everything in its'll be sold. Or at least we were. Try out geoDefense right now here in the Marketplace.

And don't forget this week, Ghostscape and Shuffle Party will be both available as new Xbox LIVE titles, with of course the latter only being available in the U.S. for now. Sorry.

via: @KarlStricker; Thanks, DarkSynopsis, for the heads up.

geoDefense update fixes save game bug, restores balance to universe

geoDefense, the Xbox Live tower defense game with Geometry Wars-inspired visuals, has been a bit buggy since its release. Chief among those bugs is the dreaded save data bug, which we reported on in June. This bug caused some gamers to lose all of their progress when replaying levels, and nobody likes that.

Thankfully today’s version 1.6 patch fixes the save data bug at last. No longer should anyone fear playing geoDefense and trying for higher scores. We’re glad to see Critical Thought Games continuing to hone its enjoyable strategy title.

If for some reason you want a more traditional tower defense experience than the exceptional Plants vs. Zombies, geoDefense is the place to look. It costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

geoDefense save data bug fix on the way

Since geoDefense’s Xbox Live debut, we’ve heard the occasional complaint from gamers who lost their save data. geoDefense isn’t a tremendously long game, but nobody wants to lose their progress – especially if they’ve put some effort into improving their scores.

The developer, Critical Thought Games, has actually been aware of the problem for a while. In a blog post at his site, designer David Whatley explains the nature of the problem:

“Well the issue is in the file handling. Essentially your highscores (and other info) are saved to a file (duh)… if the data being written is smaller than the last time, then the resulting file will still be as long as it was before the save... with the data at the end being garbage.

When I load the data, I get this trailing garbage and the whole block fails the checksum checks and thus it disregards the data as if it had been tampered with.”

So basically, sometimes when gamers replay levels, the new data ends up being smaller than the old data, corrupting the entire save file. This doesn’t affect Achievements already earned, but scores and all other in-game progress are lost.

Critical Thought has already submitted an update to Microsoft that fixes the problem. Hopefully it passes certification quickly, though we know that process can be a bumpy road sometimes. The current in-game version number is 1.5. When the next update hits, it’ll read 1.6 and your saves will be home free.

Until then, Whatley offers this advice:

“…If you play geoDefense WP7, just don't replay any levels you've already won and the bug won't happen. If it's already happened, uninstall and reinstall the game to clear the state. Once 1.6 update is out and you upgrade, then you can safely go back and replay already won levels to improve your score.”

Despite this save data trouble (which many of us have not encountered), geoDefense is one of the better tower defense games on Xbox Live. Read WPCentral’s full review for all the choice details.

Thanks, Marc G., for the heads up! The G is for geometry.

geoDefense - Review

As the plethora of tower defense games on the Windows Phone marketplace proves, tower defense games aren’t hard to make. But they are hard to do well. Just look at the first two tower defense games on Xbox Live: Zombie Attack! 2 is an undercooked snooze-fest and Battle for Hoth is too difficult to be much fun. Both games stray unsuccessfully from tower defense conventions, whereas geoDefense from Critical Thought Games is the exact opposite. It’s as traditional as they come, but also tremendously fun.

geoDefense’s claim to fame is its Geometry Wars-inspired look. Every tower and enemy is composed of neon outlines, harkening back to the days of vector graphics. It’s an extremely simple but charming look, even if one enemy type resembles Pac-Man a bit too closely. The background, no matter the level, is always made up of black space with a pattern of graph paper-like lines, further enhancing the geometric feel. Explosions create a cool warping effect on the background, adding a clever modern contrast to the retro visuals.

Follow the path past the jump for our full review.

geoDefense now available on the Marketplace. Start building those towers!

It’s the third week of Microsoft’s Must Have Games promotion. This week’s Xbox Live release, geoDefense, comes from Critical Thought Games. It’s now available in the marketplace.

geoDefense is a traditional tower defense game in which waves of enemies travel along a path on their way to the player’s base. Building and upgrading towers along the way is your only defense. geoDefense’s claim to fame is its Geometry Wars-inspired vector graphics. Everything is made up of colorful neon outlines and explosions are accompanied by a cool background warping effect. geoDefense gets pretty hard eventually, but I found it much easier to learn to play than the existing Xbox Live tower defense games,  Battle for Hoth and Zombie Attack! 2.

geoDefense costs only $2.99 and there is a free trial. Tower defense fans will definitely want to grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

Hydro Thunder Go coming on May 25. Full 6 Weeks of Must-Have Games schedule revealed

Windows Phone gamers have been anxiously awaiting the start of the 6 Weeks of Must Have Games promotion. It was initially thought to begin in April, but then we learned it had been pushed back to an unspecified date. Shortly thereafter at MIX 2011, Joe Belfiore announced that Angry Birds would come out on May 25, so everyone assumed that the Must-haves would roll out then.

As it turns out, May 25 does indeed mark the start of the 6 Weeks of Must Have Games. But Angry Birds won’t be next week’s Xbox Live release after all. Instead, that honor goes to Hydro Thunder Go, the only Windows Phone-exclusive title in the Must-Have lineup. Leading with the strongest title is a smart idea, as Hydro Thunder Go has some great buzz surrounding it. Hydro Thunder Go will launch on May 25 at the very fair price of $4.99.

But that’s not all! We’ve got the full Xbox Live release schedule for the next 6 weeks, including prices and screenshots. Head past the jump for the exciting details.

Xbox Live: Must Have Games not starting on April 6

Back in February, WPCentral reported on the Xbox Live 6 weeks of Must Have Games promotion. Basically, every Wednesday for 6 weeks, a high-profile game will come to Xbox Live.

We expected the promotion to begin on April 6, but it turns out that won’t be the case. This week’s Xbox Live title is Super Monkey Ball, which will cost $4.99. Read our impressions here. Who Wants to be a Millionaire also comes out that day, but only in territories outside of North America.

April 13 will see the release of Harbor Master and Centipede. Thus the earliest the Must Have Games promotion could start is April 20, but it might be even later. Update: When contacted, Microsoft would only confirm Spring as the promotion's launch date. We'll surely hear from them again in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

For now, let’s look at the Must Have Games themselves:

  • Hydro Thunder Go – The only Windows Phone-exclusive of the bunch. Go is the mobile adaptation of Hydro Thunder Hurricane, the latest entry in the popular boat-racing series. Go’s 3D graphics and water effects are probably the best Windows Phone 7 has seen. Follow this link for a video trailer and our first impressions.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I – Sonic 4 marks the return to side-scrolling gameplay for everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog. The series has been marred by lackluster 3D titles in recent years. Sonic 4 doesn’t quite match the quality of the 16-bit Sonic games, but it’s still a worthwhile platformer. The mobile version of Sonic 4 was developed concurrently with the console title and features different stage layouts.  Follow this link for our first impressions.
  • Plants vs Zombies – From the makers of Bejeweled comes a unique tower defense game in which players place plants in strategic locations across lawns, swimming pools, and rooftops in order to fend off an army of cartoonish zombies. The PC version of Plants vs Zombies is one of my all-time favorite games.
  • geoDefense – A challenging tower defense game that features neon-colored vector graphics, much like the Geometry Wars series of shooters. geoDefense is a pretty game, but is it really that popular?
  • Doodle Jump – The original jumping game makes its way to Xbox Live. Tilt the phone to steer Doodle Jumper up a never-ending series of platforms, much like MonsterUp. Knock out enemies by furiously tapping on them. Windows Phone gamers may already know Doodle Jumper from his Parachute Panic cameo.
  • Angry Birds – One of the most popular mobile games of all-time rounds out the Must Have Games promotion. Launch birds out of a slingshot in order to collapse structures and eliminate the pigs who’ve stolen the birds’ eggs. The Windows Phone version of Angry Birds has a whopping 195 levels.

Angry Birds among six new titles heading to WP7

While we have heard countless rumors about Angry Birds coming to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has announced today that the popular game will be heading to Windows Phones. It joins five other titles that are expected to hit the Marketplace on April 6th as Xbox Live games.

The other gaming titles include:

  • Doodle Jump - Jump your way up an unending series of platforms
  • Plants vs. Zombies - Defend yourself from a Zombie attack with garden plants
  • HydroThunder Go - Long standing boat racing game
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 - Classic Sega platform game
  • GeoDefense - Tower defense game

No pricing information was available but it's nice to see several of these titles coming to the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Source: WindowsTeamBlog