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Sector Strike shoots into the Windows Phone Store

If you’re into space shooters, then you should check out Sector Strike for Windows Phone 8. The game has been available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry, but Windows Phone users now get to join the party. Sector Strike is a futuristic shoot 'em up designed to challenge your reflexes and wits.

Head past the break to watch our hands on video and gameplay.

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Apict is a rather handy Windows Phone photography app that dates back to the days of Windows Phone 7.  Apict offers photo editing to give your pictures that retro Polaroid look.  The app has been consistently through the years and remains a solid performer.

Apict received another update today, taking the app to version 4.6.  The update mainly deals with fixing a few bugs but also comes with a temporary price reduction.

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History lesson: Apict was one of the first camera apps that we used on Windows Phone to greater enhance our creativity (and keep up with old-fashioned trends in digital photography). The app is one of the original Windows Phone 7 apps, having launched way back in mid-October 2010, and it has been consistently updated throughout the years. Respect.

Version 4.0 has now gone live in the Store and added some top-requested features to the release, making it a solid choice if you’re into Polaroid/retro digital photography.

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Pixel Heritage: Windows Phone App Review

Windows Phone cameras have progressed rather nicely with the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X's cameras being really strong performers. But if you're in the mood for days of old, Pixel Heritage will give your current Windows Phone camera a retro feel.

Pixel Heritage is a collection of nine "old school" Nokia phones. From the 2004 6610i to the 2006 Nokia N95, you can snap a picture and give it that hazy, dusty, slightly out of focus look as if it was taken with these older cameras.

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It's no secret if you follow my occasional mini-game reviews here on Windows Phone Central that I really dig old school arcade games e.g. Decimation X2, Imposisble Shoota and the various console emulators). There's something about the retro style graphics with updated particle explosions on our phone that grabs me.

Break MORE Aliens! is a sequel to BreakTheAliens! and is made by the same crew who made Corona (see review). It's a mash-up of Space Invaders and Arkanoid with some power-ups and boss battles to make a fun, well designed arcade super classic.

The game features 3 fantastic chiptunes by Multifaros ( which go very well with the title's theme, it has hilarious scrolling text during the game, 26 levels, 6 bosses and 16 power-ups. What's neat though is the power-ups have a downside to them--sure nuking everything is sure way to clear the board but for a moment, you're blinded. That creativity is one of the reasons I like it so much.

Controls were fast and fluid. Moving the "bat" with my finger was simple and intuitive causing no frustration. The ability to choose between difficulties, survival mode or enabling "super mode" (extreme power-ups) keeps the replay value quite high.

The game is free with ads or you can unlock it for $0.99 which is a fair price (I always pay when I can). For those reasons alone, I have to give this game a strong recommendation, especially if you love casual gaming, old-style arcade titles and want something fun to pass the time.

Pick up Break MORE Aliens! here in the Marketplace. QR code and promo video after the break...

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A few weeks ago we mentioned the results of a recent Windows Phone hackathon, where devs get together, dream up and code apps and games within a fixed time period.

One of the noteworthy games that came out of that workshop was SpaceShooterz by Cubeslam. A retro arcade space shooter, the game needed some music and some finishing touches before it headed to the Marketplace. Luckily for you, it's now live and it's a fun little number.

The game is free with no ads (for now), has excellent controls, smooth gameply with a high framerate and the music is just badass sounding. It's certainly falls into the quick-gaming category as you only have one life and no continues, but it's a lot of fun and done very well. For that, we have to recommend it.

Pick up SpaceShooterz here in the Marketplace for free. In addition, the French-only home automation app that was also coded during the same hackathon is now available too. You can grab that app, called ZibaseWP, right here.

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We always like to spice things up around here with some kitsch and rock it like it was the early 80's (we are that old after all). So it's with pleasure to find these wallpapers created by Go Windows Go for your Windows Phone lock screen.

You get three colors to choose from: black, white and navy blue, which should suit most of your needs. If they sound like something you'd like, head over to Go Windows Go to grab 'em.

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When I was a wee lad, I thought it would be cool to make a game with the world’s longest title… Something like 20 words long, that would get it noticed! Apparently the folks at indie developer Bad Pilcrow had the same idea, and thus Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and Her Nightmare was born. The benefit to a giant title like that is that it really does get catch the eye. “That game has seven words in the title! Why, other game titles only have two or three words at most. Could Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and Her Nightmare be thrice as good as them?” But the problem comes whenever you have to say or type the title and you can’t remember it or your fingers get too tired. Even for this review, I had to copy and paste the title from somewhere else, because my mind isn’t built to remember that mess of proper and common nouns.

Yep, that’s how I chose to establish context. Head past the break for the full review.

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Chromatic - Review

Looking for a fast paced shooter game for your Windows Phone? Take a look at Chromatic.

Chromatic is a 2D shooter where you take control of a defense turret and defend your position against wave after wave of attacking enemies. As you progress through the game you gain access to six unique guns with their own power/strengths. As you work your way through the game, these weapons will advance in levels as well to increase their effectiveness.

To read more on Chromatic, follow the break

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Yeah, we know you all want Halo on your phones, but some of us like to relive our childhood and play old Atari 2600 games on our phone. (See also 'Decimation X2')

Luckily, we're not alone as JEFBCreating has made Pong7 for our enjoyment. The game has been out for awhile, but it just hit v1.2 with a nice makeover and new features including single player. That's in addition to the already free status (ad supported) and the ability for two-players, which is kind of cool if you have a table and some free time.

The retro graphics are great, the game play smooth and it even has a nice tile. So we have to give it a thumbs up if all you want is some simple Pong action. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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Hipstar - Review

There are plenty of photo effect apps for your Windows Phone but Hipstar adds a nostalgic feel to things. The app brings an old, fixed lens camera into the mix and designs the user interface around the camera.

Hipstar adds a vintage look to things by adding light leaks and vignetted corners to your photos. It gives the images a 60's Kodachrome feel. We like the concept and while Hipstar has potential, it falls a little short of the mark.

Snap on past the break to read more on Hipstar.

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Pac-Man Championship Edition DX - Review

A long time ago, Pac-Man was king of the arcades. If you were a gamer, you were either playing Pac-Man or wishing you were playing it, and you never failed to ask asked your mom to make Pac-Man pancakes in the morning. Over the years, the yellow guy’s popularity has waned despite the occasional (and generally mediocre) sequel.

Fortune turned back in Pac-Man’s favor with 2007’s downloadable console title, Pac-Man Championship Edition. Critics and gamers alike praised CE’s return to classic-style game play and looks. Three years later, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX improved on CE’s foundations, creating the perfect Pac-Man game for the modern era. Now DX comes to Windows Phone with a few less features than the console version but just as much retro modern charm.

Turn a corner, watch out for ghosts, and head past the break for our full review.

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Lunar Lander - review

The Game Room series is a great way to enjoy nostalgic gaming experiences as well as try classic video games for the first time. I happily did both things while preparing for my Centipede and Pitfall! reviews. Unfortunately though, not every game stands the test of time. Some games are pretty tough to get into if you didn’t play them when they were first released. Lunar Lander is like that. Sure, it’s historically important, but I doubt many Windows Phone gamers will actually care to play it.

Lunar Lander blasted off into arcades in 1979, the year of my birth. Its arcade competition that year consisted primarily of Space Invaders (1978) and Galaxian. While those two games feature science fiction themes and aliens to blast, Lunar Lander is grounded in reality. The player pilots a lunar landing module as it descends to Earth’s moon. Death comes not from unfriendly visitors but from crashing into the landscape or even just landing too quickly – again, a more realistic setup than the competition. This is still a video game though, so players do get more chances to play until they run out of fuel.

Rocket past the break for our fuel review.

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Pitfall! - Review

Many younger gamers’ first exposure to Pitfall! came from the console title Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which featured a Pitfall! minigame. But Pitfall! started its life way back in 1982 on the Atari 2600. The product of a single Activision developer, David Crane, it sold over 4 million copies and skyrocketed Activision to stardom. Now developer Krome and publisher Microsoft Game Studios bring the ‘Fall! To Windows Phone as both an Xbox Live and Game Room title. Is it better suited to mobile play than cranky ol’ Asteroids Deluxe? Yes!

Pitfall! stars the adventurer Pitfall Harry. His sprite was comprised of four separate colors on a platform in which most sprites were made of only one or two colors. Harry’s surplus of colors produced such a realistic effect at the time that many people thought an actual human being had somehow become trapped in their game cartridge. Thanks to modern computer technology we now know that this was not the case, but Harry still retains a certain visual charm after all these years.

Grab onto a vine and swing past the jump for our full review!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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