Windows Phone Essential Games Collection

Windows Phone Central Roundup: Essential Games Collection

Over at the Windows Phone Store, Microsoft has created a handful of app and game collections that include photography apps, sports apps, music apps, and other categories. For this week's roundup we take a peek at the Essential Game's Collection.

The Essential Game's Collection is a wide range of gaming titles that include puzzle games, word games, card games and more. We plucked four titles for this weeks roundup that we concur are essential games for our Windows Phones. Games that are addictive, entertaining, and a great way to pass the time with.

Where's My Mickey? ($.99): Where's My Mickey? is the latest "Where's my water?" styled game from Disney for our Windows Phone 8 devices. You have Where's My Perry? that features Perry the Platypus, Where's My Water? featuring Swampy the Alligator and Where's My Mickey? featuring Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

With Where's My Mickey? you are tasked with supplying Mickey with water so he can complete five story lines. You have to dig paths for the water pools to follow, avoiding obstacles and navigating mazes of pipes. You also have weather variables in that sometime the water source is from a rain cloud and you use wind to position the cloud just right.

There are over a hundred levels of play spread out across five scenarios. Animations are great and the between level transitions are humorous. Goofy is featured in six levels of bonus episodes that can be unlocked through an in-app purchase.

Where's My Mickey? is a perfect addition to Disney's "Where's my water?" series and fun for all ages. The only downside to Where's My Mickey? is that it lacks a trial version. The full version will run you $.99 and you can find Where's My Mickey? here in the Windows Phone Store.

Fairway Solitaire by Big Fish (free): Short take on Fairway Solitaire by Big Fish? It's a challenging, entertaining and addictive card game for your Windows Phone 8 device.  If you need something to help you pass the time with, Fairway Solitaire is well worth a try.

Fairway Solitaire molds a game of solitaire around the golf course. Scores are measured above and below par, you have sand traps, water hazards and more. Hands are dealt on more than 350 golf holes with the goal being to remove all the cards from the playing field in as few moves as possible.

Game play is spread out across levels that have either three or six hands of play. The first level of play is a tutorial that will walk you through all the nooks and crannies of the game rather nicely.  If you only have time for one or two hands of play, Fairway Solitaire will save your progress within the level.

As you play, you'll earn golf bucks that can be used in the golf shop to purchase enhancements and clubs for your golf bag. The clubs are used as bonus cards to keep the solitaire hand going. You also have four mini-games to conquer, 37 trophies to earn and a pesky gopher who is intent on ruining your game.

Animations are fantastic, game play challenging, and overall Fairway Solitaire is a solid game from tee to green.

Fairway Solitaire by Big Fish is a free game with additional levels of play unlockable through an in-app purchase. You can find Fairway Solitaire here in the Windows Phone Store.

Galactic Reign (trial/$4.99): Galactic Reign is an Xbox Windows Phone gaming title that calls upon you to conquer the galaxy. It is a turn based, online space combat game where you move to colonize planets, design bigger and better space ships and basically turn your opponent into space dust.

If you're not in the mood for online play, Galactic Reign has a healthy collection of single player missions to tackle.

While game play is addictive, entertaining and full of stellar graphics what might be the neatest feature on Galactic Reign it's multi-platform support.

There's a Windows 8 version of Galactic Reign that you can play on your Windows 8 tablet or home computer. Start a game on your tablet and you can pick it up on your Windows Phone without skipping a beat.

There is a trial version available for Galactic Reign and the full version is running $4.99. You can pick up the Windows Phone 8 version here in the Windows Phone Store and the Windows 8 version here in the Windows Store. Note: Once you buy one version, you don't need to buy the other. Just download the trial, sign in and you're good to go.

Temple Run: Brave ($.99): Temple Run: Brave is another Disney title making it to the Essential Collection. It is a version of the Temple Run Windows Phone game but set to the Disney Movie Brave.

Temple Run Brave is a running game where you have to guide Merida as she runs through the wilds of Scotland trying to escape the Mordu, the evil bear. Along the way you have to jump over fallen trees, jump over ditches, crevices and big old holes in the ground, as well as navigating around hair pin turns.

Coins are scattered about that can be collected to buy powerups in the store. If you want to get a jump on things, you can purchase coins via an in-app purchase.

One feature of the Brave version of Temple Run has Merida armed with her trusty bow that you can use to shoot targets the line the path for extra points. It adds an extra element of challenge to the game.

Game play is enjoyable, graphics sharp and overall Temple Run: Brave is an appealing Windows Phone game. Only downside, no trial version. Temple Run: Brave is currently running $.99 and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Store.

Microsoft lists about two dozen games in their Windows Phone Essential Games Collection. These four stood out to us and if we missed the game you feel is essential for Windows Phones, feel free to speak up in the comments below.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.