Games

Welcome to our new regular feature: the best games of the month. Every month we’ll look at a collection of the newly released Windows Phone games that stand out from the crowd. The titles we choose will range in genre and production value. Anything goes as long as it’s fun, original (not using someone else’s IP without permission), and freshly launched.

March was a particularly strong month for Windows Phone because we got three new Xbox Live releases. Multiple mobile Xbox titles in a month is not a common occurrence nowadays. We’ve chosen two of those titles for this best-of list: Rayman Fiesta Run and Throne Together. Non-Xbox games tended towards average quality this month, but Machinarium, Castle Raid 2, and Super Polygon rise above the pack as excellent games.

Quick impressions and Store links after the break!

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As the ICC (International Cricket Council) World Twenty20 tournament happens in Bangladesh, cricket fans across the world are celebrating the shortest, and the most exciting, form of cricket.

Clearly, it was a great time for Games2win, one of the top online gaming companies, to launch Power Cricket T20, a casual cricket game for Windows Phone devices. Power Cricket T20 allows you play against the nine cricket teams from across the world and complete your quest of winning three tournaments though the game.

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When Machinarium arrived on Windows Phone last week, the news was bittersweet. On the one hand, Machinarium is one of the greatest traditional adventure games I’ve ever played. It creates a totally unique world filled with living robots, tells a compelling story using absolutely no text or voiced dialogue, and looks utterly beautiful. On the other hand, the Windows Phone version suffered from a show-stopping crash quite early in the game. You couldn’t enjoy it for long.

As it turns out, the crash resulted from an earlier test version mistakenly being published as the full game. Once developer Amanita Design discovered the source of the issue, they quickly set about publishing the correct version. Machinarium has now been updated on Windows Phone and runs without crashing! What’s more, we have exclusive news of Windows 8 and RT versions as well.

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As Windows Phone grows in popularity it’ll become harder and harder to keep track of all the new apps joining the platform. Which is why we like to take a moment on the weekends to look back at the past week of activity in the Windows Phone Store and highlight some of our favorites. We’ll look at new apps and games now available in the Store. We’ll also look at apps that picked up nice updates. And finally we’ll let you know of any new betas you should sign up for. Let’s check out the app highlights for this week!

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New Xbox games for Windows Phone are few and far between these days, so we have to treasure the ones we get. Today’s release of Hexic puts us up to four games for the year, the first of which was Throne Together from Rogue Rocket Games. Throne Together, a free to play puzzle game, launched on Windows Phone and Windows 8 at the beginning of the month.

Like many games, Throne Together suffered from a few bugs upon release. Rogue Rocket has been working to iron those bugs out, as the recent update to both versions of Throne Together proves. The update not only fixes some problems, it also adds new features that make gameplay more interesting. We’ve got full release notes and fresh screenshots from the update after the break.

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Microsoft Studios has brought the classic puzzle game of Hexic to Windows Phone devices and Windows 8 devices. The game brings 100 challenging levels of geometric goodness in a new touch-friendly experience. Plus it's free!

The game features all new chain combos with swipe-and-match gameplay and mechanics originally designed by Alexey Pajitnov, creator of the legendary puzzle game Tetris. We've seen Hexic before as a Xbox Live title for Windows Phone 7 and the latest version looks to build upon the appeal of the previous.

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Fishy Rush is a casual game for Windows Phone 8 that takes the endless runner genre under water. With Fishy Rush, you swim your goldfish for as far as you can, collecting coins along the way.

The game is not all fun in the sun with plenty of dangers and shark attacks to avoid. You can collect coins and pearls to use in the game's store to buy upgrades and there are plenty of power-ups to help you survive the dangers of the deep blue sea. Fishy Rush isn’t a terrible game for your Windows Phone but some may find it falling a tad short of the mark.

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Rail Rush is a fun Windows Phone 8 game that places you in a runaway mine cart that you have to maneuver through endless twists, turns and obstacles.

The endless runner game was recently updated to version 1.8 to add an Easter theme to the game. Rail Rush isn’t a stranger to holiday themed such as the Christmas theme update that was pushed out late last year. The Easter theme adds a bit of color to the game, a large collection of runaway Easter eggs and adds nicely to an already fun Windows Phone game.

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We don’t talk about Red Stripe Deals much anymore, but next week’s sale game is too hot not to celebrate. Major Nelson has just announced that the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions of Halo: Spartan Assault will go on sale for $1.99 from April 3-9. The tablet and phone versions of Spartan Assault usually go for seven bucks apiece, making next week the prime time to scoop one or both of them up.

Halo: Spartan Assault is a twin-stick shooter based on the popular Halo franchise. Microsoft really seems to be pushing the game right now. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions have just dropped to $9.99 each (probably permanently), and the Steam version of the game will debut next week as well. More details after the break!

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If you are a fan of Crytek and their creations, then you should be excited for the launch of their Warface Open Beta. Crytek is the brilliance behind games such as Crysis and RYSE: Son of Rome; they take advantage of their high-tech CryEngine to bring life-like and realistic graphics to the screen. Warface is another take on the common shooter, but powered by the company's insane graphics engine, and of course we cannot forget to mention that it is free to play.

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We recently looked at an upcoming Star Wars game for both Windows and Windows Phone - Star Wars Assault Team. The game has finally launched on Microsoft platforms today, opening up the popular, fictional galaxy far, far away. Windows Phone has received a mixture of Star Wars games, some containing angry birds and others tasking players to build tower defenses.

Star Wars: Assault Team is a card come strategy, turn-based game. Players are able to collect and assemble a powerful team of heroes to battle enemies and even other players across the universe. 

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It’s another month so time for another update to the popular endless runner Subway Surfers. Continuing on their ‘World Tour’ the game is leaving New York, and it now heads to Mexico City, for a bright and festive new skinning, along with new outfits, collecting spicy chilies and new weekly challenges.

Unfortunately, 512 MB RAM support is still not there, and we’re starting to think it just may not happen. (There are occasional clone apps that have been ‘hacked’ and show up on the Store, but those aren’t official ports. Play at your own risk.)

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It’s a slow week for console game releases, with no new titles appearing on the Xbox One. Luckily the digital versions of Square-Enix’s Tomb Raider and Thief are both on sale for half off, so Xbox One owners shouldn’t suffer from game withdrawals just yet. Unless the downloadable Strike Suit Zero materializes next week, that will have to tide the Xbox One faithful over until April 8th when Kinect Sports Rivals and LEGO The Hobbit show up.

The Xbox 360 does have a couple of new games, at least. At retail, Activision has just released Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts at retail for the low price of $29.99. Konami also published a new Xbox Live Arcade game today: Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Duels. Both titles appear to be available only in North America for some reason. Descriptions, Store links, and details about next week’s Batman XBLA release after the break.

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Microsoft is always dropping amazing game discounts on the community and this week there is no exception. Three Xbox One titles, eight Xbox 360 titles, and three Xbox 360 add-ons are up for grabs.

Whether you enjoy the racing into a battlefield, dropping on your enemies from above, or exploring the worlds of Rapture and Columbia, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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After being arguably the most popular soccer game for Windows Phone devices, FIFA 14 has now arrived on the Windows Store for Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

The Xbox LIVE enabled game would satiate your craving for authentic soccer experience with real players, teams, and leagues along with new touch controls that deliver the feel of every pass, shot and tackle.

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Shuttle Up is a relatively simple Windows Phone 8 game where you try to navigate a shiny little ball as high as you can. While the premise is simple, game play isn't without challenge.

The challenge with Shuttle Up comes into play with barriers that will be scattered about that you have dispatch before advancing any higher. As you approach the barriers, ever so slightly they will move out of your way. Advance to quickly and you'll smash into the barriers, ending your game. In playing the game for the past few days, Shuttle Up comes across as a fun, challenging game for Windows Phone 8 but it also can be frustrating.

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