Games

Last week’s Red Stripe Xbox Deal gave us a fine sale on Sonic CD, a game that had never been discounted before. This week’s game has never been a Deal of the Week before, but many of us picked it up during the Black Friday sale last year. That’s right, Mush from Angry Mango will be the new Red Stripe Xbox game starting on Thursday. It’s going on sale for 99 cents, down from $2.99.

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The original Cut the Rope is one of the most popular Xbox Windows Phone games, and for good reason. The gameplay is simple and easy to learn, while perfecting levels provides a fair challenge. It packs a ton of levels and it only costs a buck – the perfect price point for mass market acceptance. And of course, it stars the lovable Om Nom, an endearing creature who has his own series of animated shorts on YouTube and physical merchandise like toys and games.

Now Cut the Rope is back, but not as the update with more levels promised within the game. Instead, ZeptoLabs has just released a sequel, Cut the Rope: Experiments. This one packs 150 more levels of gameplay in exactly the same style as the first, plus a few minor improvements. Now that its price has dropped to a buck, is Experiments a necessary buy for fans of the original? Read on to find out!

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Skulls of the Shogun will forever be known to Windows Phone enthusiasts as the game that broke the Xbox release drought we went through earlier this year. It also happened to be a fantastic game, despite a few rough edges here and there.

When we met up with one of the game’s developers a few weeks ago, he promised that updates would soon be coming to all three versions of the game: Windows Phone, XBLA, and Windows 7. At last those updates are upon us! We've got an exclusive screenshot comparison and visual breakdown of the revamped Windows Phone visuals, plus full change logs for all three versions of Skulls of the Shogun.

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FlipSomeTiles is a simple, yet challenging puzzle game for your Windows Phone 7.x or 8 device. The goal is simple, trace a path from the Start Tile to the End Tile, turning the tiles gold in the process.

The challenge is that once you turn a tile gold, you can't retrace back over it. So you'll need to choose your path carefully.  FlipSomeTiles is a fun game for your Windows Phone to pass short bits of time with and it does have a slight addictive quality to it.

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It’s been a few weeks since Nokia published a batch of exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games: the fine Vampire Rush and much less fine Storm in a Teacup. Since then, former Nokia exclusives Risk and Connect 4 became available to all Windows Phone users, knocking the number of Nokia exclusives down by two.

Clearly Nokia believes we Lumia owners need lots of stuff to brag about beyond the generally beautiful looks of our phones, and so they’ve just thrown a couple more exclusives our way in order to balance things out. Today we get DaVinci Pinball from Chillingo and Monopoly Millionaire from EA.

Both games are interesting in their own ways, but Monopoly Millionaire especially so because it’s the first Nokia exclusive Xbox game that requires Windows Phone 8 (and 1 GB of RAM). Could this mean we’ll start seeing more EA games that take advantage of Windows Phone 8’s increased horsepower? I hope so! Check out our impressions of both titles after the break.

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Cut the Rope: Experiments is a fun Xbox Live game for your Windows Phone 7.x and 8 devices. It hit the Windows Phone Store last week for $2.99 and today, the price has been cut to $.99.

The sequel to the original Cut the Rope has a mad scientist putting the title character, Om Nom, through a wide range of scientific experiments. Cut the Rope: Experiments brings 150 levels of game play to your Windows Phone and at only $.99 may very well be a steal of a deal.

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Over the weekend, we wrapped up our ‘How Microsoft can save Xbox games on Windows Phone’ series with a Microsoft video interview that we’d been saving for just such an occasion. That video focused exclusively on the Xbox Windows Phone issues raised in our editorial series, but it didn't exactly put our concerns to rest. All we Xbox enthusiasts can do is keep pushing the editorials and issues with Microsoft until finally the right people realize the need for improvement and start effecting changes.

And while many of those issues have yet to be resolved, I’d be hard-pressed to claim that Windows Phone gaming has not improved since the debut of Windows Phone 8. Game development is easier than ever, and many companies who ignored Windows Phone 8 are now onboard for 8. When we sat down to talk with Microsoft's Larry Lieberman, Senior Product Manager and Casey McGee, Senior Marketing Manager, our first subject of business was all those recent advances that make Windows Phone gaming better than ever.

Head past the break to learn just how things are looking up and see the second part of our video interview!

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Although the year got off to a rocky start with an extended Xbox game release drought, the Xbox Windows Phone gaming situation has actually been looking up since February. Gameloft’s highly anticipated Windows Phone 8 titles finally started rolling out, and some weeks saw two Xbox games released instead of just one.

Don’t think we’re out of the thicket just yet. The Xbox Live certification process continues to cause games like Cut the Rope: Experiments to come out much later than on other platforms, and meaningful title updates come just as late or not at all – both Windows Phone Cut the Rope games are missing levels that iOS and Android already get to enjoy. Microsoft’s solution to this problem seems to be encouraging big games like Temple Run to release as indie titles in order to circumvent the Xbox Live certification process. Because why bother fixing a broken system?

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Rum Run updated with a plethora of new features

Rum Run, a popular game for Windows Phone, has been bumped to version 1.5. The latest release includes a number of updates that will improve the experience of the strategy game. So what's Rum Run all about? We reviewed the title a while ago, but if you're not familiar the story puts the player in the role of a ship captain who is tasked to deliver food to a starving village. Sounds dangerous, right?

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Remember the location-based social interaction game Torchbear? The creators of Torchbear, Lighthouse Games Studio, are back within another location-based game – this time exclusively for Windows Phone 8. Their new title Greed City combines the property and wealth acquisition elements of Monopoly with the real-world location and GPS elements of Four Square. It’s much more game-like than Torchbear and costs nothing to download, so Windows Phone 8 users should definitely give it a look.

We've got a quick-start guide and more impressons to share, so read on!

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It's always great when Nokia exclusives are no longer upheld and other Windows Phone owners can subsequently enjoy more available content. Today we've been alerted to both Risk and Connect 4 becoming available for not only Nokia Windows Phones, but other handsets too. Both titles are very popular, with the former picking up a number of favourable reviews.

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We've already mentioned the Xbox Live portion of this week's Windows Phone Red Stripe Deals, Sonic CD. The other two parts of this weeks deals include Monster Pinball HD and Polyglot.

For those not familiar with Red Stripe Deals, every week three Windows Phone titles will be discounted and identified by a red stripe around the icon. You'll have one Xbox Live title, one game, and one app discounted. The discounted pricing only lasts a week.

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As deal-savvy gamers might have noticed by now, the Xbox Windows Phone Deal of the Week is now technically a part of Microsoft’s Red Stripe Deals, which roll out every Thursday. Basically three Windows Phone apps or games go on Thor’s Day, one of which will be an Xbox Live title. Well, a rose by another name smells just as sweet, and we’ll continue reporting on the Xbox sale game prior to Thursday as we’ve always done.

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Cut the Rope launched on Windows Phone more than five months ago. Surely gamers have had plenty of time to complete its 275 levels and collect all 825 stars (or at least the 300 needed for an Achievement). What do you do if you’re still dying for more Cut the Rope action?

Well, you could always buy the very similar (and also Xbox Live-enabled) Spider Jack for a buck. But that game’s been out for even longer, so I bet you’ve beaten it too! In which case, you’ll be glad to know that Russian developer ZeptoLabs has just released Cut The Rope: Experiments for Windows Phone 7 and 8. It packs another 150 levels of candy-feeding goodness, but it also costs a bit more than a dollar this time.

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The era of Gameloft Windows Phone 8 support is in full swing. Already the prolific publisher has graced us with an amazing racer (Asphalt 7), two less amazing but still decent open world games (Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises), and a surprisingly enjoyable physics puzzler (Shark Dash). It’s almost like they’re single-handedly keeping the Xbox brand alive on Windows Phone.

Now Gameloft follows up with Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the second Windows Phone title with real-time online multiplayer and the platform’s only first-person shooter so far (until N.O.V.A. 3 comes along). FPS games on the phone are new for many of us - including me. Read on to find out how well Modern Combat 4 works as both a single-player and multiplayer game!

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After last week’s Xbox release of the big-budget, hardware-intensive Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour for Windows Phone 8 devices, many of us could use something lighter this week to cleanse our gaming palates. And heck, Windows Phone 7 gamers surely just want something new to play since their platform skipped a new release last week.

Thankfully ZeptoLabs has come to the rescue. This week’s Xbox release will be Cut The Rope: Experiments, a sequel to Cut the Rope (one of our picks for 2012’s best Xbox Windows Phone games).  Experiments will run on both Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices, so everybody can enjoy it. The only bad news: it will cost a bit more than the first game.

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Flipit & Guessit is an interesting picture puzzle game for your Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. You are presented with a blacked out picture that is divided into an 8x8 grid. Tap on a grid to reveal part of the picture and guess what the picture is when you have revealed enough of the picture.

The main pages for Flipit & Guessit shows your player progress and high scores. There are currently 150 levels of play that starts out slow but gradually picks up in difficulty.

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Pirates Plunder is a nice Windows Phone game that is very similar to Flight Control but instead of controlling airplanes, you control pirate ships as they set sail to port to unload their bounty. Pirates Plunder 2 is the sequel and while you still have the original game, the developer has added a healthy portion of side games as well.

Pirates Plunder 2 has over seventy missions and, as with the original, is a decent way to pass the time with.

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Ruzzle, the popular word game akin to Boggle but with the ability to play with friends across iOS and Android, has managed to get a decent update today. Version 1.1 is now live in the Store and brings Toast Notifications and user stats for your game history.

Boasting over 35 million players, the game was first launched on iOS back in March 2012, later going to Android and finally landing on Windows Phone 7.x and 8 devices just over two weeks ago. Much like Wordament, the game involves users trying to find words in a grid of letters, scoring higher points for larger, more complicated ones.

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