Games

Last week’s Xbox Deal of the Week was a repeat sale on the less-than-impressive Windows Phone port of Earthworm Jim from Gameloft. This week, I’ve got both some Aladeen news and some Aladeen news to share with you. First, the Aladeen news: we’re getting another repeat deal on another so-so Gameloft game – UNO HD. Now the Aladeen news: it’s going on sale for just 99 cents, down from $4.99, making this a much better deal than last time.

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Altern8: Windows Phone Game Review

Altern8 is a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that offers you an alternative to mazes with walls. Instead of having your movement restricted by traditional walls, Altern8 restricts your movements through maze puzzles by colored squares.

You move through a grid of colored squares, alternating the colored squares you land on, as you seek the exit. Altern8 has five gaming modes, five difficulty levels and four color pairs. Altern8 is a fun, change of pace styled game that is worth a try if you're looking for a game to play while passing the time.

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Update: Users are reporting download issues with Draw Something and compatibility. Your mileage may vary.

Nokia had originally offered Draw Something recently to Lumia owners but the game was quickly pulled for what seemed like connection errors. Now that game and its companion, Words with Friends, have both returned to the Nokia Collection.

Interestingly, both games are completely free though these do have ads to cover their costs. That differs from the games we covered here last night, which will run you $2.99 to play but do not have ads.

Both games are available now and will work on Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices. You can download Words with Friends here and Draw Something here in the Nokia Collection. QR codes after the break…

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Catcha Mouse: Windows Phone Game Review

Catcha Mouse! is one of those Windows Phone games that isn't too difficult to pick up but challenging enough to keep you interested.

The object of Catcha Mouse! is to lay mouse traps out to catch a little mouse and prevent him from escaping. Animations are nice, sound effects humorous, and along with fun game play Catcha Mouse! is worth a try.

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Good news everyone! Zynga’s two big hit games, Words with Friends and Draw Something, are both now available for Windows Phone (that’s 7 and 8). What’s more, these are the ad-free versions, which means you’ll have to fork over $2.99 for each. (An earlier, ad-supported version of Draw Something was released for Nokia but then pulled).

That may seem pricey but if we were going to play these often, we would definitely drop the $3 to get back that screen space and not to use our data/battery—but that’s us.

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When Nokia announced that a Windows Phone 7-specific version of Angry Birds Star Wars was still on the way despite the availability of a WP8 version, a few readers commented that Nokia’s continued support of WP7 still seemed unlikely. Well, let’s not doubt the Finnish smartphone manufacturer too much. They’ve just released not one but three Xbox games for Windows Phone 7, one of which hadn’t been unannounced beforehand! All three games: The Game of Life, Jet Set Go, and Parking Mania are Nokia exclusives and will work on both Nokia’s WP7 and newly-released WP8 handsets.

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The Windows Phone 7 version of Big Buck Hunter Pro has a few rough edges, but I still enjoyed it overall. Light gun-style games, i.e. shooting galleries, are just plain fun. And heck, the combination of shooting defenseless animals while an announcer grossly mispronounces everything he says, how can you not love that? Unfortunately, though, the game has just been pulled from the Windows Phone Store.

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Although Angry Birds is admittedly getting a little tired these days, it's still kind of fun to see the Star Wars variant in action. Actually, the bigger news is the fact that the Windows Phone 8 version launched at the same time as the Android and iOS versions (gasp!). Folks, we now have platform parity.

We decided to fire up the game to wet your whistle on what the game offers. Sure, it's not going to redefine mobile gaming but we're psyched to know this game is available just in time for AT&T's big push tomorrow. And the game is fun, with those silly birds getting some Force powers and some clever use of the Star Wars sound effects. Plus for $0.99 we can't complain. 

Check the above video and yes, Lumia 7.5 users should be getting this soon too.

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Today’s news that Angry Birds Star Wars launched on Windows Phone 8 at the same date and the same price as the iOS and Android versions is a landmark event for Microsoft’s new mobile OS. Such parity has long been the hope and dream of Windows Phone 7 gamers. Speaking of which, said gamers who are unable to switch over to Windows Phone 8 in the immediate future might be feeling left out now that such greatly-desired titles are launching on WP8 but not 7. We’re seeing that sentiment in our article comments and forums already.

As it happens, Nokia has commented on the possibility of Angry Birds Star Wars coming to Windows Phone 7. Check out their quote and our analysis after the break.

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Yesterday, Angry Birds Space became the first Windows Phone 8 game available for purchase. While its appearance may have disappointed those Windows Phone 7 gamers who can’t upgrade to WP8 anytime soon, Space is exactly what WP8 needed to kick off its bid to seriously compete with iOS and Android. Sure, the game arrived about 7 months later than on competing platforms, but it’s timed perfectly with Microsoft’s new mobile OS launch.

Today Windows Phone Angry Birds fans discovered even better news. Angry Birds Star Wars, first announced for Windows Phone alongside every other version on October 8, has just launched for Xbox on Windows Phone 8. That’s right, day and date with the iOS and Android versions! That’s a far cry from the days when Rovio almost couldn’t be bothered to even announce a WP version, let alone support WP7 Angry Birds with the same updates as the other platforms.

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Big Buck Hunter Pro is the popular 2006 installment in the arcade game franchise from PlayMechanix. The Big Buck Hunter franchise continues to survive despite the death of the arcade industry. Walk into any American movie theater or pizza buffet cool enough to have arcade machines and you’ll likely see a Pro cabinet or one of its sequels there, resplendent with two shotguns (one green, the other orange) and some goofy antler molding around the screen and marquis.

In 2009 and 2010, the franchise’s expanded even more with the ports of Big Buck Hunter Pro for the Nintendo Wii, iPhone and other mobile platforms, and even a plug-and-play TV game. All but the Wii version were developed by Merge Interactive. Merge is working on the upcoming Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure for Windows 8, but before its arrival they’ve released a Windows Phone 7 port of the iOS game. Does their familiarity with the franchise produce a worthy and accessible hunting game? Mostly, except for some annoying issues with the port.

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Carcassonne: Xbox Windows Phone Review

People living outside of France can probably be forgiven for a lack of familiarity with the real-life town of Carcassonne and its historical significance. According to my best friend Wikipedia, the town was fortified by walls and was strategic significant from about 100 BC to 1659. Fast-forward to the year 2000 and a German board game designer named Klaus-Jürgen Wrede created a game about building medieval cities and kingdoms by the same name. The single console adaptation of Carcassonne to date has been the XBLA version, which came along in 2007 from Sierra Online. German developer Exozet Games created their own version for Android and Blackberry in 2011, which they’ve now adapted to Windows Phone.

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With the news that Windows Phone 8 devices will officially launch this Friday, November 9th, it probably wouldn’t hurt for Microsoft to have a WP8 game available for users to purchase. It just so happens that this week’s Xbox Live release will require Windows Phone 8. Not only that, but it’s a pretty popular title: Angry Birds Space from Rovio Entertainment.

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Halo 4 launches on Xbox 360 today

Among Windows Phone owners, a great many also have Xbox 360 consoles. And the most popular first-party franchise for the 360 is undoubtedly Halo. We first caught a glimpse of Halo 4 in motion during Microsoft’s E3 keynote earlier this year, and today the game has arrived at last. That’s right, you can walk into a store right now and pick up Halo 4. If you’re a dedicated fan, you probably did so even before reading this article. Everyone else, read on to learn about the latest (and likely final) Halo release of this console generation.

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We’ve had our fair share of quality Deals of the Week lately. Surely some Windows Phone gamers’ wallets are aching and could use a rest. Well, this week’s Deal should accommodate such folks as it’s certainly of the less-exciting variety. Starting Wednesday, Earthworm Jim HD from Gameloft goes on sale for $2.99 for the third time, down from the outrageous price of $4.99.

Yes, with Gameloft’s recent announcement of 12 big name Windows Phone 8 games, it would’ve been all too easy to forget the ‘Loft had published a somewhat unimpressive port of Earthworm Jim as a Windows Phone 7 launch title.

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Gerbil Invasion: Windows Phone Game Review

Gerbil Invasion is an odd sort of game for your Windows Phone. Odd in the fact that you are battling an invading army of gerbils but also how you battle them. You use a trampoline.

You work your way through the ranks by earning points as you bounce these furry little critters into oblivion. There are three game modes to give Gerbil Invasion some variety. Game play is decent but overall, Gerbil Invasion is more of an acquired taste than an across the board attraction.

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