Games

Yesterday’s E3 2013 press conferences gave us lots of juicy console news and game announcements, but our gaming readers who don’t play consoles didn’t get much to chew on from the conferences. Hey, we haven’t forgotten you guys (or me since I love gaming on my phone). We squeezed in a few meetings yesterday and came away with…

Exclusive first footage of N.O.V.A. 3 in action! That’s right, we played Gameloft’s sci-fi First-Person Shooter for Windows Phone 8 and lived to tell the tale. I actually had a little more time to play than usual, and so we can show you lots of highlights of the first level. Head past the break for the video and more details!

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After attending Microsoft’s knock-out Media briefing this morning, Sam Sabri and I enjoyed a quick lunch at Freebird’s with a Windows Phone developer. Then we were off to EA’s E3 2013 Press Conference at the Shrine Auditorium. Now that the conference has wrapped, we follow up with a summary of the conference and the games EA announced – all of them for Xbox One!

The EA press conference was bookended by Peter Moore, the company’s chief operating officer. Moore previously worked for Microsoft on the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles from 2003-2007. Many consider him one of several talented people who were instrumental for the 360’s success. He left in 2007 to head EA Sports but eventually ascended to his current position overseeing multiple EA gaming divisions.

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Finger Party is a Windows Phone game that sounds a little too easy but turns out to be a rather challenging game. Finger Party will test your concentration and dexterity as very few games can.

The game concept reminds me a lot of a solo version of Twister just the targets are moving and you only have to twist your fingers. Finger Party can get a little frustrating but it is definitely one Windows Phone game worth trying.

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The gaming and tech world-at-large has made a stink about how the Xbox One is moving to a more PC like approach. Specifically Steam has been cited as a model that the new Xbox One is moving towards. Of course Steam has been cut some slack because of how often they have deals on games. Well, it looks like Microsoft is even getting ready to follow that practice because right now you can download Fable III for free onto your Xbox 360.

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E3 time is upon us once again, loyal readers. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is the single largest gaming event of the year. E3 2013 takes place from June 11-13 (plus press conferences on Monday the 10th) at the Los Angeles Convention Center and is open only to members of the gaming industry.

During E3, all of the major console gaming developers and publishers crowd into the Convention Center and exhibit a selection of their latest and upcoming games for attendees to watch and play. Many new games will be announced, while others that we already know about will be revealed in action for the first time. Check out last year’s E3 2012 stories to get an idea of what goes down.

The very largest publishers and platform holders also hold press conferences on Monday, just before the show opens. Microsoft’s annual Media Briefing runs from 9:30-11am PDT. This is when the big MS will reveal the scope of its gaming plans for the Xbox One, including an assortment of previously unannounced launch titles for the new console. Windows Phone Central will be there and live blogging from the briefing, so make sure you check back with us Monday morning!

What should you expect in the way of Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox news from E3 2013? Read on for our predictions!

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If you're in the mood for utter destruction the Windows Phone 8 game Death Worm might be your cup of tea.

You control a man-eating, camel-eating, "devour everything that moves"-eating worm who has to work it's way through sixty levels that spans four worlds. And it's not all destruction. You have dangers to avoid and power-ups to collect. The death worm can take on damage and too much damage results in...well...death.

Death Worm is an entertaining and addictive game for your Windows Phone 8 device.  There's room for improvement but overall, Death Worm is worth a try.

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Inflexiball is a new Windows Phone 8 game reminiscent of the old Arcanoid or Breakout video games but with heavy Steampunk influence.  Inflexiball also has a RPG feel to things with upgrades and enhancements that can be purchased with coins you collect during game play or purchased in-app. 

In just playing Inflexiball for a short bit, it makes a good first impression.  Graphics are steaming, game play challenging and if your a fan of the Arcanoid styled games, Inflexiball is worth a look.

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If you’re a fan of Temple Run, then you’ll want to grab the all new Temple Run: Brave game for Windows Phone 8. The game follows on the heels of the Windows 8 version released a few weeks ago and much like its predecessor, goes for $0.99 without a free trial.

We’re not sure why the devs at Disney and behind Temple Run are so against trials, but we bought the game and tossed together a quick video presented below. Off the cuff, we have no complaints about the game (well, it could use a double wide tile, we suppose). Graphics have been updated, it runs smooth and the touch response seems good to us at these early stages.

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Near the end of 2011, Nokia and Electronic Arts announced a partnership. Nokia would publish new EA Xbox Windows Phone games exclusively for Lumia devices. The deal included EA’s subsidiaries Chillingo and PopCap as well. It took a while for the first exclusive to show up: Mirror’s Edge in July 2012. After that, the floodgates opened as more and more EA games arrived on our platform.

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With all the big news about Halo: Spartan Assault and Jetpack Joyride popping up this week, we’ve gotten slightly behind on our coverage of Xbox Windows Phone game updates. Now that things have slowed down a smidge, it’s time to discuss those patches.

Both of Zeptolab’s Windows Phone games Cut the Rope and Cut the Rope: Experiments received minor updates only a few days ago. It might be tough to tell what changed on your own, but we’ve got the details! And Gameloft’s Ice Age Village got its second and most welcome update. Head past the break for the full story on all three games!

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Windows Phone 8 gamers are currently enjoying this week’s new Xbox title, the delightfully free and also just plain delightful Jetpack Joyride. But you can never have too many games, especially when you’re addicted to Xbox Achievements. Your mouth gets dry, the shakes start to set in, and only a new game will keep you from eating a family sized bag of Whoppers (wrapper and all) in your delirium.

Enter the Xbox Red Stripe Deal of the Week, only too eager to ease the pain! The latest weekly sale title is BulletAsylum from UberGeekGames. Normally priced at $2.99, it’s now discounted to 99 cents. BulletAsylum previously went on sale for $1.99 once in May 2012, so this is a better deal… Probably what the game should always have cost, in fact.

The new non-Xbox Red Stripe Deals are indie game Chicken Invaders 3 from Betacom and popular instant messaging app IM+ Pro. Both cost only a dollar this week, which is an especially good deal for the normally $5 IM+ Pro. Read on for more details, screenshots, and download links!

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Royal Revolt is a wonderfully animated game for your Windows Phone 8 device that has you on a quest to become King.

You play the role of a young Prince sent away to boarding school. Upon your return you learn that your Aunts and Uncles have taken over the kingdom. Your job, conquer the various castles and retake the kingdom as King.  A Medieval family feud of sorts.

Game play is challenging, animations great and all totaled, Royal Revolt is a nice addition to the Windows Phone 8 gaming library.

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The last two weeks have been full of great news for Xbox Windows Phone gamers. Last week we got the stunning Rayman Jungle Run, yesterday Microsoft announced Halo: Spartan Assault, and today doesn’t disappoint either. No, Gameloft didn’t suddenly release N.O.V.A. 3. But an equally requested title has just popped up…

Halfbrick Studio’s Jetpack Joyride is finally – FINALLY available on Windows Phone 8. It runs on devices with 512 MB of RAM. And it’s free! Are you ready for an endless runner that involves a lot more flying than running? Of course you are.

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Despite his games’ typically high quality, limbless hero Rayman is generally lesser known than his contemporaries like Sonic and Mario. Starting out on the Atari Jaguar, Playstation One, and similar platforms in 1995, the original Rayman stood out thanks to its beautiful 2D graphics, unique atmosphere, and excellent soundtrack. Two strong 3D sequels followed – you can even get 2003’s Rayman 3 on XBLA, in fact.

Rayman kept a low profile after that, only showing up in the spin-off Rayman: Raving Rabbids minigame collections. Soon the Rabbids games left Rayman behind to become their own series, most recently with Rabbids Go Phone for Windows Phone 7. It seemed like Rayman had forced into retirement, doomed to live on only in the minds of nostalgic gamers.

Luckily for platform gaming fans, Rayman came back from obscurity with 2011’s sleeper console hit Rayman Origins. The fourth mainline Rayman game returned to 2D graphics, and how! Origins boasts one of the most striking visual styles in all of gaming, not to mention pretty much everything you could want in a platformer. And now Rayman Jungle Run from Pastagames and Ubisoft brings that same 2D goodness to Windows Phone 8 in a truly killer mobile adaptation.

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There are numerous games available for Windows Phone, but the store feels as though it falls short when it comes to classic RPGs (role playing games), especially when compared against other mobile platforms. That said, the collection is slowly improving and to add to the list is Hero Gladiator. It's a unique title (available on Android and iOS) that takes advantage of multiple elements that make a strong adventure game. Loads of items, party management, character progression, intense boss battles and more.

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“Wake up Sam”, that’s what my internal Cortana said on the morning of May 14.

Paul and I were in Santa Monica, CA to get an early preview of an upcoming, unannounced, non-console “Halo” action title. That’s all we knew, but the fact that Microsoft and 343 Industries invited Windows Phone Central gave us an idea of what platform we would be playing this on.

Was it finally happening? Halo on Windows Phone? As you know by now, the answer was a loud yes. And bonus, Windows 8 was getting in on the action. If you read us regularly, you might have figured out by now I’m a big Halo fan. So what do I think about Halo: Spartan Assault so far?

Spoiler alert: Forget E3 and Build, I want it to be July already.

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Earlier today, Microsoft officially announced Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Just knowing that a real Halo game is coming to Windows platforms with Xbox Achievements is pretty much the best gaming news we could have hoped for this year. But of course, Halo fans will want to know more about Spartan Assault. Our fact-filled announcement article was just the top of the iceberg.

We actually attended a top-secret reveal event just a few weeks ago, where we interviewed several members of 343 Industries, Microsoft’s Halo-focused development company. Head past the break for the full video interview, Spartan Assault In-App Purchase (IAP) details, Windows 8 Xbox controller news, and everything else we couldn’t fit in the reveal article!

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Windows Phone has boasted Xbox Live integration from its very beginnings in 2010. The features this integration brought, such as games with Xbox Achievements, Xbox Live friends list and text messaging support, and the promise of integration with actual console games all gave Microsoft’s mobile OS a big in with hardcore Xbox 360 gamers.

One thing has long been missing though: an exclusive title that would inspire people to buy a Windows Phone just to play it. Windows Phone 8 didn’t launch with such a game last year, and in fact neither did Microsoft’s revolutionary PC and tablet OS, Windows 8. The lack of killer apps was enough to make us question Microsoft’s will to bring the company’s major franchises to its own mobile platforms.

That all changes today, because Microsoft has just officially announced Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. That’s right: Halo, one of the most popular franchises in gaming is coming exclusively to Windows platforms next month. And both versions will be Xbox Live enabled, complete with shiny Achievements. At last, it looks like Microsoft is starting to take mobile Xbox gaming seriously.

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Earlier last month, Daniel discussed the rise of Windows Phone and how the platform is now legitimate. The main proof was the slew of big apps that have been hitting the store for the first time or getting major updates. New apps like Tumblr, Hulu, and Pandora are helping tip the scales in favor of Windows Phone and its users. Want some more proof? Popular indie game Terraria is coming to Windows Phone later this summer.

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