Games

While this may not apply to every Windows Phone user, the platform is a great medium for children's educational gaming. These Windows Phone titles mix learning the ABC's or basic math with visual aids that are presented in game format.

Super Why! is one such title that is designed to help you child improve their reading and spelling skills through four interactive literacy games featuring the four main characters from the PBS television series, Super Why!. These games are fashioned to teach your children the alphabet, rhyming, spelling writing and reading.

Let's take a closer look at Super Why! and remember, if you leave a comment below you will be entered into our daily Hidden Gems contest to win a new tablet or Windows Phone.

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My Little Pony has been released on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, published by popular game developer Gameloft. The title tasks players with freeing Ponyville from the grasp of Nightmare Moon and bring light and friendship back to the land. Join favourite ponies, including Rainbow Dask, Fluttershy and Applejack as they attempt to halt Nightmare Moon and restore peace to Ponyville.

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Lost Echo was released in the Windows Phone Store last week after having a fair amount of success over on iOS. Lost Echo is an adventure game that has you searching for your girlfriend, Chloe, who vanishes before your very eyes.

The game has quality, detailed graphics and a simple user interface to guide through the game. In many ways game plays out much like a scavenger hunt for clues and pieces of the puzzle that will eventually solve the mystery of Chloe's disappearance. Lost Echo by no means is a fast-paced adventure game but if you like story driven adventures, it may be worth the price of admission.

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Last week the Xbox One picked up a fair helping of new games. At retail, we got the realistic martial arts simulation EA Sports UFC. And to download came the affordable twin-stick shooter Sixty Second Shooter Prime and the surprise release of cult-horror hit Outlast (both ID@Xbox releases). You'd think the new releases would slow down for a bit after that terrific threesome, but you'd be wrong!

This week at retail, Activision brings the movie tie-in/cross-over Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. Rebellion will publish tactical sniping game Sniper Elite III on Friday in the UK, with a US release following on July 1st. And to download we've got the World War I-era adventure Valiant Hearts from Ubisoft. All three games are coming to both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Need help deciding what to pick up? Check out our new trailers and impressions after the break!

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Firefly Runner has been released earlier this month for iOS, Android, and Kindle. The Windows and Windows Phone versions of the game just recently followed. It's an action-packed, endless-running adventure game that you might want to check out. We've installed it on our Nokia Lumia Icon and Surface Pro 3. Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and gameplay.

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Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat is a first person shooter Windows Phone game that places you behind a helicopter mounted machine gun. In a nutshell, you fly around a village destroying enemy targets as they appear.

Graphics are nice, game mechanics could be a little better and the variety of targets range from enemy helicopters to ground troops. In just playing Heli Gunner 2 for the past few days the game has potential but just lacks that "something-something" to keep you pulled into the game.

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One of the best features of Windows 8 is that it allows us to run PC games and apps on touchscreen devices like the Surface Pro. Whereas Windows RT tablets are limited to playing Windows RT games, full Windows 8 tablets can play not only tablet-oriented Windows 8 games but also Windows 7 games.

Of course, hardly any PC games actually support touch screen input. Civilization V is touch-optimized, but that's practically it. If you want to play a PC game on your tablet, you generally need either a controller or mouse and keyboard. But a handy new app called Touch Fox adds virtual controls to a handful of PC games that don't otherwise support touch. How does it work? Check out hands-on impressions with video to find out!

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Does anybody remember Order & Chaos Online? It was the first and only Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) for Windows Phone with Xbox support. Although beloved by RPG fans, publisher Gameloft basically abandoned the Windows Phone version of Order & Chaos Online. With no content updates or bug fixes, and compatibility issues making it unplayable on the Nokia Lumia 1520, the game never got the chance to thrive like it should have.

One year later, Order & Chaos is back! Sort of. Gameloft has just released Heroes of Order & Chaos for Windows Phones (with 1 GB of RAM) and Windows 8 and RT. Heroes is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) spin-off of the main game. Since the PC hit League of Legends is not available on mobile devices, Heroes of Order & Chaos is truly the next best thing. And it's free to play, with cloud save support. Head past the break for our hands on video and first impressions!

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City Dodge is a rather unique Windows Phone game where you race back and forth on the screen, hoping to avoid getting pancaked by a collapsing ceiling. The game increases in speed, difficulty and you play until your character gets crushed by the ceiling.

You have hints, magnet and other boosts to collect to enhance your chances of survival and side missions to help the game from getting stale. City Dodge is a fast-paced game that has a certain amount of appeal to it. I can see it being a good choice when you are looking for something different to pass the time with but I'm not sure City Dodge could hold up to longer gaming sessions.

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Does Disney ever sleep? The company has been releasing mobile games for Windows Phone and Windows 8 at an ever increasing rate. It feels like just it was just ten days ago that their newest game Words of Wonder hit the Windows Phone Store and Window Store (it was). Today we're getting another Disney treat for both of our favorite platforms. Ready to play Disney Hidden Worlds?

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We often like to look to the forums to discover new games and apps to cover. The stuff that you guys have on your minds enough to share it in the forums is probably interesting for us as well. And being a gaming guy, the most interesting forum thread for me is the " Newly discovered games thread." I use it a lot!

One of the games I recently came across within that thread is Super Tap Ultra from InHuman Entertainment. The same developer released an interesting organization app called Node last year, although that app seems to have been abandoned. Super Tap Ultra shows a lot of the same cleverness – it's super simple to play, features great retro pixel art and chiptunes, and is a universal app. Oh, and it's free till the end of the month.

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You know a platform like Windows 8 is hitting the mainstream when the high-profile kids games starting showing up. The dinky little ones with crappy artwork and design come first, followed by professional games starring popular characters. Characters like Elmo and the cast of Sesame Street, for instance!

Elmo Loves ABCs definitely falls into the professional category, as it's an extremely robust learning game for the preschool and kindergarten crowd. The game is available now as a premium Windows 8 and RT app. Head past the break for our quick impressions!

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Death Worm is a super popular game for Windows Phone, iOS and Android. When ported to Microsoft's platform there was no trial mode present, requiring consumers to purchase the game outright. The developer has addressed this issue by updating the game with full trial mode support. After years of waiting for the game to launch on Microsoft's platform, it's good to see the developer adding new features to the title.

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Tile Rider is a fresh action and adventure game from newcomers 7 Soft Pillows. The game is exclusive to Windows Phone and features the main character getting sucked into his device to fend off some baddies. That's certainly a different plot!

Evidently the game's engine is a custom job, and I have to admit that the graphics are quite gorgeous to look at when playing. Tile Rider is made by two men over the last two years, at least according to their Tweet. The game is also on Windows Phone first, as the 7 Soft Pillows considers that their main focus for development.

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If you're into racing games, you might want to check out OverVolt: crazy slot cars. What makes it different from most racing games is that you control miniature slot cars. You spin out if you go too fast on turns, so it's good to know when to let go of the accelerator.

Check out our hands-on video and gameplay on the Nokia Lumia Icon after the break.

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Lost Echo is a new adventure game in the Windows Phone Store where you are desperately searching for your girlfriend. The story driven game is full of puzzles to solve, mini-games to tackle and an impressive 3D environment.

The game has been a hit over on iOS with plenty of accolades from user reviews. In just tinkering with Lost Echo for a short time, it should be well received by the Windows Phone platform and another quality addition to the Windows Phone Store.

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Back in 2009, Words with Friends was the big hit game from the startup company Zynga. The game finally arrived on Windows Phone 7 and 8 in 2012, plagued with bugs and performance issues. Indeed, it maintains an astonishingly low 1.8 stars (out of 5) on the Store from over 2,500 reviews. Needless to say, it's not a hit with Windows Phone users.

Words with Friends hadn't seen an update in quite some time, but fast forward today and it has a complete rewrite, losing its Windows Phone 7.x status and becoming a Window Phone 8 and 8.1 dedicated game.

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