Windows 8 Apps+Games

Long rumored, but only officially confirmed just before release, Assassin's Creed Pirates finally sailed onto Windows Phone last week. One week later, the phone game has been delisted due to many users experiencing crashing issues. In its stead, the less buggy Windows 8 and RT version of Assassin's Creed Pirates has arrived. Tablet and PC gamers can now take on the role of an eighteenth century pirate and terrorize the seas!

The Windows 8 and RT versions also bring along a couple of caveats. First, their Xbox Live Achievements don't work just yet. For whatever reason, it's not uncommon for Achievements on Windows 8 and RT to kick in a few days after a game becomes available. This game's Achievements will arrive soon.

The other bad news? Like Ubisoft's Rayman games, Assassin's Creed Pirates is not a universal purchase. Still, the game is worth buying at least once. Read on for our early impressions.

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Thomas Nigro has shared some details covering the VLC app for Windows (and Windows Phone) on his personal blog. The developer notes how it has been decided for the team to drop supported for Windows 8 (and keep building for Windows 8.1), really focusing on optimization and getting everything neatly tied together cross-platform..

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The original Royal Revolt (developed by Flare Games in Germany) was one of the first truly high quality games for Windows 8 and RT (it also appeared on Windows Phone). The game play combined smooth touch-screen combat with mild strategy elements, making for an addictive reverse tower defense game. Other than a steep and unfair difficulty curve and some iffy English translation, the first Royal Revolt was just about perfect.

Royal Revolt 2 for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and RT drastically changes gears to a completely player-versus-player raiding focus, much like Cloud Raiders and Clash of Clans. Luckily, the addictive core game play survives almost completely intact. With an endless array of opponents to attack and defenses to upgrade, this sequel has become a mainstay on my daily playlist. But as good as it is, Royal Revolt 2 still has some room for improvement…

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When I was growing up, RC cars and remote controlled gizmos were always underwhelming unless you could afford the 'big boy' toys preferred by hobbyists. In 2014, not only are connected devices becoming mainstream, the way we control them has shifted from dedicated controllers to our phones and tablets.

Sphero 2.0 (2013) follows on the footsteps of Sphero 1.0 from 2011 and is made by Orbotix. In essence, it is a ball that rolls around, controlled through your phone or computer. On the face of it, Sphero sounds…temporary, as in you have fun with it but only for a short time. After all, how fun can it be just to drive a ball around the house.

Turns out, it is damn fun. Watch our video review of Sphero 2.0 for Windows Phone and Windows to get an idea why. Remember, by leaving a comment, FIVE of you can win your very own Sphero 2.0 orb!

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Last week we reviewed Big Business Deluxe, the latest city building game for Windows Phone from Russian publisher Game Insight. The game combines traditional city building tropes with some business management mechanics, allowing players to create, process, and sell products as they grow their cities. The economic focus and variety of businesses players can manage make for a smart and interesting take on the genre.

Big Business Deluxe launched on Windows Phone 8, but not tablets and PCs. In our review, we promised that a Windows 8 version would be coming later. Not too much later, it turns out. The game has just launched on Windows 8 and RT today! Now everyone in the Windows ecosystem can start his or her own business empire in this simple but addictive simulation game.

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Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to pass the time or with the larger puzzles a fun project to tackle over a few days. Tackling a jigsaw puzzle can help you relax and clear your mind.

To help fill your jigsaw puzzle building needs electronically, XIMAD, who is known for their colorful Windows Phone and Windows 8 games, has released Magic Jigsaw Puzzles for Windows 8.

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Tieing in with the launch of the movie of the same name, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is available today on both Windows and Windows Phone for $7.99 and $4.99 from respective app stores. Despite the tie in, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon is an original storyline and falls into the 'action role playing game' genre.

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A few weeks ago we discovered apps for Scribd just hanging out in the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store. Turns out that was a soft launch and the company was just getting warmed up. Today these two Universal Windows apps are officially being launched. Read on to get promo code to try out Scribd for three months without spending a dime.

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Do you go on Reddit a lot? If you do, you're probably not too happy with the app selection for Reddit apps on Windows 8.1. There are some decent apps, but none really stand out. I've been pretty happy with an app called 'Reddit on ReddHub'. If I had to recommend one app for you to check out today for Reddit on Windows 8.1 it would be that app. Which is why I'm super excited for an upcoming update to the app that's going to drop soon. We're a quick sneak peek at the future of ReddHub.

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Edmodo is a popular online resource for teachers and students to connect and collaborate. The service didn't have official offerings on Windows or Windows Phone, leaving those with Microsoft-based hardware in the dark, but now the company has released an app for tablets and PCs. It's worth noting before we begin that this is a Windows 8 release (no Windows Phone just yet) and is a wrapped web experience matched with Windows 8.1 features - also known as hybrid apps.

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Earlier this week we mourned the loss of multiple Xbox games that were recently delisted from the Windows 8 Store. It seems that Microsoft is no longer interested in publishing mobile Xbox titles that it does not fully own. But new Xbox games for Windows 8 do still pop up occasionally, such as Microsoft Sudoku back at the end of June. And hey, they're releasing Zoo Tycoon Friends for Windows Phone and Windows 8 later this year.

Another Xbox game for Windows 8 and RT has just become available in all regions after enjoying the traditional soft launch in Trinidad and Tobago: Microsoft Jigsaw. As you might expect, Microsoft Jigsaw is another casual free-to-play title that fits right in with Microsoft Sudoku, Microsoft Bingo, Microsoft Microsoft, and other first-party Windows 8 games. Jigsaw puzzle fans and your grandmother are sure to love it.

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