Windows 8 Apps+Games

Back when Xbox games for Windows Phone were more of a thing, Gameloft published a free to play city building game called Ice Age Village. That particular genre is mostly worthless, but many of us suffered through it any way for the Achievements. I do mean suffered, because Ice Age Village is a buggy game and the Windows Phone version was never updated with bug fixes or new content.

One year later, Gameloft brings a sequel called Ice Age Adventures to Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT. The new game is still technically a free to play city builder, but vastly improved production values (Hello, voice acting!) and several design changes make for a much more enjoyable experience. Will it hold gamers' attentions without Achievements, though? Yeah, if you can tolerate the IAP mechanics, you'll probably have a bit of fun with it.

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The New York Times Crossword is now available on Windows Phone and Windows 8. The NYT crossword puzzle is a daily puzzle published by the New York Times newspaper and on their website. The New York Times crossword puzzle was started in 1942 and is one of the most popular crossword puzzle series in the history of the game. Now you can play on your Windows smartphone or tablet.

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CBS Sports Fantasy is now available on Windows Phone and Windows. You'd think it was time for the 2014 NFL season or something with the number of high quality football apps we've seen lately on Windows. Today CBS Sports fantasy fans walk away with their own app on their phone and tablet. You'll especially want to grab this app if you play in a Yahoo Fantasy Football league. Read on for more details on why you need this app.

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Live Interior 3D Pro is a useful app for Windows 8 devices for homeowners planning to renovating their home or planning improvements and professional Interior Designers trying to bridge the gap between ideas and visualization.

The app allows you to design in both 2D and 3D. You can start your home by drawing out a 2D floor plan using intuitive, touch-based drafting tools, and then switch views to see and walk around the structure in 3D. You can make changes in both 2D and 3D using an easy drag-and-drop workflow.

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NFL Now for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 has just been updated days before the start of the 2014 season. The app joined the Windows family just last week, but has already picked up a big update. Head into the Windows Phone Store and you'll find version 1.1.8.1. Today's update is most notable for adding live streaming to the app!

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Asphalt 8's latest update hit the Windows Store today, packing new courses set in Dubai, five new cars, and a whole new season with 74 events. Other updates since launch have added courses in China, added new multiplayer events, and tons of new cars. If you haven't given Asphalt 8 a shot since it came out, it's worth giving another go.

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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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