Zuma's Revenge Lead
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Zuma's Revenge and Yahtzee arrive on Xbox Windows Phone as Nokia exclusives

While some of us face the possibility that there might not be a new Xbox Windows Phone game release this week, Nokia owners should have no such complaints. Not only did Nokia and PopCap/EA just publish the vastly improved sequel Bejeweled Live+, two more Nokia Xbox exclusives just popped up! From the license lovers at Electronic Arts comes the board game adaptation Yahtzee, while PopCap has blessed Windows Phone at last with their fast-paced puzzler Zuma’s Revenge.

Dice dice baby

Yahtzee

Yahtzee is one of those dice games like Bunko that the elderly set enjoys playing in between trips to the post office and bingo halls. Players and their opponents alternate turns at rolling dice, with the goal of achieving various combinations like 3-of-a-kind or the coveted 5-of-a-kind, formally known as a Yahtzee. Each combination can only be used once during a single game; the game ends when the player exhausts all possible combinations. It might sound a little complicated, but the in-game tutorial will get you rolling dice like your Grandma in no time.

This version of Yahtzee lacks online multiplayer (unlike World Series of Yahtzee, recently released on iOS), though it does support pass-and-play. Thankfully the developers added a fairly robust single-player mode in which players battle against AI opponents in various locals. That said, the AI cheats relentlessly, so expect to repeat many a battle. The overall presentation has a nice charm, though I wish the menus and transitions moved faster.

Nokia’s Yahtzee is a port of Yahtzee Adventures, a game that costs 99 cents on iOS. Like all Nokia Xbox exclusives, this one costs a slightly steeper $2.99. Windows Phone 7 and 8 users can view Yahtzee’s store page here, but it can only be purchased from a Lumia phone.

QR: Yahtzee

Frog fighting

Zuma’s Revenge

Zuma’s Revenge was not among the games that Nokia and EA formally announced in January 2012, but thanks to EA buying out PopCap, here we are. And I’ve expected Revenge to make it to Windows Phone for quite a while, hence my interviewing the producer at Casual Connect Seattle last year.

Zuma games put players in control of a stationary frog who can rotate in any direction and shoot colored balls from his mouth. In each level, more balls roll on-screen along one or more paths. The frog’s job is to stop them from reaching the goal at the path’s end by quickly making as many colored matches as possible. Levels in which the frog can hop between lily pads, move along a slider, or battle boastful bosses keep the game fresh and challenging.

Zuma’s Revenge boss 3

The mobile version of Zuma’s Revenge is pretty much a straight port of the PC game, so it unfortunately lacks many of the refinements of the sublime XBLA version (impressions here). Adventure Mode gives players a limited number of lives and they must reach checkpoints every few levels in order to continue when those lives run out. So the Windows Phone game ends up a bit harder than the Xbox 360 version. Beating levels unlocks them for free play in Challenge Mode, at least.

We’ll have a full review of Zuma’s Revenge next week, but fans of the series can buy this one with confidence right now. It’s one of the stronger Nokia exclusives, right up there with Bejeweled Live+ and Flight Control Rocket.

Zuma’s Revenge costs $2.99 and works great on Windows Phone 7 and 8. It clocks in at a whopping 197 megabytes, so watch out if you're low on space. View the Zuma's Revenge store page here, but it can only be purchased from a Lumia phone.

Thanks to Jey Si and TNTjudbud for the tip!

QR: Zuma's Revenge

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Reader comments

Zuma's Revenge and Yahtzee arrive on Xbox Windows Phone as Nokia exclusives

71 Comments

100 VOTES FOR PEGGLE!!! I purchased it for PC, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, and will gladly purchase for Windows Phone!

yes I buy my microsoft points at a local gamestore, cause I don't have a credit card (and have enough msp), Plus I don't live in the USA.

You can add a normal Bank card to your microsoft account. Ive added mine on. I did have a credit card on there but deleted it added in my bank card and it all works for my zune/xbox music pass and buying apps ect on the phone. PS im in the UK

I'm newer to the Windows Phone platform, is there any reason why these would not just go into the Windows Phone Store for all Windows Phone users? I don't see the play here by Nokia, do they have anything to gain by making these more locked down?

Considering they have released a load of exclusive apps shows their dedication to the platform. They are trying to gain the support of consumers who will buy their phones. HTC and Samsung aren't trying real hard so please don't get upset at Nokia for bringing games to the platform.

They most likely paid to get them on the platform or help fund some of the development. Having exclusives helps people choose Nokia over other brands. So yes, it does benefit them. Most are just timed exclusives tho. You might see them released for all WP phones at some point in the future

The play isn't complicated, if you understand that Nokia != Microsoft. If the experience on Samsung and HTC Windows Phones is worse, Nokia wins. Simple.

The real competition right now is not with other phone manufacturers, it's with other ecosystems. If Nokia is going to begin some sort of hardware war with other phone manufacturers they should wait until the ecosystem has enough people for it to even matter. They should be concentrating on moving as many people into the system as fast as they can, not winning the small majority of a tiny market as it stands.

This is job for Microsoft, not for Nokia. Nokia made for WP8 users more the other producers. See Nokia Drive...

Nokia has helped bring more apps to the whole ecosystem than HTC and Samsung combined

nokia is doing both. they are helping the ecosystem and giving people an incentivemto biy their phone. it's not their their job to also help out the other oems. htc and samsung have done nothing for the ecosystem except produce window phones that are basically slightly modified versions of their android versions. nokia has given the ecosystem their maps and  navigation software. they paid to get popular apps developed. those apps will eventually benefit the other wp owners.

If you want a Windows Phone, you'll get Lumia shoved in your face by advertisements and get better apps with Nokia handsets. There's no difference between offering software and hardware differentiators in that sense, it's a more appealing deal to any prospective buyer.

I think, Nokia have invested money to publish this and other games and applications to WP platform. So, Nokia has right to use this "investition" to get back their money. Nokia is  producer of mobile phones. Nokia wants to you buy Nokia handset, not games.
Better question is: Why HTC doesnt the same for its users or why is Microsoft support weaker for WP community than is Nokia support.

Yup Nokia is single handedly pursuing after WP 8 ecosystem, whereas HTC is busy launching their high end camera phone on Android and Microsoft is busy launching its Skype on Android and iOS....

Don't you have that backward? HTC is the one with zero advantage. Unless Beats is a status thing for you.

I'm being a smart ass. I have a Nokia and glad, but I'm still not into this splinter ecosystem crap. I think it is bad in the end. It should be Microsoft getting these games and putting them out there for everyone.

In all honest though... Someone explain this to me.

Nokia has a 1/10000000000th of the revenue and influence Microsoft has. Why in the hell can Microsoft get no one to bring their products to WP8, but Nokia can seem to pull it off? This is embarrassing.

Microsoft has always been small fish in the mobile world, whereas Nokia was king for several years. Microsoft obviously doesn't have more influence than Nokia when it comes to matters like this.

It's just a matter of money. Nokia inked a deal with EA to fund these games, whereas Microsoft has all but stopped investing in Xbox WP games.

And again...  Microsoft fails us with Games for WP and Nokia picks up the slack for Lumia users. I'm greatful that I am a Lumia owner.

I own a Lumia 900, and given that 10tons left out WP7.5/7.8 users with their Sparkle release, Nokia to the rescue with Zuma's Revenge!
 
I can't believe that I am doing this - purchasing two games (Bejeweled Live+ and Zuma's Revenge), over $0.99, within 24 hours!  But, since I got AC and Earthworm Jim HD for free last week, it's practically a wash, almost, financially speaking :)
 
Nokia is such an awesome company - using their own money to fund development of these games and then using that to further reward Lumia owners for chosing to go with a Nokia built, Lumia device.  Actually, I would have chosen a Nokia Lumia even in the absence of exclusive games and apps...
 
As long as Nokia makes WP/Lumia devices, I will ALWAYS be their customer.

Might just have to take back my surface pro if they announce something decent with full blown win8 soon that is anything like a Lumia.

Zuma is still a fav. Not sure how much I'd like it on a phone but I'm checking it  out.
Edit: Just checked out the first 2 levels on Zuma trial version. WOW. Talk about fast, fluid and SMOOTH game play.  They did great on this one. It is really smooth.  Going after the paid now.  Good job PopCap and thanks.

Putting aside Nokia and the job they are doing, I think its a valid question to ask why Microsoft isn't doing this legwork in getting games and apps for the platform as whole

It's a great question, I owned an iPhone since launch and there was no question about the support we got from Apple. I love what Microsoft has done with the operating system, they need to continue pushing forward however. When their OEM is doing more for the ecosystem than Microsoft it's not a good sign for future growth. I took a leap and switched, I do not regret that decision as I really believe in the system but I feel like Microsoft isn't paying attention anymore.

Insert rant here from Verizon 8X owner who was forced to choose between good specs and app selection. Thanks for nothing....again

Funny; I stated in my review of Sparkle that the only game that could pose competition to it is Zuma, and here we are! Man, WP sure ain't hurting for puzzle games, huh?

Sparkle, by 10tons, is a VERY good game.  Sure, there are no acheivements, but it's a great game with a great storyline.

The iOS version has online play and costs .99 cents and the Nokia version lacks online play and costs $2.99. I know the games are not the same version but still...

Anyone else feel that Nokia could do a better job on their own? Just ditch Microsoft? They are the ones that are getting the apps. They have the hardware. They just need an OS and they would be set.

PLEASE Nokia.  The ONLY Android game I want is Subway Surfers.  I hope they can bribe enough for that game.

MS gives nokia 250mil per year to invest on the platform, not just hardwares but softwarez as well. They need to focus on the os improvements and ecosystem in other softwares.

No, MS gives Nokia money to pay for Nokia's IP.
 
It's solely Microsoft's job to improve the OS and Ecosystem.

Wow even android doesn't get mist popcap games, this is awesome! I want to wait for it to become free though... "I will wait, I will wait for you...."

WTF. Most of the good apps end up as Lumia exclusives. This is really affecting Microsoft on the whole.
Only the games developed by Nokia itself should be exclusive and nothing else.

Your anger against Nokia is misdirected. They are working hard to bring these apps to WP while your favourite brands are sleeping after releasing their devices.

Yes my anger was directed more at Microsoft. The reason i got a windows phone was because of the OS and not the manufacturer. There were many reasons not to choose nokia at the time and because of these exclusives, other non nokia phones shouldnt suffer. 

They will stop being exclusive about 6 months after release, so it's not like you're actually suffering. Nobody likes waiting but it's not the end of the world. It would be worse if we just never got these games at all, which is what would happen without Nokia investing the money to produce them.

Another Nokia exclusive!?  Is anyone else sick of being treated like second class for having a non-Nokia phone?  It's enought to make me steer clear of Nokia and Windows Phone when my contract starts back up!

WTF! Your anger should be directed towards the device manufacturer you chose over Nokia who isn't doing anything for the platform, not at Nokia.

What nVi said. Getting angry at Nokia for releasing games makes no sense. You should get mad at Microsoft for failing to do the same thing as often as users expect.

I think his anger is more directed at Microsoft than Nokia. Based on him saying he feels sick of being treated like a second-class citizen for not going Nokia, I would infer that's as a result of the piss poor support Microsoft has been providing for it's own OS. These exclusives wouldn't sting so badly if Microsoft was actually pumping out games for the OS, but instead we've had a gaming drought for some time and Nokia games have been the only thing really keeping Xbox gaming on WP alive. As much as I love the OS at this point I wouldn't blame him for wanting to leave, not because Nokia exclusives exist but because Microsoft's lack of support software wise has made it seem as if Nokia exclusives are the only real software we'll be getting for some time.

Just get a Nokia then. It ensures great support throughout the platform, then you won't have to worry about exclusives. Its apparent Nokia is all in vs HTC and Samsung are not, I learned that with the titan, I will stick with Nokia through the long haul.