Games

Unity support has really helped some of the larger mobile games come to Windows Phone, even if we still get them later than other platforms. Case in point, Russian-publisher Nival has just published King’s Bounty: Legions on Windows Phone 8. King’s Bounty is a turn-based strategy series that started its life on Sega Genesis/Mega Drive long ago and continues to thrive on Steam.

King’s Bounty: Legions is exciting for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a serious strategy game and it’s free to play. More importantly, it supports cloud saves and cross-platform multiplayer via Facebook! You can start playing on Windows Phone and then pick up where you left off on Steam, Facebook, iOS, and Android. Read on for more impressions.

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Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is one of the more recent racing games available for Windows Phone 8. The game offers nice 3D graphics, several gaming modes and hopes to fill your need for speed.

Along with the multiple gaming modes, Race Illegal: High Speed 3D offers twenty racetracks to conquer and nine cars to choose from and customize. The game has had its fair share of success over on iOS and Android platforms and in taking Race Illegal: High Speed 3D out for a test drive, the game comes across as having similar potential on the Windows Phone 8 platform.

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Another Case Solved is a new puzzle game for Windows Phone 8 that has you playing detective to solve the mystery of a curious candy conspiracy. The story line has your city clamping down on candy cravings by outlawing the source. You will need to figure out what is behind the candy craze by gathering clues, interviewing witnesses and solve a series of mind-bending clues.

Another Case Solved has seen a decent amount of success over on iOS and based on tinkering with the game for a short period, it should be well received on the Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms as well.

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There isn’t much to the Windows Phone 8 game Rope Jump but it is enough to drive you crazy trying to master this game.

Rope Jump is simply a game of jump rope where timing and speed being the key to success. It may be surprising how difficult it is to get those two aspects in tune so you can any success at Rope Jump.

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When Windows Phone 8 reared its shiny head back in late 2012, there was much cause for celebration. Although the new OS switched kernels from the one used by Windows Phone 7, it retained the ability to run most pre-Windows Phone 8 apps and games. That said, some very important games did not run on the new OS: more than 20 mobile Xbox Games! Considering how many gamers came to Windows Phone specifically for Xbox Games, those compatibility issues among came as quite a blow.

Microsoft and some of the creators of the affected games worked to restore compatibility where they could. One year after the Windows Phone 8 launch, 12 games gained compatibility or received new compatible versions. 20 games remained incompatible however, including some important titles like Fable Coin Golf and Tentacles. Well, it’s been a long time coming but one more Xbox Game just became available again on Windows Phone 8: The Harvest from Luma Arcade.

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Did anything happen this week? Duh, Windows Phone 8.1 came out through the Preview for Developer program on Monday morning. Since then we’ve all been spending so much time with Cortana, Notification Center, Data Sense and much more. You can catch up on everything by checking out our Windows Phone 8.1 review. In the meantime, the Windows Phone Store was still busy with new apps and games. Let’s take a moment to go back and check out the app highlights of the week!

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Cat Story is an odd little Windows Phone 8 game that sends you to an imaginary world filled with a wide range of interesting characters you must help build a new life. Game play is a mixture of time management, puzzle and scavenger hunt styles.

The cast of characters in Cat Story have been shipwrecked on an uncharted island and a collection of quests to find all the survivors along with building a new community awaits. Cat Story is a well animated Windows Phone 8 with plenty of puzzling missions to tackle. The only concern is that game flow structure is a little loose and you often find yourself going with the flow.

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In Windows Phone 8.1, the Xbox Games Hub is now a separate app that can be updated independently from the OS itself. It can’t be uninstalled, but the freedom to update separately should allow Microsoft to make changes to the app much more quickly than before. In fact, the app received an update earlier today.

Like many aspects of the Windows Phone 8.1 update, the Xbox Games app builds on the established pre-8.1 design and makes a few changes as well. Not all of these changes are for the better, and in some ways the app is a clear step back. Luckily there will surely be more updates to follow. Read on to learn about the major changes in the Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Games app and the new way the OS lists the games you’ve installed.

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Take a break from playing with all the new features of Windows Phone 8.1 and play some actual games. If you’re into racing games, it may be worthwhile to check out Uber Racer. The game has been available for iOS for a while, but now Windows Phone users can play it too. It’s not related to the popular car booking service, in case you were wondering.

Head past the break to watch our gameplay video.

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Top Star Wars Games for Windows Phone

Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Star Wars

There is little argument that the Star Wars franchise has had its fair share of success. From the movies to action figures to video games the Star Wars logo always seems to draw a crowd. I can remember watching the first installment, Episode IV: A New Hope, countless times in theaters and being amazed at the special effects (that seem to pale in comparison with what we have today).

This week we’re taking an easy approach to the roundup, focusing on the top Star Wars games (and a few apps) that are available for the Windows Phone platform. While Star Wars is a popular genre, its presence in the Windows Phone Store is a little on the thin side. There are some entertaining and challenging Star Wars games but some rather obvious omissions. Hopefully that will change.

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WMW? XYY is the latest installment with Disney’s Where’s My Water? series of Windows Phone games. WMW? XYY features Chinese TV cartoon character XYY on an epic adventure through China to save his friends trapped in an underground city and defeat the Big Bad Wolf.

The physics game plays much like the previous versions of Where’s My Water? with new fire and oil mechanics. WMW? XYY may have an odd gaming title but it makes a nice first impression.

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Shoot Em All is an arcade styled game for Windows Phone where you have to rescue your partner from the bad guys. The game is basically a sniper game that plays like a Hogan’s Alley game, except the targets shoot back.

You are tasked with seeking out the bad guys as they come out of hiding and take them out before they lock on to your position and ruin your day. Shoot Em All has a slight retro arcade feel to it, decent graphics and the need for a quick and steady aim.

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It’s a light week for Xbox console game releases, with the only new retail title being FIFA 14 World Cup Brazil on Xbox 360. Not too exciting unless you’re a diehard football/soccer fan and buy more than one FIFA per year. But that doesn’t mean Xbox One and 360 gamers don’t have other new stuff to play…

The highly anticipated latest entry in Ubisoft and RedLynx’s Trials series, Trials Fusion has just arrived on both Xbox consoles as a downloadable title. Fans of Trials’ obstacle courses and super hard gameplay will lose many hours to Fusion. Meanwhile, PopCap and EA’s Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare has just received another free update and new Achievements on both consoles! Details after the break.

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Nokia has been known to run various gaming promotions since it came to Windows Phone a couple of years ago. Most obviously they sponsored the production of more than 20 Xbox Windows Phone games; titles that we probably would never have gotten otherwise. There was also a brief period last year in which a non-Xbox version of Sonic CD became available for Lumia owners. We never found out why the giveaway game lacked its Xbox features, nor would Nokia comment on it.

Fourteen months later, it looks like Nokia has a new promotion going on. Owners of some very specific handsets (Nokia Lumia 625, 1020, 1320, Icon, and 1520) can get free versions of nine games from mega-publisher Gameloft! These aren’t stripped down versions, either. They’re the full Xbox titles with working Achievements, albeit with different Store pages than the general versions. Head past the link for more details on how to find the free games!

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One of the more popular endless running games out there, Subway Surfers, has had a big update in time for Easter. Players can now run through the subways of Rome, and access a new local racer, Roberto. There are also weekly egg hunts with unique rewards, plus a new unlockable costume for Zoe and a new Kick-off board to earn. To top things off, there’s a fresh series of Spray Can Awards for rising to particularly tricky challenges.

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Universal game purchases have long been one of the most requested features from avid Windows Phone gamers, right behind SD card support (at last!) and more Xbox games (no luck yet). Already popular on iOS, the universal app concept allows users to buy a game or app once and then play it on both Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT.

Yesterday Microsoft and 343’s Halo: Spartan Assault officially became the first universal app on Windows Phone and Windows 8. It turns out that several more Windows Phone/Windows 8 Xbox games also went universal alongside Halo. Most are technically free and thus the universal label is more symbolic than anything. But another paid game is now universal as well: Skulls of the Shogun from 17-BIT. Head past the break for more details and word on which mobile Xbox games still need to go universal!

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Last fall, I had the pleasure of traveling to Casual Connect USA and interviewing Polish game developer Artifex Mundi. They announced three upcoming games to us during the event: Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call, Deadlings, and Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood. Siren’s Call came out in November, followed by Deadlings in February, leaving only Mists of Ravenwood unreleased.

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Halo: Spartan Assault has gone universal: you can buy it once on one Windows-powered device and download it on your others. As we noted yesterday, Microsoft started accepting submissions for universal apps, and combined with the new unified pricing tiers and [universal app development] and automated certification we're starting to see the first universal apps appear. A notable entrant: Halo: Spartan Assault.

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Tink Magician is a relatively new Windows Phone 8 game that has you defending a magical kingdom from a demon lord. You use your magical spells to summon elemental powers to destroy the invading armies of the demon lord. Tink Magician is a fantasy battle game that plays much like a tower defense game but also has RPG aspects.

As you battle your way through the map of your kingdom, you will earn experience points that can be used to upgrade your character and gold coins that can be used to buy power boosts. While Tink Magician is a fast-paced Windows Phone 8 game, it can also be rather exhausting with the volume of monsters and bosses you have to defeat.

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Bad Piggies, the pig-focused spinoff of Angry Birds, is now available for Windows Phone. The game, which inverts the point of view from the furious avians to the abominable swine, has the player build increasingly complicated and absurd vehicles to get the pigs around the levels, with the end goal of getting their hooves on the birds' eggs. Leveraging a lot of the physics work learned from their previous dud Amazing Alex, Bad Piggies uses all manner of mechanical bits — from wheels and springs to balloons and propellers and wings — to get the pigs moved about the level.

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Another week has blown by us and we’re now on the cusp of getting Windows Phone 8.1 sometime in the next five days. While you patiently wait to update through the Preview for Developers program, check out some new apps and games in the Windows Phone Store. We’re taking another look at the top games and apps that just joined Windows Phone this past week. We’ll also look at any major app updates and let you know about any cool betas going on. This week we’re checking out Flipkart, Foundbite and more!

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Real Steel World Robot Boxing is an entertaining Windows Phone 8 game modeled in the spirit of the movie ‘Real Steel’. Think of it as a game of Rock’em Sock’em Robots but with more intensity.

Real Steel World Robot Boxing has 24 robots to fight or buy and 4 gaming modes to test your mechanical pugilistic skills with. The game has been out for a little while now and while there is room for improvement; Real Steel World Robot Boxing comes across as a fun game for our Windows Phone 8 gaming library.

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Machinarium wakes up on Windows 8 and RT

Amanita Design’s classic point-and-click adventure game Machinarium arrived on Windows Phone last month. I was so impressed by its beautiful hand-drawn artwork and fascinating world of living robots that I named it one of the best games of March.

Shortly after the phone game popped up, we broke the news that Machinarium would be coming to Windows 8 and RT as well. We didn’t have to wait very long, because the game is now available on Windows tablets and PCs. Read on for Windows 8 impressions, plus news of another update for the Windows Phone game.

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