Games

After enduring a small release drought over the last couple of months, the floodgates of new Xbox One games have finally opened back up. Last week we got Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition at retail and two indie games: The Golf Club and surprise hit Fibbage to download. This week, Metro Redux Bundle hits retail while another ID@Xbox game makes its downloadable debut: Stick it to the Man from Swedish developer Zoink! Games and Ripstone Publishing (Pure Pool).

Stick it to the Man is a 2.5D platformer with clever visuals that often appear to be made out of paper. A surprisingly witty and story heavy game, players take on the role of a hapless guy who gets infested with an alien parasite. The parasite causes a giant stretchy arm to grow from his head, which can be used to swing from objects and read other characters' minds. Can your Xbox One handle such a weird and creative little game? Let our impressions and hands-on video help you decide!

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Age of Wind 3 is an action/adventure game for your Windows Phone that reminds me of a scaled back version of Sid Meier's Pirates! The game has more cartoonish graphics, lacks some of the side games (sword play, dancing, land battles, etc.) than Pirates! but the gaming concept comes close.

With Age of Wind 3 you sail the Caribbean traveling to over 35 ports of call, take on hundreds of quests, buy and trade goods, recruit sailors, build up your fleet and, as you would guess, battle pirates. Age of Wind 3 also includes Facebook integration where you can battle your Facebook friends on the high seas.

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You probably have not heard of Neonize, because it's a new game that has just released simultaneously on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The good news is that Windows Phone users do not have wait after its release on other platforms. It's pretty good, too. Neonize is a mobile arcade shooter game, which the goal is to survive an onslaught of enemy ships trying to ram into you.

We've installed it on our Nokia Lumia 930. Go watch our gameplay video.

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There are basically two German developers we can count on to make great Windows Phone games: Flare Games (makers of Royal Revolt 2) and Handy Games. The latter entered the scene with Epic Battle Dude and Aces of the Luftwaffe, two fine free to play games.

This year, Handy Games finally has more Windows Phone games in store for us. A short while ago they released 1941: Frozen Front, a serious turn-based strategy game. We interviewed them about it at Casual Connect a while back. Today Handy follows up with SPS: Football, a very pretty and fun 2D soccer/football game. Both games are free, 512 MB RAM-compatible, and a whole lot of fun. Don't miss our impressions and hands-on videos!

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Box It is a Windows Phone arcade styled puzzle game that has addictive quality and not a shabby way to waste a little time with. The multi-level game has you drawing lines to capture portions of the playing field. It sounds easy but there are evil dots lurking about that will test not only your timing but also your patience.

Box It reminds me of an old arcade game that you'd find at the local Aladdin's Castle or convenience store in the early '80s. It's not a terribly complicated game with a simple gaming concept but just enough challenge about it to keep things interesting.

Available for low-memory devices, Box It has experienced decent success over on iOS and Android platforms and should see similar here on the Windows Phone platform.

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When console gamers think of Namco Bandai, they probably think of Pac-Man or Dragonball Z. But you might not know that Namco also publishes quite a few racing games – they have no less than three racers planned for Xbox consoles later this year. Let's look at that lineup!

Project CARS will make a big splash on Xbox One this November. On Xbox 360, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2, Digimon All-Star Rumble, F1 2014, and MotoGP 2014 all arrive this fall. Finally, Dragonball Xenoverse and Tekken 7 are coming in 2015. Read on for impressions and trailers!

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Match It, a Windows Phone game with promise

We are seeing a string of simple, yet challenging, Windows Phone games landing in the Windows Phone Store. Most of these games aren't very complicated but a fun way to pass the time. You will also find some of these titles to be fun to play for a short time but lack staying power.

Match It is a relatively new gaming title that hopes to fall into the 'fun way to pass the time' category. The game tests your reflexes and speed by requiring you to tap the screen as two balls that change color match.

Available for low-memory devices, Match It has potential and worth trying. However, you may find that the game needs a little more chutzpah to keep you pulled into the game.

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Popular Android game, Balance 3D, has just been ported over to Windows Phone. It boasts 10-50 million downloads from the Google Play store, and now it's over at the Windows Phone Store as Ball 3D. It's a fully 3D game in which you go through mazes with unstable places, and unpredictable gravity.

We've installed it on our Nokia Lumia 930. Watch the gameplay video to see if it's worth your time.

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Last week, a downloadable Xbox One game called Fibbage popped up as part of the ID@Xbox program. Fibbage is a multiplayer trivia game from Jackbox Games, makers of the popular You Don't Know Jack series of trivia games. Besides being the only trivia title in town for the Xbox One, Fibbage stands out for its unique control method: everyone uses a phone or tablet as a controller!

That probably sounds crazy, and in fact it can be hard to understand Fibbage from a cursory description. But Fibbage manages to combine console gaming with mobile device controls in an extremely natural way. Gamers and non-gamers alike to can play and laugh together without the learning curve that a controller would bring. See exactly how it works in our exclusive gameplay video with both Xbox One and phone footage!

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Battle of Airway is an arcade styled space shooter for Windows Phone that has you piloting a rocket ship across worlds infested with deadly alien creatures.

Graphics are nicely drawn up in bright, colorful fashion that is somewhat reminiscent of the Beatle's Yellow Submarine styled animations (or at least to my eye). Game play has a swift pace and full of challenges. Not only do you face alien creatures and ships but you also have to dodge dangers such as giant snowballs, flamethrowers, buzz saws and more.

While Battle of Airway makes a nice first impression it has one, maybe two, strikes going against it. No trail version and no 512MB device support. Battle of Airway isn't a bad game but while 512MB support would be nice, the lack of a trial version may sink this game.

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When Microsoft launched the Xbox One in November of last year, the company didn't have the supply to meet worldwide demand. So while the console debuted in the US, UK, and several more countries initially, several other markets have had to wait for the system. One country without the Xbox One is Japan, a very tough market for Microsoft to crack.

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Our interview with Alienware's General Manager discussing the Alpha

While game consoles like Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One have found their way into hundreds of millions of homes to be connected to televisions, it's been a challenge for the PC industry to offer a product that's designed to connect to a big screen TV and be used in a living room setting. A year ago, Valve announced a plan to launch its own Linux-based operating system, SteamOS, that was designed to be used in small living room PCs to play native Linux games and to stream PC games from their Steam service.

While Valve announced earlier this year plans to team up with a number of third party PC OEMS for a SteamOS hardware launch later in 2014, the company later revealed those plans have been pushed back to sometime in 2015. However, one of those SteamOS partners, Alienware, decided to go ahead and launch their SteamOS machine this year as a Windows 8.1 PC, the Alienware Alpha. While it may use Microsoft's latest operating system, the team at Alienware (which Dell acquired in 2006) are also developing their own UI that will allow owners to use the Alpha as a gaming PC with an included Xbox 360 controller, with no requirement to use the Windows 8.1 desktop.

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Windows Phone Store Collection: I Love Ninjas

Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Ninja Games

Two of the more common characters in Windows Phone games have to be zombies and ninjas. Aliens are popular as well but that's an awfully broad category. Ninjas are the stealthy assassins known for tossing razor sharp throwing stars or slicing through their enemies with a sword.

Both ninjas and zombies have their own Windows Phone Store Collection and this week's round-up will focus on the I Love Ninja Collection. The Collection showcases a handful of games featuring our black robed warriors. We've plucked a few of the titles to highlight and for the most part, all five titles are entertaining time wasters.

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Which is represented more in the Windows Phone Store, Match-three games or endless runners? My money is on the match-three styled games and you can add Fruit Heroes Saga to the genre of games available in the Windows Phone Store.

Fruit Heroes Saga is a colorful, multi-level styled match-three game where, as you might guess, work towards creating matches of the same type of fruit. Each level has a scoring goal that has to be met in a set number of moves or before time runs out. Fruit Heroes Saga also includes bonus items that can be purchased with your winnings to improve your chances of success.

Available for low-memory devices, Fruit Heroes Saga isn't a bad game to consider adding to your Windows Phone gaming library but it lacks that "zippity doo da" to let this game stand out in the crowded field of match-three games.

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If you like puzzle games, then you are going to like Defuser for Windows Phone. The goal is to prevent bombs from going off. There are five different button types to defuse and 40 levels that will test your skills of multitasking and puzzle solving. We've installed the game on our Nokia Lumia 930. Watch our gameplay video to see if it's your type of game.

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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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If you're looking for an action/arcade game for your Windows Phone that is a tough nut to crack, take a look at Couplinked.

The game has you controlling two nodes (or dots) that are connected by an electrical field. Your job is to collect colored rings that are flying across the screen with the corresponding node you control. You also have a red ball that flies through from time to time that will ruin your day.

Available for low-memory devices, Couplinked may not appeal to everyone but there's little doubt that this is a Windows Phone game that is frustratingly challenging.

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