Games

Recently, we've been pointing out games and apps from iOS and Android that have been making their way to Windows Phone Store. It's not often that we see things first on our favorite platform. Here's a promising title that Windows Phone users get to try out first.

The Veil (theveilgame.com) is an episodic adventure game that has just been released. You control a submarine and navigate through icy caverns. There are voiceovers that help you to understand the underlying story and mystery. Head past the break to watch the official game trailer.

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It's not an easy being an Xbox game for Windows platforms. First you have to go through a difficult pitching process just to make it into the portfolio. If by some miracle Microsoft actually approves you for Xbox status, you then enter the equally unpleasant certification process. And once you finally make it to market, you'll probably just get pulled from the Store by Microsoft at some point. You're an endangered species, son.

That's what happened to Zombies!!! for Windows Phone back in September of last year. The game was delisted for having in-app purchases, and then returned in November without Xbox features. The Windows 8 version managed to keep its Xbox features for a time… But now that time has ended. Microsoft recently chose to stop publishing the Xbox Windows 8 version of Zombies. And so developer Babaroga has republished the game as a universal app (but without Xbox features). Zombies!!! has come back to life, you might say.

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ID@Xbox is Microsoft's indie publishing program for Xbox One. Participating independent developers can publish their games directly to Xbox One with a greater degree of freedom than they would be afforded on Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. ID@Xbox is great for gamers too because it allows a steady stream of downloadable games to be released across a variety of genres.

Yesterday we published a full review of Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition, but that's only one of four ID@Xbox games released this week! Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition from Exor Studios, R.B.I. Baseball 14 from MLB and Majesco, and Contrast from Compulsion Games have all been freshly released as well. The number of new games is overwhelming, but we've got detailed impressions and hands on videos to help you decide what to play.

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Blues Bowling is a Windows Phone bowling game that was released a few months ago and caught our attention with its 3D graphics and blues soundtrack. Plus I'm a fan of bowling games.

Blues Bowling has single and multi-player games, simple controls and an online leaderboard to let you brag about your high scores (so far nobody has bowled a perfect score). If bowling games are your cup of tea, Blues Bowling is a Windows Phone game worth a try.

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Disney Checkout Challenge is a game that tests how fast you can checkout grocery items. It's a fast-paced game where you will climb from "Checker-in-Training" to "Checkout Chairman" based on your barcode scanning skills. The game will also allow you to compete for the highest scores.

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I'm a fan of traditional stick shooter + wave games. There's something with anticipating what's coming next, and the classic arcade feel of enemy hordes attacking you that I find satisfying. RED. is a new game from Knife Media in Cape Town, South Africa. It runs for $2.99 with a free trial, but that $2.99 is for both the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 versions. Buy once, buy everywhere. Shout-out for Windows universal apps!

RED. has some impressive 2D/3D graphics, comic book design and one hell of a sense of humor. Toss in some gratuitous gore, and I'll buy it.

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You've probably heard of the puzzle matching game 'Threes!' from your friends with Android or iOS devices. There's no official version for Windows Phone, but we've stumbled upon something similar called Hues. Don't worry; it's not a rip-off copy. Head past the break to watch the official game trailer.

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Free Microsoft Sudoku game released for Windows 8.1

Microsoft has released a new and free Sudoku game for Windows 8.1 titled, without a lot of imagination, Microsoft Sudoku, offering gamers a chance to play a new version of the classic numbers-based puzzle game.

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Dhoom:3 The Game was launched last year around the time of Dhoom:3 release, the third movie in the popular Bollywood franchise. The endless runner game involved a thrilling high speed bike race through the streets of Chicago where the movie was set.

The Game became quite popular, and crossed the 1 million downloads mark on the Windows Phone Store in quick time becoming the first app/game from India to do so. The game saw over 12 million downloads worldwide across platforms. 99games, the publisher of the game, and Yash Raj Films, the producer of the movie, have got together again to bring a sequel to the blockbuster game – Dhoom:3 Jet Speed.

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On Sunday I predicted that Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition would arrive on Xbox One this week. And what do you know? The Another World Anniversary Edition has just been released as part of Microsoft's ID@Xbox program. It comes from French publisher The Digital Lounge and is available to download for the low price of $7.99.

Another World is a classic sci-fi adventure game/platformer set on a perilous alien world. Players will forge a friendship with a kindly alien while doing their best to escape from the planet's more hostile residents. The 20th Anniversary Edition brings the story to life with new high resolution graphics, multiple soundtracks, and easy Achievements. Adventure fans and Achievement hunters won't want to miss it.

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The Xbox One is overflowing with downloadable games lately thanks to the ID@Xbox program. Last week we got Outlast and Sixty Second Shooter Prime, and today Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition had a surprise launch. But when the new console launched last year, players only had a few downloadable games to choose from. The first such title to qualify as a hit was undoubtedly Peggle 2 from Electronic Arts and PopCap. The game later arrived on Xbox 360 as well.

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Games that make us rage quit are usually the ones that make us keep coming back. Here's another one of those games. Pako is a one player car chasing game developed by the same team who brought us Picnic Rumble. Cops are on your tail and there's no escape. How long would you last?

Head past the break to watch our hands-on and gameplay video with the Nokia Lumia Icon.

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Popular Facebook game Pool Live Tour is now available as an app for Windows Phone, bringing with it live pool competition with real players. The game boasts 2.5 million players every day so you'll always find a worthy opponent. And with Facebook integration, you can even invite friends for an instant tournament with someone you know.

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The most excellent Spectra 8bit racing game which we spotted landing on Windows not too long ago just launched on Windows Phone. You'll probably dig this for its simple controls, high speeds, retro neon wireframe graphics, and an absolutely stellar soundtrack from the same gal that did the music for Super Hexagon. You'll be glad to hear 512 MB devices are supported and Spectra is universal, so you can pay once to play on any platform (though the Xbox One version isn't out yet).

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While this may not apply to every Windows Phone user, the platform is a great medium for children's educational gaming. These Windows Phone titles mix learning the ABC's or basic math with visual aids that are presented in game format.

Super Why! is one such title that is designed to help you child improve their reading and spelling skills through four interactive literacy games featuring the four main characters from the PBS television series, Super Why!. These games are fashioned to teach your children the alphabet, rhyming, spelling writing and reading.

Let's take a closer look at Super Why! and remember, if you leave a comment below you will be entered into our daily Hidden Gems contest to win a new tablet or Windows Phone.

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My Little Pony has been released on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, published by popular game developer Gameloft. The title tasks players with freeing Ponyville from the grasp of Nightmare Moon and bring light and friendship back to the land. Join favourite ponies, including Rainbow Dask, Fluttershy and Applejack as they attempt to halt Nightmare Moon and restore peace to Ponyville.

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Lost Echo was released in the Windows Phone Store last week after having a fair amount of success over on iOS. Lost Echo is an adventure game that has you searching for your girlfriend, Chloe, who vanishes before your very eyes.

The game has quality, detailed graphics and a simple user interface to guide through the game. In many ways game plays out much like a scavenger hunt for clues and pieces of the puzzle that will eventually solve the mystery of Chloe's disappearance. Lost Echo by no means is a fast-paced adventure game but if you like story driven adventures, it may be worth the price of admission.

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Last week the Xbox One picked up a fair helping of new games. At retail, we got the realistic martial arts simulation EA Sports UFC. And to download came the affordable twin-stick shooter Sixty Second Shooter Prime and the surprise release of cult-horror hit Outlast (both ID@Xbox releases). You'd think the new releases would slow down for a bit after that terrific threesome, but you'd be wrong!

This week at retail, Activision brings the movie tie-in/cross-over Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. Rebellion will publish tactical sniping game Sniper Elite III on Friday in the UK, with a US release following on July 1st. And to download we've got the World War I-era adventure Valiant Hearts from Ubisoft. All three games are coming to both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Need help deciding what to pick up? Check out our new trailers and impressions after the break!

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Firefly Runner has been released earlier this month for iOS, Android, and Kindle. The Windows and Windows Phone versions of the game just recently followed. It's an action-packed, endless-running adventure game that you might want to check out. We've installed it on our Nokia Lumia Icon and Surface Pro 3. Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and gameplay.

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Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat is a first person shooter Windows Phone game that places you behind a helicopter mounted machine gun. In a nutshell, you fly around a village destroying enemy targets as they appear.

Graphics are nice, game mechanics could be a little better and the variety of targets range from enemy helicopters to ground troops. In just playing Heli Gunner 2 for the past few days the game has potential but just lacks that "something-something" to keep you pulled into the game.

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One of the best features of Windows 8 is that it allows us to run PC games and apps on touchscreen devices like the Surface Pro. Whereas Windows RT tablets are limited to playing Windows RT games, full Windows 8 tablets can play not only tablet-oriented Windows 8 games but also Windows 7 games.

Of course, hardly any PC games actually support touch screen input. Civilization V is touch-optimized, but that's practically it. If you want to play a PC game on your tablet, you generally need either a controller or mouse and keyboard. But a handy new app called Touch Fox adds virtual controls to a handful of PC games that don't otherwise support touch. How does it work? Check out hands-on impressions with video to find out!

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