Games

Cut the Rope launched on Windows Phone more than five months ago. Surely gamers have had plenty of time to complete its 275 levels and collect all 825 stars (or at least the 300 needed for an Achievement). What do you do if you’re still dying for more Cut the Rope action?

Well, you could always buy the very similar (and also Xbox Live-enabled) Spider Jack for a buck. But that game’s been out for even longer, so I bet you’ve beaten it too! In which case, you’ll be glad to know that Russian developer ZeptoLabs has just released Cut The Rope: Experiments for Windows Phone 7 and 8. It packs another 150 levels of candy-feeding goodness, but it also costs a bit more than a dollar this time.

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The era of Gameloft Windows Phone 8 support is in full swing. Already the prolific publisher has graced us with an amazing racer (Asphalt 7), two less amazing but still decent open world games (Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises), and a surprisingly enjoyable physics puzzler (Shark Dash). It’s almost like they’re single-handedly keeping the Xbox brand alive on Windows Phone.

Now Gameloft follows up with Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the second Windows Phone title with real-time online multiplayer and the platform’s only first-person shooter so far (until N.O.V.A. 3 comes along). FPS games on the phone are new for many of us - including me. Read on to find out how well Modern Combat 4 works as both a single-player and multiplayer game!

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After last week’s Xbox release of the big-budget, hardware-intensive Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour for Windows Phone 8 devices, many of us could use something lighter this week to cleanse our gaming palates. And heck, Windows Phone 7 gamers surely just want something new to play since their platform skipped a new release last week.

Thankfully ZeptoLabs has come to the rescue. This week’s Xbox release will be Cut The Rope: Experiments, a sequel to Cut the Rope (one of our picks for 2012’s best Xbox Windows Phone games).  Experiments will run on both Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices, so everybody can enjoy it. The only bad news: it will cost a bit more than the first game.

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Flipit & Guessit, a picture puzzle Windows Phone game

Flipit & Guessit is an interesting picture puzzle game for your Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. You are presented with a blacked out picture that is divided into an 8x8 grid. Tap on a grid to reveal part of the picture and guess what the picture is when you have revealed enough of the picture.

The main pages for Flipit & Guessit shows your player progress and high scores. There are currently 150 levels of play that starts out slow but gradually picks up in difficulty.

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Pirates Plunder is a nice Windows Phone game that is very similar to Flight Control but instead of controlling airplanes, you control pirate ships as they set sail to port to unload their bounty. Pirates Plunder 2 is the sequel and while you still have the original game, the developer has added a healthy portion of side games as well.

Pirates Plunder 2 has over seventy missions and, as with the original, is a decent way to pass the time with.

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Ruzzle, the popular word game akin to Boggle but with the ability to play with friends across iOS and Android, has managed to get a decent update today. Version 1.1 is now live in the Store and brings Toast Notifications and user stats for your game history.

Boasting over 35 million players, the game was first launched on iOS back in March 2012, later going to Android and finally landing on Windows Phone 7.x and 8 devices just over two weeks ago. Much like Wordament, the game involves users trying to find words in a grid of letters, scoring higher points for larger, more complicated ones.

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I am Box is one of the simplest Windows Phone games out there. But you shouldn't mistake simple with easy because I am Box can kick you to the curb.

I am Box is a fast paced game of survival calling you to catch incoming colored arrows with the side of a box that has the matching color. The longer you survive, the better.

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Classic gaming fans love emulators because they allow us to revisit beloved older games on the hardware we own now. And if you enjoy emulation on Windows Phone 8, you’re probably familiar with the work of indie developer M.k. He has already provided us with two fine emulators: Snes8x (a Super Nintendo emulator) and VBA8 (a GameBoy Advance emulator).

VBA8 is great for dudes and dudettes who want to play GameBoy Advance games on their Windows Phone 8 devices, but it doesn’t run original GameBoy and GameBoy Color games. Well, now we can finally play those games thanks to M.k’s release of VGBC8, the first Windows Phone 8-specific GameBoy/GameBoy Color emulator.

Read on for screenshots and our full impressions or watch the video!

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Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Golf Games

There's a small golf tournament going on over in Augusta, Georgia this week where one golfer will take home a coveted Green Jacket (and a healthy pay check).  In honor of this event, we felt that a roundup of golf games would be fitting.  Plus the weather's getting warmer and if your a golfer stuck in the office, these games might help take the edge off the need to hit the links.

Sure you have Shotly Golf to help you keep score and find courses. Then there's Golf Live to help you keep up with all the golf news out there. This roundup deals with golf games for your Windows Phone. Everything from a wonderfully animated Xbox title to a challenging round of golf featuring a stick man.  We even throw in a putt-putt golf game for those who prefer to putt around over dealing with fairways and roughs.

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We mentioned Microsoft's new Red Stripe Deal promotion earlier this month. It's not a special on Jamaican Beer but rather weekly discounts on Windows Phone apps and games. Every week Microsoft will highlight certain apps at a discounted price and you can pick them out of a crowd by the red stripe that surrounds their icon.

This week's deals includes the Xbox Live game Tiki Towers, the independent game Doodle Devil and the photography app Pictures Lab. All three Windows Phone apps have had their prices discounted from $2.99 to $.99.

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You’ve probably heard that Miniclip is offering four of its Xbox Windows Phone games for free right now. And as of last week, the Xbox Deal of the Week is back. So with a bunch of games gone free at the moment, does that mean we don’t get a new Deal of the Week today? Heck no it doesn’t!

This week’s deal game is another blast from the past, as it’s been on sale once before. But it’s actually a pretty awesome game that many players might have overlooked: Tiki Towers from Game House. Even better, the sale price is 99 cents this time, the cheapest Tiki Towers has ever been.

Now is the part where I remind you, our dear readers, that the Windows Phone Store doesn’t always update like clockwork. Sometimes price changes take time to go live. Case in point: I’m not seeing Tiki Towers on sale yet. But Microsoft assures us it will go on sale, and I believe them. So just be patient and check later tonight or Thursday; the sale will eventually go on.

Update: The sale is not scheduled to go live until Thursday for some reason. That explains it!

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Microsoft patent shows off Xbox-inspired touch input

Let’s not beat around the bush. When the touch-centric iPhone came out in 2007 it changed mobile gaming – for the better. It helped to push mobile gaming to the masses and cement touch as a viable input option for games. Since then Android and Windows Phone have had their share of awesome games – beautiful and fun games stuff like Tentacles and Contre Jour are examples of games that couldn’t exist without touch. One thing that’s lacked in the tablet and smartphone space is a unified input system. A recent patent filing shows that Microsoft is positioning to change that.

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Earlier this week, Windows Phone Central broke the news that Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour would be arriving on Windows Phone 8 today.  The wait has been hard, but now Modern Combat 4 is finally here! Not only is it the first First-Person Shooter in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup, but it’s the next best thing to having Call of Duty on your phone.

Modern Combat 4 packs both a full single-player campaign and a robust online multiplayer mode for up to 12 players. Not surprisingly, that means you’ll need a Windows Phone 8 device with 1 GB of RAM and plenty of storage space in order to play it. Head past the break for more details and the all-essential Windows Phone Store link!

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Tower defense is one of my favorite genres because of its versatility. There are so many variations between TD games, from the wholesome simplicity geoDefense to the undying awesomeness of Plants vs. Zombies. Sometimes developers even combine tower defense with action games, allowing players to run around the field attacking enemies in addition to the strategic planting of towers. Zombie Attack 2 did just that a couple of years ago, although somehow the game still ended up a big, stinking pile of boring.

Vampire Rush, a former Nokia exclusive Xbox game for Windows Phone comes from Chillingo and Lithuanian developer A-Steroids. While it doesn’t quite achieve its full potential, Vampire Rush does manage to provide the right blend of strategy and excitement that Zombie Attack 2 so woefully lacked. Read on for our full review!

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Earlier today Miniclip dropped the price of their Windows 8 and RT versions of iStunt 2, Gravity Guy and Monster Island to free titles.

Miniclip has now added the Windows Phone 7.x/8 versions of these games to their free offer. The free offer on the Xbox Windows Phone titles is only for a limited time only. As an added bonus, the Xbox Live game Fragger is also a freebie.

So if you've been on the fence or just want to build up your Xbox Windows Phone gaming library, now's the time to act. Head past the break for all the links and QR Codes.

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Jungle Mamba slithers into the Windows Phone Store

Jungle Mamba is a new game for our Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. It's a play on the classic Snake game with really nice graphics and simple controls.

Game play is just like the classic game of Snake in that you guide your snake around the screen, gobbling up fruit. As you do, the length of your snake grows. The challenge comes in avoiding obstacles and more importantly, running into your snake's own body.

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Windows 8 and RT gamers recently survived a dangerous outbreak of gaming deals thanks to the Microsoft Studios Sale, which only just ended. But now, another rash of Xbox Windows 8 deals threatens players’ well being – if not their wallets. Miniclip has made three of its games free for a limited time only: iStunt 2, Monster Island, and Gravity Guy. Can your Windows 8 or RT device handle so many free games at once time? There’s only one way to find out…

These games all have In-App Purchases, so Miniclip stands to profit even when giving their titles away. But you can enjoy and complete most of them without spending a cent, except perhaps for the ultra-tough Gravity Guy.

Update: All three games plus Fragger are also free on Windows Phone this week!

Head past the break for download links and our game descriptions!

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Sparkle for Windows Phone 8, an orb smashing game

Sparkle is another enjoyable puzzle/action game from 10tons that is a great way to pass short bits of time with or longer. It has a strong resemblance to Zuma but is strong enough to stand on its own. Graphics are a lot cleaner (less cartoony) and the pace of the game seems more challenging. Zuma is a fantastic game but Sparkle ain't no light weight.

The storyline to the game has you trying to banish Orbs of Darkness and save Crowberry Woods. In doing so you discover various amulets of power that will help you in your quest. Add three game modes, nice graphics and handful of in-game powerups and Sparkle turns out to be a really nice addition to our Windows Phone gaming library.

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We can’t say whether there will be two Xbox Windows Phone releases this week just yet. But we can tell you – and show you – one very exciting game arriving for Windows Phone 8 on Wednesday. Originally announced back in October, Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour will finally arrive this week! Not only will it be the first Xbox Windows Phone first-person shooter, but it promises even more advanced multiplayer features than we saw in Asphalt 7 earlier this year.

During my recent trip to the Game Developers Conference, I stopped by the San Francisco Gameloft office for a quick tour. Lennon Arcaro, Gameloft’s Account Director was kind enough to walk me through the opening moments of Modern Combat 4. See our world exclusive hands-on footage after the break!

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Developer Palladium Power has once again made its popular Windows Phone game ORB available for free on the store. The game has recently been bumped to version 3, introducing a number of features as well as the price reduction. If you've never tried out this addictive time consumer, now's the perfect opportunity.

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Endless Robot Street, a smash 'em up kinda game

I'm not sure if you would consider the Windows Phone game Endless Robot Street a game or a stress reliever. It's listed in the Windows Phone Store as a game but plays more along the lines of a street reliever.

With Endless Robot Street you play the role of a giant robot who goes down the street smashing everything in sight. While the game keeps track of your destruction as career stats, there's no in-game scores or any way you can lose. Still, there's an odd sort of attraction to Endless Robot Street.

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Of all the offsite meetings we engaged in during GDC, the most pleasant place to visit was probably Electronic Arts’ suite at the St. Regis Hotel. Within that cozy location, Android Central’s Simon Sage and I met with Dan Tausney, PR Manager of Chillingo. As you might remember from our article about their most recent Windows Phone releases, Chillingo is the arm of EA responsible for publishing indie games from all over the world. They’ve been a major Windows Phone supporter and will soon be doing the same for Windows 8 as well.

Check out our hands-on footage with Contre Jour for Windows 8, see your favorite mobile Games Editor in action on video, and learn about Chillingo’s future Windows 8 plans after the break!

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Ah, Temple Run. We’ve waited so long for you, even after the your superior sequel hit iOS and Android (seriously, part 2 is waaay more interesting), yet when you finally hit you were plagued with glitches.

The initial bug had a wonky Live Tile (by wonky we mean missing) and then it was discovered that if you used the Light Theme for the OS, the sky was rendered in white as opposed to the blue-night sky that should be in the game.

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Skulls of the Shogun has been an incredibly important game for Windows Phone and the Microsoft ecosystem as a whole. It’s the first Xbox Live game to cross platforms between the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. It was also the Xbox Windows Phone game that ended the game drought we faced earlier this year. After so many weeks without a new game, Skulls quenched many a Windows Phone gamer’s thirst.

We had the opportunity to speak with Skulls of the Shogun developer 17-BIT twice last year, first at E3 and later Casual Connect. Of course, that was all before the game launched. Now that Skulls of the Shogun is live and in players’ hands, Windows Phone Central jumped at the opportunity to ask 17-BIT’s lead programmer Borut Pfeifer about how the game performed and what players can expect in the future.

Head past the break for the full video interview!

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