Games

Yesterday, I counted a side-scrolling racer called Old School Racer 2 as one of the best games of May. That game started out pretty challenging, its beginning courses requiring lots of tries to navigate successfully. If you’ve played the Trials series, you know how tough (and fun) that sort of racer can be.

Today we check out a slightly easier 2D racer/driving game, this one from Owlchemy Labs. Snuggle Truck is a silly game in which players must deliver a load of stuffed animals to the zoo without dropping too many animals along the way. With great graphics, a sense of humor, and a robust level editor, this one is a pleasure to play. Check out our hands-on video after the break!

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I'm not one to cover many soccer oriented games (or football as my friends across the pond would say) but a tip came across the wire on a Windows Phone 8 game that caught my eye, Soccer Team Bus Battle - World Cup 2014.

The premise of the game has your rival team stealing the World Cup before the tournament and are escaping down the road in their team bus. You have to give chase in your team's bus in hopes of catching up to the culprits, force their bus off the road and rescue the trophy.

Soccer Team Bus Battle is definitely not your typical World Cup game and while the game has hope, it is plagued with annoying pop-up ads and a few performance issues.

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Hey cool kids, are you ready for the latest installment of our new monthly feature, the best Windows Phone games of the month? Each month we look at a collection of newly released Windows Phone games that stand out from the crowd. The titles we choose range in genre and production value. Anything goes as long as it’s fun, original, and freshly launched.

This month we did get a couple of new Xbox-enabled games: Kinectimals Unleashed and Wordament Snap Attack. But for my money, it’s the non-Xbox games that took the cake during May. Competitive players received two excellent raiding games: Cloud Raiders and Royal Revolt 2. Racing and obstacle course enthusiasts got the Trials-like Old School Racer 2 to challenge them. And a one-man developer called Radiangames published a sleek twin-stick shooter called JoyJoy while giving away the amazing Bombcats SE completely free.

Quick impressions and Store links after the break!

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Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs launched on consoles this week. Everyone who plays mainstream games is neck-deep in that game’s free-roaming campaign, extensive multiplayer modes, and cyberpunk hacking gameplay. Yours truly is still busy with Wolfenstein: The New Order, so the only dogs I’m watching are of the mechanical variety.

Xbox One also has a new indie game to play, courtesy of the ID@Xbox program. Worms Battlegrounds is the latest in the long-running Worms franchise from UK-based Team 17. Although about a million miles away from a free-roaming epic like Watch Dogs, Battlegrounds does sport a fully-voiced campaign, 3D landscapes and physics, local and online multiplayer, and even clan support. It’s the biggest Worms game ever, is what people who measure Worms games say. Read on for our full review with exclusive screenshots and hands-on video!

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Goldfish in the Sewer is a relatively new racing game for Windows Phone that approaches things from a different angle.

You are tasked with racing a goldfish through the twists and turns of the local sewer system for time. Make the run fast enough to earn a medal and you get to advance to the next race.

Goldfish in the Sewer has potential with nice graphics and challenging game play. The biggest drawback to the game is the racing controls that may have you swimming upstream with little hope for success.

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Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is probably the best first-person shooter on Windows Phone. Not that there’s any real competition; the only other FPS I can think of is the same company’s disappointing N.O.V.A. 3. Modern Combat 4’s strength was in its single-player campaign; the multiplayer mode was pretty much a bust (see our review). That might just change in the upcoming sequel…

We’ve just come across some new multiplayer details for Modern Combat 5: Blackout, plus the two screenshots above. Some of the new features for part 5 include new game types, squad support, chat, limited time events, and improved leaderboards. These improvements should make for a compelling online multiplayer experience on Windows Phone – if Gameloft gets the matchmaking right this time. Head past the break for more details.

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Castle of Illusion lets you play as Mickey Mouse in this classic game re-imagined for tablets, PCs, and phones. It has been available on iOS and Android since late last year, but we’re glad that we can now play it on Windows and Windows Phone devices.

Priced at $14.99 and $9.99 without any free trial at the Windows and Windows Phone Store, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it. We’ve spent some time with both versions of the game, so head past the break to see some gameplay.

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Subway Surfers is one of the few games on Windows Phone to keep pace in updates with iOS and Android. Indeed, the endless runner is updated day for day with those ‘World Tour’ updates. Sure, they’re just re-skinning the game for some new visual flare, but it’s still a fun nod to its users who may get bored. Toss in some new monthly contests to sweeten the deal and you have one of our favorite games.

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After teasing a new title some time ago, fans of the MonsterUp games will be able to rejoice with the cute characters going up high into a brand new endless runner. Just like other games and media making the move to this genre of entertainment (which is proving popular across the mobile ecosystem), players are able to lend the monsters a hand with collecting gems and essentially running as far as possible.

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We have several blackjack games to choose from on Windows Phone and Windows 8, most being of the free-and-supported-by-ads variety. But hey, ads can be annoying!

With that in mind, I recently checked out a paid universal game called Blackjack Assassin from DeadCode Software (the trial is fully featured and ad-supported). With a name like that, you might expect a cool and quirky approach to the traditional game of Jack Black, I mean blackjack. Blackjack Assassin is actually a very straight-laced blackjack simulation, but dedicated fans of the card game might not mind. Head past the break for our full review.

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It was only the other day when we covered Despicable Me: Minion Rush missing from the Windows Phone Store, but now the title is once again available for download. Should you require reminding, the developers had to pull the endless runner from the store due to an incorrect XAP being published on the store, enabling players to access developer tools to activate 'super powers'.

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Disney and Microsoft have been rolling out the hits lately, introducing three new games in the last few days, including Lost Light, Jelly Car 3 and Disney Solitaire. This morning, the classic Mickey Mouse game ‘Castle Of Illusion’ arrives on Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, making it quite the combo.

Castle of Illusion came out for iOS and Android late last year, so while the game is not brand new, it’s not that old either. Clearly Microsoft and Disney have a partnership going where they’re bringing all new (and older) titles over to the Windows ecosystem, something that should sit well for those with children.

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Halo and Minecraft are some of the most popular video game franchises in recent memory, and now they're getting all mashed up together. Minecraft: Halo Edition has been announced and it will feature some recognizable characters, objects, and locations from Microsoft's well-known sci-fi first person shooter series. All told, the mash-up pack includes a custom texture set, craftable items, 31 music tracks, 40 characters (including Master Chief and Cortana), plus pre-made worlds based on maps like Blood Gulch and Sandtrap.

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Spaceships, dubstep, lasers, bass and explosions. If that sounds good to you, then you’ll like Salvage for Windows and Windows Phone. Created by veteran developers from the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero series, Salvage combines music with the task of avoiding obstacles, collecting items, and shooting down enemies. The background music helps you understand when to swipe or tap on the screen.

We announced the game the other day, but now it's time for our gameplay video on the brand new Surface Pro 3!

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Asphalt 8: Airborne is one of the best racing games available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. The graphics are stunning, game play challenging and you'll find yourself leaning into the turns as you speed down the track.

An update was pushed out this morning for Asphalt 8: Airborne, taking the game to version 1.3.1a and adds the SSC Tuatara sports car to the game's garage.

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File this one under funny, but Despicable Me: Minion Rush is now missing from the Window Phone Store.

Don’t you worry though, we’re expecting the game to pop back probably within in a few hours and here’s why. This morning, an update went out for the popular and adorable endless runner. Some of our readers have even reported better support for 512 MB devices (meaning yes, it seems faster), though we have not been able to verify.

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Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers is a platform Windows Phone 8 game were you have to fend off an invasion of nutcrackers. These are not your Holiday Season styled Nutcrackers but odd little creatures that remind me a little of Pac-Man.

You play the role of a Pic, a strange looking creature with eyes, hands, feet and a huge nose, who works his way through various puzzle platforms to defeat the Nutcrackers. Animations tend to give things a children's game feel and controls are a little cumbersome. Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers does have a bit of potential, but it may be best to give the trial version a shot before buying the full game.

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A brand new music game called Salvage has launched on both Windows Phone and Windows 8. The game is developed by ex-DJ Hero/Guitar Hero team members. Mad Fellows is the company behind it with its own Frustum game engine to power the beats on both smartphones and Windows hardware. Available for free, the game features some action-packed rhythm-based gameplay that we're sure many of you will enjoy.

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Windows Phone Central Gaming Roundup: Match Three Styled Games

Match three styled games can be an entertaining and challenging way to pass the time with. The Windows Phone Store is full of these type games and they are the focus of this week’s Windows Phone Central Roundup.

We’ve all likely played or seen these styled games before where you are presented a playing field that is full of assorted items be it gems, jewels, bottle caps or other items. These games challenge you to swap the items around or connect them to create adjacent matches of three or more of the same items. Most of the match three games award you with bonus items if you create matches that go beyond the three of a kind variety.

This week we picked four of the top rated match three Windows Phone games to highlight and we’ll add a few honorable mentions in for good measure. If we’ve overlooked your favorite match three styled game, feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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Clash of Clans is one of the most profitable mobile games in existence. But developer Supercell has so far refused to bring Clash to Windows Phone. That refusal opens up the doors for companies like Gameloft to swoop in and make their own Clash-like games. But Gameloft’s Total Conquest sits on the buggy side of things, so maybe you’re looking for a different game to play involving clans and clashes.

That’s where Game Insight’s Cloud Raiders comes in. A competitive raiding game set within a Skylanders-like world of floating islands, Cloud Raiders shows loads of polish even during its first official month of release on Windows Phone. With casual strategic battles, base building, clan support, and unrivaled cross-platform support, Cloud Raiders is both a great replacement for Clash of Clans and an impressive game all on its own. Read on for our full review.

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Disney seems to be on a roll lately releasing several Windows Phone 8 games over the past week. We've seen Maleficent Free Fall and Disney Solitaire already hit Store shelves and today we are seeing the Disney gaming titles Lost Light and JellyCar 3 arrive in the Windows Phone Store.

JellyCar 3 and Lost Light have been available for a while over on iOS and Android platforms and it is nice to see Disney giving the Windows Phone platform more attention. Both games look interesting and if you prefer your gaming from a larger screen, both have Windows 8 versions available as well.

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