Reviews

Last week we reviewed Spirit of Hero, a Windows Phone-exclusive MMORPG from Vietnamese developer TeaMobi. Although a large and potentially fun game, Spirit of Hero suffers from a poor English translation and several technical issues. I must be on a janky Asian games kick, because today I’m back to review Raiden X for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and RT. This one comes from a Chinese publisher called Kim Labs and indie developer HeartTour.

Although Raiden X bears the name of the famous Raiden shoot-em-up series, it’s not an official Raiden title. The developer borrowed the name and a few assets and made their own Raiden game without permission of Raiden owner Seibu Kaihatsu. Yet unlicensed fan games like this are actually part of a longstanding tradition in Japan and Asia. They’re called doujin games, and exist in something of a gray market in their native countries. Some doujin games are great, while others are totally amateur hour – like Raiden X.

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Sweets Mania Space Quest is a matching game for Windows Phone 8 that has an assortment of missions where you are tasked with pairing up various styles of candies. Game mechanics are similar to what you would find with Bejeweled but with a set number of levels with an assortment of mission goals.

Graphics are well done, game play challenging and overall Sweets Mania Space Quest is a fun game to pass the time with.

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Russian publisher Game Insight produces titles in many genres (mostly on other platforms), but its specialty is city-building games. Their previous Windows Phone and Windows 8 release 2020: My Country impressed me with its futuristic setting and wealth of content (see our review). But still, I longed to see more Game Insight titles make their way to mobile Windows platforms.

As luck would have it, Game Insight has just released Airport City on both Windows Phone (1 GB of RAM or higher at present) and Windows 8 and RT. It comes from Innowate, the same team who bought us the My Country series. Although the two game look and play a lot alike, Airport City does a few things differently as well. Namely it combines traditional city building with airport management, which proves more interesting than you might expect.

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There are plenty of options in the Windows Phone Store for those looking to add creative filters to your photos. One Windows Phone photography app that hopes to catch your attention is Old Photo.

Old Photo is a simple app that lets you use creative filters to give images an older feel. The effects are nice, the user interface simple and images are not resized. Old Photo may not have as many bells and whistles other Windows Phone photography apps have but it does a decent job of things nonetheless.

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Dead Clicker is a Windows Phone 8 arcade game that calls upon you to protect the gates of a cemetery from an army of zombies.

To do so you must smash the zombies into the ground, much like you would do in a game of whack-a-mole. The more zombies you smash, the higher your score. Should the zombies make it out of their graves and reach the cemetery gates, they will escape ending the game.

Dead Clicker is a fast-paced Windows Phone game that has decent graphics, challenging game play and is a fun way to pass the time.

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Volume, a Windows Phone volume management app

Volume is an interesting utility app for Windows Phone 8 that helps you manage your phone's volume levels. If you are constantly adjusting the volume throughout the day or find that you often forget to adjust things, this app may be of help. Volume will let you set up profiles to automatically adjust your Windows Phone's volume during key times of the day (meetings, after hours, during classes, etc.) and create Live Tiles to quickly adjust the volume for those unexpected times.

Volume has plenty of options, some of which require an in-app purchase for the premium version, available to regulate your Windows Phone volume. The app’s user interface takes a little time to get used to but overall, Volume comes across as a handy app for those needing a little help adjusting the volume levels.

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Dragon Revenge is an arcade styled game for Windows Phone 8 that has you playing the role of a dragon intent on destroying everything in sight. From buildings to trees to cows, your job is to wreak destruction upon the lands all the while avoiding the villagers arrows.

The game has an unlimited number of gaming levels where you guide your dragon across the sky, attacking villages and collecting gold. And Dragon Revenge isn’t just thoughtless destruction with several missions or challenges to tackle for extra gaming points. It may take a little time to get used to the gaming controls but for the most part, Dragon Revenge comes across as an entertaining game for Windows Phone 8.

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Windows Phone 8 is home to an excellent massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) called Order & Chaos Online. Sadly, publisher Gameloft sent that game out to die by failing to support it with updates and keep it content-identical to its superior iOS and Android versions. What’s a Windows Phone-owning MMORPG fan to do?

Enter Vietnamese developer TeaMobi, recent graduate of Nokia’s AppCampus program. TeaMobi has just released an MMORPG called Spirit of Hero on Windows Phone – before competing platforms. We learned about Spirit of Hero through Windows Phone Central’s popular “Newly Discovered Games” forum thread, where our dedicated readers share the latest games they’ve discovered. Is Spirit of Hero a worthy successor to Order & Chaos Online? Find out in our detailed launch review.

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If number puzzles are your cup of tea, you need to check out the new Windows Phone 8 game Numolition.

The game’s premise has you working with a crew of demolition experts and need to flatten as many puzzles by creating combinations of two or more of the same numbered blocks. You can add or move these blocks to create the combos, which in turn can be demolished by tapping on the group. It sounds easy but harder than you may think.

Add attractive graphics, three challenging gaming modes and Numolition turns out to be a solid gaming title. Numolition was released on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone last week and in playing the game over the weekend, it is a very appealing addition to the Windows Phone 8 gaming library.

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If you need to keep track of your finances from your Windows Phone, there are plenty of options to consider. myMoney hopes to be on your short list when shopping for a Windows Phone 8 financial app.

myMoney has plenty of features to set your budget, track your expenses, be reminded on bills, and keep everything backed up to the cloud. The user interface does take a little time to get used to but myMoney comes across as a capable financial option for Windows Phone 8.

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Fishy Rush, an endless swimmer for Windows Phone 8

Fishy Rush is a casual game for Windows Phone 8 that takes the endless runner genre under water. With Fishy Rush, you swim your goldfish for as far as you can, collecting coins along the way.

The game is not all fun in the sun with plenty of dangers and shark attacks to avoid. You can collect coins and pearls to use in the game's store to buy upgrades and there are plenty of power-ups to help you survive the dangers of the deep blue sea. Fishy Rush isn’t a terrible game for your Windows Phone but some may find it falling a tad short of the mark.

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If you are looking for a translation app for your Windows Phone or Windows 8 device, iTranslate isn’t a bad option to consider.

iTranslate covers over eighty languages with an easy, straightforward interface. Add predictive text and voice output on many of the languages and iTranslate becomes a rather appealing language app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

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Shuttle Up for Windows Phone 8, how high can you go?

Shuttle Up is a relatively simple Windows Phone 8 game where you try to navigate a shiny little ball as high as you can. While the premise is simple, game play isn't without challenge.

The challenge with Shuttle Up comes into play with barriers that will be scattered about that you have dispatch before advancing any higher. As you approach the barriers, ever so slightly they will move out of your way. Advance to quickly and you'll smash into the barriers, ending your game. In playing the game for the past few days, Shuttle Up comes across as a fun, challenging game for Windows Phone 8 but it also can be frustrating.

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We first looked at Pac-Man Museum during last year’s E3, where it served as part of Namco’s push to reinvigorate Pac-Man with modern audiences. The same push includes an animated show and game called Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, as well as the updated Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ on both Windows 8 and Xbox 360.

At last Pac-Man Museum has arrived on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 to teach gamers the history of Pac-Man by packaging nine of his classic games in one downloadable collection.

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Super Polygon is a deceptively simple puzzle game for Windows Phone 8 that has you navigating through a psychedelic maze that is in constant motion.

The game has simple mechanics where timing is key and the pace of game play can get the best of you. Your score is based on how long you can survive the shifting, rotating puzzle and don’t be surprised if it is only for a few seconds. Super Polygon comes across as an entertaining and challenging puzzle game for your Windows Phone gaming library.

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Plane Wars, mid-air battles from your Windows Phone

Plane Wars is a fast paced, easy to play, but difficult to master Windows Phone 8 game. The combat strategy game includes forty-eight levels of action, five different game modes and respectable graphics.

The game also includes upgrades for your aviation fleet and special abilities to help wipe out the enemy forces. Game play is challenging enough to keep things interesting and overall, Plane Wars is an entertaining gaming option for Windows Phone 8.

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Never Future is a role-playing game for your Windows Phone that has you playing the role of a young archeologist who stumbles across a mysterious artifact that sends him to a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world full of dangers.

The game has you searching this unknown world for a way home, all the while collecting trash to re-cycle for equipment upgrades, battling monsters and completing quests. The game has a bit of a Legend of Zelda feel about it, but with a more futuristic tone. Once you get used to the movement controls, Never Future is an entertaining game for the Windows Phone gaming library.

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Earlier this week, Microsoft finally released the Surface 2 with LTE on board here in the US. Available at Best Buy and Microsoft Stores (both online and in-stores), the $679 device brings 4G LTE connectivity to you wherever, whenever.

I managed to pick one up and have been playing around with it for the last 72 hours. Seeing as a lot of people are curious about this device, including features or limitations, I figured I’d do a quick-n-dirty breakdown of the major aspects. Hopefully it will quench your thirst in case you are considering this device.

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Weather On A String is one of the latest weather apps to hit the Windows Phone Store. The Windows Phone 8 app approaches things in a minimalistic manner with simple graphics and gesture based navigation.

Weather On A String does support worldwide forecast locations and has an interesting feature that is dubbed Umbrella Mode. While Weather On A String has mild appeal and decent potential, some may find it too minimalistic as your daily Windows Phone weather source. The app is worth checking out but its appeal may not transfer to everyone.

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BINGO might be a great game for your grandparents to download and enjoy, but it can also be a great relaxing way to pass the time with your Windows 8 PC. Today, we will be counting down the top BINGO games available in the Windows Store and comparing the different features and methodologies between each. Let us get started and do not worry, as all of the apps mentioned are free!

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Ubisoft and Pastagames’ Rayman Jungle Run was that perfect one-two punch: an excellent platformer, and a high quality mobile Xbox game. The sequel Rayman Fiesta Run had a lot to live up to, and it almost felt like Ubisoft didn’t want to share it with us. The game soft launched in limited territories, appeared to fully launch worldwide a few weeks later, and then quickly disappeared that same day.

At last, Rayman Fiesta Run is properly available with fully working Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and Windows RT. Though we had to wait a painfully long time for Fiesta Run, the wait was worth it. Even if you found Jungle Run too challenging, this one is forgiving (and beautiful) enough that it might just win you over. Read on for our full review.

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It could be argued that music is an international language for human expression; happiness, love, anger, joy, envy, fear – it can all be expressed through the wonderful world of music. The Windows Phone that you carry around in your pocket is the gateway to that music, whether you use Xbox Music, Spotify, Rdio, or Beats Music.

Today, we are going to look at a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones by SOL REPUBLIC, whose controls actually play well with the Windows Phone OS.

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If you are in search of a minimalistic puzzle game for your Windows Phone, take a gander at Think. The Windows Phone 8 game is a word association game where you are presented with a series of drawings that you have to correctly identify what they represent.

The drawings are minimal and often include multiple items that you have to combine to solve the puzzle. Think reminds me of Pictionary just a little but with the illustrated clues already drawn-up. Think isn’t a fast paced game with a lot of bells and whistles. It is, however, a well drawn-up casual puzzle game for your Windows Phone that is a fun way to pass the time with.

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Tiny Planets Pro is a fantastic photography app for Windows Phone 8. The app turns your panoramic or landscape images into tiny little planets by wrapping the image into a sphere that often resembles a planet spinning around the solar system. And it's not just useful for landscapes. Tiny Planets Pro can also put a creative twist to images other than the scenic variety.

Tiny Planets Pro does not take long to transform your images and once you have things just right, the final image can be saved and shared with other Windows Phone apps. There is not much to Tiny Planets Pro but if you are looking for a creative photo tool for your images, it’s definitely worth a try.

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Skyman, a blast of a game for Windows Phone 8

If you are looking for a fun game to give your day a lift, check out the Windows Phone 8 game Skyman. It isn’t a very complicated game but entertaining nonetheless.

You play the role of a stuntman to see how far he can be rocketed through the sky. Skyman has two gaming modes, decent graphics, and crash landings that would make Evel Knievel proud. Overall, Skyman is a fun title to have in your Windows Phone gaming library when you are in the mood for something different. 

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