Reviews

You Must Escape is the latest installment of a popular game style that has you escaping rooms by solving puzzles. You Must Escape has 100 puzzles to solve that range from the ridiculously easy to puzzles that may drive you nuts.

We visited a similar game, Doors, last year and recently receive several requests to review You Must Escape (thanks everyone!). There are a few design differences in the numerous incarnations of this game and while there is a sense of familiarity with You Must Escape, the game reminds us that sometimes simple works just fine. Please note, You Must Escape is available for low-memory devices.

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COPTAR is an Augmented Reality (AR) game that not only places you behind the controls of a combat helicopter but will also use what you see as the backdrop for the game. COPTAR launches your Windows Phone camera and uses whatever is around you as the gaming background; be it your living room, backyard or street corner. Game play is very similar to any other air combat game with power-ups that fall from the sky and a handful of missions to tackle.

While the concept behind COPTAR has a certain amount of appeal, the game falls short on user-friendly controls. While available for low-memory devices, COPTAR has potential but until the game receives a little fine-tuning, the gaming experience can be a little frustrating.

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In 1994, the original Killer Instinct took arcades by storm. The next year a downgraded but respectable Super Nintendo port followed, along with a GameBoy version. The home games helped maintain enthusiasm until Killer Instinct 2 arrived in arcades in 1996. The Nintendo 64 would see a mildly stripped-down port called Killer Instinct Gold that year.

The true arcade version of Killer Instinct 2 has never been available on home consoles… Until now. Like Killer Instinct Classic before it, Killer Instinct 2 Classic comes bundled with the purchase of Killer Instinct 2 Ultra Edition on Xbox One. The $39.99 bundle gets you eight characters in the new Killer Instinct, plus Killer Instinct 2 as a standalone game. Killer Instinct 2 Classic even gets online play, making it a more viable alternative to Killer Instinct Season 2. Read on for gameplay details, hands-on video, and exclusive screenshots!

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Revers9 is a new Windows Phone puzzle game that challenges you to arrange a set of numbers in order before time runs out.

There's really not much to Revers9 but the game will test your reflexes and speed at solving number puzzles. The game can get mildly frustrating as you race to get the numbers in order but in a good way. Available for low-memory Windows Phones and Windows 8 devices, Revers9 isn't a bad title to add to your Windows Phone gaming library.

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Wheel of Words is a Windows Phone word game that has potential but is in desperate need of a design overhaul. The concept has you spinning a wheel, which randomly generates a word from an assortment of categories.

The word is conveniently missing a few letters and it is your job to fill in the blanks. The challenge comes into play with a game timer that you have to race in completing the word.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones and Windows 8 devices, Wheel of Words is an interesting game but a cluttered, distractive game layout with the Windows Phone version significantly holds the game back.

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Windows Phone has plenty of Sudoku and Word Search games to choose from. But it has never been home to the biggest games of those types – until now. UK-based developer Supersonic-Software and Appy Nation (a consortium of developers who team up to act as publisher) have just brought their popular World's Biggest Sudoku and World's Biggest Word Search games to Windows Phone.

What do the World's Biggest games have going for them? Each one claims to have the largest collection of puzzles of their type (for a mobile game), which means they'll give you plenty to puzzle over at home or on the go. They're free and supported by ads, making for an easy download with no barrier to entry. And both games are really slick, providing a great interface for the puzzlin'. Read on for hands-on video and impressions!

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Is the Lumia 830 an upgrade or sidegrade to the Lumia 920?

The Nokia Lumia 830 is starting to hit store shelves worldwide, including the widespread availability in Canada starting today on Rogers, Telus, and Fido. Depending on where you fall on your phone usage and expectations, the Lumia 830 may be a practical upgrade from your current Windows Phone.

Today, we are taking a closer look the Lumia 920 versus the Lumia 830. Although the former was the Windows Phone star back in 2012, the Lumia 830 is positioned slightly below that as an 'affordable flagship'.

How well matched is the Lumia 830 against the Lumia 920? Let's find out.

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Review: BodyGuardz Armor for Lumia 1020

I've never been a huge fan of stick-on skins for devices. I've got nothing against them, but I never found much use for them. The ones I had were, usually, the transparent ones that offered minimal protection and ended up turning brown after a couple of weeks of fraternizing with dirt and pocket lint.

The BodyGuardz Armor for the Lumia 1020 brings a little more to the table though. It is a cross between a protective film and decorative skin.

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With gaming consoles, first-party accessories are often much nicer than their third-party equivalents. We've all had a poor experience with a third-party controllers at some point, but recent evidence suggests that third-parties are getting better at the accessory game. For example, Power A's recent Xbox One Mini Series controller is a pretty sweet (though not entirely superior) low-priced alternative to official controllers.

It certainly helps a third party's case when the first-party item wasn't really exceptional. The Xbox One Media Remote is a fine accessory, but was designed more for style than substance. Accessory manufacturer Nyko has taken the opposite approach with its own media remote. The Nyko Media Remote for Xbox One is a better remote control than the official model, and it costs ten dollars less to boot.

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Turbo Bugs Survival Run is an endless runner game that is available in the Windows Phone Store that plays out from a bug's perspective on things. You duck, dodge and jump to avoid various obstacles to stay one step ahead of a crazed bug destroying kid that is chasing you.

Graphics are nice and have a slight children's book feel about it (not necessarily a bad thing). Game play is challenging enough to keep the game from growing stale too quick and Turbo Bugs is available for low-memory devices.

Turbo Bugs Survival may not be as action packed as Subway Surfers or Temple Run but it does have a certain level of appeal that gamers young and old should find entertaining.

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The NBA 2K series from 2K Sports and Visual Concepts has been the reigning champ in the basketball simulation for the past couple of years. It helps that EA's NBA Live series have dropped the ball (no pun intended). But even then, NBA 2K has simply been playing a mean game, consistently delivered the most realistic presentation and gameplay possible.

Everything you loved about 2K14 is here in NBA 2K15 for Xbox One and 360 and most of it has been improved upon. This year's version of 2K on Xbox One is easily the best so far, but that doesn't mean it isn't hiccup free.

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The Windows Phone Store is has plenty lockscreen apps that allows you to add a certain level of customization to your Windows Phone lockscreen. LockAgenda hopes to attract your attention by displaying more of your daily schedule of appointments on your lockscreen.

The app has several display options for your appointments and a decent selection of lockscreen wallpaper images to choose from as well. You can even use your own image as your lockscreen wallpaper. I can see some appeal with LockAgenda and if you need to see more of your calendar from your lockscreen it may be an option worth trying.

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Back in September, Microsoft not only announced a couple new phones, but some new stylish accessories. One of those was the awkwardly named Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10, which is a fancy title for a Miracast device. The timing of the announcement was also a little bit strange as Microsoft also has their dongle now called the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

Apparently, the two products overlap, and it is safe to surmise that the HD-10 was made by Nokia and the dongle by Microsoft prior to the acquisition.

Today, I am taking a look at the HD-10 and showing you how it brings something new to the table, including a video demonstration using the Lumia 830.

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Now that several wired controllers are available for Xbox One (Power A's Mini Series controller and Spectra controllers, plus some on the way from PDP), a gamer could easily run short of USB ports on his or her shiny new console. Plug a hard drive and keyboard into your rear ports and you're left with only one to spare. You can hardly plug in multiple wired controllers or flash drives with media files under those situations.

Thus a USB 3.0 hub is in order. Of course there are no Xbox One-specific USB hubs, but pretty much any USB 3.0 hub will do the trick. With that in mind, I grabbed the Sabrent 4-port USB 3.0 Hub for a mere ten bucks on Amazon. This little hub is perfect for Xbox One and 360 use (it supports USB 2.0 as well), and also goes great with Windows 8 and RT devices like the Surface.

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Even though Verizon put the Lumia Icon out to pasture less than a year after the launch, it doesn't stop current owners of the under-rated phone from needing a good case for it. Neither does it change the fact that the phone is alive and well in other markets around the world under the pseudonym Lumia 930. And for that reason, we give you the Incipio Feather ultra-light case for both.

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Incandescence is an upbeat Windows Phone game that will test your rhythm, reflexes and speed. Described as a finger drumming game, you try to keep pace with the background music's beat and tap circles that light up in rhythm with the music.

Incandescence reminds me a little of the popular Windows Phone music game SongArc but noticeably scaled back. The game still has its fair share of challenges but needs a little more meat on the bone to avoid getting stale too quick. Incandescence is available for low-memory devices.

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Nokia Lumia 830 – Unboxing and first impressions

Does the Lumia 830 live up to its name and is it a worthy upgrade? The answer may surprise you.

Last week I showed you in detail the Nokia Lumia 735 'selfie' phone, including my initial thoughts. While I begin wrapping up a full review for that phone later this week, the Lumia 830 arrived on my doorstep.

Dubbed 'the affordable flagship' by Microsoft, the Lumia 830 has a lot going for it, including a much sleeker design than its more powerful Lumia 930 sibling.

So how good is the Lumia 830? Check out my unboxing video, hardware tour, and first impressions of the latest Lumia phone to hit the market.

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Enter Orckid is an action packed Windows Phone game where you take control of a young orc warrior who has to hack his way through the various game quests.

The storyline has the Orcs nearing the brink of extinction and it is up to the young Orc warrior to save the day by defeating the enemies of the Orc. Available for low-memory devices, Enter OrcKid has decent graphics and challenging game play.

The game has potential but quirky controls tends to hold this game back and will a little fine-tuning to give Enter OrcKid a better chance of success.

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Review: Body Glove Satin Case for Lumia 520

I'll admit it right off the bat. I was wrong about the Body Glove Satin case for the Lumia 520. When I first saw the Body Glove Satin case in its packaging, I immediately thought that it would be a rubbery case that served little purpose, other than to render the sleek, pleasant-to-hold Lumia 520 bulky and difficult to use. What I found instead was an equally sleek case that compliments the form of its companion device.

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Our Windows Phones can be rather convenient at times, from checking the weather to sending a quick email to even casting a little light on things. Lightbox Pro is a Windows Phone utility app that offers eight different ways to use your camera light and phone display to light things up.

From the basic flashlight to a party ball, Lightbox Pro hopes to be your one and only Windows Phone light source. The app does have a certain level of appeal but a poorly designed trial version may likely turn many away.

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Last week we promised to bring you more Xbox One accessory reviews, and we weren't kidding! I have no less than six controllers and other accessories in the hopper, just waiting to be put through their paces so that our readers can know what's up. First up will be the new Xbox One Mini Series Wired Controller from Power A (makers of the MOGA controllers.

The Mini Series Wired Controller is exciting for a number of reasons. Along with Power A's Spectra Controller, it's one of the very first two wired controllers for Xbox One. Many gamers prefer wireless for comfort, but wired controllers can still be very handy. The Mini Series controller is also smaller than a standard Xbox One controller, making it more suitable for players with small hands. And last but not least, it sells for $39.99 – $20 less than the standard controller.

Read on to find out whether the Mini Series Controller is right for you.

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NFC Safe is an interesting Windows Phone app that allows you to secure important date, images and credentials on your Windows Phone. The app utilizes your Windows Phone's NFC abilities to create a NFC Tag key that will open the app. Otherwise, your information is locked up and secure from prying eyes.

NFC Safe includes OneDrive support to back up your information, Live Tile support for direct access to folders and you can create multiple NFC tags just in case you are prone to losing things. It's an interesting app and a handy way to keep things private on your Windows Phone.

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The Xbox One launched with a killer fighting game that continues to be updated even now. That would be Killer Instinct, which will start its second season of content next week. While the new Killer Instinct was originally developed by Double Helix, Chicago-based Iron Galaxy Studios eventually took over on development duties. Iron Galaxy has quite the history with fighters, having developed/ported several Xbox 360 fighters for Capcom.

Now Iron Galaxy has just published its own fighting game Divekick: Addition Edition + on Xbox One as part of the ID@Xbox program. Divekick is anything but serious, filled with joke and parody characters and requiring only two buttons to play. It's a fighter boiled down to the barest essentials. Bring your sense of humor and appreciation for fighting games and you're going to love the art of divekicking. Read on for our detailed review and watch Jonathan Dollison and I divekick it on video!

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They say the simplest things in live are often the most enjoyable. Square Me is a Windows Phone game that hopes to tap into that philosophy and find its way into your Windows Phone gaming library.

Square Me isn't a very complicated game. You are presented with a collection of colored squares and have to find the one square that doesn't match the rest. The goal is to try to solve as many puzzles in one minute. While all this sounds easy, you may be surprised how hard it is to find the one tiny little square that is just a fraction of a shade different than the rest.

Available for low-memory devices, Square Me is an appealing, addictive, sometimes frustrating Windows Phone game that is a nice option to choose when you have a few minutes to kill.

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If you are a fan of celebrity food fanatic Alton Brown, you may know that the one thing he steers clear of when equipping his kitchen is a "unitasker," an object that can only perform a single function. That is what I like the most about the Patriot FUEL Active Mobile Rechargeable Battery. It combines a mobile device battery charger, something many of us will only use occasionally, with a flashlight.

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