Reviews

There really is not much to the Windows Phone 8 game Pudgy Penguin. It’s a puzzle game of sorts where you have to make sure Pudgy is fed enough before the clock strikes zero.

Unfortunately, the fish randomly drop from the top of the screen and it is your job to guide them to Pudgy. It isn’t a complicated game but include the time constraints, the fast pace the fish drop and a few obstacles to direct the fish around and Pudgy Penguin becomes a challenging, casual game for Windows Phone 8.

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If you like the selective color editing to your Windows Phone photos, you need to try the Windows Phone app Sense the Color. The photography app allows you to reveal only the colors you want in your photographs. Prefer only the colors in a flower to shine through while leaving the rest of your photograph in black and white, Sense the Color can do that.

Sense the Color has an easy user interface, the ability to share edited images within the app, and is a creative way to add a little pop to your photos. While I wouldn't mind seeing a few more editing tools added to the app, Sense the Color is a welcomed addition to the Windows Phone photography library.

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Movie Blaze is a Windows Phone 8 app that delivers a considerable amount of movie information to your Windows Phone. Through Movie Blaze, you can find out what’s currently showing in theaters, what titles are heading to the big screen and search out information on older movies.

Movie Blaze will let you track movies you have seen, tag movies you want to see, discover new movies, back-up your favorites/watch lists to SkyDrive, and sync with your The Movie DB account. The only thing missing is the ability to check out local show times and buy tickets. Movie Blaze is a respectable movie app for Windows Phone 8, well worth trying.

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1:CLOCK is a relatively new Windows Phone 8 app that will help you keep track of global times, keep time with a stopwatch and countdown the seconds with a timer.

1:CLOCK can display times for over 3,700 cities worldwide, save stopwatch times and double as a nightstand clock. The app is in its infancy and while there is still work to be done, 1:CLOCK has a certain level of appeal. To help push you off the fence and give 1:CLOCK a try, the app is free and ad-free through February 24th.

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Avengers Assemble with RJS! for Windows Phone 8

Run, Jump, Smash! landed in the Windows Store last month and the Windows Phone 8 version was released this past weekend as the abbreviated title RJS! The game is an endless runner where you guide a team of Marvel Comics superheroes across an obstacle course filled with obstacles and enemy minions.

Your goal is to advance far enough to fight super villains such as Loki. Superheroes can be upgraded or additional characters unlocked with the coins you collect as you run through the game. Graphics are rather nice, game play challenging and possibly the only downside to RJS! is the lack of a trial version.

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Microsoft’s HealthVault is a great resource for managing yours and your family’s medical information. Medical Image Vault is a Windows Phone app that provides access to medical images in your HealthVault account.

It is a convenient way to access this information when visiting the doctor or in cases of emergency. Medical Image Vault is a nice companion app for your Microsoft HealthVault account and the HealthVault Windows Phone app.

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Battle for Homeland Mad Animals is a tower defense game for Windows Phone 8 that pits you against a hungry pack of zombies. Sounds like your typical Zombie genre game, right? The twist with Battle for Homeland Mad Animals is that you aren't battling humans who have been turned into zombies, instead you face a wide variety of animals who are now the walking dead.

Yep. You are battling zombie cows, elephants, giraffes, bats, sheep, zebras and other animals. You even have zombie Unicorns coming after your brain. The animals are attacking various villages and you are society’s last line of defense. Armed with a wide variety of weapons, you fend off the Zombie invasion wave after wave.

Battle for Homeland Mad Animals has decent graphics, challenging game play and is a rather entertaining tower defense game for Windows Phone 8.

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Calorie Manager is a simple, straightforward Windows Phone 8 app that helps you manage your calorie intake, set daily goals and check out all the nutritional facts about what you eat. The app also has Fitbit integration that will allow you to transfer your nutritional intake to your Fitbit account.

It’s not the perfect solution to connect Fitbit devices with our Windows Phones but until an official Fitbit app hits the Windows Phone Store shelves, Calorie Manager isn’t a bad option for logging food activity. Even if you do not have a Fitbit device, Calorie Manager makes for a rather nice standalone calorie tracker.

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Medieval Apocalypse is a fast paced, action packed Windows Phone 8 game that has you playing the role of a Medieval Knight who has to battle Zombie hordes. The goal is to complete the various quests within the game and leave no Zombie standing.

Graphics are nice (a little on the dark side though), game play challenging and in the short time we’ve played Medieval Apocalypse it comes across as an appealing addition to the Windows Phone 8 gaming library.

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Puzzle games can be an entertaining, challenging way to pass the time with. There are plenty of puzzle game choices in the Windows Phone Store and Match is one of the latest offerings for Windows Phone 8.

Match calls on you to line up various tiles with their corresponding templates. The challenge is that the movement of one tile, effects the movement of the others. Match makes a nice first impression and is a puzzle game worth giving a shot.

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Game Hound is a Windows Phone 8 app that delivers a healthy database of gaming titles to your Windows Phone. The app also lists upcoming gaming titles with Live Tile support to countdown the days until release.

Add gaming news feed and lockscreen support to show upcoming titles and Game Hound is a Windows Phone app with potential. However, while the database is vast, the information on each title is a little on the thin side which holds this app title back.

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Control Center is a Windows Phone 8 app that pulls together a large collection of settings and shortcuts on to one page. It gives you quick and easy access to your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Network settings and more.

While Control Center is a single page app, it packs access to many features under one roof. Live Tile support makes access to Control Center easy and if you are looking for a one-stop source for key Windows Phone settings, Control Center might be worth a look.

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FilmOn TV is an unofficial Windows Phone 8 app for FilmOn, a service that lets you watch free live television from the U.S., European, Latin American and Asian markets. We’ve been following the Beta progress of this app and the public release of version 1 hit the shelves a few days ago.

You can catch broadcasts such as sporting events, news casts, lifestyle shows, movies, children’s shows and more. In tinkering with FilmOn TV for a short period of time, it comes across as a decent way to catch a little TV time from your Windows Phone 8 device. There are a few performance issues present but it appears to be more an issue with the service than the app itself.

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Nokia Lumia Icon Review

Our full review of Verizon's new flagship Windows Phone

On February 20th, Nokia and Verizon are bringing the highly anticipated Lumia Icon to market. The phone has been rumored for months, even going by the previous moniker of Lumia 929. But now it is finally getting the spotlight treatment.

For all intents and purposes, the Lumia Icon is a Lumia 1520 jammed into a smaller, more nimble device. With a more practical 5-inch 1080P display, 32 GB of internal storage, Qi wireless charging and a whopping 20 MP PureView camera, all in a body that is only slightly taller than its predecessor, the Lumia 928, it’s hard to see how this phone could fail.

So, does the $199 device live up to the hype? Is this the ultimate Nokia Lumia? Read our full review for all of the details and watch our video hands on, after the break!

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Crazy Horses: Match Maker HD is the latest Crazy Horses gaming installment from Nice Touch Games. The Windows Phone 8 game is a 3D version of the original Match Maker game that hit the shelves a few years ago.

The Windows Phone 8 game has five thousand puzzles that fall into three difficulty levels (easy, medium and hard). In addition to the core puzzle library, Crazy Horses: Match Maker HD has daily challenges for each difficulty level.

The pace is casual, the puzzles can be challenging and overall Crazy Horses: Match Maker HD is an entertaining game for Windows Phone 8.

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If you are in the mood for a fast-paced sci-fi shooter game for your Windows Phone, take a gander at Space Shooter X. Inspired by old school Japanese shooters, the game has fantastic graphics, an edgy pace and plenty of bosses to battle.

Ships can be upgraded with a vast assortment of weapons and you have full power and bombing options to help you obliterate your enemies. Speaking of which, while some space shooters have your enemies approach you head on, Space Shooter X has them coming from all directions. Space Shooter X is a fun game to play and will definitely keep you on your toes.

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Some may argue there are way too many weather apps available for our Windows Phone. However, having such a vast selection the odds of finding that one Windows Phone weather app that matches your needs and tastes increases.  If you are looking for a simple, picturesque weather app for Windows Phone 8, Weatherfrog hopes to make your short list of choices.

The app features dynamic background images that match your current location and a modest amount of forecast information. Weatherfrog hit the Windows Phone Store shelves about a month ago and is yet another weather app option worth considering for your Windows Phone.

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When a new email application shows up in the Windows Store, there are two types of people; there are the guys and gals who jump up and down at the excitement of improved productivity, and there are those who could not care any less than they are currently. The latest email application to hit Windows 8.1, TouchMail, just might be able to attract both groups of people.

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Ravelle is a Windows Phone 8 photography app that makes it easy to add captions to your photos. 

Captions can be added to existing photos in your Windows Phone Pictures Hub or launch the internal camera app to add text to new photos. Ravelle has a simple interface and can come in handy for the times you want to add your thoughts to your photos.

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If you have ever had the need to track your moods and feelings, check out the Windows Phone 8 app LiveZen. It is an easy way to log, track and chart your moods throughout the day and reflect on days gone by.

You will need to log into LiveZen with your Windows Phone ID but in doing so, your data is stored in the cloud making it easy to keep LiveZen up to date if you change devices. At first glance, LiveZen is a nice app to let you log and reflect on your moods from your Windows Phone 8 device.

Who knows? With LiveZen, you may finally be able to prove to your significant other that you aren’t always in a bad mood.

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There are plenty of alarm apps in the Windows Phone Store and AlarmMe is one of the better looking, easy to use options in the Store. The colorful design gives AlarmMe some eye-appeal and the simple user interface is virtually frustration free.

If the native alarm feature on your Windows Phone is not cutting it, AlarmMe is not a bad alternative to consider.

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 is an absolutely massive phone. With hardware so impressive (and a fairly sizable price tag), you’re going to want to take excellent care of it. And the Lumia 1520’s beautiful 6-inch screen also makes the device excel at video playback. Failing to take advantage of those playback capabilities would be a form of neglect, you might say. So perhaps a method of propping the 1520 up for hands-free playback is in order.

Enter Minisuit, a company who makes a wide range of mobile accessories including cases for the Microsoft Surface tablets. Minisuit offers a solution to both protecting the Lumia 1520 and keeping it upright during movie playback: the Rugged Hybrid Kickstand Case for Lumia 1520. I’ve been using the case exclusively with my new 32 GB Lumia 1520, and come away impressed with its quality and value.

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The Windows Store is certainly growing and it seems that if you delve deep enough, there is always a new interesting app or game to tryout. We have played quite a few games on our Windows tablet’s such as Halo: Spartan Assault, that take full advantage of the graphic processing at hand. However, as we all know, complex graphics are not always the most important aspect. Today, we are looking at a simple, yet fun, infinite platformer – Night Lighter.

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