Reviews

Ballance Resurrection is a fun, challenging, wonderfully drawn-up puzzle game for Windows Phone 8. The game is a Marble Madness styled game where you have to navigate a ball through a series of platforms, rails, and other obstacles.

The gaming platform is set high in the clouds and one wrong move will send your ball plummeting to its demise. Ballance Resurrection is a multi-level puzzle game with a bit of an arcade feel about it. The game requires a gentle touch, steady hand and a good bit of patience. In playing Ballance Resurrection for a short time, it comes across as an entertaining option for your Windows Phone.

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Last month we named a little twin-stick shooter called JoyJoy as one of May's best new Windows Phone games. Now it's time to follow up with a full review!

JoyJoy comes from Radiangames, maker of the similarly fantastic Bombcats Special Edition. Radian originally published this one as an Xbox Live Indie Game on the Xbox 360 way back in 2010. Now a whole new audience can experience JoyJoy's simple shoot 'em up bliss along with an array of improvements and tweaks for mobile play. Fans of the genre won't want to miss it.

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Unroll Me - unblock the slots is a puzzle game for Windows Phone 8 that has you solving a puzzle, which in turn creates a path for a white ball to travel safely to the finish point in the gaming levels. The game can be rather challenging in that you need to stay one step ahead of the rolling ball as you solve the puzzle or you'll see the white ball crash and burn, ending your hopes of completing the puzzle level.

The game has had a decent amount of success of on iOS and Android platforms and in playing Unroll me for the past few days, it should do well on the Windows Phone platform.

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For many, pizza is a staple food item and the Windows Phone app Pizza Pointer is designed to help you seek out the nearest Pizza Parlor (and yes, technically Little Caesars is a pizza parlor).

Pizza Pointer has the ability to map out all the pizza places in your area, generate driving direction and, if available, provide you with phone numbers, websites and other details on the pizza joint. In using Pizza Pointer over the past few days, it comes across as a handy Windows Phone app to help satisfy your pizza cravings.

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Stress Scale Calculator is a Windows Phone app designed to measure your potential for illness based on several stress factors in your life. Stress affects our health, moods, and general fitness.

The app is extremely simple and is based on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale (more on this in a second) that presents you with a series of stress factors. The more stress, the more risk of illness.

While the Stress Scale Calculator may not be your typical Windows Phone app to be highlighted during Fitness Month, identifying areas of stress may help your overall health and welfare.

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Life360 is a family location app for Windows Phone 8 that will map out family members smartphones using GPS tracking technology. The app also has features to locate lost phones, alerts for when family members reach their destination, and more.

Life360 is available for Windows Phone 8, iPhones, Android devices and even non-smartphones can be registered and tracked. The app has plenty of features but does require each smartphone to have the app installed and each family register for membership. While the core Life360 service is free, it takes a little more effort to set-up than, say AT&T's Family Map but may end up saving you a little cash along the way.

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Dog Parks is a Windows Phone app designed to help pet owners find pet friendly parks in their area where they can run their pets. It can be a challenge for some pet owners to find open spaces where their dogs can exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

Dog Parks is an easy way to see what parks are in your area and while traveling. The app is a tad restricted in the size of its dog park database and only covers areas within the United States, Canada and Australia. The developer is working to expand the coverage and while limited, Dog Parks can be a useful Windows Phone app to have.

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Dumbbell Workouts is a handy Windows Phone app for those who are looking for an easy way to tone muscle groups using the free weight dumbbells. The app is a small collection of exercises that can be useful for those who choose to workout from a home gym or for those who have active memberships at a formal gym setting. In addition to the dumbbell exercises, Dumbbell Workouts also contains a few dumbbell-free exercises designed to firm up your abs and butt.

Dumbbell Workout has a straightforward layout and can help you make the most of Fitness Month. It's a nice Windows Phone app, probably more appealing to someone just starting out on the fitness path looking for an exercise regiment.

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Last week, Disney released yet another game for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices - Words of Wonder. The game is word search game that has a match three game ( Maleficent Free Fall, Frozen Free Fall, etc.) feel about it.

The game has you following the Disney character Watson the Owl as he fights the grey curse that is erasing the color from his storybook. You use the power of words to unlock bonus items and restore the color to the book.

Words of Wonder is a simple, yet challenging for players of all ages and a nice addition to the Disney Windows 8/Windows Phone gaming collection.

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Two Dots is a casual, Windows Phone puzzle game that appears to be the third installment of connect-the-dot styled games from Data Arc. Two Dots follows Pop The Dots and Dots, sharing the same minimalistic design and mildly addictive game play.

Two Dots has over three hundred levels of play, which gives the game a little staying power and while game play is easy to pick up, it's no pushover. Two Dots does a nice job of picking up where Pop The Dots left off and is an entertaining puzzle game for Windows Phone 8.

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Commando Jack is a tower defense game for Windows Phone 8 that has you battling wave after wave of alien invaders. While game play isn't much different than other tower defense game, Commando Jack steps out slightly by letting you jump inside a defensive turret for a first person perspective on things.

The game has plenty of weapons upgrades, a wide range of enemies to defeat and several global venues to defend. Graphics are nicely drawn up and with plenty of gaming variations and difficulties, Commando Jack will keep you on your toes. Commando Jack has been well received over on iOS and should see similar success here on the Windows Phone platform.

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Slingcat is a Windows Phone game where you play the role of a cat, which bears the same name, who is on a mission to find buried treasure. Armed with only a bow, Slingcat faces an assortment of dangers during his quest for treasure that include charging bulls, canaries armed with boulders, bomb dropping vultures and more.

Gameplay is a combination of a platfomer styled game and an action shooter. This combination of game play styles helps add to the games appeal and will definitely keep you on your toes. Animations are nicely drawn-up, game play challenging and Slingcat makes for an enjoyable gaming option for Windows Phone 8.

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One aspect of staying fit is tending to health issues that may crop up. WebMD is a popular website that provides you with a wide range of medical and health information ranging from diet to medication to home remedies. While WebMD should never replace a trip to the doctor's office, the website can improve your knowledge of health conditions and offer suggestions on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

The Windows Phone WebMD app isn't an official offering but does try to deliver WebMD's information to your phone. The app provides WebMD's health tools, information on health conditions and tips on living healthy. Absent an official WebMD app, this unofficial version does a decent job of things by giving you easy access to the mobile WebMD website. However, there are a few quirks about it. 

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Slots Club is a Windows Phone 8 game that has you tackling six different slots with over forty paying lines. The machines are nicely animated, aren't impossible to win at and each themed slot machine has a bonus game to keep game play from growing stale.

The Slots Club title has enjoyed decent success as an online game over on Facebook and in play the Windows Phone version, it should have similar success as a mobile gaming option.

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Top Rated Windows Phone Running Apps

As you may have noticed, June is Fitness Month with the Mobile Nations community. That means you will be seeing more news, reviews and roundups on fitness apps for your Windows Phone, Blackberry, iPhone, Android device and other mobile gadgets.

This week's roundup falls a little early and will be focusing on running apps for your Windows Phone. This collection of apps are among the top rated fitness apps available in the Windows Phone Store and will help track, log and digest all your running activities. Some will cover additional activities such as bicycling, hiking and other mobility activities. These Windows Phone apps will help you get into shape and help you stay in shape.

As with all our roundups, if we've missed your favorite title let us know below in the comments.

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Oponki is a simple Windows Phone game that will challenge your reactions. The game's layout is uncomplicated and calls upon you to tap the left or right side of your Windows Phone screen bases on a series of instructions that will vary from level to level.

Oponki is an easy game to pick up but don' let the plain appearance fool you. It won't take long before you find yourself tapping left when you should be tapping right or see the game timer run out before you figure out which side of the screen to tap. If you're looking for a way to test out your reflexes, Oponki is a Windows Phone game worth trying.

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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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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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We were tipped on a relatively new Windows Phone 8 weather app the other day and while we have plenty of weather app options, this one ain't too shabby. Skyline has a minimalist appearance that delivers the basic weather information along with an interesting map feature.

Yes. It is another Windows Phone weather app but Skyline has enough appeal and gusto to stand out from the pack.

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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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Clipr is a relatively new photography app for Windows Phone 8 that lets you clip parts of one picture and paste it into another picture. Clipr also has tools to selectively blur portions of photos, merge two photos into one and create Start Screen background wallpapers.

After using Clipr over the past few days, while the app could use a little fine-tuning, the app comes across as a creative photography tool for our Windows Phones well worth a try.

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Review – VEVO v3.5 for Windows Phone

Vevo is a popular video hosting site (www.vevo.com) that has been described as "Hulu for music videos". The five-year old service is a joint venture between Universal Music Group, Google, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media. The Windows Phone app received a major update last week that refreshed the user interface, added a few new channels, an improved playlist manager and more.

We have touched on Vevo before but though a closer look at the updated version (version 3.5.0.80) was in order.

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While the battery life in our Windows Phone and Windows devices has improved dramatically over the years, there are still times when you need a little boost to make it through the day. The easy solution is finding an outlet and just plug in your Windows Phone or your Surface tablet.

However, when an outlet isn't available a portable, an external battery is a good option to have. RAVPower offers a nice assortment of external batteries and the RP-PB14 Xtreme is one of the beefiest batteries the company offers. The Xtreme battery sports a 2300mAh battery with LCD display and a ton of connection options.

The RAVPower Xtreme is a nice option to consider to cover a wide range of recharging needs but the size may take away from the portability of this battery.

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