Reviews

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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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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TV Blaze is one of the more recent television show tracking apps to become available for Windows Phone 8. The app helps you track your favorite television shows from what you have already watched to the new episodes that are waiting to be watched.

TV Blaze also has Trakt.tv integration, OneDrive support and tons of information on your favorite shows. Navigation isn’t as straight forward as we would have liked but overall, TV Blaze is a nice option to consider that will help you track your TV viewing habits.

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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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If you think you have mad math skills and quick reactions, Kaboom is a Windows Phone game that might be of interest.

The premise of the game is that bad times have befallen on major cities worldwide. An evil mathematician has launched a reign of terror on these locations and it's your job to save the day.

You will need to solve basic math problems to prevent bombs froe destroying the city. The pace of the game picks up the longer you survive and while there's not much to Kaboom, it comes across as a fun Windows Phone game.

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Time of My Life is a relatively new Windows Phone 8 app from Microsoft Studios that is designed to help you track where you spend your time.

The app uses your Windows Phone location services to log the time you spend in one location or the other and will chart your activity with daily, weekly and monthly graphs.

Time of My Life is an interesting app with potential but could use a little fine-tuning.

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Maleficent Free Fall hit the Windows Phone Store last week in advance of the Disney movie Maleficent that is due out in theaters on May 30th. The latest Windows Phone 8 game from Disney Studios places a dark twist on the match three game.

The multi-level, multi-chapter game has you following a young Maleficent through the years tackling a wide assortment of match three challenges. You earn magic that can be used to unlock power-ups that will help you survive the puzzles.

Maleficent Free Fall is a well animated, entertaining gaming option for Windows Phone 8 and if you're looking for a challenging puzzle game, it's worth checking out.

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Magic Realms is the Windows Phone and Blackberry version of Elemental Kingdoms, a popular collectible card game/RPG. It also happens to be a re-skinning of an existing game called Lies of Astaroth, with the same game mechanics but totally different cards, art and story.

Origins aside, Magic Realms is a vast and endlessly enjoyable card game. You get a lengthy story mode, online player-versus-player battles, clan support, semi-weekly live events, cloud saves, and even cross-platform compatibility with the Blackberry version of the game. That’s quite a lot of value from a free to play game. Learn more in our in-depth review.

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Tap Master: Mondrian is a simple Windows Phone 8 game that will test your ability to react to commands and objects flying down your screen. The game's design is inspired by Piet Mondrian's minimalistic style and has you tapping colored shapes as they run down (or in some cases up) the screen.

The challenge to the game is that you can only tap the pieces as directed by the game. It sounds easy but as you progress through game play, the pace increases and you might be surprised how challenging it can be to keep up.

Tap Master: Mondrian has a simple layout, challenging game play and is a nice addition to the Windows Phone gaming library.

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Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

When Lenovo first introduced the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook in 2012, we were faced with a machine that was close to perfection. Sure, the original iteration was not perfect in every sense but it came closer than any Ultrabook we had available.

Now that we have landed in 2014, the company has released its third iteration of the ThinkPad X1. We've spent a little time with the 2014 edition of the ThinkPad X1 and after the break, we see what has changed for the better and for the worse.

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At first glance, the Windows Phone game Shift may not be very impressive. It is a game of tic-tac-toe so it cannot be that challenging of a game, right?

While Shift is a tic-tac-toe game for Windows Phone 8, the game adds an interesting twist to the game. Game play is done in match style where you have to be the first to win three games, but you have to win by two games. Game play has a continuous pace until someone wins the match, which gives Shift that twist to make it stand out a little.

Shift is a fun, casual game for your Windows Phone gaming library and the twist in game play helps give the game a little staying power.

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A while back we reviewed Spirit of Hero, a 3D MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) from Vietnamese developer TeaMobi. Although fairly buggy and riddled with translation errors, the game offered a lot of content and a unique look at Vietnamese history and mythology. And there aren’t exactly tons of free to play MMORPGs on Windows Phone.

It turns out that TeaMobi is something of an MMO specialist. They offer two more massively multiplayer online games on our favorite smartphone platform: Ninja School and Avatar. Today we look at Ninja School (aka Ninja School Online), a free platforming RPG similar to the popular Maple Story series. Surprisingly, this one works with both Windows Phone 7 and 8. Do technical problems and poor translation keep this game from ninja awesomeness? Find out in our full review.

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