Reviews

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MagBeads - Review

Imagine combining Tetris, Bejeweled and Twister all in one game for your Windows Phone. If that sounds interesting you might like the Windows Phone 7 game Magbeads.

From the Marketplace listing, "MagBeads offers a brand new concept of match-3 puzzle games." The game has five game modes and offers a healthy gaming challenge. MagBeads ran stable, offers appealing graphics and does have a slight addictive quality.

To read more, just bounce on past the break.

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Centipede - Review

Gamers and critics alike panned the first two Xbox Live retro arcade games for Windows Phone, Pac-Man and Frogger, for several reasons. Both games have sub-par touch screen controls, shoddy presentation, and annoyingly difficult Achievements. Pac-Man even has an audacious $5 price tag. But those shoddy ports are Namco and Konami’s wrongdoing. How would big and powerful Microsoft handle bringing a classic arcade game to their mobile platform? Surprisingly well, as Centipede proves.

Centipede is not as fondly remembered or highly sequelized as its contemporaries Pac-man and Space Invaders. But when it debuted in arcades in 1980, there really was nothing like it. Instead of a joystick, players controlled the main character with a trackball. The hero, a tiny garden gnome, could move in any direction and at greatly varying speeds thanks to the analog control input.

The goal is to destroy the titular centipedes as they descend from the top of the screen. If the centipede hits one of the many randomly-placed mushrooms, it moves down a little faster. Each shot the player hits the centipede with destroys one of its segments, but also spawns a mushroom and usually splits the centipede in two. Destroying an entire centipede causes the screen’s color to change as a new, faster centipede begins its attack. As if death by centipede wasn’t enough, jumping spiders and mushroom-dropping fleas and scorpions also threaten the pitiably outnumbered gnome.

Squash a few bugs and head past the jump for our full review.

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The Sims 3 - Review

The Sims, the hit life simulation series of games, originated on the PC and has since landed on practically every platform under the sun including the Windows Phone 7 platform. In these games, the player creates a digital avatar and then directs it through the rigors of everyday life: eating, sleeping, work, fun, and all that stuff. I do some of that stuff myself, and let me tell you, even the fun isn’t all that fun. But somehow the Sims makes everyday drudgery enjoyable, hence the game's millions of fans. The Sims 3 for Windows Phone 7 brings a fair helping of the PC game’s magic to mobile gamers, although this version’s many issues prevent it from being a must-have.

Cruise past the break for our full review.

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Wordscape - Review

Like word games? How about number puzzles? Wordscape from Atabow offers both for your Windows Phone. Wordscape is a collection of three games (PopLets, PopNums, and Crossword) that will challenge not only your wordsmith abilities but also your arithmetic skills.

From Wordscape's main menu you can access either of the three games, an illustrated help guide or the app's Marketplace listing where you can post a review of the game. You can also mute the sound effects of the game from the main menu.

Drift on past the break to learn about the three games within Wordscape.

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Guppy Ville Flood - Review

Do you like puzzle games that you have to solve within a certain number of moves and under time? Guppyville Flood is being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that calls upon your puzzle solving talents to clear roads that have flooded by an overflowing river.

The story line goes that the town of Guppyville has been hit by torrential rain that has caused the river to overflow and flood the area. In solving the puzzles, you clear the way to allow for support vehicles to access the town and provide aid to the villagers.

Story line aside, Guppyville is an interesting puzzle game for your Windows Phone. To find out more on Guppyville Flood, move on past the break.

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iBlast Moki - Review

The runaway success of Angry Birds is proof that physics-based puzzlers are a great match for mobile devices. Lots of short levels and cute characters are the key. iBlast Moki, an Xbox Live title from Godzilab Games is another high-quality game that uses physics for its puzzles. Its bright, endearing graphics and simple controls belie the game’s surprising depth and challenge.

The first thing gamers will notice about iBlast Moki is the Mokis themselves. Seemingly inspired by the PSP game Loco Roco’s character designs, Mokis are little balls with smiling faces. They display a lot of personality for body-less characters, peering around everywhere, taking naps, and looking rather surprised as they get tossed around each level.

Roll past the jump for our full review.

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8

ESPN ScoreCenter - Review

Growing up, ABC's Wide World of Sports was the place to be for sports programming. How did the saying go? "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Today, most will agree that ESPN is the leading name in sports programming, news and information.  Okay...so how does all this tie into Windows Phone 7? Easy.

ESPN recently released their first Windows Phone 7 application, ScoreCenter, that brings the resources of ESPN to your Windows Phone.  It's a clean, well presented application that will keep you up to date on the latest sports news and allow you to follow your favorite sports and teams. Move on past the break to see how well the ESPN ScoreCenter performed and how it measures up against another Windows Phone sports app, ScoreMobile.

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Fable Coin Golf - Review

The Xbox game Fable has been around for years, dating back to the first generation Xbox consoles.  It is a widely popular game (it even has its own Wiki Page) that is on its third installment (fourth if you count the Lost Chapters) and has now come to your Windows Phone.  Well, in a manner of speaking.

Fable Coin Golf is a companion game to the XBox 360 console game and incorporates several elements of Fable III in a table top golf game.  The object, as described in the Marketplace, is to "rid the land of evil and conquer each area by getting your Hero Puck into the Pillar of Light in as few shots as possible." The evil in which is spoken of includes characters from the video game including Hobbes, Balvarines, Hollow Men and other colorful characters who are intent on destroying you.

Fable Coin Golf is a wonderfully presented game that has challenging moments that border on being a pain. To find out more about this XBox Live game for your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.

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InQuizition - Review

IronSun Studios, developers of Ionball, Lucky7 and Santa Quest, is now offering InQuizition over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. InQuizition is a trivia application that presents you with questions that have multiple answers.  Your job is to find all the correct answers under a time limit.  You start the game with three lives and with each wrong answer or if you fail to beat the time, you lose a life.

InQuizition presents you with a question and twelve possible answers. The number of correct answers are illustrated by a row of stars at the top of the screen and as you choose the correct answer, a star lights up.    Trivia questions range from identifying Beatles songs to animals in the Chinese Zodiac.  

You will need to read the questions carefully. Sometimes the questions directs you to choose answers that are NOT a part of a particular group. Then there are times you are asked to identify answers that are a part of a particular group.

Continued after the break.

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BitBop – Review

Streaming TV and Movies over 3G or Wi-Fi to your phone is without a doubt one of the cooler capabilities of a modern smart-phone. There are several well known applications for Windows Phones that provide this functionality through different methods. Netflix connects to the popular subscription service and streams video to your device while Sling Player streams video directly from your home TV connection.

A less well-known service that offers a Windows Phone application is BitBop. As an up-and-coming competitor to Hulu Plus BitBop offers streaming and downloadable content to your smart-phone. Our review of BitBop is after the jump.

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Revolution - Review

When Microsoft announced Xbox Live support for Windows Phone 7, they appealed to developers to use a control set that was natural to the device. For example Microsoft doesn’t want developers to settle for creating virtual buttons and joysticks on the screen, they want to see user interfaces that consist of using touch and gestures to navigate the experience. One of the games that best exemplifies this push towards a simplified UI is Revolution.

As puzzle games go on Windows Phone 7 devices Revolution isn’t the most visually stimulating and it isn’t a classic like Tetris, Bejeweled, or Hexic. Revolution’s strength lies in the simplicity of its graphics and controls. Keep reading to see what I mean.

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RC AirSim - Review

RC-AirSim Lite is a radio-controlled model airplane flight simulator that is available over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. The simulator features realistic flight dynamics and aerodynamics, Doppler-correct sound, and 3D graphics.

RC AirSim comes in two versions. The free version, RC AirSim Lite, is ad supported, limited to only two airplane styles and flights are restricted to five minutes. The full, paid version will run you $2.99, is ad free, offers seven airplane styles and unlimited flights.

To read more on RC-AirSim, follow the break.

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Cubes - Review

Mathieu Lussier is offering an interesting Windows Phone game over at the Marketplace. Cubes (not to be confused with Cubed) is an challenging puzzle game that has you moving cubes across a grid into a flashing zone on that grid.

Sounds easy, right? Follow the break to see just how easy Cubes is.

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I Love Katamari - Review

The original Katamari Damacy was a sleeper hit when it launched on Playstation 2. It featured a rather unique premise, with the King of All Cosmos requiring the young Prince to roll up tons of objects into a sticky ball called a Katamari. The prince goes from picking up small objects like pencils to gigantic fare like buildings and even islands, creating an amazing sense of scale. Japanese wackiness and humor abounds.

There really is nothing like the Katamari Damacy series, so I was thrilled when Namco released the game on Windows Phone 7 as an Xbox Live title. Then again, I love Katamari comes from the same developer who brought a rather lackluster Pac-Man port to Windows Phone 7, so quality was not guaranteed. I’m pleased to report that while I Love Katamari has a couple of serious issues, its personality and spirit still remain intact.

Roll past the break for our full review.

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Terra Explorer - Review

We mentioned Terra Explorer some time ago when the app first hit the Marketplace and liked what we saw. To refresh everyone's memory, Terra Explorer is a browser for your Windows Phone that is driven by the search.

The developer saw the need to base Terra Explorer on how many people explore the web, by searching. Instead of entering a URL, with Terra Explorer you enter your subject matter.  You essentially surf the web by searching the web.  Terra Explorer taps into Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines and segregates the results across a multi-page hub making things easier to identify.

To read more on Terra Explorer, surf on past the break.

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Weather4me - Review

Weather4me is a basic weather app for your Windows Phone that provides current conditions, what to expect for the rest of the day and a five day forecast for cities worldwide.

Weather4me pulls weather information from Accuweather.com and has a direct link to Accuweather's website for more detailed information. The apps lays the information out in a three page hub. Cities are searchable by name or zip code and you can build up a list of favorites to make switching from city to city easier.

More after the break.

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Endless Shooter - Review

Endless Shooter is a Window Phone 7 game that has you battling waves upon waves of enemy space ships. The Windows Phone game is billed as a fast paced shooter with a relentless onslaught of enemy shifts.  No argument here.

Graphics are simple with your space craft being represented by a green arrow, enemy ships are red arrows and yellow orbs. Your ships health is represented by a green and red ring that surrounds your ship.

Read more about Endless Shooter after the break.

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Quick Fingers - Review

Do you think that you've got fast reflexes? Quick Fingers for Windows Phone is a gaming application that will put even the fastest of fingers to shame. It reminded me a little of the Moron Test but on steroids.

The concept is simple. Quick Fingers presents you with various tests spread over fifteen levels that gauges your reaction speed. Move too slow, you fail. Don't tap the screen enough, you fail. Luckily, there are three levels of difficulty (easy, medium and hard) to lessen the agony of defeat.

Follow the break for more on Quick Fingers and a video demo.

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Steam Castle - Review

The developers who brought Impossible Shoota and Traffic Cop to Windows Phone 7 are now offering Steam Castle.  The Windows Phone game is a tower defense game where you defend your castle and surrounding forest from a barrage of missiles.

The story line of the game goes that you are the last fortress of hope for humanity. You are fighting a losing war against the Mechanitrons and must fall back to Steam Castle to use the advanced steam compression technology to fend off the Mechanitrons as best as possible.

To see if all hope is lost and whether or not Steam Castle is worth the download, blast on past the break.

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Swamp Defense - Review

EntwicklerX, developers of Dodge the Balls, are now offering Swamp Defense over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Swamp Defense is a tower defense game that pits you against mutant swamp creatures.

What makes this Windows Phone game apart from other tower defense games is that your towers are family members. Swamp Defense is a multi-level each with endless waves of monsters to crush. To read more on Swamp Defense and the family members there to help, just slide on past the break.

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Full House Poker - Review

One of the most exciting benefits of Xbox Live games on Windows Phone 7 is the possibility of connectivity. Crackdown: Project Sunburst unlocks a few bonus features in Crackdown 2 on Xbox 360, but that’s only the tip of the ice berg. Full House Poker, developed by Krome Studios and published by Microsoft, integrates more fully with its Xbox 360 counterpart than any game yet.

Full House Poker is a Texas hold ‘em poker simulator. Poker is very well-suited to mobile game play as you can play a hand in no time at all. Full House Poker’s affordable price and the fact that practically everybody loves poker means the game was bound to sell well on Windows Phone 7 no matter what. Thankfully the developers went the full mile and made not just a mobile poker game but a top-notch one as well.

Head past the break for our full house review.

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Women's Murder Club - Review

James Patterson is a best-selling author who, critics say, writes fairly crummy books. His Women’s Murder Clubs series of novels includes ten books and spawned a short-lived TV series. There have also been several video game adaptations. Windows Phone 7 gamers everywhere, surely, are clamoring for such a game, and thankfully developer Vivid Games and publisher I-Play have heard gamers’ desperate calls. Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet is an Xbox Live title you won’t want to miss!

The Women’s Murder Club isn’t actually a group of people who kill women for sport. Instead, “the series revolves around the lives of four women in San Francisco – a homicide detective, an assistant district attorney, a medical examiner and a newspaper reporter – who come together to use their expertise and talents in their respective fields to solve murder cases,” says Wikipedia. Compelling! Death in Scarlet takes that exciting premise and makes a pretty decent hidden-object game.

Flip past the break for our review’s thrilling conclusion!

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Pirate's Mind - Review

Puzzle games are a great fit for mobile gaming. They’re playable in short bursts and appeal to a wide audience. They’re also very easy to create, as every seemingly Indie developer and his brother has at least a couple of the Marketplace. Developer M80 games’ Pirate’s Mind manages to stand out from the crowd thanks to its unique game play and high-quality presentation.

Pirates are a greedy sort, spending much of their time thinking about treasure. So a pirate themed puzzle game must naturally revolve around collecting money. In Pirate’s Mind, the playing field consists of 30 coins. Every coin’s back looks identical, but there are actually three kinds of coins to match: bronze, silver, and gold. Matching coins works kind of like the card game Memory in that after flipping two coins, if they aren’t a match, those two coins will still be in the same place. Then you can flip a new, random coin and try to match it with the ones you’ve already seen.

Learn more of Pirate’s Mind’s secrets after the jump.

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Prof. Stone - Review

In the spirit of Pac-Man, MaSta Software is offering the Windows Phone 7 game Prof. Stone over at the Marketplace. The Windows Phone game has you playing the role of Professor Stone who has to work his way through a multitude of mazes, collecting diamonds along the way.

While Pac-Man had cute little ghosts such as Blinky, Pinky and Inky that chased you about the screen, Professor Stone has various monsters (they appear to be an alien, wild boar, and mutant chicken) that chase you down. To help combat the monster, torches are scattered about the maze that will fend off the monsters and make them vulnerable to attack (you simply walk over them and they go running away).

Continued after the break...

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