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Mobile Fight Club
A closer look
With the recent theatrical release of Fast 5, we thought it would be a good time to look at Fast & Furious: Adrenaline from I-play. I’ve only seen the first Fast & Furious movie, but I gather the series revolve around street races, import and muscle cars, and incredibly wooden performances by Paul Walker. Everything that makes the films special is also in Adrenaline, with the exception of Walker’s acting (though he is sort of in the game).
Fast & Furious takes place within the same universe as the films. Dom (Vin “Iron Giant” Diesel’s character) has left Los Angeles, leaving a void of power in the illegal street racing world. It’s up to the player to join one of four rival racing crews and take over the city by racing, racing, and more racing. Yes, basically the same setup as Speed Racer, except there’s no monkey - unless you count Paul Walker!
Race past the break for our full of-actor-references review.
The Game Room series is a great way to enjoy nostalgic gaming experiences as well as try classic video games for the first time. I happily did both things while preparing for my Centipede and Pitfall! reviews. Unfortunately though, not every game stands the test of time. Some games are pretty tough to get into if you didn’t play them when they were first released. Lunar Lander is like that. Sure, it’s historically important, but I doubt many Windows Phone gamers will actually care to play it.
Lunar Lander blasted off into arcades in 1979, the year of my birth. Its arcade competition that year consisted primarily of Space Invaders (1978) and Galaxian. While those two games feature science fiction themes and aliens to blast, Lunar Lander is grounded in reality. The player pilots a lunar landing module as it descends to Earth’s moon. Death comes not from unfriendly visitors but from crashing into the landscape or even just landing too quickly – again, a more realistic setup than the competition. This is still a video game though, so players do get more chances to play until they run out of fuel.
Rocket past the break for our fuel review.
Windows Phone games that have descriptions that read, "Please Note: This game is intentionally difficult" tends to attract attention. Such is the case with Lushington Springs.
Lushington Springs is a tower defense game that will eventually throw everything at you (maybe even the kitchen sink). The story goes that Lushington Springs needs help in defending the territory from hostile attacks (as if there was friendly attacks). Terrain ranges from forests to snowy passes to deserts to urban areas.
Follow the break to find out more about this fast paced tower defense game.
I never knew that Pandas and Ninjas didn't get along. Apparently they don't or the Windows Phone game, Pandas vs. Ninjas, wouldn't have been developed.
In the spirit of Angry Birds, XIMAD Inc. has created a puzzle game of destruction where you (the panda) attempts to take out ninja strongholds. You do so by hurling an assortment of critters, with various abilities, at the ninjas. The ninjas are protected by an assortment of bamboo, stone, and metal structures.
I've gotta admit Panda vs. Ninjas is a fun, somewhat addictive game and to read more, slide on past the break.
The viruses from Pandemic have mutated into the Windows Phone 7 game, Pandemic Evolved. Z-Games is offering the free game over at the Marketplace that puts the viruses into a tetris-like environment.
The game has groups of three viruses dropping from the top of the screen and you have to stack them up to create a match of four or more of the same viruses to contain the outbreak.
Continued after the break.
Fun Infused Games has released a fast paced, space shooter, arcade game for the Windows Phone that definitely lives up to its title. Hypership Out of Control Lite has you in control of a space ship that is, well, out of control. No brakes and the accelerator is stuck. Luckily your weapons system is stuck in the "on" position.
Your goal is to navigate your out of control ship through through various obstacles, collecting coins, bonus items and destroying various items as you fly towards the finish line. Once you cross the finish line, you move to the next wave that will progressively get harder.
Continued after the break.
Anyone who has small kids knows that they are fascinated by both phones and videogames. Handing off a phone to your child while in the car or at a restaurant can be a great way to keep the little one occupied. Indie developer Ganlok Studios has produced three fine kids’ games for Windows Phones: Mazoocard, Toy Xylophone, and Simon Cow. Each title offers clean, attractive graphics, simple gameplay, and a great user interface.
Head past the break for our full three-game review.
During the 16-bit gaming era, Shiny Entertainment’s Earthworm Jim made quite a splash. It boasted very unusual character designs, an off-beat sense of humor, and excellent graphics and sound. It was also frustratingly hard, but so were a lot of games back then. Earthworm Jim was such a success that it spawned a few sequels and its own cartoon series.
Fast-forwarding several years, Gameloft - the developer/publisher known for producing mobile clones of popular console franchises – has brought the original Earthworm Jim to Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title. Is Earthworm Jim still as groovy as he ever was? Yes and no. This version is pretty rough around the edges thanks to some poor design decisions from the ‘loft.
Swing past the jump for our in-depth review.
If you are a flight simulator fan, Infinite Flight is being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that might suit your fancy. You can pilot a Cessna 172SP or a Cirrus SR22 (future updates will bring more aircraft to the app) around the San Francisco Bay area.
From realistic flight controls to multiple airport destinations, there is a lot to Infinite Flight. And to read more on this Windows Phone flight simulator, glide on past the break.
One challenge most of us will face is keeping up with all those blasted passwords. You could choose one password for everything but one size doesn't always fit all and experts say that's not the moset secure practice.
Password Manager is a simple application for your Windows Phone that comes with Dropbox Sync functionality and PC sync. Password Manager allows you to store internet passwords, banking information, credit card information or miscellaneous passwords/info. If you have serial numbers you need to maintain, Password Manager would be a good option for that as well.
Continued after the break.
Heading to Disney World Resort this summer? There's a Windows Phone app out there that may lessen the headache of finding your way around the theme parks. DisneyBot is a travel application that maps out Disney World covering restrooms, rides, attractions and park times. The app uses your Windows Phone location services with Bing Maps to guide your way around the parks.
For more on DisneyBot, slide on past the break.
Given that both Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox 360 and games on Windows Phone use the XNA development environment, it’s surprising how few indie games have made the jump from Xbox 360 to Windows Phone so far. Twin Blades is the earliest game to have made the transition (becoming an Xbox Live title, no less). Indie gaming fans sick of puzzle games now have a more hardcore game to play: Square Off, courtesy of Australian developer Gnomic Studios.
Square Off’s story, told through a series of full screen stills in the intro and ending, involves a prolonged alien invasion of the earth. Humanity is unable to defeat the aliens for some reason, so a mad scientist comes up with a plan. He splices alien DNA with his own brain cells, creating a team of Square Avengers. These little guys strap on jet-packs, grab some guns, and head out to save the planet.
While the silly story sets the stage, Square Off is really just about shooting a bunch of aliens. The game consists of seven levels: the first three have four regular waves followed by a boss wave, while the final level contains two waves and a big boss wave. In normal waves, a group of UFOs act as enemy generators. They spawn numerous smaller enemies and must be dealt with before the bad guys overwhelm you with numbers. Helpful color coded arrows indicate the location of off-screen enemies and UFOs. Finish everybody off and it’s on to the next wave.
Rocket past the break for our full review.
Many younger gamers’ first exposure to Pitfall! came from the console title Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which featured a Pitfall! minigame. But Pitfall! started its life way back in 1982 on the Atari 2600. The product of a single Activision developer, David Crane, it sold over 4 million copies and skyrocketed Activision to stardom. Now developer Krome and publisher Microsoft Game Studios bring the ‘Fall! To Windows Phone as both an Xbox Live and Game Room title. Is it better suited to mobile play than cranky ol’ Asteroids Deluxe? Yes!
Pitfall! stars the adventurer Pitfall Harry. His sprite was comprised of four separate colors on a platform in which most sprites were made of only one or two colors. Harry’s surplus of colors produced such a realistic effect at the time that many people thought an actual human being had somehow become trapped in their game cartridge. Thanks to modern computer technology we now know that this was not the case, but Harry still retains a certain visual charm after all these years.
Grab onto a vine and swing past the jump for our full review!
Centipede, the first Game Room title for Windows Phone, impressed many with its faithful arcade emulation and stellar presentation. Asteroids Deluxe is the second portable Game Room entry. It’s still a very faithful port (perhaps even more so than the console/PC version), but the game itself is more of an acquired taste.
Asteroids Deluxe is the 1981 arcade sequel to the original Asteroids. Players pilot a ship through an asteroid field, blasting space debris for points. Once a large asteroid is fired upon, it breaks into two smaller ones. Each of those splits into two really tiny, hard-to-hit rocks. Clear a wave of all asteroids and a new wave starts up with even more rocks to avoid and destroy.
Fly past the break and into hyperspace for our full review.
Billed as one of the most cheesiest story lines for a Windows Phone 7 game, Steel Avenger turns out to be a rather decent game for your Windows Phone. Reminiscent of the classic arcade game Spy Hunter, Steel Avenger puts you in the role of Harry Kersey, an ex-cop who is trying to avenge hiis wife's brutal death.
Kersey takes out his revenge on the streets of downtown Farlix against the criminals responsible for his loved ones untimely death. With the assistance of sympathetic police force, who conveniently drop power-ups from helicopters, Kersey will weave through traffic taking his vengeance out on the bad guys.
Ease on past the break to read more on Steel Avenger and how you can help Kersey extract his justice.
Need a RSS Reader for your Windows Phone? There's plenty to choose from and today we turn our sights on Feed Me from Forty3Degrees.
Supporting off-line browsing, Feed Me is a simple, straight forward reader that takes advantage of Windows Phone 7's Metro design. With support for your Google Reader feeds as well as ties to Twitter, Instapaper and Read It Later, Feed Me has a certain amount of appeal.
Follow the break to read more on Feed Me.
Ran across an interesting, somewhat addictive Windows Phone 7 game the other day. Extreme Lines by Blue Trading is a $.99 game over at the Marketplace that is line game with a puzzle twist to it.
Extreme Lines offer two game plays, Classic and Extreme and two Game Modes, Lines and Squares. With two gaming levels (easy and hard) Extreme Lines comes with plenty of game to it.
Ease on past the break to read more on Extreme Lines.
We made mention of the Windows Phone 7 game Juice Factory a while back. It's a slice and dice game reminiscent of Fruit Ninja. Your task with the game is to throw your meat cleaver (yes, your slicing fruit with a cleaver) at various arrangements of fruit.
Along the way you'll have barriers, wooden logs and moving walls to contend with. There are over 80 levels to Juice Factory, giving you plenty of playing time. To game modes and an online leaderboard help give the game a competitive edge.
Windows Phone 7 has no shortage of tower defense games. In addition to numerous indie offerings, Xbox Live games Star Wars: Battle for Hoth, Plants vs. Zombies, and geoDefense will all be available by the end of June. Then there’s Zombie Attack! 2 (AKA Zombie Attack! The 2nd Wave) from IUGO Mobile Entertainment. “Sweet, zombies and tower defense go together like brains and ketchup,” you might be thinking. Don’t get too excited just yet…
Zombie Attack 2’s claim to fame is that the player controls a human survivor that runs around planting and upgrading towers. Standing next to a tower boosts its damage by fifty percent. The survivor can attack zombies directly with a machete or shotgun, but zombies can hurt him or her as well. If the human dies, he or she will re-spawn at the base after several seconds. The base has its own health meter. If the zombies destroy the base, the game ends.
The six playable characters include: Survivor, Red Ninja, Fighter, Super Spy, Santa, and Daisy Mae. They don’t play differently and are fairly generic, except maybe for Daisy Mae. She’s actually the star of a separate indie WP7 title from IUGO.
Creep past the break for our full review.
Tainicom has brought the pinball experience to your Windows Phone with Pinball League: The Juggler. How does the song go? He's a pinball wizard there's got to be a twist....
While you may not become a pinball wizard with Pinball League, we found it to be an entertaining game to pass the time with. The 3D graphics looks really good and the realistic game play represents pinball machines really good.
Ease on past the break to read more about Pinball League: The Juggler.
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.