99 cent xbox live

The first Xbox-enabled version of Fruit Ninja launched shortly after Windows Phone 7 itself way back in December 2010. As the months rolled by, the iOS and Android versions received a number of updates while the Windows Phone game did not. Developer Halfbrick released a Kinect-enabled Xbox 360 version in 2011, and an Xbox Windows 8 version in 2012 – but still no update to the original Windows Phone game.

Things finally took a turn for the better this month when a Windows Phone 8-specific version of Fruit Ninja finally showed up to the party. The decrepit Windows Phone 7 version simultaneously got partially delisted from the Store, though Windows Phone 7 users can apparently still download it. The new Windows Phone 8 Fruit Ninja is identical in features to the Windows 8 version, so we’ll review them both and point out the improvements to the original game.

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Today’s Xbox Windows Phone 8 release, Rayman Jungle Run might have left gamers who are stuck with Windows Phone 7 feeling left out in the cold. Hey, things aren’t as grim as they seem, old phone users! As it turns out, a second Xbox game came out today: Rabbids Go Phone. That’s right, two Ubisoft games in one day!

Rabbids Go Phone might make Windows Phone 7 users smile, but not the rest of us. For reasons unknown to science, Rabbids won’t run on Windows Phone 8. Considering that Microsoft’s new mobile OS has been available since November last year, it’s pretty silly to release an incompatible game at this point in time. Especially a really simplistic game like Rabbids.

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Last week, most of us were thrilled when Monster Burner launched as a free Xbox Windows Phone game. Surprisingly, a few days later Monster Burner is no longer free; it now sells for a dollar. The only other time an Xbox Windows Phone game has gone up in price (Angry Birds and ilomilo promotions excluded)  was Miniclip’s Fling jumping from 99 cents to a too-high $2.99 last year.

Monster Burner was free on iOS before it got pulled and relies heavily on In-App Purchases. Now that it costs a buck, should you still get it? Read on to find out...

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It’s time for another new Xbox Windows Phone game this week. Sadly, Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 didn’t make it out yet, but we still expect it at the end of May or early June. Instead, this week’s release is the not too surprising but still appreciated Angry Birds Rio from Rovio.

I say not surprising because two weeks ago Microsoft and Nokia both announced that Rio would be coming very soon. They weren’t lying! Meanwhile, Angry Birds Rio has also flown in on Windows Phone 7 without Xbox Live features, just as we predicted. Now then, what makes this Rio game different from the 1500 other official Angry Birds titles already available on Windows Phone? Read on to find out.

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Since last week we’ve been undergoing a small communications hitch with Microsoft’s gaming division that will hopefully be cleared up soon. Earlier this week though, French site MonWindowsPhone passed along the news that N.O.V.A. 3 would be today’s Xbox release, so we reported it as such. Of course we asked Gameloft to verify the release date, but they could only say for certain that it will come out in May – not specifically today.

A short while ago, a different Xbox Windows Phone game popped up in the Store: Monster Burner from Ubisoft! That’s not a bad thing, because it’s FREE, seems like a fantastic game, and runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8. But given that Gameloft couldn’t say for sure whether N.O.V.A. 3 will come out today, we are left slightly unsure about its release status. Will we get one Xbox game this week or two?

That question aside, most of you guys will dig Monster Burner in a big way. Read on for our first impressions.

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The original Cut the Rope is one of the most popular Xbox Windows Phone games, and for good reason. The gameplay is simple and easy to learn, while perfecting levels provides a fair challenge. It packs a ton of levels and it only costs a buck – the perfect price point for mass market acceptance. And of course, it stars the lovable Om Nom, an endearing creature who has his own series of animated shorts on YouTube and physical merchandise like toys and games.

Now Cut the Rope is back, but not as the update with more levels promised within the game. Instead, ZeptoLabs has just released a sequel, Cut the Rope: Experiments. This one packs 150 more levels of gameplay in exactly the same style as the first, plus a few minor improvements. Now that its price has dropped to a buck, is Experiments a necessary buy for fans of the original? Read on to find out!

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Gameloft has made quite a name for itself as a prolific publisher of core games for smartphones. When we say core games, we mean titles that provide a meatier, more console-like experience than typical mobile games. In fact, most of Gameloft’s lineup consists either of licensed games or clones of popular console games. N.O.V.A. 3 is a Halo clone; Modern Combat 4 replicates Call of Duty, etc. That’s why so many of us love Gameloft – they give us the mobile games that other developers refuse to create.

Still, Gameloft is a big company and it can afford to produce all kinds of games – even a few casual ones – without diminishing its reputation. One such game is Shark Dash for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. No, the world wasn’t exactly crying out for another physics puzzle game. But Shark Dash is just fresh, charming, and affordable enough to make it worth a look. And who can say no to easy Achievements?

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As the first non-Angry Birds Xbox game running exclusively on Windows Phone 8, Asphalt 7: Heat understandably had a lot of interest from gamers and some rather lofty expectations to live up to. Now that the downloading issues that plagued last week’s launch have been resolved, we’ve been able to step into the driver’s seat and take it for a spin. Is Asphalt 7 the best arcade-style racing game since Outrun or another trip down a one-way road in the wrong direction like its Windows Phone 7 predecessor, Asphalt 5?

I’m pleased to tell you that Asphalt 7 is not only the best racing game in the Windows Phone library, it’s one of the best games period. Head past the break to find out just how it impressed its way into my icy heart.

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While Microsoft and its partners haven’t exactly announced a ton of Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 so far, the same can’t be said for Gameloft. Back in October, the mobile game publishing giant announced a whopping 12 games specifically for Windows Phone 8. These titles rely on the new mobile handsets’ extra horsepower and most would be impossible to port accurately on our beloved Windows Phone 7.

It’s been a long wait, but the first Gameloft Windows Phone 8 game is finally here: Asphalt 7, the arcade-style racing game. That’s right, a non-Angry Birds Windows Phone 8 game! Who’d have dared to imagine such a thing? In case that didn’t knock you right out of your office chair, it even has…. Real-time online multiplayer! I don’t mean asynchronous: this is the for-real deal. Ho-lee crap, I just had to fetch my socks from across the room. And did I mention Asphalt 7 is priced to sell?

Head past the break for details! We'll have a video soon too.

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There isn’t exactly an abundance of Windows Phone 8-specific Xbox Live games out there. Since the launch of Microsoft’s latest mobile OS, we’ve only had two such games to choose from: Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars. As we reported last week, more Windows Phone 8 games are coming, but at least a few are mired in certification woes.

We have both good and bad news to share about this week’s Xbox release. The good: it’s a Windows Phone 8 game! It's not even a Nokia exclusive. Depending on who you ask, the identity of the game is the bad news. It’s Angry Birds Seasons. Yes, after all this time, we get another Angry Birds game instead of something different. But hey, history has proven that people love throwing birds at things, so let’s just be glad another mainstream game has come to our growing platform.

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Turn N Run: Xbox Windows Phone Review

Russian developer MaxNick really impressed us with its Xbox Windows Phone release of Spider Jack. For a year, it was the closest thing on our platform to Cut the Rope, and remains a quality game. MaxNick has also released a handful of indie titles such as Doodle Invasion, a quirky little game about evil aliens attacking the Earth. Now the developer returns to Xbox Live with Turn N Run, which stars a nicer alien this time. The Windows Phone port arrives only a couple of months after the iOS original – a breath of fresh air after having to wait so long for Sonic CD to show up!

Both of the previous games I enjoyed from MaxNick featured charming 2D art. Does the transition to 3D graphics and a new gameplay style result in another quirky hit? Read on to find out.

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A couple of weeks ago, Windows Phone Central published a dual review of Cut the Rope and Spider Jack. Both games stem from Russian developers, star cute and hungry little critters, and feature gameplay that involves the cutting of ropes (or spider webs). Cut the Rope may be better known (all of my Windows Phone friends bought it), but I actually found Spider Jack a bit more enjoyable. Despite its quality however, Spider Jack suffered one major disadvantage compared to Cut the Rope: its $2.99 price.

Last week, Spider Jack developer MaxNick’s second Xbox Windows Phone title Turn N Run launched at the 99 cent price point (after briefly appearing at $2.99 due to a mistake). That prompted us to wonder whether Spider Jack might soon drop to the same price. Well, that’s exactly what happened today! You can now grab Spider Jack for just a buck.

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Alright, so a bad or ill-conceived game is still not good, no matter the price. But as last week’s sale on UNO proves, a lower price certainly makes the pill less bitter to swallow. Owners of Nokia Lumia phones just gained another low cost Xbox game to choose from, because the Nokia exclusive Connect 4 has dropped from $2.99 to the more palatable 99 cent price point.

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Cut the Rope has been an extremely popular game on iOS for years now, but it only just arrived on Windows Phone last week. In the meantime, we’ve made due with Spider Jack, a similar puzzle game that arrived on WP7 back in December. Cut the Rope originates from a Russian developer called ZeptoLab (though their UK branch crafted this port), while Spider Jack comes from the equally Russian MaxNick and publisher Electronic Arts. Now that both games are available (and playable on both WP7 and WP8 handsets), which one should you buy? Windows Phone Central answers that (sort of) in this head-to-head review.

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Yesterday, Angry Birds Space became the first Windows Phone 8 game available for purchase. While its appearance may have disappointed those Windows Phone 7 gamers who can’t upgrade to WP8 anytime soon, Space is exactly what WP8 needed to kick off its bid to seriously compete with iOS and Android. Sure, the game arrived about 7 months later than on competing platforms, but it’s timed perfectly with Microsoft’s new mobile OS launch.

Today Windows Phone Angry Birds fans discovered even better news. Angry Birds Star Wars, first announced for Windows Phone alongside every other version on October 8, has just launched for Xbox on Windows Phone 8. That’s right, day and date with the iOS and Android versions! That’s a far cry from the days when Rovio almost couldn’t be bothered to even announce a WP version, let alone support WP7 Angry Birds with the same updates as the other platforms.

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With the news that Windows Phone 8 devices will officially launch this Friday, November 9th, it probably wouldn’t hurt for Microsoft to have a WP8 game available for users to purchase. It just so happens that this week’s Xbox Live release will require Windows Phone 8. Not only that, but it’s a pretty popular title: Angry Birds Space from Rovio Entertainment.

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This week’s Xbox Windows Phone release is a title we didn’t know was coming, but it comes from fan favorite publisher Chillingo and sells for a low price, so let’s call it a good surprise. Extraction (also known as Extraction: Project Outbreak) is now available for just 99 cents – less than the iOS version!

As the game’s title sort of hints, Extraction is a military-themed game about fighting zombies. But unlike Zombies on the Phone or Gun Bros, it’s not a twin-stick shooter. In fact, you could almost call it a strategy game due to the unique control method. Don’t skip the tutorial like I did or you’ll be totally lost.

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In case you missed it, Electronic Arts’ Tetris recently dropped to $2.99 (AKA the maximum price it ever should’ve cost). That’s all well and good, but how about a price drop on something today’s gamers really want to play? That’s just what developer Press Play and Microsoft have given us, as Tentacles now costs only 99 cents.

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After an unusual delay, the Marketplace has finally updated. That means Fling from Miniclip is now available!

Fling is a puzzle game that plays much differently from Miniclip’s previous Xbox live releases. In each level, players must flick furballs into each other with the goal of leaving only one monster on the board. Furballs can only travel horizontally or vertically and they only stop when they hit another furball, so you’ll need to experiment and/or think a few moves in advance to win.

Fling can get pretty tough what with all the planning and such. Factor in an Achievement for completing 500 (!) puzzles and it might take quite a while to complete. Not everybody has that much time on their hands - or in some cases, the brain power. Thankfully, help is near at hand. This online Fling solver will knock out even the toughest puzzles. No, it won’t make anybody smarter (playing on your own would probably be more useful to that end), but at least it can save that precious time we capitalist citizens value so much. I kid!

Fling costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

Update: The price rose from 99 cents to $2.99 shortly after launch.

Thanks to Zebrasqual for the tip!

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The illustrious club of 99 cent Xbox Live games on Windows Phone has a new member this weekend: Super Monkey Ball from SEGA. The game rolled out at $4.99 on April 6 last year; dropped to $2.99 only a month later; and has at last settled on the rock-bottom price of less than a dollar.

Should you buy the first Super Monkey Ball right now when a much-improved sequel is due later this summer? Sure, if you can tolerate some truly terrible tilt controls. The awful, non-customizable controls and sadistic stage design are really the only things holding SMB back. The core gameplay itself always makes for a good time. The graphics feature very appealing art and color design, and the music isn’t bad either.

On top of the general difficulty issues and nearly impossible final level, there is a ‘semi-broken’ Achievement which does not match its description. ‘Crowned Champion’ actually requires players to earn a crown on every single level rather than just one world - a super tough feat. For more details, check out our review.

Super Monkey Ball now costs 99 cents and there is a free trail. Get it here from the Marketplace. Follow this tag to see more 99 cent Xbox Live games.

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