cloud saved games

We’ve just reviewed Airport City, the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release from international publisher Game Insight. Observant readers will notice a pattern with Game Insight’s mobile Windows releases: three out of their four games are pure city builders. The fourth game Rule the Kingdom is sort of a city builder/RPG hybrid.

Clearly city building is Game Insight’s specialty – these titles are doing very well for them on Windows Phone and Windows 8. But you do need something to differentiate one of these games from the crowd, especially when they all come from the same publisher. As luck would have it, Game Insight’s next title Cloud Raiders adds something really cool to the mix: fantasy-based strategic battles. Read on for exclusive news and impressions!

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Six-Guns is one of the largest scale Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 thanks to its open world setting and vast assortment of missions to complete. Despite some overbearing In-App Purchases and an undercooked multiplayer mode, Gameloft’s western-themed game has legions of fans.

Shortly before Six-Guns’ arrival on Windows Phone 8, Gameloft also announced a version for Windows 8 and RT. We knew little about the tablet and PC version other than its status as an Xbox title, but the mostly great Windows 8 port of Asphalt 7 inspired hopes. Now Six-Guns has arrived on Windows 8 and we’ve put it through its paces.

Does the big-screen port match gamers’ expectations? Read on to find out and see hands on video!

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This week, the massive open world Grand Theft Auto 5 launched on consoles. Sadly, Rockstar has yet to port any of its excellent mobile Grand Theft Auto titles to Windows Phone. But thanks to Gameloft, we do have one open world game on Windows Phone 8: Six-Guns. Of course, Six-Guns takes its inspiration from the Wild West-themed Read Dead Redemption, but it’s still the closest thing to GTA in the mobile Xbox lineup.

Six-Guns is a free to play game – a payment model that can be a blessing or a curse. Is this one of Gameloft’s free to play successes like UNO & Friends or a greedy failure like Real Soccer 2013? Read on for our verdict…

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Gameloft’s latest Xbox Windows Phone release Six-Guns is a free to play game. Of course it must be monetized somehow – in this case via In-App Purchases (IAPs). Six-Guns actually offers a wider variety of things to buy than many free games, which can be confusing (or off-putting) to new players.

We’ve spent ample time with the game as we prepare for our upcoming review. And we’ve also spent a little cash in order to put those IAPs through their paces. Read on to learn how to which premium purchases might be worth your coin, plus some encouraging news about cloud saves.

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The original Big Buck Hunter Pro game for Windows Phone had the misfortune of launching right before Windows Phone 8 last year. It ran a bit poorly on early Windows Phone 7 devices, so many of us looked forward to improved performance on Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately, the game proved incompatible with the new mobile OS and remains that way almost a year later.

On the brighter side, developer Merge Interactive and Microsoft released a Windows 8 and RT version entitled Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure earlier this year. On top of an awkwardly long name, Adventure brings all the fun of the Windows Phone and original arcade game, a bounty of extra content, and a new helping of Xbox Achievements. Get the full rundown after the break.

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Earlier this week, Gameloft announced they will bring their latest arcade racer Asphalt 8: Airborne to both Windows Phone and Windows 8. Phone owners have enjoyed its predecessor for quite some time now, but Microsoft’s tablet and PC operating system has gone without – until now.

Asphalt 7: Heat has just launched on Windows 8 and RT with full Xbox support. It includes some impressive features such as Xbox 360 controller support, glitchy Play/Pause/Resume connectivity and even cross-platform multiplayer with the Windows Phone 8 version! We’ve put the Windows 8 game through its paces in order to bring you this timely review.

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Ever since Windows Phone 7 launched with Xbox features and games, fans have been clamoring for a mobile Halo game. The Halo series of first-person shooters is Microsoft’s most popular gaming franchise, so a Windows Phone version would seem like a foregone conclusion. But two years passed without the slightest hint at a mobile Halo title, prompting us to question whether Microsoft has the will to bring its gaming franchises to Windows Phone.

Thankfully, a little PC and tablet OS called Windows 8 finally inspired Microsoft and franchise stewards 343 Industries to make the leap towards bringing Halo to mobile devices. Developing the game for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 simultaneously allowed the creators to keep costs down; reach the phone, tablet, and PC markets in one go; and give Microsoft’s fledgling phone and tablet operating systems a shot in the arm.

Halo: Spartan Assault is finally available on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Read on for our comprehensive review of both versions!

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Galactic Reign is a Microsoft game that was co-developed with Canadian developer Slant Six Games that pretty much came out of nowhere when it appeared on Xbox Windows Phone 7 and 8 and Windows 8 and RT last week. For gamers who have yet to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, another Xbox game that runs on the previous OS is always a blessing. And cross-platform multiplayer is something we can all appreciate, regardless of which Windows Phone we carry.

Last week, we posted an extensive impressions piece about the Windows 8 version of Galactic Reign. This week, I’m back with a full review that covers both versions. Read on to find out whether or not this sci-fi strategy game has universal staying power.

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Xbox for Windows Phone is a key selling point for gamers, but the implementation leaves much to be desired. This editorial series has covered a lot of ground so far, including the need for streamlining the Xbox Live certification process, Microsoft’s failure to appreciate the importance of Xbox to Windows Phone, the need for multiplatform game engine support, and the need for better PR and a download code system.

This week we tackle software and online features that Xbox Windows Phone badly needs.

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Microsoft has never released a portable console like the Playstation Vita or 3DS, instead opting to publish Xbox-branded games for Windows Phone and Windows 8… A wise choice given the modern trend towards smartphone and tablet gaming over handheld game systems. With the Xbox 360’s excellent lineup of downloadable games, Windows Phone users rightfully expected the chance to play many of their XBLA favorites on their mobile phones.

Unfortunately, the number of robust, XBLA-quality titles released for Xbox Windows Phone to date is incredibly small. I count only Final Fantasy, Puzzle Quest 2, Castlevania Puzzle, ilomilo, Plants vs. Zombies, Sonic 4: Episode I, and Sonic CD as games with full console-level production values and quantity of content. Crimson Dragon Side Story, Hydro Thunder GO, and Civilization Revolution would be on there too if not for their Playstation One-era graphics. Maybe 11 games out of Xbox Windows Phone’s over 150 titles feel like full XBLA games and not just smartphone/casual titles.

Well, add another game to the top-tier pile because Skulls of the Shogun from 17-BIT and Microsoft Studios fits right alongside the XBLA and Windows 8 versions that released alongside it.

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This weekend Microsoft experienced a problem with their Xbox LIVE Saved Cloud Games service, causing some gamers grief as they could not save their progress to the cloud or access previous saves. Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson reported early this morning that the problem been resolved and that those affected would be given a free month of Gold service for their troubles. Microsoft's General Manager of Xbox Live, Alex Garden, sent out an apologetic email trying to reassure users that this will not happen again.

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