contract killer

When Windows Phone 8 launched in November of last year, it soon become clear that certain Xbox Windows Phone 7 games were incompatible with the new OS. Microsoft’s immediate solution to the problem was to partially delist all of those games, removing their listings from the Windows Phone website. They did this without informing the developers of those games. After we published an article exposing the issue, the games eventually made it back to the web store with updated compatibility information.

We tell you all this because Microsoft has just made a similar but even more harmful maneuver. This week, no less than eleven Windows Phone 7 games were completely delisted from the Store. They can’t be redownloaded by people who purchased them. And several of the game’s developers were NOT informed by Microsoft of the issues leading to their removal or the removal itself. Read on for the full scoop!

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Yesterday we went over Windows Phone Central’s picks for the best Xbox Windows Phone games of 2012. It may not have been a stellar year, but we can certainly count 2012 as the best year for Windows Phone gaming so far. Narrowing down the finest games from nearly 50 weekly releases was no mean feat for someone who enjoys nearly every genre and approaches all games with love.

Still, no amount of optimism can overlook the turkeys that sometimes squeeze their way into the Xbox lineup. How do we spot these wretches? Well, broken Achievements, poor controls, and dysfunctional online components are all telltale signs of a game better left unreleased. That makes selecting the bottom of the barrel titles so much easier than choosing the top shelf games.

Head past the break for to learn how a bad game happens and Windows Phone Central’s Worst Xbox Windows Phone games of 2012!

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Some users are complaining of connection errors

Over the last few days we’ve been receiving some complaints about the two Xbox LIVE titles from Glu Mobile: Contract Killer and Gun Bros.

Both apps require online-server access in order to play them, which is certainly a lame requirement (e.g. no airplane usage). That’s on top of the numerous bugs that people have opined about with both games since their release.

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Ready to shoot some thugs, Windows Phone gamers? As we promised yesterday, Contract Killer from Glu Mobile is now on the Marketplace.

Contract Killer allows players to take on the ruthless world of corporate business, making deals with unsuspecting investors only to leave them high and dry at the last minute. Wait, wrong kind of contract! Actually, you play as a hitman in this game. Missions involve sniping one or more targets from a first-person perspective. But watch out – they shoot back.

Assassin's Guild

Like Glu’s recently-released Gun Bros, Contract Killer boasts some compelling social features. The folks on your Xbox Live friends list who play Contract Killer are automatically added to your Assassin’s Guild. The more members of your guild complete optional objectives (like getting 10 headshots in a row without missing), the more rewards everyone gets. Rounding out the co-op options, players can send gifts of Medkits, Sodas, and Reactix to each other.

On the competitive side, the Target Friend mode allows you and your friends to shoot each other (asynchronously). I wasn’t able to eliminate any of my friends as they haven’t downloaded the game yet, but it sounds like a cool feature. What will the rewards for Target Friends missions be?

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Ready for another freemium Xbox Live game this week? Good news then, because Glu Mobile’s Contract Killer launches this Wednesday (if not a few hours early). Today, we exclusively debut the Windows Phone version’s trailer.

Contract Killer is a first-person sniping game in which the titular assassin takes on secret missions for a variety of clients.  He’ll choose from dozens of sniper rifles, machine guns, and other NRA favorites in order to dispatch his foes. Each mission comes to life in a realistic 3D environment populated by multiple people. Find the right target, swipe to aim your gun, steadying it if necessary, and press Fire to ruin the bad guy’s day.

Each mission costs a certain amount of energy to take on. Energy restores over time, but you can also purchase snacks with Microsoft Points and get right back in the action. As with Gun Bros and Bug Village, the PDLC here is completely optional and just lets you get through the game quicker. Just buy something if you like the game, or spend nothing if you don’t.

Contract Killer will hit the Marketplace on Wednesday, July 18. Like Gun Bros, it’s free and includes 200 GamerScore worth of Achievements.

That brings us to the elephant in the room… Last week, Glu Mobile’s twin-stick shooter Gun Bros got off to a rocky start. The game is plagued by excessive load times, network issues, and other bugs. It’s a shame because if you look past these problems, Gun Bros is actually quite addictive and has some great social features.

Glu is definitely aware of these issues with the game. They’re working with Microsoft to resolve them with an update as soon as possible. A small number of players have also reported items disappearing from their inventories. Thankfully Gun Bros items can be restored regardless of the update’s arrival. Just submit a ticket at Glu’s customer support website and they’ll take care of you.

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One thing we can all agree on is the need for more mobile Xbox Live games that let us shoot things. Thankfully Glu Mobile is on the case. The noted freemium publisher will follow up Gun Bros on Windows Phone with a more realistic shooting game: Contract Killer. We had the pleasure of demoing it at E3 2012 today and came away impressed.

Contract Killer places players in control of a mafia sniper. From the map screen hub you’ll choose from a variety of missions or visit the shop. The actual missions come to life via detailed 3D graphics. Aiming at your unknowing targets is as simple as swiping the screen in the desired direction. Once you have them lined up, fire and ruin your enemies’ day!

Each mission costs a certain amount of energy to take on. Energy restores over time, but you can also purchase snacks with Microsoft Points and get right back in the action. As with Glu Mobile’s other freemium titles, the PDLC is completely optional and simply a way to get through the game quicker while showing your support for the developers. Programmers gotta eat!

Contract Killer has no official release date yet, but we expect it arrive later this summer. Windows Phone Central will have first word of the launch date, so make sure you check back frequently! If you’d like to try Contract Killer out now on PC, jot on over here with the Google Chrome browser.

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Gun Bros

WPCentral was pleased to bring our readers the first announcement of Gun Bros and Contract Killer, two upcoming Xbox Live games from Glu Mobile. Not only do both games look pretty fun (especially Gun Bros), but they won’t break the bank. That’s because they’re freemium titles, meaning the games themselves cost nothing. Players can opt to spend real money (in the form of Microsoft Points) to purchase items, but PDLC is not required to complete either title.

We have it on good authority that one of these two games (probably Contract Killer) will launch within the next month or two, with the other soon to follow. In the meantime, let’s check out their Xbox Live Achievements! Glu has kindly provided us with the exclusive debut of Gun Bros’ Achievement list. Head past the break to see what it will take to complete Gun Bros and Contract Killer.

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Last year WPCentral broke the news that Glu Mobile would be releasing the first freemium Xbox Live game on Windows Phone (Bug Village). We even interviewed them about all the particulars. Now we’re back with the exclusive announcement of two more Glu Mobile freemium titles coming to Windows Phone. The first of those games is Contract Killer.

In Contract Killer, you’re a sniper who takes on jobs for the mob and other tough customers. Each mission requires you to take out one or more targets as they walk around unaware. You simply aim at the target, zoom in the scope, steady your breath if necessary, and shoot to kill (or capture with tranquilizer darts).  Watch out though, because the enemies will shoot back if you miss or they see one of their friends go down.

Between missions, players can purchase ammo and new weapons with the money they’ve earned. Taking on missions depletes your energy, which refills over time. Thus you can only play a certain amount before taking a break, not unlike Bug Village. Optionally, players may choose to purchase credits using Microsoft Points. These can then be spent on better gear or food to refill energy. Contract Killer should go over well with the Mafia Wars crowd since they share a similar structure, but even non-Facebook gamers should enjoy this one’s sniping action and detailed 3D graphics.

Contract Killer will arrive in May or a short time thereafter. If you’d like to try it out now on PC, head over here with the Google Chrome browser. Check back tomorrow when we’ll reveal another upcoming Glu game!

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