cut the rope

With all the big news about Halo: Spartan Assault and Jetpack Joyride popping up this week, we’ve gotten slightly behind on our coverage of Xbox Windows Phone game updates. Now that things have slowed down a smidge, it’s time to discuss those patches.

Both of Zeptolab’s Windows Phone games Cut the Rope and Cut the Rope: Experiments received minor updates only a few days ago. It might be tough to tell what changed on your own, but we’ve got the details! And Gameloft’s Ice Age Village got its second and most welcome update. Head past the break for the full story on all three games!

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When Cut the Rope: Experiments arrived on Windows Phone last month, fans of the Cut the Rope series were of course pleased to see another installment on our platform. But the sequel’s arrival also reminded us that the first Cut the Rope had yet to receive an update since launch. The original game on Windows Phone had only 275 levels - 75 less than other versions.

As mobile Xbox gamers surely know, Rovio has been busy updating several of its Angry Birds games lately. Now it looks like Russian developer ZeptoLab has decided to join in the fun, because they’ve updated Cut the Rope at last! The update brings our version up to par with the iOS and Android games and gives players a great reason to rejoin Om Nom on his quest for candy.

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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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After last week’s Xbox release of the big-budget, hardware-intensive Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour for Windows Phone 8 devices, many of us could use something lighter this week to cleanse our gaming palates. And heck, Windows Phone 7 gamers surely just want something new to play since their platform skipped a new release last week.

Thankfully ZeptoLabs has come to the rescue. This week’s Xbox release will be Cut The Rope: Experiments, a sequel to Cut the Rope (one of our picks for 2012’s best Xbox Windows Phone games).  Experiments will run on both Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices, so everybody can enjoy it. The only bad news: it will cost a bit more than the first game.

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Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Puzzle Games

Windows Phone puzzle games are a great way to pass the time with. Find the right puzzle game and you may lose track of time.

We've looked at puzzle games before in the Windows Phone Central Roundups and thought thought we'd take another glance at what's available in the Windows Phone Store. We've got a small collection of games that require you to solve the puzzles in a certain manner where you can move this way or that.  However, one wrong move will end your chances at success and send you searching for the reset button.

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For many gamers, Xbox Live functionality is one of Windows Phone’s most compelling selling points. Windows Phones allow people who already own an Xbox 360 to log in with their existing Xbox Live/Microsoft ID and receive instant access to their Xbox Live profiles, friends lists, messages. Existing users can customize their Xbox avatars directly from their phones, while new users can create them. The SmartGlass app can even sync with a handful of Xbox 360 games and apps right now, with more titles to support SmartGlass in the future.

Sure, you can many of those features on iOS as well, but they aren’t nearly as integrated as on Windows Phone. Most of the functionality is built right into WP8; WP7 users need the Xbox Live Extras app. The SmartGlass app requires a quick download on both WP7 and WP8. After that, you’ll find it all conveniently located in the Games hub.

Head past the break for more of Windows Phone Central’s Xbox Live primer plus our picks for the best Xbox Windows Phone games of 2012!

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Today we saw an update arrive for Xbox Live title Cut The Rope, this update looks to have cured the graphical bug seen when launching the game from a dedicated tile on the Start screen.

The otherwise excellent app has exhibited a bug whereby pinning the game to the start screen and launching it would display an odd multi-colour screen and a progress bar. That same thing wouldn’t happen if the app was launched from within the Games Hub.

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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 we reported that Windows Phone 7 would not receive an Xbox release this week. As it turns out, the information we received was slightly incomplete. The oft-requested Cut the Rope as finally arrived on Windows Phone 7 and is fully compatible with WP8. Instead of Chillingo, this version comes from the original developer, Zeptolab UK.

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While iOS hit Cut the Rope has yet to migrate to Windows Phone, today we get the next best thing with Spider Jack, an Xbox Live title from developer MaxNick and EA Games. Yes, EA is still apparently making Windows Phone games (that aren’t exclusive to Nokia handsets).

The goal in Spider Jack is to get the titular arachnid to his food. To do this, you attach the spider’s thread to a knob. He’ll then swing around, collecting anything he touches. You’ll also need to cut the rope, err, thread in order to drop Jack onto items. With 75 levels (many with multiple possible solutions), this should be a fun physics-based puzzler that stands out from other games on the platform - if not the title that inspired it.

Spider Jack costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Swing over here on the Marketplace to get it.

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