games

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Xbox on Windows Phone Review: Cracking Sands

The Xbox on Windows Phone lineup is starting to amass a fair selection of racing games. We’ve got street racers, kart racers, and one awesome boat racer (Hydro Thunder GO). Now a new entry has come along: Cracking Sands - published by Microsoft and programmed by Swedish developer Polarbit, who also made Reckless Racing for Windows 8. If you’re looking for a racer that looks and plays differently from the others, Cracking Sands might just fit the bill.

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If you recall, the Windows Phone game Wheel of Wealth was recently pulled from the Windows Phone Store due to a intellectual property infringement complaint. The developer vowed to resolve the issues surrounding the complaint and today we received some good news.  Wheel of Wealth is  once again listed in the Windows Phone Store.

For those not familiar, Wheel of Wealth is a Wheel of Fortune-styled game where you are given a hidden word or phrase puzzle. You spin a wheel to determine how much each correctly guessed letter is worth. With each successful guess, you get to spin again. Every letter of the alphabet is available except for vowels. Those you have to buy with your earnings.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Ghost Motel

Ghost Motel is a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that lays out a collection of riddles and puzzles that are dying to be solved.

The storyline has the Ghost Motel filled with over fifty ghosts that inhabit the various floors of the Motel. The ghosts are in need of help and it's your job to work your way through the Motel, solving the puzzle and in turn helping out the ghosts.

The puzzles are one to a room and each floor has five rooms. The word puzzles are rather challenging and as you help the ghosts, additional floors become unlocked.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Drive To Home

Drive To Home is an odd sort of game for your Windows Phone. Odd in that the object of the game is to... well... drive your car home. Which sounds like a simple task except for when you throw a hand full of twists and turns along the drive.

Graphics are nice, game play a bit on the challenging side, and for the most part Drive To Home is a decent game for your Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone Central's Roundup of the top Shooter games

For this week's Windows Phone Central Roundup we're focusing on Shooter Games for your Windows Phone. More specifically, the top five, paid, non-Xbox Windows Phone Game shooter games for your Windows Phone.

Xbox Windows Phone games fill the top seven spots on the Windows Phone Store list so we thought we'd shine the light on the little guy. The independent developer that is giving the Xbox Windows Phone titles a run for their money.

While we're focusing on the top five titles on the list, we know there are other worthy titles in the Windows Phone Store. If you've got a favorite shooter game, feel free to share in the comments.

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The next version of Windows Phone is just around the corner, with it comes some fantastic hardware and the promise of new features. But what about the next gen apps?

While we have spent a great deal of time looking at the coming phones and peeking at the new underlying operating system did we forget that it’s the apps that matter? While we know that existing apps will work fine on the new OS, what lays in store for those dedicated Windows Phone 8 apps?

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Windows Phone Game Review: Combat Helicopter 2

The Windows Phone game Combat Helicopter 2 is fast paced, entertaining combat game that has you piloting a helicopter through various locations, taking out enemy helicopters and bases. While we didn't have any experience with the original Combat Helicopter, the sequel is a decent choice when you have a few minutes to kill.

Graphics are nice, controls simply laid out, and with upgrades and multiple locations to battle from Combat Helicopter 2 is a nice addition to the Windows Phone gaming library.

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Way back in February, Microsoft announced a handful of Xbox Windows Phone games. Only two of those games have yet to be released: Pinball FX2 and Carcassonne. The Windows Phone version of Pinball FX2 still needs more development time, but the good news is Carcassonne has gone gold at last. It even has an official release date: Wednesday, October 24.

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Electronic Arts’ UK-based Chillingo label has been a terrific supporter of the Windows Phone platform. They’re primarily known for their puzzle games – including Cut the Rope, which remains conspicuously absent from WP7. Chillingo makes other kinds of games too, such as Extraction: Project Outbreak. It looks like an action game but plays like a strategy title, making for a unique experience. An excessive number of bugs and technical issues threaten to drag the Windows Phone port down like so many zombies, but the fun mostly manages to come out unscathed.

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"Come, let us go down and get Achievements..."

There’s something odd about a game that relives the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, especially since you play the angry god who seeks vengeance by murdering human construction crews.

It doesn’t scream to us “family fun” and in fact, we think it would have been more interesting to be the builders of the tower despite God trying to slay you. Once you complete the tower, you and your army storm heaven and you fight god. Now that's a game...

...But we digress.

Yes, Babel Rising 3D has landed early in the Store for Xbox and it fetches for $2.99 with a free trial.

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We’ve had lots to say about Rocket Riot lately. A few weeks ago it received an update that added Avatar Awards and asynchronous multiplayer, and not long after that we published our exclusive preview of the Windows 8 version – Rocket Riot 3D. Now that the phone games has all that fancy multiplayer challenge stuff going on, it needs people to play it. Luckily it’s going to be this week’s Xbox Deal of the Week, going dropping to $2.99 (down from $4.99) when the sale goes live tomorrow.

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Last week’s Xbox release, Extraction: Project Outbreak (review coming tomorrow!) was a surprising strategy title mixed with elements of action. This week, we get another strategy title, but otherwise it couldn’t be more different. Babel Rising 3D will soon be on the Windows Phone Store, courtesy of developer Mando Productions with Ubisoft publishing. Yes, this is Ubisoft’s first Windows Phone title (Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell came from Gameloft under license from Ubisoft).

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Extraction: Project Outbreak differs from what we’ve come to expect from Chillingo games on Windows Phone. Besides a complete lack of cuteness, it’s also pretty tough! At first players will have to come to grips with the game’s unique controls. Then they’ll encounter a steep rise in difficulty that seems designed to encourage spending money on PDLC and/or pad the length of the game more than anything else.

Thankfully your favorite Windows Phone Central game reviewer/ninja has unlocked all 20 of Extraction’s Achievements and will now help you do the same.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Free Billy

XIMAD has a new Windows Phone game. Free Billy joins the likes of Pandas vs. Ninjas, De-Bugs Pool and Bubble Birds as an entertaining game that will help you pass short bits of time.

Billy is an angler fish that has gotten into trouble while exploring a sunken ship. You have to guide Billy through an assortment of mazes to reach a magic spiral that will eventually lead him to safety. Along the way, you'll need to collect treasure and avoid falling stones.

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Very seldom does an Xbox for Windows Phone game get cancelled after its announcement. In fact, Microsoft hardly even announces new mobile games in advance any more, making practically every game that materializes a surprise (if its Achievements haven’t been discovered first).

It’s hard to imagine nowadays, but back in August of 2010, Microsoft announced a whopping 50 Xbox Live WP7 launch titles, most of which eventually made it to the Windows Phone Store. That said, several games on that list have never been released. A few stragglers like Real Soccer continue to trickle out even now, but we can safely assume that most or all of the rest have been quietly cancelled either by Microsoft or the original developers.

Now that the lengthy introduction is over, head past the break for our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one such cancelled Xbox game: Loondon, from Indonesian developer Flip-n-Tale.

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Xbox Live Arcade is heating up to a boiling point lately, with top-shelf titles coming out pretty much every week (sometimes more than once a week). We’ve just posted impressions of SEGA’s latest releases, and the quality train doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon.

So what’s in store for next week? Well, on Wednesday, October 10th Team 17’s Worms Revolutions comes along, continuing the awesomely addictive Worms series. Even more exciting, Happy Wars (the first freemium XBLA game) launches Friday the 12th for all Xbox Live Gold members. Head past the break for details of both titles!

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Windows Phone Game Review: Twisted

Twisted is an online, multi-player, boggle styled game for your Windows Phone. As with most boggle styled games, you are presented with a 4x4 grid of letters that you have to build as many words as possible within a certain time limit.

You create the words by tracing connected letters to form the words. Letters have varying points values and some letters have multipliers.

Twisted is very similar to the leading boggle styled game for our Windows Phone, Wordament.  However, the game takes a different approach to the game.  I don't think Twisted will knock Wordament out of the number one spot, but it does make for a nice compliment to your Windows Phone gaming library.

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Little Acorns: Xbox Windows Phone Review

As I’ve said on a few occasions, getting a platformer to work just right on mobile phones can be very challenging for developers. Whether they opt for touch screen controls, tilt, or even a combination of the two, the game will never feel exactly the same as it would with a physical controller. Leave it to the folks at Chillingo (and their “Team Pesky”) to create a platformer that not only feels great, but works perfectly in short doses on the go.

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