physics puzzlers

Hey guys, did you miss me? I’ve been busy playing Green Jelly, which you mustn’t confuse with the band who performed ‘Three Little Pigs’ in the nineties.

This Green Jelly is actually the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 game from Russian developer MaxNick. Xbox gamers should remember MaxNick’s highly enjoyable Spider Jack and the boring-but-easy Turn N Run. Their latest game unfortunately doesn’t have Xbox features (more on that after the break), but it is still a cute and approachable physics puzzler in the vein of Spider Jack.

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Most of the developers we spoke with at Casual Connect last week weren’t there specifically to promote games for mobile Windows platforms. But one team came for just that reason; submitting their Windows Phone and Windows 8 game to the Indie Prize Showcase contest. The game: Fling Theory from Vancouver-based Coding Jar Studios.

You might remember Fling Theory as one of the six games that Microsoft and its partners launched during GDC back in March. It also happens to number among the first Unity releases for Windows Phone 8. Jodon Karlik, the studio president and Doug Insley, technical artist walked us through Fling Theory’s gameplay, development process, and possible Xbox Live plans during our chat. Get all the details and see the video after the break!

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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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Cut the Rope launched on Windows Phone more than five months ago. Surely gamers have had plenty of time to complete its 275 levels and collect all 825 stars (or at least the 300 needed for an Achievement). What do you do if you’re still dying for more Cut the Rope action?

Well, you could always buy the very similar (and also Xbox Live-enabled) Spider Jack for a buck. But that game’s been out for even longer, so I bet you’ve beaten it too! In which case, you’ll be glad to know that Russian developer ZeptoLabs has just released Cut The Rope: Experiments for Windows Phone 7 and 8. It packs another 150 levels of candy-feeding goodness, but it also costs a bit more than a dollar this time.

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Yesterday, Rovio’s Amazing Alex launched on Windows Phone 8 as an Xbox Live title, whereas Microsoft’s long-awaited Ms. Splosion Man debuted only for Windows Phone 7 devices. More than one reader remarked on the irony of the graphically simpler Amazing Alex heading straight to Windows Phone 8 while a more complex game turned out to be incompatible with it.

Rovio has a history of releasing separate Windows Phone 7 versions of its Angry Birds games though, so it should surprise no one that Amazing Alex has just turned up on Windows Phone 7 minus the Xbox Live features. Let us not mourn the death of an ironic situation but instead celebrate the life of a new Windows Phone 7 game. But are Windows Phone 7 gamers ready for 100 levels of amazing physics puzzles?

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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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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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Xbox on Windows Phone Review: Gerbil Physics

In a software lineup crowded by physics puzzle games, any new physics puzzler needs some kind of hook in order to get players’ attention. Gerbil Physics from Pencel Games does this by being astonishingly cute and occasionally clever. How important is that cuteness? Having played every single Xbox Live-enabled game in the genre, I can assure you that Gerbil Physics’ abundance of personality is most appreciated. On top of that, it also has the pedigree of originally being an indie game for Xbox 360, much like Shoot 1UP and IonBallEX, making it equally worth a look.

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