Puzzle

Should you enjoy Portal on the consoles and PC, then you'll love Portals 2D (by Weesals) on your Windows Phone. Taking an interesting 2D birds-eye route, this indie title feels like a unique game due to the different camera angle from 1st person to the clouds. The concept is exactly the same with cubes, portals, lasers, a portal gun and the requirement of a quick thinking mind.

The most intriguing feature of this Portals 2D is not the superb graphics (vaguely reminiscent of GTA China Town Wars?), but the price - it's available for absolutely nothing until February 7th. You can download Portals 2D from the Marketplace. Note that there are two entries for this app, be sure to download the one we link to.

Thanks gh8421 for the tip!

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Puzzle Quest 2: Xbox Windows Phone Review

Puzzles games often feature enjoyable gameplay, but they rarely give users a reason to keep on playing beyond chasing high scores (or Achievements). That’s what made the original Puzzle Quest so special. Australian developer Infinite Interactive (later bought out by Firemint) had the revolutionary idea of combining the core gameplay of a puzzle game with a sizable RPG adventure. Naturally a slightly less-inspired sequel followed, this time branching out to even more platforms. Namco handled the Windows Phone port of Puzzle Quest 2, squeezing the lengthy console game into a tiny mobile package.

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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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Buzzwords now available, doesn't sting the wallet

I’ve never been crazy about bees. Ever since one of the little honey-makers stung me on the leg without warning inside a convenience store, I’ve made it a point not to make conversation with them or invite them to social gatherings. Bee that as it may, I’m still psyched that M80 Games’ Buzzwords finally reached the Marketplace today.

The object of Buzzwords is to find as many words as possible in a field of random letters. After completing a word, you have a brief window to build another word using one or more of the previous one’s letters, thus starting a combo and eventually catching the letters on fire. Spelling words also empties honey into your pot, which provides a score or time bonus, depending on the mode. On top of the timer, you’ll need to watch out for the blue beetles that periodically pop up and threaten to end the game if not vanquished.

Buzzwords is a highly polished game right out of the gate. Not only is the gameplay fun for word-fans, but it looks and sounds fantastic. The list of all the words you found at the end of a game is a nice touch. Online leaderboards courtesy of Mogade as well as unlockable Boosters provide a good deal of replay value. Even if you hate bees like me (I was more of an ‘A’ student anyway), Buzzwords is worth a try.

Buzzwords costs 99 cents and there is a free trial. Scoop it up here on the Marketplace.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Flipper

Flipper is an interesting game for your Windows Phone. It's a simple game where you flip triangles to create squares to earn points. It's an easy game to pick up on but challenging enough to keep your interests up.  

Flipper's menu has options to play the game, view your high score and submit your scores to an online leaderboard. You can also customize your player name as it appears on the leaderboard.  The game really has nothing to do with Gumby but at the time, I couldn't think of any other prop to use.

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Anybody remember when Tetris was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week? Those days have returned, comrades. Tetris will again go on sale for $2.99 this week, down from $4.99.

The Windows Phone version of Tetris is actually quite slick. It’s got great visuals and a fine remix of the classic Tetris theme “Korobeiniki.” There are numerous gameplay variants such as Gravity and Radical that add a bit of variety to the game we’ve all played a million times before. Some have complained about the touch screen controls (swipe left and right to steer, tap to rotate, and swipe down to drop pieces), but I find them to be natural and effective. Our review also praises the game’s stat tracking.

Tetris will be on sale for $2.99 for one week only starting Wednesday. Puzzle fans can pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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Following on the heels of the gorgeous Castlevania Puzzle, another game that hasn’t been on sale before will be this week’s Xbox Live Deal of the Week... Namely Enigmo, the physics puzzler from Chaotic Moon Studios and Pangaea. On Wednesday it will go on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Enigmo’s 50 levels are all about getting water, oil, and lava from their starting points into matching receptacles. You’ll need to use 8 different tools to steer, bounce, and filter the drops in the right direction. See our review to learn more about how the gameplay works.

Enigmo is the only Xbox Live physics puzzle game with 3D graphics, and it has a catchy and romantic soundtrack to boot. The only downside? One of its Achievements is broken, and the update to fix it has languished in certification hell for 6 months now. That’s a bit too long for a simple fix, guys…

Enigmo will be on sale for $1.99 starting Wednesday, November 16 for one week only. At that time you can pick it up here on the Marketplace.

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If you’ll pardon the pun, Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night is a hidden gem in the mobile Xbox Live lineup. The $6.99 price has kept many gamers from entering Dracula’s labyrinthine castle… Until now! Castlevania Puzzle is finally on sale for $4.99 this week. Encore of the Night reworks Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the most beloved entry in the Castlevania franchise, as a puzzle RPG. It offers 15-20 hours of adventuring, a fine story, and some of the best music of any Windows Phone game, hands down. Puzzle Quest 2 fans will find Castlevania’s puzzle battles are much more frantic and challenging since here your pieces never stop dropping, nor do the enemy’s. For an in-depth look at the puzzle and RPG mechanics, check out our full review. Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night is on sale for one week only. Grab it here on the Marketplace

If you’ll pardon the pun, Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night is a hidden gem in the mobile Xbox Live lineup. The $6.99 price has kept many gamers from entering Dracula’s labyrinthine castle… Until now! Castlevania Puzzle is finally on sale for $4.99 this week.

Encore of the Night reworks Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the most beloved entry in the Castlevania franchise, as a puzzle RPG. It offers 15-20 hours of adventuring, a fine story, and some of the best music of any Windows Phone game, hands down. Puzzle Quest 2 fans will find Castlevania’s puzzle battles are much more frantic and challenging since here your pieces never stop dropping, nor do the enemy’s. For an in-depth look at the puzzle and RPG mechanics, check out our full review.

Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night is on sale for one week only. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

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Orbital circles around to Xbox Live this week

The Xbox Live releases keep a-coming, thank goodness. Following on the heels of completely realistic Australian racing simulator Jet Car Stunts is this week’s release, Orbital. Already a hit on other mobile platforms, Orbital comes from Swiss developer BitForge and publisher Microsoft Studios.

Orbital is a space-themed puzzle game in which players fire orbs out of a cannon that bounce around the screen. Each orb turns into a number when it stops moving. The object is to clear the orbs by reflecting subsequent shots off of them. Sounds complicated, but it’s simple to grasp when you play it. The Windows Phone version includes three different single-player modes in addition to a local multiplayer mode.

Orbital comes out Wednesday, October 26 and will cost $2.99. Can’t wait? Grab the two-song MP3 soundtrack for free right now.

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Minesweeper - Review

Minesweeper as we know it was created in 1990 and has been bundled with every new version of Windows since 1992. The mobile Xbox Live version, developed by Babaroga and published by Microsoft, is one of the first two free ad-supported games for Xbox Live and the first to be available in regions outside of North America. This game shares much in common with its fellow free game Sudoku, though the actual gameplay is completely different, with a much higher learning curve. Get past that and you’ll find an enjoyable logic puzzle game.

Step carefully over the mines and past the break for our full review.

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Implode: Xbox Windows Phone Review

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing three mobile Xbox Live physics puzzlers so far: iBlast Moki, Tiki Towers, and Enigmo. Now that IUGO’s popular Implode! has come to the Windows Phone, could the genre be getting too crowded for its own good? That depends on how much you like a cerebral challenge. After braving Implode!’s vast quantity of levels, I’m pleased to report that my brain has yet to be tapped out. More importantly, Implode! is good enough and different enough to justify its place on the platform.

Put on your hard hat and head past the break for our full review.

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Collapse! - Xbox Windows Phone Review

How much do Xbox Live Achievements affect your enjoyment of a game? The best Achievements enhance the gameplay experience, simultaneously rewarding progress and encouraging players to experience the game in new ways. Sometimes we see games whose Achievement difficulty doesn’t match their casual nature – Doodle Jump and Harbor Master to name only two. There are also poor games whose only redeeming value is the easiness of their Achievements (hello, Butterfly!). And then comes Collapse! from GameHouse. A good game with easy Achievements, but there is such a thing as too easy.

Head past the jump for our full review.

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Burn the Rope! coming to Xbox Live on September 28

Remember when Microsoft announced 14 (really 13) Xbox Live games back in August? Of those titles, Collapse! and Gravity Guy have landed so far.  Soon we’ll be able to add another one to list, as Burn the Rope! comes out on Wednesday the 28th (tomorrow).

The game’s official description:

Burn the Rope is a challenging game where you try to burn as much rope as you can in each level. There’s a catch! The fire only burns upwards, leaving you to rotate the level to keep your flame alive! Bugs along the ropes have different reactions to the flame. The ant changes the color of the flame so you can burn different colored ropes, and the spider shoots out a web bridge so you can access parts of the level that you could not before. Burn the Rope is incredibly fun and addictive. You will actually feel like you’re burning a rope, yet there’s no need for a fire extinguisher! 

Game Features

•        The Bug Squishing minigame, only available on Windows Phone, mixes it up between levels.

•        Take on over 100 exciting and puzzling levels!

•        Unique accelerometer controls and gameplay

•        Beautiful graphics and cool fire effects!

•        Easy to learn, hard to master!

Already a hit on iPhone and Wii, the Xbox Live version of Burn the Rope! comes from developer Big Blue Bubble Inc. and publisher Microsoft Game Studios. It will cost $2.99.  We'll update things once the Marketplace links become available.

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Xbox Live - Implode! has exploded onto the Marketplace

It’s been a long time coming, but Windows Phone gamers can finally get their Implode! on. IUGO’s physics-based puzzle game has just hit the Marketplace.

Take one part iBlast Moki (placing bombs) and another part Angry Birds (knocking stuff down) and you’ve got Implode! Each of the game’s whopping 150 levels is presented as a drawing on a chalkboard, creating a unique and nostalgic look. As if all of those puzzles weren’t enough, players can even design their own levels – there are even Achievements for it.

Speaking of which, the Achievement for earning an A+ in every single level should take quite a while. I doubt anyone will be getting all 200 GamerScore from this one in 20 minutes (*cough* Collapse! *cough*).

Implode! costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. You’ll find it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

Also, don't forget that Deer Hunter 3D is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It's on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99.

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Logic puzzles, physics puzzles… It’s been a while since we’ve seen a straight up match-3 puzzle game released to Xbox Live. That changes today, now that Collapse! - the game that sent some of our more hardcore readers into fits of rage - is now available on the Marketplace.

In GameHouse’s Collapse!, lines of colored blocks slowly rise from the bottom of the screen. Players simply tap groups of three or more same-colored blocks to clear them, which in turn causes other blocks to fall or… COLLAPSE!!!1! I’m not being sarcastic; I just wanted to type it that way. Exclamation marks in titles get my adrenaline pumping, ya know? Anyway, the game’s tap-tap rhythm makes it easy to pick up and play on the go. Gamers who need goals and variety aren’t out of luck, as the extensive Adventure mode contains all kinds of twists on the standard gameplay.

Collapse! costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. You can get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. After you actually try the game, let us know what you think. (Thanks, @tamon_y, for the heads up!)

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Collapse! coming to Xbox Live next week

It seems like only yesterday that WPCentral broke the news of five new GameHouse titles heading to Xbox Live. But it was actually a month ago! And what do you know, one of those games, Collapse!, will debut next week.

The PC version of Collapse! was GameHouse’s very first game, starting them on the road to becoming a casual gaming giant. It’s a match-three puzzler in which a stack of blocks rises from the bottom of the screen. Players frantically tap groups of three of more colored blocks in order to eliminate them. Customizable characters, multiple gameplay modes, and bosses make for a full-featured package. The Windows Phone version even supports both portrait and landscape modes, which we don’t see much in games.

Collapse! tumbles to Xbox Live on Wednesday, September 14. It will cost $2.99.

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Sudoku - Review

Sudoku, which comes from developer Babaroga and publisher Microsoft, is one of the first two free ad-supported games for Xbox Live. It’s currently available in the US only, though it will likely debut in lands afar eventually as well. There are a ton of different sudoku games on Windows Phone already. This version is certainly not definitive, but it’s a pretty good way to get some free Achievements.

Head past the break for our full review.

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Enigmo - Review

iBlast Moki may have been the first Xbox Live physics puzzler on Windows Phone, but the genre itself goes much farther back. Take, for example, Enigmo, a game that Austin-based Pangaea Software originally published on personal computers in 2003. The puzzler met with huge success at the time, and has since been ported to a variety of platforms as well as spawning a sequel. The Windows Phone port of Enigmo comes from fellow Austin developer Chaotic Moon Studios. It’s a no-frills port, but the cerebral gameplay holds up quite well.

Splash past the break for our full review.

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NumberTap - give your brain a workout

Everyone loves mathematics. Everyone loves to be better than everyone else at mathematics, so here's NumberTap, the answer to this desire in your pocket. Object of the game? To answer numerical questions inside a time-limit, building up your score and moving up in the highscore leaderboard.

This title is courtesy of Luke Lowrey (the magic behind Phonealytics) and TBODA. It's a free, ad-supported, game that proves to be both highly addictive and entertaining. Fatures sported include:

  • Fast paced maths action
  • 2-minute rounds identical across the world in real-time
  • Global leaderboards and stats tracking
  • Cool metro theme that matches your settings

If you're familiar with Phonealytics from Luke, then you'll notice immediately the incredible Metro UI look that's used throughout the game (which isn't by any means big in size or depth). The simplicity is refreshing and you'll be coming back for more with the longevity and competitiveness being tops.

You can download NumberTap (Zune link) from the Marketplace for nothing at all.

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Tired of playing Flowerz, penniless Windows Phone Xbox Live gamers? Then today’s your day! Minesweeper and Sudoku are both on the marketplace costing nothing at all.

Minesweeper and its kid brother/dance partner Sudoku are the games many of us know and love, but they do include some fancy new additions to get the cerebral juices flowing. There’s the snazzy/maybe a little plain Metro UI design, a leveling system, and powerups that can ease the pain of challenging levels. To learn more about the powerup system and future plans for these titles, check out our mini-interview with Babaroga, the developer. Both games are free and ad supported, so their Achievements are only worth 50 GamerScore a piece - 150 less than a standard Xbox Live title. But hey, free GamerScore is free GamerScore, so let’s not get bogged down with numbers.

Logic puzzle loving gamers can find Minesweeper here (Zune link) and Sudoku here on the Marketplace.

Update: Games only available in the U.S. as of now, may show up in other regions later. Maybe not.

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