rocket riot

Xbox games for Windows Phone have fallen on hard times. New releases are all but non-existent on Windows Phone, and Windows 8 releases have dwindled to a smattering of casual games that Microsoft likely commissioned long ago. This has caused a measure of discomfort to some gamers who joined the mobile Windows platforms for Xbox Live games. I felt pretty bad about it for a while (a year ago).

As if the lack of new mobile Xbox releases and PR from Microsoft wasn't bad enough, the existing lineup of Xbox Windows Phone and Windows 8 games is starting to disappear. Last month we brought the news of Zombies!!! disappearing from the Windows 8 store, only to reappear as a non-Xbox game. Many more games have been delisted within the last few weeks as well, including Carcassonne, The Harvest, and Rocket Riot. Read on for a full list and some insights into why mobile Xbox games are dropping like flies.

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Time was that Microsoft notified us of every Red Stripe Deal (then called the Xbox Live Deal of the Week) in advance. Sadly they stopped doing so many moons ago, but that hasn’t stopped our inquisitive nature. Today I was sniffing around all Wolverine-like and caught wind of tomorrow’s deals through unofficial channels – a day ahead of schedule.

The Xbox Red Stripe Deal is Rocket Riot from Codeglue, on sale for $1.99. Brain Seal’s indie RPG Dark Quest and the popular Tweet It! App from My Amazing Big Fork are both 99 cents. Head past the break for screenshots and Store links!

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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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Exclusive Xbox Windows 8 Preview: Rocket Riot 3D

A short while ago, Microsoft announced 40 Xbox games that will release within the Windows 8 launch window. A few are titles that have never been released within Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem, but many will be familiar to Windows Phone and Xbox 360 gamers. One such game we’re excited about is Rocket Riot 3D, developed in-house by series creator Codeglue and published by Microsoft Studios.

Head past the break for our full preview with lots of exclusive details.

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Rocket Riot was among the first Xbox Live games released on Windows Phone, way back at the end of 2010. Despite the game’s age, developer Code Glue continues to pump out updates for it, with a new one arriving within the last few days. The previous patch, version 1.4 was fairly substantial as Windows Phone updates go, and yet this latest, version 1.5 actually manages to top it by adding Avatar Awards, asynchronous multiplayer, and more.

Check out the full release notes and our impressions after the break.

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One of our favorite Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone, Rocket Riot, has received quite a major update a few days ago with version 1.4. We've reached out to the devs at Code Glu for a specific changelog but they're off having croissants or something, so we're winging it:

  • New icon - The old Rocket guys are gone and instead we have...rockets. Makes sense.
  • Two ringtones - We love when devs do this and Rocket Riot certainly has one of the most addicting (borderline annoying) theme songs in history. We're not actually crazy enough to use these to spare our sanity, but we're pretty excited that they're on board
  • Pin campaign to your homescreen - quick access to your campaign, perfect!
  • Rated E10+ (Everyone 10+) - part of that mobile ESRB thing we covered earlier

Overall this is a superb update. It gives users a few new options and breathes life into a game you may have put aside for awhile, so kudos to Code Glue for improvements! Read our full review of Rocket Riot and grab it in the Marketplace for $4.99 with trial.

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We have a feeling we'll be doing a lot of these posts for now on, but to start off, the Xbox LIVE game Rocket Riot (review), just hit v1.3 and in turn, is now Mango-fied (dun dun dun). (For the record, Flowerz was the first Mango Xbox LIVE game).

That's good for that game as we ended up hitting our capacitive screen buttons often with this one, forcing the game to quit. That's not a lot of fun, but now with fast-app switching, problem solved! Oh and now we supposedly get 60FPS over the traditional 30 for Xbox games and indeed, the game looks extra smooth now--nice.

We heard of a v1.3 update way back in May, where we reported this will also fix the game's handling of Achievements, amongst other things. If you got Mango already, get the game here.

Thanks, @BinaerJongleur, for the tip!

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Rocket Riot, the Xbox Live twin-stick shooter from Dutch developer Code Glue, received a minor update this week.

Rocket Riot version 1.2 change log:

  • Control bug completely eliminated

Rocket Riot’s virtual twin-stick controls are extremely smooth and fun to use.  But as I mentioned in our review, the game’s controls used to bug out occasionally in certain levels. That won’t happen anymore, thank goodness.

We’ve also learned that Rocket Riot will receive a more significant update in the future. Among other things, it will improve the game's handling of Achievements. I’m glad Code Glue continues to improve their already standout title.  Rocket Riot costs $4.99, and it has a free trial. To join the riot, grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

Fun fact! The Rocket Riot version 1.1 update article was my first post here at WPCentral. Time flies (with rockets).

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Just a few weeks after dropping from $6.99 to $4.99 (and 36 hours since I just bought it, grrr), Rocket Riot is getting another price cut to the ultra-low $2.99. That's a really, really good price for a game that fits easily in my top five for Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone. As mentioned in our earlier post: "Rocket Riot is a side-view shooter with retro-inspired graphics. It controls exceptionally well for a touch-screen game and is just plain fun."

Seriously, it's a fun game with what could be the world's most catchy theme song--I dare you not to get it stuck your head. Give it a go and grab it for this low price. No word if this is the "Deal of the Week" (we're pretty sure it is though) nor how long it will last, but if you were holding out before...grab it here.

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A few Xbox 360 Indie Games have made the transition to Windows Phone 7 games so far – Twin Blades (now sadly MIA) and Protégé Production’s upcoming tower defense game Armored Valley come to mind. We can now add Gnomic Studios’ Square Off to the list.

Square Off started its life as an entry in Microsoft’s 2009 Dream.Build.Play Competition, where it scored second place for Australian entries. Development continued after the contest, with the full game debuting on the Xbox 360 Indie Games platform in December 2009. Soon it will also be a Windows Phone 7 indie game, though Gnomic is still hoping for Xbox Live approval.

So what’s Square Off like? Its story involves a prolonged alien invasion of Earth. In order to combat the menace, a scientist implants alien DNA into cells taken from his own brain. He straps a rocket pack onto the resulting square creature and a defender is born. The lighthearted setting is accompanied by a cartoonish hand-drawn art style with 3D backgrounds and a nice soundtrack.

Square Off is a twin-stick shooter that plays like a simpler version of Rocket Riot. In both games, players use rockets to fly around closed levels, blasting away at enemies until none remain. Whereas the console versions of Rocket Riot and Square off are multiplayer deathmatch-centric, the Windows Phone 7 versions remain single-player affairs. To compensate for the lack of multiplayer, the mobile version of Square Off will include a new survival mode in addition to the full 7-level single-player campaign of the original.

Gnomic Studios’ Square Off is scheduled for an April release. Mobile gamers who aren’t too busy with the 6 Xbox Live heavy hitters announced back on February 24 should give it a look.

Head past the jump for Gnomic Studios' full press release.

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The last Xbox Live title we saw drop in price on Windows Phone 7 was Glow Artisan (Review) way back on February 10. I’m pleased to report that this week an astonishing three games have been reduced in price!

  • Max and the Magic Marker dropped from $6.99 to $4.99.
  • Rocket Riot is back to $4.99 again, down from $6.99.
  • Frogger was $2.99, but now it’s just $1.99. Frogger is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week.

Max and the Magic Marker is a puzzle-platformer in which the player draws objects directly into the game world via the touch screen. Our review found it to be extremely creative, though a tad overpriced at $6.99. The new price should be just right.

Rocket Riot is a side-view shooter with retro-inspired graphics. It controls exceptionally well for a touch-screen game and is just plain fun. At $6.99 I would have recommended that readers try before they buy, but $4.99 makes it a much more compelling purchase.

Frogger is a classic arcade game that, like Pac-Man, just doesn’t control well on a touch screen. But hey, it’s cheap! And we haven’t seen the $1.99 price point on Xbox Live titles before. Maybe other $3 games will become $2 games in the future too.

Every Xbox Live game for Windows Phone 7 has a free trial (not to mention delicious Achievements). You can get Max and the Magic Marker here (opens a link to your Zune software), Rocket Riot here, and Frogger h-e-r-e on the Marketplace. These price drops may not last forever, so don’t hesitate if you’re interested!

Update: We've learned that Frogger is on sale for one week, while Max and the Magic Marker and Rocket Riot's price drops are permanent.

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Rocket Riot - Review

Among Windows Phone 7’s most unique features is the Xbox Live service. The mobile versions of many Xbox 360 console games can find their way exclusively to Windows Phone 7. One such game, ilomilo (review), actually debuted first on Windows Phone 7 before hitting the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade service a few months later. Rocket Riot, from developer Code Glue, took the other way around: it’s come to Microsoft’s mobile phone platform over a year after releasing as a downloadable console title.

Rocket Riot is a twin-stick, side view shooter (without the physical sticks). This means players control their character’s movement and firing direction independently. Does this control method work well on the touch-screen, without the presence of sticks? Fly past the break to find out.

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Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (review) and Rocket Riot (review), two Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7, both received updates this week, but no release notes in their store descriptions or anywhere else. So we contacted their developers, Fluffy Logic and Code Glue, for details.

Star Wars: Battle for Hoth v1.3.0.0 changelog:

  • Minor tweaks to difficulty of some levels based on user feedback
  • Fix for rare crash bug affecting players resuming paused games
  • Fix for trial version bug

Which levels got tweaked? The boss waves in the last five or so levels now have less health. It may not sound like much, but Battle for Hoth is a very challenging game. Every little bit helps!

Rocket Riot v1.1.0.0 changelog:

  • Controls improved

Rocket Riot controlled pretty well to begin with, but it’s nice to see Code Glue continuing to support the game after release. Now if only Namco would fix up the Windows Phone 7 version of Puzzle Quest 2…

Star Wars: Battle for Hoth is a tower defense game based on the iconic Hoth battle from The Empire Strikes Back film. It costs $4.99. Rocket Riot is a side-view shooter with retro-inspired graphics (full review soon). Though Rocket Riot had previously dropped to $4.99, its price is back up to $6.99. Both titles have free trials. You can grab Battle for Hoth here (opens a link to your Zune software) and Rocket Riot here in the Marketplace.

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Rocket Riot (review coming soon), is probably one of the best Xbox LIVE games on Windows Phone 7 right now: catchy music, great combo of retro and 3D graphics, fun gameplay. Only downside was cost: $6.99 made it one of the most expensive games on the Marketplace, which even I avoided paying.

Luckily in the last few days it dropped to a more reasonable $4.99, making it more worthy of consideration. Only thing we're hesitant about are the few complaints about the game "not loading" after a few days of playing. This seems to be isolated but hopefully the developer will have a v1.1 soon.

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