shark dash

Nokia has been known to run various gaming promotions since it came to Windows Phone a couple of years ago. Most obviously they sponsored the production of more than 20 Xbox Windows Phone games; titles that we probably would never have gotten otherwise. There was also a brief period last year in which a non-Xbox version of Sonic CD became available for Lumia owners. We never found out why the giveaway game lacked its Xbox features, nor would Nokia comment on it.

Fourteen months later, it looks like Nokia has a new promotion going on. Owners of some very specific handsets (Nokia Lumia 625, 1020, 1320, Icon, and 1520) can get free versions of nine games from mega-publisher Gameloft! These aren’t stripped down versions, either. They’re the full Xbox titles with working Achievements, albeit with different Store pages than the general versions. Head past the link for more details on how to find the free games!

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Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Games for all occasions

Windows Phone games are a great way to pass the time with. Whether it's waiting hours in the car tag line or just a few minutes before a class starts, there is a vast assortment of quality games available in the Windows Phone Store.  Some games are great for a quick gaming fix while others stand up to longer gaming sessiosn.

Then there's games that can cover all the bases, good for all occasions.  Entertaining for short bits and addictive enough to keep you entertained for more extended periods.

For this week's roundup, instead of picking three or four games, we focus on four developers/studios that have a respectable portfolio of Windows Phone games. Some of which that can hold their own for those short gaming sessions or the longer marathon sessions.  Along the way we'll spotlight a few of the titles offered by these developers and as always, if we've overlooked your favorite title feel free to sound off in the comments.

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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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Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 were slim pickings until Gameloft’s highly anticipated Asphalt 7 rolled out a few weeks ago. That rad racer became the first of the publisher’s 12 announced games to actually see release, followed shortly thereafter by The Amazing Spider-Man and Real Soccer 2013. That still leaves 9 more games to go, including the hotly anticipated FPS titles N.O.V.A. 3 and Modern Combat 4.

We won’t be shooting enemies this week, at least not with bullets. Batarangs, however are a different story. This Wednesday, Gameloft will release The Dark Knight Rises and Shark Dash for Windows Phone 8.

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One of the key differentiators for Windows Phone the past few years has been on the go access to the Xbox service and Xbox enabled games. We’ve had some popular ports like iStunt 2 (Dan's favorite) and Plants vs. Zombies. Windows Phone has also had its fair share of original and exclusive titles, fun games like Chicken Can’t Fly and Mush. Over on the Xbox website, we can see the first set of upcoming titles to be Xbox Live enabled.

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If there’s one mobile games publisher whose titles Windows Phone needs in order to appeal to mainstream gamers, it’s Gameloft. The Paris-based developer has made a massive business of cloning popular console games as smartphone titles, in addition to publishing actual licensed and wholly original titles. Sadly, Gameloft never fully supported Windows Phone 7. They released a few quality games (Splinter Cell: Conviction, Assassin’s Creed) and several buggy and/or severely delayed ones (Let’s Golf 2, Asphalt 5, Brain Challenge, and Real Soccer), but none of their most popular franchises.

Thankfully that should be changing with Windows Phone 8, as Gameloft has just announced a whopping 12 games for Microsoft’s new mobile OS, most of which are true heavy hitters! Check them out after the break.

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