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Update: Gameloft could not confirm the May 8th release date and the game hasn't shown up, so our source looks to have been incorrect. Sorry for getting everybody's hopes up. Ubisoft's Monster Burner is this week's actual Xbox release.

Gameloft announced 12 killer Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 back in October of last year (and later amended the list). Those titles starting rolling out with Asphalt 7 in February. With Ice Age Village appearing at the end of April, we’re up to seven out of 12 games so far. Not a bad two months of releases, but the most anticipated game (among our readers, anyway), N.O.V.A. 3 had yet to appear.

That changes this Wednesday when Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 finally debuts. A first-person shooter based on the Halo series. N.O.V.A. 3 is the closest thing Windows Phone will have to a proper Halo title unless Microsoft ever has a change of heart. Like Modern Combat 4, this one will require 1 GB of RAM and lots of storage space, so some devices like the Lumia 520 and 620 won’t be able to run it.

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When we didn’t hear from Microsoft about an Xbox Windows Phone release this week, we feared that there wouldn’t a new game today. It turns out that we should have had faith, because a new release did quietly slip out, and it’s an interesting one!

Following on the heels of their early April release, Amazing Alex, Rovio now breaks in the month of May with the game that started their rise to fame: Angry Birds. We’re not talking about a new Angry Birds sequel or the oft-requested spin-off Bad Piggies. No, a Windows Phone 8-exclusive version of the original Angry Birds (now called Angry Birds Classic) has just arrived with all the content missing from its unloved Windows Phone 7 predecessor. Windows Phone 7 gets a new, updated version as well but without the Xbox features. And best of all, both versions are free until May 15!

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Windows Phone 8 got its first proper taste of Xbox-enabled freemium games when Gameloft’s Real Soccer 2013 debuted earlier this year. But that game reached for players’ wallets so deeply and so often that we could barely enjoy it. Now Gameloft gives us another freemium game, the social city builder Ice Age Village. Don’t let Real Soccer 2013 or Glu Mobile’s Bug Village sour your feelings toward this one; it is less buggy than its genre predecessor and even players who choose not to spend any real currency can have a good time.

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Ice Age Village from Gameloft is a free Xbox city building game for Windows Phone 8. As far as we know, any Windows Phone 8 device can run it and the game only takes up 79 MB of storage, so it should have a sizable player base already.

The city building genre is a time consuming one since many tasks involve returning to the game at a later time or date to reap their rewards.  Wouldn’t it be nice to speed up the process a bit and get your village making money faster right off the bat? Darn right it would.

Windows Phone Central has a bunch of codes for free Coins, animals, and items, plus a handy Achievement guide. Don’t spend a single Acorn until you’ve read it!

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Gameloft’s Ice Age Village just launched for Xbox Windows Phone 8 yesterday. If you enjoy the town-building genre or the Ice Age movies, it’s a fun and addictive game. It’s also worlds better than Bug Village, so don’t let that early Windows Phone 7 misfire put you off from trying the game.

All that said, we have some good news and bad news to share with you now. This article covers the bad news. One of Ice Age Village’s advancements over Bug Village, its social integration is just about completely broken at launch. Read on to learn about the kinks in the works and whether we can expect Gameloft to take care of the situation

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We’ve just settled in with two strong Nokia exclusive Windows Phone releases this week, but avid gamers and non-Nokia owners are already hungry for more. Hey! Why don’t you go order a pizza from your Xbox 360 if you’re so hungry?

Well, assuming we’ve all had a nice lunch/dinner/second breakfast, it’s time for a new Xbox game from our good friends at Gameloft. This week’s release is Ice Age Village, one of the more casual-friendly titles that Gameloft announced for Windows Phone 8 last year. Whether or not the theme appeals to you, Ice Age Village happens to be free-to-play, so we all might as well put down our vegetable peelers and give it a try.

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Last week’s Red Stripe Xbox Deal gave us a fine sale on Sonic CD, a game that had never been discounted before. This week’s game has never been a Deal of the Week before, but many of us picked it up during the Black Friday sale last year. That’s right, Mush from Angry Mango will be the new Red Stripe Xbox game starting on Thursday. It’s going on sale for 99 cents, down from $2.99.

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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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Skulls of the Shogun will forever be known to Windows Phone enthusiasts as the game that broke the Xbox release drought we went through earlier this year. It also happened to be a fantastic game, despite a few rough edges here and there.

When we met up with one of the game’s developers a few weeks ago, he promised that updates would soon be coming to all three versions of the game: Windows Phone, XBLA, and Windows 7. At last those updates are upon us! We've got an exclusive screenshot comparison and visual breakdown of the revamped Windows Phone visuals, plus full change logs for all three versions of Skulls of the Shogun.

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Cut the Rope: Experiments is a fun Xbox Live game for your Windows Phone 7.x and 8 devices. It hit the Windows Phone Store last week for $2.99 and today, the price has been cut to $.99.

The sequel to the original Cut the Rope has a mad scientist putting the title character, Om Nom, through a wide range of scientific experiments. Cut the Rope: Experiments brings 150 levels of game play to your Windows Phone and at only $.99 may very well be a steal of a deal.

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As deal-savvy gamers might have noticed by now, the Xbox Windows Phone Deal of the Week is now technically a part of Microsoft’s Red Stripe Deals, which roll out every Thursday. Basically three Windows Phone apps or games go on Thor’s Day, one of which will be an Xbox Live title. Well, a rose by another name smells just as sweet, and we’ll continue reporting on the Xbox sale game prior to Thursday as we’ve always done.

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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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The era of Gameloft Windows Phone 8 support is in full swing. Already the prolific publisher has graced us with an amazing racer (Asphalt 7), two less amazing but still decent open world games (Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises), and a surprisingly enjoyable physics puzzler (Shark Dash). It’s almost like they’re single-handedly keeping the Xbox brand alive on Windows Phone.

Now Gameloft follows up with Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the second Windows Phone title with real-time online multiplayer and the platform’s only first-person shooter so far (until N.O.V.A. 3 comes along). FPS games on the phone are new for many of us - including me. Read on to find out how well Modern Combat 4 works as both a single-player and multiplayer game!

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After last week’s Xbox release of the big-budget, hardware-intensive Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour for Windows Phone 8 devices, many of us could use something lighter this week to cleanse our gaming palates. And heck, Windows Phone 7 gamers surely just want something new to play since their platform skipped a new release last week.

Thankfully ZeptoLabs has come to the rescue. This week’s Xbox release will be Cut The Rope: Experiments, a sequel to Cut the Rope (one of our picks for 2012’s best Xbox Windows Phone games).  Experiments will run on both Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices, so everybody can enjoy it. The only bad news: it will cost a bit more than the first game.

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You’ve probably heard that Miniclip is offering four of its Xbox Windows Phone games for free right now. And as of last week, the Xbox Deal of the Week is back. So with a bunch of games gone free at the moment, does that mean we don’t get a new Deal of the Week today? Heck no it doesn’t!

This week’s deal game is another blast from the past, as it’s been on sale once before. But it’s actually a pretty awesome game that many players might have overlooked: Tiki Towers from Game House. Even better, the sale price is 99 cents this time, the cheapest Tiki Towers has ever been.

Now is the part where I remind you, our dear readers, that the Windows Phone Store doesn’t always update like clockwork. Sometimes price changes take time to go live. Case in point: I’m not seeing Tiki Towers on sale yet. But Microsoft assures us it will go on sale, and I believe them. So just be patient and check later tonight or Thursday; the sale will eventually go on.

Update: The sale is not scheduled to go live until Thursday for some reason. That explains it!

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Earlier this week, Windows Phone Central broke the news that Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour would be arriving on Windows Phone 8 today.  The wait has been hard, but now Modern Combat 4 is finally here! Not only is it the first First-Person Shooter in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup, but it’s the next best thing to having Call of Duty on your phone.

Modern Combat 4 packs both a full single-player campaign and a robust online multiplayer mode for up to 12 players. Not surprisingly, that means you’ll need a Windows Phone 8 device with 1 GB of RAM and plenty of storage space in order to play it. Head past the break for more details and the all-essential Windows Phone Store link!

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Tower defense is one of my favorite genres because of its versatility. There are so many variations between TD games, from the wholesome simplicity geoDefense to the undying awesomeness of Plants vs. Zombies. Sometimes developers even combine tower defense with action games, allowing players to run around the field attacking enemies in addition to the strategic planting of towers. Zombie Attack 2 did just that a couple of years ago, although somehow the game still ended up a big, stinking pile of boring.

Vampire Rush, a former Nokia exclusive Xbox game for Windows Phone comes from Chillingo and Lithuanian developer A-Steroids. While it doesn’t quite achieve its full potential, Vampire Rush does manage to provide the right blend of strategy and excitement that Zombie Attack 2 so woefully lacked. Read on for our full review!

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Earlier today Miniclip dropped the price of their Windows 8 and RT versions of iStunt 2, Gravity Guy and Monster Island to free titles.

Miniclip has now added the Windows Phone 7.x/8 versions of these games to their free offer. The free offer on the Xbox Windows Phone titles is only for a limited time only. As an added bonus, the Xbox Live game Fragger is also a freebie.

So if you've been on the fence or just want to build up your Xbox Windows Phone gaming library, now's the time to act. Head past the break for all the links and QR Codes.

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We can’t say whether there will be two Xbox Windows Phone releases this week just yet. But we can tell you – and show you – one very exciting game arriving for Windows Phone 8 on Wednesday. Originally announced back in October, Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour will finally arrive this week! Not only will it be the first Xbox Windows Phone first-person shooter, but it promises even more advanced multiplayer features than we saw in Asphalt 7 earlier this year.

During my recent trip to the Game Developers Conference, I stopped by the San Francisco Gameloft office for a quick tour. Lennon Arcaro, Gameloft’s Account Director was kind enough to walk me through the opening moments of Modern Combat 4. See our world exclusive hands-on footage after the break!

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Of all the offsite meetings we engaged in during GDC, the most pleasant place to visit was probably Electronic Arts’ suite at the St. Regis Hotel. Within that cozy location, Android Central’s Simon Sage and I met with Dan Tausney, PR Manager of Chillingo. As you might remember from our article about their most recent Windows Phone releases, Chillingo is the arm of EA responsible for publishing indie games from all over the world. They’ve been a major Windows Phone supporter and will soon be doing the same for Windows 8 as well.

Check out our hands-on footage with Contre Jour for Windows 8, see your favorite mobile Games Editor in action on video, and learn about Chillingo’s future Windows 8 plans after the break!

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