Xbox Live

As bargain hunting Xbox Windows Phone gamers are surely aware, the fairly new Carcassonne is part of Microsoft’s Black Friday week sale which ends today. Until now, we’ve had mixed feelings about Carcassonne due to its ridiculously grindy Achievements and broken online multiplayer. Thankfully, one of those issues is now fixed at last. Carcassonne’s online multiplayer now works!

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Back in September, we reported that indie word game and Windows Phone exclusive AlphaJax would be upgraded to Xbox Live status (or is that Xbox Windows Phone status?) at long last. The game’s developer, Marker Metro has been a Windows Phone supporter since before the platform launched. That support finally paid off when they got Microsoft to pick up publishing rights for the Xbox Windows Phone version this year. Gamers will also reap the benefits of the upgrade quite soon, as the new version launches this Wednesday!

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Sonic CD is quite a unique entry in the Sonic the hedgehog series. It’s got everything players loved about the Sega Genesis Sonic games, such as fast movement, deep backgrounds, great music, and plenty of personality. But it also adds new time travelling mechanics to learn, a strong focus on exploration and side goals, and another unique set of Bonus Stages. Check out our review for an in-depth discussion of these features.

Getting all of the Achievements could be hard for players new to the game, but we’re here to help! Head past the break for our Achievement Guide, complete with maps that actually label important locations. You’ll have the full 200 GamerScore in no time!

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Sonic CD: Xbox Windows Phone Review

A few years ago, an Australian Sonic fan named Christian Whitehead created a proof of concept of a reprogrammed version of Sonic CD for iOS. The demo video quickly vanished, but not due to a copyright claim from SEGA. Instead, the house that Sonic built actually displayed unprecedented coolness by hiring Christian to fully develop Sonic CD for multiple devices, including the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone. After interviewing SEGA about the game, we came away excited.

The WP7 version appeared 11 months later than the XBLA one, prompting many to wonder whether it had been discreetly canceled. Luckily, the Aussie dev continued plugging away on the XNA port of his Retro Engine, and now Windows Phone gamers can enjoy a virtually perfect port of Sonic CD.

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As we exclusively revealed over the weekend, this week’s Xbox Windows Phone release is Turn N Run, from Russian developer MaxNick (makers of Spider Jack) and Chillingo/EA. The lighthearted puzzle game is now available on the Windows Phone Store. Turn N Run plays great and definitely has easy Achievements, but Windows Phone 8 gamers will have to wait to enjoy it...

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Wow, Nokia is aggressively aiming to attract Xbox gamers to their Lumia Windows Phones lately. Two weeks ago they published exclusives The Game of Life; Jet Set Go, and Parking Mania out of the blue; their exclusive port of Connect 4 dropped to 99 cents over the weekend; and Mirror’s Edge just became free for all Lumia owners. Chalk another point up to Nokia as two new exclusive Xbox games debut today: Spy Mouse and Trivial Pursuit, both from Electronic Arts.

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Windows Phone Central recently compared the popular puzzle game Cut the Rope to Spider Jack, a competing Xbox Windows Phone title. Spider Jack comes from a small developer called MaxNick and publisher Electronic Arts. Now we’re pleased to announce that MaxNick and EA have another Xbox game in store for us this Wednesday: Turn N Run. Also pleasing: it will run on both Windows Phone 7 and 8.

Head past the break for exclusive Turn N Run details, a list of the game’s Achievements, and a trailer!

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It might seem like only yesterday for some of us, but Microsoft’s Xbox Live service launched 10 years ago this month – a year after the original Xbox debuted. Xbox live was a major differentiator between the Xbox and the Playstation 2 and GameCube. Some PS2 games could connect to the internet via optional modem, but Sony’s console lacked a proper online system. Nintendo’s GameCube had only a handful of online games, something the big N did little (virtually nothing) to rectify with the GameCube’s successor, the Wii. Only the Xbox had a fairly standardized online system with each game required to support voice chat.

Ten years later, the Xbox 360 is the world’s most popular console (especially in North America) and the Xbox Live service extends to Windows Phone and Windows 8 games. Read on to discover Microsoft’s plans to celebrate the anniversary, including giving everyone a free XBLA game!

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Cut the Rope has been an extremely popular game on iOS for years now, but it only just arrived on Windows Phone last week. In the meantime, we’ve made due with Spider Jack, a similar puzzle game that arrived on WP7 back in December. Cut the Rope originates from a Russian developer called ZeptoLab (though their UK branch crafted this port), while Spider Jack comes from the equally Russian MaxNick and publisher Electronic Arts. Now that both games are available (and playable on both WP7 and WP8 handsets), which one should you buy? Windows Phone Central answers that (sort of) in this head-to-head review.

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It’s been a long time coming. SEGA first announced Sonic CD for Windows Phone way back in August 2011. We then interviewed Ken Balough, Sonic’s brand manager, shortly before the Xbox 360 version launched on December 14 of that year. At the time, there was no indication that the WP7 port would arrive dramatically later than the XBLA one… But here we are in November 2012, and the game is finally available. Good news: it was worth the wait!

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When Nokia announced that a Windows Phone 7-specific version of Angry Birds Star Wars was still on the way despite the availability of a WP8 version, a few readers commented that Nokia’s continued support of WP7 still seemed unlikely. Well, let’s not doubt the Finnish smartphone manufacturer too much. They’ve just released not one but three Xbox games for Windows Phone 7, one of which hadn’t been unannounced beforehand! All three games: The Game of Life, Jet Set Go, and Parking Mania are Nokia exclusives and will work on both Nokia’s WP7 and newly-released WP8 handsets.

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The Windows Phone 7 version of Big Buck Hunter Pro has a few rough edges, but I still enjoyed it overall. Light gun-style games, i.e. shooting galleries, are just plain fun. And heck, the combination of shooting defenseless animals while an announcer grossly mispronounces everything he says, how can you not love that? Unfortunately, though, the game has just been pulled from the Windows Phone Store.

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Yesterday, Angry Birds Space became the first Windows Phone 8 game available for purchase. While its appearance may have disappointed those Windows Phone 7 gamers who can’t upgrade to WP8 anytime soon, Space is exactly what WP8 needed to kick off its bid to seriously compete with iOS and Android. Sure, the game arrived about 7 months later than on competing platforms, but it’s timed perfectly with Microsoft’s new mobile OS launch.

Today Windows Phone Angry Birds fans discovered even better news. Angry Birds Star Wars, first announced for Windows Phone alongside every other version on October 8, has just launched for Xbox on Windows Phone 8. That’s right, day and date with the iOS and Android versions! That’s a far cry from the days when Rovio almost couldn’t be bothered to even announce a WP version, let alone support WP7 Angry Birds with the same updates as the other platforms.

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Big Buck Hunter Pro is the popular 2006 installment in the arcade game franchise from PlayMechanix. The Big Buck Hunter franchise continues to survive despite the death of the arcade industry. Walk into any American movie theater or pizza buffet cool enough to have arcade machines and you’ll likely see a Pro cabinet or one of its sequels there, resplendent with two shotguns (one green, the other orange) and some goofy antler molding around the screen and marquis.

In 2009 and 2010, the franchise’s expanded even more with the ports of Big Buck Hunter Pro for the Nintendo Wii, iPhone and other mobile platforms, and even a plug-and-play TV game. All but the Wii version were developed by Merge Interactive. Merge is working on the upcoming Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure for Windows 8, but before its arrival they’ve released a Windows Phone 7 port of the iOS game. Does their familiarity with the franchise produce a worthy and accessible hunting game? Mostly, except for some annoying issues with the port.

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Carcassonne: Xbox Windows Phone Review

People living outside of France can probably be forgiven for a lack of familiarity with the real-life town of Carcassonne and its historical significance. According to my best friend Wikipedia, the town was fortified by walls and was strategic significant from about 100 BC to 1659. Fast-forward to the year 2000 and a German board game designer named Klaus-Jürgen Wrede created a game about building medieval cities and kingdoms by the same name. The single console adaptation of Carcassonne to date has been the XBLA version, which came along in 2007 from Sierra Online. German developer Exozet Games created their own version for Android and Blackberry in 2011, which they’ve now adapted to Windows Phone.

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Halo 4 launches on Xbox 360 today

Among Windows Phone owners, a great many also have Xbox 360 consoles. And the most popular first-party franchise for the 360 is undoubtedly Halo. We first caught a glimpse of Halo 4 in motion during Microsoft’s E3 keynote earlier this year, and today the game has arrived at last. That’s right, you can walk into a store right now and pick up Halo 4. If you’re a dedicated fan, you probably did so even before reading this article. Everyone else, read on to learn about the latest (and likely final) Halo release of this console generation.

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We’ve had our fair share of quality Deals of the Week lately. Surely some Windows Phone gamers’ wallets are aching and could use a rest. Well, this week’s Deal should accommodate such folks as it’s certainly of the less-exciting variety. Starting Wednesday, Earthworm Jim HD from Gameloft goes on sale for $2.99 for the third time, down from the outrageous price of $4.99.

Yes, with Gameloft’s recent announcement of 12 big name Windows Phone 8 games, it would’ve been all too easy to forget the ‘Loft had published a somewhat unimpressive port of Earthworm Jim as a Windows Phone 7 launch title.

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