xbox wp7

Galaga Legions DX wasn’t the best Xbox game on Windows Phone. In fact, I named it as one of the five worst Xbox games of 2012. But still, it was that very rare thing: an exclusive Windows Phone game from a major publisher that never showed up on other mobile platforms (though it originated on Xbox 360). I even managed to get all of Legions DX’s Achievements and write a guide for them.

You’ll notice I speak of Galaga Legions DX entirely in the past tense; that’s because it was delisted from the Windows Phone Store within the last few days. That makes it the fourth Xbox Windows Phone game to disappear this year. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, Tower Bloxx New York, and 3D Brick Breaker Revolution were all delisted in January. Only three new Xbox games have made it to Windows Phone in 2014, so we’re actually one down for the year.

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It’s never good news when a downloadable game gets delisted, regardless of platform. But a delisting is especially unfortunate for Windows Phone users, because delisted Windows Phone games can’t be redownloaded even by users who have purchased them. Nor can we back games up and restore them later. Just one of many issues we’ve lamented in the past that Microsoft still needs to fix.

Unfortunately, another couple of Xbox Windows Phone games disappeared from the Store at the start of the year: Tower Bloxx: New York and 3D Brick Breaker Revolution from publisher Digital Chocolate. Neither game was anything special – especially not 3D Brick Breaker. But again, you have to feel for people like yours truly who paid money for those titles and can now lose access to them forever.

In addition to those two vanished games, EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 has also dropped from the Store. Read on to learn about all three titles and what factors might have led to their disappearance.

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On the whole, it’s been a rough year for Xbox games on Windows Phone. Most weeks go by without new releases, and several publishers like Gameloft have stopped publishing their games as Xbox titles. And yet, a couple of new Xbox releases have turned up in the last few weeks: Temple Run 2 and Rabbids Big Bang.

Today another Xbox Windows Phone game showed up out of the blue as something of a late Christmas present for Xbox fans: Final Fantasy III from Square-Enix. This makes the third Japanese role-playing game the publisher has released on Windows Phone, following the first Final Fantasy and Chaos Rings. Final Fantasy III runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8, but it carries a hefty price tag… Check out our hands on video, impressions, and Store link after the break!

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Last year Ubisoft released its first Xbox game for Windows Phone, Babel Rising 3D. Mando Productions created the original game while Advanced Mobile Applications ported it to Windows platforms. Babel Rising arrived just a month before Windows Phone 8. Once the new mobile OS launched, the game turned out to be Windows Phone 8-incompatible.

Luckily for Windows Phone gamers, Ubisoft did the right thing and brought Babel Rising 3D back as a new, separate Windows Phone 8 version earlier this month. Not only that, they also published a Windows 8 version. All three versions are content identical, with the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 versions naturally running smoother and in higher resolutions. It’s high time for our full review.

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Earlier this week, three Xbox Windows Phone 7 titles from Gameloft suddenly got delisted from the Store. It’s not totally unusual for games to be delisted; at the end of September a record-setting 11 games received the same treatment. But most of those games handled In-App Purchases (IAPs) via now-defunct Microsoft Points. None of the newly pulled Gameloft games had IAPs.

The main thing these latest delisted games had in common (besides their publisher and being Windows Phone 7 launch titles) is that all three went on sale on September 26, the same week as the mass IAP delisting. Head past the break for details and our speculation as to what happened.

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Less than a week ago we reported that two former Nokia exclusive Xbox games: Dream Track Nation and Tiny Plane become available to all Windows Phone users. Several more former exclusives have just followed, right in time for the weekend: Vampire Rush from A-Steroids, Storm in a Teacup from Cobra, and The Sims Medieval from Electronic Arts. Okay, The Sims Medieval actually went non-exclusive a little earlier but we’re just getting to it now.

With three more Xbox games available to all Windows Phone users, the list of Nokia exclusive Xbox titles grows ever shorter. Head past the break for details, Store links, and an updated list of the remaining exclusives!

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Older Xbox Windows Phone physics puzzle game iBlast Moki is the Red Stripe Deal of the Week, and that’s cool. Wouldn’t you like some more games to go on sale though? Of course you would! And you’re getting your wish, buddy. Three more games have their prices knocked down to 99 cents for the week!

Don’t get TOO excited just yet though. The three sale games are all older Gameloft titles: Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles, Brain Challenge, and UNO HD. All three games were just on sale in June, along with a larger selection of titles. But they cost two bucks at that time and only one buck now, so this IS a better sale.

Head past the break for descriptions and Store links!

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Windows Phone Role-playing fans welcomed Square-Enix’s remake of the original Final Fantasy with open arms last year. At last, we had a lengthy and well-made RPG in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup. But the RPG genre has advanced dramatically since the first Final Fantasy dawned on 8-bit Nintendo consoles. The remake’s modest enhancements couldn’t prevent the game from feeling dated.

Thankfully Square-Enix did not choose the equally dated (but still good) Final Fantasy II as its next Windows Phone RPG. Instead, the publisher followed up with a port of Chaos Rings. Originally released on iOS in 2010, Chaos Rings is an original Japanese RPG (JRPG) designed exclusively for mobile devices. How does it stack up against modern RPG standards? Read on to find out!

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Square-Enix’s Chaos Rings is easily the cream of the single-player Role-Playing Game crop on Windows Phone. With an intricate storyline spanning alternate dimensions and timelines and four teams of playable characters, it’s also one of the vaster and most complex games in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup.

Windows Phone Central has spent countless hours exploring Chaos Rings’ every cranny and secret, and now we’ve got an exclusive Achievement Guide to share with you. Learn which team to start with, the best equipment and skills to use, where to find the hidden bosses, and lots more – after the break!

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We didn’t exactly get a new Xbox Windows Phone release this week, but Windows Phone 8 gamers DO get something new to play. Square Enix’s Chaos Rings, one of the highest profile games on the incompatibility list, is finally Windows Phone 8 compatible!

The game launched only for Windows Phone 7 back in March, hugely disappointing Windows Phone 8 RPG fans. Earlier this week it started showing up in the Store on Windows Phone 8 devices, but couldn’t actually be downloaded by most users. Just an hour or so ago, several of us managed to download it at last. The game's Store web page was down all week and just came back up as well. At last!

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In the last week or so we’ve brought you interviews and announcements from German developers Handy Games and Flare Games. Now we’ve made it a trilogy by speaking with Exozet Games, the studio who brought popular board game Carcassonne to Xbox Windows Phone last year.

Matthias Hellmund, the Head of Mobile Development at Exozet, sat down with us to discuss the development process of Carcassonne, its online multiplayer, and even the notorious grinding Achievements! Few game makers come prepared with as many development stories. Head past the break to learn the full picture behind how Carcassonne arrived on Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone 7 users must be feeling a bit left out of the Xbox gaming fun lately. We spent the majority of last week celebrating the release of Halo: Spartan Assault and publishing detailed strategy guides for Order & Chaos Online, both excellent Windows Phone 8 games. But what are the Microsoft mobile users who haven’t upgraded to Windows Phone 8 yet going to play?

Former Nokia exclusives, of course! Less than two weeks ago, Chillingo’s pretty decent Picnic Wars became available to all brands of Windows Phone. And just a few days ago, two more games dropped their exclusivity: Flight Control Rocket and Blobster. If you liked the first Flight Control, you’re going to love FC Rocket! Oh, and Blobster. Yayyyy.

Read on for details on both games and an updated list of current and former Nokia Collection exclusives!

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When is the last time a new Xbox game came out for Windows Phone 7? It must have been Rabbids Go Phone in May. That’s a fun little game for kids and Achievement hunters, but you can also beat it in a couple of hours. Non-Nokia Windows Phone 7 users also gained access to Jet Set Go in June when its Nokia exclusivity ended. Obviously, new Xbox releases for Windows Phone 7 are winding down now that Windows Phone 8 has seeded the market.

Still, general Windows Phone 7 users have plenty of Nokia exclusives whose exclusivity will eventually end to look forward to. In fact, one of those games just became available to all users today: Picnic Wars from Chillingo and Swiss developer Crown Adam. It kind of leapfrogged iBomber Defense as far as general availability goes, but iBomber and the other two Nokia games that launched alongside Picnic Wars can’t be far behind.

Read on for Picnic Wars details and an updated list of current and former Nokia Collection exclusives!

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Dream Track Nation and Tiny Plane (two games from Canadian indie developer PowPow Games) arrived on Xbox Windows Phone simultaneously a few months back. Electronic Arts’ indie label Chillingo publishes both games, which originated as Nokia exclusives but are now available to all users.

Seeing as how we reviewed Tiny Plane last week, I thought it only fitting that we take a critical lens to its brother Dream Track Nation as well. Is this physics-based racer really a dream or more of a nightmare? Read on to find out.

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The endless running game genre has become increasingly popular on smartphones in the last few years. The most popular entry by far – Jetpack Joyride – actually mixes flying with running, and to great effect. But suppose you want a pure endless flying game without all that fancy footwork? Then Nokia and Chillingo’s Tiny Plane is the only game in town.

Created by tiny Canadian developer PowPow Games (who also made Dream Track Nation), Tiny Plane can’t compare to Jetpack Joyride’s sheer scope and abundance of personality. But it packs a certain indie charm and some challenging gameplay that still make it worth a look.

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Near the end of 2011, Nokia and Electronic Arts announced a partnership. Nokia would publish new EA Xbox Windows Phone games exclusively for Lumia devices. The deal included EA’s subsidiaries Chillingo and PopCap as well. It took a while for the first exclusive to show up: Mirror’s Edge in July 2012. After that, the floodgates opened as more and more EA games arrived on our platform.

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Today’s Xbox Windows Phone 8 release, Rayman Jungle Run might have left gamers who are stuck with Windows Phone 7 feeling left out in the cold. Hey, things aren’t as grim as they seem, old phone users! As it turns out, a second Xbox game came out today: Rabbids Go Phone. That’s right, two Ubisoft games in one day!

Rabbids Go Phone might make Windows Phone 7 users smile, but not the rest of us. For reasons unknown to science, Rabbids won’t run on Windows Phone 8. Considering that Microsoft’s new mobile OS has been available since November last year, it’s pretty silly to release an incompatible game at this point in time. Especially a really simplistic game like Rabbids.

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Hey Xbox game fans, Windows Phone Central is back with another exclusive and professional-quality Achievement guide. This time we tackle the Windows Phone version of NBA Jam from EA Sports. Whether you’re a Jam veteran or new to the series, our guide will help you knock the game’s Achievements out as quickly and easily as possible, though it’ll still take just over 30 hours to unlock the final one.

Earning NBA Jam’s Achievements also unlocks a variety of characters, but several of the game’s most outlandish characters can only be accessed via secret codes. We’ve got those for you too, right after the break. Boom shaka laka!

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You might not know this, but Microsoft and Bejeweled go way back. PopCap created the very first version in Flash in 2001, originally calling it Diamond Mine. When Microsoft hosted the game at its MSN gaming site, the two parties agreed to change the title to Bejeweled, a name that has now become synonymous with the match-3 puzzle genre.

Windows Phone 7 launched with Bejeweled Live, a decent but overpriced ($5!) port of the game with only three game modes. Considering that Bejeweled on iPhone and iPad each include five modes for only one dollar, the original Bejeweled Live has always represented a poor value proposition.

Thankfully, PopCap has finally made good with Bejeweled Live+, essentially a port of the iOS version. A timed Nokia exclusive, it has a two dollar markup on Windows Phone 7 and 8. But three dollars doesn’t sting too badly when we’re talking about the finest pure puzzle game on the platform.

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According to our source at Microsoft, there won’t be a general Xbox Windows Phone release this week. That could be because N.O.V.A. 3 still hasn’t passed certification yet (as Gameloft has informed us) and neither has anything else, or maybe Microsoft just wants Xbox fans focused on the Xbox One this week instead of their phones.

Don’t fret, though! Non-Nokia owners just got two new Xbox Windows Phone titles to choose from: Spy Mouse and Trivial Pursuit. And Nokia owners, boy is this a good week for you…

Nokia and Electronic Arts have just released not one, two, or even three new games. That’s right, FOUR new Nokia exclusives rolled in overnight: Mass Effect: Infiltrator (requires Windows Phone 8), NBA Jam, Real Racing 2, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. In other words, most of the big games we’ve been looking forward to since EA and Nokia first announced their partnership!

The only bad news: Windows Phone 8 users with 512 MB RAM devices can't play any of these games, while Nokia WP7 users can. Weirdness...

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