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    Heroes of Order and Chaos Windows Phone Lumia 1520

    Does anybody remember Order & Chaos Online? It was the first and only Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) for Windows Phone with Xbox support. Although beloved by RPG fans, publisher Gameloft basically abandoned the Windows Phone version of Order & Chaos Online. With no content updates or bug fixes, and compatibility issues making it unplayable on the Nokia Lumia 1520, the game never got the chance to thrive like it should have.

    One year later, Order & Chaos is back! Sort of. Gameloft has just released Heroes of Order & Chaos for Windows Phones with 1 GB of RAM and Windows 8 and RT. Heroes is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) spin-off of the main game. Since the PC hit League of Legends is not available on mobile devices, Heroes of Order & Chaos is truly the next best thing. And it's free to play, with cloud save support. Head past the break for our hands on video and first impressions!

    Learning to battle

    Heroes of Order & Chaos begins with an exciting fully voice-acted tutorial. Players must first select from one of three Heroes. Unlike Order & Chaos Online, you won't be customizing the character's appearance or class. But you'll eventually build up a whole team of characters, so your first Hero is really just meant to get you started.

    Having chosen a Hero, you'll enter a village that is being attacked by monsters. The first order of business is helping the town guard fend off the monsters at the gate. Next you'll have to rescue a couple of nearby companions from another batch of monsters. Your team can then destroy a couple of control towers, battle a dragon, and wipe out the remaining invaders.

    Although Heroes of Order & Chaos is a deep and complex game, the basics of combat are easy to grasp. You can control your hero's movement either with a virtual analog stick or by tapping anywhere on the screen. At the right, you'll find buttons for attacks, switch target, and skills. Tapping the minimap at the top corner of the screen will expand it, at which point you can tap anywhere on the map to view it and/or select a destination for your hero.

    Your hero and his or her teammates will battle weak enemy NPCs, stronger enemy heroes, and extra tough enemy boss monsters. And you'll probably die a lot, in which case you have to wait a while to respawn and join the fray. Games can go on for quite a while, so don't start a match unless you're ready to stick with it until the end.

    Cross platform battles

    Heroes of Order and Chaos for Windows 8

    Windows 8 version

    Although it does offer single-player battles, Heroes of Order & Chaos requires an online connection to play. You can log in with either your existing Gameloft account or Facebook. The game doesn't seem to save your Facebook login information, so the Gameloft account is definitely the way to go. And since characters and profiles are stored on the server, you can use the same account on both Windows Phone and Windows 8. Don't you wish we could've done that with order & Chaos Online?

    The Windows Phone version of Heroes of Order & Chaos seems to be suffering some server issues at the moment. I tried repeatedly to play a single-player match and the server just kept failing. Yet I managed to start a match on the first try on Windows 8… Is anyone else having the same issue on the phone game?

    Server issues aside, Heroes of Order & Chaos is off to a great start on Windows Phone. It offers over 40 Heroes to choose from (only some of which are free at any given time), solo, co-op, and PvP modes, and an endless array of loot to buy with the spoils of your battles. If you've been looking for a serious online game for your phone and tablet or PC, look no further. Let's just hope Gameloft keeps the Windows versions up to date!

    • Heroes of Order & Chaos – Windows Phone 8 (1 GB or more of RAM) – 659 MB – Free – Store Link
    • Heroes of Order & Chaos – Windows 8 and RT – 691 MB – Free – Store Link

    QR: Heroes of Order and Chaos

    Thanks to Amit Nahar and Mohamed Ashid for the tip!


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    TouchFox touch controller review Surface pro The Witcher 2

    One of the best features of Windows 8 is that it allows us to run PC games and apps on touchscreen devices like the Surface Pro. Whereas Windows RT tablets are limited to playing Windows RT games, full Windows 8 tablets can play not only tablet-oriented Windows 8 games but also Windows 7 games.

    Of course, hardly any PC games actually support touch screen input. Civilization V is touch-optimized, but that's practically it. If you want to play a PC game on your tablet, you generally need either a controller or mouse and keyboard. But a handy new app called Touch Fox adds virtual controls to a handful of PC games that don't otherwise support touch. How does it work? Check out hands-on impressions with video to find out!

    A Wolf, a GreenMan, and a Fox walk into a bar…

    Overwolf Appstore no redeem code button

    The process of setting up TouchFox is surprisingly complicated; TouchFox is not an independent application. It's actually an add-on for a PC program called Overwolf. The Overwolf application adds some cool features like Frames Per Second display, video capture, in-game web browser, and twitch streaming – so it's not a bad thing to have.

    Having installed Overwolf and set up an account, you can then buy TouchFox "controllers" from Green Man Gaming. After receiving a product key from Green Man, you then return to the Overwolf app. Launch the Overwolf Appstore, input your product key, and then the controller will be added to your account. The Redeem Code button is inexplicably hidden, however. It took me like 10 minutes to find it on my Surface Pro. On my laptop, the button seems to not be there at all. So Overwolf should probably fix that.

    Supported games

    TouchFox Magicka Surface Pro

    Instead of buying a single TouchFox app and using it with all supported games, players must purchase TouchFox controllers for individual games. Each controller costs $3.99, which isn't too bad if you only want to play one or two games. But there's no reason TouchFox shouldn't be a single purchase that works with multiple games.

    At launch, TouchFox controllers are available for 10 PC games:

    • Borderlands 2
    • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
    • Castle Crashers
    • Crysis 2
    • DC Universe Online
    • F.E.A.R 3
    • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
    • Magicka
    • Skyrim
    • The Witcher 2

    Why support Borderlands 2 but not the first Borderlands? I don't know, but Overwolf promises to support more games in the future. One of those games will be World of Warcraft!

    Setup and use

    TouchFox menu

    Once you have a TouchFox controller for a game you own, launch the TouchFox apps list and select the controller. From there, you can select a few different options:

    • Auto launch: Turn this on and the TouchFox controller will appear whenever you launch the game, even if you don't launch it from within Overwolf. But Overwolf still has to be running for this to work, obviously.
    • Play sound: Choose whether TouchFox makes button and stick sounds when you use it to play a game. I like the sounds since they tell me the controller is working.
    • Skins: Choose from five skins – HUD Green, Lightsaber Blue, Skully (a pirate theme), Skyrim, and The Original. A fair selection, but since each controller costs four bucks and is designed for a specific game, you'd think each game would get its own unique skin too.

    Strangely, the button and stick layout shown in the skin preview simply doesn't match the layout you get during gameplay. The preview shows a logical layout that recreates the basic stick, d-pad, and button layout of an Xbox controller. But during gameplay, the buttons are positioned in different places and without respect for their ordinary relationship to each other. This inexplicable inequity adds a learning curve to the TouchFox experience that shouldn't be there.

    Menu navigation and turning TouchFox on and off

    TouchFox  The Witcher 2 Surface Pro

    After launching a supported game, the TouchFox control overlay should pop up as soon as the game starts. TouchFox basically emulates an Xbox 360 controller, so menu navigation works the same as it would with a physical controller. The overlay covers up the menu options in some games like The Witcher 2 though, making them harder to see. But that's pretty much unavoidable.

    Occasionally the controls became unresponsive, such as when backing out to the main menu in The Witcher 2 or any time I Shift+Tabbed to the desktop and back to the game. When that happens, turning the controls off and then on again becomes necessary. Swiping inward from both horizontal edges of the screen with your thumbs will toggle the TouchFox controls. It took a little practice, but I can now turn the controls on and off consistently with the gesture.

    Playing The Witcher 2 and Magicka with TouchFox

    TouchFox  The Witcher 2 Surface Pro

    The first game I tried TouchFox with is The Witcher 2, a 3D action-RPG. This particular game is very graphically intensive, so much so that the original Surface Pro can barely handle it. Turning the resolution down to 720p and minimizing every graphical setting, the frame rate averages between 15-18 FPS (which I know because of Overwolf's handy FPS counter). So don't even try running it if your Windows 8 tablet's specs are lower than the Surface Pro's.

    Frame rate aside, The Witcher 2 works really well with a touch screen. You use the left stick for movement and the right stick for camera control, much like when playing Gameloft's Six-Guns. TouchFox positions the action buttons around the top-right corner of the right stick for some reason, in the order Y-A-X-B. Combat mostly utilizes the X and B buttons, which must be the reason for the layout.

    The Witcher 2 offers several difficulty levels to choose from. Given that the game was designed to be played with a physical controller or mouse and keyboard, touch controls present a slight but unavoidable disadvantage. But anybody who is used to virtual controls should get into the swing of things pretty quickly. Just play on Easy or Very Easy and you'll do fine.

    Next I played Magicka, a 2D action-RPG. The game runs close to 30 FPS at 720p on the Surface Pro, so it's a fine candidate for Windows 8 tablet play...

    TouchFox positions the action buttons along the right side of the right analog stick during Magicka. The right stick itself is used to cast spells, a mechanic I've always found unintuitive. TouchFox also places a second, smaller virtual stick beneath the buttons and the right analog stick. I'm not sure what this second stick represents or why it's there – it only confused me when I tried to cast spells with it and nothing happened.

    The unorthodox button layout becomes an issue during Magicka as well. Magicka doesn't use the letters of the four main buttons as on-screen button prompts. Instead, it displays a little graphic of the four unlabeled buttons and highlights whatever button you're supposed to press. So you'd normally see the left-most button highlighted and then press the X button. But TouchFox uses a different button layout, necessitating more of a mental conversion in order to figure out what to press. Again, you can get used to it. But why should we have to?

    Almost there

    Allowing gamers to play PC games using the touch screen of their Windows 8 tablets is a great concept. Some of us simply crave more complex games than we'd generally find in the Windows 8 Store. And TouchFox mostly delivers on the concept, with highly responsive controls and the welcome "Auto Launch" feature.

    Great idea or not, TouchFox still needs some polish before I can recommend it wholeheartedly. The weird button layouts that don't even match the skin preview images need to go, or they should at least be optional. Give us several control options and let us reposition the control elements to our liking. Do that, fix the bugs, offer a higher-priced version that supports multiple games, and TouchFox will become a compelling accessory app for Windows 8 tablet gamers.

    • TouchFox – Windows 8 – $3.99 per controller – Store Link

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    Heli Gunner 2 - frontline air combat

    Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat is a first person shooter Windows Phone game that places you behind a helicopter mounted machine gun. In a nutshell, you fly around a village destroying enemy targets as they appear.

    Graphics are nice, game mechanics could be a little better and the variety of targets range from enemy helicopters to ground troops. In just playing Heli Gunner 2 for the past few days the game has potential but just lacks that "something-something" to keep you pulled into the game.

    Game Layout

    Heli Gunner 2 Main Menu

    Heli Gunner 2's main menu is brief with options to jump into game play, view the gaming instructions, view more games from the developer and mute the sound. Instructions are covered on a single screen and while they cover the basics, leave a good bit for you to discover on your own.

    Game play is organized in levels but not in the traditional sense. You will have an assortment of objectives (take out "x" number of troops, destroy "x" number of helicopters, etc.) and as you accomplish these goals, you seamlessly transition to the next level of play and new set of objectives.

    Game Play

    Game play is somewhat simple with Heli Gunner 2 but isn't without challenges. The helicopter flies around an island village automatically with you manning the machine gun and shooting everything in sight. To aim and fire the gun, just tap and drag your finger across the screen. Tapping the screen will not only aim your weapon but also fire it.

    Heli Gunner 2

    The layout of the gaming screen has your level objectives in the upper left corner followed by your health, level number and money count. As you take out the enemy you will earn cash that as far as I can tell is simply your score. There are no opportunities to upgrade weapons, armor on the helicopter or other means to spend the cash.

    Heli Gunner 2 overheated gun

    Your machine gun has an endless supply of ammunition but will overheat if you maintain gun fire for too long. The barrels of the machine gun will begin to glow red and when overheated you'll need to rest the gun for a few seconds.

    Again, targets are mainly enemy troops and helicopter that you will face. There are gasoline barrel that you can explode and what appears to be a chicken that runs around the village that you can take out. I'm not sure if it was score related or the fact that I shot the chicken but when I did, I received a bonus weapon (grenade launcher).

    Heli Gunner 2

    The enemy will shoot back, at times using rockets. Your only defense against the rockets is to shoot them down before they hit your helicopter. Sustain enough damage and loose all your life points, the game ends. You do have those annoying, full-page ads with Heli Gunner 2 but thankfully they are only present during the transition from the main menu to the game or after you get blown out of the sky.

    Overall Impression

    Heli Gunner 2 was a fun game to play for a few minutes but then grew a little stale. The concept isn't all that bad but flying around the same village, over and over, to take out the same enemy gets old.

    To the game's credit, once you pass level four the enemies get more aggressive making the game a bit more challenging. But you still circle the same village.

    Heli Gunner

    You can try to mix things up by shooting up the buildings but they apparently are made of super-duper Kevlar siding and can't be damaged. You can blow up the gas barrels (which magically regenerate) but that even gets old. Then there's the stray chicken that runs around the village that you can try to shoot. It just gets old shooting up the same things over and over.

    I would have preferred a change of scenery (and maybe a few more targets) after every few levels to keep the game fresh. Gaming controls aren't too bad but I would have preferred an on-screen fire control button for the machine gun. You aren't penalized for shooting up the countryside as you move your gun around but a fire control button would help avoid any weapon overheating issues.

    To say Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat is a bad game isn't exactly on the spot. As is, the game doesn't have much staying power but does have potential. With a little fine-tuning and scenery changes, Heli Gunner 2 wouldn't be a bad title to have in your Windows Phone gaming library.

    • Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat – Windows Phone 8 – Free – Store Link

    QR: Heli Gunner 2 - frontline air combat


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    Firefly Runner

    Firefly Runner has been released earlier this month for iOS, Android, and Kindle. The Windows and Windows Phone versions of the game just recently followed. It's an action-packed, endless-running adventure game that you might want to check out. We've installed it on our Nokia Lumia Icon and Surface Pro 3. Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and gameplay.

    Features:

    • Run, fly and shoot through a stunningly beautiful rendered forest world.
    • Fun and charming 3D insect characters, including cute fireflies, grumpy hornets, burping slugs, scuttling spiders and mischievous praying mantises.
    • One touch gameplay that can be picked up instantly and is fun to master.
    • Three diverse environments to explore; The Rolling Countryside, The Forbidden Forest and The Crystal Caves.
    • Unlock achievements and beat your best scores.
    • Collect all of the flight badges and unlock the many achievements.

    Firefly Runner

    You play as Switch, a firefly that can run, fly, and shoot. Press the left side of the screen to elevate. Switch automatically moves forward. Click anywhere on the right screen to fire the slingshot towards insect foes like grumpy hornets, slugs, and spiders. Avoid obstacles while collecting cherries, light orbs, and magical keys. This includes slugs that can fire green glob in the air and praying mantises with traps.

    Firefly Runner

    The top left corner of the display shows how far you've gone, how many orbs you've collected, and how many cherries you have left to fire with the slingshot. The top center of the screen shows your current score. This increases when you collect items or hit insect foes.

    Firefly Runner

    Firefly Runner is easy to play and quick to master. It costs 99 cents with a free trial available. Since it is a universal app, you can buy it once and download from both the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. We're enjoying this game and think you'll like it, too. Go check out Firefly Runner and sound off in the comments!

    QR: Firefly Runner


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    Transformers, Sniper Elite III, and Valiant Hearts come to Xbox One and 360 this week

    Last week the Xbox One picked up a fair helping of new games. At retail, we got the realistic martial arts simulation EA Sports UFC. And to download came the affordable twin-stick shooter Sixty Second Shooter Prime and the surprise release of cult-horror hit Outlast (both ID@Xbox releases). You'd think the new releases would slow down for a bit after that terrific threesome, but you'd be wrong!

    This week at retail, Activision brings the movie tie-in/cross-over Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. Rebellion will publish tactical sniping game Sniper Elite III on Friday in the UK, with a US release following on July 1st. And to download we've got the World War I-era adventure Valiant Hearts from Ubisoft. All three games are coming to both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Need help deciding what to pick up? Check out our new trailers and impressions after the break!

    Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

    Rise of the Dark Spark is an unusual movie tie-in game. Not only does it feature characters from Michael Bay's new Transformers: Age of Extinction film, it actually crosses the film universe over with the universe from the transformers: War for Cybertron game series. So fans of both the films and the classic 1980s-style Transformers will get to see their favorite characters in one exciting game.

    The latest trailer for Rise of the Dark Spark highlights the game's Escalation mode. Up to four online players can participate in this cooperative game type. The goal is to survive against endless waves of Ai enemies, earning as much experience as you can along the way. Players will earn currency from kills, which can be spent on new base defenses and upgrades such as turrets, decoys, and barricades.

    Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

    The new Escalation mode seems to draw inspiration from the same mode in the first game (War for Cybertron) instead of the implementation of the second game (Fall of Cybertron). That means that players can not only choose between the heroic Autobots and malevolent Decepticons, they can also choose from a huge arsenal of over 40 characters for Escalation. Some of those include mainstays like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Megatron, Soundwave, and Starscream, and many more.

    Rise of the Dark Spark includes a story-based campaign as well. Players will see the story unfold through both the Autobots' and Decepticons' perspectives as they try to stop the threat to both Transformers universes caused by the Dark Spark.

    It's not too late to preorder Rise of the Dark Spark and get some cool bonuses like DLC characters and digital comics. Check out our previous story for more preorder and gameplay details. Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark arrives on Tuesday, June 25.

    • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – Xbox One – $59.99 – Amazon Link
    • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – Xbox 360 – $49.99 – Amazon Link

    Sniper Elite III

    Sniper Elite III is a tactical sniping game set during the second World War. The third game in the cult favorite series takes place in North Africa, a fresh setting for World War II-era games. Players will take on the role of series hero Karl Fairburne as he battles Germany's infamous Afrika Corps. Allied intelligence indicates that the Nazis are developing a super weapon that could turn the tide of the war, making it imperative for Karl and his allies to stop them.

    I wasn't kidding when I called this game tactical. Rebellion's new interactive trailer focuses on the many different ways a player can approach a level set within the German occupied town of Siwa...

    The straightforward approach of attacking the city gate head on will pit players against a large team of enemy soldiers. This will necessitate a strategy of hiding in tall grasses, killing enemies at close range, and hiding their bodies to prevent discovery. To make the stealthy approach more manageable, players can tag enemies. This allows you to track their movement even after they leave your field of vision.

    Our hero might opt to head for the enemy anti-aircraft installation positioned above the ridege line. The enemy unit at the top of the ridge line is led by a keen-eyed officer who can spot unwary attackers. Taking him out first will allow you to approach his underlings with less fear of detection. The loud bang of your sniper rifle would set everyone on alert though. Luckily, nearby Ally plane attacks present an opportunity to mask the noise of your sniper rifle as you take him out.

    Sniper Elite III

    Finally, a hidden entrance to the west would allow Karl to sneak right into the center of town. He'll need to sneak around the outskirts as he searches for the entrance. A choke point near the path's end is manned by well-armed guards and a truck. But our protagonist can set up nearby explosives that will destroy the whole group if timed correctly.

    Once players make it into the city, they'll still need to search for the intel required by the Allies while completing secondary objectives as well. Sniper Elite III's campaign supports full online co-op for two players, so there's no need to go it alone! Or you can engage in a variety of competitive and cooperative game types outside of the campaign. Gather more intel from our E3 preview, and don't forget to preorder for the free "Hunt the Grey Wolf" DLC mission!

    Sniper Elite II will arrive on Friday, June 27 in Europe and Tuesday, July 1 in North America.

    • Sniper Elite III – Xbox One – $49.99 – Amazon Link
    • Sniper Elite III Collector's Edition – Xbox One – $69.99 – Amazon Link
    • Sniper Elite III – Xbox 360 – $39.99 – Amazon Link

    Valiant Hearts

    If World War II's not your bag, might I suggest you dial things back to the first World War? Valiant Hearts is a puzzle adventure game set within the Great War. The gameplay involves plenty of character interaction, stealth, and puzzle solving. Adventure games always have a strong focus on story, but Valiant Hearts promises to represent the emotional side of World War I as well.

    Ubisoft's new developer diary expands on the creators' attempts to accurately represent actual history within the game. The team studied all of the historical reports, footage, and photographs they could find in order to capture the essence of the actual conflict. Much of their historical documentation came from a partnership with CC&C (France) and IDEACOM INTERNATIONAL (Canada), "two of the most prestigious production agencies specialized in historical productions."

    Valiant Hearts

    Throughout the game, players will unlock a variety of "Historical Facts." These factoids expand upon the background that informs the game's narrative, such as explaining how many prisoners of war the British and Germans took during the war. Each Fact also includes an authentic World War I-era photograph, with its colors retouched to match the game's color palette. Ubisoft Montpellier hopes that gamers will gain a greater understanding of the War as they play.

    Valiant Hearts will be available to download for $14.99 this Wednesday on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Playstation consoles. Learn more about the game from our previous stories.

    More ID@Xbox releases coming

    We don't have a trailer or screens for it unfortunately, but Majesco's arcade-style sports game R.B.I. Baseball 14 will launch on Xbox One and Playstation 4 this week as well! Get it for $19.99 on Tuesday, June 24. The Xbox 360 version released back in April.

    Meanwhile, there's a very good chance that Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition will arrive on Xbox One this week too. The Playstation 4 version is due on Tuesday the 24th, but publisher The Digital Lounge hasn't revealed the specific Xbox One launch date yet.


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    Lost Echo

    Lost Echo was released in the Windows Phone Store last week after having a fair amount of success over on iOS. Lost Echo is an adventure game that has you searching for your girlfriend, Chloe, who vanishes before your very eyes.

    The game has quality, detailed graphics and a simple user interface to guide through the game. In many ways game plays out much like a scavenger hunt for clues and pieces of the puzzle that will eventually solve the mystery of Chloe's disappearance. Lost Echo by no means is a fast-paced adventure game but if you like story driven adventures, it may be worth the price of admission.

    The disappearance of Chloe

    Lost Echo Menu

    The design of Lost Echo's main menu is simple with options to continue a game, start a new game or load a previously saved game. You also have options to access the game's settings, view the credits and quit the game. Lost Echo's settings cover your Ram usage (high or low) which will impact your graphics level and overall gaming performance.

    Lost Echo Gaming Modes

    Lost Echo has two gaming modes, casual and normal modes. Casual mode offers more game play guidance and puzzles are more simplified. Normal mode assumes you have experience with adventure games with less guidance and more challenging puzzles/mysteries to solve.

    The story starts out with your character (Greg) meeting his girlfriend (Chloe) for ice cream at the local cafe. The first several minutes of the story play out to give you a feel for the controls of the game. You will have dialog options to guide the story and movement is done by a simple tap of the screen in the direction you want to go.

    Lost Echo

    As this introduction comes to an end, Chloe is engulfed in a white light and disappears. As she vanishes, an explosion rocks the cafe and you find yourself in a hospital recovering from your injuries. When you ask about Chloe, it is as if she never existed. There is some hint by the doctors that you may have suffered a brain injury but it all feels as though a cover-up over Chloe's disappearance.

    The remainder of the game you search for clues to help you find Chloe and understand what happened.

    Straightforward touch interface

    Game play with Lost Echo takes full advantage of your Windows Phone touch screen. Movement is done by tapping the area you want to move to (double tap to run) and when you find something worth inspecting closer, just tap on the object. A city map is available when you need to jump from one area of the city to another.

    Lost Echo City Map

    Dialog screens will pop-up at the bottom of the screen and cover thoughts your character has as well as conversations with other game characters. There will be times during the game where you will have the option to steer the direction of the conversation. Don't worry though, if you choose the wrong direction the game will often let you give the other dialog choices a try.

    Lost Echo Computer Interface

    And it's not all small talk with Lost Echo, there are computers to interface with to search for clues, dreams to interpret, email to check and code that will need decrypting. All in an effort to find Chloe.

    Your player inventory is accessible by tapping the cube that sits in the upper right corner of the screen and tapping an item puts it into play. There will be times during the story that you'll have to interact with these objects to fix them, inspect them further or deliver them to other game characters.

    Lost Echo

    If you need a hint or want to save your gaming progress, just tap the Windows Phone Back Button to pull up these options. The hints are brief and will get you pointed in the right direction if you've forgotten your current gaming task.

    Overall Impression

    Lost Echo does have a lot going for it. You have a compelling story line, easy user interface and decent graphics. However, if you are looking for a fast-paced action adventure game, Lost Echo isn't going to be the game for you.

    Lost Echo

    Game play relies more on your powers of observation and deduction than how fast you can tap the screen. Lost Echo is a time consuming, lengthy game with a pace that tends to crawl along at times. While you can tap the dialog screens to zip through conversations, you do so with a risk of missing clues that will help you down the road.

    By no means is Lost Echo a bad game for your Windows Phone. I just think it's a game style that may not appeal to everyone. Your progress can be saved so if you only have a few minutes to play Lost Echo, you can always return where you left off. The only concern is that you may not get much accomplished in just a few minutes of game play. The game plays more like a console game than a mobile game, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Lost Echo Movements

    The game does have a slight addictive quality about it and the more I played Lost Echo, the more it grew on me. However, Lost Echo is better suited for longer spurts of time (15 minutes or longer) to make decent progress in finding Chloe. The biggest downside to Lost Echo is the lack of a trial version, which by itself will turn many away from the game. The developer could have easily offered a trial version that allowed gamers to play up until Chloe disappears to give them a feel for game play.

    Lost Echo is a nicely drawn up, challenging, time-consuming Windows Phone game. It is not going to appeal to everyone but if you give the game a chance, you may be surprised how much you like it. But without a trial version, I can see many not giving it that chance.

    QR: Lost Echo

    *Note: Lost Echo is available for low-memory devices but does take a little more time to load. Nothing as painful as a root canal but noticeably slower than on devices with 1GB of RAM.


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    My Little Pony

    My Little Pony has been released on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, published by popular game developer Gameloft. The title tasks players with freeing Ponyville from the grasp of Nightmare Moon and bring light and friendship back to the land. Join favourite ponies, including Rainbow Dask, Fluttershy and Applejack as they attempt to halt Nightmare Moon and restore peace to Ponyville.

    Here are some highlighted features on the store listings:

    • Your favorite ponies are here: Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack and more!
    • Make your Ponyville the most magical place in Equestria.
    • Play fun mini-games with your ponies: Ball Bounce, Apple-Picking and Magic Wings!
    • Interact with your friends and feel the Magic of Friendship!
    • Enjoy official TV show voice talents featured in the game!

    My Little Pony

    The game itself is available for free on both the Windows 8 and Windows Phone stores and we're sure many young fans are going to love this latest title from Gameloft. It's worth noting that while Friendship is Magic is free to play, it's possible to purchase in-game items with real money. Parents can configure settings to ensure children can't carry out said purchases.

    QR: My Little Pony

    Thanks, sri_tech, for the tip!


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    Super Why!

    While this may not apply to every Windows Phone user, the platform is a great medium for children's educational gaming. These Windows Phone titles mix learning the ABC's or basic math with visual aids that are presented in game format.

    Hidden Gems

    Super Why! is one such title that is designed to help you child improve their reading and spelling skills through four interactive literacy games featuring the four main characters from the PBS television series, Super Why!. These games are fashioned to teach your children the alphabet, rhyming, spelling writing and reading.

    Let's take a closer look at Super Why! and remember, if you leave a comment below you will be entered into our daily Hidden Gems contest to win a new tablet or Windows Phone.

    Teaching made fun

    Super Why! is a collection of four games that features the television shows main characters: Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red and Super Why. The user interface is not very complicated and well suited for a child to navigate around.

    Super Why! Menu

    The game is narrated throughout to add audio cues and lessons to support the visual aids that are generated. The main menu has the four characters pictures, when tapped will send you to their respective game. In addition to launching the four games, the main menu also has a Stickers Game where you children can take a break from learning. The Stickers Game is a free-form doodle pad full of stickers of characters from the Super Why! show that are earned during game play.

    Super Why! How To

    The only "grown-up" portion on the main menu is the 'How to Play' section that spells out each game. The game's themselves will walk your children through game play with audio and visual directions but if you need to help your children with game play, Super Why!'s 'How to Play' section covers all the bases.

    Four Games Under One Roof

    The four games for Super Why! will help your children learn and support their learning of the alphabet, spelling and reading skills. The four games break down as follows.

    As letters are identified, Alpha Pig flies down the path to the next letter grouping and when the word is spelled correctly, you earn a new sticker to use in the Sticker's Game.

    Alpha Pig's Game

    Alpha Pig's Lickety Letter Hunt

    Alpha Pig is trying to spell words that will help him down the alphabet path. Alpha Pig will call out the word he's trying to spell and you will need to choose the correct letters to spell it out.

    Princess Presto

    Princess Presto's Wands-up Writing

    Princess Presto is needing help spelling words. She will call out the word and you will need to help her find the letters to fill in the blanks and spell the word correctly.

    As you choose the correct letter, Princess Presto will outline the letter with her wand and you will have to mimic the writing movement. When you do, the letter will have a glittery glow and disappear. Successfully spell a word and you will earn a sticker for the Stickers Game.

    Wonder Red

    Wonder Red's Rhyming Time

    Wonder Red will present you with a word, with two possible rhyming words. When you choose the correct match, you will then have to find a rhyming word for that word.

    All totaled, Wonder Red's game has you finding rhymes for two words. When successful (you guessed it) you will earn a sticker for the Sticker Game.

    Super Why's Game

    Super Why's Story Saver

    Super Why's game deals with reading skills where you are presented with a sentence that is missing a key word and an illustration for the sentence. Super Why will read the sentence then give you three words to choose from to complete the sentence.

    When you choose a word, right or wrong, Super Why will read out the sentence and if the wrong word is chosen, the picture will change showing that the word doesn't match what is pictured. Choose the correct word and you'll get another sticker to add to your inventory.

    Overall Impression

    While Super Why! may not be something all of our readers will be racing to download from the Windows Phone Store, if you have young children who are in the midst of learning their ABC's, it's an app worth considering.

    The four games deceptively teach your children lessons on spelling, rhyming and reading. The graphics represent the television show spot on and the user interface is very child friendly. It is a game that you can hand over to your child and through the audio and visual cues, will pick up on game play in no time.

    Sticker Game

    Super Why! does a good job of rewarding children for correct answers with the stickers (over fifty can be collected). When an incorrect answer is given, the game also helps guide them in the right direction not only to find the right answer but to explain why some answers are incorrect.

    The only thing I would like to see added to Super Why! is a way for a parent to review their child's performance. However, as is, Super Why! is a solid learning game for Windows Phone and a Hidden Gem worth trying for our younger Windows Phone users.

    • Super Why! - Windows Phone 8 - Trial / $2.99 - Store Link
    • Super Why! - Windows 8 - Trial / $2.99 - Store Link

    QR: Super Why!


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    Hypernaut

    With one life only, how long can you survive in a dangerous, random generated, polygon world? Find out in Hypernaut, which is exclusively available for Windows Phone. Avoid everything or die.

    Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and gameplay with the Nokia Lumia Icon.

    Hypernaut is a very simple endless runner game. You're moving at superfast speeds and you must avoid hitting rocks or polygon shapes. They appear from a distance, but you have to react quickly because you're moving fast.

    Hypernaut

    Hypernaut has two difficulty levels: hard and easy. You can change the difficulty at the bottom of the main menu. The top left corner displays the best times for each level. You can turn off the sound by tapping on the top right side of the main menu. Tap the middle of the screen to get started. Click on the left or right side of the screen to steer away from objects. The screen tilts when you're turning.

    Hypernaut

    We're fans of the visuals and especially like the selection of the colors. Hypernaut reminds us a little bit of the movie, Tron. The world is randomly generated, so it won't feel too repetitive. When you hit something, the game is over. Hypernaut tells you how long you've survived and then you can try again.

    Hypernaut

    We really like Hypernaut and highly recommend it. There are a couple of things we'd like to see in an update. We'd love to be able to turn left or right by tilting our phones instead of tapping on the screen. We'd also like a share button to show off our high scores on Twitter or Facebook.

    Hypernaut is a free download from the Windows Phone Store. There are no ads or in-app purchases. Our current high score is 42.14 seconds on the easy level. Go download Hypernaut now and see if you can do better!

    QR: Hypernaut

    Thanks for the tip, Jam8240!


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    angry birds star wars II

    Rovio has finally released a new version of Angry Birds Star Wars II for Windows Phone that includes a major update, adding the new Rise of the Clones chapter.

    The update was first released for iOS devices a few weeks ago, but at least Windows Phone owners didn't have to wait too long to get this new content. There's quite a lot for fans to check out in this update:

    • NEW ELEMENTS! Navigate the fast-flowing waters on stormy Kamino, and get an extra boost from the air turbines on Coruscant!

    • 20 NEW PORK SIDE LEVELS! Destroy the Republic's Clone Army on Kamino and face off against the mighty Jedi!

    • 20 NEW BIRD SIDE LEVELS! The Sith have taken over the skies of Coruscant – use the Force to take them down!

    • MORE SECRET LEVELS! Track down the hidden maps to unlock two secret levels on each side!

    • LAST CHANCE BIRD! If you need just one more bird to complete a level, try using the Last Chance Bird!"

    You can download Angry Birds Star Wars II for just 99 cents right now in the Windows Phone Store.

    QR: Angry Birds Star Wars II


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    Spectra for Windows Phone

    The most excellent Spectra 8bit racing game which we spotted landing on Windows not too long ago just launched on Windows Phone. You'll probably dig this for its simple controls, high speeds, retro neon wireframe graphics, and an absolutely stellar soundtrack from the same gal that did the music for Super Hexagon. You'll be glad to hear 512 MB devices are supported and Spectra is universal, so you can pay once to play on any platform (though the Xbox One version isn't out yet).

    Racetracks dip and weave in time with the chiptunes, with no barriers to keep you in line; sure, you can try to dive onto another track by dropping off or vaulting from one of the jumps, but you could just plummet into an endless abyss. Grab the little cubes while avoiding treacherous medians, and maybe, just maybe, you'll make it to the end in one piece. You'll also get to enjoy some cross-platform play as "Xbox and Windows Phone is supported via cloud services allowing you to take the game on the go or experience it in Full HD on Xbox One". Just log in through Facebook and your cloud saves will transfer between devices. Sounds promising, no?

    Spectra is a high-quality racer that came to Windows and Windows Phone before other platforms. Show it some love and pick it up for $3.99.

    QR: Spectra


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    Pool Live Tour brings the pool competition to real life players, including friends on Facebook

    Popular Facebook game Pool Live Tour is now available as an app for Windows Phone, bringing with it live pool competition with real players. The game boasts 2.5 million players every day so you'll always find a worthy opponent. And with Facebook integration, you can even invite friends for an instant tournament with someone you know.

    And for those who are shy and don't want a live opponent, you can also play on your own with a bot. Our own Daniel Rubino took it for a spin and notes that the graphics are smooth and mechanics are good.

    Pool Live Tour

    The best part is that the game works on devices with 512 MB of RAM as well.

    Have you given this a shot? How are you enjoying the competition with Pool Live Tour?

    QR: Pool Live Tour

    Thanks, Sudipto B., for the tip!


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    PAKO lede

    Games that make us rage quit are usually the ones that make us keep coming back. Here's another one of those games. Pako is a one player car chasing game developed by the same team who brought us Picnic Rumble. Cops are on your tail and there's no escape. How long would you last?

    Head past the break to watch our hands-on and gameplay video with the Nokia Lumia Icon.

    The idea of the game is to escape enemy vehicles as long as possible before you crash or the chasers catch you. Your car is always accelerating. There are no brakes. Press the left side of the screen to go left and press the right side of the screen to go right.

    PAKO gameplay screenshot

    High scores are recorded and you can see the scores of the best players online from the main screen. The current high score is over 6 minutes! We're having a hard time lasting longer than a minute.

    There's only one stage right now, which is set in a mall parking lot. The developers say they are putting the finishing touches to additional stages. They tell us to expect a new level within a week or two. The new stages make small twists to the basic gameplay; for example, there are zombies in cemetery that the player can run over to gain more seconds, and on another stage, there are tanks that shoot the player.

    PAKO screenshot gameplay

    Pako is an easy game to get addicted to. After you crash, the game automatically starts over again. It's going to make you keep saying, "one more round."

    PAKO busted

    We like this game a lot, but there's one major issue. The ad that's displayed on top of the screen blocks the username field. We hope that gets fixed in an update.

    PAKO ad screenshot

    Pako is available now for free at the Windows Phone Store. It's heading over to iOS and Android very soon. Check it out and let us know if you can do better than our current high score.

    QR: PAKO


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    Peggle 2 DLC Jimmy Lightning's Bigger Better Balls

    The Xbox One is overflowing with downloadable games lately thanks to the ID@Xbox program. Last week we got Outlast and Sixty Second Shooter Prime, and today Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition had a surprise launch. But when the new console launched last year, players only had a few downloadable games to choose from. The first such title to qualify as a hit was undoubtedly Peggle 2 from Electronic Arts and PopCap. The game later arrived on Xbox 360 as well.

    One of Peggle 2's few weaknesses compared to the original is that it launched with only five Peggle Masters (playable characters). Today EA alleviated such complaints by releasing a new downloadable content pack for the Xbox One version: "Jimmy Lightning's Bigger, Better Balls." This follows "Windy's Master Pack" from back in April. Both DLCs add new characters, levels, and Achievements – for the low price of $2 per pack.

    Get the new characters

    To get the new characters, you'll first have to download a title update. Once that's out of the way, head to the new Store option from the game's main menu. You'll find descriptions for both DLC packs. Prospective buyers can even watch a short preview video for each Master that highlights that character's special shot and unlockable outfits.

    Having purchased one or both characters, you'll find their new levels by heading to Single Player and then scrolling all the way to the right, past the Celestial Realm levels. From there, you'll see a "More Adventure!" icon that leads to the new DLC level sets.

    Both Windy and Jimmy Lightning each come with 10 new adventure levels, increasing the game's total number of adventure levels to 80. Completing one of the new character's sets will unlock his or her Trials levels. Players can unlock three extra outfits per character by finishing that Master's Adventure and Trials, as well as completing most of the secondary Adventure objectives.

    Character spotlight

    Peggle 2 DLC Windy Master Pack

    The first downloadable Peggle Master is new to the series. She is a combination bird and fairy – a bird with fairy wings and a wand, basically. By shooting a green peg to activate Windy's special skill "Fairy Flock," a swarm of four pink butterflies will erupt and turn random pegs into purple pegs. Hitting more than one purple peg during a level will get you a huge score boost and likely an extra life or two.

    Today's new Master Jimmy Lightning is actually a returning character from the first game. You might remember him as the totally rad skateboarding chipmunk. Jimmy's special skill is the pinball-like Multiball. It causes three balls to bounce around the level, hopefully hitting lots of pegs along the way. A new spotlight effect adds some welcome flair to the ball bouncing action.

    Achievements and more

    Peggle 2 DLC Jimmy Lightning's Bigger Better Balls Each character DLC adds three new Achievements worth a total of 225 GamerScore. The Achievements are for beating that character's Adventure levels, Trials levels, and for completing all of the new secondary objectives (the main game's objectives must be finished first). Nothing creative, but they certainly provide incentive to run through and master all of the new content.

    Along with the previous update comes a new feature that we requested in our original review: Colorblind mode! Enable the setting from the Options menu to make little symbols appear inside of the purple and green pegs during gameplay. This allows colorblind gamers to tell those pegs apart from regular red ones.

    The only significant Peggle 2 criticism that EA has yet to address is the Xbox One version's lack of leaderboards. In-game leaderboards are a standard feature in modern games, allowing competitive gamers to compare their scores against others and try to outdo them. Leaderboards an really add a lot of replay value to score-based games like Peggle 2. It's strange that Peggle 2 still has no leaderboards, especially since the Xbox 360 version that launched in May does have them.

    Leaderboards aside, Peggle 2 fans will get plenty of fun from the new DLC packs. The number of levels and Achievements you get for the price is surprisingly fair. Xbox One players should grab the DLC from within the game itself, as we can't buy Xbox One DLC from Xbox.com just yet (argh). The Xbox 360 version hasn't gotten the DLC yet; hopefully EA brings the new Masters to that version soon as well.


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    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One review

    On Sunday I predicted that Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition would arrive on Xbox One this week. And what do you know? The Another World Anniversary Edition has just been released as part of Microsoft's ID@Xbox program. It comes from French publisher The Digital Lounge and is available to download for the low price of $7.99.

    Another World is a classic sci-fi adventure game/platformer set on a perilous alien world. Players will forge a friendship with a kindly alien while doing their best to escape from the planet's more hostile residents. The 20th Anniversary Edition brings the story to life with new high resolution graphics, multiple soundtracks, and easy Achievements. Adventure fans and Achievement hunters won't want to miss it.

    Would you like to swing on a star?

    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One

    American gamers might know Another World as "Out of This World," as the title was originally changed here in order to avoid confusion with the Another World soap opera. Another World started its life on the Amiga and Atari ST computers before making its way to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive – and many platforms since.

    The original game is special for so many reasons. It was created by a single programmer - Éric Chahi, who went on to create Ubisoft Montpelier's From Dust many years later. The graphics and animation were totally amazing at release, especially for the 16-bit consoles.

    The game creates a harsh but believable alien world, with a distinct alien language and absolutely no English dialogue or text to guide players. The lack of guidance creates a genuine sense of discovery in this platform/adventure game.

    Stranger in a strange land

    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One

    Another World stars Lester Knight Chaykin, a physicist whose late-night experiment goes terribly awry. Lester awakens in a strange and hostile alien world where he is beset by tentacled monsters, slugs, and other carnivorous creatures. Soon the planet's sentient aliens capture and imprison Lester along with another alien known as "Buddy." Lester and Buddy must work together to escape the prison complex and their pursuers.

    Technically Another World is a platformer. Tapping the A button kicks wile unarmed; hold it to run. Pick up a gun and you can fire single blasts with A. Charging the shot briefly creates a shield, and if you hold it long enough you'll fire a powerful charged blast. The B button jumps, but don't expect much emphasis on platforming. Solving puzzles and figuring out how to survive dangerous enemy encounters are the real meat of the game.

    The 20th Anniversary Edition should have allowed some customization of the controls, though. Jumping with B is never intuitive. I get that Another World was originally designed for platforms whose controllers only offered one or two buttons, but there's no reason we shouldn't be able to run with a separate button in this day and age.

    Anniversary Enhancements

    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One

    The 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World comes with some welcome enhancements to make it more enjoyable for Xbox One players. First and foremost, users can toggle between the original "Low Resolution" graphics and retouched "High Resolution" graphics at any time by pressing the Y button. The new visuals from Chahi himself retain the original flavor while looking much smoother and nicer.

    The new version sounds beautiful as well. Players can choose between both Original and Remastered soundtracks. Even better, you can pick the unique Sega CD/Mega CD soundtrack too! Other improvements include three selectable difficulty levels and level select. No need to write down passwords any more.

    Achievements

    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One

    Finally, Another World offers 12 Achievements worth 1,000 GamerScore. Three of those are secret, but you can find the full list at TrueAchievements. You'll get nearly all for completing normal actions throughout the adventure (including dying 50 times), with a few requiring special actions like discovering the hidden UFO. The chapter select makes it easy to go back for anything you miss.

    It will take several hours for first-time players to beat the game, but experienced players (or guide users) can probably knock all 12 Achievements out in less than two hours. So this one's worth a buy even if you just want the GamerScore.

    Overall Impression

    The 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World is a wonderful version of a classic adventure game. I always love it when remakes allow us to toggle between the new and old graphics at will. Another World has always been a beautiful game, and the new HD visuals and sound faithfully enhance that beauty.

    Although the length is short compared to other games, it's actually perfect for a game with this level of discovery and challenge. Unless you ruin things with a guide, you'll get plenty of time from solving the various puzzles and battling the threats that stand in your way.

    The only thing I could wish for is a true sequel (the Sega CD sequel scarcely counts), but it seems the creator wants to leave the story's conclusion to players' minds. It really is an awe-inspiring adventure.

    • Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One – 268 MB - $7.99 – Xbox.com Store Link

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    Dhoom 3: Jet Speed

    Dhoom:3 The Game was launched last year around the time of Dhoom:3 release, the third movie in the popular Bollywood franchise. The endless runner game involved a thrilling high speed bike race through the streets of Chicago where the movie was set.

    The Game became quite popular, and crossed the 1 million downloads mark on the Windows Phone Store in quick time becoming the first app/game from India to do so. The game saw over 12 million downloads worldwide across platforms. 99games, the publisher of the game, and Yash Raj Films, the producer of the movie, have got together again to bring a sequel to the blockbuster game – Dhoom:3 Jet Speed.

    Dhoom 3: Jet Speed

    Borrowing a scene from the movie, where the anti-hero is chased by two cops in a Chicago river on Aqua jets, the second game in the series is an endless runner as well as a racing game. Of course, you need to watch out for traffic and obstacles that litter the river and use Power-Ups to gain an edge over your pursuers. Like the previous game, the graphics are pretty good and the simulated water and race visuals are immersive.

    The game features three fast paced racing modes - Endless Mode to aim for the highest score, Challenge Mode to beat a friend, and an Escape Mode to race against the clock. It offers the option to choose between tilt or tap controls, and also configure the accelerometer sensitivity, so you can ride and control the aqua jet nicely.

    Dhoom 3: Jet Speed

    You can upgrade your Aqua Jets to make them more durable and survive collisions better. Also, as you race through the game, you can see yourself rising up the leaderboards.

    Download the Dhoom:3 Jet Speed game for free for Windows Phone 8 devices from the Windows Phone Store. The game launch is timed along with the television premier of the movie, and you can find Sony Television branding within the game. It's a fine game and with great graphics and exciting gameplay, and there's no reason you shouldn't give it a whirl. Jet, set, go… Dhoom machale!

    QR: Dhoom 3: Jet Speed


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    microsoft-soduku

    Microsoft has released a new and free Sudoku game for Windows 8.1 titled, without a lot of imagination, Microsoft Sudoku, offering gamers a chance to play a new version of the classic numbers-based puzzle game.

    So what can people expect when they download this game? Well, Microsoft says that players can input their numbers in a number of different ways, including the old fashioned mouse and keyboard combination, or via touch. Players can even draw numbers on the grid using a stylus, which should make owners of the new Surface Pro 3 tablet happy.

    There are five difficulty levels in Microsoft Sudoku, and like many of their free games like Solitaire, Mahjong and Minesweeper this new entry also has daily challenges to keep players occupied.

    Any saved games are uploaded to Microsoft's cloud servers which means players can resume their games if they switch between different Windows 8 computers and tablets. There are also Xbox Live achievements to unlock, badges to earn and leaderboards to compare with other players.

    You can download Microsoft Sudoku for free from the Windows Store right now.

    Thanks to Robby for the tip!


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    Hues

    You've probably heard of the puzzle matching game 'Threes!' from your friends with Android or iOS devices. There's no official version for Windows Phone, but we've stumbled upon something similar called Hues. Don't worry; it's not a rip-off copy. Head past the break to watch the official game trailer.

    Features:

    • 3 game modes: Timed Mode, Moves Mode, and Endless mode.
    • Power-ups - Increase time, increase moves, level up your Hues!
    • Adaptive GUI! Watch the GUI change as you unlock more Hues!
    • View hilarious character descriptions and details in 'The Clan'
    • Leaderboards System
    • Tweet scores
    • Coin Shop

    Hues

    Swipe the display to slide the cards, also known as Hues, across the board. Match colors to combine Hues and upgrade to the next color. A new Hue is also created after every swipe.

    There are three modes available. Timed Mode gives you 30 seconds to play to get the highest score possible. Moves Mode gives you 75 moves to get the highest score possible. There's a third mode called Endless, but it requires an in-app purchase of 99 cents to unlock. There's no time or moves limit in this mode.

    The use of colors instead of numbers is an interesting idea, but it makes it difficult to plan moves ahead of time. With Threes!, you know that combining 3 + 3 gets you 6. In this game, combining Yellow + Yellow gets you Orange. Hues provide a cheat sheet if you want to memorize the order.

    Hues

    As you play Hues, you earn points you can use to purchase power-ups. This includes boosters to increase the amount of moves or time. There's also a power-up to level up selected cards. If you're impatient, you can purchase points using real money. For example, 50,000 points cost 99 cents.

    Hues is a free download at the Windows Phone Store, however, you'd probably want to unlock Endless mode for 99 cents. We'd love to see the official Threes! game on Windows Phone, but Hues is an interesting alternative to check out in the meantime. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments!

    QR: Hues

    Thanks for the tip, Ewert H.!


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    ryse

    Online rumors claim that a sequel to the 2013 Xbox One launch game Ryse: Son of Rome has now been cancelled, reportedly due to issues between the game's developer Crytek and publisher Microsoft over the rights to the franchise.

    The reports, which come via unnamed sources, claim that pre-production of Ryse 2 was slated to begin but Microsoft said they would only fund its development if they could buy the Ryse IP from Crytek. That is apparently something that the developer did not wish to give up. A Microsoft spokesperson has been quoted as saying the company has "nothing to announce about the future of the franchise at this time."

    This rumor has been combined with other unconfirmed reports about Crytek not paying many of its employees on time, along with many workers deciding to depart its studios located around the world. A few weeks ago, Crytek announced plans to release the first person shooter sequel Homefront 2 in 2015.

    Ryse was in development at Crytek for a long time. Indeed, it was first announced in 2010 as an Xbox 360 Kinect exclusive with the title Codename Kingdoms. Crytek and Microsoft later converted the game to an exclusive for the Xbox One's launch, but the reviews of the third party action game were mixed when it was finally released.

    Source: Kotaku, Eurogamer.


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    Guacamelee, Gotham City Imposters, and BattleBlock Theater are July's Games with Gold

    Microsoft has unveiled July's Games with Gold for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Xbox One players will be able to grab Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, while Max: The Curse of Brotherhood will be remaining free for Gold members. Xbox 360 owners will have access to Gotham City Imposters and BattleBlock Theater.

    Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a platformer that puts you in the role of Juan Aguacate, a Mexican wrestler attempting to save the President's daughter from the villanous Carlos Calaca. You'll fight your way through a wide variety of colorful levels built around the Land of the Dead. There are a number of powers and abilities at your disposal to aid you in your quest. Guacamelee! will be available on Games with Gold starting July 2, the same day it releases on Xbox One, where the normal retail price will be $14.99. It will replace Halo: Spartan Assault in the lineup.

    Gotham City Imposters is a first-person shooter based in Batman's Gotham City. Two teams of six players fight each other across the city. The weapons in the game are themed after Batman and the Joker, with each side donning costumes reminiscent of either iconic character. Normally available for $14.99, Gotham City Imposters will be available for free to Gold members with an Xbox 360 from July 1-15.

    From July 16-31, Xbox Live Gold members will be able to get BattleBlock Theater. Featuring single-player and cooperative modes, BattleBlock Theater is a platformer that has you climb higher and higher with each level, on a mission to save your friends, along with Hatty Hattington. BattleBlock Theater normally retails for $14.99 on the Xbox 360.

    What do you think of July's Games with Gold? Will you be picking any of them up? Tell us in the comments below.

    Source: Xbox Wire, Major Nelson


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