Category: Windows 7 Phone


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Price: £3.99

If the 80s were the decade of bad hair and the 90s were the decade of flannel shirts, then the 2000s were decade of zombies. Why? Well take a look around you. There have been many films and video games dedicated to our rotting friends. In the UK there is even a very minor political party dedicated to their rights which prompted an one day uprising of the “dead”. One of the more unlikely successes was the board game Zombies!!!. So successful in fact that there have been eight or so expansions that introduced zombie dogs and new stores. There is even a spinoff game called Humans!!! where you need to infect said humans and start the zombie apocalypse. So with that mind, small time developer Badonga have created a phone app based off this game, and have for the most part made a fully competent time waster.

For the uninitiated, the aim of the game is to either escape via the helicopter pad by making it to the centre of it, or to just go crazy and rack up 25 zombie kills. Moving around the tiled board, you get to place more tiles on the board, which spawns not only more zombies to get in the way, but also more hearts which grant health and bullets which allow you to improve dice rolls. Players take it in turns to move themselves; play cards which help them in situations and then move the zombies to potentially kill off their rivals. If you should meet your demise, all that happens is that you lose half your kill total and cards in use, and are warped to the town centre with starting health and bullets. As an actual game there is a tactical side of things. Some board games convey tactics far better than this; but for what it is worth, this game is a fat better conversion than one could have hoped for.

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Visually speaking; the game is about on par with the Nintendo DS, which considering that we have seen some really good looking games appear on the Windows 7 phone is a bit disappointing. The solitary track of music will grate slightly, so the additional feature of the phone to have Zune running in the background whilst still having the sound effects running is a bit of a godsend. Perhaps hoping for more sound from a mobile version of a board game was a bit too optimistic.

There are four game varieties. The first is the standard version of the game, but the other three are variants of this basic principle. Quick Play has the helipad shuffled into the bottom half of the tile deck; meaning the game could be over far sooner. Generated Map does away with the tiles, instead favouring the randomly generated map with all the zombies spawning in random locations. Survival is perhaps the most different in that it is like the previously mentioned game mode but with two key differences: firstly you are on your own; secondly if you should die, it’s game over. This is a good challenge, though certain situations are far easier to handle than others. Achievements are hit and miss as while they’re all brilliant, one of them will never trigger in the games current state.

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As far as being a board game conversion is concerned, Zombies!!! achieves this brilliantly and makes the important step of being on a mobile phone. As a result, it is one of the better games currently available on the Windows 7 phone. With all that said, it could have been better. A small bit of product testing and some presentation polish would have helped dramatically. There should also be potential for this game to be the first mobile game with DLC, as the board game has many expansions. It is a good start, but there is plenty of room for improvement…

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Price: £3.99

There is now a version of Pacman for the mobile phone for people who want a retro arcade experience on their phone. To be honest though, your money is better used elsewhere. The game is definitely the no frills version but somehow managing to lack the sense of control. There are two options. Flick and stick. Flick really doesn’t work at all as you’re more than likely going to go in a different direction. The stick is slightly better, but the forced angle of play means that you might press the windows button. Thankfully the loading times were speedy, but it shouldn’t have to come to that. The game itself is the same classic Pacman you are used to, and we cannot fault the core game. It works well under phone conditions, though a problem arises when aiming for the latter levels due to the finicky control schemes. There are two bigger issues that sadly sway this game into the avoid pile. Firstly there is nothing special to unlock, other than a few gamerscore that are for the most part uninspired. If you combine that with the second problem; the £3.99 price tag, then it seems to be pulling a bit of a fast one. If you really want to be the victim of daylight robbery for the sake of a portable Pac-Man, then be my guest. I’ll just be playing a far fairer priced version of the adventures of the dot and ghost eating cake face on a console.

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Windows 7 Phone Price: £2.49
Apple App Store: Cheaper

Mobile phone gaming has often been the subject of many jokes in the industry. Everyone remembers how great playing Snake on their Nokia 3210 was, and at the time this was one of the rare success stories. The Nokia N-Gage however was an embarrassment that nearly killed off the concept. It would be Apple and their app store that would truly revive the concept. Some dedicated independent groups selling apps on the cheap, yet still introducing new concepts to keep audiences interested. One of the main success stories has just had a port to the Windows Phone format. Fruit Ninja was originally developed by a small company in Australia called Halfbrick. But are we getting more for the higher price tag?

There are three modes included with roughly the same concept. You are a ninja who really hates fruit. In fact you hate it so much you just want to chop it and ruin everyone else’s chances of getting their 5 a day. To do this however you must drag your finger around the screen and slice the fruit. You can use two thumbs to attack twice at once and that is pretty cool. For me there were teething problems because the HTC 7 Mozart and most other Windows 7 phones are completely touch screen. This means should you be a little too aggressive with your fruit based massacre, you run the risk of pressing the back, start or even the dreaded Bing button. Perhaps an option to lock those buttons except the back button would be handy. Reloading the game takes a while, but your progress is saved. It’s a compromise, but not having that issue in the first place would be significantly better.

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The classic mode gives you three lives to chop as many fruit ad you can before letting three of them fall to the ground. You also need to avoid swiping the bombs as this will end the game. You can try building up combos, but here it isn’t recommended as you risk ending the game prematurely. Arcade mode gives you 60 seconds to get the high score. Bananas now give you power ups which can either double your score for a short period, make lots of fruit come in from the sides or slow down the rate fruit moves. Having two appear at once is key. Bombs now reduce your score by 10 points and negate any active banana powers. Combos are very much the way forward and bonuses once times up grant you more points. The Zen mode just has fruit and challenges you to destroy as many of them as you can in 90 seconds; no power ups and no bombs allowed. Unfortunately, that is it. Three modes that are very addictive, but one feels Apple customers are getting more for less. Still, the concept to those who only have this phone is still worth getting. The game comes with many flavourful facts about fruit and for those Xbox Live nuts there are 200 reasonably easy achievements to obtain. The unlockable content merely consists of new backgrounds and new blade colours and effects. The conditions to.unlock everything are a new challenge once everything is sorted in the gamerscore front, but at this stage Fruit Ninja‘s supply of fruit to chop is running fairly dry.

If you have a mobile phone that is a smart phone and can get apps, then purchasing this game would be one of the better decisions you’ll make. As for which version though, it all boils down to what brand of phone you have. The Apple iPhone version is still the vastly superior one as it is cheaper and features more options. The iPad option is better still. The Windows 7 phone version is okay, but the hefty price tag – light content combination is a pity. If you have one of the other devices, you’re better off investing in that version instead.

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Price: Free

With a new platform, it’s surprising that there isn’t normally a freebie game with smart phones. Microsoft have issued a download offering that comes along with Xbox Live support that is only available on the Windows 7 phone. Simply titled Flowerz, it is a rather simple puzzle game that is light on space and gentle with your wallet, yet surprisingly addictive. Is it just because it is free though?

The general aim is to align 3 or more flowers of the same colour onto a board. Things change with the introduction of buds using a different colour. When that flower is erased, it turns into the bud colour. Initially this just three colours to worry about, but later on the game introduces magenta and cyan flowers to the mix and then starts reducing your playing area. It is a fantastically simple idea, but one with pedigree in the forms of Tetris and Mindsweeper. Things start easy, but one mistake at level 15 could cost you your run.

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The downside to it being free is that there are only two modes which are essentially to start at the beginning or start at level 5. There are also leaderboards, but the biggest plus (rather strangely) comes from the list of achievements and their insane difficulty. One challenges you to clear the board on both modes, while another challenges you to get 9000 points in simple mode. It gives puzzlers a goal that requires understanding of the physics behind it to achieve, and the only way to get them is to play the game to the extent of owners of Gameboys played Tetris. Other than that, it is pretty much the same as any Flash based puzzler on the internet. Perhaps the budget wasn’t big enough.

So is it worth the purchase? Of course it is! It is completely free! But is it going to be a game you will play weeks later? Perhaps if you were on the train and needed to pass the time. Some free games don’t try, but this at the very least attempts to be a game – let alone a game worth playing for at least a few hours.