A couple of years ago I looked at chess games for Windows Phone, looking specifically at playing against the phone's AI and not human opponents. I promised then that I'd do a follow-up or two looking at playing other people online - and here's the first!*
Recent Reviews - Games
Gameloft has been a huge culprit in recent years for pushing out freemium tat, but they seem to be gradually reigning it in. War Planet Online: Global Conquest UWP is a full Continuum-compatible Windows 10 game for PC form factors and for Mobile and is both hugely ambitious and, for once, not too greedy with real world currency and in-app purchases.
Something for the weekend, sir? How about a Windows Phone game/app that shows you in gory animated detail how to make dozens of surprisingly realistic aircraft designs out of a sheet of paper? As someone who has a bit of the child in me still, and who sometimes has to entertain small relatives, this mobile app turns out to be a star turn.
Word games are a bit of a guilty, time-wasting pleasure for most of us - they certainly keep the old grey matter chugging away and while away tiresome waits when needed. And Equal Words is beautifully constructed and pitched, almost the perfect mobile game, with just the clumsy cross-platform port that lets it down.
You've seen brain-bending, mind-mangling puzzles before. But never this hard, never this eye-boggling, never this enjoyably frustrating. Inspired by the famous optical illusions of MC Escher, nothing in the block puzzles here is quite what it seems. Beautiful puzzles, beautiful music and no time pressure make this the perfect mobile brain-training geometrical puzzle.
I've always been a huge fan of Lunar Lander style games - balancing retro rocket pulses with gravity and wind shear, avoiding obstacles in order to land upright on a trickily-positioned pad. And 'Landing Confirmed' here is a new Windows Phone game in the genre, having been ported from Android, combining classic Lunar Lander concepts with outrageous mechanisms and layouts. It's insanely hard - and addictive. And best of all, seems to be completely free. What are you waiting for?
The GO series of deluxe, immersive puzzles from Square Enix effectively reaches its peak with this, Deus Ex Go, using the basic framework of the 'Deus Ex' franchise, characters and locations, but with a new hexagonal grid system for character movement and all-new powers, obstacles and techniques. Is it all too much, too complex? Yes. Is it enormous, brain-straining fun? Oh yes again.
As one user commented in the Store, 'giant robots fighting in a dystopian future - what's not to like?' Actually, quite a bit, as anyone who has suffered through any of the Transformers films (or the Avengers 'Age of Ultron') will know. But that shouldn't put you off getting your senses assaulted by Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade UWP - as long as you phone is up to the challenge.
Last week saw my full review of Avion Flight Simulator 2015, which I was really impressed by, interstitial ads notwithstanding. Happily, for the follow-up simulator, Seven Summit Studios went down the commercial game route, with Rail Road Train Simulator 2016 costing just over £2 in the UK Store, but with the same idea of working your way through many steam engines and accomplishing various missions/tasks. It's not quite as awe inspiring as 'Avion', but as a steam fan anyway, there was still plenty here to find interesting.
Yes, yes, it's true that the game's name includes '2015', but look past any worries over the title being 'old' because it's certainly not. Avion Flight Simulator 2015 is the most challenging flight sim game that I've played for ages on a phone. With a choice of three flight models and surprising variety in terrain and weather, the 'just one more challenge' gameplay is absolutely addictive.