It shouldn't surprise me that the classics are usually tarted up in any mobile app store, but it means that when I do find a game intro that hooks me, I'm going to get a little surprise when I realise "I know this!". Such is the case with Boxed In, AE's latest release for Windows Phone. Ready for the spoiler? It's Sokobahn.
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Let’s put aside the fantastic plot of finding a room full of an infinite supply of ‘Voyager’ probes and the rockets to launch them, and simply enjoy the game. Your goal is very altruistic, to gather as much information as possible as your Voyager spacecraft flies past the various planets of the solar system. You set the departure angle from Earth, you set the level of thrust, and celestial mechanics will take care of the rest.
There are certain games that should be regarded as staples for any computing platform. Just as every Christmas you'll find an orange at the bottom of your stocking, just as every student party there is a bottle of absinth nobody will risk opening until 3am, every smartphone needs a decent version of Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Mahjong. Just after Christmas (great timing there...) Microsoft released these three titles under the Xbox Live brand, and I'm going to start off the reviews by looking at Mahjong.
The Rabbids franchise (which is a spin-off from the Rayman series) has never fully established itself in popular culture in the same way as characters like the Angry Birds. It never had a signature genre of game, bouncing around various ideas from strategy and arcade, to puzzle and simulation. Released just before Christmas, the XBox live title Big Bang saw it take on interplanetary travel in a physics based game that mixes arcade reactions with puzzling depth.
While Windows Phone's email application does handle Gmail in a way that fits in with the UI, there are some areas where it can be lacking (including label support, filtering, and multiple accounts). Does the third-party client MetroMail address these issues and, if so, is it worth Googlers switching to it? That's a finely balanced decision.
Sometimes you just have to seize the moment. After our review of Angry Birds Go (which liked the basic idea and implementation of the game, but noted the sheer destructive power of the freemium options), the developer of Poppy Kart got in touch with the AAWP team to point out an alternative. And very nice it is too.
Popping up just in time for Christmas (and giving Xbox Live a new release at this critical time of year for Windows Phone) is the sequel to one of the most well known infinite runners. With more curves, more moves, more obstacles, and more adventure, it's time to check out Temple Run 2 for Windows Phone.
When you have a rather average karting game, you can work to make it a better game, or you can graft on a financially punishing in-app purchase mode to take as much money as possible from the users. Rovio's Angry Birds franchise reaches the karting space with Angry Birds Go, and unfortunately they've gone with the 'take as much money as possible' approach to the latest game from the rather cross Avians.
Subway Surfers has already been mentioned here on All About Windows Phone, in regards to scam-ware (see our editorial here) so it's a pleasure to finally have the title available on Microsoft's mobile platform. Subway Surfers has already built up a strong following on iOS and Android devices, and while it's not as strong as an Instagram or an Angry Birds, it's great to see more familiar titles arrive. The key will be Subway Surfers 2 and if it is released on all three platforms simultaneously. But for now, the review!
Oh there's nothing like a bit of festive tinsel and trappings to make an application feel just right for this time of year. Some apps go for an extra theme pack, or snow over the title graphics. Or you can go for a game that is all about christmas, which is the approach that Christian West has taken with Reindeer Round-up.