Category Archives: games

Unity announces support for Windows Phone 8

I have been waiting for a long  long time to post Unity on Windows Phone news. It didn’t happen in 7.0 or 7.5 but finally – WP8 scores a winner here. At Unite 2012 today, taking place in Amsterdam, Unity CEO David Helgason announced support for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Game developers absolutely adore Unity.

From Edge – Online:

Helgason also revealed that 53 per cent of mobile game developers have published games using Unity, demonstrating its extensive reach.

It is a big news. Windows Phone 8 users can expect some amazing games in the near future thanks to Unity support.

In case you don’t have an idea about the extent of usefulness of Unity support – let’s just say XNA developers who were depressed post lack of XNA support on WinRT will jump in joy because now they can make games in C# and avoid C++ (I am not a big fan!) or avoid taking  the route of mono game route which works just fine.

Developers, are you excited about Unity support? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Edge-Online  via @gcaughey

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Wp7 Game Review: Bomberman Vs Zombies

icon Bomberman Vs Zombies by Contlex is a Bomberman clone that was already available for Android and iPhone, and is now in Windows Phone marketplace, and has been garnering some attention. Is it worth a purchase? Read on…

Gameplay: As in the original Bomberman game, you are a person with infinite supply for explosives, and you have to clear the entire screen off creeps before you are allowed to proceed to the next level. The concept is simple, but the gameplay is surprisingly hard, specially by the standards of today’s game. You have to anticipate the position of the enemies several seconds in advance, and you have to take into account the fact that if they see it in plain sight, they will probably avoid it by taking a different route. While there is some strategy involved here, the first few levels definitely sound like a lot of trial and error, and luck. There is a good variety of different zombies, including skulls and a teleporting zombie. Powerups are not that frequent, and there are negative pickups also.

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Controls: I tried playing the game initially with the default swipe controls, unfortunately, it is really difficult to do it properly. When you swipe, the bomberman continues to move in that direction till you tap. In a game that involves constant evasion and movement, this did not work well at all. So I switched to the big D-pad, which worked much better. You may have to occasionally drag the map around manually, when it gets confused and lets the Bomberman escape beyond the screen. The controls were responsive and felt natural.

Music: The sound of the footsteps is really annoying. The setting for the music is a binary on/off, so it’s a pity, because the ambient music in the menus and the screams of the zombies are quite well done.

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Graphics: The art is very well done, and all the objects and the environment felt quite cohesive. The gameplay was buttery smooth and had no hiccups at all.

Odd Stuff: For no apparent reason, the free version of the game requires access to the location sensor (it doesn’t have ads either, so that is all the more surprising.) There are a few bugs in the game, like some tutorial text that goes away too fast to read, and “the hatch is open” messages appearing twice (once for getting the key, and once for killing all the zombies).

Overall impression: After a long hiatus from reviewing games on wpsauce, I am truly happy to be returning with a quality title to review. You should definitely pick up this game, because it is among the better ones out there. You may have to mute it before you play, though.

Download the free version or the paid version ($1) from the windows phone marketplace.

Hit tower defense game, geoDefense Gets an Update

Windows Phone’s hit tower defense game, geoDefense is now receiving its version 1.4 update! This update brings a brand new LiveTile functionality to the app. When placed on the Start Screen, the LiveTile can display how many “checkmarks” and how many “stars” have been earned!

For those who haven’t played geoDefense, it’s a fantastic game where you set up defenses against enemies that attempt to reach the end of the path. Upgrade your defenses using the points earned from defeating the enemies! Each level has a set amount of “lives” and if the number of enemies that reach the end is greater than that number, you lose! However, if it is less than the number of lives, you win, with a “checkmark” for the level. If none get to the end, you earn a “star” for the level.

Head past the break for more info and screenshots of the game!

Continue reading

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Wp7 Game Review: Grow

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Grow is an innovative arcade game in the Windows Phone marketplace where you have to make your fish feed on smaller fish to grow up. Conceptually, it is similar to Katamari Damacy, but the execution and visual styles are quite different. At WpSauce, we are big fans of indie games, especially ones that innovate in concept and gameplay, so we recommend you check this game out!

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In Grow, you play a small orange fish that starts out in the middle of an aquarium, with plenty of small fish swimming around. The idea is that you have to eat fish that are smaller than you and avoid fish that are larger than you. Thankfully, all the fish larger than you are made visually distinct, by both their significantly larger size, as well as by a red glow around their body. When you gobble up a fish, it leaves some orange bubbles behind, which you can collect to gain stars on the levels. Grow has an item shop, where you can buy upgrades for your in-game items, including the speed of the fish, powerup slots, etc. You use those orange coins in that shop.

Grow trailer for windows phone

 

I found myself using the tilt controls throughout the game, although the game allows you to use a dpad or swipe controls as well. The music reminds me of the ocean. The visuals of the game were quite polished and enjoyable, and it did a good job of conveying dangerous fish vs. benign ones.

I loved Grow, since it’s gameplay was innovative, it’s visuals polished and it had a lot of replay value. Download Grow from Windows Phone Marketplace, for $1.99 with a free trial.

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Windows Phone Game Preview: Shaktimaan

shaktimaan-iconIf you grew up in India in the ‘90s, you could not have avoided watching the Indian superhero series: Shaktimaan. Shaktimaan was a an evil-fighting, cape wearing superhero who used his yoga skills and power derived from 7 chakras (or elements like water, fire, earth). His most impressive power was his superhuman strength and his ability to start spinning and fly off to far-away places extremely fast.

Viacom 18 have now released the official Shaktiman game, and it’s totally free. In the game, you play as the superhero in a terrible hurry to get somewhere. You have lasers at your disposal, which you use to blast off and avoid various debris and rocks on the way. The controls use the accelerometer and are fairly intuitive. The powerups echo the chakras in the TV serial, and affect various health bars and attack powers.

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The marketplace description reads:

Play as Shaktimaan – The Greatest Cyber Yogic Hero.

Tamraj kilvish (king of darkness) has kidnapped a innocent child.You as Shaktimaan have to fight against all evils to save the child. You can reach Tamraj’s kingdom only if you gain seven chakras of kundalini through various levels. Battle the evil forces of tamraj in various levels. Destroy the Crystal of Black Power to kill Tamraj in the final showdown.

- Use super powers of Sun, Om, Fire and water.
- Save shaktimaan from negative elements.
- Destroy the evil elements.
- Gain Chakras at each level to unleash powers of Shaktimaan.
- Constant action throughout the game.

So does it have the phrase “Andhera kayam rahe”? Play the game for free to figure out.

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WP7 Game review: Boonce

Boonce is a physics puzzle game in which you have to shoot cannon balls at targets and hit them in a particular way: certain targets can only be hit directly, some targets can only be hit after a bounce.

The game is described on the marketplace as:

Boonce is a 2D cannon shooter game boasting a plethora of original concepts and challenges. Thoughtfully designed levels and beautiful hand-drawn art are backed by a mellow soundtrack that belies the game’s fast-paced and rewarding experience.

With over a hundred level cards spread across two ‘decks’, Boonce has plenty in the way of variety and challenge. Destroy an array of unique targets in different ways to progress through the game and earn medals based on your performance. Throw into the mix the fact that each target comes with its own rules for being destroyed – some must be hit directly, others require you to bounce the ball first and others must be avoided altogether – and it’s fair to say that each level offers a fresh challenge for the player.

The trial version of Boonce! comes with 28 levels to beat and includes a sneak peek at the Science Lab deck. If players like what they see they can buy the full version for a modest amount through the game itself. Kalidorn have more decks planned in regular updates, each with their own new toys to play with. The first update deck is The Lab, with Teleportals and Anti-Gravity Fields and is available today as part of the full version. Thank you for playing and we hope you enjoy our game!

Boonce is fun to play, the music is appropriate and relaxing, and the puzzles are well thought out. If you have a few minutes to kill, you should definitely check it out.

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A couple of levels in Boonce

As always, there are certain things that could be improved in the game. In a puzzle early on, a direct hit target was kept enclosed by walls on 3 sides, making it hard to hit. Without an underlying story to the game, it seems a bit contrived to have such a hard target early on. Unlike Angry Birds, boonce does not show the ghost of your previous attempt, so you have no basis to gauge your next attempt. Balls that leave the cannon seem to bounce around for a long time, which makes it a bit distracting.

Overall, I can recommend boonce wholeheartedly. Check it out in the marketplace now.

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Angry Birds Space not coming to Windows Phone on March 22nd, proves Windows Phone still has a lot of catching up to do

Angry Birds, quite possibly the most famous 21st century mobile game in the world, is coming back – but this time, birds are going to kick some ass in space! Yes, Angry Birds Space was officially announced today and along with it, Rovio announced that the game will be available on March 22nd to the following platforms: iOS, Android, PC, and Mac. Yes, it’s coming to every major mobile platform. Oh wait, where’s Windows Phone?

Did I mention how much time it took for Rovio to port overpriced Angry Birds to Windows Phone? Read about it here. Quick recap, Microsoft said Angry Birds is coming in October 2010 – Rovio had no clue, they denied any Windows Phone version in development. Then Rovio finally revealed that they are working on a Windows Phone version in February and it was eventually released in June 2011. This comes after, from the looks of it, after pressure from Microsoft(which itself was under pressure from users to get Angry Birds game on board).

Official Angry BirdsTwitter hasn’t replied back to my several Windows Phone launch tweet queries (I suggest you tweet, if possible). I guess it will come to Windows Phone eventually, but when? Do you think Windows Phone is still not relevant enough in 2012 for developers like Rovio to launch a version for Windows Phone alongside iOS and Android?. Everyday we see a positive statistic from analysts saying Windows phone will sell millions of devices every month yet a lot of developers, especially large gaming houses are ignoring Windows Phone or submitting pre historic crap with XBL label.  I hope you get the point I am trying to make.

Update: We got the official word from Rovio and it’s disappoiting to say the least,

There are no plans for that as of this point in time, no

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Photon Cloud SDK to bring Realtime multiplayer gaming support to Windows Phone

Ever dreamed of playing realtime RTS, MMOs or even FPS  games on your Windows Phone with your friends? Well, it can now be a reality. Windows Phone developers can now use the free SDK from Exit Games and add realtime multiplayer to their existing games or brand new games. Photon SDK is available for nearly every platform and Exit Games has recently extended support to Windows Phone 7.1 (compiled on Mango SDK) applications.

Here’s more from the official website:

“With the Photon SDK you are able to take full advantage of our renowned and easy to use socket-based Network Engine.

Check out the free SDK and witness the awesomeness:

  • Develop in C# .NET 4.0
  • Easy UI creation and view-management via Silverlight/XAML
  • On device debugging
  • Demo containing sample code for easy integration in your Windows Phone Apps”

Developers can sign up for  a free trial in which Exit Games provide free hosting for upto 100 users (not to forget 24/7 uptime) for limited time. You can take a look at all the pricing options here .

Developers, are you willing to use this SDK or wait for an undefined period of time to wait for Microsoft to release an official SDK which allows realtime multiplayer?

Source: Exit Games

Thanks for  the tip Asad!

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Guy proposes his girlfriend by creating a Windows Phone word game, rewarded with flawless victory

You don’t see this every day, do you? A guy proposes his girlfriend using a self made Wordament inspired game which eventually results in an emphatic yes from the girlfriend. Yes that happened. Well played, good sir!

Wordament, for those of you who don’t know Wordament is a real time competitive word game for Windows Phone.

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Here’s the mail from the couple sent to Wordament developers (both of them being huge fans of the game):

“Myself and my girlfriend are big fans of Wordament and often play it together. I recently decided that it was time to ask her to marry me and I wanted a fun and original way of doing it. I thought about how cool it would be to have a custom game of Wordament where some of the words were “will”, “you”, “marry” and “me”.

As a WP7 dev I decided to create a private, one-off version of Wordament just for us, for that night.

I just wanted to thank you guys for a great game and being the inspiration for my marriage proposal.”

The guy is a Windows Phone developer and he showed his piece of work in a video embedded below:

Congratulations to the soon-to-be wed couple and massive congratulations to developers at Wordament. From a developer’s perspective, this is one of the best thing that can happen to you.

Source: Wordament blog

WP7 Game Review: Rummycomb

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Leda Entertainment has a holiday-themed update for their game Rummycomb. So how is it? Read on to find out.

Rummycomb is a hexagonal grid of icons, and you have to drag your finger over icons of the same color to make them vanish. It is one of those matching-board games that make me really wonder what color-blind people think when they browse the marketplace.

Right off the bat, I was super confused what to do, because the game came with no instructions. It took me a while to understand that you are supposed to drag your finger over neighboring icons of the same color. A few instructions would have been nice. After you figure out what to do, the gameplay is fairly simple. You remove icons in a frantic race against the clock. You can rack up bonus points by doing some special tricks, like removing a set of icons of the same shape and  color. However, the gameplay is not too engaging.

The visuals are nice and shiny, and the Christmas-themed icons are jolly enough. While I understand the motivation behind choosing the font (it matches the hexagonal theme of the overall game), the readability is not very nice. A bigger problem, however, is that the game gives no visual cue that the icons are dropping in from the top. Selected icons just disappear, and new ones take their place, and you will be none the wiser where they came from.

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Rummycomb is free on the marketplace. Overall rating: 2.5 / 5 for a fun free game, that lacks appeal in the visuals and is not very replayable.