Windows Phone 7 Games Catch-All

So, Sonic the Hedgehog. Before you purchase it, please fill out this short questionnaire:

  • Did you love Sonic the Hedgehog before he got a life partner, a frenemy, and a metic ton of disposable animal friends?
  • Are you not completely burned out on our little blue friend and would be willing to run him through a blatantly retro attempt to win back your affections?
  • Do you remember what it was like playing Sonic on the Genesis? Do you remember how the screen would stutter a bit when you went through loops, or how it wouldn't quite keep up with Sonic if he got going too fast? Even though that kind of performance dip isn't in style anymore, would you still be willing to put up with it?
  • How do you feel about fake analog control sticks?
  • No, really, how do you feel about fake analog control sticks in a game that requires some precision jumping but that doesn't actually use analog controls at all?
  • What if your only alternative to that analog control stick is not, in fact, a fake d-pad but some wonky tilt controls?

I picked up Flowerz for free last night. This is a really nice puzzle game that I love to have on my phone. I tend towards games like Yahtzee and poker for my mobile diversions. This actually is a nice alternative. And it's a bonus that I get XBL achievements for it.

I had also bought Ilomilo,which is great fun, too.

Both of those are great picks. ilomilo is even better since they added the second story for free, more or less doubling the size of the game.

In other news, Plants vs. Zombies is now available for $5. They haven't posted the Deal of the Week yet, but I'll let you know when they do. The Deal of the Week is Bejeweled Live for $2.99.

One of the reasons I bought a Windows Phone was Plants vs Zombies so of course I purchased it. Now I own PvZ for Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Load time for the initial game is a little long. Not as bad as my 2g iPhone but it seems longer than on my Nexus One or iPad. Will post some more impressions once I play more than the first level. Thus far, though, it controls well and plays smoothly.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

One of the reasons I bought a Windows Phone was Plants vs Zombies so of course I purchased it. Now I own PvZ for Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Load time for the initial game is a little long. Not as bad as my 2g iPhone but it seems longer than on my Nexus One or iPad. Will post some more impressions once I play more than the first level. Thus far, though, it controls well and plays smoothly.

I played through the first few levels which is pretty much the tutorial levels and it played pretty well.

One thing I really appreciate about Plants vs Zombies is that you can set it to run under the lock screen, and if you return to the home screen you can resume your defense from where you left off. I lost a lot of progress in a big battle in Puzzle Quest 2 because I accidentally hit the power button and locked the phone. Because that game only saves at the end of a battle, I went back into the game with nothing to show for my efforts. This will be a lot less of an issue when Mango rolls out and multitasking gets implemented, but for right now it's really annoying.

Yeah, I really like that you can resume your game. I've played into the night levels and it runs very well. As with other versions the shovel can be a bit difficult to get but it's not bad. Overall a very good port.

This weeks deal is James Patterson's Women's Murder Club. Not to exciting for me. Also new to WP7 is Angry Birds. My son will be very happy. I'm not a big AB fan but my youngest loves it. It looks very nice, has achievements, loads quickly, and controls well. If you like AB then I don't see anything to dislike here.

JP:WMC is a pretty standard hunt for objects in the photo game. I installed the demo and played it a bit. You have to scroll the image up and down and it often mistakes scrolling for taps. Once I found all the objects in the first photo I was told there were still more clues to uncover. There are inventory items that you have and can use on things. I had one sparkly thing that I assume I was supposed to use my camera on but you have to click on it to zoom and then click and drag to use the camera. Getting the camera to be selected is somewhat difficult as well.

You can zoom in on images but it also sees it as a tap. When you tap too quickly you get a red tap which I assume is bad (since it is in other games like this). Basically a lot of things are interpreted as taps and it affects your score (from what I can tell). Overall, I'm not a huge fan of this type of game and the small screen combined with the errant taps makes it less worth while to me. Not for me.

Yeah, I tried the demo for Women's Murder Club and found that the controls got in the way of any sort of enjoyment I might have had. Hidden object games can be fun time-wasters, but this one is just bad.

And Angry Birds? Eh. You already know if you like it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Yeah, I tried the demo for Women's Murder Club and found that the controls got in the way of any sort of enjoyment I might have had. Hidden object games can be fun time-wasters, but this one is just bad.

And Angry Birds? Eh. You already know if you like it.

Angry Birds is fun enough on the iPad. While I would not mind a WP7 version, I do have the free rip-off Panda vs. Ninjas. Does AB have anything to make me pay cash for it?

Jayhawker wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

Yeah, I tried the demo for Women's Murder Club and found that the controls got in the way of any sort of enjoyment I might have had. Hidden object games can be fun time-wasters, but this one is just bad.

And Angry Birds? Eh. You already know if you like it.

Angry Birds is fun enough on the iPad. While I would not mind a WP7 version, I do have the free rip-off Panda vs. Ninjas. Does AB have anything to make me pay cash for it?

No idea. For me, it's the 6 year old that likes it. The sounds are what set it apart IMO. He likes the noises it makes and I agree that they're better than the noises in other games. It won't resume if you leave the game and come back. It does seem to save if you lock the screen and come back, though. If it weren't for my kid I wouldn't have bought it. I'd say if you like xbox achievements it has them.

This week's deal of the week is Max and the Magic Marker for $2.99. I mentioned it back in the original post, and most of my comments still stand. The load times are improved, but there are some bugs and some real slowdown if you have too many drawn objects on the screen at once. Still, it's a fun game, and I enjoyed tracking down all the hidden items and completing the speed runs.

The week's new Live game is Beards & Beaks, a garden gnome-themed puzzle game where you flick gnomes around the screen to pick up jewels before they can be stolen by angry birds. The demo is cute. What's more notable is that this is the first game that introduces the wonder of microtransactions. You can buy additional levels, power-ups, and the like. Curiously, the microtransactions are done with Microsoft Points rather than with cash, like the rest of the marketplace. Doubtless, Microsoft sees the value of obscuring costs behind points, but it's a strange decision to segment the market like that.

I wonder if they'll patch microtransaction content into past games.

I just hope that they allow you to restrict purchases of in-game transactions. The fact that you don't have to sign in to buy a game is bad enough but allowing microtransactions without a way to restrict my young children from purchasing them may very well be a deal breaker for me. Any time there's the chance of my kids racking up hundreds of dollars in charges by simply clicking yes or buy is a huge issue for me. I have a couple of games that I simply don't want because of it and now I remove demos once I've tested them to keep that from happening (the kids have no idea that they could go into the marketplace to find more games and once they do they'll be told not to do it.

Okay, so Beaks and Beards is $2.99. You get 45 levels and then you can purchase more for 80 points. In the game you get what look to be spells you can cast. So far I have a rock dropping spell and some other spell that I have no idea what it does. The little pictures for the game are cute but do a poor job of telling you that casting spells cost mushrooms and mushrooms cost 40 points a piece. Really? So maps cost money but casting spells costs money as well? Most games like this spells simply have a cool down or cost in-game mana. For each level you complete you get mushrooms so technically you don't HAVE to purchase them. I really hate that model. You also cannot turn off in game purchases. I could EASILY see my kids buying dozens of mushrooms if they played it. I'll play it some this weekend and then will probably delete it. I'm actually somewhat angry that I bought it to begin with and will be reviewing it and mentioning these same issues.

It sounds like a game that's simply meant to milk you for as much money as it can. That's a shame. On top of that, it's not particularly fun, I don't think.

I actually enjoy it. The gameplay is unique and the graphics are cute. I'd like more variety in the game, though. It won't be on my phone the next time the kids play, though. I truly hope that MS does something about in-game purchasing with Mango. I don't want to end up with a $100 game because my kids purchase mushrooms. While I don't like games that have you purchase power-ups to improve your game I don't mind it nearly as much on iOS because I simply turn off in-game purchasing and let my kids go. I already have to be judicious about what demos I have on the phone but at least an demo purchase is not going to cost me more than $10. If my kids buy 10 mushrooms that's $5. I could see them going through 10 mushrooms in a single level. I should have been more diligent and read the reviews. Makes me miss Android's refunds.

This week's deal of the week is The Sims 3 for $4.99. Buyer beware: comments online and in the game's reviews suggest that there's some sort of save issue that eats characters for breakfast.

Today's new game is Tentacles, a sort of platformer that's really fun. It's quite unlike anything I've played before, and I'll certainly be purchasing the full version. I did experience some odd slowdown while playing the demo, but comments suggest that it runs better with the Mango update. I didn't see anything that was a real deal-breaker, though.

Deal of the week this week is ilomilo at $2.99. Lots of fun and unique to WP7. Cro-Mag Rally was also released at $2.99. Haven't played it, yet but the iPhone version was fun. ilomilo is highly recommended and I think it's a must buy for the sale price.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

Deal of the week this week is ilomilo at $2.99. Lots of fun and unique to WP7. Cro-Mag Rally was also released at $2.99. Haven't played it, yet but the iPhone version was fun. ilomilo is highly recommended and I think it's a must buy for the sale price.

I can second that ilomilo is definitely a good buy at almost any price.

Also, for those of you who played ilomilo before March or so, you might reinstall the game. They added a second full-length story to the game for free.

In other news, Tentacles continues to be one of the best mobile games I've played on WP7 or any other platform. It's difficult but not unfairly so, and a really creative approach to touch gaming. It's definitely worth a look.

I have the demo of Tentacles and I like it quite a bit. Just waiting for a sale as I have other games to play currently (ilomilo and Full House Poker).

I just finished Tentacles a little bit ago. Man, was that a difficult game.

This week's Live games are two freebies: Minesweeper and Sudoku. Yes, they have achievements; no, they're not significantly different from what you'd expect. They both have some sort of rank/leveling-up system and power-ups, but I can't tell without digging into them what the power-ups do or how you get them. I wouldn't be shocked if they're microtransaction-based. Also, note that the games have ads in them, but they're not very obtrusive.

I thought the ads were a bit obtrusive and I also get the same micro-transaction vibe. I found minesweeper a bit on the boring side as well. I removed it (haven't tried Soduku.

No new game this week? That's not good.

(Last week's game was IonBallEX. I haven't played it. Meanwhile, this week's deal is Super Monkey Ball for $1.99. Save your money.)

Check Fringe Busters tomorrow.

wordsmythe wrote:

Check Fringe Busters tomorrow.

Giving Road of Peace a try. Downloading now.

I don't think this was posted but Fable Coin Golf is the game of the week. I bought it last week but never posted. It is $2.99 and it's a very enjoyable game. If you play Fable on the 360 you also get to unlock stuff in that game. I don't have Fable but F:CG is well worth the $2.99 and it's a game exclusive to WP7. Unfortunately you've only got a day to purchase before it goes to regular price ($4.99 or $5.99).

I love Fable Coin Golf! I don't have Fable for the 360, but FCG is a really fun stand-alone game.

Tomorrow's deal of the week is Pocket God. A bit underwhelming for me since I already have it. I've never played it but my kids absolutely love it. It will be $1.99 starting tomorrow.

Fable Coin Golf is great. Can't say that I love Pocket God, though.