We don’t know about yours, but our summer’s shaping up to be sunburn-free: we’ve been so busy trying to beat our high-scores from June’s new release WP8 games that we’ve forgotten to go outside!
Seriously, though: some excellent new titles blasted their way into the Windows Phone Store in these past few weeks. It was hard to narrow the list down, but here’s the lowdown on ten titles that particularly rocked our world.
Why We Love It: The comic strip intro shows you toppling inside your phone and finding yourself unable to get out: you end up driving a tiny yellow dune-buggy around a series of mazes as you hunt for the exit. You’ll have to be a good driver as well as a smart cookie to puzzle out an escape route. Excellent graphics and a nifty idea make this game a keeper – even as we wonder if there are, in fact, a bunch of desperate mini-drivers zipping around inside our Lumias….
Why We Love It: You’re driving a car around a car-park; you can’t stop; you’re being chased. How long can you keep moving before you crash into an obstacle or another car rear-ends you? Not very long at all, if you’re us, but this is one of those games we just can’t put down. So far there are only two levels, Mall and Suburbia, and two cars (with different colours and slightly different accelerations speeds), but we’re on tenterhooks to see where the developers will take this little beauty.
Why We Love It: Another racing game! This time you control a toy car in a two-car race around a living-room track. The only control is the accelerator (tap and hold a button on the right), and each level boasts more tricky turns, which require you to ease off the pedal lest you go flying off the track. It’s harder than it sounds and it’s enormously fun. You can customize your car and unlock bonus vehicles, all of which are pretty funky details. The premium version has considerably more levels than the freebie, but the freebie’s still decent. Kids and adults alike should enjoy this racer.
Why We Love It: A hidden-object puzzle adventure game, Lost Echo sees you knocked unconscious by a mysterious UFO-type flash and bang, and when you awake, your girlfriend has vanished and nobody else remembers she ever even existed. Spooky, right? The dialogue is endearingly clumsily (some translation issues, we reckon) and the game play is super-slow, but it’s still pretty captivating and we really want to know what happened to poor Chloe…
Why We Love It: A newly updated version of this excellent infinite flying game: you’re speeding through an alien world, dodging oblongs in the sky and huge rocks on the surface. Tap left to tilt and swerve left, and tap right to head, well, right. You’ve only got one life. See how long you can survive. This is definitely not an easy game: we’re crashing and burning almost immediately. It’s certainly addictive though… The update fixes various niggles and improves general performance (sadly, it hasn’t fixed our performance!). Give it a test-flight: you won’t be disappointed.
Why We Love It: Another infinite flying game, but this one is a magical side-scroller complete with bird-calls and sparkles. You play a firefly; tap right to shoot your insect enemies and control your trajectory by dragging on the left-hand side of the screen. Collect cherries, save your friends and don’t crash! The backgrounds are luscious and there are three whole worlds to enjoy.
Why We Love It: This is a game disguised as a story (or perhaps vice versa); there’s going to be various installments, framed as chapters, and what we have here is the prologue and the first section. You get to pilot a submarine around a series of icy underwater caverns while hearing, via voiceover, about a mystery that you’ve then got to solve. Get your headphones ready, and bask in the eerie, watery environments. The game play is slow, mind, so if you’re more into speed and results, this won’t be for you.
Why We Love It: It’s a very simple, very responsive shooting game. You play a stick-man with a bow, and your task is either to shoot the other player (human or computer) or to take down a flock of passing birds, depending on what game-play mode you select. The mostly monochrome graphics are beautiful and the actual shooting varies in difficultly. Angry Birds fans should feel right at home as they aim and fire. Highly recommended.
Why We Love It: We like a good tower defense strategy game, and this is definitely a good one. 3D graphics, a helpful voice that warns you about approaching enemies, an unobtrusive but handy tutorial and loads of missions make for hours of shooting and building. It’s all set in space, too – except for the first planet, of course, which is our familiar Earth, but with added robots – and the arch-enemy is the evil Tyrant and his deadly taxes. What’s not to like?
Why We Love It: This game brings you to the magical world of Inkspire, which combines scenes from a variety of Disney animated movies – Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more. The gist is that you have to stop these lands from getting destroyed by ink by solving hidden object puzzles. You’ll get a list of things to find in each scene, and you’ll also get to ‘craft’ other objects too. That aspect is a little fiddly, and we think the kiddie target audience will get the most fun out of the hidden object mini-games. Like many Disney games, there are some rather expensive in-app purchases on offer here, so watch your settings if the kids playing. There are hours of play in here, though, so as long as the spending is under control, this is a good ‘un.
That’s our ten top tips from June! Did you have any favourites that we missed? Don’t forget to check out the other games we featured in our Apps posts each Friday, too. And in just a few short weeks, we’ll bring you July’s round-up, so stay tuned!