So I think I mentioned before that I have a spare WP7 kicking around to use for playing around with exclusive apps/games. I would definitely not replace my iOS device with it, but having said that, there are a few neat games. Since I've played every exclusive game for the platform, I figured it'd be worth doing some mini-reviews. I included the game icons for games that stood out to me as being interesting or a good value.
A sort of Angry Birds-ish projectile game, but with a fantasy theme and a slightly different gameplay mechanic (use parts to assemble a wagon-catapult thing and a world map for some sort of over-arching game. I never really figured out how to be any good at it and thought it was rough around the edges, so I didn't buy the full version. $0.99
Beards and Beaks:
A tower-defence/limited RTS type game where you use gnomes that you fling with your fingers to fight birds and steal gems. The presentation is great and it's genuinely fun to play. You also have super-weapon powers which regenerate over periods of real-time, so the game incentivizes playing a little bit at a time. I think they updated it to support IAP of powerups. There's also an extra DLC campaign. I found the core mechanic to break down or get old as you get nearer to the end of the game, so I wouldn't recommend the DLC. $2.99. Bought
You use wind to blow a flower petal around a maze. Theres 50 levels or so. It's free, and it controls well. Worth your time. But there are in-app ads, and it's frustrating when you sometimes accidentally click on one when you're trying to play the game. "Bought"
A sort of free-aim variant on Space Invaders with persistent upgrades and a neon phosphor visual style. I liked it well enough but it's not really my genre of game. I might buy it if it goes on sale. $2.99.
(not technically an exclusive, it's on XBLIG and GFWL) This is a rotating dude-on-a-peg game like the GBA/DS Donkey Kong peg games or Clu Clu Land. It's got a great circus theme and some really neat level design, but it's over before you know it. Touch screen controls work well. $2.99 -- I'd buy it if I didn't already own it on XBLIG.
Chickens Can't Fly:
You're a chicken. You're falling through a corridor. You need to pick up corn kernels as you fall and avoid obstacles. I guess this would broadly be considered an infinite runner, but the main game has defined stages where you have certain objectives. Bunch of different skins, and weekly challenges where everyone in the world gets the same level to score attack. $0.99 Bought
Crimson Dragon: Side Story:
Barely played because the demo is having bugs. But from what I did play, it's a side-scrolling shoot-em-up with tons and tons of unlockable content. The weird thing is the control scheme; it uses the Gunstringer, Child of Eden, Crimson Dragon control scheme where you move your cursor over the bad guys and when you lift your finger anything you locked onto gets shot. It's kinda neat. I know there's also a cool feature where your phone's GPS data can be used to unlock stuff as you move around town IRL. $0.99. I do plan to pick it up some day.
Dodonpachi Maximum Edition:
So, uh, I don't really have much experience with Cave shooters. It doesn't seem too notable. The demo (possibly the whole game) takes place inside a sort of virtual simulator, so the backgrounds are mostly Matrix-esque technobabble. Even the enemies don't really have textures because they're sort of hologram things. Bullet patterns don't seem too hard, the controls are the standard autoshoot controls iOS Cave games have used. There's apparently 15 levels. $4.99 Now on iOS
It seems to be a port of Droplitz but with a brighter visual look. $0.99
Fable: Coin Golf:
Shufflepuck meets Minigolf, the Fable theme is very minimal. I do like the look of the game and it plays well. My one concern is that I don't think there are many courses, maybe only 4 or 5 or so? It hooks up to Fable III, so you can send gold. I'm guessing if you didn't before now, you wouldn't now. $4.99 -- I plan to pick this up when it goes on sale.
It's an MSN puzzle game. It's free. It's a fun way to kill time. "Bought"
This is a sort of small-unit count RTS/tower defence featuring robots. The main appeal is that it links up with XBLA game Fusion: Genesis and lets you level up your Sentients from that game, but you can play it entirely independently if you want. The consensus seems to be that the game has a "ton" of content, but it's mostly the same thing again and again. $2.99. I might buy it if it goes on sale.
Game Chest: Logic Games:
Chess, Minesweeper, Sudoku. Chess is not a great implementation and there are superior free Minesweeper and Sudoku out for WP7 so you'd never buy this. $2.99
Game Chest: Solitaire Edition:
Klondike, Spider, and Tri-Peaks. Seems to be a good implementation of each. There are unlockables and you can level up and save persistent progress across the games. $2.99
Place bombs to blow up towers of gerbils and blocks and get the gerbils under a certain line. This is pretty much the exact same game as Implode!, which is also on iOS and other platforms... except with a Gerbil theme. Fun enough, and 72 levels is decent content, but I find these sorts of games to be too random for my liking--a slight move of the bomb and you have a totally different outcome, so it's really difficult to actually get a sense for how things are going to play out. $2.99
Hasta La Muerte:
You're a stick man and you walk through rooms filled with other stick men and if you touch them at the right point you gain points but if you touch them at the wrong point you don't. It's more arcadey than puzzly (reflexes are important). I mostly just found it ugly and dull. $2.99
A timed, speedy version of Hexic. Also includes original Hexic. $2.99
Hydro Thunder Go:
A Hydro Thunder game. $4.99
A very cute puzzle-platformer. The game is also on XBLA, but the WP7 version is all new levels, so it's worth getting them both. Basically, you control two little guys (but only one at a time) and your objective is to work your way through a 3d, block-based puzzle world to have them meet up in the middle. I recommend buying both, to be honest, they're great games. The XBLA version was my #9 game of 2011, and I wrote longer impressions of it
. $4.99, plan to get it when it's on sale.
Breakout with bosses and upgrades/level-ups. I had a good time with it. $0.99 Bought
Metro version of Minesweeper, with powerups to help you through and a persistent levelling system where you get experience the more you play. I like that the powerups regenerate over real time, encouraging you to play a little a day. Ad-supported but free. "Bought"
A really strange game. There's a screen filled with fish that fart out pollution. There's an octopus that shoots bubbles. You can merge the bubbles together to make bigger bubbles. When you pop a bubble, it damages or kills anything it's touching on screen. I didn't really "get" it. There's another mode where you try to hook fish on fish hooks. ??? $0.99, I would consider buying this.
A gorgeous tilty platformer that reminds me a little bit of LocoRoco, but not quite. Your character gains emotions (draw a smiley to make him happy) which impacts how he goes through the levels. Really, really great looking. $2.99, plan to buy.
OMG: Our Manic Game:
Arkedo made a shmup. There's a cool scoring mechanic where if you touch an enemy with your finger, it powers up into a more dangerous enemy but is worth more points. I wouldn't really call it bullet hell, but there are a lot of bullets. $2.99. I would consider buying this.
One of those single-screen gear puzzle games where you have to put the right sized gears in the right place. It has a "blueprint" visual style. I liked Geared on iOS a little better personally. $2.99
XBLIG port, so I guess it's not really fully exclusive. Shmup where the gimmick is that you have multiple ships. Has a sort of old Amiga/early PC art style. I bought it on XBLIG and enjoyed it well enough. $2.99
Shufflepuck, multiple modes. One mode is shufflepuck bowling, one mode is traditional shufflepuck (similar to curling), and one mode is sort of like a shufflepuck minigolf (which overlaps with Fable: Coin Golf above). I had SO MUCH FUN with this. Tons of unlockable skins. Nothing like hurling your burger puck down a grill board towards lettuce pins. Free. "Bought"
Metro Sudoku, like Minesweeper there's exp and powerups. Free. Implemented just fine. "Bought"
A really cool platformer where you're a creepy gross eye with four tentacles. Takes place inside a body. You navigate through levels by tapping, your tentacles shoot to the place you tapped one tentacle at a time so you sort of hobble along. Timing and precision are required to get through levels without being hurt. Pick up "food" to get points, complete challenges (speed run or no damage) in each level. There are 40 levels with a bunch of bosses. This is the WP7 killer app and the only game on the platform that I'd really say is an absolute must buy and nothing like it available anywhere else. $0.99 Bought Now on iOS
RPG-individual unit RTS type game. You're a space marine. You kill aliens. This looks really really nice but the demo is pretty short and the game is $6.99--I'd definitely consider buying it at $2.99, but $6.99 is highway robbery... especially since they've announced a Windows 8 port, so I'd rather buy it there.
Enemies bounce around a single screen room, and you need to try to draw circles around them to capture them. Risk-reward: Capture more enemies at once to get more points, but if an enemy touches as you're drawing, you die. Demo lasts literally 45 seconds, so unless what I just said sells you on the game, the demo won't either. $2.99
Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp:
A few mini-games based on Toy Soldiers. One involves a sort of 3D target shooting gallery. Controls were terrible from what I tried. $0.99
The second closest thing to a killer app WP7 has. It's basically a real-time, simultaneous multiplayer boggle. You get a 4x4 grid of letters and you spell out words. Different letters have different point values. But after 90 seconds, you get a worldwide leaderboard and then it's on to the next round. Even better: the game supports multiple languages, so if you're bilingual, very fun. Best of all, free
ZOMBIES: ON TEH PHONE!!!!:
Basically, the guy who did The Dishwasher made a stupid twin-stick zombie killing game in like 24 hours and released it on XBLIG. But the background music was a novelty song he wrote, so it sold a gazillion copies. For some reason, he ported it here. It's ugly, it's not fun, and it was stupid the first time around. $2.99
The classic board/dice game. You move around a map with dice rolls to escape zombies and get to the helipad. Very, very fun, and an unusual platform choice for a licensed game. $4.99, plan to buy when it goes on sale.
And that's the ballgame. That's every Windows Phone 7 exclusive. All of them. Reviewed, for your pleasure.