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A gamer’s introduction to Windows Phone 7

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Tetris

Ah, nothing like good old Tetris. Much like pizza, the perfect formula for it exists and is hard to get wrong, and EA ably recreates the formula for WP7. It may be a little stripped down, but for $4.99 it’s a pretty good package. There’s the classic Marathon mode and then the Variant mode where you can only clear a board after a set amount of things are completed. The only issue is the slightly floaty controls take some time to get acquainted with. It may not be an inventive new title, but it scratches that certain itch in your brain that only Tetris can.

Bejeweled Live

Much like Tetris, Bejeweled is such an established commodity it’s hard to get it wrong. As long as the touch screen can shift a jewel’s position with another jewel, we’re all good, something WP7 handled pretty well. Even in the speedier rounds of play it quickly and accurately kept up with our commands. On top of that, it’s a great looking version of the addicting time sink, and not too pricey at $4.99, even if it lacks some of the features the sequels added.

ilomilo

The fullest game of any we played, ilomilo is an adorable puzzle game that we really loved on 360. The puzzles are just as brain-bending in this pocket-sized version, where you alternate between two different guys on the map (ilo and milo) and try to bring them together. Often the answer isn’t obvious and many of the later levels can be pretty obtuse in their solutions. The on-screen d-pad wasn’t the greatest, but it got the job done, so long as we made sure to keep shifting the camera to the best possible angle. The must get out of all the ones we played.


For Achievement whores

Already you can see Windows Phone 7 has a good slate of games that, if this support continues, could one day give the libraries of its competitors a run for their money. Those looking for a new smartphone would be good with WP7, but the only thing that makes it a must have for a certain percentage of gamers is the inclusion of Achievement points on every XBL app.

Just like with Xbox Live Arcade games, each title has 200 possible GS available. Of the ones we played, the difficulty in collecting Achievements was pretty random. Tetris and de Blob were some of the stingiest, with some really time consuming requirements. Flowerz, Bejeweled Live, and OMG weren’t easy, but almost all seemed gettable. The games that will be big hits with Achievement whores are Monopoly, Butterfly and Fruit Ninja, as 150-200 GS will be yours in no more than two hours.

That’s really the only question for dedicated gamers with Windows Phone 7 versus its competitors: do you want a huge selection of games, or a smaller group that have Achievements? 95 percent (totally made-up number) of mobile games are cute distractions at best, made to kill time waiting in lines or riding the bus. If you’re going to occupy yourself with such simple distractions, wouldn’t you want to be increasing your Gamerscore at the same time? If you answered yes and are in the market for a new phone, then we probably just made your choice a lot simpler.

Jan 13, 2011

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17 comments

  • 435 - January 16, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    @Snowyjoe Microsoft intends to launch worldwide soon. And, man, if I could afford it, I'd jump ship to a WP7 device -now-. I've fiddled with a coworker's phone, and it is delish. Actually makes me hate my Android phone a little.
  • Snowyjoe - January 15, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    @Hydrohs Ok fine, outside of the US and EU. Microsoft need to learn that Kinect will never sell in Japan, but everything else would >.<
  • Spybreak8 - January 15, 2011 5:49 a.m.

    Ilomilo is fun to play on the 360 but I would like to just take it to the phone instead of buying the mobile version. I wish the publishers would allow you a universal license so you can buy Tetris once for all your platforms.^^
  • Conboy - January 14, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    I've had the Samsung Focus since Thanksgiving weekend and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It's my first true smartphone, so I cannot make any comparisons to the iphone or any Android phone. Over 6,000 apps since since it's launch, additional good games are Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst and Need for Speed Undercover. Thanks for the article Henry.
  • IGiveUFunkButt - January 14, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    Thanks for the article, Mr Gilbert. I have had a WP7 for a few months and love it. Not enough gaming sites are talking about this great platform.
  • Urbundave - January 14, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    I just picked up the HTC7 Mozart (On Orange in the UK) and it's fantastic. The OS works brilliantly and I have yet to have 1 problem or annoyance. The app store seems to be growing rapidly but obviously is no way close to the Apple app store. I've tried most of these games and they are fun. Once january is paid for Fruit Ninja will definately be purchased.
  • Hydrohs - January 14, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    @Snowyjoe They are selling it outside the States. I've been debating between a Windows Phone or an Android phone for some time now. I'm leaning towards the Windows Phone, the games seem to be of higher calibre.
  • Snowyjoe - January 14, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    I'm a PS3 owner, but I'm looking to buy a new smart phone, and ilomilo has just got me sold!!!! I also like the interface of it as well Too bad they don't sell it outside of the United States
  • Tomsta666 - January 14, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    XBLA on-the-go sounds like a very interesting proposition. When the time comes to renew my phone, I will definately be looking into Windows Phone 7, for sure!
  • Modroneman - January 14, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    I'm very tempted to get the windows phone 7. Just for the achievements! :) ReCaptcha: staraing oxytropus
  • KnightDehumidifier - January 14, 2011 3:35 a.m.

    As hopeful as it seems, I kind of want Microsoft to just revamp the Zune to run with Windows Phone 7 in mind. I really hope.
  • Baron164 - January 14, 2011 2:02 a.m.

    I got a Samsung Focus and I've been loving it. The games have been great and as a platform its a solid start.
  • Deutero - January 14, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    nice feature, thanks master Gilbert
  • EricBratcher - January 14, 2011 12:49 a.m.

    I know what you mean. Given that Hank is a points maven who has played some seriously craptacular games just for the cheevos, I expect he'll do everything he can to keep the phone we got to write this article. I'm gonna have to cut off his arm to get it back.
  • santaclouse37 - January 14, 2011 12:12 a.m.

    Well, now we know what Batman5273's next phone is going to be.
  • Daver123 - January 13, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    Interesting article; Apple's offensive DRM policy has convinced me to jump ship and I will probably wind up switching to a Windows phone. Does anybody know if you appear as "online" to your Xbox Live friends while playing games on a Windows phone?
  • Phazon117 - January 13, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Lol Windows Phone 7.

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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