Whether you’re buying into Windows Phone 7 as a credible smartphone platform right now, it is difficult to deny that the quality of Xbox Live integration is quite special.
Although there are nowhere near as many games available yet as the leading platforms, the whole environment in which you can play games on your Windows Phone 7 handsets is arguably a better experience than simply booting up an app as you do in Android or iOS when you consider the social aspect of Xbox Live.
So, what are the best games available for the platform as of a month post-launch? Well here they are!…
You may or may not be a fan of the recent influx of puzzle games infiltrating the web, but Bejeweled is one in particular that has been claiming rave reviews across the web for a number of years now and popping up on a variety of platforms from Facebook to iPhone.
The ubiquitous 2D puzzle game will have you tapping away, swapping gems to make simple connecting rows and/or columns. In writing it seems pretty mundane but believe you me, once you get going it will have you hooked for hours in the same way it has been gripping players for nigh on a decade since its original development by PopCap back in 2001.
Bejeweled Live is available from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for £3.99, or you can try before you buy, but of course you sacrifice certain functionality.
Need for Speed Undercover
The Need for Speed has been going strong on a variety of consoles and other platforms for a good few years now and now it has come to Windows Phone 7. Just as you would expect had you played any racing games on iOS or Android, the controls are simply tilting the device whilst holding it landscape.
Acceleration is automated, but other features are operated using the multitouch display for example you can use the traditional nitrous boost by a simple upward swipe with one finger and operate the trademark Need for Speed ‘Speedbreaker’ using a downward swipe. There are a variety of other functions too, but I would highly recommend you try this one out for yourself.
This one is also £3.99 and you can have a demo featuring a single car and single track for free.
The Sims 3
Ah, The Sims, the perfect escapism with their interesting dress sense and, to put it bluntly, weird language has come to Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7 and as a result you can keep your virtual people with you on the go. With pinch-to-zoom functionality it is easy to operate and graphically is pretty good.
Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7 gives it a competitive edge too as you unlock achievements and compare with your friends providing they’ve adopted Windows Phone 7 too. You can expect the majority of The Sims functionality and the game itself is impressively comparable to that of iOS.
At £5.49 it’s a little on the expensive side, but as you probably know with the Sims you can have hours of battery-draining entertainment.
The world’s favourite board game has arrived on Windows Phone 7 with leaderboards and achievements on Xbox Live. Unfortunately for us UK players, the game is actually the US version and features places such as ‘Boardwalk’ and ‘Park Place’. You can choose between several difficulties and enjoy what we used to call 3D graphics before the television fad arrived on the scene.
You can change the rules and things as you can with desktop renditions of the game and altogether there is not a lot unexpected in both a positive or negative respect. Controls are intuitive and early user reviews on the marketplace tend to back that up.
Monopoly will set you back an at least consistent £3.99. Demo is available as with I think every Xbox Live game on Windows Phone 7.
Probably one of the simplest games ever invented, Uno has given families hours of fun in the past with the real life card version, but now it has come to Windows Phone 7 and with Xbox Live gamerscore, achievements and leaderboards has got a little bit more competitive. It’s graphically quite simply as you might expect and indeed prefer, although predictably it is colourful.
Operating the game is simple enough as it is simply a process of tapping the right cards or colours and navigating the prompts. I’m sure Uno doesn’t need much explaining to many, but user reviews are so far outstanding and probably could be backed to be the most popular game on the platform so far.
For £3.99 it could be considered the biggest bargain of the lot too considering the addictiveness of the classic game.
Of course Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live integration is still in its infancy and there will be more games to come I’m sure that will take the marketplace by storm (Angry Birds, anyone?), but for now we have an adequate selection of quality mobile games.
The whole Xbox Live social integration adds an extra dimension on top of what you get with iOS and Android and I can see it being a huge success as part of Windows Phone 7. There are bugs and inconsistencies here and there, but it is to be expected and will be corrected in due course.