Microsoft had quite a few high-profile game apps lined up for the launch of the Windows Phone 7, like Need for Speed, Flight Control, and the Harvest. Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles has the high-profile name, but unfortunately lacks all of the aspects of the console games and is, well, a pretty poor game. Altair's Chronicles takes place in the years before the original Assassin's Creed and sees Altair chasing across the same cities (and a few others, besides) in pursuit of the mysterious Chalice and fighting off the evil machinations of Lord Basilisk.
The single-player campaign is well-designed in the sense of taking you through different types of traps, combat scenarios, and puzzles, although the biggest challenge is not working out what to do but actually being able to control Altair to do it. In some ways this game feels more like a Tomb Raider game than an Assassin's Creed game - I had an easier time visualizing Lara Croft jumping through spinning wheels of death and over spiky pits than I do Altair.
The major flaws of the game become apparent right away - controlling Altair can be a deadly chore sometimes, as the little cursor in the bottom left corner is either hypersensitive or not sensitive enough for the task you're trying to perform. Getting Altair to run in a straight line from left to right actually becomes a challenge at numerous points during the game. This is compounded by the complete lack of depth perception in the game, which makes it exceptionally difficult to judge niceties like your takeoff point for jumps, how to line yourself up to land on a beam, etc. The camera angle is generally adequate (with objects in the near ground becoming transparent so you can see objects nearer Altair), but at a surprising number of critical junctures, you can't see Altair at all. Imagine fighting a Templar sight unseen, or trying to make a jump when you can see neither takeoff nor landing point.
Combat is actually the strongest part of the game, and although it's not the full combat experience from the console series, it's tight and solid (with one exception). You start with a simple sword and progressively gain more and more weapons, including heavy sword, throwing knives, bombs, and a crossbow. All of these are relatively easy to use with the exception of the throwing knives which are difficult to aim thanks to the same issues for jumps - you have to be practically on top of someone to ensure that you can hit him with a knife. Attacking someone with, say, your sword is as simple as pressing the sword button, and you can chain combinations together by pressing the button (or others) more than once. I found the combinations to be well worked and very useful, and I give Gameloft credit for getting that part of the experience right.
The audio is schizophrenic, to say the least - the music and ambient sounds are terrific, seemingly all brought over from the console games. But the voice acting is, to put it mildly, terrible. One of the hallmarks of the series has been good voice acting (particularly Assassin's Creed II), and this is just a letdown. The lines are delivered with no passion or intensity even during what are presumably intense moments of the game, and at least one character sounds utterly caricaturish.
The achievements are easy to obtain and are primarily story- and weapon-related. None of them pose a significant challenge, even the seemingly-impossible "Combat Genius" which requires you to survive the final level unscratched. Fear not, because this (and several other) achievements are glitched in a good way, making them almost impossible *not* to get. You should be able to get all 19 achievements in about 10-12 hours of playtime.
While this game is considered part of the Assassin's Creed canon, only the dedicated player should buy this game. With so many aspects terribly flawed, not even well-designed combat can salvage the experience.