Xbox branded games on Windows Phone have gone through a noticeable dry spell these past few months. This week though we suddenly get flooded with four new titles available for purchase. As the strapline alludes too though, all four of these titles are fragmented in their own way.
Bejeweled Live +, Yahtzee, and Zuma's Revenge are all a part of the Nokia Collection, limiting purchase to just Nokia devices (for the time being). Each of these titles are available for $2.99/£2.29.
The other title is Rovio's Angry Birds Seasons. This one is available to early adopters or recent upgrades to Windows Phone 8 handsets. Looking on the bright side here, the game is available on the WP8 marketplace for just $0.99/£0.79. A Windows Phone 7 release for this game is uncertain, and even so it may not carry achievements on WP7 like Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Space.
Bejeweled Live + (WP) - Download
The biggest, brightest Bejeweled ever on the Windows Phone!Yahtzee (WP) - Download
Discover all-new ways to play the world’s #1 puzzle game.
Find your perfect match with 5 game modes now available on the Windows Phone! Classic, Diamond mine, Lightning, Butterfly and Zen modes that meet all your moods!
Show off your scores to your friends on the Xbox LIVE Leaderboards!
Put your skills to the test and unlock the 20 new Achievements!
Engage in endless gem-matching fun with beautiful graphics, amazing sights and sounds — Bejeweled is more sparkling than ever!
ROLL WITH THE ORIGINAL BEST-SELLING FAMILY FAVORITE – LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE! With enhanced visuals, the world’s favorite dice-driven game scores again – this time on Windows Phone. C’mon, you know you want to yell it… It’s “YAHTZEE!” Zuma's Revenge! (WP) - Download
BE A YAHTZEE ADVENTURER
Do you have what it takes to become a YAHTZEE master? Travel the globe and take on in-game characters designed to test your skills. Make improving your play a real adventure.
TRY YOUR LUCK IN A NUMBER OF MODES
Play “classic” YAHTZEE, the game you know and love. Score in color categories in Rainbow Mode. Strategize in Duplicate Mode. Or think fast against friends in Battle Mode. Try all the varieties for hours of YAHTZEE fun.
SHAKE IT UP WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS
Play solo or Pass ‘N Play with up to 3 other players and share the fun. Keep the social touch that’s always been a part of the fun of YAHTZEE.
XBOX LIVE® ENABLED!
Are you the ultimate YAHTZEE adventurer? Compare your best scores with friends on the Xbox LIVE Leaderboards. Unlock 6 exclusive achievements and roll your way straight to the top.
Tour the world with YAHTZEE®!
Survive a newly evolved world of Zuma where evil spirits and tiki bosses rule the land! Conquer over 60 riveting levels by firing stone spheres to make matches and destroy the deadly stream of balls. Slide and hop for smarter shots, hit targets for exotic bonuses, detonate power-up balls, battle six imposing tiki bosses, and guide your agile amphibian to victory! Will you succumb to the perilous pitfalls of two game modes, or can you tame the jungle in this ball-blasting challenge?Angry Birds Seasons (WP) - Download
Angry Birds Seasons takes the captivating gameplay of the original to a whole new level! From Halloween to Chinese New Year, the birds are celebrating different festive seasons around the world! With more than 300 levels and regular free updates, these special episodes offer more challenging levels of pig-popping action and golden eggs to discover.While many of you are probably lamenting over these exclusives and what the fragmenting of the market does to the consumer, if you look at the big picture there is a lot of good that comes out of these releases. The collaboration between Nokia and EA might not have happened at all had Nokia decided to back Android or their own OS. Their “all-in” mentality and show of confidence to the up-and-coming (but still relatively far behind in terms of saturation) Windows Phone platform was a strong sign for EA to get into publishing their popular and recognizable titles on WP. This includes the recently acquired PopCap library. Like Mirror’s Edge, these games are supposedly timed exclusives, so everyone should be able to enjoy these sometime in the future.
Rovio’s support for Windows Phone has been shaky at best in the past, but things seem to be turning around. Seasons has finally arrived on WP, and it actually has all of the content seen on comparable platforms. The availability of their other titles on WP8 is another strong sign too, and perhaps wouldn’t be possible without the easier porting ability of the newer OS version.
What I’m trying to say is that while there are negatives to these exclusive titles, there are positives too! Hopefully these positives lead to a more robust and high quality Xbox branded game library for all.