First Xbox Live game for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 quietly released

galactic_reign2When Windows Phone 8 was released way back in October last year, much was made of the relationship prospective Windows Phone 8 purchasers would have between their mobile and their PCs. Since then, nothing much to that side of things has materialised, but yesterday that all changed.

Galactic Reign was teased by Microsoft last October, but there was no mention of platforms, nor was there a release date, but yesterday the game quietly slipped into both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Phone Store as an Xbox Live title. Microsoft used to always announce upcoming Windows Phone games well in advance, but they haven’t done so much of that recently, and it seems crazy that such a huge milestone for the OS was released with so little fanfare, but hey, at least it’s here now.

galactic_reign3As you might have guessed from its name, the game is a sci-fi strategy number. You have to find the right balance between spaceships and weapons and hope your fleet is good enough to beat your opponents, and we won’t go into too much detail here, but there’s a single player mode with 60 challenges and a multiplayer side of things where you battle people online. There a bunch of Xbox achievements to aim for as well.

It’s great to finally see a game which bridges the Windows Phone 8/ Windows 8 divide. With the multiplayer game, you can play with different hardware to your opponent, i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you use a PC, Windows Phone or Surface. Galactic reign will cost $4.99 for Windows 8 or for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The best bit of all? You only need to purchase one version to have access to it on both platforms.

Source: Windows Phone Central

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App of the week: Mass Effect: Infiltrator

Mass Effect Infiltrator

This week’s app of the week is Mass Effect: Infiltrator by EA, published for mobile platforms as a spin-off from the wildly successful game series. Set in the same universe and time period as the console games, you follow the story of Cerberus agent Randall Enzo, a veteran agent who ‘procures aliens for illicit experiments at a secret facility’. During the course of the game, Randall goes rogue and vows to take down Cerberus. You do this through an arsenal of weapons and biotic powers which, depending on how you use them, give you a number of different ways to kill the enemies which have you completely outnumbered. Each set of enemies you take down, depending on how and how fast you kill them, will earn you credits to spend on things such as armour and weapon upgrades for your character.

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The controls of the game are fairly simple and are well explained at the beginning of the game. There is a massive contrast between combat and non combat controls, with the latter being fairly slow and relaxed while the other enables you to play lightning fast, taking down multiple enemies in rapid succession. Switching between weapons to get more style points for your kills and choosing which biotic powers to use is as simple as dragging in from the top corners of the screen, something which after a while of playing becomes almost automatic.

Overall this is a fantastic game which I would recommend to both fans of the Mass Effect series and just about anyone else who enjoys shooter games with a great storyline.

Mass Effect Infiltrator, Android (£3.71) and iOS (69p)
Download it from Google Play and the App Store

277 Game and Gamestation stores shut and 2,104 jobs lost as group enters administration

Last week, we reported that the Game Group was set to enter administration, and now the company has confirmed the inevitable. 277 of their 609 UK stores have now shut, and 2,104 jobs have subsequently been lost, amounting to roughly 40% of the workforce. Reward Card/Elite points can still be collected but not redeemed, and gift cards are also useless for the time being. No trade-ins, exchanges or returns will be accepted, and there is a halt on pre-orders until further notice. A full list of the closed stores from MCV can be found below, so have a check there to see whether your local branch is facing the chop. Thankfully, my local Gamestation in Haywards Heath is still open, so I can breathe easily for the next couple of days at least, but let’s hope that somebody steps in to rescue one of the few retailers that people actually like. The group’s press release follows:

Further to our announcements of 21 March, the Board of Game has completed its discussions with lenders and third parties without resolution, and has therefore today appointed PWC LLP to act as administrators for the Group. This decision is taken after careful consideration and ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative. The Board would like to thank the teams of Game and Gamestation colleagues around the world for their exemplary dedication, passion and professionalism.

  • Abergavenny Unit 3 Cibi Walk, Frogmore Street
  • Accrington 29 Broadway
  • Aintree Comet
  • Altrincham 97 George Street
  • Andover 49 High Street
  • Antrim Unit 42, Junction One Outlet Centre
  • Ashford 18 County Square
  • Ashington 12 Station Road, Ashington
  • Ashton Unit 28, The Arcade
  • Athlone Unit 44 Athlone Town Centre
  • Aylesbury Units 36-37, Friars Sq. Shopping Centre
  • Ballymena Unit 15 Fairhill Shopping Centre
  • Banbury 4B Castle Quay Shopping Centre
  • Bangor NI 9 Bloomfield Centre
  • Barking Unit 17 Vicarage Fields Shopping
  • Barnet Unit 10 The Spires Shopping Centre
  • Barnsley 32 Market Street
  • Barnstaple 30 High Street
  • Barrow In Furness Unit 26, Portland Walk
  • Basildon 84 Town Square
  • Basingstoke 3 Mayfair House
  • Bath SU7 St Lawrence Street, Southgate Centre
  • Beckton 19 Gallions Reach, 3 Armada Way
  • Belfast Unit 55 Castle Court Shopping Centre, Belfast
  • Belfast (Conns) Unit 20, Connswater Centre
  • Belfast (Forestside) Unit 12, Forestside Shopping Centre, Upper Galway
  • Birkenhead 35-37 Milton Pavement, Grange Precinct
  • Birmingham Unit 52, The Pallasades
  • Birmingham 138 New Street
  • Birmingham Fort Unit 3a The Fort Shopping Park
  • Bishop Auckland 59 Newgate Street
  • Blackburn Unit 7 Victoria Court, The Mall
  • Blackpool Unit 19, Houndshill Shopping Centre
  • Blanchardstown Unit 112, Blanchardstown Town Centre
  • Bluewater LO42 Lower Thames Walk, Bluewater
  • Bolton 37 Newport Street
  • Bootle Unit 7, 63 Parkside, Strand Shopping Centre
  • Boston 23 Strait Bargate
  • Bournemouth Unit 4, Avenue Centre, Commercial Road
  • Bournemouth 49 Commercial Street
  • Bracknell 39 Princess Square
  • Bradford Unit 2, The Broadway
  • Bradford 4-6 Darley Street
  • Brent Cross Unit B15, Brent Cross Shopping Centre
  • Bridgend 12/14 Adare Street
  • Bridlington Unit 11 The Promenades
  • Brighton 69 Western Road
  • Bristol SU16 Cabots Circus, Broadmead
  • Bromley 68-68A High Street
  • Burnley 68/70 St James Street
  • Burton on Trent 7 Underhill Walk
  • Bury 20 Princess Parade
  • Buxton Unit 13, Spring Gardens
  • Camden 124 Camden High Street
  • Cannock 6 Market Hall Street
  • Canterbury 14 High Street
  • Cardiff 92 Queen Street
  • Chatham 152 High Street
  • Cheltenham 100 High Street
  • Chester 39 Foregate Street
  • Chesterfield 22 Vicar Lane Shopping Centre (10 Vicar Lane)
  • Chiswick 350 High Road
  • Cirencester 26, Cricklade Street
  • Clacton on Sea 20-22 Station Road
  • Colchester 3 Shewell Walk, (Unit 13 The Culver Centre)
  • Coleraine 16 Kingsgate Street
  • Collierswood Unit 9a Tandem Centre, Christchurch Road
  • Congleton 45-47 High Street
  • Cork 6 Mahon Point, Cork
  • Cork 66 Patrick Street, , Cork, Eire,
  • Coventry Unit 22, West Orchards Centre, Smithford Way
  • Cowley 107 Pound Way, Templars Square Shopping Centre
  • Cramlington 4 Dudley Court
  • Crawley Unit 8, County Mall
  • Crawley 10-12 The Martlets
  • Crewe Unit 7, The Market Centre
  • Croydon 98/99 Whitgift Centre
  • Croydon (Purley Way) Comet
  • Cumbernauld Unit 29, Antonine Shopping Centre, Tryst Road
  • Dewsbury 12 Longcauseway
  • Doncaster 43/44 Market Place
  • Dorchester 55 South Street
  • Dublin 2 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Eire,
  • Dublin Unit 18, Ilac Centre, Dublin 1
  • Dublin (Dundrum) Unit 10, Level 3, Dundrum Centre, Dublin
  • Dublin (Dundrum) Hamleys Dundrum
  • Dublin (Liffey) Unit 37, Liffey Valley Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin,
  • Dudley 7 Churchill Parade
  • Dudley (Merry Hill) Unit L87, Merry Hill Shopping Centre
  • Dumbarton 77/79 High Street
  • Dundee 40 Murraygate
  • Dunstable 6-8 Nicholas Way, Quadrant Shopping Centre, Dunstable, LU6 1TD
  • Durham Unit SU40, Land Of The Prince Bishops Shopping Centre
  • East Ham 111 High Street North
  • East Kilbride 5 The Olympia, Town Centre
  • Edinburgh 127 Princes Street
  • Edinburgh (Leith) Unit RU4, Ocean Terminal
  • Ellesmere Port 18 Mercers Walk
  • Enfield 37 Church Street
  • Enniskillen Unit 23, Erneside Shopping Centre
  • Evesham Unit 16, Riverside Centre
  • Exeter SU19 Princeshay
  • Falkirk Unit 34, Howgate Centre
  • Fleet 16 Hart Centre
  • Gainsborough Unit 13b, Marshalls Yard, Gainsborough
  • Galashiels Unit 8 Douglas Bridge, Galashiels
  • Galway 5 Eglington Street
  • Glasgow Unit L3/22 , Buchanan Galleries
  • Glasgow Hamleys Glasgow
  • Glasgow 146 Sauchiehall Street
  • Glasgow 83 Sauchiehall Street
  • Glenrothes 42 Unicorn Way
  • Gloucester 16 Kings Walk
  • Grantham 53 High Street
  • Great Yarmouth Unit 10 Market Gates Shopping Centre
  • Gretna Unit 53, Gretna Outlet Village
  • Grimsby 24 Victoria Street West
  • Halesowen 38 Hagley Mall, Cornbow Centre, Halesowen
  • Halifax 12 Woolshops
  • Hanley Unit F, The Potteries, Hanley
  • Hanley 214-215 The Potteries
  • Harlow 8 Broad Walk, Harlow
  • Harrogate 2D Cheltenham Parade
  • Harrow 68-70 St. Anns Road
  • Hartlepool 92 Middleton Grange Shopping Centre
  • Hastings 19 Queens Road
  • Hemel Hempstead Unit 201, The Marlowes Shopping Centre
  • Hemel Hempstead Unit 12, The Marlowes Shopping Centre
  • Hereford 56 Commercial Street
  • High Wycombe 16 Church Street
  • Hounslow Unit 13, The Treaty Centre, High Street
  • Hull Unit G46, Princes Quay
  • Huyton Unit 5 Cavendish Walk, Derby Road, Huyton
  • Hyde 8 The Square, Hyde
  • Ilford 172 – 174 High Road
  • Inverness 6-8 Ingliss Street
  • Jarrow 25 Viking Precinct, Jarrow
  • Kensington 185 High Street
  • Kettering 27 Gold Street
  • Kidderminster 82 Worcester Street
  • Kingston 64-66 Clarence Street
  • Lakeside Unit 282 Lakeside Shopping Centre
  • Lancaster Unit 15, Ashton Walk, St. Nicholas Arcade
  • Leamington Spa 83 Parade
  • Leeds 50-52 Albion Street
  • Leeds 18 Kirkgate
  • Leeds (Birstall) Unit 8b Birstall Shopping Park
  • Leeds (Crossgates) 58 Crossgates Shopping Centre
  • Leeds (Crown Point) Unit 5b Crown Point Retail park
  • Leicester 42 Granby Street
  • Lewisham 68 Lewisham Centre
  • Limmerick Unit 11A, Cruises Street, Limerick, Eire,
  • Lincoln (Valentine) Unit 2a Valentine Retail Park
  • Lisburn 6 Bow Street
  • Lisburn Unit A10, Bow St. Mall
  • Liverpool Unit 43/44 Clayton Square Shopping Centre
  • Liverpool Unit 44, South John Street
  • Llandudno 46 Mostyn Street
  • Llanelli Unit 1, Llanelli Shopping Centre
  • Long Eaton 10 Market Place
  • Lowestoft 43 London Road North
  • Luton 142-144 Andale Centre
  • Luton 39 George Street
  • Macclesfield 25 Mill Street
  • Maidenhead 75 Queens Walk, The Nicholson Centre
  • Maidstone 351 Chequers Centre
  • Manchester Unit L16 Arndale Centre
  • Manchester Unit 59, Arndale Centre
  • Manchester (Trafford) 124 Peel Centre, Trafford Centre
  • Mansfield 38A Westgate
  • Meadowhall Unit 29, High Street, Meadowhall Shopping Centre
  • Meadowhall Unit 52, High Street, Meadowhall Centre
  • Melton Mowbray 14-15 Market Place, Melton Mowbray
  • Merthyr Tydfill 4 Graham Way, Tydfils Shopping Centre
  • Merthyr Tydfill Unit 3 Beacons Place Shopping Centre
  • Metrocentre Unit 112 Lower blue hall, Metro Centre
  • Middlesbrough 108 Linthorpe Road
  • Middleton G14 Middleton Shopping Centre
  • Milton Keynes Unit SU 10, Midsumer Place
  • Monaghan Unit 27 Monaghan Shopping Centre
  • Newark 9 St Marks Place
  • Newbury 63A North Brook Street
  • Newcastle 8 High Friars, Eldon Square
  • Newcastle Fenwicks Concession
  • Newcastle 78 Grainger Street
  • Newport 13 Commercial Street
  • Newport Isle Of Wight 63 High Street
  • Newry Unit 12A, Buttercrane Shopping Centre
  • North Finchley 776 High Road
  • North Shields Comet
  • Northampton 17 Abingdon Street
  • Norwich 17 St Stephens Street
  • Norwich 3-4 Castle Mall Shopping Centre
  • Nottingham Unit 2, 33 Listergate
  • Nuneaton 2A Market Place
  • Oldham Unit 18, The Spindles Shopping Centre
  • Omagh Unit 5, Main Street Development
  • Orpington 79 – 81 The Walnuts, Orpington, BR6 0TW
  • Perth 9 Scott Street
  • Peterlee 21 Yoden Way
  • Plymouth 81/83 New George Street
  • Portadown Unit 6, High Street Mall
  • Portsmouth 7 Meadow Walk, Cascades Shopping Centre
  • Preston 8 Fishergate Centre
  • Preston 172 Friargate
  • Putney Unit 28, Exchange Shopping Centre
  • Ramsgate 30 High Street
  • Reading Unit 17 Oracle Shopping Centre
  • Redcar Unit 8, Regent Centre
  • Rhyl 64 High St
  • Rochdale 54 Market Way
  • Rugby 45-46 Clocktower Centre
  • Runcorn 48 Forest Walk, Halton Lea Shopping Centre
  • Salisbury 11 High Street
  • Scarborough 112B Westborough
  • Scunthorpe 58 High Street
  • Sheffield Unit 22/24, Fargate
  • Sheffield 37/41 The Moor
  • Shrewsbury 3-4 Castle Street
  • Skelmersdale UNIT 27 Upper Mall, The Concourse Shopping Centre
  • Slough N21 Curzon Mall, Queensmere Centre
  • Solihull Comet
  • South Shields 89/91 King Street
  • Southampton Unit SU8, West Quay Centre
  • Southampton 82 Above Bar Street
  • Southport 203 Lord Street
  • Speke Comet
  • St Albans Unit 32, The Maltings
  • Stafford 21 Gaolgate Street
  • Staines 54 High Street
  • Stevenage 64 Queensway
  • Stevenage 54 Queensway
  • Stirling Unit 24, The Thistle Centre
  • Stockport Comet
  • Stockton-on-Tees Unit SU32, Wellington Square
  • Stockton-on-Tees 134B High Street
  • Stratford 88 The Mall
  • Stratford upon Avon 13 Town Square Shopping Centre
  • Sunderland 251 High Street
  • Sunderland 27 Blandford Street
  • Sutton 192 High Street
  • Sutton Coldfield Unit SU7, New Hall Walk, Lower Sutton Parade
  • Swansea 12 Union Street
  • Swindon 9 Havelock Square, Brunel Shopping Centre
  • Swindon 7 Regent Sreet
  • Tallaght Unit 307, The Square
  • Tamworth Unit 18, Ankerside
  • Taunton 47 North Street
  • Telford Unit 6, 159 New Mall, Telford Shopping Centre
  • Telford 32 Sherwood Street, Telford Shopping Centre
  • Torquay 5 Union House
  • Truro Unit 2, 4/6 Pyder Street
  • Uxbridge 13 Market Square
  • Victoria 10 Victoria Place, Buckingham Palace Road
  • Wakefield 17 Kirkgate
  • Walsall 42 Old Square Shopping Centre
  • Walthamstow Unit 11A, Selbourne Centre
  • Wandsworth 61 South Mall, Wandsworth Shopping Centre
  • Warrington 46 The Mall
  • Washington Unit 30 Albany Mall, The Galleries
  • Washington 26 Albany Mall
  • Welwyn Garden City 21 The Howard Centre
  • Wembley 458 High Road
  • West Belfast Unit 4 Park Centre, Donegall Road
  • Weston Super Mare 85 High Street
  • Weymouth Unit 5, Bond Street Centre
  • Wigan 23 Market Place
  • Winchester 106A High Street
  • Windsor 21 King Edward Court
  • Woking 4 Middle Walk
  • Wolverhampton 27 Dudley Street
  • Wood Green 83 High Road
  • Woolwich 112 Powis Street
  • Wrexham 42-43 Hope Street
  • Wythenshawe 18 The Birtles, Wythenshawe
  • Yeovil 13-15 Vicarage Walk, Quedam Shopping Centre
  • York Unit 3, 5 Spurriergate

Game Group set to enter administration

British retailer Game has announced plans to go into administration, shortly after de-listing from the London Stock Exchange. With the announcement, the chain, which has 1,270 stores under the Game and Gamestation brands in Europe and Australia, plans to operate as normal, while trying to find a buyer. Rumours have circulated that American retailer GameStop might take over the UK’s largest specialist game retailer, but, with shares haven fallen 71% in the past year and games such as Mass Effect 3 not being in stock due to credit problems, consumers may soon have to look elsewhere for their games. Read the full press release below.

Further to this morning’s announcement of the suspension of trading in shares of GAME Group plc, the board has concluded that its discussions with all stakeholders and other parties have not made sufficient progress in the time available to offer a realistic prospect for a solvent solution for the business. The board has therefore today filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.

In the short term the Board’s intention is that the business will continue to trade and discussions with lenders and third parties will continue under the protection of the interim moratorium.

How Draw Something became an overnight hit

Over the past few weeks, Draw Something has become massive, with over 30,000,000 downloads on iOS and Android. GigaOm‘s interview with the CEO of OMGPOP, Dan Porter, explains how it all happened.

Gigaom

Draw Something, the No. 1 app right now on iOS (s aapl) and Android (s goog), is listed as a game and draws a lot of comparisons to the family game Pictionary. But the funny thing is that it’s not really a game at all.

It doesn’t have scores or leaderboards, and the players in the game aren’t actually competing against each other. They’re working together in a cooperative manner, but they’re not taking on anyone else or a computer.

Instead, it’s more of a social communications app masquerading as a game, said OMGPOP CEO and Draw Something game designer Dan Porter.

I sat down with Porter Friday at OMGPOP’s New York office and asked him about how he pulled off the immense success of Draw Something, which has racked up 30 million downloads on iOS and Android in about five weeks. The app has generated about 2 billion…

View original post 1,013 more words

Google promotes I/O 2012 with a free Chrome game

Google’s annual I/O developer conference takes place in the Moscone Centre in San Francisco this June and, to promote the event before registrations open in two weeks, they have released an HTML5-based game – another addition to the fantastic list of Chrome Experiments. The input/output game involves designing contraptions to get a ball from one side of the screen to the other in true Rube Goldberg style. Google will also feature some of the best creations at the conference from June 27-29, so grab it from the Chrome Web Store and get building!

App of the Week: Crazy Survival

This week’s app of the week is Crazy Survival by Techsoft Ventures.

In this game you play as a small stick figure that has to avoid a large number of bouncing balls coming from the left of the screen. At the start of every game you have ten lives, with each hit removing one life. Although this is a simple idea, I have never played anything like it before. The simple controls (an arrow to each side of the screen) make getting good at this game fairly simple but mastering it is something completely different. My personal high score is only around 250 while the world record is in excess of 800.

This game is just what you need from a mobile game – quick, simple and addictive, and that is why we are proud to call it our first cross-platform app of the week.

But no Android. Sorry.

Crazy Survival, BlackBerry/iOS/Windows Phone, Free
Download now from the App World, App Store or Zune Marketplace