7 new Windows Phone indie games worth playing (February 2013)

Whether you’ve dreamed of playing a disembodied all-powerful moon head or a fast-driving egg, it’s been a good month for indie games in the Windows Phone Store. Here are a few of my favorite new or updated titles from the last few weeks. As always, I’d love to hear about your discoveries, and don’t forget you’ll find even more download ideas in the Store’s Next Big Thing Collection and last month’s column.

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King Oddball

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In King Oddball ($2.49 with free trial) you’re a floating moon head with a Gene Simmons-like tongue, which you use to hurl boulders at attackers and destroy the planet. The stuff of everyday dreams, right? The game’s designers may be twisted, but they sure know how to make an app worth playing. Download it.

Robotek

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In the graphically beautiful dystopia of Robotek (free), robots have taken over and it’s up to you to win back the world for humanity. Use slicing lasers and sizzling microwaves to end the advance of the machines, or deploy your own robots to fight for the human race. More than 200 levels and free online multiplayer. Download it

Get the Parachute

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Perfect for kids but great fun for any age, this bright, fast-moving free game has a simple concept: get your guy to a parachute before he hits the ground. The phone’s accelerometer helps you avoid birds and collect coins; tap to speed up or slow down your rate of descent. Download it

Great Big War Game

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This award-winning game, available for the first time on Windows Phone 8, is something special—managing to be both a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the turn-based strategy genre and a formidable example of one. Behind its mock-serious name and wonderfully cartoony graphics, Great Big War Game ($2.99 with free trial) is a challenging and entertaining title that will keep you entertained for hours. Download it

Egg Man Rally

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Humpty Dumpty meets motocross in this physics-based side scroller. The goal of Egg Man Rally ($0.99) is to make your buggy go as fast as it can over hills and obstacles without scrambling your thin-shelled driver by allowing him to bounce out of the car (don’t eggs know about seat belts?). All you have to work with are gas and brake controls, although you can also tweak your buggy’s suspension and weight to help your cause. Great graphics and frustratingly fun gameplay. Download it

Plane in Storm

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Plane in Storm (free) is an arcade-style game that puts you at the controls of a passenger jet frantically trying to outrun a menacing bank of storm clouds, not to mention flying cars, cows, houses, and other obstacles commonly observed during cross-country flights. I loved the animation and frantic action, but the game has some room for improvement. The onscreen controls can be frustratingly hard to manipulate and overly sensitive—I often found myself unintentionally looping into a cloud bank. Still, a fun concept worth taking for a spin. Download it

Sparkle

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This marble shooter started out life as a PC game. This month Sparkle ($2.99 plus free trial) makes its debut on Windows Phone 8, and it’s easy to see why the game has such a rabid following. Your task is simple: tap your Orb Slinger to fire at advancing line of menacing marbles. When you match three, they disappear. Match more to earn powerups and other goodies. If an orb drops into the hole at the center of the game board—you’re toast.  Download it