6 Windows Phone indie games that should be on your radar

Each month our crack team of in-house app reviewers pours over the latest submissions to the Windows Phone Store, hunting for new indie games worthy of our Next Big Thing collection. Here’s six of my favorite new additions for September. They’re the perfect antidote to the end of summer blues and a fun distraction from work or school.

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Muffin Knight

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The little boy at the center of this fantastical platformer suffers from an old fairy’s strange curse: every magical muffin he touches turns him into a different creature. To turn him back into a boy, you’ll need to bring all the muffins back to the fairy. Play 18 different fairytale creatures, each with their unique special attacks, as you dodge dragons, turtles, werewolves, ghosts, bats, and goblins to complete your quest. ($2.99; Windows Phone 8). Buy it

Joining Hands 2

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Joining Hands was a big gaming hit, and this charming sequel brings you even more fun. Just drag and drop the adorable Peablins so that everyone is holding hands. Sound easy? It gets harder, as the Peablins develop more hands and new types of Peablins are introduced. This game has more than 140 challenging levels and 8 different types of Peablins to keep you entertained. ($0.99; Windows Phone 8). Buy it

Piggly

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Mrs. Piggly is a swine on a mission: to bake delicious homemade apple pies for her piglets. Doing that requires her to head off into the forest to gather apples. But, of course, things are never that easy. Mrs. Piggly must climb trees, perform somersaults, and avoid dangers of the orchard, to get her apples home. (Free; Windows Phone 8.) Download it

Skill Game

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It’s Connect The Dots on steroids. Your goal in the free Skill Game is to connect numbers without touching your lines, crashing, or drawing outside the paper. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, and you’ll need strategy, skill, and superior hand-eye coordination at every one of the 150 levels. Start in the White Forest and advance through six incredible worlds. This one is simple, sure-fire fun. (Free; Windows Phone 7.5 & 8) Download it

Fly Johnny Fly

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Johnny is a crash test dummy, and your task is to advance safety and science by flinging him around to see how he reacts. (That premise alone had me hooked.) You have a range of items to catapult him with—jetpack anybody?—and more than 50 unique levels to help Johnny gets rewards for putting his body on the line for science. ($2.99; Windows Phone 7.5 & 8). Buy it

Zombie Village

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Love Zombies? This game is zombie ground zero, full of challenges in dealing with the walking dead. You’re the only surviving citizen of another world, left with sticks, shotguns and thunder guns to fight off the wandering hordes. Make the most of your limited resources – collect money and ammunition to buy more powerful weapons—and wipe them out for good. (Free; Windows Phone 7.5 & 8). Download it