Must Have Games kicks off May 25; Angry Birds arrives June 29

Must Have Games kicks off May 25; Angry Birds arrives June 29

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Gamers, mark your calendars. The Xbox crew today announced the official timing and pricing of its much-anticipated Must Have Games program for Windows Phone. The program delivers six hot titles over six weeks, with the first slated to arrive in Marketplace next Wednesday.

Here’s the lineup by date:

May 25—Hydro Thunder Go

The remake of the acclaimed arcade classic. Blast through 12 ferocious courses with the powerboat of your choice while competing against 15 devious opponents. Microsoft Game Studios. $4.99.
HydroThunder Go arrives May 25

June 1—Doodle Jump

Leap from platform to platform using springs, propeller hats and jet packs. Avoid broken platforms, menacing black holes, UFOs, and baddies by blasting them with your nose balls. GameHouse. $2.99.

Doodle Jump arrives June 1

June 8—geoDefense

Obliterate a horde of vibrant, vector-styled enemies in this fast-paced tower defense game. Microsoft Game Studios. $2.99.

geoDefense arrives June 8

June 15—Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I

Dr. Eggman’s back in an effort to finally rid himself of Sonic. The next chapter in this long-running SEGA saga will please old and new fans alike. SEGA. $6.99.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I arrives June 15

June 22—Plants vs Zombies

You’ll need to think fast and plant faster in this mega-hit war against the fun-dead. Five game modes helps ensure the fun never dies. PopCap. $4.99.

Plants vs Zombies arrives June 22

June 29—Angry Birds

Dish out revenge on the green pigs who stole the birds’ eggs. The Windows Phone edition features hours of challenging physics-based gameplay and 195 levels. Rovio. $2.99.
Angry Birds arrives June 29

65 Comments
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  • I will be honest, some of the XBL titles are a little expensive. However I have purchased Hydro Thunder Go and geoDefense and love them. And I plane on purchasing Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds. I realize these games are not new, but gaming wasn't my number one decision for purchasing a WP7, but it is a sweet feature.

    Limbo looks pretty sweet too, might have to get an xbox360...

  • Sogeman
    51 Posts

    @WurstsalatIt's not free though ;)

    Just got geodefense for free on my ipod. Free is a way better deal than 1€ off (during a DOTW) a price that too high, both because of not calculated currency differences and the fact that I'm not paying 3€ to get achievements.

  • @Sogeman: chicks and vixxens is the best one you can get ;)

    @michael Stroh: dinosaurs are goin to die...apple isnt a one man Show, too but they are much faster then you...they hold release Dates in most cases and so on (btw Microsoft is able to so this...if Look, just at the mobile section not)

  • Sogeman
    51 Posts

    Just get Pandas vs Ninjas. It's basically the same as Angry Birds and free.

  • @ Michael Stroh

    There is a lot of good games still missing on Windows Phone and with these oncoming 6 weeks of great gaming on the platform, I do hope we will soon have our versions of Asphalt 5, GT Racing, Super Street Fighter IV or even Minecraft why not!? The Xbox Live on Windows Phone is the best gaming platform for mobile devices so far and it's unfair that players can't access these great games.

  • I can't wait to play Hydro Thunder Go. I tried it on Xbox 360 already and this game was awesome.

  • @Michael Stroh

    "Guys, deep breath. It's big company."

    It's a big company that has missed EACH and EVERY release promised for EVERYTHING.  Phone update, games, you name it.  I have to laugh when I read the "deep breath", "patience" comments in every blog post.  Your customers would be more forgiving if something was released on time.

  • ali2551
    2 Posts

    That was just my opinion. I don't know whether it's going out to be a good game on mobile tough.

  • ali2551
    2 Posts

    @Michael Stroh: Well, if you ask me, I would prefer to have the world of goo in the list too. That game might even render to be a unique WP game if released.

  • VictorWPB
    47 Posts

    Angry Birds is $1.99 on Maemo 5 plarform (Nokia N900). It has four packs $1.99 each.

  • i wanted to say on my previous post;

    " that makes me wanting NOT buying it..."

  • @Leigh

    "Guys, $2.99 is cheaper than most ice teas or diet cokes at a restaurant.  If I was interested in games it all, I think that would be quite reasonable."

    Why are you comparing things that are not comparable? If you were interested in games you would realise that you could buy something like 30 games. If we compare 3x wp7 price over Android&iOS, that would give $90 Vs $30...

    Well i would say, by your diet coke logic, that Android and IOS users drink more 60 diet cokes and ice teas then wp7 users...

    MS cant put xbox tag under pretty banal games and increase 3x the price of it... I would pay happily $10 for a game like Limbo but it makes me Angry as a bird to pay 3x more of a game, that makes me wanting buying it...

    @Michael Stroh

    i am sure that for the 24 Mango event Joe should be really busy as well of lots others...

  • "Yet it turns out to be another half-truth by Microsoft, just like nearly everything else about WP7 thus far."

    Guys, deep breath. It's big company. Coordinating the rollout of six high-profile tiles involves a lot of people. Joe is a busy, busy guy. Big conferences like MIX get crazy. Wires occasionally get crossed. Things slip. I don't know the backstory here, but I can pretty much guarantee there's nothing nefarious going on. Just sayin.

    Now, please, let the debates continue! :-)

  • Captiosus
    103 Posts

    @Leigh: Your argument is that the cost is justifiable because, back in winter 2009, when Angry Birds first came out it cost more than $0.99? First of all, I'm not entirely sure that's true. I have NEVER seen Angry Birds cost more than $0.99, and I first had it on my previous iPhone in April of 2010.

    Let's assume, however, that you're correct and it did cost more when it came out back then. That was still TWO YEARS AGO. Since then, it has been reduced to $0.99 almost universally. iOS and Ad-Free Android versions are $1. Seasons is $1. So we should be paying 2009 prices for a game released in 2011, by your logic?

    Honestly, I don't use this word often, but you've earned it: Could you possibly be any more of a fanboy? There's no other way I can possibly excuse the fact that you have defended Microsoft at EVERY turn and bought into every statement, unable to think critically for yourself. I guess paying $3 for Pitfall is great pricing, too, huh?

  • Captiosus
    103 Posts

    Just a short month ago, JoeB stood up at MIX11 and announced Angry Birds "will be available" on May 25th. That small announcement, and infographic, made all the rounds in the MIX11 coverage. He didn't say the Must Have Games promotion would start on May 25th, he announced that Angry Birds would be coming out that date (which, by proxy, implied that the promotion would at least start on that date).

    Yet it turns out to be another half-truth by Microsoft, just like nearly everything else about WP7 thus far. Can't say I'm shocked. I've gone through enough XBLA promotions over the years to know whenever they list the games on either Major Nelson's blog or on a corresponding promotion sub-site, the games ALWAYS come out in the order listed, and Angry Birds was ALWAYS listed last. Of course, the Must Have Games Promotion was listed for damn near 4 months before ANYONE at Microsoft would even open their mouth about it.

    Also, I have to agree with SilverRubicon: Where's the other 45 levels? Angry Birds 1.5.3 on iOS is $0.99 and has 240 levels. You want us to pay $2 more for less content? Where's the justification for the extra cost? The Xbox Live banner (I could rant about how "Xbox Live" is a misnomer because there's zero multiplayer, but that's for a different day)? The piddly 200 gamerscore that's been tacked on?

    The pricing on a lot of these games is ridiculous. Anyone who just paid $6.99 for a watered down version of Pac Man CE DX should be angry because the full game on consoles, with 3 times the amount of content, is only $9.99 (and is, in fact, on sale this week on XBLA for 50% off, making it $2 less than the WP7 version). As mentioned above, and by others, Angry Birds is 3 times the cost of iOS and ad-free Android, as is Doodle Jump. $2.99 for individual, poorly emulated, 30 year old games that just smacks of a cash grab (news flash WP7 team, Game Room was a stellar failure on Xbox Live Arcade and Games for Windows Live, so stop trying to prop up XBL on WP7 with a failed initiative)?

    I just hope Hydro Thunder Go's controls don't suck.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    I'm looking forward to some of these new games and, if well done, I don't mind paying a fair price.  But I sure wish the approval process was a bit more discriminating.  I just saw there are over 60 QUOTES "apps".  I mean, really?  How on earth are these legit apps?  And allowing over 60 of them?  I'm sorry, but that's not a legitimate way to reach high numbers of apps.  Seriously.

  • Hey nice review of Pac-Man CE for WP7: http://bit.ly/mIs9cL

  • do85
    10 Posts

    Pac Man at 6.49€!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? O_O

  • do85
    10 Posts

    Why on Windows Phone is everything so expensive?

    Xbox Live Games 3x 4x the other platform... and also normal games and apps are more expensive... WHY?!?!?!?

  • @mahdihaj do you think that the price is good? even if on iphone and Android is 3x less? Do you think the achievements worth the extra price?

  • mahdihaj
    30 Posts

    i can t understand why xbox just released one free game !

    the price for angry birds is good !

  • westv555
    17 Posts

    Gameplay looks fantastic http://bit.ly/jT6mKD  I'm especially excited about Sonic 4... brings back fond Sega Genesis memories.

  • Sogeman
    51 Posts

    If I would have wanted those I'd have bought them LAST YEAR and CHEAPER on my Ipod. Achievements are not worth 2€!

  • @Leigh: I agree that AB didn't start at £0.69 on the Iphone and had Microsoft been in a position to release it at that time, there would be some justification. But they're late to the starting gate by about two years and even their own release timeline has slipped three times, AB is so last year.

  • @Wurstsalat

    I meant the player for youtube ,

    And was talking about Norway,  with a Norwegian live account

    when you go to the marketplace, you only get "the marketplace is not availible in your region"

    and gets booted out.

    This might have changed lately, since i created an US live account for my phone to be able to access the marketplace when i found out that my Norwegian account could not..

  • @Norwegian_Vik: flash player is availible in the us? Are you sure? O.o

  • nice announcement but...

    - very expensive compared to your competitors (apple, google)

    - another long delay in releasing of anyhting on wp7 (angry birds for example)....

  • I just have to vent a little here....

    As a long time MS user / tech (from the DOS era) and long time windows mobile user, i find it really frustrating with the region lock on marketplace...

    Why I cant buy apps / games on marketplace, get a full zune membership, and all the other great stuff that WP7 / Xbox has to offer, is annoying the heck out of me...

    And as i work as a IT consultant, and have customers that are curious about my Samsung Omnia 7, it's hard for me to recomend the phone, with so many of it's key features unavailible in Norway...

    It's a huge drawback when you compare wp7 to other smartphones on the market, that you cant even download the flash player without a US LIVE account... that is just silly...

    please please please give me a fully functional ecosystem for my lovely phone!!

    (ps, Ignore any typos and stuff, English is not my primary language...)

  • Thats a good lineup. I am looking forward to play Hydro thunder and geodefense. Personally, I would definitely NOT be purchasing Doodle jump as I seriously enjoy 'Monster Up'. It would have made a better Xbox Live title IMHO.

  • @M Stroh

    Plz try and convince the developers to port this game to WP7, really I would not mind paying even $10 for such an awesome game. This could be a killer WP7 exclusive.

  • VictorWPB
    47 Posts

    so I guess we are going to have Limbo on WP7, HURAY....... ;-)

  • @Tiago: Alright, you win. :-)  That game looks hot.

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    WOW, Limbo looks effin awesome!!! If they could get the controls right, I agree this game would be unreal on an AMOLED display.

  • Leigh
    89 Posts

    Guys, $2.99 is cheaper than most ice teas or diet cokes at a restaurant.  If I was interested in games it all, I think that would be quite reasonable.

    I think the price is just right, and I'll guarantee with some interest, it will go down.   What was the ORIGINAL price of AB on iOS?  I'm sure some of you resourceful chaps can answer that one.

  • I'm very disappointed, this is the third such delay. Once again, Google has outsmarted Microsoft by releasing AB ahead of them in the Chrome marketplace and it works flawlessly in IE 8/9 for free.  The pricing is just shameful.  It's free on Android, free on Chrome/IE, only £0.69 on Iphone yet I expect it to be £1.99 or more on WP7.  I might download the trial but I won't be buying it when I can play it on the PC for free.  Acheivements are *not* worth that much, sorry.

  • this as better image...

    www.youtube.com/watch

  • www.youtube.com/watch

    i wont mind of buying this for 9.99$ this is a really xbox live not Doodle Jump which is a nice funny game...

  • But i am also glad we are getting these too. i already plan to buy 3 of these as soon as they are in the market

  • OMG Limbo looks awesome! WP7 needs this bad and then do modern fun ads for the games you offer! Please guys i would so buy this right now if available!

  • VictorWPB
    47 Posts

    Limbo looks great. I'll buy it as soon as it hits the WP7 Marketplace.

  • @Michael Stroh Please go... i think would fit pretty well on wp7 with some nice controls... would be a blast on wp7.

    this game on a amoled screen...  wow...

    uk.xboxlive.ign.com/.../1106885p1.html

  • @Tiago: OK now you guys have piqued my curiosity. I'll have to go play Limbo

  • There's something i dont understand... Why are the WP7 games 3x expensive then Android and iOS? Doodle Jump is 0.99, also Angry Birds...

    Its because of Xbox Live achivements? Well i dont care about achievements... you guys  should make 2 versions... one with 0.99 without xbox and other with xbox...

    Why the prices of Xbox live games are so expensive? Because of MS or game sellers?

    I really, really agree that Limbo game should be the best game wp7 would have for a long time... Its a extremly popular and praised game for xbox 360 and wp7 should handle graphics fine... Try to incentivate and persuade the author to bring this game to wp7... Believe me, this will bring lots of jelous people just because of that wonderful, amazing game... Its one of the best games i have ever played on any platform, period. It shouldn't be too dificult to port to wp7.

    Besides MS should really invest and support games that are not really know like Krashlander, that are unique to wp7. Believe me if this were on Iphone this game would became extremly popular for sure and then MS would talk to the dev to port to wp7, and would say that MS would make it a XBOX live game.... really....

    btw please bring Limbo, per$uade the author....

  • First date we heard for Angry Birds was April 6th. $2.99 is not bad by WP7 standards but it's still 3x the iPhone price of $0.99. On a platform trying to gain more traction.

  • VictorWPB
    47 Posts

    Angry Birds is not the only best game in the market, but it defiantly brings a lot people to the platform that it’s available on.  I’m very happy with IE 9 on my PC, but I’ve installed Chrome just to see how Angry Birds looks on PC. If you check the Angry Birds page in the Chrome market, under application details, it shows over 908,000 users and 100,000+ weekly installs. IT ATTRACTS PEOPLE LIKE A MAGNET!

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Hey that last game look's like Chick's N Vixens ;)

    For me, interest levels as follows:  Sonic (my kids love sonic), Hydro Thunder Go, Angry (late) Birds then Plants V Zombies.

  • VictorWPB
    47 Posts

    @ Michael Stroh ---------  Joe Belfiore Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone Program Management has promised availability of Angry Birds on May 25, 2011. What has happened? Why Microsoft is delaying availability of the game? It doesn't look good. I feel bad for Mr. Belfiore, He has announced availability of the game on May 25th many times.

  • I hear that Angry Birds is upposd to be a must have but I'd really like to see Electronic Arts Scrabble on Windows Phone 7.  That's what my kids are into with their Iphones and Androids and Dad can't play.

  • Also, the delay on these is really bad. I'm guessing the week spacing is to give each one time to get some spotlight but I was expecting these games a month or so ago. So if the price wasn't right, I wouldn't be happy now.

  • ...Also, if you guys could somehow get the makers of Limbo for XBL to port to WIndows Phone, that would be a game-changer title for this platform I think. When i inquired with them about a port to WP7, they said they had no plans to do so, but I think it would be a hit.

  • Looking forward to giving Doodle Jump, GeoDefense and Angry birds out. $2.99 is really reasonable but as for $4.99 for PvZ, a game I already own on PC, I will not be buying. If it was the $2.99 then I would get it immediately.

  • @MichaelStroh - I'm looking forward to Hydro Thunder Go and Sonic 4. Angry Birds is waay overrated, but I understand that the world needs Angry Birds in order to see WP7's Marketplace as a 1st class joint. Have you seen Hydro's gameplay on actual devices? I'm interested in what the framerate is like.

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    Also in the slides at MIX, see below...Joe B. did say Expecting, but the slides say May 25th

    www.wp7connect.com/.../Angry-birds-may-25.jpg

  • I guess I"ll stick with Pandas vs Ninjas. There's no reason for me to re-pay for my iOS games

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    Angry Birds was supposed to be released May 25th, see the video of Joe B. and other references where MS mentioned it would be released May 25th. I mean it's not a big deal for me, but it could certainly be construed as one...just a heads up.

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    Personally, for me would be in this order

    1. Hydro Thunder Go - love NFS, and Rise of Glory so this would be similar...in fact I want MORE NFS levels and would pay for them. The game is stunning and fun to play, but no longer challenging.

    2. Angry Birds - IMO I think its priced just right

    3. Maybe Plants vs Zombies at $2.99, won't pay $4.99 for that game

  • @dkb1898: Not sure I understand...broken promise how?

  • Not sure what factors influenced the schedule. If I find anything out, I'll pass it along.

    Of the six--what do you guys most want to play?

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    Yeah going to need an explanation on this one, no glazing over it. Needs to be some accountability, as this can be seen as a broken promise!

    www.youtube.com/watch

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    It does seem a bit odd to be releasing the two more popular games near the end of June, rather then the end of May

  • lumpy6
    1 Posts

    Any comment on why angry birds has been delayed for over a month?

  • And.... Angry Birds on WP7 only has 195 levels?  Where are the missing 45 levels from the other platforms?

  • Angry Birds is only $2.99.  So for the price of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, and Angry Birds Seasons on iOS,  I can purchase Angry Birds on WP7 at the end of June?  Yep, that sounds like quite the deal.

  • Looks like a good lineup.  I'm looking forward to Geodefense and Sonic.

    @Razor: Go look at Pandas vs. Ninjas or Chicks'n'Vixens.  Very good alternatives to Angry Birds.

  • Razor
    53 Posts

    That's a long time to wait to play Angry Birds =| At least the price is reasonable, unlike the vast majority of Xbox titles.