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Xbox often rightfully takes the spotlight when it comes to Windows Phone games, but there are tons of fun and deserving indie titles in the Store, too. So this list is for the little guys. If you’re looking for a respite from the holiday madness, these five games will definitely do the trick. You’ll find more winning indie options in the The Next Big Thing Collection (which also includes award-winners like Taptitude that are arguably already big things.)
What indie games were on your must-download list in 2012?
This turn-based multiplayer strategy game puts you in charge of a futuristic armada with one mission: destroy enemy headquarters. Simple enough, no? Well, it’s not. The sound and graphics effects are stellar, and there are enough maps and machinery to keep you immersed for hours. Bonus: Armed! has options for solo or head-to-head online play. ($2.99; Windows Phone 7 and higher). Download it
This casual puzzler is a favorite in my hallway here at Windows Phone HQ. You’re trying to zap the escaping Koo monsters before they escape, which you accomplish by connecting the different colored wires. The monsters get tougher over time—but so does your offensive arsenal of lightning and bombs. The polish on this indie effort is truly impressive. (Free; Windows Phone 7.5 and higher.) Download it
For storybook graphics and whimsical fun, Starcrossed is a great bet. An astronaut has crash landed, and your job is to zip him back to his home planet via rocket. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, with gravity pulling him off-course and scorching stars always a threat. This 2-D platformer features more than 30 levels of game play. ($0.99; Windows 7.5 and higher). Download it
Here’s another title with novel visuals that lives up to its Store billing: Easy to pick up, hard to put down. Race your ragdoll through a charming 3-D world. High-res graphics and intuitive controls (simply swipe up to jump) makes for endless, easy fun. Ragdolls have different abilities and quirks, which helps keep things interesting. Ditto the online leader board. (Free; Windows Phone 7.5 or higher). Download it
Looking for more Kid’s Corner stuffers? This title comes highly recommended by both my 6- and 8-year-olds—who have long grown weary of Fruit Ninja but missed its squishy charms. (I’ve spent an embarrassingly-long time mindlessly poking at these ants, too.) The goal here is simple: Crush the bugs, avoid the bees. Ant Smasher does for entomology what Fruit Ninja did for, well, fruit. And its realistically gross sound effects are honey to a child’s ear. (Free; Windows Phone 7.5 or higher.) Download it
Super Voltage and Starcrossed are indeed some amazing games. I think I also saw an online version of this games on http://www.frivboom.com . Anyway good list of games and I can add Bomb It 5 to this one .
For most of the last year, Taptitude has been my game of choice... contains 70+ games, in an unlock-as-you-go layout... I've JUST started hitting the end of the newness, which is why this post is so welcomed!
@djmikebrady: Thanks for the comment. Glad to hear it's working out for you! :-)
@Fred: Love it. '89 was a good year.
@ceesquared: Doh. On it.
Thanks for the comments everybody. Still want to hear what else you would have put on this list, since I'm always looking for ideas.
Haven't gotten to Ragdoll Run yet, I started Super Voltage last night, and have spent way too much time on it already!
ARMED is the game I most played in both Windows Phone and Windows 8. I had a lot of battles with my daughter playing in the PC and I playing in the phone. Really awesome.
Please fix URL for Super Voltage, it currently is pointed to ARMED!
Ragdoll Run is addictive and fun as heck. Showed it to two people at a party and it was like I brought a gameboy to a party in 89
Great list - a few that I haven't tried yet, so my commutes for the rest of the year will be much more enjoyable!! Thanks!