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November 15, 2013

Our 5 favourite new Windows Phone apps of the week

It’s been a jumbo week for the Windows Store, with a bundle of addictive games and hugely useful and fun apps to download.

Needless to say, we’ve been up all night, every night, testing them out for you. Oh, yes – our lives are hard, here in the Windows Phone apps coalmines… Ahem. Anyway, enough of our toils. Here are the five new, and updated, apps we love best.

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

What is it? An 8-bit gaming nostalgia trip

Why we love it? Who doesn’t love a trip to the Dark Side, eh? In this game (far, far away, and so on), the evil Emperor is struggling to build the Death Star, and you’ve got to help him! Join Palpatine and Darth Vader himself on an intergalactic fundraising mission. This is a building/business simulation game at base, but it’s got adventure elements too, what with the dueling: those darn Rebels keep infiltrating your site and trying to scupper your nefarious schemes! Deploy your Stormtroopers and hack away with your lightsaber, and above all, keep the construction going. The 8-bit retro graphics here are beyond cute and gameplay is very addictive – for a free game, this is a proper little gold nugget.

Who it’s perfect for: Budding Emperors, Sith Lords and construction-site workers, old and young!



Kingdoms & Lords

What is it? A multi-player RPG strategy game

Why we love it? Barbarians have invaded your quiet village, so you have to train your folk and fight the baddies for your land!  A classic set up, or what? The medieval setting is fun and in-depth, meaning there’s more to the game-play than hit-points and combat: you also have to keep your kingdom, its crops and livestock running smoothly. There’s plenty here to keep you busy for a long time. And it’s free to download!

Who it’s perfect for: Power hungry gamers




What is it? The official Vine app for WP8

Why we love it? Vine, if you haven’t heard, is owned by Twitter, and is one of the world’s hottest video-sharing apps. Up until now, though, there hasn’t been an approved version for Windows Phones – well, we’re finally in the arena, and we rock! Vine users can capture and share very short movies (only six seconds long), stringing together multiple short clips or using straight takes; on the WP platform, Vine can also take advantage of all the different lenses in your phone’s camera for even greater customization options. Follow other users to see their Vines, and pin your favourite streams to your home screen with Live Tiles. We also love the colourful UI. This one’s a winner!

Who it’s perfect for: Social media and video users.




System Tiles

What is it? A utility app for WP users

Why we love it? This is a very handy way of accessing your phone’s settings more quickly; choose from a selection of shortcut icons and pin them to your home screen so you don’t have to keep tapping through menus and apps to do things like sending new emails, SMSs, or switching WiFi or Bluetooth on or off.

Who it’s perfect for: geeky, impatient users (that’s us, then!)




My Talking Tom

What is it? A virtual pet game

Why we love it? Like the Tamagotchis and all their various descendants, there’s something very compelling about apps and games that ask you to nurture a pet… In Tom’s case, as well as designing him, feeding and playing with him, you get to hear him talk back to you as he mimics your voice. Talking Tom has been around for a few years in various forms, but this new WP8 release is different – the 3D graphics are top-dollar and the storyline is good: as well as taking care of Tom, you have to adopt him and raise him from a kitten.

Who it’s perfect for: kids and animal lovers


Now if this little lot don’t keep you entertained over the weekend nothing will. That said, we’re always open to more wonderful apps, so if you think we’ve missed any worth a mention let us know down below.

Image credit: Marco Ghitti