Guide to Games on Windows Phone 7

February 22, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Intended by Microsoft as a suitable competitor to Apple’s iPhone and any potential PlayStation compatibility with Android (something that has since been announced) Windows Phone 7 is becoming a popular mobile gaming platform, offering a wealth of free and premium gaming titles, the latter of which often feature Xbox LIVE integration.

With this integration gamers can add to their Xbox LIVE Gamerscore (200 points per game), unlocking achievements and earning points while travelling or at work with only their Windows Phone device for company…

Accessing and downloading games for your Windows Phone is easily done, either via the Marketplace Hub on your handset or via the Zune desktop client. Before you jump in, however, you will need to set your phone up to use it with your Gamertag.

Guide to Games on Windows Phone 7

Access the Games Hub

To begin using your Xbox LIVE Gamertag on your Windows Phone, tap the Games Hub (identifiable via the Xbox LIVE logo) and then select I already have an Xbox LIVE account. From here, enter the Windows LIVE ID and password that you have associated with your Xbox 360. This might be different from the one you use for mail or other Windows LIVE services, which is why the phone doesn’t provide an automatic sign-in for this feature.

Once signed in, there are various things that you can do from within the Games Hub. Scrolling to the right will display the Spotlight section, which highlights recent Windows Phone 7 games news, while scrolling further to the right will display your Xbox LIVE tag, avatar, Gamerscore and most recent unlocked achievement.

The first thing you should do before installing any games is visit the Marketplace and install Xbox LIVE Extras – this will allow you to customize your avatar, edit your profile and view your achievements in more detail, and once installed this can be accessed via the Games Hub.

Choosing Games to Play

There are two types of game that you can play on Windows Phone, and this choice is split between Xbox LIVE titles and standard titles. Standard titles might be free or premium but all Xbox LIVE titles are premium.

Pricing on Xbox LIVE titles has come in for some criticism, with some games costing five times as much as identical titles on other platforms. This is clearly a situation that Microsoft will have to address but they might wait until the PlayStation/Android integration has been finalised and realised as this system will offer a closer gaming experience to current iPhone and Android gaming.

If you’re looking for games to play on your Windows Phone, pay attention to the reviews and star ratings, which will inform you both whether or not the game is worth installing but also if there are any device-specific problems.

Xbox LIVE games are almost all available with a trial option for you to try before you buy – but you will also find that games can be sorted by popularity via the Marketplace Hub by selecting Marketplace > Games > Top. Meanwhile New games are also listed here – so why not get started and begin enjoying some top mobile games while enhancing your Xbox LIVE Gamerscore?

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