In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft broke new gaming ground today, officially launching the first title specifically designed to be played across a Windows Phone, Windows 8 PC, Surface, and Xbox 360.
Skulls of the Shogun is a multiplayer mash up combining arcade-style fighting with turn-based strategy—plus visuals inspired by 1960s-era Japanese anime thrown in for good measure. (Do I have your attention yet?) The game works with up to four players on any combination of supported devices.
To really appreciate how cool it is, you’ve got to see it in action. Check out the short video below hosted by one of the game’s creators and a member of the Xbox team showing how it all works.
For a limited time, you can also pick up Skulls at a discount. The Windows 8 version costs $9.99 (normally $14.99), while the Windows Phone version is $4.99 (normally $6.99). The Xbox LIVE edition is available for 1200 Microsoft Points. Also, if you’re curious how developer 17-BIT coded it and what inspired the retro Japan theme, then definitely check out the fun Q&A our friends on the Windows Experience Blog published today. Xbox’s Major Nelson, meanwhile, plans to have 17-BIT as guests on his podcast later this week. Watch his blog for details.
You may have seen a recent announcement from Google regarding changes to the Google Sync service used to connect devices to Google services (Google Sync utilizes the Exchange ActiveSync, or EAS, protocol from Microsoft to synchronize email, contacts, and calendar). We’re happy to share today that Google will extend their support for new Windows Phone connections via Google Sync until July 31, 2013.
At the same time, the Windows Phone team is building support into our software for the new sync protocols Google is using for calendar and contacts—CalDAV and CardDAV. These new protocols, combined with our existing support for the IMAP protocol for email, will enable Windows Phone users to continue to connect to Google services after July 31, 2013.
The onset of February, plus the arrival of a special Valentine’s Day-themed Lumia, may turn one’s thoughts to love. Thus, this month, we’re asking you to submit a photograph that somehow captures the emotion of love. Here’s an example of such a photograph:
This photo was taken by Lisa Stratton, who puts together our awesome Windows Phone Insider newsletter. It was taken using an HTC Titan II and edited using Creative Studio and Thumba Photo Editor. Here’s what Lisa had to say about this photo:
As they both get older, my daughter thinks of our cat as less of a toy and more of a friend. Instead of running away, Domino now returns her love with cuddles and catnaps.
You can look for the winning shots to appear on the Windows Phone Blog, the Windows Phone newsletter, as well as across our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest channels. We will, of course, provide credit and even link to your website or blog if possible. Feel free to take a look at our previous winners: Pets, Favorite Places, and Happy Holidays!
When you send in your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, please let us know which phone you took it with, which photo apps you used, and 2-3 sentences describing the photo, the circumstances under which it was taken, and why you think it represents love. A lot of entries last time didn’t include this latter part, which is a shame because these stories are often the best part of the challenge! Here is how to enter:
- To enter, please e-mail your entry to email@example.com.
- In the subject line of your e-mail, please write “CHALLENGE: LOVE”.
- The photo you send must have been taken with (and edited, if you prefer to edit) on a Windows Phone. Please attach the original JPEG file to your e-mail, with metadata included. If the photo has been edited, please let us know which apps/settings you used.
- Please name your image file using your first and last name, followed by the theme of the contest (this month it’s “Love”). So, for instance, my e-mail would include a photograph named DavidChenLove.JPG or DavidChenLove.JPG.
- Please use the highest resolution possible when sending your photos.
- One entry per person, please.
- This challenge runs from now until 11:59 p.m. PDT on Friday, February 8th, 2013.
- After the contest deadline, we will look over all of your entries and choose our favorites. Entries will be judged on their creativity, resourcefulness, aesthetic beauty, and just the overall impression your photo makes on us.
- Winning entries may be posted on the blog, in our newsletter, as well as shared on our Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages about two weeks after the contest has ended.
- Read the full rules here.
Whether you’re a diehard Baltimore fan, a lifelong Giants fanatic—or somewhere in between—your party-planning needs are likely the same this weekend when The Big Game arrives in The Big Easy. So our crack team of in-house app pickers has just created a new collection in the Windows Phone Store to help ensure you have a superb Sunday.
You’ll find apps for up-to-the-minute scores and stats, guides for mixing the perfect drink or whipping up munchies (mmmm, pizza)—even some fun football games for getting past pre-kick off lulls. Here are a few highlights. Hit the link above for more options.
So who are you rooting for?
Football Pro ‘13 puts team news, stats, and game updates at your finger tips, so you can quickly settle bets or stifle any smack talk that erupts during the game. It’s also a handy way to keep tabs on the score when you’re between TVs. Free
I don’t suppose I really need to explain why you might find this app handy for a party. But here are a few reasons anyway: The beautifully-crafted Cocktail Flow shows what’s possible based on what you have in your cupboard, and lets you sort drinks by mixer or color. $2.99 (includes free trial)
Whether you’re whipping up nachos or something more ambitious for your guests, Allrecipies is packed with millions of recipes, sortable by dish, ingredient, or “ready” time. Free