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Update: After updating the Samsung Focus to NoDo, loading times between the two devices is almost indistinguishable (whereas before the Arrive had a distinct edge, as expected). The Focus seems to be a hair fast almost consistently across the board, after loading 10 different games on the two devices. They both re-hydrate at an almost identical rate, but it seems that if the game has not been played for a while, the Focus is faster loading, by about a second on larger games. These results should not come as a shock, but rather confirm what we already knew - The NoDo update speeds up loading times.

While both the HTC Arrive and Samsung Focus have essentially the same internals, they externally sport very different form factors. These differing form factors do affect the gameplay more than you might think. How so?

Click through the break for video and other thoughts.


 
 
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Something that I really feel has been lacking on WP7 is a solid platformer. People have been trying to bring NES emulators to Windows Phone so that we can all play Mario, but I would much rather have similar gameplay natively built for Windows Phone, and Spy Bot Chronicles does just that with flying colors. The platformer comes with the hefty price tag of $3.99, and is worth every penny.

Find out why after the break.


 
 
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Sketch defense looks to be your typical tower defense game, but manages to be unique on a number of points. The addicting fun is usually only stopped by life interrupting, or a glitch (more on that later) stopping the game before its time. Overall it is a fun tower defense game, but is it worth 99 cents?

Read on through the break for pictures and more.


 
 
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After a long hiatus, game reviews will be resuming as of today. Why did we take such a long break from them? Because we were trying to resolve some video editing issues. Those issues should be cleared up by the end of this week, and video reviews will start showing up after that point. For now, we will start releasing some of the reviews we already had ready (minus the video), and update those reviews as the video becomes available.

 
 
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One of my favorite features with owning a Windows Phone is the dedicated camera button that is standard on every handset. Both the Samsung Focus and the HTC Arrive offer a two-step button, allowing for a pre-focus before taking the picture. Both buttons are easy to use and act as you would expect, but I do prefer the Samsung Focus camera button, as it is a little larger, and easier to press. That having been said, the HTC Arrive has better button placement. I have found that when someone tries to take picture with my phone for the first time, they almost always accidentally hit the search or home button with their thumb; something that would be very hard and awkward to do on the Arrive. But once someone masters the controls, the most important question is whether or not the camera takes a good picture. Read on past the break for side by side comparisons.


 
 
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Despite not being a fan of Sprint’s impressive line of keyboard phones, I still ended up buying an HTC Arrive. I did this, not because I was a fan of the hardware, but because I’m a fan of Windows Phone, and needed badly to replace my aging HTC Diamond.

Today my HTC Arrive (wait for it . . . wait for it) arrived! Initial impression: Impressed. This is an extremely nice slider phone, and while it has a little more heft and bulk than I prefer in a phone, the keyboard is a pleasure to use, and the device screams quality.

Pictures and more after the break.

 
 
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We don't have a review up of Rocket Riot, but from what we have played of the demo, and what other have been saying - it is a must buy; especially at only $2.99, compared to its regular price of $6.99.

 
 
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Boss Launch 2 offers a new take on the recently established Angry Birds genre.  The game channels more than the popular Angry Birds for inspiration by adding zombies to the mix. The objective of the game is to launch your boss out of his comfy arm chair and into the zombies. The idea is sound, and the game-play fairly fun. The best part about Boss Launch 2 is that its free (ad supported). While a potentially great game, Boss Launch 2 doesn’t come without its flaws. Video and pictures after the break.



 
 
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Vector defense is tower defense game that is similar to Retro Defense – if you are familiar; It uses a grid layout and you tap the grids to build your towers. In all, there are 9 visually different towers that do three different kinds of damage. Vector Defense is a very fun and challenging game, but does the game justify the money?

Read on for more review and pictures of game-play.


 

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