Kotaku's 2010 Windows Phone 7 Gift GuideS

We're down to the last day or so before the peak of consumerism kicks off, it's probably a good time to start thinking about what sorts of gifts you want to give and get this year during the holidays.

And don't think that digital platforms like the Windows Phone 7 doesn't warrant game gift giving too. It's probably a good idea to start considering which Windows Phone 7 games you'd like to spend Microsoft points on for you or your loved ones.

Here's our take on the ten best Windows Phone 7 games to give and get for 2010. Hope you enjoy the list. Feel free to add your own recommendations in comments.


CarneyVale: Showtime


Genre: Ragdoll platformer

Ideal Player: Gamers who like their play in quick bite-sized chunks and enjoy the challenge of blending physics and acrobatics to achieve the virtual impossible.

What's It About?
You control Slinky the acrobat, flipping and flinging him through increasingly hard challenges as you strive to become the star of all 15 of the circus' arenas.

Bang For Your Buck:
This colorful vertical platformer includes achievements and the ability to unlock your Xbox 360 Gamerscore. There's also those 15 arenas to play through.


de Blob


Genre: Puzzle

Ideal Player: Folks who like brain twisters that involve the careful plotting of non-intersecting paths through increasingly complex mazes.

What's It About?
The Windows Phone 7 version of de Blob still has you controlling gelatinous, colorful de Blob as he fights the evil I.N.K.T. to bring color back to Chroma City. This time around, instead of bouncing all of buildings, players use their finger to draw a path through a maze, trying to rescue the grey folks of the city without hitting a dead end or double crossing your path.

Bang For Your Buck:
It's a bit pricey at $3, but it's a fun, interesting take on de Blob franchise that works very well on this platform.


Glow Artisan


Genre: Puzzle

Ideal Player: Puzzle fans who cognitive skills include figuring out which color blends with which to get the shade you're looking for.

What's It About?
This very straight forward puzzle game has you use your finger to color squares in rows and columns. Each direction you swipe from has its own colors. The more difficult puzzles will require you to overlap to types of colors to get a third. It sounds easy, but it can be deviously hard.

Bang For Your Buck:
Glow Artisan includes 80 puzzles, 150 medals and the ability to create your own head-scratchers. Well worth the $4.99 price tag.


Glyder: Adventure Worlds


Genre: Fantasy Flight Sim

Ideal Player: Gamers looking for a relaxing title that sets them adrift in a fantasy world.

What's It About?
Players take on the role of Eryn as she Glydes through a series of fantasy open worlds. Players tilt the phone to control Eryn's path and try to collect crystals, complete goals and discover new areas.

Bang For Your Buck:
The game includes 24 goals, 350 crystals, more than 30 achievements and the ability to customize Eryn.


The Harvest


Genre: Action RPG

Ideal Player: Someone looking for a bit of meat to their Windows Phone 7 gaming, a title that looks as good as it plays.

What's It About? You're a member of the human GDF army, deployed around world to find and destroy The Harvesters, an alien invasion force that collects animals and humans to create cyborgs. The game's rich 3D graphics are supplemented by deep role-playing, item collecting, and upgrading. Gameplay is touch heavy, but also methodical and well designed. The ability to shift perspective by tilting the phone is a nice touch.

Bang For Your Buck:
This is a steeply priced game, at $7, but it's also the most interesting and different of the lot. It would be a shame to pass this game up for the Windows Phone 7.


Krashlander

Ideal Player: Fans of snowboarding, epic crashes and classic Linerider.

What's It About?
Krashlander is a nordic version of Linerider, unofficially. Where Linerider had you draw a line and then sit back and watch a rider try to ride your creation, Krashlander has you controlling your snowboarder as he zips down snowy mountain tops. Players can select between eight positions, going from one to the next can make the boarder jump, duck and flip as they try to knock down robots. It's quite addicting.

Bang For Your Buck:
While the game doesn't have many levels, apparently only 15, it's less than a dollar and there's always the draw of trying to get a perfect, robot-killing run.


Max & The Magic Marker


Genre: Action Puzzle

Ideal Player: Fans of physics-based puzzle titles that don't mind a blending of casual and hardcore gameplay.

What's It About?
In this platformer you control Max, using your finger draw things in his world that help him avoid dangers, collect bonuses and make it through each level.

Bang For Your Buck:
Max & The Magic Marker is a fantastic bit of fun, though 15 levels for $7 seems a bit steep.


Our Manic Game


Genre: Shooter
Ideal Player: Anyone who loves the notion of firing an endless stream of bullets at your enemies as you deftly slip your way through screen-filling waves of enemy bullets.

What's It About?
This is a classic shooter game with an interesting twist. As with most shooter games you have to take out enemies before they kill you with their own, often screen-filling bullets. But the twist is that the second the enemy dies all of its bullets turn into harmless points. You can touch an enemy on screen to enrage it, making it shoot more bullets, which is both more dangerous and ultimately more rewarding... if you survive.

Bang For Your Buck:
The game includes three difficulty settings, a five-minute mode and infinite mode. You can also unlock Xbox Live achievements.


The Revenants: Corridor of Souls


Genre: Action puzzle

Ideal Player: Fans of oddly artistic titles like Everyday Shooter and Space Invaders Infinity who may love a bit of free form Qix.

What's It About?
Players use their finger to guide a spirit, represented as a glowing orb, through the haunted catacombs of the afterlife. To survive, the player must draw circles around the other ghosts to absorb them before they kill you.

Bang For Your Buck:
The game progresses from a simple game of avoiding and encircling bad spirits, to one of strategy and finger agility. At $3 it is a pretty singular experience, but if you like the premise it will be worth the price.


Rocket Riot


Genre: Side-view shooter.

Ideal Player: 8-bit graphics, destructible environment, rockets for legs? This is a game for everyone.

What's It About?
Legless thanks to a leg-stealing pirate, you have to navigate a side-viewed world on rocket as you shoot away the terrain in search of power-ups and take out the bad guys. The gameplay has you tilting to steer your soldier and tapping the screen to fire. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it's a blast to play.

Bang For Your Buck:
There's quite a bit here to enjoy. The game comes with 48 single-player missions and a challenge mode that lets you compete with friends for the highest score.


Check out the rest of our platform-centric gift guides. We'll be running these daily, through till Black Friday.