Mobile gaming seems an obvious platform for multiplayer games. Handsets are small, the hardware can deal with many different game types and the various methods of communication available make facing off or co-operating with another player reasonably simple.
MMO games aside, however, Windows Phone doesn’t have that many multiplayer games available. Just a handful of non-Xbox Live games support multiplayer, although the choice is greater among those with Xbox Live integration.
Different Types Of Multiplayer Games
There are four types of multiplayer games for smartphones, using two different models of play: asynchronous (turn-based) and real time.
Asynchronous games are those that you take your turn and then wait for your competitor to make his move, usually using a different device. In some, you might share in a pass-and-play setup or wait for your turn via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Real time games, meanwhile, are played simultaneously on the same device (with the screen split in two – these are rare on Windows Phone) or more commonly on separate devices across a network.
Games using both models of play are available on Windows Phone, and here we’re going to share with you a selection of the best asynchronous/turn-based multiplayer games for you to enjoy.
International Snooker ($2.99)
International Snooker was originally released for Windows Phone 7 and remains a good digital version of the popular billiards game on Windows Phone 8.1
A laid-back game at first, playing International Snooker in two-player mode soon becomes an exercise in keeping your nerve, as the limited points on offer must be collected in the right order, without giving points away with a foul stroke.
You wont find and power-ups or level-up options with this game, just an atmospheric recreation of a real snooker tournament, and by playing with a friend you’ll be able to play for bragging rights too.
We reviewed International Snooker in 2013 and the game has pride of place on our list of top Windows Phone apps.
Zynpo Chess (Free)
Chess has been played for over 1000 years, so it should come as no surprise to learn that you can play it on your Windows Phone!
Zynpo Chess offers online gameplay with players on various platforms from around the world, all linked by a lobby where you can advertise or join games. As well as the standard chess game (and if you don’t know how to move the pieces correctly you’ll soon learn playing this) you can chat with your opponent, and even abort and resign.
The graphics aren’t special – Zynpo Chess’ draw is in the gameplay and the atmosphere of community. An ad-free version can also be installed for $1.99.
Draw Something ($2.99)
This hugely popular doodle game has been available on Windows Phone since 2013 and challenges players to guess the drawings of others, before composing their own – much like Pictionary.
Designed to link players across Windows Phone, Android and iOS, Draw Something features 2500 words to draw, colour packs and turn-based play that means you can take as long as you like between turns. If a drawing is too tough to guess, you can mull it over for a few hours or even start a second game with another player. Bombs are also available either as bonuses or in-app purchases to make guessing easier, and additional colours can also be bought to enhance and improve your drawings.
This free game has recently been upgraded with Xbox Live integration which means as you play the Scrabble-esque challenges against other players you can also unlock achievements and inscrease your Gamerscore.
With support for up to 30 simultaneous online games and notifications when your opponents have had their turn, AlphaJax also provides a competitor chat function, and games can be setup with random players, contacts, or even with someone sat right next to you.
Challenging and fun in equal measure, this is one of those games that you just have to play!
Based on the classic pencil and paper/desktop game from Hasbro, Battleship offers solo and multiplayer gaming, with a selection of varied gaming types. A perfect game for turn-based multiplayer, Battleship is simple to play, whether you’ve played other versions or not.
Currently an Xbox Live game, Battleship features 20 unlockable achievements worth 370 to your Gamerscore. Meanwhile, multiplayer options extend to pass-and-play and hotseat challenges.
This one is also available with a solo play free trial, so you can test it out before you spend your money.
Turn-Based Multiplayer On Windows Phone: What Did We Miss?
Above are some of the most interesting and diverse turn-based multiplayer games on Windows Phone. Rocket Riot is a longtime favourite, AlphaJax and Battleships bring popular 20th century games to the mobile platform, Zynpo Chess means you can take a chess board with you anywhere and play with people from around the world in seconds, and Draw Something is representative of a game that has spanned platforms and proved extremely popular.
Remember, we’ve focussed on turn-based multiplayer games here, but which ones would you liked to have seen in this list? Share your thoughts and suggestions below.