windows 8 games

Amanita Design’s classic point-and-click adventure game Machinarium arrived on Windows Phone last month. I was so impressed by its beautiful hand-drawn artwork and fascinating world of living robots that I named it one of the best games of March.

Shortly after the phone game popped up, we broke the news that Machinarium would be coming to Windows 8 and RT as well. We didn’t have to wait very long, because the game is now available on Windows tablets and PCs. Read on for Windows 8 impressions, plus news of another update for the Windows Phone game.

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If you had a childhood similar to ours you probably played a lot of solitaire on the nearest computer. Now you can get your kids into the game, but with a little bit of Disney flair. Head to the Windows Store and you’ll find a new game called Disney Solitaire that combines your favorite Disney characters and the very popular card game. Let’s check it out.

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Last week we reviewed Spirit of Hero, a Windows Phone-exclusive MMORPG from Vietnamese developer TeaMobi. Although a large and potentially fun game, Spirit of Hero suffers from a poor English translation and several technical issues. I must be on a janky Asian games kick, because today I’m back to review Raiden X for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and RT. This one comes from a Chinese publisher called Kim Labs and indie developer HeartTour.

Although Raiden X bears the name of the famous Raiden shoot-em-up series, it’s not an official Raiden title. The developer borrowed the name and a few assets and made their own Raiden game without permission of Raiden owner Seibu Kaihatsu. Yet unlicensed fan games like this are actually part of a longstanding tradition in Japan and Asia. They’re called doujin games, and exist in something of a gray market in their native countries. Some doujin games are great, while others are totally amateur hour – like Raiden X.

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We’ve just reviewed Airport City, the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release from international publisher Game Insight. Observant readers will notice a pattern with Game Insight’s mobile Windows releases: three out of their four games are pure city builders. The fourth game Rule the Kingdom is sort of a city builder/RPG hybrid.

Clearly city building is Game Insight’s specialty – these titles are doing very well for them on Windows Phone and Windows 8. But you do need something to differentiate one of these games from the crowd, especially when they all come from the same publisher. As luck would have it, Game Insight’s next title Cloud Raiders adds something really cool to the mix: fantasy-based strategic battles. Read on for exclusive news and impressions!

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Russian publisher Game Insight produces titles in many genres (mostly on other platforms), but its specialty is city-building games. Their previous Windows Phone and Windows 8 release 2020: My Country impressed me with its futuristic setting and wealth of content (see our review). But still, I longed to see more Game Insight titles make their way to mobile Windows platforms.

As luck would have it, Game Insight has just released Airport City on both Windows Phone (1 GB of RAM or higher at present) and Windows 8 and RT. It comes from Innowate, the same team who bought us the My Country series. Although the two game look and play a lot alike, Airport City does a few things differently as well. Namely it combines traditional city building with airport management, which proves more interesting than you might expect.

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Welcome to our new regular feature: the best games of the month. Every month we’ll look at a collection of the newly released Windows Phone games that stand out from the crowd. The titles we choose will range in genre and production value. Anything goes as long as it’s fun, original (not using someone else’s IP without permission), and freshly launched.

March was a particularly strong month for Windows Phone because we got three new Xbox Live releases. Multiple mobile Xbox titles in a month is not a common occurrence nowadays. We’ve chosen two of those titles for this best-of list: Rayman Fiesta Run and Throne Together. Non-Xbox games tended towards average quality this month, but Machinarium, Castle Raid 2, and Super Polygon rise above the pack as excellent games.

Quick impressions and Store links after the break!

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When Machinarium arrived on Windows Phone last week, the news was bittersweet. On the one hand, Machinarium is one of the greatest traditional adventure games I’ve ever played. It creates a totally unique world filled with living robots, tells a compelling story using absolutely no text or voiced dialogue, and looks utterly beautiful. On the other hand, the Windows Phone version suffered from a show-stopping crash quite early in the game. You couldn’t enjoy it for long.

As it turns out, the crash resulted from an earlier test version mistakenly being published as the full game. Once developer Amanita Design discovered the source of the issue, they quickly set about publishing the correct version. Machinarium has now been updated on Windows Phone and runs without crashing! What’s more, we have exclusive news of Windows 8 and RT versions as well.

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New Xbox games for Windows Phone are few and far between these days, so we have to treasure the ones we get. Today’s release of Hexic puts us up to four games for the year, the first of which was Throne Together from Rogue Rocket Games. Throne Together, a free to play puzzle game, launched on Windows Phone and Windows 8 at the beginning of the month.

Like many games, Throne Together suffered from a few bugs upon release. Rogue Rocket has been working to iron those bugs out, as the recent update to both versions of Throne Together proves. The update not only fixes some problems, it also adds new features that make gameplay more interesting. We’ve got full release notes and fresh screenshots from the update after the break.

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Microsoft Studios has brought the classic puzzle game of Hexic to Windows Phone devices and Windows 8 devices. The game brings 100 challenging levels of geometric goodness in a new touch-friendly experience. Plus it's free!

The game features all new chain combos with swipe-and-match gameplay and mechanics originally designed by Alexey Pajitnov, creator of the legendary puzzle game Tetris. We've seen Hexic before as a Xbox Live title for Windows Phone 7 and the latest version looks to build upon the appeal of the previous.

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We don’t talk about Red Stripe Deals much anymore, but next week’s sale game is too hot not to celebrate. Major Nelson has just announced that the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions of Halo: Spartan Assault will go on sale for $1.99 from April 3-9. The tablet and phone versions of Spartan Assault usually go for seven bucks apiece, making next week the prime time to scoop one or both of them up.

Halo: Spartan Assault is a twin-stick shooter based on the popular Halo franchise. Microsoft really seems to be pushing the game right now. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions have just dropped to $9.99 each (probably permanently), and the Steam version of the game will debut next week as well. More details after the break!

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After being arguably the most popular soccer game for Windows Phone devices, FIFA 14 has now arrived on the Windows Store for Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

The Xbox LIVE enabled game would satiate your craving for authentic soccer experience with real players, teams, and leagues along with new touch controls that deliver the feel of every pass, shot and tackle.

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Ubisoft and Pastagames’ Rayman Jungle Run was that perfect one-two punch: an excellent platformer, and a high quality mobile Xbox game. The sequel Rayman Fiesta Run had a lot to live up to, and it almost felt like Ubisoft didn’t want to share it with us. The game soft launched in limited territories, appeared to fully launch worldwide a few weeks later, and then quickly disappeared that same day.

At last, Rayman Fiesta Run is properly available with fully working Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and Windows RT. Though we had to wait a painfully long time for Fiesta Run, the wait was worth it. Even if you found Jungle Run too challenging, this one is forgiving (and beautiful) enough that it might just win you over. Read on for our full review.

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Project Spark is Microsoft’s innovative combination of both a game and game creation software for Xbox One, Windows 8, and eventually Xbox 360. Players can choose their own adventures as they play the Crossroads mode, create deeper games, and even play games created by others. Even if you don’t want to build your own games, Project Spark still gives you plenty to do. There’s really nothing like it on other platforms.

The closed beta of Project Spark went live on Xbox One at the beginning of March, trailing the Windows 8 version by a few months. The closed beta must have done really well, because Project Spark is now in open beta. That means you can get it right now on Xbox One and Windows 8 without having to sign up for anything! The open beta coincides with an update that revamps Project Spark’s In-App Purchase system. More details and our exclusive screenshots and hands-on video after the break!

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Poppy Kart is a relatively new racing game for Windows Phone 8 that takes a bit of a pixelated approach to things. The story line has Froggy running away from home and her dad has challenged you to find her by racing your way through the various levels of game play.

Poppy Kart has a “Mario Kart” feel to things and the pixelated graphics gives the game a retro appearance. Storyline aside, the races can be rather challenging and a fun way to pass the time with. All things considered, Poppy Kart is not a bad gaming option to consider for Windows Phone 8.

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Just last Tuesday I lamented the lack of Xbox games for Windows Phone, and the hurdles that led to their scarcity. Maybe somebody up in the clouds at Microsoft heard gamers’ prayers, because today we have a new mobile Xbox game to play! Coincidence? I think not.

Throne Together from Rogue Rocket Games (who love answering emails) and Microsoft has fully launched on Windows Phone 8 with Xbox Live features at the ready. The game soft launched in certain territories in January, but without Xbox Live support. The Windows 8 version picked up Achievements about two weeks ago, and now both versions are all caught up. They’re also free to play, so they won’t break the bank. Impressions and Store links after the break!

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There are plenty of zombie games available for our Windows Phone and Deadlings is one of the latest offerings for Windows Phone 8. Deadlings is a platformer styled game that has puzzle game elements.

Graphics are well done, game play simple and the levels are challenging enough to keep you on your toes. Deadlings offers over one hundred levels of play giving the game a little longevity as well as entertainment value. We covered the game's announcement, now we'll take a closer look at things.

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Way back in the innocent month of August, I interviewed an indie developer called Sic’em Studios about their plans to bring a duo of games to Windows Phone. Fast-forward to this month: I recently returned to San Francisco for an indie-focused event called Apps World. That provided the perfect chance to catch up with the boys at Sic’em and see how their Windows Phone plans have progressed.

As it turns out their plans have changed and Sic’em has decided not to port two of their older Android titles to Windows Phone. Instead, they’re going to release a brand new game called Text and Die for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. With a humorous premise and retro-inspired gameplay, Text and Die should find a good home on mobile Windows platforms when it launches within the coming weeks.

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Last year, Windows Phone Central broke the news that Artifex Mundi would be bringing a puzzle platformer called Deadlings to Windows Phone and Windows 8. Artifex Mundi is most well-known for its hidden object puzzle adventure games like the Nightmares from the Deep series, making Deadlings something of a departure for the Polish publisher.

We revealed a total of three games in our interview with Artifex Mundi, including Enigmatis and Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call. Both of those games have come out on mobile Windows platforms, and now we can scratch the last game off the list as well. Deadlings has officially launched on Windows Phone and Windows 8 – before it heads to other platforms!

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Last Thursday, Rockstar Games teased us by releasing Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas to the Windows Store, only to disappoint in not having the game available for actual purchase. But where there is smoke, there is fire and this morning, GTA: San Andreas is a go!

Head to the Windows Store on your Surface or Windows 8 PC and you can find the game waiting and ready to be purchased for $6.99. That’s on top of the $6.99 you may have already spent for the Windows Phone version released a few weeks ago. That’s not cheap, but if you’re a fan, it’s a no brainer.

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