40 casual, indie Xbox games ready for Win8 launch

When it comes out on October 26, Windows 8 should be able to run all of the same triple-A blockbuster games as Windows 7 (barring any compatibility kinks, of course). Microsoft isn't going to stop there, however. The company has rounded up 40 titles—many of them of the casual variety—that will be available through Windows 8's included Xbox Games app on launch day.

The titles, Microsoft says, will support Xbox Achievements and "certain Xbox features such as leaderboards, multiplayer modes, and connecting with friends." The games will also be playable on "any Windows 8 PC, laptop, or tablet." I presume that includes ARM-powered devices like Microsoft's upcoming Surface for Windows RT tablet.

Here's the complete list:

  1. 4 Elements II Special Edition
  2. A World of Keflings
  3. Adera: Episode 1
  4. Adera: Episode 2
  5. Adera: Episode 3
  6. Angry Birds
  7. Angry Birds Space
  8. Big Buck Hunter Pro
  9. BlazBlue Calamity Trigger
  10. Collateral Damage
  11. Crash Course GO
  12. Cut the Rope
  13. Disney Fairies
  14. Dragon's Lair
  15. Field & Stream Fishing
  16. Fruit Ninja
  17. Gravity Guy
  18. Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
  19. Hydro Thunder Hurricane
  20. IloMilo
  1. iStunt 2
  2. Jetpack Joyride
  3. Kinectimals Unleashed
  4. Microsoft Mahjong
  5. Microsoft Minesweeper
  6. Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  7. Monster Island
  8. PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX
  9. Pinball FX 2
  10. Reckless Racing Ultimate
  11. Rocket Riot 3D
  12. Shark Dash
  13. Shuffle Party
  14. Skulls of the Shogun
  15. Taptiles
  16. Team Crossword
  17. The Harvest HD
  18. Toy Soldiers Cold War
  19. Wordament
  20. Zombies!!!

29 of those games hail from Microsoft Studios, but I'm also seeing a number of casual classics from other developers, including Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Fruit Ninja. It's also nice to see the excellent (and adorable) indie puzzle game IloMilo in the launch lineup.

Offering early adopters a broad selection of casual games is a nice touch. Hard-core PC gamers might not care—some of them will probably stick with Windows 7—but the titles should help woo folks shopping for a new tablet this holiday season. If Microsoft wants to carve itself a decent chunk of the tablet market in a reasonable time frame, it's going to need all the native Windows 8 apps and games it can get.

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