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.

Comments closed
    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    Yes, but will it run Crysis?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      With a decent gpu

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      In Metro? No. Sorry but Angry Birds is the highlight of Windows 8’s new awe inspiring graphics.
      Buy your GTX 680 for Angry Birds now

        • Arag0n
        • 7 years ago

        In Metro? Yes, as long as game developers want to and you have a GPU for it. Windows 8 is rising the bar for gaming on tablets, classic gaming is not going anywhere.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 7 years ago

          Only if you consider being completely under Microsoft’s thumb not going anywhere. The app store destroys all the competition because WinRT is locked down, but we’ll just ignore that. Right? That means no Gamestop, Walmart, Amazon, Steam, GOG, Desura, D2D, Gamersgate, DotEmu, Indie Bundle, Impulse, Ebay, BestBuy, EBgames, EA Origins, Gamefly, ETC….

          Nobody exists on ARM/WinRT aside from Microsoft and GFWL. Enjoy it. This is the complete death of PC gaming.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            oh no! suddenly everything is dead!! whatever will we do??? the apple app store destroyed mobile gaming, this surely will as well!! what a horrible situation

            nm the fact that you can still run all the same desktop software on x86 that you always could, and you know that; but don’t let that interfere with what you say. is your inability to tell the truth pathological?

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            I’d say you have the “inability to tell the truth”, because I’m specifically talking about the ARM version of windows 8, which DOESN’T run x86. Not only that, it is still inappropriate for Microsoft to include WinRT on desktop computers, because EVERY WinRT app is sold through the MS app store. Metro is designed to replace the desktop, and anyone who actually uses it instead of using workaround start menu hacks, will be buying apps through Microsoft. You can’t say it isn’t a problem, because it obviously is, and I’m not the only one saying so. Apple doesn’t matter because it isn’t competing with mainstream gaming, nor does it have the ability to do so. If console ports start being released on both x86 and WinRT, it’s quite easy to see how Microsoft is going to profit from this move. Why use steam when it’s easier to to buy from the App store? Not to mention the App store is the ONLY store on ARM tablets.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            they say THE ARM VERSION. which you didn’t do. you said winrt which is METRO, and is BOTH arm and x86, which you KNOW.

            and apple IS MOBILE GAMING. they’re clearly competing, they’re in fact dominating. just cause you don’t like it, doesn’t make it so.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            WinRT is NOT Metro. It is a cross-platform application architecture. Metro and all Metro Apps run in WinRT. You can’t run Win32/x86 apps in WinRT. Win8 Pro runs BOTH WinRT and Win32, so you are essentially running two operating systems at once. HURR. WinRT is still locked down and all apps must come from Microsoft.

            Apple can do whatever they want. They’re not directly competing with consoles or PC gaming, and just cause you don’t like it, doesn’t make it so. Microsoft is the problem here because they’re turning Windows into Mac, and locking people in. Mac users don’t care if they’re locked in, but Windows users do. This is exactly why 8 still supports x86, but obviously WinRT is front and center via Metro and you can’t easily turn it off. The masses won’t realize what’s in front of them and they’ll just make their purchases through the app store. That cuts everyone else out of the market and makes way for Windows 9 to be exclusively WinRT.

            Vendor lock in is the issue, not semantics, which you’re still wrong because I did say ARM. It’s obviously the big problem on ARM, but still exists to a lesser degree on x86. Metro is NOT Win32, it is in WinRT, and all Metro apps come from Microsoft’s app store.

            [quote<]they say THE ARM VERSION. which you didn't do.[/quote<] You're a terrible and habitual liar, and a poor one at that. [quote<]Nobody exists on ARM/WinRT aside from Microsoft[/quote<] Quite frankly, I'd say this is beyond accident, and is direct misdirection and disinfo from someone who likes and is defending vendor lock-in, all while attempting to seem non-partisan, albeit very poorly, and it shows. The only real solution here is to jailbreak your windows8 tablets and install linux, and disable Metro on the desktop. Sad that you have to resort to such measures to escape what once was an open platform.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            WinRT is NOT Metro. It is a cross-platform application architecture. Metro and all Metro Apps run in WinRT

            that’s fair, but you’re arguing semantics. you know you provided a position that wasn’t accurate.

            apple CLEARLY has competition with consoles, and PC gaming. air play? apple tv (rumors at this point)? mac app store? steam on osx? you don’t consider that stuff competition? you’re just being silly.

            i would LOVE a store that handled ALL of my purchases. that let me access them on ALL of my computers, rather than restricting to log back in everytime i want to use a totally different application. Like the windows store.

            you said arm/winrt, fair enough. If that’s how you meant it. i read it as “arm and windows rt” not “winrt on arm”, but i’ll recognize that was my error.

            IF you’re in agreement it’s an issue for arm, which you’re not going to buy, why do you care about x86 gaming? I doubt MS will have the massive sales steam does either. they haven’t historically, what makes you think they’ll start? steam isn’t going anywhere unless valve REALLY f’s something up.

            I have never honestly lied on here, and i don’t think being a good liar is something to be proud of. sometimes people make mistakes, but i think you’ve often presented a position that you know is false. whether it’s tech or politics, you push your agenda first, and reality later.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]i read it as "arm and windows rt"[/quote<] Which is how I meant it, and I did say ARM, which you specifically said I didn't say. WinRT is what's locked in afaik, which happens to be the only available option to ARM. Just because Win32/x86 desktop mode isn't locked, doesn't mean WinRT/Metro isn't. You still have to deal with Metro being the default way of accessing your programs, and all Metro/WinRT apps are sold through the App store. The only way around this is to disable Metro through unsupported start menu hacks, and we have all sorts of shills coming out of the woodwork and boohoo-ing against people doing that. [quote<]apple CLEARLY has competition with consoles, and PC gaming. air play? apple tv (rumors at this point)? mac app store? steam on osx? you don't consider that stuff competition?[/quote<] Apple doesn't compete, they have a monopoly. Consoles and PC are still the dominant form of gaming, whether or not Apple has any marketshare. Apple's marketshare isn't relevant to WinRT anyway, aside from maybe a direct comparison of what happens when you lock down a platform, which would greatly diminish windows gaming and likely throw it to linux. This won't however be an immediate exodus, as x86 mode still exists and Microsoft has DirectX integrated with WinRT, so what will more likely happen is exactly what valve is doing. Playing both sides. [quote<]i would LOVE a store that handled ALL of my purchases.[/quote<] Right. You clearly do, as well as Apple. I don't have an issue with either, only WinRT being Vendor lock-in, and that it's shoved in my face by default. Apple has much stricter quality control than Microsoft, and their users expect a tightly controlled experience with no user freedom, unlike windows users. It's not like you can't have that type of store and still allow competition, because you clearly can. [quote<]why do you care about x86 gaming?[/quote<] I use Steam, game on a x86 computer, and care about having a open free market. [quote<]I doubt MS will have the massive sales steam does either. they haven't historically, what makes you think they'll start? steam isn't going anywhere unless valve REALLY f's something up. [/quote<] You're right. Microsoft can't compete, and they suck, so they're handicapping the competition with WinRT. Steam doesn't run in WinRT/Metro, only win32 / desktop mode. This was the same problem with FLASH, which some people didn't seem to comprehend. Microsoft used WinRT as leverage to blackmail the Flash source code out of Adobe, which they gave up for Microsoft to make their own version of WinRT flash. Valve would have to make a similar deal to get steam on WinRT, perhaps not the source code, but instead a percentage of their profits, which would obviously infuriate Gabe, and I wouldn't blame him. WinRT is a direct assault on All software vendors, because you have to go through Microsoft and Metro is front and center. [quote<]I have never honestly lied on here, and i don't think being a good liar is something to be proud of. sometimes people make mistakes, but i think you've often presented a position that you know is false. whether it's tech or politics, you push your agenda first, and reality later.[/quote<] You've described yourself more than anyone else. You have an ideological worldview of authoritarianism which admittedly ties in with your religion, and pushes utopianism over reality, while I have a common sense / libertarian worldview that says freedom and self-rule trump feelings, religion, and utopianism. We can agree to disagree then, and you'd be better served to argue with Canadian libertarians vs somebody who isn't in your country and doesn't have the same type of government. I don't really care how or what your government does, because it's mostly not my concern. America is more of a concern to foreigners because of our foreign policies, which shouldn't be intervening in their affairs. Did you know our government monitors Canadian bank accounts? I think the Swiss have the correct privacy model and it's something that we technically should be using. I'll admit problems and mistakes because I am a realist who deals with what exists, while striving for what should exist. Anyway, I'd rather discuss more tangible things, and not derail into nonsense.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<] Anyway, I'd rather discuss more tangible things, and not derail into nonsense. [/quote<] sounds good to me.

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            So guess, it´s “nice” to be locked to Android market, it´s “wonderful” to be locked to Apple Store but it´s “a disaster” to be tied to Windows Store…. did you smoke crack or something? If something the masses have talked and they want integrated app distribution in their ecosystems. Could windows open metro to other appstores? Sure, do they have? I don´t think so.

            If you don´t like windows ecosystem you can flee to OSX, Android or Linux. Windows is targeting a maybe lower marketshare, just maybe, but a more cohesive one, just like Apple and Google are doing for long time. If Windows Store distribution means the end of widespread piracy on PC it could also mean a booming time for game developers.

            Microsoft had so many problems and downrating by users because they couldn´t make integrated solutions to avoid comments like yours coming from government officers. Did you know that till 1 or 2 years ago Microsoft had government officers dictating what they can and what they can´t do? And that’s the reason that all Microsoft divisions worked like different companies instead of trying to deliver an unified ecosystem like Apple and Google do? Now they are free to do so, and they are trying to do a hell of a work in that direction. Microsoft could drop to 20% of Desktop marketshare and still be more profitable than it’s now if they are allowed to do their own ecosystem fully integrated. And guess what? Users will like it more than they like them now, because right no from users perspective Microsoft it´s a mess because their services do not behave like they are the same company, something that as I said, they showed they are going to solve pretty soon.

            That’s what the lesson Microsoft learn from Apple, don´t try to be everything, just try to be extremely good for some people.

            Stop smoking crack and hate Microsoft as much as possible. It stooped being cool to do so for long…

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]So guess, it´s "nice" to be locked to Android market, it´s "wonderful" to be locked to Apple Store but it´s "a disaster" to be tied to Windows Store.... did you smoke crack or something?[/quote<] Did I say that? No. Don't put words in my mouth. Apple and Android users choose to be locked in, it is their choice to do so instead of alternatives, and they willingly understand what they are doing. [quote<]If you don´t like windows ecosystem you can flee to OSX, Android or Linux.[/quote<] OSX? Android? Do you not understand that Windows WAS the ecosystem everyone else was fleeing to? Linux is the last place to go, and people actually are starting to move, which will destroy windows base of OSX avoiding users, and then force Microsoft into direct competition with Linux, Apple, and Google, who all offer better products. What do you think will happen to Microsoft stock when all their users drop? [quote<]Microsoft had so many problems and downrating by users because they couldn´t make integrated solutions[/quote<] Logic FAIL. Microsoft HAS made integrated solutions, they just suck at it and users would rather choose the alternatives. [quote<]Did you know that till 1 or 2 years ago Microsoft had government officers dictating what they can and what they can´t do?[/quote<] Yes, and that's why everyone uses Windows instead of OSX. Windows users don't want vendor lock-in, plus IE sucks compared to the alternatives. Would you really want to live in a world where IE was the only browser available? That's stupid. The only thing Microsoft has done right was making the platform available to everyone else. Take away the open platform and you have nothing but garbage. [quote<]if they are allowed to do their own ecosystem fully integrated. And guess what? Users will like it more than they like them now, because right no from users perspective Microsoft it´s a mess because their services do not behave like they are the same company, something that as I said, they showed they are going to solve pretty soon. That's what the lesson Microsoft learn from Apple, don´t try to be everything, just try to be extremely good for some people. Stop smoking crack and hate Microsoft as much as possible. It stooped being cool to do so for long...[/quote<] Who's smoking what here? I can hardly understand what you are saying, since most of it is barely coherent. PUI Much? Microsoft isn't going to solve anything. They outright suck, and don't ever listen to user feedback, aside from playing psychological games. Have they taken Metro off the desktop? No. Microsoft does not care about quality, usability, or the users, only money. Money is the only thing they are setting out to solve, nothing else, and that policy honestly won't work for them.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            HAHAHAHAHHAH

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            LOL!

            • Diplomacy42
            • 7 years ago

            Technically amazon has an app store and you can also download apps from unrecognized 3rd parties, so we aren’t really locked into the android market, except sofar as android has limited itself to B rate machines with crummy hardware. Over the next year or two, haswell and broadwell will kick tablet hardware into high gear. We will see if companies like Sony and Nintendo can elevate the platform or not, but I still object to you insinuating that android is locked down like rt and ios

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            I agree that Android is the most of open of the 3 options. However, it doesn´t change the fact that all defaults are made to try to make sure everyone uses google services as much as possible. No complains about it, but denying it is hilarious.

            • Diplomacy42
            • 7 years ago

            If its as draconian as you say, it’s clearly anti competitive, which means ms will hopefully be sued and forced to allow non ms content on their devices which will force apple and amazon to unlock theirs too and everyone wins… At least that is the outcome I choose to believe in…

        • moog
        • 7 years ago

        Yes it can.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        this is totally false. metro can handle any game you program into it.

          • Arag0n
          • 7 years ago

          I think it should have been expected that a “Rand” person would do a Random afirmation….

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    The fact that these games will run on ARM tablets means that there will never be anything more substantial than a smartphone game on the Windows8 Xbox [s<]Metro[/s<] app. I hate tablet gaming so much; It's barely interactive, the controls are universally awful. I thought Angry Birds and Cut the Rope were okay but then I have played them on a phone/tablet and also with a mouse on a PC. The only positive thing I can say about the mobile versions is that they're [i<]playable[/i<], but they're so much worse than the same games with a proper controller.

      • burntham77
      • 7 years ago

      The occasional touch screen game is great, like Angry Birds, but for the most part I find those games to be games that I just don’t want to play. That’s why I am going to get rid of my Android tablet and get an x86 Windows tablet. Then I can run what I want (albeit at lowered graphics settings).

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Do you really need to have a detachable keyboard? if not you can save 600$ by getting a netbook.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Never is a long time.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Well, the “any Windows 8 PC, laptop, or tablet” compatibility is going to cause problems when games on the Windows8 XBox app need to be [i<]Tegra3 friendly[/i<] In 2015 on my Core i9 6GHz laptop with 128GB of RAM and a GTX960M pushing 8 Teraflops, I'm not sure everyone will be happy with Adobe Flash ported games and Angry Birds.

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      You didn’t mention the other advantage of PC controllers, such as proper restriction to a desk or work surface, and proper incidence of carpal tunnel.

        • Diplomacy42
        • 7 years ago

        Or you can have htpc with an Xbox or ps3 controller for the same price as a ps3 , except without having to download f’ing updates. Pcs aren’t just for offices anymore.

        Okay, so I exaggerated a little… Sue me.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      The Civilization game for the iPad works pretty well with touch, but after playing GnK i can’t play anything earlier, it feels way too simple and confusing at the same time. All the games I have for my iPad I got tired of within a couple weeks, even the really great ones, whenever I look at my games folder I’m not really enticed to open it

    • Prion
    • 7 years ago

    Are most of these just straight ports of WP7 apps?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I dunno about “straight port” – WP7 is all silverlight all the time. WinRT/Modern UI is something else, right?

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        Wp7 is Silverlight or xna. Winrt is not.

    • I.S.T.
    • 7 years ago

    BlazBlue? A Japanese fighting game is gonna be on the Windows Store at launch? Huh. That’s weird(and good).

      • mno
      • 7 years ago

      It’s also neither casual nor indie, which makes it extra weird (but still good).

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    Phew! For a minute there I thought I wouldn’t be able to play Angry Birds on Win8!

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      And I cant wait to play solitaire, minesweeper and big buck hunter pro.

      Actually MS was planning to release 50 metro games, including
      Adera: Episode 4
      Adera: Episode 5
      Adera: Episode 6
      Adera: Episode 7
      Adera: Episode 8
      ….

      Windows8 is turning to be THE best thing that ever happened to gaming.
      Valve, Id, etc.. where so wrong!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Actually the update for Minesweeper and Solitaire Suite are kind of fun. I used to play Freecell all the time in Windows 95 and 98 (not a joke or exaggeration).

          • trackerben
          • 7 years ago

          DEFCON on a tablet could be so nice. Reach out and touch millions with a nuke.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          I only played solitaire from the win8 consumer preview and it was lame.
          The windows7 version is a much better implementation.

          And I also have to admit that do play spider on my netbook more then any other games 🙂

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    Now you know why Valve is porting Steam to Linux.

      • csroc
      • 7 years ago

      Meh. Steam will still have its place, Valve’s whining about Win 8 was disappointing.

        • brucethemoose
        • 7 years ago

        Valve doesn’t have any casual games to stick in the Win 8 app store. EA, Ubisoft, and others are simply ecstatic about Windows 8, as they can just port their massive iOS/Android game library to W8 and rake in the profits.

        Valve’s missing out on the easy profits, which is partially why they’re protesting.

        • Xenolith
        • 7 years ago

        Agree. That was Valve just whining. Windows will continue to be the primary OS for Steam… even in the Win 8 era.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          But Valve see past windows8.

          Steam was released in 2003, way ahead of all other popular app store.

          Could Valve actually see something where in 5 years, mainly because of windows8, Linux will become a AAA gaming platform ?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            No.

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            Yes.

            It seem even Microsoft see this coming and want to slow this down by making sure OEM cant install dual boot OS system.

            BTW, I NEVER believed Linux would ever overtake Windows… but with windows8 I know this is now inevitable.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            Cool story, bra.

            • trackerben
            • 7 years ago

            “It’s easier to innovate the future than to predict it” – SpongBob

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            Keep dreaming bro… valve is just afraid of windows store and games ditching valve for xbox live. That´s the hard true most gamers don´t want to believe. They just want to push gamers to a field where they can keep ruling. No one complained when apple started to deliver game room achievements and leader boards to every iOS game for free that openfeint was going to be lost…. Steam is more beloved than OpenFeint was on iOS so I can see people pushing Steam to be a competitive and alternative player but it doesn´t mean that Steam is required anymore.

            • Diplomacy42
            • 7 years ago

            I hate windows live with a passion. I have to log in each time to play an offline title. Will not use Xbox live or windows live. When is google gonna release chocolate factory os for the big boys? I wonder.

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            And you are welcome to do so. However, I think Win8 in Metro will be like Win Phone where you don´t need to login for xbox live for games. It’s on by default and caches the offline progress to upload later.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        Except on ARM. Win8 on ARM will be a real gaming platform, that includes 360 games. Keep in mind the earlier news about Unreal Engine 3 ported to WinRT and running on a Tegra 3. The infrastructure is there. Microsoft has a complete monopoly on ARM. The entire platform is locked down with no competition. Microsoft is way ahead of everybody here, including the Ouya. Plug in a 360 controller and go.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          yeah, you’re right, it’s going to be awesome!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Now? Everyone knew it the moment Valve talked up Linux and said Win 8 is a disaster.

        • dashbarron
        • 7 years ago

        With all the unconditional love for Gabe, Valve, and Steam, I’m not sure many really knew or cared.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      nope, dont think i do! the two gpu giants put all their cards into the reason that direct x exists. any other api supported is miniscule to their financial existence. steam can do whatever it wants, but the company’s bottom line always has the last word.

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