Windows 8 – App Highlight: A Look At Several Great Metro Games

Since first installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I’ve talked about how there isn’t much in Metro that actually draws me in to use it. There is one category of apps that I must admit does provide that draw pretty well though, and that’s games. This is especially true recently as more and more high quality games continue to get added to the Windows Store.

Many of these games are actually ports of existing Windows Phone games, but this certainly isn’t a bad thing. Let’s take a look at just a few of the fun and addicting games that exist in the Store right now.

Flow

This game is one of the ports from Windows Phone, and despite a fairly simple premise, is quite a bit of fun. Essentially it is color-coded “connect the dots”. This might not seem that difficult, but as you go up the stages it becomes much harder at every turn.

This game has constantly gotten high reviews and praise on Windows Phone, and is a key example of what I hope becomes a common Microsoft (and 3rd party) strategy: a key Windows Phone game getting a great port that works flawlessly in Metro.

One problem with Android is that many games made for the phone don’t look or work quite right when running them on the tablet. So far all Windows Phone converted apps tend to run great and look good in Metro. While having new and original apps is important, it is equally important that popular Windows Phone apps get high-quality ports over to Windows 8 and the Metro environment.

angrybirdsspaceWordament

This is yet another high quality port over from Windows Phone. Wordament is highly addictive and something I now play with my wife quite regularly on my laptop. This game pits you against real players across the globe competing for the highest point score by finding the most words out of the jumbled letters above. You drag your finger or cursor over the letters and can’t let go, all the letters must touch in some way. No, this isn’t some epic business app but it is plenty of fun.

6939528b-21dd-441c-b49b-f3a93d0ea431Pinball FX2

This is the only game that I’ve listed that isn’t a Windows Phone port, it is also already included in Windows 8 Metro and doesn’t need to be installed. This is an example of the “Xbox Arcade” style games that will exist within Metro.

It isn’t much different than Pinball that you’ll find in only versions of Windows, like XP, but it does do a nice job of linking up to your Xbox Live account. As a big pinball fan, I’m glad to see this Xbox Live compatible app make its way to Metro. I hope to see many more of these interesting Xbox Live apps in the future.

Conclusion

I also want to mention, again, the most addicting app for Metro so far, and that’s “Cut The Rope”. This isn’t the full version that you’d find in other platforms like Android, but it is still a lot of fun. I won’t talk to much about it since I already gave a preview dedicated to it not too long ago.

So why focus on games at all? Why do they matter? The truth is that the tablet craze was born out of the need for a casual media and gaming consumption device. While Android, iOS, and Windows devices have grown far beyond this original capability, it is still very important.

There are users that will purchase tablets for content creation, but there are still a great deal of users that care about media and content consumption. Windows 8 seems to be an interesting attempt to offer a device that can do everything and in order to truly achieve that Microsoft will need to focus as much on media and gaming apps as it does business and productivity.

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