Windows 8.1 App Watch: Cold Alley

Microsoft has made a promise. A promise to return to core gaming on the PC. The company’s modern operating platforms are a big part of this puzzle, and one of the first such titles has recently landed on the Windows Store.

Landed, or you can say taken flight — Cold Alley is an airplane simulator title for Windows 8.1.

The game brings console level depth in both visuals and gameplay to go with an elaborate enough feature set. You get a story driven campaign, a number of game modes and a laudable collection of planes that you can fly in detailed environments.

A selection from the official description:

“With an extensive single player campaign and a huge set of skirmish modes, the non-stop action will keep you on the edge of your seat! Travel back in time to experience the unwritten history of covert operations. Master over a dozen models of aircraft as you take part in the race for jet fighter domination.”

So covert operations are the deal here, though speaking of operations some optimizations may be what the doctor ordered. The game is a beast in terms of system requirements, starting with its 934 MB download size, richly designed maps, 3D visuals, sounds and graphical effects.

One a fairly powerful PC that is fine, but the game came out just recently and gameplay on mobile devices and tablets leaves a bit to be desired. Still nothing a few calculated optimizations cannot fix.

Ultimately how much you enjoy an airplane simulation game on tablets will come down to how quickly you adjust to the controls — which themselves could use some fine tuning. Nevertheless it is a valiant effort overall from Microsoft Studios, and here is hoping these slight niggles are fixed soon.

Cold Alley retails for $6.99, with no downloadable demo version at the moment. On the flipside the game does support all three processor types, x86, x64 and ARM, and second generation Surface owners in particularly might want to take a look at what is on offer here.

Click here to check out Cold Alley on the Windows Store.