Note: This post was written on the Surface with a Touch cover. Huzzah!
With the launch of Windows 8 and the lovely Surface tablet, you may been asking yourself what to play. If you bought a Surface then you are using Windows RT. RT is different from the full Windows 8 operating system. You cannot install or use “legacy apps” which are any program that using .exe and setup files from Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft’s OS series. Windows RT uses an ARM processor and as such features brand new architecture that requires new setup files.
As such, you’ll be using the Windows Store almost exclusively. It’s not as bad as you think. If you bought a Surface now then you were either looking for a new tablet or did your research and understand that limitation already. If you did not know then think of your Surface RT as a pure iPad and Android tablet competitor. The Windows Store is just like the Android Marketplace with some good differences. It will only show you which apps you can install and it doesn’t shy away from listing apps in which you need to go outside of the store to download and install.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Basically, Windows RT is a near closed ecosystem designed to give the Widows 8 experience to people who just want to use their system and put it down. Power Users will most likely be fond wanting but I consider myself somewhat of that and I am enjoying myself immensely with my Surface.
If you are a gamer and you have a Surface RT or are thinking of getting one I’ll be honest and tell you that the pickings are slim right now. Although the games section of the Windows Store is the largest, the selection of what you’ll want to download or buy is small.
Fear not, this will surely change. Microsoft is throwing tons of money out there to get devs to either port over or make games for Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone. Also, Epic and Nvidia were able to get the full Unreal Engine 3 to work flawlessly on RT. That leaves a lot of room for possibility with Windows RT. We just have to give devs some time.
But for now, let’s look at the must have games for your brand new, shiny Microsoft Surface RT.
Think of Scramble with Friends but better. Wordament gives you a grid of letters and you have to trace you finger along to uncover words. It is enhanced by a timer that constantly ticks down and the fact that you are going head-to-head in points with another player. This may not be a blockbuster hit to you but try it out and you may find yourself with a slight addiction. Plus, it has achievements.
As it stands right now, GameDev Tycoon is only a Lite version. I see no Full version on the Windows Store. However, this game is mighty fun. Think of the Kairosoft smash hit but a bit more personal. You start out by yourself in a basement making 2-bit games and trying to make a name for yourself. Then you create your own engine and before you know it, you’re a full fledged Game Dev! This game is really fun but unfortunately it does not come with achievements. Maybe in the full version.
Do you like I-Spy and adventure games? You’ll love Adera. Microsoft is really pushing this to show off just a taste of what the Surface can do. It isn’t groundbreaking but the graphics are really nice and it is quite fun. You’ll go through the game finding items and completing puzzles.
The main attraction here is the story. This isn’t just a normal I-Spy adventure. The characters are going through a very unstable teleportation vortex thanks to an artifact and the results bring you to many awesome places. It also comes with achievements.
Think Dungeon Hunter but with Angels and Demons. While movement can be awkward, SoulCraft is a great adventure game to start off with on your Surface RT. It is one of the biggest initial releases and is sure to keep your attention for quite a while. It doesn’t come with achievements but you can attach a 360 controller and use it, which is cool.
This reminds me of that helicopter game where you had to keep the chopper from hitting anything and see how far you could get. Well, it’s like that but with jetpacks and flying gold dragons. Joyride is pretty fun and ridiculous. You’ll get a pretty good laugh out of it and it comes with achievements.
There will surely be tons of new games coming as the Windows Store is booming right now. I check back every 5 hours and see new stuff popping up. With Unreal Engine 3 looking to be coming sometime down the road, perhaps we’ll see even more engines hopping over to Windows RT. The possibilities could be endless now that Epic has shown what they can do. I’m hoping for Infinity Blade: Dungeons to now be a multi-platform release when it finally comes out.