When you look back at previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 or Windows XP for instance, you’ll notice that gaming is about to change fundamentally in Windows 8. I’m not talking about mainstream gaming here, but casual gaming. Windows shipped with a handful of games like Solitaire or Minesweeper previously. With Windows 8, it is for the first time possible to download free or commercial games directly in Windows Store. While it is still possible to buy games on third party sites, it is likely that Windows Store will become the main location users go to when they want to play new games.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview ships with the two pre-installed games Pinball FX2 and Solitaire, and 13 additional free games in Windows Store. Here is a list of all games, a short description and a screenshot to get you started. It is likely that the final version of Windows will ship with dozens, if not hundreds of games.
A popular Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation 3 pinball game. It seems as if you only get to play the first table of the game, but it is enough to highlight the capabilities of gaming under Windows 8.
Good old Solitaire.
A puzzle game where you have to connect dots of the same color on a grid. The basic 5×5 grid levels get repetitive fairly fast. You can switch larger grids instead which makes the game somewhat more challenging and fun to play.
It is a massively multiplayer word finding game where you compete against everyone else in a quest to become the champion. Best played with a touch screen. It is playable with the mouse as well.
Cut The Rope
The objective of the game is to maneuver candy into the mouth of Om Nom. The candy is connected to ropes which need to be cut in the right order to collect all the stars in the level and feed Om Nom. The game is best played with a mouse or touch screen, and not with a laptop’s touchpad.
Pirates Love Daisies
A pirate themed Tower Defense game.
A puzzle game that is best played on touch screens.
In this puzzle game, you have to fill the letters of the so called hive word into cells on the screen. The hive has seven “flowers” which all need to be filled with the seven letters of the hive word. The game offers clues that help you place the letters correctly on the screen.
An arcade style game where you control your space ship with a stick on the right side. It is again best placed on touch devices, as it is rather difficulty to control with the mouse or a touchpad.
A flipsaw puzzle game. Can be played with both the mouse or on a touch screen.
A train game. Nowhere near as complex as Sid Meier’s Railroad Tycoon but still a fun game. It comes with a puzzles mode in which you have to connect cities of the same color with each other, and single player mode that you can start playing after completing the first five puzzles that act as an introduction.
A set of games including Memo and a painting game. Looks to be suitable for smaller children as well.
Carmen Santiago Adventures in Math
This one would not run on my Acer notebook. The loading screen simply would not go away.
Jazz Trump’s Journey
A jump and run, and music adventure mix with nice ideas and great presentation.
A soccer game that plays like air hockey. Ideally played on a touch screen.
You have probably already identified the games that you want to play, and the games that you won’t. For me, the best games are Pirates Love Daisies as I can play tower defense all the time, the pinball game because it looks and plays incredible, Train Titans because I love train games, and Bee Hive.
Have you played any games yet? If so, which one is your favorite?