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Halo: Spartan Strike photo
Halo: Spartan Strike

That new Halo game is out today on PC and mobile


Top-down shooter Halo: Spartan Strike now available for $6
Apr 16
// Kyle MacGregor
There's a shiny new Halo game out today on Windows 8 devices, iOS, and Steam. Well, sort of. Halo: Spartan Strike is another top-down shooter in the vein of Halo: Spartan Assault, which probably isn't what you think abou...
Derp Derp Derp photo
Derp Derp Derp

Windows Store selling fake versions of Darkest Dungeon


Apparently anyone can pass for a legitimate publisher on this marketplace
Feb 23
// Rob Morrow
There's a new app version of Red Hook Studios' groundbreaking roguelike Darkest Dungeon. Currently it's up for grabs on Microsoft's highly reputable Windows Store at the reasonable price point of only...
Age of Empires photo
Age of Empires

Age of Empires: Castle Siege just sounds like a mobile game


Not like I was expecting any different
Aug 25
// Jordan Devore
The next entry in the long-running Age of Empire series is Castle Siege, a touch-based game built for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 by Smoking Gun Interactive. Players will gather resources and build up civilizations such as...
Surface Pro 3 photo
Surface Pro 3

Third time's the charm? Microsoft reveals Surface Pro 3 tablet


'A full PC, and a brilliant tablet'
May 20
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft won't give up on the Surface because of failures of past iterations. No, it's intent on making an impression on the tablet market. As such, Microsoft revealed the Surface Pro 3 today. It seems that Microsoft's prima...
Xbox Originals photo
Xbox Originals

Xbox Originals will hit Windows 8 products, revenue model still being worked on


Plus a preview of some of the original programming
Apr 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Xbox Originals is going to produce shows based on Microsoft IPs such as State of Decay, Halo, and more, along with producing all sorts of other original content. I have some very early impressions on a lot of the content in d...
Xbox Originals photo
Xbox Originals

Live-action adaptations of State of Decay, Gears of War, more in the works


Plus Fable, Forza, and Age of Empires as well
Apr 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Microsoft showed off its plans for the Xbox Originals programming to Destructoid and one of the major takeaways from the meeting we had was that the company is currently looking at creating live-action content based on Halo, ...
Windows photo
Windows

Windows Start Menu slated to return in the near future


Just like starting over
Apr 24
// Brittany Vincent
In a marked change of pace for typical Windows releases, Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s Windows and Xbox software division, demonstrated a prototype build of a hybridized Start Menu. Combining the classic function ...
Tentacles photo
Tentacles

There's a game called Tentacles: Enter the Mind


In development at Press Play for Windows 8 and RT devices
Apr 02
// Jordan Devore
"Tentacles: Enter the Mind is a completely new take on the Tentacles universe and mechanic from the award winning Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin." Never before have I felt so utterly out of the loop. Who came up with that nam...
Windows 8.1 Phone  photo
Windows 8.1 Phone

Meet Cortana, Windows 8.1 Phone's personal assistant


She probably won't fall in love with you, so that's a plus
Apr 02
// Brittany Vincent
Today's Build Developer Conference saw Microsoft showing off Windows Phone 8.1, complete with its own personal assistant, the aptly-named Cortana. It's official! Signs of rampancy are likely still dormant, so at least that's...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Project Spark beta extended to Xbox One


No Windows 8.1? No problem
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
The Project Spark beta is far from new at this point, but it's no longer restricted to Windows 8.1 users. Some 250,000 people have signed up and I imagine many more will express their interest now that the beta can be experi...
Windows Phone photo
Windows Phone

Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri


I wonder if she's as sassy
Mar 03
// Steven Hansen
Windows phones are getting a personal assistant in the Windows Phone 8.1 update that will replace the built-in Bing search. Cortana is a little blue ring, not a full 3D blue woman, and it is Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri...
Halo photo
Halo

Halo: Spartan Assault storms to Xbox 360 today


Why not? It's already everywhere else
Jan 31
// Brett Makedonski
One thing that can be said for Halo: Spartan Assault is that it's certainly the most accessible of the Halo games. Hell, it's landed on about every Microsoft platform in recent memory. Today, Xbox 360 gets added to ...
 photo

Star Wars: Assault Team is a turn-based mobile game


Involving card-battle elements
Jan 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Disney Interactive and LucasArts have announced Star Wars: Assault Team for iOS, Windows 8, and Android. It's a turn-based combat game involving card-battling elements. You'll collect characters from the Star Wars universe an...
 photo

Throne Together is a puzzle game for Windows 8


Well then
Jan 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hey remember that Throne Together trademark that was filed by Microsoft? Yeah turns out it's a block-based puzzle game for Windows 8. It's a game where you have to place blocks down to build castles. You have to be careful wi...
 photo

Wikipad to produce Gamevice mobile gaming controller


Detachable accessory designed to fit wide range of tablets
Jan 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
The manufacturers of the Wikipad gaming tablet have announced plans to release a controller accessory compatible with other brands of mobile devices, Gamevice. The controller, which can expand or contract to fit various table...
Throne Together photo
Throne Together

Microsoft files a trademark for 'Throne Together'


It's all super speculative at this point
Jan 03
// Brett Makedonski
Back in May when Microsoft first announced the Xbox One, it also promised to bring a fair number of exclusives and new IPs to the platform. While there's some stuff currently available and more in the pipeline, a title just p...
Beta photo
Beta

Try the Project Spark beta ... if you have Windows 8.1


Well then
Dec 03
// Jordan Devore
While Project Spark is also coming to Xbox 360 and Xbox One, for now, the game about creating games has a beta -- and it's only available for Windows 8.1 users. There's a sign-up page over here, in case you missed seeing it e...
Microsoft's Threshold photo
Microsoft's Threshold

Rumor: 'Threshold' update will unify Xbox One and Windows


All the worst parts combined
Dec 03
// Joshua Derocher
ZDNet claims that Microsoft is working on an update to unify the Xbox One, Windows 8, and Windows Phone. This update, code-named Threshold, could be coming out in Spring 2015, and it will offer a common app store for all thre...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is out now for mobile


I love how Emperor Palpatine looks like a pufferfish
Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
Seeing familiar Star Wars characters in this cutesy pixelated style from NimbleBit is enough to cut down any cynicism I might've had going into Star Wars: Tiny Death Star. We've enjoyed the studio's sim games for a while now...
Xbox One & Windows 8 photo
Xbox One & Windows 8

Further indication the Xbox One will run Windows 8 apps


Xbox run
Oct 21
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft heads have already suggested, without confirming, that the Xbox One will run Windows 8 apps. "Xbox One has two engines, it's got a gaming engine and it essentially has a Windows 8 engine," Steve Guggenheimer, VP of ...
Windows 8.1 photo
Windows 8.1

Microsoft is rolling out Windows 8.1 this week


This kind of has to do with games
Oct 18
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has started rolling out an update for Windows 8 (an OS 17% of Steam users have, according to Valve), appropriately titled "8.1".The Windows 8 Metro Interface (which I barely use) has been enhanced, and more personal...
Project Spark photo
Project Spark

Project Spark will be truly free to play on all platforms


No Xbox Live Gold membership required
Oct 15
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft has caught some flak in the past for releasing "free-to-play" games that still required an Xbox Live Gold membership, meaning that they most certainly weren't truly free-to-play. That won't be the case with Project ...
 photo

Microsoft will actually have a decent showing for TGS


Land of the Rysing: Son of Rome
Sep 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Microsoft is returning to the Tokyo Game Show after skipping last year's show, and just having a really bad showing the year before. They'll be bringing with them these eight Xbox One titles: Titanfall, Crimson Dragon, FIFA 1...
 photo

Rayman Fiesta Run coming to iOS, Android, and Windows 8


The sequel to the best mobile game of 2012
Sep 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Rayman Jungle Run was fantastic, and was even Apple's Game of the Year no less. So it's no surprise that a sequel is on the way in the form of Rayman Fiesta Run, coming later this year for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows ...
Surface RT photo
Surface RT

Ballmer: We made too many Surface RT tablets


The first step is admitting there's a problem
Jul 27
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft's Windows Surface RT tablet hasn't exactly been the hottest commodity since its release, and the boss men are finally coming to terms with it. CEO Steve Ballmer recently admitted at a company meeting that the techno...

Review: Halo: Spartan Assault

Jul 26 // Chris Carter
Halo: Spartan Assault (Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 PC [reviewed])Developer: 343 Industries / Vanguard GamesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: July 18, 2013MSRP: $6.99 Before I get started, I should mention for the purposes of this review I tested the PC version of the game as I didn't have access to the mobile touch version on phones and tablets. With that out of the way, Spartan Assault takes place in-between Halo 3 and 4, with the fate of Master Chief currently a mystery. You play the role of Commander Sarah Palmer (voiced by the always stellar Jennifer Hale) alongside of Spartan Davis, as you engage on smaller missions battling the Covenant. To be blunt, this is a gaiden (side story), as the general plot isn't really that poignant in terms of the impact it has on the Halo universe. If you're a Halo junkie you may enjoy the injection of extra lore here and there, but for the most part, casual fans won't find any "must see TV" on offer. As someone who has played every major Halo game but doesn't engage in the extended universe material, I didn't find it essential in any way. [embed]255015:48935:0[/embed] Spartan Assault, like many twin-stick shooters, features a very simple mission structure. Amidst a collection of cutscenes, you'll be dumped into a series of levels with varying objectives, like escorts, kill quests, and so on. To mix things up, you can jump into turrets and vehicles on occasion, just like the core series, but levels are generally linear in nature with a clear-cut goal in mind. Everything is designed in such a way where you won't die repeatedly, and objectives are pretty clear. Vanguard Games, the developer of the underrated Gatling Gears, seem to have handled most of the twin-stick mechanics, and they work great. It's still the same classic Halo two-gun, grenade, and melee system, but it works naturally here in Spartan Assault. You'll move your character around with WASD movement, and you'll use the mouse to aim and fire, with the option to use armor abilities like stealth and sprinting. Other than the occasional clunky vehicle excursion, the controls mostly work, but I found myself longing for controller support, with the ability to lounge and play the game on my TV. Wait, no controller support? You mean, this "twin-stick" shooter doesn't make use of a controller with two actual sticks? Yep, Microsoft decided to ship the game without support for an Xbox 360 controller, which I would have appreciated in lieu of a mouse and keyboard setup given the lack of looting and other advanced mechanics. A patch is supposedly coming at some point to add said control option, but for now, you're stuck with a mouse and keyboard. After you're done with the five act, 25 mission campaign, that's about it as far as content goes. There's sadly no real multiplayer to speak of yet, but the game does have Achievements, weekly challenges, and there's leaderboard support. In true Halo campaign fashion "Skulls" (handicaps) can be turned on to alter the experience, and in turn, earn more XP. Microtransactions are kind of just there. You can earn most of the game's armory offerings through straight XP and progression, but some can only be bought with real money. While it's a bit off-putting, thankfully the game can be easily completed without spending any real money, and as a result, real money transactions are mostly just a minor distraction. Spartan Assault is a fairly weird release in general. Not only does it feel like it could have been a completely new IP, but I'm not sure who the audience is, given the strong console allegiance of the Halo franchise. But despite its lack of any remarkable or "must have" features, it still manages to be a fairly decent top-down shooter. It's by no means Windows 8's killer app, but provided you have access to a Windows 8 device, you could do much worse than Spartan Assault.
Halo review photo
Twin-stick Halo Wars
In an odd twist of fate, Microsoft decided to release a twin-stick shooter modeled after the Halo universe exclusively for Windows 8 devices. Not only will this be the first Halo game without a console counterpart, but it's a...

 photo

Halo: Spartan Assault now available for Windows 8 devices


Tens of people are so excited now
Jul 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo: Spartan Assault, the top down twin-stick shooter, is now available for Windows 8 based phones, tablets, and PCs. In the U.S., Halo: Spartan Assault is available for Windows 8 phones only to customers on Verizon Wireles...
 photo

Xbox One may run Windows 8 apps


MS suggests that devs start making Win 8 apps
Jul 01
// Dale North
While they didn't come right out and say it, Microsoft's Build developers conference last week touched on what sounds like Xbox One compatibility for Windows 8 apps. Steve Guggenheimer, VP of developer and platform evangelism...
Unity photo
Unity

Unity announces support for all Microsoft platforms


Pledges ongoing support for Kinect, SmartGlass, and the cloud
Jun 27
// Jordan Devore
Announced today at the Build Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft and Unity are partnering to bring the Unity game engine to all Microsoft platforms, including Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Unity Pro 4-licensed developers can save...
Skulls of the Shogun photo
Skulls of the Shogun

More indie woes when working with Microsoft


Company lacks the vision, communication, and execution to be called 'Evil'
Jun 20
// Wesley Ruscher
“I personally would like to go back in time and kick myself in the balls. I'd just like to have that year and a half of my life back,” said Skulls of the Shogun developer Borut Pfeifer, in a recent inter...

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