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Windows 8

Beta photo

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 ...

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...

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...


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...

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 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...

The next Halo is a twin stick shooter for Windows 8

Jun 04 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo Spartan Assault (Windows 8)Developer: 343 Industries, Vanguard GamesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease: 343 IndustriesMSRP: $6.99 The premise of Spartan Assault sees you playing as either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis as they relive historical battles against the Covenant aboard the UNSC Infinity. The game is set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, and also shows Palmer's transition from an ODST to Spartan. Sound familiar? Yeah, the Halo: Initiation mini-series from Dark Horse is tied into this whole adventure. Gameplay-wise, imagine a game like Robotron, set within the same sandbox world you're accustomed to in a Halo game. You're free to take on battles however you like, pick up weapons from fallen foes, and drive any vehicle you can get. The controls are pretty damn smooth via touch screens. You have a large space for where you can place your thumbs in order to move, aim, and fire. It's really easy to pick up and play as you move and shoot at whatever comes at you. You can select different loadouts before jumping into one of the 25 missions -- everything from choosing your weapons, armor abilities, boosters, and even Skull modifiers. Plus, there will be new weapons and abilities featured here, and some returning old favorites like dual-wieldable SMGs. While running and shooting are pretty fluid, the game does suffer a little bit from the limitations of the touch screen interface. Using grenades, swapping or picking up weapons, using armor abilities, firing your vehicle's weapon and so on can be activated by pressing specific locations on the screen. It might become second nature over time, but starting off you'll have to look away from the action to press the corresponding buttons. Not a deal breaker, just something you should be aware of. This isn't a problem with the mouse and keyboard controls, of course. Visually the game is stunning for mobile, and there was a ton of detail presented as I went through the demo level. The game even has cinematics and full-on voice acting, plus a musical score all done by Skywalker Sound to boot. You can expect a bunch of tie-ins to Halo 4 and "other Halo projects" in the future too. There are rewards, experience points, and unlockables that can be all fed into your Spartan in Halo 4's multiplayer. There's also 40 in-game Achievements, leaderboards, plus daily and weekly challenges. Lastly, there's going to be cross-save features across the different platforms similar to Skulls of the Shogun, and microtransactions of some sort as well.  So yeah, I liked what I played. I especially loved how we're given things we'd never get in the standard Halo experience. A drivable Scorpion featuring two barrels and a rocket launcher that can send out up to six missiles at once? Hell yeah! But I'm far from the point of ditching my iPhone or "upgrading" to Windows 8 just for Spartan Assault. Those of you who do own Windows 8 devices will have some fun with this one for sure. For the rest of you, well, I wouldn't be surprised if this eventually gets released on Xbox Live Arcade down the line.
Halo: Spartan Assault photo
For Windows 8 phones, tablet, and PCs
Halo: Spartan Assault is the next project from 343 Industries, a top-down twin stick shooter for Windows 8 powered phones, tablets, and PCs including the Surface. It's an exclusive to Windows 8 devices designed for touch con...

Keflings photo

A World of Keflings is targeting Wii U this year

Out now on Windows 8
Mar 13
// Jordan Devore
NinjaBee has released its city-building game A World of Keflings on Windows 8 for $6.99. This new version of the Xbox Live Arcade title sports touch controls and a picture-in-picture feature allowing players to better see wha...
Rayman Jungle Run Win8 photo
Rayman Jungle Run Win8

Rayman Jungle Run makes its way to PC through Windows 8

That still counts as PC, right?
Mar 07
// Brett Zeidler
Ever looked at those silly mobile devices, scoffed, and returned to your monstrous PC gaming rig that's now running the wimpy Windows 8 (secretly becoming jealous of all the sweet bite-sized titles they get)? Well,...
Skulls of the Shogun photo
Skulls of the Shogun

Skulls of the Shogun gets a price drop on all platforms

Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Surface prices all dropped
Mar 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Have you played Skulls of the Shogun yet? Why the hell not!? It's pretty awesome, and a blast to play. Well for those of you who have yet to pull the trigger, good news! Skulls of the Shogun just received a price drop. The Xbox Live Arcade version is going for 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99), and the Windows 8 and Surface versions are $6.99 now. The Windows Phone version will remain at $4.99.
Star Wars Pinball photo
Star Wars Pinball

See Star Wars Pinball in action with the Episode V table

Zen Studios' take on The Empire Strikes Back
Feb 13
// Jordan Devore
As someone who has wanted to get into Zen Studios' brand of pinball but has somehow managed to not pull the trigger yet, it was great to hear about Star Wars Pinball. This latest trailer shows of the table based on The Empir...

The launch line-up: Xbox Games on Windows 8

Feb 04 // Dale North
Rocket Riot 3DDeveloper: Codeglue Before I get to anything else, if you somehow haven't heard of Rocket Riot 3D before, I have to mention the background music. It's hilarious! The song's vocals sing about the game, making the crazy bombing action that much more nuts. This pixel-y, arena-based shooter has you blasting around freely with one thumb on the tablet, while flinging rockets and other projectiles with the other, just like you'd expect with a twin-stick shooter. Or, attach a mouse/keyboard or Xbox 360 controller if you'd like. It's an expanded, upgraded version of the Xbox 360 release, and it's a lot of fun. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I think it looks better than the original with its new visual effects. The Windows 8 version adds 24 new levels, taking the total to over 100. Skulls of the ShogunDeveloper: 17 Bit Studios This amusing/weird strategy game just dropped for Xbox 360, so if you're playing it, this Windows 8 version would make a perfect companion version with its cross-platform saves and resumes. Speaking of cross-platform, asynchronous play is supported for this game across Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8. As we said in our review, this is a solid SRPG where you'll play as an undead samurai, commanding an undead army for revenge's sake. This game does away with your standard tactical grid, using circle-of-movement fields instead. For the tablet version, it's nice to poke at and drag units over using a controller. I like this portable, easy controlling version a lot. Hydro Thunder HurricaneDeveloper: Vector Unit HYDRO THUNDER! While a new version of this water racing franchise will never fully compare to the loud, crotch-vibrating original arcade cabinet, hitting the waves is always a good time. Hydro Thunder Hurricane looks respectably nice on Windows 8, but the gameplay experience feels more like a mobile game and less like the splashy, tight turning console one I loved so much. ilomilo+Developer: Southend Interactive This cute game had my face buried into the tablet most despite having played it before. The puzzle action it offers is just as cute as it was on Xbox Live, but it somehow comes off as more impressive on a tablet. The touch control scheme is sufficient, but I found myself longing for buttons and a stick after a bit.  The "+" in the title means that the Windows 8 version adds new levels, chapters and cubes. Pinball FX 2 Developer: Zen Studios The tablet version of Zen Studios' XBLA hit game looks really great on the small(er) screen. And with the tablet turned sideways, it's like carrying around a little portable pinball machine. This version also fully supports all leaderboards, and a four-player/one device multiplayer option is now available. They're working on more tables for the Windows 8 version, too.  Adera Developer: HitPoint Studios The find-the-hidden-thing graphical adventure type play of Adera didn't speak to me, but it's really the perfect kind of game for a touchscreen device, and I could see fans of that type having a good time with it. It sure looked great running on this Asus Vivo.  The game's chapters come by way of episodic releases, and cloud save/resume is available across Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices. A nifty spectator mode lets other Windows users watch in and provide hints for the game's puzzles. The Gunstringer: Dead Man Running Developer: Other Ocean Interactive This runner moves from Kinect to Windows 8, adding touchscreen and tilt controls for tablets, or mouse and keyboard for bigger rigs. I'll tip my cowboy hat the game for its presentation and use of skeleton outlaws, but gameplay is clunky and very mobile-ish, taking some of the fun out of it. Reckless Racing UltimateDeveloper: Pixelbite Mobile top-down racing game Reckless Racing HD gets an upgrade for Windows 8, adding leaderboards, multiplayer invite support and more. From a gameplay standpoint, this plays exactly like it would on a mobile phone, so don't go in expecting a console-like experience. Other launch titles: 4 Elements II Special Edition -- Your tween girl is going to love this item hunt game Tap Tiles -- Mahjongg, but in 3D space, with cubes that you can rotate Toy Soliders Cold War -- Army men come to life in a strategy game Windows 8 Microsoft casual launch titles: Microsoft Mahjong -- Supports cloud saves, leaderboards and achievementsMicrosoft Minesweeper -- Adds touch control and a new Adventure modeMicrosoft Solitaire Collection -- The loneliest game everWordament -- Popular Windows Phone competitive word search tournament  
Windows 8 launch line-up listed
We had a chance to take the launch line-up of Xbox games on Windows 8 for a spin this past week. These games are available for play on any Windows 8 or Windows RT device, including laptops and tablets. I played them all ...

Skulls of the Shogun photo
Skulls of the Shogun

Celebrate Skulls of the Shogun's release with MURDER

Children make the perfect undead warriors
Jan 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Skulls of the Shogun is now out for Xbox Live Arcade, Windows Phone, and Windows 8! With the release comes a launch trailer, and I'm going to just go ahead and say that this is the first best trailer of 2013. Check out our o...

Review: Skulls of the Shogun

Jan 30 // Chris Carter
Skulls of the Shogun (Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed])Developer: 17-BitPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: January 30, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (1200 MSP) Windows 8, Xbox Live Arcade/$6.99 Windows Phone Skulls of the Shogun starts with an interesting and simple premise: you play the role of a recently deceased feudal-era Japanese General. In life, you were highly respected. In death, you're kind of a mess. Your rambunctious avatar is not only without an army, but he's also in denial and refuses to stay dead. Almost immediately following the start of the story, you start amassing your army in the underworld, and plan your glorious return to honor -- the only person who's standing in the way is the guy who killed you. While the premise is fairly interesting in itself, Skulls augments it with funny dialogue, and a healthy dose of "l33t" speak, among some clever pop culture references. The campaign consists of roughly 20 stages, as you rough and tough your way through the undead countryside in search of glory. The story isn't really a heavy hitter in terms of a deep rewarding narrative, but it's funny enough that it'll keep you going throughout, as you explore different zones based around seasons like Winter and Spring. As you go about your business in the story, you'll slowly learn more about the game, and how it tries to change up the status quo a bit. Firstly, while units have a limited movement area (shown by a circular overlay when selecting units), they can go freely within that area, and attack or utilize the environment at will. Some advanced strategies are present, and this is where the game shines tactically. The major is the soul wall technique, which allows you to bunch up your units to avoid counter-attacks, knock backs, and prevent damage. This simple addition (which is usually only an offensive bonus in other games) makes you think before you place any unit, and adds quite a bit of depth to the proceedings. Eating skulls is also a big part of gameplay, as chomping on enemy remains will allow you to heal your units, and power them up into a super unit if they eat three in one map. The strategy involved with skulls is that you cannot eat your own fallen units, and eating a skull takes up an action -- leading you to think before you erroneously waste a turn healing. Then you have the game's other major component -- rice paddy fields -- which function as the game's currency. In order to gain rice, you have to "haunt" a special square, which takes both an action and a turn. In subsequent turns, you'll gain a resource for each haunted paddy, which allows you to buy more units in each map. Again, like skulls, this adds another element of depth as you decide which units will stay back and gain resources, which will defend and form a soul wall, and which will go on the offensive. New units will also come into play, like the cavalry unit that has more movement than most, archers, fox spirits with a heal spell, and of course, your General, which gains the ability to meditate before making his first movement (to increase his maximum health), and engage in two actions on the same turn. While Skulls of the Shogun does a great job of offering a decent amount of units, there's no inherent "wow" factor when it comes to gameplay. Although the traditional grid is tossed in favor of a circular movement shadow, it still feels about the same as the genre always has, minus the game's visual and vocal charm. Most units don't really have "spells" in the traditional sense that carry from map to map. There's no real RPG progression system or anything to work for. You're kind of just moving from map to map starting over from square one, even if your units had amazing success or mostly all died in the previous level. While there are a few "challenges" (like losing less units for instance) to work through in each map, they don't really do anything to make you want to complete them. Additionally, while you can "fast forward" enemy turns using LB, I feel like it doesn't actually speed things that much, and often times I'm finding myself fairly bored while I wait for units to do menial tasks. After playing games that have options to skip enemy turns entirely, it feels a bit jarring. Thankfully, there's more than just a single-player component to the game, should you become complacent with the formula. Multiplayer wise, Skulls of the Shogun is extremely impressive in that it basically offers every option under the sun for up to four people. There's full couch-coop, four player online play, and cross platform asynchronous play between Xbox Live, Windows 8 PC, and Windows Phones. I wasn't able to test out the cross-platform play function, but it operates the same as other modes -- you just pick up where you left off. These games play out in the same manner as the main story, just with up to three other human armies involved. There's creeps (enemy AI) on the map to dispose of, rice patties to fight over, and units to claim. In terms of the options, think Swords and Soldiers, in that it offers a very limited amount of maps and tweaks that all feel around the same. If someone drops out at any time during these modes, an AI opponent will take over -- so you don't have to worry about getting heavily invested in a match only to have it completely fall apart within seconds. I wasn't enamored by Skulls of the Shogun, but I enjoyed my time with it. If you can find local friends that enjoy a good asynchronous strategy game (think local Advance Wars), you might get a bit more mileage out of this one.
Skulls of the Shogun photo
Chop 'til you drop dead
The Xbox Live Arcade, after nine long years, still doesn't have a whole lot of classic style strategy RPGs. Discounting tower defense, there's Band of Bugs, Greed Gorp, and a scant few others. Enter Skulls of the Shogun: a ne...

Falcom photo

Falcom to re-release quartet of Ys games for Windows 8

That many RPGs should keep somebody busy for a while
Jan 25
// Kyle MacGregor
Not everybody is down on Windows 8. JRPG pioneer Falcom is re-releasing four titles from its flagship franchise on Microsoft's new OS. While the games are currently available through various outlets online, digital ...

Skulls of the Shogun releasing on January 30

For XBLA, Windows 8, Surface, and Windows Phone
Jan 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Freaking finally. We've been looking forward to Skulls of the Shogun for literally years. Well the wait is finally almost over as developer 17-Bit has announced the game will be launching on January 30, 2013. It'll be availa...

CES: Small but powerful: Hands-on with Razer Edge

Tablet-sized Windows 8 gaming rig
Jan 10
// Dale North
Remember Razer's Project Fiona from last year's CES? That's now an official product called Razer Edge, which is a tablet, PC, and console all wrapped up into one. Last year it was a Windows 7 screen with console-like controls...

The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles is out now on Windows 8

It looks absolutely ridiculous
Dec 11
// Brett Zeidler
You guys remember FMV games, right? Well, even I remember them, and I'm the resident baby here at Destructoid. FMVs were interactive movies that, you guessed it, used full-motion videos. Think Dragon's Lair but with real act...

Microsoft announces Windows 8 Pro for the Surface

Coming January 2013
Nov 30
// Jason Cabral
Well, after its first month out on the market, the Microsoft Surface tablet has been met with an unsurprisingly cold reception from both the PC and tablet communities. Nevertheless, Microsoft has decided to push up the releas...

Saddle up! Wavy Tube Man Chronicles to hit Windows 8

Also available for Microsoft Surface
Nov 12
// Jason Cabral
I have always enjoyed games that are a little out there in terms of its story, and who aren't afraid to break that fourth wall so hard that it leaves in shambles. That's why whenever I hear anything about an game from Twisted...

Microsoft: No plans to bring Direct X 11.1 to Windows 7

Nov 12
// Jason Cabral
Since the worldwide release of Windows 8 back in October, an interesting question has popped up concerning the newest version of its 3D API: Will DirectX 11.1 be made available for Windows 7 users? The answer from Micros...

Croteam dev hates Windows 8, calls it a 'walled garden'

Suggests certification processes should be abolished
Nov 06
// Jim Sterling
A number of game developers have already shared their less-than-positive views on Windows 8, slamming Microsoft's new interest in ruling the PC gaming market through proprietary services. Croteam's chief technical offer ...

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