Today, Windows is known in gaming communities for the third-party game stores that users can install. Mostly that’s because Microsoft has left the PC gaming community alone in the last few years. With Windows 8 Microsoft moved back into the space with Xbox On Windows.
Unlike Steam and past Windows gaming experiences like Games for Windows Live, Xbox On Windows lives in the Start Screen experience. There’s an app that allows users to send messages over Xbox Live and become friends with other Windows 8 users. Backing all of this up is the Windows Store, a new place for users to download games. Many of those games require a small purchase, but many more of them are free for users to play.
If you have some down time these are 7 games that should be installed on your Windows 8 device. They’re all pretty fun and they’re all completely free.
If you’ve ever wanted to play as your favorite soccer teams but didn’t have the will to invest in a gaming console like the Xbox One, FIFA 14 for Windows is the game for you. All of the teams and players from the majors are present. Players in the game are actually controlled by touch, allowing players to quickly pass, shoot and score on opposing teams.
In-game purchases allow users to pick up more of their favorite players. Users don’t have to purchase those in-game packs if they don’t want to. It’s just a way to supercharge the experience. Because FIFA 14 is an Xbox on Windows game users earn achievements that apply to their Xbox Live Gamerscore.
Asphalt 8: Airborne
If you’re into driving games on smartphones and tablets then you’ve heard of Asphalt 8 Airborne. The mobile version allows users to race around tracks in the coolest cars and compete for more in-game currency to get even more powerful vehicles. Doing tricks and getting more air time earns players more in-game currency to use on new vehicles too.
Asphalt 8: Airborne for Windows allows this too, but users can also pair it with an Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller and play.
King of Pool
Pool has been around for ages, so long in fact that you would have thought the Windows Store would be full of competing pool games. As it turns out , it is – just none of them are as good as King of Pool. The free version of the game does exactly as its next suggest: lets users play pool. The catch is that users can play with their friends over a Wi-Fi network or against the game itself.
Users can purchase more new game modes inside the game or upgrade to paid version of King of Pool for $3.99.
An entire new generation of gamers were introduced to taking care of digital pets when Microsoft revealed its Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360 and Kinectimals. Kinectimals Unleashed brings that same experience to Windows devices. Users adopt and take care of a number of pets. There are a ton of activities to complete like volleyball, fetch and agility skills. Microsoft says Kinectimals Unleashed includes 85 dogs, bears and tigers.
Disney Infinity: Toy Box
The game building world that took the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii by storm is now available on Windows absolutely free. In Disney Infinity: Toy Box, all the same characters from Disney’s movies are here. So too are the dozens of free objects for users to create their own game modes and scenery. Players can purchase more characters and the game grants them Mr. Incredible absolutely free.
Project Spark is sort of like Disney Infinity in that it’s a game that allows players to make games. The key difference is that Project Spark allows users to create their game worlds and share them with others on other Microsoft platforms. For example, it’s also available on Microsoft’s Xbox One and the Xbox 360. Think of Project Spark not so much as a game, but a sandbox for you to create whatever you want.
Finally, there’s Offroad Racing. Like many mobile games, this title is deceptively simple. Players are given a truck and asked to traverse dangerous terrain without flipping over. There are tons of different things floating around, trying to stop you from reaching your goal. The only thing you actually control is the truck’s speed.
Remember, Windows 8 is a synced experience. That means that in most cases, downloading these games will make them available on your other Windows 8 devices. Windows 8 is available on multiple form factors so each of these will adapt to the input methods you have available to you whether you’re using touch, a mouse and keyboard or an external controller. Happy playing.