As mobile Xbox gamers probably know, Halfbrick recently released a new version of Fruit Ninja and Square Enix’s Chaos Rings became available to all Windows Phone 8 users last week. Beyond that however, we aren’t aware of too many game developers with plans to support Xbox Windows Phone in the future. Microsoft has been dark on the subject all year, and nobody else is really talking…
Nobody except Gameloft, that is. Last year, the publisher announced 12 Xbox Windows Phone 8 games – 10 of which have launched so far. Today Gameloft has reaffirmed its commitment to mobile Windows platforms by promising 15 more games for Windows Phone and Windows 8! Only four new Windows Phone games have actually been revealed, but it’s exciting news regardless… especially for Windows 8, which will be seeing much more support from Gameloft in the near future.
Head past the break for exclusive details on today’s announcement!
Coming to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 in 2013
As I just mentioned, Gameloft has largely been cool towards Windows 8 since the tablet and PC OS launched last year. The publisher has released only one game so far: physics puzzler Shark Dash. Arcade racer Asphalt 7: Heat is due out this month as well. After that, the 15 games in the announcement will follow.
News of those games coming to Windows Phone and Windows 8 would be great enough on its own, but it doesn’t stop there. Gameloft also promised that several of the announced games will feature cross-platform multiplayer between phone and tablet! We don’t know if Play/Pause/Resume support via cloud saves is on the table, but let’s hope so. And let’s also hope that hit MMORPG Order & Chaos Online makes its way to Windows 8 with cross-platform multiplayer. Dare we dream?
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Previous series entry Asphalt 7 made a huge splash on Windows Phone 8 for a variety of reasons. One, it was the first game for the platform to feature 3D impressive graphics and real-time online multiplayer. Two, it cost only a buck, ensuring a large online player base. And three, Asphalt 7 is one of the fastest, most intense racing games on Windows Phone.
Thankfully we’ll be getting the sequel as well, presumably with cross-platform multiplayer between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Asphalt 8 boasts the best mobile racing graphics yet, with new particle effects including dust, snow, and rain. That’s right, weather effects – and they will impact car handling. A new physics engine promises to provide more realistic handling to boot.
Asphalt 8 is set to include 8 brand new tracks and one returning track from the last game: Monaco. Online multiplayer returns with two new game types: Gate Drift and Infected. Multiplayer won’t be limited to real-time, either; this one adds asynchronous multiplayer to the mix. Asphalt 8 won’t be a sim-style racer, but it certainly should entertain arcade racing fans (like me!) for hours on end.
Despicable Me: Minion Rush
On top of cloning popular console and PC games, Gameloft also produces some quality licensed titles. Amazing Spider-Man, Dark Knight Rises, and Ice Age Village were all good-great games. Despicable Me: Minion Rush should maintain that same pedigree when it comes later this year.
As the name implies, Minion Rush is a 3D endless running game similar to Temple Run. It will be the first Xbox-enabled game of its kind on Windows Phone. Players will control one of the Cheeto-like Minions from the animated films as he dashes through the city and former supervillain Gru’s lab. Any good endless runner needs long-term goals to complete, and this one brings plenty. It promises tons of costumes and weapons to unlock and over 300 missions to complete.
Minion Rush has already been downloaded over 50 million times on other platforms. Let’s see how Windows Phone and Windows 8 can add to that tally. It will of course be free.
Dungeon Hunter 4
Windows Phone and Windows 8 aren’t exactly overflowing with action-RPGs; only The Harvest comes to mind. Soon the latest entry in the popular Dungeon Hunter series will take care of that problem. Players will take on the roles of amnesiac warriors who are forced to defend their kingdom from a demonic invasion. Think of it as a mobile clone of Diablo.
On top of a strong story and four playable classes, Dungeon Hunter 4 boasts strong combat, item crafting, and character customization. But most exciting of all are the four-player online co-op and PvP modes. This one should certainly give Order & Chaos Online players something to do while they wait for the next content update.
Dungeon Hunter 4 will be free to play. That’s mostly a good thing, especially as far as creating a large online player base. Expect more than a few encouragements to purchase premium currency though.
This one is a clone of Clash of Clans, a popular iOS city building/RTS game that has yet to arrive to arrive on Windows platforms. It takes place during Roman times. Players must build and fortify their own city, populating it with citizens and gathering resources.
Unlike your average city building game, this one also has a strong focus on combat. You can hire a variety of warriors to join your army and then take them out to raid other villages. The combat happens in real-time, allowing players to direct their army in the heat of battle. Total Conquest should be a hit with history and strategy buffs.
We already knew Six Guns would be coming to Windows Phone 8. In fact, I’ve played the Windows Phone version and can testify to its greatness. The news today is that Six Guns will arrive on Windows 8 as well!
Six Guns closely resembles popular Wild West open-world console game Red Dead Redemption. You’ll play as a gunslinger who takes on missions for the citizens of frontier towns. The West is vast, so thankfully you can call a horse to ride at any time. A map and radar will aid in navigating those distances as well.
The combat will be easy for gamers accustomed to using a virtual stick and buttons. Auto-aim makes targeting a snap, and you can also lean against objects for cover. You won’t just be fighting NPC banditos, either. Like the game that inspired it, Six Guns has a full online multiplayer mode.
Six Guns will be free to play when it arrives on Windows platforms
Kingdoms & Lords
Again, Kingdoms & Lords was already announced for Windows Phone 8 and will now be coming to Windows 8 too.
This game resembles Total Conquest in that it blends city building with combat. But Kingdoms & Lords is a less serious, more mainstream game. The graphics are much cuter and medieval themed; and the combat resembles an RPG more than an RTS. It also has some social elements like challenging friends or coming to their aid when called.
Like most of the games announced today, Kingdoms & Lords will be free to play.
UNO & Friends
Were you disappointed that UNO & Friends for Windows Phone can’t play against other versions of the game? Well, now that it’s coming to Windows 8 we should have even more players to compete against.
UNO & Friends is a free online multiplayer version of the popular card game. Check out our recent review of the Windows Phone 8 version and you’ll know what to expect from the tablet/PC game. Hopefully Gameloft adds chat to both versions by the time the Windows 8 game rolls around!
Bright time ahead
Gameloft promised 15 new games for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, but today they only revealed the seven titles above. The other eight games will arrive in 2014.
Gameloft informed us today that most of these games will NOT be Xbox enabled. We'll have more details very soon.