Cold Alley

Microsoft has released Cold Alley for Windows 8.1 and RT. If you enjoy dogfights in the air, Cold Alley puts you in control of various planes for an extensive single player campaign and numerous skirmish modes to get stuck into. Fly past the break to see some screens and read more about the game.

According to the store listing, Cold Alley boasts multiple visual, audio and special effects to help immerse the player, whether you're flying on a Windows tablet, or on your laptop and PC. Bump mapping, realistic atmospheric effects, clouds, sun glare, day and night cycles and more are included to bring the world to life. What's more is Xbox Live integration is present.

Playing through the story driven campaign, players will be tasked to land and take off on landing strips, as well as aircraft carriers, soaring through rendered cities and contending with other jets in a highly detailed cockpit. It doesn't matter if you're not a veteran, however. Cold Alley is "designed" for everyone to enjoy, regardless as to how much experience or skill you have.

Cold Alley

Controls can be configured for your favourite style, be it mouse and keyboard, virtual pads or utilising the accelerometer (if present). What's a real bummer is the lack of online multiplayer, which would have been a nice addition to compliment the single player game modes. It's also worth noting that while the game looks impressive, initial store reviews have been poor.

This is most down to the rather shabby controls of the planes themselves. For example, should you kick off the dog fighting game mode with only a single enemy, it's simply the case of going head on, firing some missiles and attempting to dodge. The UI, while attempting to fit in with the style of the cockpit, fails to provide an intuitive way to play effectively.

It's a shame because Cold Alley has potential to be such a sweet Xbox Live game, especially if there were multiplayer connectivity. The ideas and some of the graphics are both impressive, but Cold Alley definitely falls short.

You can download Cold Alley from the Windows Store for $6.99. Thanks, Salman M., for the tip