We have heard the argument for years that the Windows Phone Store desperately needed more quality games. While that subject is debatable, the debate may carry over to the Windows 10 Store with respect to one particular gaming genre, sports.
Whether it be Madden Football or PGA Tour Golf, these games can be a fantastic way to waste a lot of time with. Unfortunately, these major gaming titles are nowhere to be seen in the Windows 10 Store.
I imagine that with such a strong presence with Xbox One and PC games, the need for Windows 10 Store versions may not seem as urgent. Still, the Store could use a decent boost in their selection of sports games (would a baseball game hurt?).
While the Store's sports titles may be lacking in volume, there are a few top-rated sports game offerings present. It takes a little digging but they are there and we were able to dig up a few options worth trying for today's roundup. We kept to the games centered around sports play and did not include fantasy sports league apps or sports trivia games. It's a small collection, but you should find at least one title worth trying.
By all means if you have a favorite sports game that isn't mentioned, toss out your recommendation in the comments below. Your recommendations do not go unnoticed and we'll keep them in mind for the next roundup or possibly a game review.
1. iStunt 2
We start things off with an Extreme Sport of sorts - snowboarding.
iStunt has been available for some time, is a Xbox gaming title and may only be hindered by the lack of a trial version. The game places you on the snow covered slopes with your trusty board in hand. You have to survive some rather creative downhill (and uphill) courses, performing stunts and defying the laws of gravity along the way.
Game controls range from using your tilt sensors to maintain your snowboarder's balance to using keyboard controls. The game has two modes that include a stunt mode and time trial. The stunt mode has you earning points for stunts during the course while the time trial adds a game clock to the mix.
Regardless of the game mode, the goal of the game is to a) stay upright and b) collect as many stars that line the course as possible. You can perform front and back flips while in mid-air, duck to ski under dangers and jump over other dangers. Oh and your orientation will change at times during the course where up is down and down is up.
The pace of play will keep you on your toes and should you crash, the ragdoll physics adds a little drama to things. Should you crash, you will have the opportunity to restart the level of play from the last checkpoint on that particular course.
As you play the game and complete courses, you will earn gaming coins that can be used in the game's store. The Store has a wide assortment of snowboards and riders to purchase to help give the game a little more flavor.
In playing iStunt 2 for the past few days, it comes across as a fun, arcade-style sports game. It does play out slightly better from a touch screen device but playing from a keyboard driven computer isn't too shabby either. The game is available from both the Windows 10 and Windows Phone Store. There is no trial version, which may turn a few away, but the game is universal, so when you buy one version you have access to the other without extra cost.
2. Disney Bola Soccer
There are a few sports games in the Windows 10 Store that offer a full football (soccer to some of us) gaming experience. While many would choose EA Sports FIFA 15 as their first choice, we went in the direction of a lighter option.
Disney Bola Soccer is a wonderfully animated game of soccer that relies on a series of touch gestures to control your team during matches. Key features of Disney Bola Soccer include:
- Quick game sessions that will satisfy the gaming itch of novice to experienced players.
- Solo play tournaments.
- Head to head matches against other players.
- Choose sponsors to obtain "bollars" that can be used to unlock gaming features and upgrade players. Bollars are also earned as you win matches.
Online head-to-head matches can be against random opponents or your Facebook friends. Opponents you play regularly can be tagged as rivals for easy re-matches.
Matches are a little on the abbreviated side, lasting only 90 seconds. This adds to the challenge of the game and creates a bit of urgency to score goals quickly. The short game times also helps Disney Bola Soccer fit the times where you don't have a lot of time to devote to gaming but still want to sneak in a match or two.
In tinkering with Disney Bola Soccer for a short time, the game comes across as an appealing sports game in the Windows 10 Store. It may not have enough meat on the bone for hardcore sports gamers but for those looking for a quick game of football, it should do nicely.
3. NFL RUSH Heroes and Rivals
While there are a few American football oriented games in the Windows 10 Store, there is a noticeable absence of a complete football game such as Madden.
I was able to find a nicely drawn up Windows game that is a collection of mini-games that focused on football skills. NFL Rush Heroes and Rivals is a competitive game where you get to choose your favorite NFL team and train through a series of eight mini-games.
Position drills are available for Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Linebackers, Defensive Tackles and Kickers. The drills cover skills such as passing, tackling, breaking tackles and kicking. You also have an endless runner game and a trivia game to help add to the game's variety.
Players can be customized to a degree with some equipment choices, hair/eye color options and jersey styles. Once you feel comfortable enough with the drills, you can take on other teams with the Red Zone Rivals feature. Here you compete with other NFL teams to see who can perform the best in the drills.
While NFL RUSH Heroes and Rivals is a fun game and full of potential, there is room for improvement. Be prepared for longer than normal load times and a cumbersome gaming menu. You do have a series of tutorials that will walk you through all the drills and menu options but learning the game's navigation is mostly trial and error.
NFL RUSH Heroes and Rivals scores a 4 star rating in the Windows 10 Store and is an appealing game worth trying. However, with a little polishing, the game would be a lot more attractive.
4. Shuffle Party
This sports related game definitely qualifies as an oldie but goodie. I may be mistaken but I believe Shuffle Party has been around since the days of Windows Phone 7 and has quietly remained on Store shelves, pulling down respectable ratings.
The Xbox gaming title is an indoor sports game where you have to master the game of table top bowling and table top shuffleboard. It includes four gaming modes, plenty of Xbox achievements and an appeal selection of unlockable tables, table frames, pucks and pins.
The four gaming modes includes:
- Bowling: A straight-up, traditional game of ten pin bowling.
- Challenge: A shuffleboard game where you have to slide your puck through a series of table top puzzles to collect coins and eventually stop in one of three scoring zones.
- Shuffleboard: A full and traditional game of shuffleboard, played on a table top.
- Pass and Play: A two player, pass and play game of shuffleboard.
As you play the games, you will earn gaming cash as your score points. That cash in turn can be used to unlock a host of puck, pin and table styles. For example, there is a Speed theme that turns the puck into a racing tire and the table into a race track. Styles can be mixed or matched as you see fit.
Game mechanics are simple in that you can set your aim point by sliding left/right at the screen and to launch your puck, just swipe up. With the game being so touch oriented, it plays out best from a touchscreen computer or tablet.
The game has been around for a long time and is still an entertaining game to pick up and play. The only downside to Shuffle Party is that it is still only available as an ad-supported, free game. The ad banner isn't overbearing but as nice as the game looks, I don't think many will argue about paying $.99 to $1.99 to get rid of the ads.
Shuffle Party is a universal game, available from both the Windows 10 and Windows Phone Store.