Windows Phone 8 hasn’t exactly been kind to the mobile lineup of Xbox games. To say nothing of the disheartening scarcity of WP8-specific games, more than 20 Xbox WP7 games simply aren’t available on WP8 due to incompatibility. In my opinion, Microsoft has handled these incompatibility issues quite poorly.
Still, in my original article about the mass delisting of WP8-incompatible games, I did predict that some of those games would eventually be patched and become available for WP8. Over the weekend we saw a semi-incompatible game BulletAsylum (which hadn’t actually been partially delisted like other affected titles) get patched to work properly on WP8. And now the first game from the ‘delisted’ list has appeared on WP8 as well: The Oregon Trail HD from Gameloft.
The Oregon Trail is an edutainment title, focusing on the emigrant trail used by thousands of American settlers to travel from the Missouri River to Oregon during the 1800s. It features a lively cartoonish art style and several minigames to make the simulation and learning more fun. Plus you get to die of dysentery! Check out our review for more gameplay details. Oregon Trail’s Achievements are mostly easy, but the ‘Gold Digger’ Achievement is semi-glitched. Make sure you follow the instructions in this Achievement Guide to unlock it.
The trail to WP8
Now, you might’ve expected The Oregon Trail’s WP8 compatibility to come from an actual title update. This would’ve given the developers a chance to patch that problem Achievement, as they could fix two birds with one stone. Instead, the game was fixed on the back-end with no change in version number. Perhaps that’s how future WP8-incompatible games will be handled when they finally jump to WP8 as well. Also, The Oregon Trail’s WP Store page has returned as expected.
Update: A few months later, Oregon trail is no longer available for WP8. Again.
The Oregon Trail costs a hefty $4.99 in the US and £3.99 in the UK. Aspiring emigrants can get it here on the Marketplace.
Shoot 1UP gets semi-delisted
Now, the availability of another missing Xbox WP7 game on WP8 is always good news, even if it’s a slightly overpriced and buggy title. But sadly, the number of WP8-incompatible Xbox titles remains the same: 25. We may have gained The Oregon Trail, but we lost a cheaper and arguably more compelling title… Shoot 1UP from Mommy’s Best Games.
Windows Phone Central actually discovered Shoot 1UP’s WP8 issues shortly after the launch of Windows Phone 8 and reported them to the game’s developer. At first glance, the game seemed to run fine, which probably explains why it took a while for the game to get delisted from WP8 devices and have its page pulled from the WP Store website. However, after beating the third level’s boss, the game crashes, making it impossible to continue playing.
It’s a shame to see Shoot 1UP have these troubles. Not only is the game’s creator Nathan Fouts a genuinely nice guy, but Shoot 1UP is my personal favorite shoot-em-up on Windows Phone. It boasts the unique ability for players to control up to 30 ships at once, not to mention a distinctive and surreal art style. Just as importantly to a busy Games Editor and family dude, it’s actually possible for normal human beings to complete the game without dedicating their lives to mastering it. See our full review for more details.
Thankfully, Mommy’s Best Games is already hard at work getting Shoot 1UP to run properly on WP8. With any luck, it will return to the WP Store website and WP8 in the near future.
Update: Shoot1UP has been updated and is now fully WP8 compatible.