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Best Windows 8 Gaming Apps

Today we browse through some of the most recommended gaming apps from the Windows Store. Windows 8 officially saw daylight on 26th October 2012, and many were unhappy with the pace of applications being added to the Windows Store. While iOS and Android boast more than 800,000 apps, Windows is trying to walk with its head high with just over 80,000 apps.

According to MetroStore Scanner (the unofficial counter of Windows applications), as of June 17, 2013, there are 89,333 applications available for Windows 8 users. Out of these, 12,236 are gaming apps. There is a slight chance that you might not find the game you want, but Microsoft has guaranteed that most popular games will soon be available on Windows 8. Till that happens, let’s make the most of it, and play with the most recommended Windows 8 gaming apps.

Temple Run: Brave

Get engrossed in another visually appealing game from the makers of Temple Run. Temple Run: Brave has become one of the most popular apps on the Windows Store. Join Merida, the archer princess, as you run, shoot, jump, and slide through the wilderness of Scotland on an endless adventure.

4 Pics 1 Word

Millions are already addicted to it. 4 Pics 1 Word is simply great and also proves to give the mind a decent amount of exercise. Figure out what is common in all the 4 pictures, and then come up with the right answer. It is also one of the most acclaimed games on the Windows 8 platform.

Angry Birds Star Wars

Angry Birds addicts, be ready to join your favorite heroes in their biggest adventure to date. Join your favorite Rebel Birds in an epic battle to save the universe against the evil Imperial Pigs. Be a part of the incredible Star Wars Universe, and save the galaxy from the evil Darth Vader.

Fruit Ninja

Fruit Ninja is available on all mobile platforms, and is one of the best games to pass free time. You just need to slide your finger across the screen to slice juicy apples, coconuts, peaches, pineapples, etc. Just be careful with the bombs as they end your fruity adventure pretty soon.

Rayman Jungle Run

Ubisoft believes in giving its users the best games, and Rayman Jungle Run is a great example of their innovation. Unlock new levels and powers as you jump, punch, fly, and run through the visually stunning wilderness. This legendary limbless hero guarantees 24/7 fun for Windows 8 users.

Blocked In

A must have puzzle game with more than 500 levels to solve, Blocked In is one of the most downloaded game in the Windows Store. All you need to do is get the color block out of the board, this can be done by moving other blocks vertically or horizontally.

Dredd vs. Zombies

As Dredd, your mission is to protect Mega-City from a zombie invasion. To help kill zombies, you have been provided with a Lawgiver pistol and other deadly ammunition. To complete your mission, you will come face to face with four deadly zombie archetypes. Stars and medals are earned on how many of your undead enemies are defeated.

Finger Slayer

The popular iOS game now available for Windows users, test your pace by removing your finger before the guillotine blade strikes. To play, simply place the finger on the guillotine circle and wait for the ‘GO’ count. Try removing your finger as soon as the blade drops. Also, try not to remove it before time or the game ends.

Angry Birds Space

Almost every Angry Birds game is a huge hit, and this one is no different. Join Angry Birds as they undergo a daring space adventure to recover their stolen eggs from the Space Pigs. A game that provides maximum fun in a zero gravity environment, Angry Birds Space is a must-have app on all Windows 8 devices.

Pacman

Who doesn’t like Pacman? I really think most of the 80s was spent playing this game. Lots of good memories are tied up with its stunning, highly successful, yet simple game-play, and it is time to relive those great times with Pacman on Windows 8.

Word Blast

Another great game app for exercising your mind and improving your vocabulary skills, Word Blast is an amazing word puzzle in which you need to search for new words from boxes before your time runs out. If you get stuck somewhere, just tap on the letters to find new possibilities.

4 Elements II Special Edition

The sequel to the highly popular 4 Elements game, in 4 Elements II Special Edition, the four fairies that represent the elements of earth, air, fire, and water have been deprived of their powers. It is up to you to save their kingdom, and restore their powers by solving puzzles and completing hidden objectives. The Special Edition comes with 48 new levels for Windows 8 users out of which 14 can be played in the free version.

Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure

The most popular arcade hunting game of North America, Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure brings you the excitement and thrills of hunting on your Windows 8 device. The new stunning design and interface is completely rebuilt for the Windows 8 platform and the game-play provides thrilling encounters with gorgeous deer, elks, sheep, antelopes, and caribou.

Microsoft Minesweeper

Minesweeper has been in the Windows family for over two decades, and now Microsoft has released its redesigned version for Windows 8. It is still the classic Minesweeper with a brand new Adventure mode and lots of amazing graphics and sounds.

The Dark Knight Rises

The epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises signifies Bruce Wayne’s return as the caped crusader to save Gotham from its worst enemy. Waiting for him is the mysterious Selina Kyle and the dreaded Bane, who wants to finish his legacy. Be a part of one of the most thrilling games on the Windows platform and experience an adrenaline rush like never before.

Texas Holdem Poker

Perhaps one of the few apps where beginners and masters of poker play together. It doesn’t matter if you are newbie or a professional, all you need is a Windows phone and an Internet connection, and you can play poker with thousands of players worldwide. Come and play poker with players from all around the world.

Asphalt 7 Heat

Let the temperatures rise with the most stunning racing game from the Asphalt franchise. The temperatures are rising with the Asphalt 7 Heat, as users continue to race with some of the best car models in the world. With over 15 different stunning tracks and an improved multiplayer option, be a part of the most exciting racing game and experience the fun and beauty of driving some of the fastest machines on road.

Words With Friends

It is probably the world’s most popular world building game. Just make a word and score points. You can play with players all around the world, and play many games simultaneously.

So what are you waiting for gamers, quickly download these awesome games and share your experiences with us.

A Guide to Buying a Gaming Mouse

What to look for when buying a gaming mouse
Gaming fever seems to be on an all-time high, with game developers each day pushing the boundaries of hyper-reality with games that seem so real that they engross you for hours on end. Even with the advent of powerful game consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the popularity of PC gaming is on the rise. This is mainly because of the easy availability and feasibility of PCs. Also, the best of games are usually simultaneously released for the PC platform along with the other gaming platforms. To make the most of this, your PC gaming experience, you need the proper hardware, and none is more important than the mouse.

There are plenty of gaming mice available in the market today, which offer different features. You might, however, want to keep in mind that, unlike most other hardware, you cannot have a one-mouse-serves-all approach. So, while a certain kind of mouse would be great for burning some rubber as you maneuver your car around the treacherous turns, the same mouse might turn out to be a complete disaster when you try sniping someone. Here are a few parameters that you might want to consider before you pick a mouse that best suits your gaming needs.

DPI
Dots Per Inch or DPI is the number of pixels the cursor on the screen moves when you move the mouse by an inch. Simply put, the higher the DPI, the more your cursor moves with minimal mouse movement, and vice versa. A mouse with high DPI (>1600) would be ideal for shoot ’em up games where you’re constantly on the move. These are also useful if you have a large screen or monitor, as you would not need to strain as much navigating from one end of the screen to the other. A lower DPI (<1600) is perfect for games that involve stealth and better control of the mouse. Some high-end gaming mice give you the option to change their DPI setting.

Acceleration
Acceleration is the speed at which the cursor moves in proportion to the speed at which the mouse is moved. The lower the acceleration the more control you have over the cursor. Most mice do not let you change the acceleration and have a standard acceleration. This is a parameter that cannot really be verified by the end user and as most gaming mice have a good acceleration value, this isn’t really a decisive factor while buying a mouse.

Polling Rate
Polling rate is essentially the response time of the cursor with respect to any action of the mouse. The higher the polling rate, the more often your mouse registers an action. For hardcore gamers, a polling rate in the range of 400 – 1,000 Hz should be just about perfect. For wireless mice, a higher polling rate would mean higher battery consumption.

Wired/Wireless
For those who like no hindrance while playing games, even with mouse wires, there’s nothing quite like a wireless mouse. These, however, run out of battery pretty soon, which is never a problem with wired mice. If you prefer a wireless mouse, opt for one with a large in-built rechargeable battery rather than one that uses removable batteries. The weight and range are other factors that you might also want to consider while buying a wireless gaming mouse.

Additional Buttons
Most gaming mice come with additional buttons apart from the standard three buttons (left, right and scroll). These buttons can be customized to handle specific functions in a game, and are very useful. Usually, a button on each side of the mouse should suffice for most gaming needs. Some mice feature profile storage options which allow you to save multiple settings on the mouse to use for different gaming needs. This is a feature that is rather handy if you play games across various genres.

Comfort
Comfort is probably, one of the most important factors to consider when buying a gaming mouse. Most games keep you occupied for hours together with almost all their in-game actions controlled by the mouse. Get a hands-on feel of the mouse if you can before buying it, as you would be using it for really long periods. This is all the more important if you are looking for a wireless gaming mouse as more often than not, you would not be using it on a level surface. As a rule of thumb, always choose ergonomics over style. Also, while selecting a mouse that best suits you, you may want to consider one that best matches your dominant hand (left or right) and the way you grip the mouse (palm, fingertip, or claw grip).

Here’s our pick of the Top 10 gaming mice in the market today.

– Razer DeathAdder
– Logitech G400s
– Razer Taipan
– Alienware TactX
– SteelSeries Sensei
– ROCCAT Savu
– ROCCAT Kone XTD
– Ozone Radon Opto
– Mionix NAOS 8200
– Mionix AVIOR 8200

With the perfect gaming mouse by your side, you should be able to get that perfect drift, the perfect headshot, and move around with the stealth of a cat in your virtual world. Cheers.

Consoles Vs. PC: The Great Gaming Debate

Gamers, worldwide, swear by the gaming experience on game consoles. Another section believes that PCs are the undisputed champions of the gaming platforms. As the two factions battle it out, here’s taking a look at the strengths and weaknesses of these worthy opponents so that you can decide for yourself which is better.
Hardware
Major game consoles are released about once a decade, so it goes unsaid that the hardware on board these devices need to be future-proof. No wonder then, that the specs of most game consoles seem to resemble that of some alien supercomputer. More often than not, the hardware on these consoles seems like an overkill. Having said that though, there is no such thing as ‘too much power’ in the gaming industry. Your options, however, are limited as there are only a handful of major players in this industry. Besides, apart from the hard drive, regular users don’t have the option to upgrade the hardware on board.

With computers, there seems to be a newer version hitting the markets every other week. PCs are available in varying configurations, right from the beastly supercomputers to the very basic ones. The hardware on board the more capable computers is very comparable to that on game consoles, and even beats them in certain areas. Perhaps, the biggest factor with computers is their flexibility when it comes to choosing the internal components, and the option to upgrade them as and when desired.

Setup
Game consoles usually come preassembled, and all you need to do is plug in the components together, power on the unit, set up your account, pop in your favorite game, and you’re good to go. You might need an Internet connection for the initial setup and to download the latest firmware. You would also need to install some game files on to your console.

Computers too, these days, come ready to use, and all you need to do is power it on, install your favorite game, and get cracking! While the operating system itself comes preinstalled, unless you opt to set one up yourself (in which case you will need to install the OS yourself), you would either need to download, or pop in the CD/DVD of your game, install the game files before you get started.

Controls
Game consoles have their own controller that come bundled along. These usually are specifically designed and are perfect for gaming. Their controls are fairly simple, yet extremely intuitive. The downside to this is, they aren’t the most comfortable when navigating through the game’s interface or surfing the Internet on the console. Certain consoles, like the Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4, offer additional motion-controlled sensors which make the gaming experience even better.

Computers do not come with a dedicated gaming controller. However, the markets are flooded with game controllers for PCs. In fact, the controllers of some game consoles work seamlessly with computers. An added advantage of having a computer is that you can plug in some controllers like gaming steering wheels, an option not available for game consoles.

Games
Being dedicated gaming platforms, game consoles have a plethora of game titles on offer. Some of the exclusive titles offer a gaming experience like none other. Console games run with no hiccups whatsoever on compatible systems, as they are developed specifically for that particular console. The dedicated online game servers of major consoles (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live) are the main USPs of their respective brands.

Most game studios release games for all major platforms including PCs. Computers, however, miss out on the exclusive games for consoles, most of which are extremely popular and engaging. As computers are available in various configurations, some PC games may not work on regular computers.

Versatility
Most next-gen consoles can easily replace your home’s multimedia center. They let you surf the Internet, make video calls, play HD movies, listen to music, and even have TV-streaming. Having said that, we would like to mention that as great these sound, these are add-on features with limited functionality. Although consoles have on-screen keyboards, they simply are way too cumbersome to use.

There simply is no beating the humble personal computer when it comes to versatility. Computers are perfect when it comes to surfing the web, computing data, and they make for fantastic entertainment systems. Additional accessories can help transform your computer into a TV, or you could simply install a software, and enjoy loads of online TV content. The computer’s keyboard makes inputting information an absolute breeze.

Perhaps, the biggest discerning factor between these two platforms is the price. You can get a good gaming computer for a fraction of the cost of the next-gen consoles in the market. If you are a hardcore gamer, nothing quite matches up to the gaming experience on a game console. For most gamers though, a gaming computer should suit them perfectly. The battle of game consoles and PCs rages on as neither can truly replace the other. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal choice. So, take a pick and set sail for gaming paradise. Cheers.