The 9 Weirdest Games Available for Windows 8

We all know that Windows 8 hasn't endeared itself to the game industry. It's constrictive nature and small storefront make it pale in comparison to just using Steam Big Picture on Windows 7. Yet there are still gamers who use this new OS, and developers who are making games for them. I dared to look into the abyss that is Windows 8's games store. These were the weirdest and most interesting games I found.

First off, we have Soldiers D.U.T.Y, a third person shooter in which you... shoot cars? That are supposedly your enemies and will kill you? According to the limited information available this is literally just you, running around a city, fighting ghost cars. It's like the military Christine spin-off no one asked for. There's little else in the two sentence description to go on.

And yes, it's not "Soldier's D.U.T.Y.", but Soldiers D.U.T.Y. As you'll see, grammar isn't the strong suit of several Windows 8 developers.

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Next up is the surprisingly inconsistent Special Force Anti-terrorism on-rails shooter. Despite having 2D drawings for all characters, the game actually has a rendered background using default assets that look to be either from the GoldenEye Source Engine or a Quake mod. The description however claims it is:

Special Force:Anti-terrorism is a free shooting game very similiar with Counter Strike. In this game, players join the battle of anti-terrorism in several different scenarios. In each scenario, you should pick up you weapon, and read the task brief carefully, try to finish all the tasks.

Also particularly choice is the game's control description:

Control: You just need to aim the terrorist and shoot, click the weapons to change. When run out of bullet, it will reload automaticlly, you can't fire during reloading.

Finally, an accurate depiction of counter-terrorism agents. For some reason, no other shooter has ever demonstrated that instead of aiming your gun, you need to aim your terrorist properly.


Move over, Age of Empires (and any tower defense game in existence)! Here comes Pirates! Showdown.

Yes, that is lava bordering what looks more like a badly made ice wall texture. Yes those cities are just lighthouses standing on oddly positioned towers. Yes there are more cannonballs flying than there are N-words in Django Unchained's script. Yes, none of this makes any sense whatsoever.

What's especially surprising is the game has been reviewed by at least two sites for its Android version. I could find no reference to the Digital Trends listing they refer to.

"...it's the streamlined method of delivery that makes Pirates! Showdown rather masterful."
PocketGamer.co.uk

3rd place on list of best Android tablet games!
Digital Trends

"Seriously, this is a very cool game!"
AndroidGameplay4You
However despite claims that the game involves "thrilling head-to-head pirate battles on the high sea!" The gameplay really amounts to this. While it may still be one of the most recognized oddities on this list, and it packs a surprising amount of content (75 campaign missions plus a random-generated skirmish mode, not too shabby), it's apparently truly a very dull game once you get past how absurd it is.

Apparently someone thought there was a large niche for top-down, same-screen multiplayer deathmatch games. The Last Gun is an attempt to fill this very small niche.

By same screen I don't mean split screen, but literally the entire map can be fit on a player's screen. Also the in-game graphics look barely anything like the character models in the screenshot of the cast do.

The concept itself is interesting, but only as a concept. Although if they could have made it a bit more like Gun Monkeys, it might have worked out.

The developers were considerate enough to allow multiple forms of control across the various platforms as well. As far as the more "out there" concepts I found went, this one at least seems to be trying. That's admirable in of itself considering what comes next...


Yes, Tetris! with an EXCLAMATION POINT! Because the licensing hell the original creator of Tetris has been through just seemed too boring a thing to care about for the developers behind this title.

Judging by the fact the rest of the game is literally the most bare-bones Tetris clone in existence, all the budget went into finding a way to shrink the image from Black Milk (here's the original) that somehow no one's called them on stealing the image and most likely never paying up for using the Tetris name. Classy all around, aren't they?


Yes, the road is levitating off the ground. Yes, these are graphics a Game Boy Advanced could probably render. What is this strange monstrosity of a racing game? Kids Car Racers. I really can't make this up, and there's little to say other than that if you think this is the worst this game looks, it isn't. The official description is boggling in the concepts at play here as well, as you literally cannot win a race apparently, and levels are called "scenes".

Car Racing game for kids, allows them to control the car by tilting your device, as well as bump the other cars & obstacles on the track. There are 10 cars to choose from as well as 3 scenes. The intuitive controls were designed kids as young as 18 months as there is no way to run the car of the track and the race never ends. However older kids will also be able to get full enjoyment as they run the opponent cars off the track and try to get a higher score per lap. Car fans of all ages will not be disappointed.

Judging by the fact it is literally a game that cannot be won built for children too young to even fully comprehend all the various inputs you have on screen, I'd say car fans of all ages will be very, very disappointed. Save for fans of Big Rigs who have been looking for a spiritual successor. Ability to reverse yourself off of the track into oblivion not included.


Next up is the Mortal Kombat rip-off Brotherhood of Violence. Starring such not-iconic characters as Blade (not the Marvel one), Lamar, Black Outfit Not-Sub Zero, Not-Raiden, and Not-Aang from Avatar: The Last Air-Bender crossed with Ken? "The Big Boss" (not the Metal Gear one) and members of the Yakuza also make appearances as opponents as well, apparently. As does what looks to be a Sadam Hussein look-a-like in the background of the image above.

What takes the cake here is that while the title isn't even the right one. Right in the game's description it calls this Brotherhood of Violence 2 - Blood Impact. So not only is it a generic rip-off of a franchise, but it couldn't even get its own version right when being added to the Windows 8 store.

Surprisingly enough though, this game has been rated by the ESRB and the developers do at least claim to be trying to make Brotherhood a compelling title. Supposedly the AI improves to your skill set (although this is highly in doubt), there's a story campaign much like Mortal Kombat (2009) with "cinematic effects", and there are multiple alternate play modes.

The game even says it has been updated to its most recent version 2.0.4 since its 2013 release, which is either an inflated number or some serious dedication. This begs the question though, if they wanted to make a fighting game for mobile tablets, and were willing to put effort into it, why not just make their own IP with it's own ideas? I guess originality is overrated?


Flight simulators are making a come back these days, so it was inevitable we'd see some really weird attempts to capitalize on this all over. F18 Carrier Landing Lite gets a gold ribbon for coming up with what may be the most unnecessary one I've ever seen.

The name is quite literal. This is a simulation about landing and taking off on an aircraft carrier. The bullet points are very enthusiastic about this:

  • Virtual 3D cockpit
  • In flight refuel
  • Multi-Camera Replay with dynamic pan
  • Two complete scenarios
  • Landing on air carriers and land bases completely customized for weather and time conditions
  • Flight school
  • Free flight mode
  • Dynamic-pan control system
  • I.F.L.O.L.S. approach system
  • Simulator mode, for even more realistic controls
  • Radio communications
I guess someone out there wanted this? I mean, as part of a game, a more realistic landing sequence works great. A Battlestar Galactica-style game with the more grounded physics could provide just as much tension landing as dogfighting. Without the latter though, it feels unnecessary.

You may be wondering why I have SunAge here. I mean, it actually looks like an interesting game, trying to be in the vein of Starcraft and Age of Empires.

Here's the genuine weird thing about this one though -- it IS an RTS in the vein of those games. With high production values, a full campaign, multiplayer for online and LAN, three different factions, a passive target prioritization system you can control, branching research paths, and it's all built for touch interface.

The concept may be a bit old-fashioned and the tri-faction style of play is blatantly Starcraft, but some-what generic as it may be, this is a sub-genre in RTS yearning for more titles. So why is it this is the only place I've ever found this game. Why did the developers choose the Windows 8 store and seemingly nowhere else?

Update: It would seem this game did get a release on earlier Windows platforms after all, back in 2007. It was actually so mediocre that apparently everyone thought it never had existed, and the developers simply ported it to Windows 8 to try and make what little they could.


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Author
Elijah Beahm
Grumpily ranting at this computer screen since before you were playing Minecraft. For more of my work: https://elijahbeahm.contently.com/