You might be bored of freemium blandness in the Windows Store, or trying to figure out what desktop games on Steam actually work with touch;
Maybe you’ve got a Microsoft Surface?
Here’s a list of genuinely great Windows games for tablets using touch mode only.
Shadowrun Dragon Fall Directors Cut is a turn based strategic RPG, with a top down isometric veiw. It’s beautiful, atmospheric and well scripted. If you like RPGs, and tablets and you haven’t tried this you are missing out. In 2012, magic returned to our world unleashing magical creatures. Among them was the Great Dragon Feuerschwinge, who emerged without warning from the mountains of Germany.
Machinarium is 2D hand drawn adventure puzzler. It’s story driven with extraordinary art. A robot who’s been thrown out to the scrap yard behind the city must return and confront the Black Cap Brotherhood and save his robot-girl friend.
*Use the Windows store version, it’s touch enabled
Trine 2 is a stunning platform puzzler, that is as engrossing as a one player game, as it is amazing fun as a two player game. It was updated to touch native interface on steam in 2014. All the recommendations – this is a must play. Join Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight and Zoya the Thief in their adventure full of friendship, magic and betrayal.
*Get the Steam version, it’s touch enabled
Another desktop title with full touch support, this turn based strategy game is filled with interesting cut scenes and deep complexity. Become Ruler of the World by establishing and leading a civilization from the dawn of man into the space age
Another attractive platformer, with hand drawn graphics. A fun game with great controls. Hunt down the cunning and mysterious thief that stole your gold.
*Play the Windows store version which is touch enabled, not the HD version designed for keyboard
An old school RPG dungeon crawler, with puzzles and real time combat. Both versions come with touch options, and the sequel expands on the size and look of it’s forerunner. A group of four prisoners have shipwrecked on the secluded Isle of Nex. The island is filled with ancient crumbled ruins, mysterious shrines and a vast underground network of dungeons and mines
*Enable touch mode and movement arrows.
An engaging puzzler that makes for a doctor’s office or train ride game that will stretch your deduction and observation skills! Follow a trail of cryptic letters from an enigmatic scientist known only as “AS”
Botanicula is a enchanting humour filled adventure game by the makers of Machinarium. Five friends, little tree creatures, set out on a journey to save the last seed from their home tree which is infested by evil parasites
This role-playing Viking saga is an engaging story with hand drawn art. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape.
*Disable DPS scaling in compatibility settings from shortcut.
The original mobile puzzler, this enticing brain teaser beats the crap out of candy crush. A mysterious invitation leads to the attic of an abandoned house
If you’re looking for a Zen womblike physics based game, Osmos is your jam. The music and atmosphere makes an ideal time filler.
*Will need gesture key mapping for Windows version – use GestureSign (See below). The Windows version is not designed for touch but it works with this hack.
The original dungeon crawling old school RPG filled with puzzles, traps and very engrossing. A group of prisoners are sentenced to certain death by exiling them to the secluded Mount Grimrock for vile crimes, a mountain filled with ancient tunnels, dungeons and tombs.
*Activate touch mode
The GO series games are turn based puzzle games, optimized for mobile casual gaming. They are good looking and simple but engaging. Deus EX offers a cyberpunk them, and has the best game play of the series.
Harebrain schemes original cyberpunk fantasy RPG strategy game. Lovely to play on a tablet, reclining on the sofa, or even in bed! You are a shadowrunner – a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone.
The first of the GO series, with a beautiful miniature aesthetic, the GO series games are turn based puzzlers optimized for mobile gaming. Hitman provides an assassin theme. My favourite of the series for the graphics.
Also completely touch optimized, Civilization Beyond earth is a civilization building turn based strategy game that takes place on a space colony.
You’ll notice I haven’t got many freemium games in here. Only the best ones made the cut. Asphalt 8 airborne is NOT a driving simulator by any stretch of the imagination but is an exciting racing arcade game perfect for casual stress relief.
Like the others in the Go series, this is a mobile optimized turn based puzzler. In this game you are playing the Tomb Raider. Natural graphics and exploration makes for a fun experience.
The highest rated first person shooter in the Windows store and definitely one of the best freemium games period. This game looks great and plays great. Not as deep as a desktop FPS, but as good as you’ll get for a touch one.
The most popular game in the Windows store, the Windows store version is touch native (touch enabled).
One of the most popular freemium runners for windows. Good time wasting fun, and occasionally actually challenging unlike some of the others.
A top down strategy game, this game is the best of the freemium war builder strategy category. It’s a nice looking game which features multiplayer, so you can play with your friends.
This bullet heavy cartoon-like top down shooter features great classic game play. It’s a little old school, reminds me of some old arcade top down shooter games. Take control of a platoon of crack soldiers and deploy in a variety or war zones as you battle through the epic campaign.
This side scrolling point and click adventure is sometimes let down by its game play, which can move a bit slowly, but it is held up by its story, atmosphere and lush graphics. Good if you don’t mind slow moving games with a narrative.
Halo Spartan assault is a touch based top down shooter, situated in the world of Halo. It’s a nice looking game, plays well but perhaps a little simple at times for a shooter. Good for casual play.
5 Best Game apps for Windows Tablet
There are some apps that extend the number of games you can play on Windows tablet quite a bit from the list above.
GestureSign is a free product, that can add touch gestures for keyboard presses which makes some games, like say Torment: Tides of Numenera playable in touch only (Provided its stable on your device – Numenera doesn’t seem to play well with ATOM based processors yet).
It’s useful for numerous games, although personal experience shows it doesn’t work in full screen mode for 100% of games (like Most Wanted 2005 for example).
For those games that are just missing a key press or two, and work primarily with mouse, this is what you want. And in general it’s actually a damn cool app. Something like this should be built into windows. Seriously. It’s a handy thing being able to customise gestures.
PPSSPP is a PSP emulator. Some form of controller, touch based or physical will be required to work it, but with something like the Ipega 9023, you now basically have a PSP handheld gaming device built into your Windows device (you’ll need to map the buttons). If you have the inclination for game emulators, this could be your ticket.
You can get this app for free online. It basically converts your touch surface into a trackpad, like a mouse. Very handy for those mouse driven games that refuse to play with touch screen. Between this and GestureSign you can get a lot of things to work that wouldn’t with touch. Also should very much be built into Windows.
*If you feel like splashing out a little cash for the most recent incarnations try either Tablet Pro below or this app here.
TouchFox is a touch based game controller. It is compatible with games like Skyrim, Witcher 2, Crysis 2 and many more. If you want to expand your game list in touch only, and you have a fairly high end windows tablet (the games it works with are reasonably graphical), this is the business. Not sure if it’s hardware compatible with all chipsets, so try the trial first.
Tablet Pro features a touch gamepad as well as numerous tablet enhancing UI commands. The touch tablet operates as an Xbox one controller, and it also provides a touch mouse. I put this one last because I know its previous incarnations and it looks great I haven’t tested it. There doesn’t seem to be any reviews on the gamepad function yet either. But it does look promising, and they developed the TouchMousePointer app above (which is excellent) that is part of this suite. Try the trial first, see how it works.