Finding, Installing and Playing Games on Windows Phone

March 10, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the main uses for a Windows Phone handset is playing games. Whether you’re looking for interesting entertainment pursuits or full on action adventure titles with Xbox LIVE integration, there is something for everyone in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Installing a game is just as easy as installing any other type of app for these devices, although the experience could be said to be a little more entertaining…

Windows Phone games – as with all apps – are available to played on all handsets, although you should keep in mind that some games might not suit your device as well as it might on others…

Finding, installing and playing games on Windows Phone 7

Finding a Game for Windows Phone 7

To start looking for games, you need to access the Marketplace Hub on your Windows Phone, available either via the Start screen tile or from the Programs list.

With the Marketplace running, tap Games – here you will see several lists split up by category. For instance if you have Xbox LIVE setup on your phone then the first list you see will be the top titles with Xbox LIVE integration. Otherwise you will see the Top rated games, New games, Free games and a screen listing various Categories, such as Strategy or Action & adventure.

You can also tap the Search button at this stage to perform a search of the Marketplace for a game that fits a particular description – you might search for “space” for instance if you’re looking for space invader titles.

Choosing a Game for Windows Phone 7

The most important aspect of finding any type of app for Windows Phone is to read the reviews. This is particularly important for games as you can see which ones work well with particular devices. While there shouldn’t be any real difference, in some cases there are – for instance Guitar Hero 5 Mobile is particularly difficult to play with a HTC Windows Phone because of the positioning of some onscreen buttons to the Back button on the handsets, a problem that doesn’t affect LG devices.

As such, when you find a game that you’re interested in installing, spend some time reading the details (these explain what it is about and some tips on how to play), observe the ratings and scroll through the game profile page to view the screenshots and read the reviews.

Installing a Windows Phone 7 Game

Once you are happy with the game you have chosen, tap the Install button. Whether the game is free or premium you will be taken to the Confirm purchase screen; if the game is free tap Install, and if the game is to be paid for you will need to press Buy.

Depending upon the title the game will either download there and then or you will need to connect to your wireless network. Another option is to sync your phone to your PC so that the title can be downloaded via Zune, enabling you to get the game downloaded quickly.

For instance a demo will only take a few moments to download over the air, whereas an Xbox LIVE title might be 100 MB or more, which is why syncing might be the answer to getting the title downloaded.

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