Microsoft releases 'Cold Alley' airplane simulator game for Windows 8.1

Microsoft recently promised it would focus on "core" games for Windows 8.1 following a glut of casual titles in the Windows Store, and now it appears the first game to fit that description is here in "Cold Alley," an airplane simulator that has "console-quality gaming," as Microsoft puts it.

The game, which is available for $6.99 in the Windows Store, features a story-driven solo campaign that takes users "back in time to experience the unwritten history of covert operations." More than a dozen airplanes are available in the game, with a focus on jet fighters, according to the app's listing. In addition to the campaign, modes such as "Dogfight Missions, Survival, Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Defend the Base" are also available, with more to be added in updates.

No trial exists for "Cold Alley," and the five reviews so far note several stability problems, with one user saying the game "ran once, [and now it] completely fails to launch." Another review said the game "isn't even worthy of a star" because the controls are extremely difficult to use on a tablet, along with significant graphical lag. The game currently has an average rating of 2 out of 5 stars in the Windows Store.

In a post on the official Xbox forums, users said the game currently isn't playable on the original Surface or Surface Pro tablets because of its technical issues.

"The game ran twice and then stopped running," wrote one user who said he purchased it for his Surface Pro. "What's annoying is that it's a really good game otherwise and has really good graphics."

Source: Windows Store via WinBeta

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33 Comments

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I guess their programmers have been working on the xbox toy for so long they don't remember how to code properly for a real computer any more.

MS has left PC gaming a loooooonnnngggg time ago. I'm always surprised to find people who have yet to realise this.

Since it's only 6.99, not sure how much you can complain. It's understandable the control issues on tablets, but at 6.99 you would assume it's supposed to be "for" tablets.

Things aren't looking good for Microsoft here. There has to be something inherently wrong with WinRT for serious gaming if even Microsoft can't deliver when they are only aiming for "console quality" on a platform that can deliver Battlefield, CoD, NFS, Skyrim, et. al.

A PC title striving for "console" quality. No Trial is usually a dead giveaway.

It's the average price for a Windows Phone or Tablet game that is high quality buy it's standards. It's cheap for a PC game, i.e. Windows 8.1. Even if it's on a Surface Pro, surface Pro's are full blown PCs in a tablet form factor and are capable of much more.

But at the end of the day, they are tablets and $6.99 isn't bad for an AAA tablet game which is where MS is positioning this.

We have to stop thinking of the Modern UI as being for the desktop, the games clearly aren't being developed to desktop standards with one exception, Pinball FX2.

And Pinball FX2 has also transitioned to outside the Windows Store (you can buy it on Steam, for example) - that shows that it's still the developer (Zen Studios) not the publisher (or publishers - in Pinball FX2's case, Microsoft and Valve) - so how is it the fault of Microsoft?

MorganX - then explain Pinball FX2's success on Steam. It may have started as a ModernUI game, but it isn't JUST ModernUI. Further, Zen Studios is NOT owned by Microsoft - they are an independent developer. (In fact, Pinball FX2 is Zen Studios' first PC-first game; the original Pinball FX was a console-only (PS3, to be precise) title.) Pinball FX2 is not even the first ModernUI game to successfully transition - Cut the Rope has also transitioned out of ModernUI - it's now also available for iOS and Android; same with Fruit NInja (another started-on-Modern game that has also shown up on Steam). Developer - NOT publisher.

@PGHammer I'm not sure what the argument here is? I merely stated Pinball FX2 is one Modern UI game that is, for what it portends to be, up to desktop game quality standards. Specifically regarding graphic quality, and overall production value. Relevant and MS is positioning this as a core gamer title as it's done with little tablet doo dads.

Not sure how you run with that into things I find completely irrelevant to the point I was making.

Lower pricing should mean people should just accept poor quality? Somehow I don't think so.

This is a fine example of why platform bastardisation fails, you're still getting apps that work better one one platform and not so well on others.

Without a demo for a game I have no interest. This is 2013, the only acceptable reason for no demo is that they didn't think it demoed well (which doesn't reflect well on the game)...

Microsoft Flight had a good engine, what killed it was forcing people to buy pieces of the world over time and a closed dlc only system for planes. If Microsoft released a completed world map with a plane and scenery SDK (even a converter for fsx models) for say $19.99, Flight could have been the true successor to FSX. Honestly it ran pretty well on any system I put it on. Microsoft was trying to limit an audience who loved the franchise for its limitlessness.

I'm glad they're putting their game studios to work on other things as opposed to limiting them to Xbox and ignoring everything else.

They know they don't have anything on the PC, that's why they advertise the game as "console quality". Now if they could only make the OS "PC quality" they might have something there.

Hahaiah said,
Sigh, another terrible start.

How so?

These 'technical issues' are based on three comments in one topic.

It appears this is a nice game that looks great and is fun to play. It may have some issues but thats nothing a patch cant fix.

Its definately not my kind of game but its great to see Microsoft investing in games for all their platforms. If they are taking it seriously, others might do so as well. For example Rockstar is going to release GTA San Andreas for Windows Phone as well. This is huge for MS because these are the kind of games/apps that they've missed out of until now.

I would guess the 2 star rating speaks volumes and the fact it even needs a patch despite being a first party title. How quickly we have come to accept poor quality.

Depicus said,
I would guess the 2 star rating speaks volumes and the fact it even needs a patch despite being a first party title. How quickly we have come to accept poor quality.

I agree. By the time a patch is released, the damage is already done... Look at the Facebook App for WP. The first version is STILL dragging down the review average...

M_Lyons10 said,

I agree. By the time a patch is released, the damage is already done... Look at the Facebook App for WP. The first version is STILL dragging down the review average...

They could fix that by showing reviews for the current version only or giving less weight to the 1.0 reviews.

Albert said,
not really flying up the tablet fanboys' alley, for sure.

Then it's good that it's not on a tablet only OS, then isn't it?

DConnell said,

Then it's good that it's not on a tablet only OS, then isn't it?

yeah. i'll bet it's worst on the desktop.

Enron said,

They could fix that by showing reviews for the current version only or giving less weight to the 1.0 reviews.

I've been requesting the former for a long time now. Why can't we have clear info about when each update was released, a proper change log, info about which version was used by a reviewer, ability to filter reviews by version and so on? I don't think this is all that difficult to do, but they seem incapable of it for some reason.

NoClipMode said,

Yeah it'll totally be worse with more power and keyboard + mouse controls /s

on windows 8x? definitely.