Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to try out a few miscellaneous games in my Steam Library. It didn’t go so well.
Avernum: Escape From the Pit
My favorite Civ was Civ 2, but that was also the one I played the most. I played a bit just to check, and it seems to run fine.
Defense Grid: The Awakening
This game ran just fine on Windows 8. Good news since I’m a fan of Tower Defense games and this is a pretty good one.
I just peeked in, and this also runs fine.
FTL: Faster Than Light
Lots of people talked about how this game is really good, so I wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, it is unplayable for me. Not sure if that is a Windows 8 thing or not. The problem is that the mouse movement is terribly slow and very erratic. I googled around and see many others reporting this problem, which apparently has to do with mouse drivers. Nothing I tried fixed it.
I do have a backup plan: see if this game plays better on my Mac.
Has the same problem as FTL does: unusable mouse.
This bombs out almost immediately, before displaying the splash screen:
A quick google shows this happens to others, and the general advice is “update your video drivers”. Well that’s interesting, my OS is even newer than the most recent WHQL drivers on the nVidia site. But what the heck, I downloaded and tried to install the GeForce 306.97 drivers.
And that didn’t work! Yes, the nVidia drivers failed to find compatible graphics hardware. That’s funny, except it really is annoying as heck.
You can see that I’m installing the notebook, Windows 8, 64 bit drivers – the name of the freaking binary – yet it can’t find my video card. Or more likely, the detection is messed up. Argh, video drivers, the bane of PC gaming.
(I’m a LoTRO fan at heart, I use their calendar wallpapers for my background!)
Runs just fine.
Also runs fine on Windows 8. It’s been a while since I played. My first char was a “pure” archer, but I found that pretty tough going. Next char was a dual sword wielding Redguard. That’s going better but I think I’d rather play a single sword char, since freeing up the other hand would allow for a shield or magic use. Anyway, things to ponder if I restart. It wasn’t like I was far along anyway.
A favorite puzzler of mine. Glad to see if runs fine on Windows 8.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP
I bought this for my iPhone, played it a little and really liked the music. It was part of an Indie Humble Bundle I bought, so I get it through Steam as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t run properly – it shows the main loading page (“record” circle and 3 small triangles) but nothing else. I had to kill the game via Task Manager, and I noticed it was a 32-bit executable. Maybe it isn’t handling a 64-bit OS and/or Windows 8 well. Same backup plan as FTL – see if it works better on my Mac.
This game runs fine. I’ve been playing a little bit since it went F2P and plan on a post later to give my impressions.
Overall, most games run fine on Windows 8. The ones that gave the problems were the indie games, but I have a bunch of those due to Humble Bundle purchases, plus the occasional recommendation I catch from other blogs. At least I can retry FTL, HOARD, DEFCON, Superbrothers over on my Mac.
The one game I did not get around to trying was XCOM: Enemy Unknown. That’s mostly because I didn’t have a good time block available and I knew I’d want to play a few hours. I’m sure that over the upcoming weeks I’ll find some time!
The most annoying thing was the nVidia driver problem, the fact that the supposedly correct package, straight from nVidia, wouldn’t even install. Grrrr. That is my hope for playing GW2 again (I’m still hitting the video timeout issues that plagued me before under Windows 7. It isn’t worse or better under Windows 8 thus pointing to video drivers at fault).
P.S. Mac quick check
I popped over to my Mac and tried out the games that failed to run properly on Windows 8.
DEFCON – runs fine, no jerky mouse movement
FTL – runs fine, no jerky mouse movement
HOARD – launches and plays without OpenGL errors
Superbrothers – launches and runs fine. I’m so glad the soundtrack came with the Humble Bundle purchase!
Glad that my Mac is able to play the games that don’t work on Windows 8! I’m considering a Mac upgrade soon. If that does happen, I’ll be able to try the LoTRO and GW2 Mac clients! That could also be my ultimate solution to my GW2 problems.