Must-Play Touchscreen PC Games

Back when I initially got my hands on the TouchSmart 610 (and more recently with the 520), the first thing I thought about was taking advantage of that huge touch screen in games. I guess I’ve kind of danced around the point for a little while because, quite frankly, aside from Ubisoft’s R.U.S.E., how many titles have really been specifically built to take advantage of a PC touch screen interface? No need to answer that just yet.


Right now, the way a TouchSmart works, it recognizes a single touch point as a left click, you hold it down for a couple seconds and it's a right click. You can use two fingers zoom in and out (it translates to a mouse wheel).  What I’ve come to realize since is that there are surprising number of games that can be made a little more interesting – even if they weren’t designed with a touch control in mind. The trick is that some genres make more sense here than others.


Here's the way to think about it, by genre:


Casual, Arcade and Flash Games

crayon physics.JPGI’m not going to belabor this point, but casual games are almost always a no-brainer for a TouchSmart. You like playing something like Angry Birds on your small screen while running around town? How about a giant version on a 23-inch touchscreen? You see where I’m going with this? Whether you’re flinging fowl or using flora to fight zombies, any game that requires a minimum of screen-touches to play work great on a TouchSmart. For instance, if you try playing just about anything from PopCap Games – from Bejeweled and Bookworm to Zuma – it’s actually a pretty cool experience. Maybe you could set up a TouchSmart gaming station at a nerdy house party? (Just keep the drinks away.)


Oh, yeah, Ann would kill me if I didn’t mention that you should check out the Insaniquarium games. She’s nutso for those. Seriously. Also a reader who goes by “dch” threw out another great suggestion: Crayon Physics. (This screenshot is actually from Crayon Physics...Make sure to check that one out!)


Aside from what I mentioned above, here are a couple of my obscure faves on the Flash front...



IMPORTANT: Here’s the one app you need to download for when you play ANY Flash game: Swiffout (! This app allows you to blow up a Flash game to full screen.



Strategy Games

RUSE1.JPGAs it stands right now, there is only one real-time strategy game that comes to mind I'd recommend playing on a TouchSmart -- R.U.S.E. by Ubisoft. I've dabbled with a number of RTS games (yes, I tried StarCraft 2) and the snag is that these fast-paced titles require the ability to quickly select, right-click and left click commands in order to compete.


Try laying down bunkers or stacking command orders in a high-speed match is nigh-impossible if you're holding down your finger for a couple seconds in order for the game to recognize you want to do a right click. All is not lost, though.


Consider thinking games that let you take your time. Turn-based titles like Sid Meier's Civilization V work great on the TouchSmart. While we're at it, how about I list out a couple other games – and classics – you should check out:



Role-Playing and Adventure Games

Back when I first started playing with a TouchSmart 610 one of the first games I fired up was Dragon Age. My logic was to really try and take advantage of the touchscreen and map out my battle sequences like some grandmaster tactician. Fortunately, the PC version of DA allows you slow down the action to turn-based timing with a press of the spacebar. Then, I am able to draw boxes around my characters, select commands and get medieval on monsters. Just remember that whole “hold-down-and-wait-to-register-as-a-right-click” thing I mentioned earlier.


Same goes for Adventure games. If you love ‘em, just check out what Telltale Games is doing. The Sam & Max games….the Tales from Monkey Island series….they all work and look great on the TouchSmart. (And definitely curious to see how Jurassic Park game turns out!)



First Person Shooter Games

The good news is that a TouchSmart PC is powerful enough to run those cool-looking first-person shooter titles. And you’ll probably be tempted to use you hand like some finger of doom, using it to smite anything you point at – unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In fact, FPS games are best left to keyboard and mouse (or gamepad if that’s your thing).


What I wish could happen is that the open-world deep FPS games allowed you to take advantage of a touchscreen interface if you had it. For example, in awesome games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and BioShock, imagine being able to do the hacking mini-games through a touchscreen instead of mousing around?


Think of this as my starter list. Just so you know, I’m planning to add more to this list as I come across games that you should try playing on a TouchSmart PC…..and I’m currently working on a video as well to highlight more of the stuff to try on your own. So hang tight.


In the meantime, if you have suggestions for PC games that you’ve played on a TouchSmart’s screen, let me know! I’m always looking for new things to try!

Tags: 520| 610| games| TouchSmart
Labels: hardware| software
by boxeegrrrl
on ‎10-22-2011 11:31 AM

Yes, have been playing Crayon Physics on my TouchSmart for quite a while now -- very fun! And I was just showing off the ol' TouchSmart to some friends the other night and they loved that game too Smiley Happy

by Teezie
on ‎10-22-2011 09:24 PM
Thanks for the information. I had no idea. I have been trying to use my touch as much as possible and was finding a hard time doing so. Now I have some things to try out! Thanks a million!
by GizmoGladstone
on ‎10-22-2011 10:57 PM
Glad you liked the starter list. And, by the way, if you liked Crayon Physics, you need to head over here: Petri Purho, the guy that created Crayon Physics, has a ton of awesome, free games on his site. And a bunch work surprisingly well on a touchscreen. -Darren
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