Round-up of my favourite Windows 8 apps

I haven't done a wrap up of my favourite Windows 8 apps for a while so I thought it worth sharing the list of apps I use the most as a consumer. That is, in a non-work environment. As always this list is personal to my tastes - you may find that it doesn't match the kinds of app that you like.

Now I know there are a lot of games on this list but then I admit I have a child-like mind. I tend to use a lot of these apps while watching TV, or pretending to watching something that I’m not actually that interested in. I use most of these on my Surface RT and they work well on there, but if you're using a different device - or Windows 8 instead of RT - then they should all work for you too.

Of course don’t forget you also have access to Flash-based games which, if you pin them to your Start Screen, launch and work very much like apps. This ability for IE10 (and IE11) in Windows 8 to not only run Flash in the browser but also allow sites to be pinned, and run at full screen, is really useful. For example, I can happily play Candy Crush Saga, Scrabble from Mattel, Angry Birds Friends, and many other Facebook-based games on my Surface RT using this method.

Let me know if I've missed off one of your favourites, bearing in mind the above proviso. All details, including prices, correct at time of publication of this blog entry.

In the interests of full disclosure I should point out that I have listed quite a few Microsoft Studio games and of course I am a Microsoft employee.

App Name






Sort of a simplified 3D Mahjong, very nice looking and fun and addictive to play.

Microsoft Mahjong



Speaking of Mahjong, here's a really nice implementation from Microsoft Studios

Judge Dredd vs Zombies



Essential zombie bashing mayhem. Great fun

iStunt 2



Huge fun, especially if you're using a tablet that you can tilt

Microsoft Solitaire



Slick Solitaire game with plenty of modes and options

Crash Course Go!



Traverse an obstacle course in as short a time as possible. Good fun with a few "this is driving me crazy!" moments

Bejeweled Live



Nice, slick implementation of Bejeweled

Fairway Solitaire



Popular solitaire game modelled on…golf? Sounds like an odd combination but it works really well

Monsters Love Candy



Pattern-matcher with a difference, beautifully presented and addictive

Zulu Star



Very playable bubble-shooter that is addictive with nice graphics

Hydro Thunder Hurricane



Slick port of the Xbox 360 game with great 3D graphics. Use in tilt mode or plug in an Xbox 360 controller for added control

Reckless Racing Ultimate



Manic top-down racer. Definitely easier if you plug in an Xbox 360 controller but fun however you prefer to play it

Riptide GP



Another great 3D water-based racer

Monster Island



There are tons of levels in this physics-based puzzler. Great graphics and a simple concept make it huge fun to play

Rayman Jungle Run



It's Rayman, do I need I say more? Well maybe I do so here goes: Addictive gameplay + great graphics = lots of fun      

TimeOut London



Ok I don't only play games, honest. The TimeOut London app is beautifully made and really useful. Assuming you live in or near London of course




Amazing range of clever effects allow you not only to make your photos look great, but place people into posters and a whole lot of other scenes




My favourite newsreader on Windows 8. Syncs your news sources and layout in SkyDrive so it works exactly the same across all of your Windows 8 devices. Makes news reading simple and rewarding, with an excellent range of options

LCARS Interface



If you're a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and subsequent series) then you'll be familiar with the Library Computer Access/Retrieval System interface. Turn your Windows 8 device into an LCARS computer and pretend you're Data. Or Geordi. Or Picard. Or Troy if you prefer. Great fun for nerdy Trekkies like me

Live Tile Clock Free



Create a live tile on your Start screen that shows the time. Lots of designs to choose from, or get the paid-for version for more options

Password Locker



There are plenty of Windows 8 apps that allow you to store your passwords. I use this one and find it does the job for me. Your passwords sync across your Windows 8 devices so you can get to them from whichever device you use

The Economist


Free app, but subscription to The Economist required

I like the way this app presents the content in an easy-to-read format without you having to pinch/zoom. And it makes each magazine available for offline reading too



Free (pro version available)

There is no shortage of internet radio apps about but I really like Radyo's interface and its ability to pin my favourite stations to my Start screen

National Rail Enquiries



This is a great implementation of the National Rail timetable with a slick interface, ability to pin your favourite stations to your Start Screen, and excellent Live Tile support so you can see at a glance when your next train is (or whether it's running late).