Games that should be on the Zune


Microsoft has said that video games from its XNA Game Studio will make their way to the Zune. Being the ambitious young man that I am, I thought to myself, “Well why stop at XNA games? What if Microsoft were magically able to strike deals with publishers, letting it port over other games to the Zune?”

Perhaps the biggest problem is figuring out just what kind of games would work on the Zune—you’re probably not going to be able to effectively play an MMO or an RTS on the it. With that rather large restriction in mind…


Sega made, I think, 12 copies of Rez for the PS2 back in 2002; anxious, intrepid gamers could find the DreamCast version on eBay for outrageous sums of money (or you could, say “find” it online, like I did). Recently released in high-defintion on Xbox Live Arcade, the game is now being enjoyed by a new generation of youngsters.

Rez could work pretty well on the Zune. The center touchpad/button would be used to control the hacker, while the two other face buttons would shoot. Nothing to it. And considering Rez focuses on trance, it’d fit thematically on the Zune—a music game on a music player. It’s almost poetic.

The only thing you’d be missing out on is the rumble function provided by the provocatively named Trance Vibrator. To be fair, though, it’s probably not socially acceptable to be on the subway (or other public place) with a little, shall we say, device purring ever so emphatically; it’d be weird.

And yes, I did have “Rez” blaring as I wrote this piece.


Oregon Trail

To be totally honest, I think I played Oregon Trail a grand total of one time, and that was around 1994. I do recognize its importance to many of y’all, as one quick trip to Facebook shows thousands reminiscing about fording a river or somesuch.

Would the game’s controls map well to the Zune? Maybe. I don’t really know. I imagine you’d be able to scroll around with the touchpad and use the two other buttons for something.

This was a choice mired in [other people’s] nostalgia. To me, being able to play a game like Oregon Trail on the Zune would either win you instant “wow that guy’s a huge creep” or “wow that guy knows what’s up.” Every list needs one of those “too cool for the room” entries, which is what this is.


StarFox 2

This game was never officially released, but is all over the Internet on various ROM and BitTorrent sites. And since it was never officially released, it would be something Microsoft could point to and say, “Never Before Released… Until Now! StarFox 2… only on Zune”

Controls might should map over fine—touchpad to control the Arwing and the face buttons to shoot. No issues here.

Reason why it’d fine a good home on the Zune—it’s dead simple to control and play. Fly around and shoot baddies. It’s pretty mindless, which is what you typically want in a portable game. I’m on the subway here, I don’t need to be figuring out how to win Austerlitz all over again.


Lumines is a giant time sink. It’s also among the best two or three games I’ve played in the past year, though I’m pretty sure the Xbox 360 version controls differently than the PSP one. I literally spent hours in front of my (well, John’s that I never gave back) PSP, eyes glazing over, enjoying every minute of it (until I failed and invented new curses).

Controls would work swimmingly. Touchpad to move around the block and face buttons to switch them around.

The soundtrack—folks, the first time I heard “Shinin’” by Mondo Grosso, my world was forever changed. My XBL gamertag is an homage to that song. Lush looks and buttery beats. Who knows, maybe you’d even be able to use the songs you have stored on the Zune and play the game with them.


Tecmo Bowl

Pretty sure every red blooded American has played Tecmo Bowl at some point in time. It’s classic Americana, like not eating calamari (inside joke) or that episode of Seinfeld when George was swimming in the pool and had significant shrinkage.

Controls—move around and throw. Done and done.

Tecmo would find a perfect home on the Zune, what with it’s long, narrow screen à la a real football field.

I don’t really know why this fits on the Zune, but is more of a please for a portable, non-cellphone version of some sort.

XNA Game Studio Games Come To Zune [Kotaku]