Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is finally getting Temple Run. After promising it would launch in time for the holidays, Temple Run arrives a few months late into the Windows Phone Store this week alongside some other new additions. However, this is isn't the latest Temple Run 2 game. Instead, it's the original version that launched on iOS 18 months ago and it doesn't take advantage of Microsoft's Xbox Live platform. If Temple Run had managed to launch ahead of the second version then it would have been seen as a triumph, but now the wait continues for Windows Phone to catch up again.
Despite this, there's some other good gaming additions to Windows Phone today too. Gravity Guy 2 is launching as an Xbox Live-enabled game, and it's doing so before its release on iOS and Android, a welcome change from the usual flow. Chaos Rings, 6th Planet, Propel Man, Orcs Must Survive, Ruzzle, Fling Theory, and Drift Mania Championship 2 will all also be made available in the Windows Phone Store this week.
WP8 includes gaming improvements, but developers need to take advantage of them
Microsoft has promised big improvements and changes for Windows Phone game developers, but we're still waiting for the popular casual and big game launches on Windows Phone. With the new native code environment for Windows Phone 8, it's theoretically easier for developers to port games and reuse code, as well as take advantage of new game engines, and middleware partners. However, it appears to be a slow or reluctant process for game developers.
Promises of iOS classics like Ski Safari and Jetpack Joyride for Windows Phone 8 have yet to be fulfilled. The longer they're left behind then the less relevant they become. If Microsoft wants Windows Phone gaming to succeed, with its Xbox Live platform, then it's crucial that popular games like Angry Birds Space continue to launch at the same time as iOS and Android on a regular basis. It's still early days for Windows Phone 8 itself, but the 46 out of the top 50 apps from rival platforms need to arrive on time. Luckily, Microsoft says it's not done until it has checked all the boxes.
Update: Temple Run isn't in the Windows Phone Store just yet, but we're told all of the games will be available by the end of the week.
Update 2: Temple Run is now available in the Windows Phone Store.