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The joy of synced save games on the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8

Angry Birds Space - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

One of the great features in Windows 8 is the ability to sync not only your personalization and system settings, but app settings as well. MetroTwit, for example, is an excellent example of an app which you only need to set up once. From then on, all of your settings and preferences are synced across all of your devices. Unfortunately, developers who take advantage of this feature seem to be few and far between.

Some games, like the Myst-inspired Adera, purport to include play, pause, and resume functionality, allowing you to “start a game on any device, pause the game, and then pick up where you left off on any other compatible device.” But in my experience with the game – which is excellent, by the way – that has not been the case. So imagine my surprise when I launched Angry Birds Space on my desktop PC and discovered that I had three stars on all of the levels that I had previously completed on my Surface!

This might seem like a minor feature to some people, but it is invaluable. Apps that sync your save data make it easy to switch between devices on the fly. And, more importantly, you no longer have to worry about losing your save game if something were to happen to the device.

Strangely, Angry Birds Star Wars, which is a superior game in almost every way and was released just a handful of days after Space, does not include this functionality. Developers, this feature exists in Windows 8 and it is very easy to implement. Please use it! There’s no reason not to.

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/Outlook.com Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.

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5 thoughts on “The joy of synced save games on the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8

  • Avatar of James

    Do you know if Rovio has updated the Star Wars edition to sync across devices? I’m surprised that this isn’t already built in…

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux

      Unfortunately, Angry Birds Star Wars still doesn’t support this yet. :(

      Reply
  • Avatar of James

    I’m not sure if you have advise on this but I’ll ask just incase.

    I just purchased AB Space and installed it on my desktop and Windows 8 tablet. They both synced the first level that I completed. Got all the way to 1-14, 3 stars on the desktop- loaded AB Space on the tablet and that over wrote the desktop data? Shouldn’t the newest data be kept?

    Reply
    • Avatar of James

      I believe that I figured it out. I must first exit the game, lock my screen. Go to the other device, unlock it if locked (or log on) and the open the game.

      Reply
      • Avatar of William Devereux

        Excellent! I’m glad it’s working now.

        Yeah, Windows 8 takes care of the save data syncing. Developers just have to enable it with a few lines of code (which makes its exclusion in many games puzzling). As a result, waits to sync the game until after you exit and leave the device.

        Reply

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