Microsoft keeps talking about all the great touch-friendly apps that are coming along with Windows 8, but so far, all the touch games we've seen are lightweight titles like Cut the Rope and Solitaire. Fortunately, that's about to change as game developer Firaxis showed off an upcoming touch-friendly version of Civilization V here at IDF 2012. Amazingly, the touch-friendly version of the game has also been specially optimized for Ultrabooks with Intel integrated graphics so you'll be able to play this rather intense game on a light notebook with modest specs.
In a brief demo, Firaxis Engineer Tim Kipp showed us how the game has been redesigned to support one, two and even three-finger gestures. Rolling over an area with a single finger brings up the tool tip associated with that area, dragging with a single finger moves your troops around the map and two finger swipe lets you scroll around the map.Three finger tap brings up or closes a menu. It almost goes without saying that the game supports pinch-to-zoom.
Kipp told us that, though he hasn't tested the game on a tablet, it should work just as well on a slate as it does on a clamshell with touch screen. You do not need to use the keyboard at all in order to play the game. He also said that some gestures may work in Windows 7, but that game is specifically designed to run on Windows 8 and use its touch APIs. Kipp said he didn't know if the same gestures would work on a multi-touch capable touchpad and, unfortunately, the demo notebook he used did not appear to have a touchpad with gesture support.
The new version of Civilization V will roll out sometime in Q4 and users who already own the non-touch version of the game will be able to download an update for free. The new touch and streamlined graphics support are being added to the existing product so keyboard and mouse users with discrete graphics will have access to the touch version of the game.