6 Great Games for Ultrabooks and HD3000/HD4000 Graphics, Demos to Test Before You Buy

Updated on 20 April 2012 by

Genuine Ultrabooks use integrated graphics which, while not as powerful as a ‘discrete’ GPU, allow the systems to be slim and power efficient. Even though the graphical capabilities of current Ultrabooks won’t satisfy those looking to play the latest blockbuster titles at full settings, there are still plenty of excellent games that will run perfectly on an Ultrabook. I’ve got six great games to share with you that will run great on your Ultrabook and offer hours of entertainment (all together hardly more expensive than a single blockbuster title!) For reference, the current generation of Ultrabooks use Intel’s HD 3000 integrated graphics. The next generation (using Ivy Bridge), which we’ll see launch this year, uses HD 4000 graphics which should offer a significant increase in graphical horsepower. For now, my recommendations and performance-evaluations are based on an Ultrabook using the current-gen HD3000 ‘GPU’ and Core i5 processor. Also note that your experience may vary depending upon the processor that your Ultrabook is equipped with (Core i3, i5, or i7), amount of RAM, whether or not you have up-to-date drivers, and your power settings (check back with us at UltrabookNews for a guide to optimizing your Ultrabook’s power configuration).

image credit: Marshall Block

1. Gish

Definitely the oldest of the bunch, launched in 2004, Gish is a unique platforming game that follows a lovable ball of tar on his quest to find is captured lady friend, Brea. The game takes a physics-based approach to animation and gameplay; Gish’s movements are completely physics driven and controlled by you. You’ll stick and slide your way through the sewers once you master the controls, and be tapping your toes the whole way to the catchy jazz tunes. If you like finding well hidden secrets in platformers, Gish won’t disappoint — keep your eyes peeled. This one is a must-buy because you can get it for as cheap as $1 (see link below)!

For Best Performance: In the options screen, find video options at the top. Crank the resolution up to match your Ultrabook’s screen and get your game on, HD3000 powers this game smoothly with no problem!

2. World of Goo

World of Goo is another physics based game… oddly enough, it also involves balls of tar (I swear this is the last tar-related game!). This time, your goal is to construct various structures as efficiently as possible to save as many of the adorable tar balls as possible. This is a fun construction-puzzler and is great for both brief and long gaming sessions. You’ll slowly be introduced to varying game mechanics and be asked to find more complex solutions to puzzles as you progress.

For Best Performance: Just fire it up and get building! HD3000 graphics runs this game extremely well!

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Chippy says:

    Thanks Ben. More gaming articles please!

  2. Heiklo says:

    While I absolutely love indie games. Intel GFX are still very capable to play older “core” game series like Half-Life, BioShock, Mass Effect & even some newer 1’s at medium-high resolutions/settings. I would definitely recommend turning off filters like AA as the gains are very little & it eats up a huge amount of CPU cycles (leave it for gaming rigs with power to spare). Funny thing is, modern Intel GFX absolutely wipe the floor with consoles. Remember, most console games don’t even hit 720p.

    My only real concern & the reason I still use a dedicated PC hooked up to my TV, is heat. PC games will cause your UB’s fans to crank up full blast & casing to get very hot. So that really worries me that it would kill my sealed internal battery & essentially make my device worthless. While I know the idea of an all-in-one device that does everything is HIGHLY appealing, unless someone smarter than me says internal heat won’t damage the battery then I would still recommend a dedicated gaming PC or console to most people.

  3. Slylee says:

    Intel focused on gfx performance over CPU performance & power consumption just-in-time for a reason.

    Over the next few years with the rise of ultrabooks installed with W8 & decline of desktops/traditional laptops. In order to compete with ARM, Apple, Google .. MS is going to have to start taking casual gaming MUCH more seriously. The Intel integrated GFX will be the benchmark baseline for all mobile app devs to target & release games to the W8 store.

    Steam probably won’t survive the decade, mainstream consumers don’t use it & game dev’s will primarily target the W8 Store. That’s probably why Valve is desperate to get into hardware as they know the integrated W8 Store is going to eventually kill Steam.

  4. steam game says:

    Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful information specifically the ultimate phase :) I care for such info much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thank you and best of luck.

  5. Mautisim Munir says:

    Great List there. Half Life 2 and Portal should be on top, because 3000 runs them like charm on high settings

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. How to Optimize Your Ultrabook for Maximum Gaming Performance « Ultrabook News and the Ultrabook Database says:

    […] 6 Great Games for Ultrabooks and HD3000/HD4000 Graphics, Demos to Test Before You Buy […]

  2. How To Update Your Ultrabook’s Intel or Nvidia Graphics Drivers « Ultrabook News and the Ultrabook Database says:

    […] either integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics or discrete Nvidia GeForce graphics. Recently we gave you 6 excellent game suggestions for your Ultrabook. Now we’ve got a suggestion to make sure your Ultrabook is running those games as well as […]

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