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Hydro Thunder Hurricane has been ported to a Metro app for Windows 8 and there's currently a free demo on the Windows Store. The only problem is that when you do launch a race, it looks like this:

From here the only thing that seems to work is clicking on the icons at the bottom. Yes. It seems the only way to play the game is to click where you'd place your fingers if this was an iOS game.

Or is it? oh god oh god oh god please tell me it isn't.

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This seems like the rare example of a question in need of a platform tag. – kotekzot Apr 27 '12 at 19:01
Given that Windows 8 is a touch-oriented OS, this would not surprise me in the slightest. – Rilgon Arcsinh Nov 14 '12 at 11:32
@RilgonArcsinh See my answer... – badp Nov 14 '12 at 17:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, it isn't the only way to play the game. You can configure a traditional, nay, sane keyboard controlling scheme. Sanity lies under "Help & Options" → "Controls" from the main menu. The default keys are also rather peculiar but - thank god - configurable.

The XBox controller is obviously also supported, but you must choose one of the three methods.

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This is what I call "a quick self-answer" =P – Michel Apr 27 '12 at 16:59
@Michel yeah, yeah, I was just in so much disbelief at the perceived retartedess of it all when I started looking that asking a question about it only came to mind when I did find out that, indeed, this can be solved (and once I did I figured more people would stumble in the same way.) – badp Apr 27 '12 at 17:02
No problem at all. =) just think it's funny =D (3min) – Michel Apr 27 '12 at 17:15

For the Windows 8 app, the controls are not in Help & Options, but in the Charms Bar settings, which you get to by hovering your mouse pointer in the upper right corner.

Here are the default keyboard controls:

Throttle      (auto)
Brake         Down Arrow
Steer Left    Left Arrow
Steer Right   Right Arrow
Boost         Shift
Boost Jump    Space
Recover       Back
Pause         Escape
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