I have the UBISOFT DVD version of Heroes of Might & Magic III and IV Complete and a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet PC running Windows 8.1. Can I play HMM3 on it? Yes, I can, and here’s a simple way to do it.
The only real barrier is that the Dell Venue 8 Pro doesn’t have a DVD drive on it; however, thanks to a new Windows 8 feature, this is not much of a problem. The first step is to copy the DVD to what is called an ISO file, an image on disk of the DVD. You’ll need a computer with a DVD drive to do this. A number of programs can make ISO files, and I chose a freeware program called MagicDisc. After installing MagicDisc, run the program, which creates a small icon in the system tray. Right click on that icon and select “Make CD/DVD Image.” All you have to do is point it to your DVD drive, pick a place where you’ll save the file (which will be about 8 GB in size); I called mine HMM3.ISO. It will take a while to make the ISO file, but once it’s done, you copy the ISO file to the tablet.
Disk space is limited on tablets, and I chose to copy the file to a Micro SD card mounted in the tablet. You can either copy your file across a network, or write the SD card on your desktop computer and move it physically. Of course, you can put HMM3 on a SD card used just for playing the game, and load it when needed.
Now here comes the cool part. Windows 8 has a new feature that lets you mount an ISO file as if it were a DVD on your computer. Just right-click (or click-hold) the ISO file that you located with File Explorer and select “Mount” from the pop-up menu. (If the “Mount” doesn’t appear, go to Control Panel | Default Programs | Set Default Programs, then select “Windows Disc Image Burner” from the program list on the left, then click “Set this Program as Default” then OK.)
Once you mount the ISO file, it will appear in your file system just like a real DVD would. Then you run the SetupNow.exe program from the newly mounted drive to install Heroes of Might and Magic III as you would on any PC. When it asks about installing DirectX, say no. It may offer to install Rundirect (or was that Directrun?): say yes. You don’t need to install Adobe Acrobat—Windows 8 has something to read the PDF files. When you’re done, it will create an icon on your desktop, double-click and the game runs.
There are some things to keep in mind. The game will be too small to operate with your fingers. I have a stylus that has fine enough control to make it playable. There is also a Dell active stylus that may work even better (sold out right now). With my stylus and my finger, there is no mouse hovering, so you actually have to click on something to get the description of it. I think the better option is to hook up a Bluetooth mouse and play it that way.
So far there are absolutely no problems. There is no need to crack anything. It just works.