Games

Numpty Physics released for Windows Mobile!


Touch Physics has become an instant success on the iPhone. I’ve also purchased it for my phone and spent a lot of time with it.



A Windows Mobile game based on the same ideas has just been released. It requires you to draw objects that, after falling down, trush a ball towards its destination. It’s a free title (as opposed to the iPhone one, which costs $3).

Availability, compatibility


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REVIEW: eSoft’s new games (Totem, Hot Pursuit, Earth Day)


eSoft Interactive (product list HERE) have released quite a few titles in the past, some of them (for example, Open TTD, Traffic Jam, Traffic Jam Extreme and Traffic Jam 2) being pretty famous. Let’s take a look at their three latest titles compatible with both Windows Mobile Pocket PC’s and touchscreen-less Smartphones.

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REVIEW: Need for Speed: Undercover released for Windows Mobile

The iPhone folks have eagerly been waiting for this title for at least half a year – and it’s still isn’t know when it comes out (see THIS for some additional info & comments). Despite the superior profitability of the iPhone platform when it comes to gaming, EA Mobile, the developer of the Need for Speed franchise, deemed it better to release the Windows Mobile and the Blackberry versions first.


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Ka-Glom ... A FREE Windows Mobile Game

Topics:

ka Here is a decent game to occupy some time.  It is a Tetris clone with a few twists to make it interesting. 


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Multiplatform Gaming News (08/30/2008)

1. (WinMo, desktop Windows): The creators of Shadow of Legend, a really promising multiplayer (!!) MMORPG I’ve several times reported on, have announced (see http://www.shadowoflegend.com/web/News.aspx?ID=452 ) the forthcoming, vastly enhanced 2.5D version of their game. 


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Legendary game Another World (& Flashback) released for Windows Mobile – for free! A MUST!

Many of you may already have heard of Another World (also known as Out of this World in the US and Outer World in Japan; Wiki page HERE; Abandonia page HERE), which was one of the best vector-graphic action-adventure games back in 1991-1992.

Compatibility


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(Multiplatform) REVIEW & STRATEGY GUIDE: Towers Trap

In my latest Misc News collection, I’ve already recommended Towers Trap, a brand new game on two mobile (Windows Mobile and Symbian S60) and desktop Windows platforms. GameZoneProject’s official page is HERE. No matter what platform you have, I really-REALLY recommend giving the trial a try and play through the (initial) tutorial. (Again, you’ll have text rendering problems on VGA Windows Mobile devices). I’m pretty sure you’ll like the game.


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REVIEW: Free(!) vertical scroller space shooter Distant Galaxies

There are several vertical scroller space shooter games but very few of them are free. Distant Galaxies, available for both Windows Mobile platforms (touchscreen- and touchscreen-less) is one of them. It’s available HERE for download and is recommended, albeit it has some problems.


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Review & Strategy guide: the best game add-on this year (so far): Orions: Deckmasters

Topics:

The new add-on, Orions: Deckmasters, for probably the best (native) Windows Mobile game of all times, Orions, has just been released. It not only adds 45 (!) brand new cards, but also implements most of the custom features I’ve asked for in my previous Orions articles.


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Resco Brain Games (version 2.0)

Topics:

A brain training game for Windows Mobile devices.

Resco Brain Games is a collection of 36 mini-games aimed to give the brain a workout. Thanks to the well designed touch-controlled user interface, it is easy for anyone to pick up and play.


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Misc news (DivX Mobile Player quick review; great Pocket Controller rebate etc)

1. Machines at War (see review of a previous version HERE), probably the best RTS (Real-Time Strategy) for Windows Mobile, has been updated to version 1.2, introducing even some new units. Well worth checking out.

2. the free and excellent (!) Doom clone, DoomGLES, has also been updated, now delivering far better GoForce performance.

3. if you still haven’t purchased Orions (the best turn-based strategy game for Windows Mobile) during the last, 40% rebate, now, you have a chance of getting it for free if you post a reply to THIS thread

4. PDAmill has released Pachinko Go!. The blurb is as follows: "What the heck is Pachinko? Gravity, Skill, and Luck! It's a unique game which is kind of a cross between a vertical pinball game and a slot machine which is extremely popular in Japan (and growing more popular worldwide every day). This simple, yet addicting game contains 3 unique Pachinko games in one package, including many unlockable extras to acquire, extending the gameplay even more!"

5. Still speaking of PDAmill, now, after a year of their completely stopping porting their games to the platform, they’ve made available all of their Palm titles for free (!). You can find them HERE.

6. SOTi’s Pocket Controller, which is without doubt the most powerful PDA remote controller solution (see THIS for more info & comparison to the alternatives), is offered for 10 euros (about $15), incl. VAT for EU residents, only till 05/11/2008. Go get it – it’s really a bargain for this price.

7. There’s a new, free platform game Greedy Penguins HERE for both Windows Mobile Pocket PC’s / Smartphones and Symbian S60 / UIQ3.

8. If you’ve read the latest updates to my iPAQ 210 review, you already know this, but it’s still worth devoting a separate bullet in here too: I’ve thoroughly benchmarked the brand new Marvell Xscale PXA310 platform and found out that, unlike even Samsung’s low-end CPU’s, it has the same (high) power consumption upon high CPU load. It’s certainly bad news. The good news is that it’s certainly faster than the PXA270, particularly at playing back AVC stuff now that CorePlayer 1.2.x has added WMMX optimizations. And, according to the CorePlayer folks, this is just the beginning – a lot more optimizations and performance enhancements will follow! (Also see my related, new chipset reports HERE and HERE)

9. The DivX folks have released a new (0.90) beta of their free (!) DivX / XviD player DivX Mobile Player for Windows Mobile and Symbian (note that while they state there’s no 0.90 for the latter, only 0.89, the internal version number does state it’s too 0.90). Note that you’ll need to register yourself in order to be able to access the app; after this, click the URL that comes in the e-mail, change your password and, then, go HERE to directly access the downloads.

Back in the pre-1.2.0 CorePlayer times, several Symbian people used to state (see for example THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS) CorePlayer was definitely inferior to this application. This is why I was extremely interested in the results of my tests. CorePlayer 1.2+ (on all the three test devices) has beaten DivX Mobile Player in every respect.

I’ve quickly tested it on several real-world (high-resolution; mostly 576- and 640-wide) DivX- and XviD-encoded videos. It delivered acceptable results on both the two Windows Mobile handsets (HP iPAQ 210 and HTC Universal running Ranyu’s 7.6 of WM6.1) and Symbian (Nokia N95 with firmware version v21) when playing back most DivX videos. There were rarely dropped frames (albeit the playback wasn’t as smooth as under CorePlayer).

Playing back my XviD-encoded test video, however, was painfully stuttering under Windows Mobile and a little stuttering under Symbian. (I REALLY recommend THIS video; pay special attention to the camera moving in the second sketch with the office dialog). The same videos played back flawlessly under the latest versions (1.2.3 for WinMo and 1.2.0 for Symbian) of CorePlayer.

It isn’t able to play back standard ASP videos created in Nero Recode (after renaming them to .AVI’s so that the player finds them); it complains about being incompatible. (The same videos, of course, play back OK under CorePlayer, as has also been explained in my H.264 Bible.) Of course it won’t play back the much more advanced AVC (H.264) videos either.

All in all, you may want to give it a try if you prefer free stuff – but don’t forget: CorePlayer is still much better, more compatible and more efficient. The only drawback of the latter is not being free.

10. New hardware-wise, there is a plethora of new information. See for example THIS (a generic overview), THIS and THIS (HTC Diamond) etc. Of course, these threads / articles will be outdated today with HTC’s official announcements, which will be reported on by many portals; see for example MoDaCo’s related thread HERE and MsMobiles’ HERE).

11. There’s a nice hands-on review of the DVB-T receiving capabilities of the Gigabyte gSmart t600 HERE at MsMobiles. Before I finally publish my Digital TV Bible, it gives you a clear picture of what you can expect of DVB-T-capable handsets, reception capabilities- and battery life-wise.

12. The Xperia X1 will be released in mid-September; see THIS and THIS. According to one of my sources, who received it for beta testing, it does have 3D hardware acceleration, which is certainly very good news. It, however, has a rather bad thumbboard – much worse than those of the HTC Universal or the HTC Kaiser / AT&T Tilt. Now, I only wish it had a digital TV (DVB-T and -H at least for us Europeans; MediaFLO / DVB-H for Americans, T-DMB for Koreans etc.) receiver.... Too bad S-E’s engineers didn’t bother including one or don’t plan to offer a version (even with slightly bigger size) with one.


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Gaming & emulator news (04/20/2008)

1. One of the best Pocket PC games of all time, Orions: Legend of Wizards (along with its expansion pack Orions: The Second Age) is sold with a 40% rebate HERE. Definitely worth purchasing it if you already haven’t done so. See my two Orions Strategy Guides for more info (Pocket PC only).


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Miscellaneous hardware & software news; my plans for the near future

1. Hardware

a. HTC is going to introduce some new devices in early May – at last! While I certainly consider HTC’s models boring, unimaginative and far from multimedia- and gaming-friendly, I really hope they will, at last, come up with something more appealing for the generic users. I recommend THIS thread for more info; particularly my post posted at 04/10 15:36 CET, where I explain why I don’t consider HTC’s current lineup imaginative or even interesting and what functionalities I find the most lacking.

HowardForum's related thread is also worth checking out for other rumors / guesses. Hopefully, one of the forum members who has contacts at HTC and has always provided us with some rumors will fill us in with some insider info again ;)

b. at CTIA Wireless 2008, there have been several new devices at Microsoft’s booth, all with the new, just (at CTIA) announced 6.1 version of Windows Mobile:

Amoi 6711: a simple Smartphone with GPS:

A newcomer to Windows Mobile, Velocity, has announced two new models:

Velocity 103: a VGA Pocket PC model
Velocity 111: a QVGA Landscape Pocket PC model

Both Velocity models come with 128M RAM / 256M ROM, GPS and HSDPA. They have no goodies like 3D hardware acceleration, FM radio or TV receiver. HowardForums has a VERY long and interesting thread on these devices.

There also was a working (at MWC, it still didn’t work) prototype of the E-Ten (now: Samsung) V900, one of the most interesting VGA handsets because of its digital TV receiving capabilities. (I only wish it had a slightly bigger screen – it’s suffering from the same problem as i-mate’s new phones.)

(See for example THIS for more info & shots.)

c. AximSite has allowed discussing the (cooked) WM6 upgrade for the Axim x50/x51 series. This is certainly very good news and may also mean I also seriously rethink my not discussing these questions at all to be on the safe side. After all, it’s time to install (and, probably, report on) the latest WM6 upgrade on my HP iPAQ hx4700, which is still probably the best bed-time e-book reader.

For example, the cooked version of Windows Mobile 6.1 has just been released for the Dell Axim x51v, sporting a lot of niceties. See the related thread HERE and HERE for the WinMo Professional / Classic versions, respectively. (Yes, the former is a PPC Phone Edition version so that you can run by default PPC PE-only software like Esmertec Jbed without additional hacking - that is, copying the "placeholder" SMS.dll and phone.dll files to \Windows, as is explained in the MIDlet Bible.) I'll soon test and report on it.

You can only hope that the current (!) HP iPAQ lineup also receives cooked 6.1 (and, in the future, later) OS ROM versions - HP has just announced they won't release any WM6.1 updates for their current devices. I don't want to comment on HP's decision because I don't want them to make angry with me - you surely know what I think ;). Currently, there're no HP 6.1 ROM cooking-related threads at the, say, iPAQ 210 forums of BrightHand or AximSite. THIS and THIS threads may be of interest.

d. There is a brand new article on the S-E Xperia X1 HERE.

e. i-mate's new models, the 8502 and the 9502 (see my review & remarks HERE) have started shipping and are available in Europe as well (through Clove). The related HoFo thread, packed with shots of the new models (on, for example, page 15), is worth checking out, along with a brand new review of the 8502 HERE. The reviewer, generally, likes it very much, except for the lack of microSDHC support. The latter is quite a letdown if it can't be fixed...

2. Software

a. CorePlayer 1.2.2 has been released for Windows Mobile; see THIS for more info (and also my multimedia-related articles / Bibles). (For Symbian, after the already-released 1.2.0, 1.2.1 is promised in the near future)


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Gaming news (03/08/2008): PDAMill’s Wild Gears; Resco Table Soccer for free; GF5500 support in DoomGLES

Topics:

1. PDAmill has released Wild Gears, a Micro Machines clone

Famous game developer company PDAmill has just released Wild Gears, a pretty decent top-down racing game certainly worth a try. Features include:

• Gorgeous Cartoon Art
• Four different cars
• Intuitive controls that make full use of Windows Mobile touch screen
• 15 awesome tracks to race on
• Rockin' Soundtrack with over 20 minutes of music
• Four different Cups to compete in!
• Records Menu keeps track of all your best track and lap times
• Auto-save

Your first question will surely be (if you’re into gaming, that is): How does it compare to K-Rally, the King of all top-down racing games on all mobile platforms, including Windows Mobile (see review HERE)? Well, it has both cons and pros.

Compared to K-Rally...

It’s worth pointing out that the PDAMill folks pay special attention to their titles’ flawless running on low-end Pocket PC’s plagued with the infamous touchscreen bug I’ve elaborated on, for example, HERE. I’ve thoroughly tested the game on my non-overclocked HTC Wizard and found it extremely well done and the graphics not stuttering at all even with the stylus resting on the screen. This certainly wasn’t the case with K-Rally. On the other hand, I’ve found the game slightly slower on my VGA Dell Axim x51v than on my (even low-end!) QVGA devices. In this regard, K-Rally might (still) be a better choice.

Pros:
- runs definitely better on low-end Pocket PC’s with touchscreen CPU usage issues
- the control scheme may turn out be better for many (see below)


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Great Worms clone Nanobotz for half the price! Go get it!

Topics:

Nanobotz (see related info HERE; I particularly recommend Ben's review) is offered at half the price at ClickGamer.


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Misc news: MWC, GREAT rebates, new devices, new games/emulators/CorePlayer version

1. App news / rebates:

a. (still a preview, but still much more advanced than version 1.1.3 released a month ago) CorePlayer 1.2, finally, released for Windows Mobile. See THIS for more info. The Symbian version, as opposed to what was announced a month ago (then, the CoreCodec folks only promised a Windows Mobile release for February), seems to hit the shelves very soon too - see THIS thread. It, among other things, promises hardware acceleration. I'm really looking forward to the dramatic speed / efficiency increase this could mean on current high-end Nokias like the N95 using the latest TI OMAP & PowerVR-based chipsets.

b. ALL of VITO Technology's products are available for $7 (!!) only: go purchase them while the offer lasts! (I'm pretty unlucky, it seems: it was just before MWC that I purchased their AudioNotes for Symbian S60v3 for some $25... should I have known this GREAT rebate beforehand... :) )

2. Gaming & emulation news:

a. Creatonia made free!

Insenic, who, in the past, have already made two of their previously commercial titles free, decided to do the same to their pretty nice RPG title Creatonia. While the biggest problems (for example, the lack of in-game music, the dull graphics etc.) are still present, it's really worth getting for free. See THIS for a review (frontpaged on several sites).

b. a new version of Commodore 64 emulator for both the MS Smartphone (WM6 Standard) and Pocket PC (WM6 Pro / Classic) platform, PocketHobbit, is released, with a lot of niceties like native QVGA support (remember? It was me who wrote an extended, QVGA-enabled Smartphone version of the original) and frame rate settings. See THIS for a generic overview of emulating the Commodore 64 under Windows Mobile. It's available HERE (NOT on the old links).

c. Astraware has released a fully-fledged, very interesting strategy game Westward, which is certainly worth checking out. There is a great Just Another Mobile Moday review HERE. It runs on both Pocket PC's and Smartphones (and even Palm OS devices).

d. Beijing Huike Technology, the developers of Dark Street reviewed HERE, have released four additional games for both the Pocket PC and MS Smartphone:


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HereticGLES released with 2700G (and, later, GoForce 5500) 3D HW support!

Topics:

The 3D hardware accelerated Heretic port, HereticGLES, has just been released by the author of DoomGLES / PPC, a finalist (!) in last year's Best Software Awards, in the Games / First Person Shooter category.

See the homepage of the game HERE.


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Games / emulator news (02/06): another FPSEce 0.010 video; 40% Revival/ Spb AirIsland / etc. rebate!

1. There’s another, new demo video (thanks to the PocketPlayers Reloaded folks) of the forthcoming, kick-butt FPSEce 0.010 Playstation emulator:

Coolboarders

(See THIS and THIS for the earlier videos)

2. Mobile2Day.de has some GREAT game rebates until 02/10; most importantly, the brand-new Revival (see reviews linked from HERE), Spb AirIsland and the great multiplayer title Explode Arena. You can save about 40% of their price – don’t hesitate to go and purchase! (I’ve already purchased Revival for Pocket PC in there: yes, I’ve saved some 7 euros compared to, say, the current ClickGamer price.) Note that the portal is German-only; please see THIS for more info if you don’t know the language.

The titles offered:

Revival: 11,95 euros (PPC version) / 7,95 euros (MS Smartphone version)

Mahjongg Deluxe 3D: 5,95 euros

Explode Arena: 5,95 euros

Spb AirIsland: 12,95 euros

Chess Professional: 5,95 euros

(news source: PocketPlayers Reloaded)

Note that the pretty much recommended Arcade Park 1.4 (from the same folks as Revival) is also sold at a some (8,88 euros instead of 10,45) discount – it’s also worth at least giving it a try.


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