Puzzle games were among the first genres to hit mobile devices – games like Astraware’s infamous Bejeweled have become bestsellers. Gross Games SpinBalls wants to combine puzzle and action…but can it impress?

SpinBalls is played on a grid made up of balls – these balls must be rotated to create groups of at least three adjacent balls. These can then be removed by pressing the button at the bottom of the screen, refilling the timer in the process:
0 SpinBalls   the review

The four large bubbles on the sides can be charged by destroying groups of balls close to them – when enough balls have been loaded, the charge becomes available.

Charges have extremely interesting features. One of them stops the timer, the other doubles the score:
1 SpinBalls   the review

The two other charges clean up the playing field.

This review looked at SpinBalls on a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 running its stock distribution of Windows Mobile 6.1. The game needs KB of memory and can be installed onto an external memory card.

In the end, it is difficult not to like this game – addicting to the extreme. Definitely get the free trial to see if you like the concept – the price of 6 USD is more than ok…

Use the discount code SEASOFTAM to get 20% off the list price of InsaniQuarium Deluxe for Palm OS, PocketPC or WMS in the TamsShop!

The images in this review were made on a Palm OS device as InsaniQuarium Deluxe was incompatible with our screenshot solution!

AstraWare’s initial InsaniQuarium turned out to become a smash hit and a true evergreen. The company thus released an update called InsaniQuarium Deluxe – is aquarium management still as much fun as it was back in 2002?

The game’s core idea involves the management of an aquarium. However, fish drop coins instead of waste…collecting the coins then makes you richer.

Fish must be fed. Feeding a fish for some time makes it grow:
0a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 0b InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

The bigger a fish becomes, the more coins it drops. Earned money can then be invested into food upgrades, laser power or new fish. The three images below show the food getting upgraded:
2a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 2b InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 2c InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

One new feature found in DeLuxe is an auto-tapper that eventually gets unlocked as you purchase upgrades. It allows you to tap-and-hold instead of having to tap the screen multiple times:
3a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 3b InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

Unfortunately, aliens prey on the inhabitants of your aquarium. The various types of alien have its own strengths and weaknesses…while some can be killed with lasers, others must be overfed:
4a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 4b InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

Due to various additions like carnivores and star catchers, elaborate economies can be constructed. In such aquariums, few fish feed other animals which then generate precious diamonds:
5a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

The “hard cap” on population size found in the original InsaniQuarium has been lifted. Instead, the game limits the amount of inhabitants by stuttering graphics and starvation…there is a point where food cannot be dropped fast enough to keep all inhabitants alive:
6a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 6b InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

The final goal of the game is the unlocking of so-called pets. Pets hatch from eggs that must be purchased for ever-rising prices, and can then perform a variety of helpful things:
7a InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review 7b InsaniQuarium deluxe   the review

This review looked at version 1.0 of the game on a ipaq rx4240 – the game always ran in landscape mode and filled the full screen. It needs about 5945KB of memory and can be run from an external memory card. Stability-wise, the game was decent…it didn’t crash, but sometimes had issues with the recognition of on-screen taps. Nevertheless, it remained playable at all times. The start-up time of about 7 seconds was annoying, but bearable…

In the end, InsaniQuarium is an excellent game even with the technical issues found in version 1.0. Even though the deluxe version adds nothing worth noting, it remains a very addicting piece of software. All gamers who don’t own its predecessor are hereas officially encouraged to download the free 30min trial of the game…and should expect to pay the 20$ required for the full version(don’t forget our InsaniQuarium deluxe discount code SEASOFTAM).

Resco recently began to add its ‘Touch’ technology into a variety of programs and controls. Due to our excellent relationship, we can now demo you an early beta of Resco Brain Games with Touch support – can it stack up?

Essentially, the concept and the mini games did not change from the version we reviewed a few months ago – however, the program’s buttons are now bigger and support finger scrolling:
sshot006 Resco Brain Games get Touch sshot008 Resco Brain Games get Touch

Here’s a small Video showing the program in action. The multiple taps are not due to the program, but rather due to my taping workspace(can’t properly tap the screen):
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3785389558371456809&hl=en

In the end, Resco Brain Games Touch is little more than the program reviewed a few months ago – people who already have the product IMHO will not gain much by this upgrade(even though it COULD be a free one…but don’t take this as granted). As for people who wish to get the program now: wait a few more days and get the Touch version with improved handling…

P.S. I have to admit openly that I am a stylus fan – the idea of operating a touchscreen with my fingers is not exactly my cup of tea…

Use the discount code FUNNYMOZ to get 20% off the list price of Mozaki in the TamsShop!

People frequenting MSN Games will probably know Mozaki – a simple puzzler that is insanely amusing. Now, AstraWare has ported the game to touchscreened WIndows Mobile devices – can it stack up here?

Mozaki can be played in two modes – it supports both timed and untimed modes:
0a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

However, the game principle remains the same. Bricks appear randomly at the right side of the screen; they must then be moved onto the screen to create lines from the border to the center:
1a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review 1b AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

Tiles can be rotated on-screen by tapping them:
2a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review 2b AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

If a line of matching colors is established, it disappears:
3a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review 3b AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

Ganging up tiles leads to cubes which are worth more points when being removed:
4a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

The tile at the bottom right provides with special tiles that are colorless(match all colors) or remove tiles around them:
5a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review 5b AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

Replayability is achieved due to the level system. After a few lanes are cleared, the colors at the borders are swapped(adjacent tiles also swap colors); eventually, new colors appear.

AstraWare included a little on-screen-help system – it proved to be extremely useful for me:
6a AstraWare Mozaki for PocketPC   the review

This review looked at version 1.02 of the game on a hp ipaq rx4240. The program needs about 2MB of memory and can be run from an external memory card.

In the end, Mozaki is an excellent and amusing puzzler – unlike the smartphone version recently reviewed at TamsWMS’s, this one really is fun to play. Puzzle fans should definitely get it for the hammer price of 9.95$ at the TamsShop(and don’t forget the discount)!

Use the discount code FUNNYHEX to get 20% off Hexic in the TamsShop!

AstraWare recently ported a few puzzlers from MSN Games to the Windows Mobile platform. Hexic is the second application(coming after Mozaki) that is unleashed onto Windows Mobile devices – can this Bejeweled clone stack up?

Like its sister product Mozaki, Hexic can be played in timed and untimed modes at varying difficulties:
0a AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review 0b AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review

Astraware also gave the program a ‘puzzle’ mode – here, you are assigned specific jobs that must be solved by clearing the board:
1a AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review 1b AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review

The goal behind Hexic is rotating tiles to form three adjacent ones which then disappear. For example, look at the marked tiles below:
2a AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review 2b AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review 2c AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review

Similar to Mozaki, the game includes a detailed tutorial and in-game help system.
3a AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review 3b AstraWare Hexic for Windows Mobile   the review

This review looked at version 1.02 of Hexic on a hp ipaq rx4240 running its stock Windows Mobile 5 ROM. The program needs about 3 to 4MB of RAM and can be stored on an external memory card.

In the end, Hexic is little more than Bejeweled for people with a good spatial sense. People who like Bejeweled will probably like Hexic, as will people who have played it on MSN Games. Get the trial here and see if you can cope with the controls: the full version can be purchased for 9.95$ in the TamsShop.

Platypus is the new side-scrolling shooter game from the developers at Astraware. It’s available for PalmOS and Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs.

This game is not like other side-scrolling shoot-’em-ups: it’s based on the Platypus game for PC and Mac, so the visuals are created with clay, which gives the game its uniqueness. In fact, the game has nice graphics and animations, which makes it even more fun to play. But more on that later.

platypus screenshot 320x240 08 300x225 Astraware Platypus Review

see the explosion? it’s photographed, recolored clay

After starting the game, you are in the main menu. It’s possible to start a new game from there, view the high scores, go to the settings menu, exit the program or continue a game which you’ve paused before.

platypus screenshot 320x240 01 300x225 Astraware Platypus Review

Platypus main menu

The Settings menu

The typical settings for a game are located here: switching between landscape for left-handed people and landscape for right-handed people is possible, as well as enabling/disabling auto-fire, adjusting the sound- and music volume and last but not least toggling between stylus and button controls.

The gameplay

You start with an aircraft with one simple weapon which just shoots straight forward. The enemy aircraft are coming from the right, and you have to shoot them – at first, they’re quite easy to defeat, but as the time goes on, it’s getting more difficult to extinguish them without being killed. The number of bullets you need to destroy an enemy is always different, there are easy ones which can be killed with only one bullet, or more difficult ones which need 5 shots to be defeated.

platypus screenshot 320x240 03 300x225 Astraware Platypus Review

stage selection screen

The aircraft is controlled with the d-pad or with the stylus by touching the screen. If you press the center key, the aircraft starts shooting and won’t stop until you press the key again.

Every action is accentuated with a fitting sound, for example if an enemy aircraft explodes, or just the buzzing sound of a weapon.

platypus screenshot 320x240 06 300x225 Astraware Platypus Review

one of the more advanced weapons

After a while. there are some obstacles in the game which should be avoided. For example, don’t collide with the power lines – otherwise the aircraft will explode immediately. There are some turret guns which are trying to shoot you – better destroy them ASAP! After defeating some enemys, earn extra points by collecting the fruits.

platypus screenshot 320x240 05 300x225 Astraware Platypus Review platypus screenshot 320x240 02 300x225 Astraware Platypus Review

left: exploding enemy, losing a banana. Collect it to get extra points:
right: see the wires of the power line in the right part of the image?

You start with four lives, but have chances to earn more in the game and at the end of each level. When there are no lives left and you’re killed, the score counter is set to zero, but the game continues where you died.

compatibility

I succesfully tested the game on a VGA Dell x51V, so it will run on VGA and QVGA devices. Screens with a resolution of 240×240 are supported as well. Even when I clocked the device down from 624 MHZ to 208 MHz, the game was quite smooth and playable. Supported WM operating systems are 2003 SE, 5.0, 6 Classic and Professional.

Finally, the game is highly recommended for some gaming sessions while you are in a bus/train etc. It’s fun to play thanks to the nice graphics, so be sure to try it out!

Platypus for Windows Mobile 5/6.0 (free trial available!)

Platypus for pre-Windows Mobile 5.0 (free trial available!)

(screenshots by Astraware)

Recently, many PocketPC developers started to make their apps look iPhoneish(please – this is NOT a discussion about the questionable merits of the iPhone interface); and Resco’s Sudoku is the next candidate for an UI overhaul.
0a Resco Sudoku Touch   the preview 1a Resco Sudoku Touch   the preview 2a Resco Sudoku Touch   the preview

All features that a state-of-the-art Sudoku application needs are included into the product; it can accept custom Sudokus, solve them, find errors and give hints. Static screenshots do not do this app justice. Look at this Google Video to see what it really is like:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3050957024104020064&hl=en

As of now, I am not sure when the product will hit the market – please stay tuned and wait for a discount code at launch!

Cutting a long story short: this program simply looks amazing. Sudoku fans – this is a must have; you’ll love it….

The screenshots in this review were supplied by the developer, as the game is incompatible with our screenshot program

Resco’s Defender can be credited with starting the tower defense craze – Azgard Defence plans to dethrone the king. Will it get out on top?

Unlike Resco Defender, Azgard Defence(written with a c(!!!)) retains the actual ‘level’ concept – maps are bigger than the average PocketPC’s screen. Also,the terrain actually influences where creatures walk and where towers can be built:

All of the towers are based on one of the four initial towers that can be built via a toolbox on the right of the screen(and a hardbutton press). Clicking a tower sometimes brings up the ‘tower info’ dialog – it allows you to ‘level up’ or upgrade the tower. Leveling up a tower boosts stats and usually is much cheaper than upgrading, but does not change the tower’s behavior. However, higher-level towers are more expensive to upgrade(should you ever wish to).

Some updates change a tower’s behavior dramatically – for example, the tiny little archer tower at the left can be transformed into things like a corrosion tower with stacked damage. Here’s a picture of the game’s tech tree:
Tech tree Azgard Defence   tower defense for Pocket PC....on steroids

MoreGames included a decent set of creeps with various properties – the images below show a few samples:
azgard scr 07 Azgard Defence   tower defense for Pocket PC....on steroids azgard scr 08 Azgard Defence   tower defense for Pocket PC....on steroids

Azgard Defence has excellent graphics and a well-done sound track – here are few images showing some of the visual effects:
azgard scr 06 Azgard Defence   tower defense for Pocket PC....on steroids azgard scr 10 Azgard Defence   tower defense for Pocket PC....on steroids

Last but not least, the program contains an excellent level editor that can be used to ‘replenish’ your level supply:
azgard scr 12 Azgard Defence   tower defense for Pocket PC....on steroids

This review looked at version 1.03 of the program on a HP rx4240. The game was stable and caused no major glitches. It needs k of memory and can be installed onto an external memory card.

Cutting a long story short, Azgard Defense brings true WarCraft 3 feeling to the Pocket PC. While the game is a bit difficult to control, true Tower Defense freaks(e.g. yours truly) will marvel at the huge levels and the level editor. Casual gamers, on the other hand, will be overwhelmed by the interface. In case you love Tower Defense, this 10$ app is an absolute must-have!

Ever since David B. Lutton II programmed Bang Bang for Windows, the concept of having two objects take turns at shooting one another has managed to appeal to gamers of the violent kind. Be it worms, cannons or tanks – the gameplay basically always consists of adjusting angle, firepower and finally pressing that beautiful fire button to (hopefully) kick enemy a$$. Atomic Cannon offers a huge variety of landscapes and enemies – can it stack up?

Atomic Cannon’s single player mode can support up to 8 bots and 4 human players on a single machine(!!!), each one of them can command up to 5 tanks in different combat scenarios. However, the main menu still remains simple and uncluttered:
0a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

Each battle takes place on a randomly generated landscape – the images below show a few of the possible configurations:
1a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review 1b Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review 1c Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

Tanks can be controlled in two ways – the screen can be tapped to control firepower and angle simultaneously, or each parameter can be modified in an ‘editor’:
2a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review 2b Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review 2c Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

Atomic Cannon has dozens of different weapons that can be purchased. The weapon overview form is a bit crowded – it’s not always easy to determine what a weapon does or where it is:
3a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

Isotope did a great job creating the arms – some of the weapons seen in this game have never been available before(e.g. a tracer that tells you more about correct firepower and angle):
4a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

‘Power-up’ weapons allow you to heal your own tank instead of attacking your opponent’s. Weapon impacts can ‘terraform’ the landscape; new ‘land’ can be created right over an enemy’s head with the right weapon:
5a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

The game logic behind Atomic Cannon is extremely flexible – each and every parameter can be customized:
6a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

Isotope did a great job by allowing players to pause and exit the game without losing the current state of ‘combat’
7a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

A variety of sound effects and excellent music add some audio appeal to the game. Last but not least, the game also contains a network module:
8a Atomic Cannon for PocketPC   the review

This review looked at version3.0 of the game on an hp ipaq rx4240. Atomic Cannon needs about 5000KB of RAM and can be installed onto a memory card.

Cutting a long story short, Atomic Cannon is excellent fun for all those who like the concept. Computer-generated landscapes and a huge amount of weapons make sure that this ultra-versatile game doesn’t get boring after a few times. On the flip side of the coin, however, the huge selection of weapons and options makes the game a little hard to grasp at first glance. Anyways, people who like the idea of such games definitely have to give the free trial a whirl – the price of 20$ is justified.

Blizzard has been mentioned on our sister site TamsPalm quite a few times due to the incredible mess also known as World of Warcraft customer support. WoW, however, has had a predecessor known as Warcraft 3. This program was popular especially because of its rich map creation possibilities. Tower defense(aka keep critters from reaching a point by building guntowers) has been a recurring topic in these self-generated maps – Resco Defender brings this action to the PocketPC.

Most tower defense maps are designed for XGA screens; Resco thus had to redesign the gameplay a bit. The boys divided the screen into two parts – the bottom part contains the castle, the top part contains a grid.
0a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

Tapping one of the grid cells allows you to build various structures – if you can afford to do so:
1a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

Each tower has special capabilities – some attack all critters in a defined area, while others slow critters down without actually damaging them. All towers can be upgraded to become even stronger.
2a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

Once the first structures are built, the first wave of critters comes in:
3a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

Should your towers fail to eliminate all of them, the remaining critters damage the castle. After 20 critters reach the castle, the game is over:
4a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC 4b Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC 4c Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

The waves(called mobs) are mostly balanced – however, some of them have special and annoying capabilities. For example, flying critters don’t care much about your walls; bomb critters just tear them down.
5a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

At higher levels, the grid can become pretty crowded with literally dozens of critters and towers.
6a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

Last but not least, the game also contains an excellent help system:
7a Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC 7b Resco Defender review   Warcraft 3 tower defense for PocketPC

This review looked at version 1.07 of the game on a HP rx4240. The game needs 2146KB of memory and can be run from an external memory card.

Overall, Resco Defender is one of the few games that are really really dangerous and should be prohibited by law – once you start playing, there is no way you will put your PocketPC down. If you love great games, use the discount code CHEAPTOWERS in the TamsShop to get 20% off one of the top games released for PocketPC in 2007(if the game isn’t already on discount)!

When we reviewed Resco BrainGain a few days ago, we promised a list of all mini games contained – with screenshots! Our partners at Resco’s have just sent us the list – here goes(200k of PNG image goodness):

Calculations
Calculation
Calculation TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Choose 2 symbols
Choose 2 symbols TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Choose a number
Choose a number TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Choose a symbol
Choose a symbol TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Colorfull numbers
Colorfull numbers TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Counting pictures
Counting pictures TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Equation
Equation TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Flashing numbers
Flashing numbers TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Group counting
Group counting TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Min and max
Min and max TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Moving numbers
Moving numbers TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Number tree
Number tree TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Shining numbers
Shining numbers TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Three numbers
Three numbers TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Visitors
Visitors TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures

MEMORY
Colored circles
Colored circles TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Colored numbers
Colored numbers TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Flash memory
Flash memory TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
New number
New number TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Number change
Number change TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Number memory
Number memory TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Picture memory
Picture memory TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Shapes and positions
Shapes and positions TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Which picture
Which picture TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures

ANALYSIS
Alphabetical order
Alphabetical order TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Button press
Button press TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Colored letters 2
Colored letters 2 TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Colored letters
Colored letters TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Largest number
Largest number TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Line up
Line up TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Number sequence
Number sequence TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Number wipe
Number wipe TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Numbered area
Numbered area TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Open dice
Open dice TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Picture comparisons
Picture comparisons TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Picture count
Picture count TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures
Shape sequence
Shape sequence TamsPPC exclusive: Complete list of Resco BrainGain mini games, with pictures

Thank you to Resco for the list

In Austria, the Nintendo DS game Brain Age is sold as “Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Jogging” – and it quickly gained a cult-like following. The Nintendo DS is pretty expensive though…and the games should run on even the slowest 16MHZ PDA’s(Palm made those…not too long ago). Anyways, Resco recently released an ‘unofficial’ Pocket PC port…can it stack up?

BrainGain has replaced Nintendo’s male doctor with a female avatar called Sophia. It gives you instructions for the games and for using the user interface:
0a Resco BrainGain   Brain age for PocketPC

The ‘score’ is measured via the so-called Brain Gain index…which essentially is a number ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the fitter your brain…and the harder the tasks:
1a Resco BrainGain   Brain age for PocketPC 1b Resco BrainGain   Brain age for PocketPC

The ‘tasks’ themselves are presented as small games. There are a huge variety of games available, the screenshots below show a few of the games given at “easy” level. The score is determined by correctness and speed of the answer – questions get answered by tapping the correct answer at the bottom of the screen. A list of mini games with screenshots has been requested from Resco…these will be posted as soon ad they arrive:
2a Resco BrainGain   Brain age for PocketPC 2b Resco BrainGain   Brain age for PocketPC

BrainGain supports up to four profiles. Each profile has its own index score attached – this is very handy if more than one person wants to play on one handheld:
3a Resco BrainGain   Brain age for PocketPC

This review looked at a release candidate of the program on a hp ipaq rx4240. The program needs about 1.6MB of memory and can be installed onto an external memory card! BrainGain supports both portrait and landscape displays…

Overall, Brain Age is a well-done package of small ‘games’ that make excellent timekillers on the go. Due to the simple controls, even people who rarely play computer games will get along with BrainGain really well. If the game really delivers on its promise to make you smarter…well, no idea. But I do have an idea about the free trial version – it is available from Resco.net and will be on the TamsShop for purchase soon!

When Pocket Heroes was first announced back in 2005, it created a huge lot of fuzz. It’s 2007 now, and the game is finally available from its web site. But can it stack up?

Pocket Heroes ships with more than 20 maps, additional ones can be installed. At start-up, the game allows you to select a difficulty and assign players/races to colors:
0a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC 0b Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Setting more than one color to human enables “hot seat mode” – this is a multiplayer mode that works by players physically passing around the PocketPC:
1a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Pocket Heroes maps contain a variety of terrain types and buildings that look very well – the images below show a few samples:
2a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC 2b Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Heroes-style games are centered around castles and heroes. Castles act as “bases” for heroes, where troops can be purchased if the appropriate buildings have been built:
3a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Tapping a castle allows you to recruit units and build buildings:
4a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC 4b Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Tapping a hero shows its properties, army and inventories – heroes are like “vehicles” for moving around the terrain:
5a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC 5b Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Since Pocket Heroes is turn-based, each hero can move only a predefined distance per turn. Pocket Heroes shows the “range” of the hero when a path is created:
6a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Heroes can interact with terrain objects – they can conquer mines, pick up artifacts and resources, and explore the terrain:
7a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC 7b Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC 7c Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

Last but not least, Heroes can also fight rogue creatures or other heroes(e.g. to take over enemy castles). The fights also happen in a turn-based style, each unit is given one order, which it executes immediately!
8a Pocket Heroes review   Heroes of Might and Magic for PocketPC

This review focussed on version of Pocket Heroes on a hp ipaq rx4240. The game works quite well on the ipaq(installed onto external media) – reviewing it was great fun. However, “resuming” the game after a dialog pops over it or after switching to another app is slightly unreliable…

Overall, this 19.95$ game definitely is worth it’s price in gold. While the game still has a few small quirks(resuming of game, tapping enemy units in combat), it is one of the best games I have ever seen on a mobile computer. If you like turn-based strategy games or were a longterm Heroes fan, get PocketHeroes by all means!

Ball and board games have been popular for ages – Palm OS users currently get their JezzBall port, and PocketPC users have SPB’s Xonix II. The idea behind Xonix is simple – but can it stack up?

The idea behind Xonix 2 is that parts of the board are ‘cut off’ with a ‘laser beam’. If the cut-out area is free of enemies, the area is closed. You can proceed from level to level by filling a defined portion of the board:
0a SPB Xonix 2 review

Xonix 2 contains a variety of enemies that behave differently – it also contains a few popups that modify the game’s behaviour:
1a SPB Xonix 2 review

This review looked at Xonix 2 Version 1.1 on a hp ipaq rx4240, it was extremely stable in the review time. The game needs about 2MB of RAM and can be installed onto a memory card easily.

Overall, Xonix 2 is simple and great fun. Understanding the rules literally takes seconds – this makes the app ideally suited for parties. If you like the game’s concept, get it now…you will not be disappointed! The price of 9.95$ is more than justified!

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