Julie and Judie\’s Favorite Pocket PC Games Article

6 comments

Product Requirements:
Device:

Any Pocket PC

Judie and I get quite a few emails asking what our favorite PDA is, favorite cases are,
what our favorite utilities are and what our favorite games are. So, I
thought it would be interesting to start a collection of small articles
that share that information. To start things off, here’s an overview of our
favorite Pocket PC games that we each have on our iPAQs that we play more
often than any other games that we’ve tried or have installed.

Julie’s Favorites
I like almost all types of games, but usually fall back on the puzzles / logic
types.

Patrick Hinrichs’s
Puzznix
(v1.1)

Uses 1.143MB

Puzznix is an easy to learn, fun to play strategy / puzzle game. I almost did cartwheels when this game first came out because it is almost identical to a game called
Vexed for the Palm OS which I really enjoyed. 

Puzznix is a colorful game where the object is to get rid of all the blocks on a screen. You do this by using your stylus to slide the blocks left or right. When blocks of the same style touch, they disappear. Sounds simple right? Well, there are times when you have to
maneuver the blocks in specific ways so that you can get rid of 3 blocks at once. This is what will drive you crazy :o)

This is one of those games where you can play for a few minutes, quit and come back days later and not worry where you left off. In order to proceed to a new level and puzzle, you have to finish the previous one. The game always knows where you’ve left off.

The graphics effects in the game are smooth and easy on the eyes. The only slightly annoying thing I noticed was that sometimes you will see a very brief glimpse of the busy icon in the middle screen when the game is removing blocks. I
can’t tell if it is a glitch though because it only lasts for a split second.

The sound effects are pretty simple and can be turned off. Unfortunately, if you do turn off the sound, that preference isn’t saved. So you have to turn it off every time you start the game. I hope this gets fixed in the next version.

I’d also like to see an undo last move feature added in the future.

This game is available in a demo version which includes the first 10 levels. Registering will give you a total of 60 levels. The only bad thing is that once you play all the levels, repeat
game play is pretty much nil as you’ll be playing all the same puzzles over again.
Some type of random puzzle generator would be fantastic. Or, the ability to download more puzzles would also be great.

I recommend this game to anyone that likes a little bit of a brain challenge now and then. 

Price: 10DM (~$5 US)

Pros:
Easy to learn
Inexpensive

Cons:
No replay value
Doesn’t save sound status upon leaving game

 

Robert de Klein’s Bubbles
(v1.0)

Uses 120K

Bubbles is a board game that starts with a board full of colored bubbles. Bubbles of the same color that are touching can be removed from the board by tapping one of them with your stylus. Once a group of bubbles
is removed, the remaining bubbles fall down to fill the empty sections. The more bubbles you remove in a turn, the more points you score. When you clear the entire board you get bonus points.
This game is easy to learn, but hard to master.

There are three board settings from EASY to HARD. The easier the level, the smaller the game board and number of bubble colors.

The graphics are simple and the only audio effect is a sort of clicking noise each time you remove some bubbles from the board. 

I don’t play this game to see how many points I can get. I play to see how close I can get to clearing the board. It’s just a fun game to play when you are bored and have nothing better to do.

Price: $Free

Pros:
Easy to learn
Fun to play

Cons:
Each game is different

Crypt Quest
(v1.0)

Uses 470K

Crypt Quest is another puzzle game which I have been enjoying quite a bit. It is a Sokoban type game with a few twists. For those of you that don’t know what Sokoban is, it is a classic game invented in Japan. It’s a very addictive strategy game in which the warehouse keeper, or Sokoban in Japanese, pushes boxes to their correct destinations in a crowded warehouse. It sounds easy, but wait till you’ve tried it.

Crypt Quest takes Sokoban a bit further by introducing other items into the game such as doors, keys, torches, bombs and water. 

You navigate your character up/down/left and right using the joypad or other
hardware buttons depending on what Pocket PC that you have. I sometimes had a bit of trouble with this using my iPAQ. I guess my joypad is a bit touchy as sometimes I would overshoot my desired destination. Unfortunately there isn’t an UNDO last move feature in the game. I think I might like it better if there was a stylus mode.

The graphics in Crypt Quest are very good and easy on the eyes. And the
sound effects are unobtrusive and fun.

There is a demo version available with 10 levels while the full version has 50 levels.

This game is a lot of fun! But like Puzznix, once you finish all the levels, there really isn’t any point in playing again. That said, I liked this game enough to actually shell out the $14.95 for it…. so that should tell you something :o) 

Price: $14.95

Pros:
Easy to learn
Fun to play

Cons:
No replay value
No stylus mode

Judie’s Favorites
I tend to go for the logic-type games, more than RPG’s or platform
games, but one platform game that I have had a lot of fun with is…

Frank Malmer’s Weeboo
(v0.2 beta)
Full Version: 1.6MB
Minimum Install: 196K (No music or sound effects)

A game like this really makes me glad that my PDA of choice is a Pocket PC.
The graphics are great, the game challenging, and it is fun! The music is
similar to that of a gameboy – but it sounds better!

Before I tell you about this game, I need to state that I was unable to get
any actual screen shots of Weeboo, because the program I use (Screen
Snap
) needs a hardware button to function, and Weeboo automatically maps all
of your hot buttons when playing! Therefore, the few screen shots I can show are
from the Weeboo site, itself. 

Take a look…

 

Since there are some multi-button press issues when playing with an iPAQ: you
can use the joy-pad to move, and tap on the screen either with your finger or
stylus to jump. 

There are coins to gather for extra life, enemies to stomp on, and all kinds
of pitfalls. This game is reminiscent of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and as
you will see when you play it, it is a first-rate time waster!!

Price: $Free

Pros:

Excellent multi-level platform game
Developer has added many pitfalls and an editable level
This game has an exit button

Cons:
The game is best played on an iPAQ, decent on Casio, and hideous
on an HP 548 – best to use only the minimum version on that platform

Scott
Seligman’s Puzzle of Pipes
(v.1.31)
Uses 60K

This is a fun logic game that functions like a sliding puzzle. The object is
to put pieces of pipe together, to make the longest pipe so that the water can
flow through it. Many of you will recognize the concept from the popular game
Pipe Dreams…

 
 

This game is challenging in that you have a built in count-down (the water
rushing through the pipe), and if you get in a tight spot and can’t move your
pieces fast enough…then that’s all she wrote!

The only thing it would take to improve this game, in my opinion, is if there
were a way to make the water flow faster once you have the pipes arranged in
their final form.

Price: $Free, but donations
are accepted if you like the game

Pros:

Fun, and challenging

This game has an exit button

Cons:

Does not work on the Jornada

eSoft
Interactive’s Traffic Jam
(v1.0)
Uses 1.75MB

Yet another sliding puzzle type game (what can I say – I like them!), Traffic
Jam operates on the idea that you are the little VW Bug, and you need to get
across the screen to the Exit. Seems like it should be a simple thing, but there
are all these darn cars and trucks in the way!

Your mission is to slide the offending vehicles whatever way they need to go,
so that you have a clear path. You have a certain number of moves that you can
use for each level – and if you don’t use them all – they roll over to the next
level.

 
   

This game can be completely simple, or really challenging – and the level
number seems to have nothing to do with the level of difficulty.

I especially like that you can save your game at whatever point you decide to
stop at. As Julie can tell you, I totally got caught up in playing this game one
night…I made it to the 25th level before I began to suffer brain-drain

One thing I should mention – the sound of squealing tires is turned on when
you start playing. After you hear it a couple times, you will want to turn it
off, and there is a menu button to do so.

Of the games I like to play, this one did have a price tag…but I was happy
to pay it after messing with the demo.
This game is fun and addictive!

Price: $8 

Pros:
Fun and challenging
Can save game at any point
Appears to have infinite levels…
This game has an exit button

Cons:
The tire squealing is annoying after you hear it once – but you
can turn the sound off

Posted in: Windows Phone

6 comments… add one

  • ee_geek June 9, 2003, 12:15 am

    I was looking into both of the major (as far as I know) satellite radio services Xm and Sirius, and was wondering which one is better?

    Judie wrote “Today, I have a 3:00 appointment to get a Sirius Satellite Radio receiver installed in our Expedition – so we shouldn’t get bored in the tunes department! ” in her latest gear entry. So I guess I ahve to ask why choose sirius over xm.

    Has there been a review here of either service? Did I miss it? I like the hardware for the xm satellite a little better because it seems a little more versatile.

    If anybody uses either of theses and thinks one is better than the other please let me know.

    I like the concept of commercial free radio and want to get one,but I can’t decide any input would be appreciated.

    Erik

  • Judie June 9, 2003, 12:52 am

    I chose Sirius over XM because:

    1. $80 installed!!!!! Woo Woo! We caught a special on the old (wired) hardware at a local stereo shop. I don’t need to be able to move the tuner around – and I won’t miss it in the house because I can get a free webcast of the same stations with my new access code over the internet.

    2. Main difference between the two services (both have 100 channels) was XM has NASCAR channel and Sirius has SPEED channel. No biggie. πŸ˜‰

    3. $12.95 a month for the first unit, $6.99 a month for the 2nd unit we also bought to go in Steve’s Bronco. If I choose to get a lifetime subscription, I can do it for $400 – XM does not offer that. Right now I am happy with month to month.

    4. Truly commercial free – except for the News channels (CNN, FOXNews, Court TV, etc.). They are from TV and will play national commercials.

    5. I like the Sirius dog. πŸ˜‰

    Both services seem great. You might have been right about the XM hardware being a little more versatile, but Sirius is now offering the same options.

    http://www.forbes.com/2003/05/22/cx_ah_0522tentech.html?partner=yahoo&referrer=

    It looks like Sirius wants to be a contender – and I was/am willing to take advantage of that. :)

    We don’t have a review up for either service, yet – but that will change.

    I honestly couldn’t have made it through 40 hours of driving time without Sirius – I can’t believe we didn’t get it sooner!!!

    Judie :0)

  • Keith Hodges September 19, 2003, 9:57 pm

    reasons:

    1) Sirius has more commercial-free programming (65 channels to XM’s 35 channels, I think).

    2) I read on the XM website that Clear Channel is a major investor. They’ve ruined commercial radio, and were one of the main reasons I fled to satellite in the first place.

    The difference in the cost of the two services is negligible.

  • Delirious Nomad October 28, 2005, 3:09 am

    Let me preface this by saying that BOTH satellite systems ROCK!

    I have both XM and Sirius.
    There are good things about both.
    I actually prefer Sirius’s programming a little better overall, but XM has THE single best channel and a better overall signal for my uses. It really depends on what you want it for and where you will mostly listen to it.

    XM has “The Boneyard” (80’s rock including stadium rock bands like Rush, Scorps, Zebra, Y&T, Priest, VH…they also have hair bands like Slaughter, Winger, Ratt, etc… they also dip into more classic rock like Zepplin, Nugent, Hendrix, etc…
    The Boneyard probably plays more of the lesser heard bands like Faster Pussycat, Icon, Black N Blue, TNT, Tyketto, etc…. They also don’t always play the “standard” songs from popular bands. For instance, they are more likely to play Van Halen’s “In a Simple Rhyme” before they’d play “You Really Got Me”. For instance, right now XM is playing Rush’s “Circumstances”.

    The Boneyard is probably the single best channel on all of Satellite radio.

    Sirius has 2 stations to go against “The Boneyard”…..They have “Hair Nation” (Hair bands) and “The Buzzsaw” (Stadium rock). Together, they are as good as the Boneyard. However, they tend to play more of the “standard” songs than the “b-sides”.

    (Today’s hard rock) – Sirius has “Octane” which is better than XM’s “Squizz” in my opinion.

    (Classic Rock) – Sirius has “Classic Vinyl”, “Classic Rewind”, and “The Vault”…all versions of classic rock.
    XM has “Deep Tracks”…that’s about it.

    (Heavy Metal) – Sirius’s “Hard Attack” blows XM’s “Liquid Metal” away….plus XM’s “Liquid Metal” is only available over the internet…it’s not available from your unit.

    Both have “alternative” stations, “underground” stations, and other stuff that I really don’t listen to much. XM may have the edge on “alternative” music.

    Without question, Sirius has better sports.
    XM has Major League baseball…if that’s your thing, then XM’s for you.
    Sirius has the NFL, will be getting Nascar very soon, and has a TON more college sports.

    They both have about the same news and talk, with different variations….but if that’s not your thing, you won’t notice the difference.

    OH…and for what it’s worth…..Sirius will soon have Howard Stern and XM has Opie and Anthony.

    That being said, I like my reception better from XM………sort of.
    Let me explain.
    With XM, I get a signal just about all of the time, whether it’s good or not just depends. (I’m speaking of when I’m using the home kit or the “jam box”.) But even if it’s not a great signal, I at least can still hear it albeit with some static on occassion.
    Sirius is “all or nothing”. I either get a crystal clear signal, or I don’t get anything.

    When I’m in my car, both systems work fine for me.

    XM has the portable MyFi which is very nice…but don’t jump too soon. Sirius will be coming out with their’s shortly.

    I really think that you can’t go wrong with either system. Either way, once you go satellite, you won’t go back.

    IT’S AWESOME!

    Actually, my bet is that XM will buy up Sirius eventually because they are becoming increasingly tough competition….then it won’t matter anyway.

    Hope this helps a little.

  • sapello1945 June 22, 2006, 8:39 pm

    I have had XM Radio for over a year now. They have just started bombarding the airwaves with commercials-beware. They are not commercial free.

  • Rico June 29, 2006, 1:44 pm

    My 2005 Honda has XM built in. I love it! I have never taken CD’s on a trip since I have access to so much music.

    I like the rock channels, some pop channels, almost all the jazz channels, and occasionally listen to the Latin channels. I love the old time radio station and all the comedy channels. I don’t care for sports, and I don’t live in a major city that is featured in the weather and driving conditions channels.

    I think that Sirius has pretty much the same thing. One thing I love about XM is the movie soundtrack channel and the Broadway soundtrack channel, and I don’t think Sirius has those.

    I’m looking at a BMW for my next vehicle, and they only offer Sirius. I wish they had a choice (like Infiniti, for example) because it would be cheaper for me to add one more account to my XM subscription than a brand new Sirius subscription, but… oh well.

    I was surprised how much I like satellite radio. You probably won’t go wrong with either system.

Leave a Comment