What I REALLY want for Christmas is to get this review done. Maybe I bit off more than I could chew- reviewing a list of good Palm games, after all, is a tough thing to do, especially since a lot of my favorites are now discontinued! Let’s try to move on, however.
Here are some of the games I go back to over and over, that do not take a long time to learn or play, and that do not chew up a lot of system resources.
Several of my favorites come from this powerhouse of a company:
- Bejeweled 2, a previously reviewed and very addictive game for $19.95.
- Sudoku. This is a feature-rich version of the popular number game if you like this sort of thing as much as I do. For me, it was well worth the $19.95. I tried many of the freeware versions, but this version offers a lot of flexibility, downloadable puzzle packs, and several levels of helps that you can avail yourself of. Besides, when I do the ‘paper and pencil’ version, things get messy- the e-version is always nice and clean.
- Bookworm is a ‘Boggle’-like game for one person that has several interesting twists- exploding letters, bonus words, an extensive dictionary, and a somewhat ‘Tetris’-like flavor make it a pretty unique game. $19.95.
- Text Twist is almost a cross between a word jumble and hangman- make as many words as you can from the selected letters in a fixed amount of time. No big bells or whistles other than a button that mixes up the letters to help spur your thought process. Great brain-stretcher for $19.95!
- Traffic Jam. A well-done version of the sliding block game ‘Rush Hour’. You jockey cars and trucks around to free your car. Several levels and simple rules makes this a great game. $9.95.
- Farkle has been reviewed earlier as well. $14.95
- Mars Needs Cows is a rather dumb litle game for $9.95 in which you set objects in the barnyard to ‘bounce’ animals into the alien’s abducting beam. They have a shopping list and you help them get what they need. The first few levels will suck you in to the point that the premise almost makes sense!
I would have listed Insanaquarium, Hellfire, Cake Mania and more (I could pretty near cut and paste their entire product list here!), but they either appeal to more specific tastes, use more resources, or take longer to play, etc.
As a life-long cheapskate, I love freeware. In fact, in some cases, I prefer the freeware version to commercial versions! Some titles I would like to share here include:
- Vexed, a nicely done combination of a sliding block puzzle and Tetris. Quick, simple gameplay with a nearly-endless increasingly challenging levels. If you like Bejeweled, give this a try! This is one of those gems that is better done than many commercial programs.
- Backgammon 3.1 is a slick little Backgammon game that I prefer over most commercial versions. However, it is old (2001) and hard to find now. A good commerical version is Handmark Backgammon, or you can try one of the many other versions that are available.
- PilOth and StaBu are Othello/Reversi clones. Each has a few weaknesses but still manage to beat my pants off me most of the time.
- Mirek’s YahDice is a simple but well-done version of the classic game ‘Yahtzee’. Perhaps it gives a few too many of the high-scoring ’5 of a kind’ rolls than real die would, but I’m not complaining!
- DopeWars. One of those vaguely ‘guilty pleasures’ I have. It is a quick version of a trading game/business simulator with a somewhat reprehensible theme. However, it also includes a smaller number of variables compared to other versions like ‘Space Trader’, which befuddle my poor, aged brain.
- Pyramid Solitaire only takes a few minutes per hand but is as challenging as Freecell or Spider Soliaire. Another nicely done freeware program!
- The Prison. A ‘Breakout’ clone that has been reviewed earlier.
There are a gazillion other freeware games worth at least an honorable mention here: Bomb Canada, Towers of Hanoi, Matchsticks, and others that may lack a polished interface, or that loose their appeal once solved, or that are glitchy on newer Palms, but I have to get this wrapped up, so…
Some of the other games I recommend include:
- Pocket Mobility’s Quizzler. This is a freeware ‘Reader’ with a commercial ‘Pro’ and ‘Maker’ versions and a library of free and for pay quizzes. You can also create your own quizzes for fun or education. I could wish that the interface looked a little more professional, but it is a nice pack with plenty of free quizzes to get you started. So far, few of the other trivia or quiz games I have tried come close to being as good as this one, with the exception of the commercial version of ‘Trivial Pursuit’, which is actually a very different sort of program.
- Palm Guy’s Ten Thousand. A share-ware version of ‘Farkle’ that I prefer to the commercial version, and only $5.95!
- Landware’s Shanghai. The Palm version of the old Windows’ ‘Mah-Jong’ is slick and plays well. Some of the characters are a bit small on the screen, but you have access to dozens of character sets- dinosaurs, math, space, and more. Every version of this game has certain quirks and their own take onsome rules, so it is not exactly like the Windows version, and every now and then it has programming glitches- like a semi-transparent piece that lets you click on the one under it- but overall it is a nice game for the $14.95 asking price.
- Wolcott’s Picture Logic, the ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ art puzzle, is a nice challenge. Buy the main program for $12.00 and find hundreds of free puzzle packs on-line.
- Red Mercury’s Acid Spider Solitare and Freecell. Yeah, there are other good versions out there, but I am partial to the layout and features of Red Mercury’s versions. For $9.95 (on sale now) each, I get hours of time-wasting…, er, I mean ‘time-filling’ entertainment!
- Stand Alone’s Crosswords for Palm Straight-forward crossword game that can download new puzzles from several sources. A good selection of helps and features can help speed things up if desired.$19.95.
Well, Santa, I hope I have done my part to help you find the right program for the Palm users on your list! Now- maybe you could do ME a favor… Have you seen a good Palm version of any of these games?
- ‘Hexxagon’? The 7-Up company had a cute version called ‘Spot’.
- ‘Laser Tag’- any of a dozen programs in which you position mirrors or barriers to lasers. I especially like the versions in which you have a small laser tank to try to shoot a designated target.