Simon Tatham Puzzles: Palm OS Game


I love Games Magazine, but generally not every game in the magazine. I feel about the same way about Simon Tatham’s Puzzles Pack. (Thanks to The Gadgeteer Forums poster Mark Reid for the heads-up on this one!) Some of the 27 games in this freeware collection are pretty cool (Black Box, Guess, Map, Same Game, Unequal and Tangle so far are favorites), several are variations on the theme, and a couple I still have not figured out.

Puzzles List

[Simon Tatham Puzzles List]

The puzzle pack takes up 618K of memory on my Palm T/x, and runs pretty well, with an occasional start-up pause. Since it is freeware, the price is definitely right! I also have to give big kudos to the thought and programming behind these games. Even though several are variations of others rather than new games, it still took a ton of work to do all of this.

Guess Game Instructions

[‘Guess’, a Mastermind clone, and instructions]

On the other hand, it was originally done for Windows and other OS, and ported over to Palm OS by James Harvey. Not being a native Palm program, there are some ‘interesting’ elements. For example, the instructions for the games generally are written for using a mouse or other input system, there is usually no on-screen button to call up the menu, and some things do not show up as nicely as they might on a different screen. (The lack of an on-screen menu button seems a rather petty complaint, I know, but it really bugged me after a bit.) The graphics also usually look rather primative. Certainly better graphics would have taken more memory, more programming, and more resources to run, and the graphics do not affect game play, but in my mind there is a difference between the Palm Zen simplicity and blah.

Another Game
Yet Another Game

[‘Black Box’ and ‘Inertia’ Games]

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not played a full round of every game. Some did not grab my interest, some made no real sense, and some just do not interest me. However, having a variety of games available that I can try or ignore as the spirit moves is nice. I also know I get tired of games rather easily and keep looking for new ones- so here are 27 I can carry without thinking about it… until I need them. Sweet!


Product Information

  • Freeware
  • Easy on resources
  • Good variety of easy and challenging games
  • Good support on site
  • Not all instructions are clear or easy to follow
  • No on-screen menu links
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Mark Reid January 14, 2008, 2:19 pm

    Cool! I’m glad you like this puzzle pack as much as I do. As you pointed out, I doubt anyone will like all of them, but everyone should find something to like. I’ve barely scraped the surface because I’ve been playing Tents so much, but I love all the untapped (get it?) playing potential!

    Keep up the good software reviews.

  • Keilaron January 15, 2008, 10:22 pm

    I got that collection a little while ago; Sadly, it now no longer runs on my Palm, and always causes a Fatal Error. Even early on, certain games were unstable, especially the more memory-hungry ones (What can I say? I only have a lowly m500 ;>).
    Then again, I can’t even get any apps to list the contents of the main Palm memory anymore (another Fatal Error!), so perhaps it’s not entirely the game’s fault.
    I think I had figured out all the games and how they work, so if anyone has any questions, I could say more on their subject.
    Additionally, 95% of what’s on my Palm (and there’s a fair amount, especially of games) is free, so perhaps I could suggest other titles in the future :>

  • Mark Reid January 17, 2008, 9:10 am

    Keilaron, Please do suggest other titles!

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