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Multiplatform Gaming News (08/30/2008)

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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.

Unfortunately, there will be NO Windows Mobile-specific version of the new game, unlike with the previous, 2G (isometric) version. It will only be released later, if at all: the developers state they will only look into releasing the WinMo version when WinMo hardware manufacturers do come up with much more gaming-friendly (mostly importantly, 3D hardware accelerated) devices – that is, not in the foreseeable future.

2. (WinMo, BlackBerry, (Symbian?)): Concrete Software ( http://www.concretesoftware.com/ ) have announced the forthcoming native (non-emulated!) ports of the titles of the great Microprose classics, Civilization (IV?), Pirates! and Railroad Tycoon.

The ports will, at first, be released for BlackBerry. (Which may also mean they’ll also be made available for Symbian and other platforms with strong Java MIDlet support – after all, BlackBerry apps are also Java-based.) The BlackBerry games list (http://www.concretesoftware.com/blackberry/index.shtml ) on the homepage of the developer already shows these four titles; Civilization (here, referred to as Civ IV: War of Two Cities – that is, not the first episode) is slated for Sep. 2., while no release date is provided for the other two titles. The listing of other platforms doesn’t list the new titles as yet.

While, at least on Windows Mobile, you definitely can play these titles under emulators (for example, Civilization does run under n0p’s DOSBox – see The definitive guide to running (MS-)DOS (80x86) programs under Windows Mobile at http://pocketpcmag.com/cms/blogs/3/the_def...ing_ms_dos_8_12 for more info), doing the same with native (or, at least, Java MIDlet-based) games is much better: much less CPU usage (resulting in much better battery life), advanced (midi / Adlib / Sound blaster) audio, customizable keys etc.

3. Make sure you check out Eric Pankoke’s My World Of Handhelds http://www.myworldofhandhelds.com . Among other things, it has decent a review of Xassar's Quest ( http://myworldofhandhelds.com/joomla/index...8&Itemid=33 ) and Igor ( http://myworldofhandhelds.com/joomla/index...22&Itemid=1 ) – two titles I couldn’t fully test upon writing a quick news items on them. Of particular interest is Xassar's Quest, an RPG, which definitely is worth paying attention to.

4. (Windows Mobile devices with accelerometer): There is a real abundance of games utilizing the accelerometer of the HTC Diamond and the HTC Touch Pro. See the list of these games at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=411419 . The thread started post is worth checking out now and then for new projects.

Still speaking of 3D hardware acceleration, http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=415873 has a decent C#/.NET Compact Framework wrapper for OpenGLES. If you’re a .NET CF games programmer looking into 3D acceleration, check it out.

5. (Symbian): Several new, high-quality titles have been released for Nokia’s Next-Gen N-Gage platform. Some of the better titles include the adventure Dirk Dagger (official website: http://www.dirkdagger.com/ ; AAN post & discussion: http://www.allaboutngage.com/news/item/785...ilable_on_N.php ) and, most importantly, Reset Generation (see related AAN story at http://www.allaboutngage.com/news/item/778...e_first_Meg.php and http://www.allaboutngage.com/news/item/777...t_now_on_N-.php ), a truly multiplayer, really nice game well worth trying. Note that it has a free Web version you can test in your desktop browser; it’s available at http://www.allaboutngage.com/games/item/Pr..._White_Rock.php . Also note that you can even put the game on your own website as is explained at http://www.allaboutngage.com/news/item/778..._version_of.php

Still speaking of the N-Gage platform, the also-new Dogz has received pretty bad press; see http://www.allaboutngage.com/news/item/791..._for_N-Gage.php

6. (Symbian, Palm, WinMo): Infinite Dreams, the developer of some killer titles like K-Rally and SkyForce (Reloaded), have a blog on their own at http://idreamsblog.blogspot.com/ (also see http://www.allaboutngage.com/news/item/774...Dreams_Blog.php ). There aren’t many entries there; still, fans of the developer may still want to check the page out.

7. (WinMo): A free (!) Metal Slug-remake, Psycho Team’s Symbian Killer (see http://psygame.org/publ/2-1-0-4 ; direct download: http://psygame.org/download/SymbianKiller.CAB ) is definitely worth checking out if you like Metal Slug, one of the bets 2D platform games ever written. (See my Guide to Emulating NeoGeo and CPS: A must if you’re into quality and FREE arcade games! at http://pocketpcmag.com/cms/blogs/3/the_gui...eogeo_and_cps_a for more info on emulating the original titles.)

8. (WinMo): another platformer: Firetop Adventure. Allen Gall's review is at http://pocketpcmag.com/cms/blog/5248/the-w...retop-adventure

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