Jul 192010
 

For the young ones, there was once a cult in days of the debut of computer games that followed a game so religiously, that people swore by it. And for the old ones, I’m talking hours of unending play with your tank defending your eagle. Seems familiar..eh?
0 My little Tank   the review

Well I’m talking about the classic epitome of luxury and patience, and how fast you could punch the buttons and kill’em all. You guessed it old ones, I’m referring to Battle City. And Astraware has neatly presented the classic timeless into a really good contemporary sis file. My Little Tank.

My Little Tank is a neatly done title comprising of, yes, one my little tank which has to take on the enemy tanks spanned throughout the realms of jungles, deserts, seas and snowcapped geography:
1 My little Tank   the review

You can choose your tank from a span of VIBGYOR colors, the only thing is that you have a purple and pink color in place of violet and Indigo. So that practically makes it PPBGYOR. And yes, the tank doesn’t seem to move on its tyres and belts, it seems to crawl, just like if God had provided it with legs, and its real fun to watch it like moving like that.
3 My little Tank   the review

The only thing that’s a pain in the neck is that the directional moving controls are mapped to the d-pad only, except the fire key which can be mapped as per wish. I couldn’t get it mapped to the number keys, which kind of creates nuisance while playing. If Astraware can release an update that can utilize the number keys, then no one is going to stop me from finishing it (actually, my thumb got sore from using the d-pad only).

You get 80 levels of fragging action, 6 power-ups (you don’t want to miss them, they can cost you your life in the advance levels) and 5 different types of enemy tanks plus destroyable scenery (yaaayyyyy). Total mayhem guaranteed.
2 My little Tank   the review

There is one catch though, the shells move rather slowly. So have ample time to avoid them and also perfect your aim by shooting to a spot to where an enemy tank is approaching, and kaboom kaboom.

In the nutshell, My Little Tank is a game that would keep you addicted for hours and hours (until you finish it) and you would definitely like to revisit it whenever you want to indulge in some chaotic action comprising of fragging your enemy and at times defending your base (Pentagon, literally).

My score 3.5 stars out of 5. Find out more via the URL below:
http://www.astraware.com/s60/mlt/

Jul 112009
 

Accelerometers were introduced to the S60 platform a few years ago – a lack of standard accessor APIs unfortunately limited the number of available products. Resco’s Bubbles is an implementation of the now-classic accelerometer controlled marble maze – can it stack up?

Resco was dead-serious about motion control: level picking is accomplished by tilting the device:
0 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

Bubbles adds a little twist to the classic concept. Each ball has a number and must be picked up in sequence – hitting a wrong ball is an invitation for another attempt:
1 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

Crazy mazes like the ones below make this straight-forward concept, um, difficult:
2 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

Bombs are straightforward: touch em and they blast everything around:
3 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

Skull icons invite you to take another stab at the level:
4 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

Arrows fire your ball in a direction:
5 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

While pills distort your controls:
6 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

Users can calibrate the neutral position by hand:
7 Resco Bubbles for S60   the review

This review looked at Resco Bubbles on a Nokia N96. The program needs 1207KB of memory and can be installed onto an external memory card. Unfortunately, device compatibility is somewhat limited (quote from Resco):

* Nokia 5730 XpressMusic
* Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
* Nokia 6210 Navigator
* Nokia 6720 classic
* Nokia E55
* Nokia E75
* Nokia N79
* Nokia N82
* Nokia N85
* Nokia N86
* Nokia N95
* Nokia N96

It should work on E66 and samsung INNOV8/Omnia HD also, but E66 requires sis file to be signed (looks like the only one device which requires capability to work with sensor) and on samsungs there is problem with screen rotation.

So – try it on your accelerometer-equipped phone and let us know how it goes!

Three words: Resco Bubbles rocks. If you like “marble” games, definitely give Resco Bubbles a pop. It is absolutely excellent and will definitely keep you entertained for a long time. The price of 15$ is ok…

Dec 032008
 

AstraWare’s My Little Tank franchise is now more than tw years old – it originally debuted on the Palm OS, but was recently ported to a variety of other platforms including S60. A review of the Palm OS version can be found here…this review will look at the differences!

The flexible “battlefield” praised in the Palm OS version remains – your tank still gets to duke it out in a variety of areas which can be “terraformed” by shooting around:
0a My Little Tank for S60   the review 0b My Little Tank for S60   the review

Unfortunately, the missions still have but three tasks: protect base, kill tanks and destroy buildings:
1a My Little Tank for S60   the review 1b My Little Tank for S60   the review

The pixel effects are still there. Unfortunately, technology moved on: this means that they are no longer as impressive as they were two years ago:
2a My Little Tank for S60   the review

We criticized the stupid AI found in the Palm version of the game – rest assured that AstraWare improved this significantly. Some of the early levels are extremely tough…I never made it to the first save point and always had to start again at level zero:
3a My Little Tank for S60   the review

The game does a great job at explaining itself – when playing for the first time, pop-ups with useful information are displayed frequently:
4a My Little Tank for S60   the review 4b My Little Tank for S60   the review

A thorough online help system is also included:
5a My Little Tank for S60   the review 5b My Little Tank for S60   the review 5c My Little Tank for S60   the review 5d My Little Tank for S60   the review

This review looked at My Little Tank version 1.10 on a Nokia N96. The program needs 1705KB of RAM and can be installed onto external memory. It copes well with screen rotation:
6a My Little Tank for S60   the review

In the end, AstraWare did a pretty good job sprucing up the gameplay while porting. The game is is fun, but also quite challenging due to the lack of “save points”. However, the core complaint of repetitive gameplay remains… However: the low price of just 10$ voids any discussion – if the game’s concept sounds attractive, get it in the TamsShop ASAP!

Sep 282008
 

Controlling mobile phone games via device motion is not a new idea: as soon as camera phones became available, developers used the cameras for motion detection and moving crosshairs.

Ninja Strike is a Japan-themed game that puts you into the role of a ninja who must throw shuriken to free his “sensei”(aka teacher):
0a Ninja Strike   the review 0b Ninja Strike   the review 0c Ninja Strike   the review

The game mechanics are rather simple. The arm at the bottom of the screen is moved around at a fixed speed (you can NOT influence the movement!!!), and you hit fire whenever you think that an enemy is “in range”:
1a Ninja Strike   the review

Advancing from level to level is easy – all you need to do is survive and score an increasing number of kills:
2a Ninja Strike   the review

At later levels, colorful enemies appear on the screen. Shooting them allows you to access a variety of special abilities like multiple shuriken or a “laser targeting sight”. Unfortunately, powerups expire rather quickly (indicated via the diamond at the bottom of the screen):
3a Ninja Strike   the review 3b Ninja Strike   the review

After having survived a few levels, enemies start to attack. You need to press the 5 key in time in order to block off attacks – the maximum time you can block is very limited, and the blocking process itself is annoyingly slow.
4a Ninja Strike   the review

The plot and new game elements are explained in short “text slides” between the levels:
5a Ninja Strike   the review

Finally: the camera interaction is limited to firing off shuriken. Performing a throwing motion in front of the camera fires off one shot – this has worked pretty well on my Nokia N71.
6a Ninja Strike   the review 6b Ninja Strike   the review

This review looked at version 1.04 of the game on a Nokia N71. Ninja Strike needs 4135KB of memory and can be installed onto an external memory card.

In the end, Ninja Strike is a very weird game – as the movement of the “hand” can not be controlled, the game is both an action game and a reaction tester. The motion control was rather unimpressive and is best left disabled. If the concept sounds appealing, get the free trial – the full version of the game costs and can be purchased at ClickGamer’s for 7 Euros (as of this writing).