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[24 Jul 2012 | | ]
De-Lite: Great Lights Out Clone

Ever had a Lights Out game? If yes, then open for some nostalgia, but if not, then familiarize yourself with it, all that with De-Lite on your N900.

De-Lite is a really nice SDL clone of Lights Out. Those unfamiliar with the game will pick it up soon, as it is really simple. The main premise is to shut down all the lights on the board by tapping a lightpiece and do it in as less moves as possible. Tapping one piece affects the pieces adjacent to it.
De-Lite has many challenging levels available and will provide you with much minutes of puzzle fun. Thinking out the most efficient way to clear a level is a good brain teaser. The graphics are great and the the touch controls are quite smooth. Go on and add it to your collection. De-Lite is available from Extras, the package name is de-lite.

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[18 Jul 2012 | | ]
Don Ceferino: Super Pang clone on the N900

Ever played Super Pang, a little flash game where you shoot down bubbles with harpoons? Well, apparently it has a nice N900 clone, Don Ceferino!

As mentioned, Don Ceferino is a Super Pang clone. That means the whole premise of the game is to try and shoot down as many flying bubbles as you can without them touching your character, who is Don Ceferino, trying to rescue his cow from being abducted.
If you played the original , then there’s not much to be said. It is a really well done clone, featuring several levels of challenging bubble popping! Don Ceferino can grab bonuses off defeated alien bubbles, which range from additional time to more weapons. The touch control is really good, but the game itself needs to be played on keyboard. Surprisingly, the controls are very tolerable! Several keybindings are available, so you can control the game as you see fit. The graphics look smooth and the music is nice too.
As so, the game is good enough to land in your game collection. Fetch it off Extras (package name is ceferino) and go save the cow from aliens!

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[3 Jul 2012 | | ]
Tennix: Simple mobile tennis

Another one of those boring moments? Well, Tennix 2009 World Tour is an another little, but fun game to fill them in!

Tennix is, quite obviously, a mobile tennis game and is probably as simple as it can be (not taking Pong into account). You, your opponent, a field and a ball. Either single player, or 2-player mode (requiring you to either share a keyboard or hand your pal an externally connected one) is there. You can also switch between several locations, but I have yet to see what major difference they play.
Surprisingly, it plays very, very well with both the touchscreen and stylus or the keyboard. It’s smooth and simple gameplay doesn’t require much movement.
Definitely a good thing to have in your time-keller library. Fetch it from Extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install tennix

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[26 Jun 2012 | | ]
OpenTyrian on the N900

Do you like shmup (aka shoot’em’up or STG) games? Well, you most probably have heard of Tyrian, an epic shmup from the nineties! If not, Tyrian is a great shmup for you to start from, especially since the libre version, OpenTyrian, has an N900 port!

Truly an epic game, Tyrian has tons of content. It features a full campaign, with purchasable weapons and a plot (not half bad one); and the arcade mode which plays more like a regular shmup. All that in 4 episodes with many levels.  For the adventurous, there’s a good load of secret content, from levels, to even minigames and new difficulty levels.
Forgiving easy difficulties and hardcore modes, such as SuperTyrian, will keep both a newbie and a pro interested.
The game plays without a problem on my N900, but, of course, playing with the keyboard is rather hard. Fortunately, playing with the stylus is sane, although not as controllable (you’ll still want to keep the keyboard out for the sidekicks). Oh, and a small detail you’ll need to know, to save press Ctrl-Fn A after you’ve typed in the savename.
To get the game, activate Extras-devel and type
sudo gainroot; apt-get install opentyrian
at your X Terminal. Remember to turn Extras-devel off when you’re done installing the package.
The package also needs the datafiles, which are not included. Either drop them into /home/user/.opentyrian/tyrian21 from your PC installation or just type these commands from your X Terminal:
mkdir /home/user/.opentyrian/
cd /home/user/.opentyrian/
wget http://camanis.net/tyrian/tyrian21.zip
unzip tyrian21.zip
rm tyrian21.zip
And you’re done! Into your journey to Savara!

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[11 Apr 2012 | | ]
Gargoyle: Interactive Fiction on your N900

Enjoy reading? Enjoy interactive fiction? Well, some happy news for you, in addition to Ren’Py for visual novels, with a Maemo port of Gargoyle you have tons of interactive fiction in your pocket!
For those who never heard of Gargoyle yet, it is a very advanced interactive fiction interpreter that supports many-many different formats, like z-machine (Inform), glulx, tads, agility, alan, hugo, level 9, magnetic, scare and more!
With that much formats you can play many sorts of fiction, allowing you to choose many genres and play famous games, such as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy or Zork. For those of you in search for fiction to read (or play, if that is how you prefer to say it), you can find game archives with the help of search engines. One of the most famous archives is IFArchive, which has games for most platforms Gargoyle can handle. Just grab the file for the game and launch it either from a command line with gargoyle [gamefile] or from a graphical menu.

Gargoyle can be obtained via the Extras catalogue with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install gargoyle
GET it, but don’t forget a light source.

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[9 Apr 2012 | | ]
Wordsler: Quiddler for your N900

Are you a fan of word games? Well, I know I am, so when I found Wordsler in the repos, I just couldn’t pass it by.

Now, Wordsler is a fun word game, which is basically Quiddler, but on your N900’s screen. If you’re not familiar with Quiddler, the game’s simple: you are given a set of cards and you form words out of them. For every word you form, you receive points based on the cards you used. For example, a card with Q is worth more than the one with A, as there are less words that have the letter Q in it.

Wordsler has a few game modes aside from the standard Quiddler: Time Trial, which is pretty much self-explanatory and Online Challenge, where you can compete with other players online, adding quite some fun into the game. Wordsler also features an achievement system, which also adds some playing value.
I myself found the game a good time sinker, I have spent at least an hour playing after discovering it. So, if you want to check it out, grab it from Extras with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install wordsler
And dive into Quiddler without physical cards!

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[6 Apr 2012 | | ]
Slysics: Sleigh simulations on your N900

Have a like for simulation games like Numpty Physics? Slysics is something you’ll definitely enjoy.

Slysics is a fun simulation game where you build sleigh tracks and then watch the figure gracefully (or painfully) slide down them.
With not that many tools you can nonetheless build some really great simulations and you are only limited with your imagination. Build a giant track with a ramp to see how far the sleigh will travel? Maybe a beautiful scenery? Or a sadistic track full of traps and rough falls? You are free to do anything.
Slysics is currently available in the Extras-Devel, which you’ll have to enable before getting it with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install slysics
The game is moving on to OpenGL, which will soon bring it better graphics, but even with it’s 2D now, it’s still very fun.
A fun little time sinker, Slysics will sure keep you busy for quite some time.

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[10 Mar 2012 | | ]
Vulture’s Eye: Nethack on your N900

Are you a roguelike enthusiast? Want to take your beloved NetHack with you? Or want to try it out?
Well, then you’ll be happy to know that a “Vulture’s Eye” Maemo port exists and works very well.

Vulture’s Eye is accessible from the Extras, so get it with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install vultures
NetHack surely can be played without it’s graphical version, but you should take in mind that the N900’s keyboard is not the best thing you can play roguelikes with. While having a dislike for “tiled” roguelikes myself, I found Vulture’s Eye very sweet to play with a touchscreen. It works very well, and still allows you to feel this dungeon atmosphere. Sure, sometimes you will have to slide down the keyboard, but most of the time you wouldn’t need it, and this allows you to explore the dungeon while you’re in a bus/queue/whatnot.
So don’t wait, fetch vultures from Extras and dive into the quest for the Amulet of Yendor!

Applications, Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[27 Feb 2012 | | ]
FlashLauncher: Flash app organizer for N900

If you are into time-killing Flash games/apps/videos/whatever, then perhaps you’d want a better way for organizing them than simply bookmarking them in MicroB. That’s when something like FlashLauncher comes in handy.

Besides being a pretty good organizer and a database, FlashLauncher helps a bit more when it comes to running Flash stuff. Mainly, anything you add in is very configurable, you can chose between engines to run the app, force the quality (everyone who has been trying Flash on MicroB knows how much pain it is to change the quality sometimes), and you can add your own instructions, picture and other pieces of information in.
Launching Flash in Webkit has quite some advantages, such as having the unwanted screen elements of MicroB removed, and with FlashLauncher you can also launch apps that are not just simple swfs, I was able to launch some stuff from Kongregate, for example.  And, yes, there’s now some proper portrait mode support.
So, why bother with MicroB bookmarks when you can fetch FlashLauncher from Extras-Devel and have better Flash experience on the N900?

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[23 Feb 2012 | | ]
Ren’Py visual novels on the N900

With not so strong aspect of gaming on the N900, some gaming engines can be great, as they can provide us with tons of games to play. Well, there’s one engine ported to the N900 I’d love to tell you about: Ren’Py!

Ren’Py is a visual novel engine which allows you to create and/or play various visual novels. It holds a database of many novels created with it, both by amateurs and some more professional companies. Many well-known VN’s have been created with its help, Katawa Shoujo, for example.
If you don’t know what a visual novel is, in short, it’s a Japanese genre of interactive fiction games, close to those good ol’ “choose-your-own-adventure” game books, but with music and pictures. You can read the article on Wikipedia, if you wish to learn more.
With the Ren’Py port, you’re free to play many of those right on your N900, which may suit you if you’re travelling/waiting for something and wish to kill time. Right now it’s available in Extras-devel only, so go and enable it before running
sudo gainroot
apt-get install renpy-launcher python-renpy
To get it. Disable it afterwards. Before you launch any VN, you’ll need to fix a couple of issues, mainly the keyboard shortcuts and a small issue with text input. Get the patched versions of two config files and force-copy them over the old ones:
wget http://talk.maemo.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=11071&d=1276592409
wget http://talk.maemo.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=11122&d=1276701240

sudo gainroot
cp -f main.py.txt /opt/renpy/renpy/main.py
cp -f config.py.txt /opt/renpy/renpy/config.py

After that, you’re free to try any novels from the database or try the small novel shipped with Ren’Py. Most of the games can be launched by extracting them anywhere, cd’ing into them and running
python2.5 /opt/renpy/renpy.py ./
Some may require trickery, like symlinking them to /opt/renpy and launching them from the launcher (with “Select Project” -> “Launch”)
The overall performance of the games is pretty good, although there are a few issues. For example, 95% of the games will have the bottom of the screen cropped when launched in a window (usually by default), so you’ll have to play them fullscreen. And things like click sounds can be huge laggers, you might want to disable them from the options file of the game.
Apart from that, most …

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[1 Feb 2012 | | ]
Teeworlds on N900

If you happen to run a GNU/Linux machine and often play video games, then you might have heard of Teeworlds. If you didn’t hear about it yet, Teeworld is a retro-styled 2-D online side-scroller, which has pretty graphics, fast-paced gameplay with the well-known game mods: CTF, Deathmatch, etc. A lot of user-created content is available for the game, including extra modes, maps, and graphical sets.  Well, thanks to the Maemo being a complete GNU/Linux distribution, Teeworlds is surely available for playing on your N900!

The package for Teeworlds is available in Extras and you can install it with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install teeworlds
Once installed, you can launch it and see how actually well does the PC game run on your phone. Teeworlds starts up pretty smoothly, can access all the servers, settings and everything else. While you might think that the N900 keyboard might not be suitable for playing, the default key bindings prove otherwise, the game is played fairly well. If you don’t like the bindings, of course you can set your own.
Another point for Maemo’s power as a mobile platform, such a game is definitely worth trying, so check it out!

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[26 Jan 2012 | | ]
Numpty Physics on N900

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Ever played Crayon Physics Deluxe? Well, I’m sure you’ll be happy to learn about it’s FOSS clone, Numpty Physics! And what’s more, it runs on your Maemo device perfectly!

In case if you never heard of the game, here’s a quick overview: you have a ball/box/something ‘A’ and you must get it to star/box/something ‘B’. How you do it is completely up to you, your stylus and your imagination. With such a simple premise, the game is very-very fun and has a huge replayablility factor, as every level can be passed with at least 10 ways.
Need to get a ball over a palm tree? Build a giant mallet to hit it! Or create a zipline than will take the ball over the tree. The possibilities are basically endless. In case if you get bored with 17 alread included levels, you can download more, or easily create your own levels!

A little and simple, but very addictive game that will make sure to hold your interest for long and kill the time whenever you want. So get the game and start creaating!

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[17 Jan 2012 | | ]
The Battle for Wesnoth on N900

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Do you like strategy games? Well, then you probably have heard of “The Battle for Wesnoth”, a popular free software turn based strategy game with a strong, Tolkienesque fantasy setting. But did you know that there is a complete port of this PC game for Maemo?

The game is currently available in Extras, you can find it in the Games category.
sudo gainroot
apt-get install wesnoth
Note that the game is pretty large and will consume about 240~ Mb of memory on your /opt Unpacking a large package can also take a lot of time, so make sure you have enough battery charge.
Optionally install the music files. (Not recommended as this will take up 100 Mb more of memory and will slow down the game a bit):
apt-get install wesnoth-music
Once installed, you can launch the game from your applications menu or with
Loading times can be a drag, but apart from that and a few resolution issues with menus, the game is completely playable. Add-ons, Multiplayer, Singleplayer campaigns are all functional. I was able to both finish one of the mainline campaigns and play co-op survival on the official server without any trouble, right with an N900 in my hand.

The Battle for Wesnoth is definitely a game every N900 gamer should take a look at. So install the package and dive into the world of dwarves, elves and orcs!

Games, Software »

[28 Aug 2011 | | ]
Warcraft II on the N900

Want another chance to revisit some of those awesome childhood games?  How about the amazing Warcraft II for Nokia N900?  Warcraft II is brought to you by the Wargus app, which runs on the Stratagus engine.  All the special moments from Blizzards 1995 DOS classic are here in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.  In a time where Orcs were truly the evil guys, before they were just misunderstood and simply pawns of the Burning Legion.

If you haven’t played this game before on the PC, then you cant really play this game.  Firstly that you need the files from your old Warcraft II cd, and the other that it wouldn’t make much sense, and a mouse is a little more intuitive to use then the touch screen.  I did find it reasonable to play though, while dragging, tapping and double tapping my stylus.  I wouldn’t want to play this without a stylus and keyboard though, so that’s unfortunate for basically any other phone.
With that, Warcraft II felt right at home on my N900, beyond a few double tap issues everything went rather well…  Oh, and getting eaten by dragons.  There were no major frame rate issues, and it was very easy to install.  All one needs to do is…

–          Copy the Warcraft II cd files (DOS version, battle.net version doesn’t work) to /home/user/MyDocs/WAR2
–          Install Wargus from the Application manager (this will take some time)
–          Run from the menu

I know I have mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of games that take such a time investment on my N900, but this is an exception.  It plays well, you can save and pickup later and you get to be Orcs!  If you want to look into it in more detail, you can over here.

Now you can relive the glory days, and guide the Horde to victory against those meddling Alliance scum!  For the Horde!!

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[7 Aug 2011 | | ]
Word Games – Wordsler for Nokia N900

Fan of scrabble?  Fan of thinking?  Well, look no further!  My faithful companion just learned a new trick, its called Wordsler, and word game (duh!) that pits you with random tiles to test your English, and your intelligence.
We all need an extra bit of help with our words, and perhaps even our scrabble scores, and this fast little mini game helps with both.  With options to try to play through a set of 50 cards at your own pace, play through 50 cards on a time limit, or pit yourself against another player head to head online.  Who needs real friends when you have word games?After looking into a few of the more time heavy games lately, its good to play one that only requires a few minutes, addiction permitting.  The standard game was straight forward and smooth, and although I didn’t get through all the cards I still progressed reasonably well.  Time trial plays exactly the same but with a time limit, adding a nice spice of pressure to the equation.  Funnily enough I managed to score better in time trial then I did without the pressure, but perhaps I had a lucky moment.
The online play is defiantly a nice touch, after creating a username and some waiting; I was taken to a time trial game.  Whether I was actually competing against I don’t know, but my score was submitted to the game webpage to see how I fared against everyone else, so that is at least fun.

As you can see from my amazing scores, word games are not my forte.  It’s been said that Australians don’t even speak real English, which may be true depending who you ask.  Regardless, I stay away from most forms of word games, and nothing makes me run faster then a mention of scrabble.  Even all that said though, I did find it somewhat enjoyable matching up words here, and would probably find myself trying again in a spare minute.  I suppose that it is easier then scrabble, and the fact that it’s only a few minutes of pain which compels this Aussie’s …