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[4 Aug 2011 | | ]
Neverball on the N900

It wasn’t long ago I had a little play around with Neverputt, a minigolf game recently ported to the N900.  There I mentioned that Neverputt has roots in Neverball, a very similar game with a slightly different concept.  It is of course good to know that I didn’t find Neverball for Nokia N900 nearly quite as frustrating as Neverputt.

Neverball has a fairly identical world to Neverputt, making sense since Neverputt is derived from Neverball.  The physics work the same, and the levels all appear the same.  The difference is that while Neverputt you control the ball with a golf club while selecting angles and power, in Neverball you control the ball by moving the floor, and that is done by moving the N900 itself.
The basic idea of the game is to simply navigate a course, collect a sufficient amount of coins, then reach the target within the time allotted.  The more coins you collect, and the faster you complete the stage, the more points you receive.  Simple but effective.  Perhaps it’s my lack of gaming skill coming into it again, but I did find controlling the ball very difficult to begin with, and moving the N900 all around conflicted with my CSSU portrait support.  After a while of playing around though, I did seem to get the hang of controlling Wilson somewhat as the difficulty increased, and I found that having the keyboard out while playing eliminated the games desire to try play in portrait.
Frame rates were fine, with out too many slowdowns, nothing game breaking.  Once again trying to change graphic options only causes the game to crash, much like Neverputt.  One of the awesome options here though is the ability to change the ball, away from a boring monochromatic beach toy, to things like the atom, Saturn, or even Blinky the pac man ghost.  Bouncing around the levels with Blinky made any fun had just that much better; perhaps it’s the emotionless state it gives me that makes it feel like I’m looking into a mirror.

Neverball may actually find some love with me whenever I need to kill …

Featured, Games, Software »

[3 Aug 2011 | | ]
Wagic for Nokia N900

Magic: The Gathering, a game that has around six million players, in over seventy countries across the world, is now in your pocket and better then ever.  It is probably the most popular trading card game in the world and if you haven’t played it, you have probably seen it.  Of course it would go without saying that if you don’t play Magic, then you probably wouldn’t be interested in Wagic.  Wagic has been available for around six months, and can be found in the Maemo Extras repository, but it was the recent update to it has brought it back into my recognition.

 Wagic, if you haven’t gathered yet, is a Magic: The Gathering game, which imitates the game, and reduces it to a bunch of squares.  I should probably state that I am no MTG veteran, but have dabbled in it, so my analysis of Wagic is based on that and may miss many of the finer points to this great game.
It took me a little bit to work out they keys, and how it quite works with the game, but once that was out the way, I got to construct my deck.  It works like many card games, where you can build a desk from a preset hoard of cards.  More cards can be acquired as you go along too.  To save everyone else the trouble, the arrow keys work, enter is back, space is ok, and Q scrolls though the phases.  That’s about all I really needed.
Beyond needing to know the appropriate buttons to press, knowledge of the game does kind of give it meaning.  If you have those two things though, away you go.  As an average player to MTG, I found Wagic enjoyable, but of course not as good as the real thing.  It was a good time sink when I wanted to loose half an hour of my day, which generally only happens when I’m waiting in the doctor’s office.  Long games on the phone have never quite flown well with me, which is probably why Angry Birds does so well.

As far as lengthy games …

Games, Software »

[21 Jul 2011 | | ]
Scotty, we need more power: Swappolube

If you’re like me, you want to coax as much power as you can possibly get out of your warp drive, and to do that you need all the tools to do it. One of many systems working towards performance on the USS N900 is Swappolube, which works to change certain parameters in the kernel for maximum speed.  Swappolube can be found in the Extras repository, and once installed, it’s fairly easy to use, just fire and forget.

What is Swappolube?
Swappolube can change up to fourteen different parameters for maximum efficiency from your device, and also lists their default values.  You are free to tinker with these parameters to your hearts content, and see what works best for you.  To make things easier though, there are three options for quick setting selection, found right up the top.  Custom which is for when you feel like tweaking, proposed for preconfigured values that have been proven to increase performance, and current, the current values being used.
The easiest way to go about using Swappolube is to simply hit ‘proposed’, and then tap ‘apply’ down the bottom to put these values to work.  If you don’t want to run Swappolube every time you restart you device, hitting ‘store’ now will make it so these values are used from start up… pretty cool huh? Of course with anything performance oriented, each individual will perceive it in their own way.  You may not see any change whatsoever.  It is only one thing that goes into an array of tweaks that help to make my star ship go as fast as I can get it, either way its not going to do you any harm… now… Engage!

Games, Software »

[20 Jul 2011 | | ]
Take a look: Neverputt on the N900

Nothing in life can strip a person down to a pile twitching nerves quite like mini golf can.  With that I get to take a look at Neverputt for Nokia N900, an old skool mini golf game recently ported to the N900.
Neverputt is an offshoot of a similar game Neverball, and it’s just great to know that all of the frustrations of mini golf can now be put in your pocket!

 Once I got around the style of play, and falling down quite a few holes, I did start to get the hang of it.  I found that being able to use a stylus made the game much more enjoyable, being able to see the screen past my fingers is always a plus.  The graphics are adequate for getting the job done, and it runs rather smoothly.  There was minor frame rate dips on some levels that have a bit more detail, but nothing too serious.
There are options for turning down graphics detail, but messing with these only resulted in the game closing, and not yielding any other effect.
Still, the game plays well, and I found myself sinking a nice amount of time into it.  With that though, it isn’t exactly my kind of game.  I find it to be, just like mini golf, to be rather frustrating.  Kind of like when you’re playing Mario Kart, in first place and get smashed with a damn spiny shell on the line, and come last… yeah… that kind of frustrated.  My ball was off the course more then it was on, and I only found my score coming close to par a few times.
My own lack of skills aside, there isn’t anything wrong with a challenging game, and I’m overjoyed that there are still people working on ports for the N900.  Really, I love you guys.  Neverputt is just not the kind of game I get into… at least in Mario Kart, you can exact revenge on Princess Peach.

Featured, Games, Headline, Software »

[17 Jul 2011 | | ]
In case you missed it… The Game Gripper

I know that this Game Gripper for Nokia N900 have been around for some time and I’ve had mine as soon as I could manage to get one shipped to Australia.  But I just wanted to give it a quick spotlight, for those that aren’t aware of it. I enjoy the occasional game on my trusty N900, even more so when I know I have a charger on hand.  One of the best parts of gaming on my little mobile computer, over something like an iPhone, is that is has real buttons.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now, given that it has real buttons, a smart bunch of fellas thought they could make a neat little overlay to cut down the clutter and give me a direction pad to boot.  All of this while still allowing me access to my charging port, and headphone jack.
Now all of a sudden my amazing gaming machine is reminiscent of a Super Nintendo controller, and my favourite games like Doom, Jazz Jackrabbit, Duke Nukem 3D and Super Mario War are awesome to play.  Not all games need one of these, but for the ones that can make use of them, and can remap their keys, these things are ideal.
Maybe it’s me showing my age, but who doesn’t like reliving their childhood through the games we played. You can buy the Game Gripper for Nokia N900 at Amazon for 16.99$.

Games, Maemo 5, Software »

[8 Apr 2011 | | ]
Nokia N900 Maemo Game : Galaga

Today I am just go do a brief review on the NAMCO recreation of Space-Invaders-Style game, GALAGA. Came across this game while I was browsing through the Ovi Store. It is available on the Ovi Store for free. Here it goes:

The Start Menu
I would like to comment on the gameplay. Playing on a resistive touch screen was never fun for me. But in this case, it is quite easy and relaxing I think. The whole process of picking up a game and start playing it was fun. One of the good ways to kill time when you’re bored. Due to the resistive touchscreen of the N900, it still lacks multi touch control such as shoot and move at the same time. But fortunately NAMCO has included a way to overcome this.

A little bit on how to play Galaga
See the red button with two arrows? Pressing it on the red left button would make your ship move to the left and shoot. The same goes for the right. The yellow button is to move left and right while the big red circular button is for you to fire.
The problem comes in here. Mistakenly pressing the RED LEFT or RIGHT button forces you to move when you don’t want to. This could be frustrating to some who has big thumbs to play with. And again, they added another feature. The slider.

Conclusion on Galaga Game
You practically need to slide using the green button and shoot by tapping on the playing screen itself. One disadvantage of this slider is that it tends to move when you let go your thumb to enable another thumb to shoot. So there you have it, the brief review on the game itself.
Graphics : 6
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 5
You should try the game and beat my highscore posted on the screenshot. Till then.
UPDATED:
The link to the game is here. Accessible from other countries are not guaranteed. Thanks

Games, Software »

[25 Mar 2011 | | ]
Installing Preenv on N900 to play webOS games on the device

Dear nokia N900 website readers, My name is Pang Zi Yang and I am the co-writter here with Maciej. I hope you like my articles. I’d like to start showing you how to install Preenv on N900 so that you can be able to play webOS games easily.
Those of you might get this error when trying to install preenv using the .deb file
“Incompatible application package”
Some may not find Preenv in the App Manager
—It isn’t there—
So to install Preenv is actually very simple.
You will need to activate extras , extras-testing and extras-devel repository in Application Manager
Go to Xterminal and type this in sequence
root
apt-get install libgles1-sgx-img
apt-get install preenv
apt-get install libsdl-net1.2
This would get your Preenv up and running.
Next is to install your webOS game onto your N900.
METHOD 1

First download the *.ipk file
unpack the *.ipk file using e.g. 7zip and extract the /applications/ folder from it
put the extracted /applications/ folder to /home/user/ on the N900 using SSH
Go to X-Terminal and type the following in sequence

sudo gainroot
cd /home/user/applications/ folder
chmod +rwx filename
To run the game, simply type ./filename in X-Terminal (where filename is the name of the executable file. eg. nfsuc in the case of Need For Speed Undercover)

METHOD 2
Download the .deb file and install it through Hildon Application Manager.
You can find on the web where people have repacked the .ipk files into .deb files.
This method is much easier and faster for beginners

Featured, Games, Software »

[18 Dec 2010 | | ]
Tron: Legacy and GLtron for N900

Long time ago I’ve seen a movie, futuristic vision of what’s going on inside computer. Tron was revolutionary and now we have sequel and GLtron game for Nokia N900. Let’s see what can it do.
When I was lying with fever for last few days (winter in Poland is scarry this year ) I was watching, if I can call sleeping with TV turned on watching, a lot of movie trailers, commercials of movies and games. Tron kept my senses intact for few minutes, first movie was released in 1982 and was major step in computer-rendered special effects. Following years revealed many ideas of adapting movie solutions to games, mostly with bikes like Armagetron. When I was watching Tron: Legacy trailer I thought about porting Armagetron to N900, but in catalogues I’ve found…
GLtron, very nice 3D game for N900, really good-looking, placed in Tron realm. The best part is that this game is running very smoothly on N900, without any glitches, framerate drops, freezes, it gives very good gamers experience. Game is quite nicely configurable, so how it will look like is up to you. I’m playing with most of default options and speed set to ‘Crazy’, with my fever I’m mostly loosing most of runs, but I’m still having a lot of fun.
Summarizing, I really like this game, it looks nice, has very addictive gameplay, it may still look like some PC game port, but who cares? If you haven’t seen the first Tron movie, I think you should, at least to know how it looked like quite some time ago, if you want to see the new one, I think GLtron will be nice game to play in the line for tickets

Applications, Featured, Games, Software »

[11 Dec 2010 | | ]
Game of life for N900

Winter in Poland is fully-blown now and I’m lying ill again. When I’m ill I’m playing more games, also on N900. This time I propose you something like a game, something every geek should know, something that may be simple model of life in bacteries colony, so something exacly for geek in fever like me ;).
Conway’s Game of Life is actually 40 years old cell life simulation. Everything happens on square grid filled with living and dead cells and is based on four simple rules (from wikipedia):

Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

On such simple basis geeks have developed many interesting patterns, immortal structures, most of them have their own names. One of them, glider, became hacker emblem.
N900 users now have own game of life, pretty simple as the idea itself, with (not working, at least for me and hopefully not for long) placeholder for standard patterns like glider, lightweight spaceship or Gosper glider gun.
I was playing with this gadget for hours, lying in bed with fever. Try it yourself, playing with life is pretty much fun

MJ

Games, Software »

[30 Sep 2010 | | ]
Tuxrace for the Nokia N900

A top speed of 75km/h, 3D, a good object to use and an objective, its called Tuxrace! It is compatible with your Nokia N900. Use a penguin to catch each fish with many different levels. The sliding penguins name is Tux. That is the origin of the name of the game.
The Nokia N900 accelerometer allows you to get the maximum speed avoiding the tress and rocks.The game is simiar to bounce. It has great graphics.

First up is the start screen then you press play followed by the choice of level and finally the game.The time clock is on the top left while rhe cought fish counter is on the top right.
Its a great amusing game. Have a look at the game on the video.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-AQqMd-h1I
If you need to exit or the game has frozen then please press q.Its wonderful and easy for the user to control.This game was firstly developed for Linux desktop users only but then the developers transformed it for the Nokia N900.

Try to excel in this game and beat your buddies with it. Enjoy.

Games, Software, Uncategorized »

[15 Sep 2010 | | ]
Duke 3D shareware

Not something as good as expected but it makes you think what are the controls, its called Duke 3D shareware.For people that are wondering if it shares the applications on your mobile, it unfortunately doesn’t. It’s a simple game. It doesn’t have 3D like qualities and it also isn’t 3D but I still wonder why the developers inserted the 3D in the name? A planet overtaken by aliens and it is your job to achieve the next level and defeat them all.

The start is easy and if I am not wrong then you have to exterminate to monsters using a pistol. For all that to occur than you have walk around to find the bullets(I don’t know where it is but have encountered) and shoot the fan going down finding an alien to your right which should appear before you go to it. There are two things available : a shareware version that installs the shareware game data and a CD version that comes without game data and but requires you to copy it from the original CD.
This Duke 3D includes guns so I recommend this game for download user above than the age of 13. Enjoy responsibly!

Games, Software »

[1 Sep 2010 | | ]
Angry Birds game for Nokia N900

Many people get angry and relieve their stress in a wrong way so I found a solution to it and it has the word Angry in it. Its called Angry Birds and it is compatible with the Nokia N900. Very user friendly and easy to play. It has a good background and especially good sound for the kids if they are playing. Give the green pigs what they deserve, take back your rightful chicken eggs. Each of the levels need logic, skill and brutality to crush the enemy.

So its up to you, if you want to play Angry birds or protect wildlife.

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[25 Jun 2010 | | ]
SPB Brain Evolution 2 – another mind training game

If you’ve seen my previous game reviews you may know I like logic games. Some time ago I’ve found another nice and good-looking game for Nokia N900 similar to Brain Party, but with few nice features.
First of all you can find SPB Brain Evolution 2 in Ovi Store for free. At first glance it looks like another set of logic games, but I got to like it from the very beginning. The game offers daily training with various games, including simple arithmetics, memory training, visual recognition or stategic planning. Training plan involves few minutes every day, making play more challenging as you advance. You have progress history, high scores for and few difficulty levels for every mini-game. Moreover you can create few profiles, so you can easily compete with your friends using the same N900 to play.
But what I like in this game so much is not variety of games, but pause system. I can play whenever I want and I don’t need to worry that I won’t finish any game, because if I lock screen game pauses, so when I’m on bus or tram I can freely take a break, get off and resume from the moment I’ve finished when I have time to do so. The same situation goes when you close the game (even by accident), when running it next time you can resume playing from the moment you’ve finished earlier.
If it comes to games this one fits most of my needs, doesn’t take much of my precious time, covers my interests and allows me to automatically pause every time I want or when I have something more important to do.

MJ

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[14 Jun 2010 | | ]
Xploder game – chain reaction in your hands

Ovi Store for Nokia N900 appeared quite a while ago and offers more and more applications, media and other stuff. Among free games from Ovi Store I’ve found another simple and absorbing time consumer – Xploder for N900.
This N900 game idea is simple, on every level you have small bombs flying around the screen and on every level you need to detonate at least the given number for the level. The bomb blows up when comes to explosion range of previous bomb or initial explosion given by player, the point is to cause long enough chain reaction. Sounds easy, at least for first few levels when you can blow up everything you need with first blow, but gets more tactical and challenging every level, even with more bombs flying around.
Apart from easy rules and really nice and smooth game-play Xploder for Maemo 5 gives really nice visual experience. The best thing is that all of games from Ovi Store are very nice-looking. Full screen theme of game, really nice shading of explosions, well designed and implemented. I’m still grounded around 8th level, but I feel Xploder will give me much more entertainment.
I really encourage you to visit Ovi Store and check applications there, they’re well written, run very smoothly and don’t be afraid of ‘Store’ in name, many of applications available there are free!

MJ

Applications, Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[15 May 2010 | | ]
Accelerometer applications on N900

N900 still awaits automatic portrait mode to take advantage of it’s accelerometer. In the mean time developers are producing applications that show it really works.
You’ve probably seen Bounce Evolution, it was installed on my N900 by default. Very nice 3D game controlled only by device tilt and space for jumping. This was the first application I remember with accelerometer support.
Some time after when Ovi store was opened another applications came, including Level or Angle Meter, small applications that show how exact the accelerometer is, showing quite accurate level or angle in degrees. I think it may be nice replacement for engineering tools, when you need to measure something and you have no proffesional level in your pocket ;).
Some time ago 3D and accelerometer joined their forces to show another nice application showing 3-dimentional picture of earth depending on phone position. It’s rather a toy to show power hidden inside N900 than useful software but I like the idea.
There are other applications that I’ve never tried, like PlayStation pad emulator, but knowing how bit potential hides in this small device I assume that it’s just the matter of time when something really cool will come. I’ll be waiting for that day, even if PR1.2 update won’t have full rotation support I can still use accelerometer in some way

For more info on devel and testing catalogues visit Application catalogues tutorial
Please visit Nokia N900 Forum