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Updates: February 2001

Swiffer: It's Flash!

[ Wednesday, February 28 ]

Macromedia's Flash player for the Pocket PC is all very well, but it can't play Flash (SWF) files directly and, worse still, deletes any Flash file once you've finished with it. Fortunately, Dave Austin (a.k.a. iPAQgeek) has come up with a nifty utility by the name of Swiffer. This freeware program, which runs on your regular PC, not only allows you to easily save Flash files to your hard disk, but also creates an associated HTML page so that, once copied across to your Pocket PC, they can be viewed in Pocket Internet Explorer. Additionally, it also makes the Flash file read-only so that it won't be deleted afterwards.


Playtime continues at Brighthand

[ Tuesday, February 27 ]

Brighthand seems to be getting serious about gaming. First it was a look at MAME; now comes an article by the name of Game Time. This is the first in what should be a regular series by new columnist Ellen Guon Beeman, "best known for writing and directing games in the "Wing Commander" series" and who has also developed games for "Disney, Microsoft, Electronic Arts [and] Sega" amongst others. The article, which provides a good introduction to handheld gaming if nothing else, takes a look at a few major Palm games before dipping briefly into the world of Pocket PC games.


MAME Tamed

[ Monday, February 26 ]

Henry Kong, the man behind the recent AppleCE article, has the low-down on yet another emulator. This time, the venue is Brighthand, and the article is a look at MAME, "The Mother of all Game Emulators", and the various Pocket PC MAME emulators that exist.


Pocket Quake: id, Intel get involved!

[ Monday, February 26 ]

There's an interesting discussion thread over at the Pocket Quake forum debating the issue of whether or not graphical quality should be sacrificed for speed increase. However, possibly most interesting of all is a post from the author of the original iPAQ port, Dan East, in which he mentions that he has "been in discussion with ID Software (including John Carmack) over various legal and programming issues from the onset of this project. [...] Various modifications I had in mind that I ran by them resulted in a response similar to "you can do that, but you can't call it Quake anymore, and it cannot use the ID levels (even shareware) since it is not Quake". If the quality of the software is reduced (by stripping out / reducing rendering) ID Software will not like it, and may have trouble with it even bearing the Quake name".

Intel, on the other hand, are apparently interested in using Pocket Quake as a benchmark for "3D performance of embedded chips". According to Dan, "the Handheld Computing Division for Intel" has been in touch with him over this matter. It would appear that Pocket Quake is turning quite a few heads in important places...


PocketPop review

[ Monday, February 26 ]

Pocketnow.com have a review of PocketPop, the freeware puzzle game from PocketFun.co.uk.


AppleCE examined to the core

[ Monday, February 26 ]

Many thanks to Henry Kong for submitting an excellent article on AppleCE, a must-read for emulation fans. The article features an excellent getting started guide for newcomers to the AppleCE emulator, as well as plenty of game recommendations.


Pocket Quake: New MIPS build, Jornada version (but...)

[ Monday, February 26 ]

Carpediem has released version 0.41 (beta) of his MIPS version of Pocket Quake, which is now available on the Pocket Quake downloads page. The new version is around 44% faster than the previous build, but at the expense of a certain amount of graphical quality which is why version 0.4 is still available.

If you're a Jornada owner, you'll want to check out this discussion thread which contains a link to an unofficial SH3 release of the game. Early reports, however, suggest that it doesn't work as it should, although Dan East posted a message in the same thread saying that he is "currently working on an "official" Jornada version in conjunction with a developer that owns that type of device".


Jimmy ups the resolution stakes!

[ Monday, February 26 ]

As spotted on ce4you, Jimmy Software now have pictures of a Cassiopeia with a screen resolution of 360x480 pixels, and pretty impressive pictures they are too. If you haven't already bought JS Landscape, now might be the time!


PocketGB to include NES emulation?

[ Sunday, February 25 ]

PocketGB version 1.21 has now been released, featuring a whole plethora of minor improvements. For full details, see the PocketGB news page. Potentially the most interesting item of note is the final one in which the author states:

"I'm looking into the possibility of adding full NES support to PocketGB. I'm not sure what I would call the product, if it would be the same executable, or a different program entirely. I've already begun restructuring certain areas of the code so that I can get maximum reuse. If this works like I expect, I should be able to drop in any emulation core and take advantage of the user interface work I've done with PocketGB. I'm also working on/looking into adding zip file support, multiple save slots, and skinnable virtual pads to PocketGB. These features would be usable in both emulators. I just wanted to let everyone know I was looking into the possibility of NES emulation since there have been several requests for it. However, there is no guarantee I will be able to do so due to time constraints. I'll keep you posted if things continue to develop."


KSE Entertainment Pack 3 review

[ Sunday, February 25 ]

Pocketnow.com have a review of KSE Entertainment Pack 3, the games collection from KSE Software. Screenshots abound, so if you have a slow connection, now's the time to make that coffee...


ARM Power

[ Sunday, February 25 ]

The next generation of ARM-powered Pocket PC's might be even better games-playing devices than previously expected if this press release from PowerVR Technologies is anything to go by. The company has announced the development of "New Graphics Processor Technology for Mobile Computing and Communications ... designed for integration alongside ARM® microprocessor cores and will enable the migration of modern 3D and video graphics content to mobile platforms". Indirect thanks to Mark Jackson for mentioning the announcement in this Pocket Quake discussion thread.


Ball's Clues reviewed

[ Sunday, February 25 ]

New PocketGamer.org reviewer Jason Surguine has a look at Ball's Clue's, the freeware puzzle game from PDAutilities. It might be worth the money, but is it worth your time? Read on to find out...


New listings categories: Flash, Trivia

[ Saturday, February 24 ]

Two new categories have been added to the Pocket PC Games.NET games listings. As you might expect, the Flash section lists games designed to work with Macromedia's Flash player for the Pocket PC, while the Trivia section lists, surprisingly enough, trivia games. Should you know of any possible additions to either category, please let me know!


New Pocket Quake ARM release; Jornada version in the works

[ Saturday, February 24 ]

Dan East has released the latest ARM version of Pocket Quake, featuring a 24% speed increase (thanks to Jacco Bikker's coding expertise) and a landscape mode option.

Also, Jornada owners should check out this discussion thread which talks about a version for the device. According to Dan East, "more work is required at this point for the Jornada".


New Pocket Quake MIPS version

[ Saturday, February 24 ]

Thanks to Shatru for pointing out that a new, faster version of Carpediem's MIPS Pocket Quake build is now available. The equivalent ARM version should be released soon.


Pocket Casino now available

[ Saturday, February 24 ]

Soft-iK have released trial versions of their upcoming release, Pocket Casino. The title includes Blackjack, a slot machine, Seven Poker, Five Poker. Just to confuse matters, the full version of Pocket Casino (costing $15) is labelled Casino House (ARM, MIPS, SH3) at Handango.


V-Rally released for Pocket PC!

[ Saturday, February 24 ]

In conjunction with Palmtop Software, Infogrames have released a Pocket PC version of their rally driving game previously only available for Palm devices, V-Rally. The game features twenty tracks in various differing terrains and countries, a choice of four official World Rally Championship cars and three types of game (practice, arcade and championship).

V-Rally is compatible with all Pocket PC's and is available to purchase on the Palmtop Software site at a price of $29.99. A demo version is also available to download.


Pocket Quake goes MIPS, faster!

[ Friday, February 23 ]

Pocket Quake, previously the sole property of iPAQ users, can now also be enjoyed by Cassiopeia owners courtesy of Carpediem who, as he details in this discussion thread, has successfully written a MIPS port.

Additionally, check out this thread for information regarding a new release which should increase frame rates by approximately 24% thanks to 3D optimisation work carried out by Jacco Bikker and, as a consequence, will allow the inclusion of a landscape mode option. Many thanks to AlphaFox for letting me know of this.


Pocket Hustler reviewed

[ Friday, February 23 ]

There's a review of Pocket Hustler, the first ever pool game written for the Pocket PC, now up on the site courtesy of Jonsey. Does he consider it to be a hit or a miss? Read on to find out...


Jimmy to free up more screen space!

[ Friday, February 23 ]

Jimmy Software have announced that they are currently working on a utility that will "increase your screen resolution using new version of JS Landscape". The program, to be released free of charge for JS Landscape users, will use a sub-pixel software rendering technique to increase the resolution from 240x320 to 240x480 pixels.


AppleCE now supports iPAQ

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

The Apple ][+ emulator, AppleCE, is now at version 0.1b and the major news is that it now supports both MIPS and ARM Pocket PC's, meaning that iPAQ owners can now join in the fun. Gotchas include the restriction that only colour games are supported, and only .dsk extensions work (.nis extensions are currently not supported). Thanks to Chris Kimbrough for this information.


Flux on the Mark

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

Thanks to Johan Palm (again!) for pointing out this discussion thread in the Flux forum in which details and (very tasty-looking) screenshots can be found regarding one of their two planned releases for March, The Mark. The game is based around "a desperate fight in the heart of the Metropolis. Your mission is to shoot your opponent at the top of buildings. After the task of life and death, there will be incredible compensation. The grades you gained will be used to download other mission stages."

There's also a thread on their other release, Space Scorch. This game is "is a cannon game in the future. You can fire by controlling the degree of an angle and power. The key of victory is to adapt yourself to the surroundings of various planets."


LudiPocket News Flash!

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

Lots more Flash fun and games to be found over at French site, LudiPocket, which has a long list of links to visit. For those who don't have the first clue when it comes to French, "jeu(x)" means "game(s)"! :-)


PocketFC 0.6 released

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

Version 0.6 of PocketFC, the NES emulator, is now out. Major new features include "improved speed, autoframe skipping [and] control mapping". You can find discussion of the emulator in this BrightHand thread. Many thanks to Lars Harrison for letting me know about this one.


CECraft working on Pinball game

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

CECraft, the company whose Pocket PC debut brought us the impressive iGolf, are working on a pinball game for the Pocket PC. Features include "dazzling graphics (65536 colors), [a] multi-channel interactive sound system, realistic real-time simulation of Rigid Body Dynamics [and a] multi-layer and story based stage design".

Thanks to Johan Palm, webmaster of PocketSpel.com, for pointing this one out to me. Just in case you're wondering whereabouts on the CECraft site this information can be found, you need to click the "Products" tab on the right-hand side and then the "CECRAFT Pinball" tab at the top.


Pocket PC gets more Flash!

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

Many thanks to Gary who pointed the Smashing Ideas Portable site out to me, which includes two Flash games formatted for "portable devices" (with the "Fit to Screen" option enabled, they display pretty much perfectly in Pocket Internet Explorer). The first, FourSight, is a 3D version of Tic-tac-toe, whilst the second, Takeover, is a strategic board game where your objective is to turn all the tiles on the board into your colour.

The site helpfully offers download links, so there's no need to have an Internet connection on your Pocket PC - you can play to your heart's content off-line as well. What's more, two more titles are in the pipeline, Blackjack and Star Command.

And there's more! Steve Grice kindly pointed me in the direction of the Flashenabled.com Pocket PC site, where you can find a whole variety of cool stuff, including poker and chess games.


ZIOGolf + courses: Prices slashed

[ Thursday, February 22 ]

Check out the ZIO Interactive site for the opportunity to save $55 on the original ZIOGolf (not the sequel, ZIOGolf 2!). The offer, available from March 1, sees ZIOGolf and five courses available to purchase for $24.95.


The Flash way to win an iPAQ!

[ Wednesday, February 21 ]

It's debatable as to whether Misuko is the first Flash game designed specifically for the Pocket PC. What is certain, however, is that this is a fun taste of things to come, and the prize on offer, an iPAQ, makes the game all the more enjoyable. I spotted this on the ever-colourful PocketPCMinds (which has an excellent assortment of skins, by the way).

Incidentally, if anyone else knows of any other Flash games designed specifically for the Pocket PC, please write in and let me know. It may well be time to add a new category to the games listings...


New look, new link images

[ Tuesday, February 20 ]

As you may have noticed, the site has undergone a few cosmetic changes here and there. Should you notice anything out of place, please let me know!

As a result of the new look, I've updated the link images page with some shiny new graphics all you webmasters out there to spice up your sites with! :-) However, if anyone was linking directly to one of the old images, you might want to update your link or choose one of the new images accordingly.


Pocket Quake for MIPS/SH3: Unplayable?

[ Tuesday, February 20 ]

There's a post from Dan East, the programmer who brought Pocket Quake to the iPAQ, in this discussion thread where he sums up his feelings regarding versions for devices other than the iPAQ. While he thinks that a playable version may be possible for the more powerful HPC Pro's and the @migo, he remains pessimistic about the chances of a version for any other Pocket PC being playable. Nevertheless, as he points out, the source code is always available...


Omega One checks in

[ Tuesday, February 20 ]

Omega One have released a Checkers (or Draughts) game for the Pocket PC. The game "supports all Pocket PC devices", includes "full colour smooth animation", allows playing games either against a computer opponent (eight difficulty levels) or another human and incorporates "intuitive 'drag and drop' play". What's more, Omega One are billing this game as having the "hardest computer player of any handheld Checkers game".

Checkers costs $14.99, and a downloadable trial version is available. Alternatively, you can purchase both Checkers and Omega One's other Pocket PC title, Dominoes, which is also $14.99 on its own, for $19.99 from PocketGear.


No Kidding!

[ Tuesday, February 20 ]

Golden Crater Software have released iSpyCE (this is a link to the PocketGear product page, because the actual Golden Crater Software Pocket PC software page hadn't been updated at the time of writing), a collection of games designed to "keep kids occupied in the car". The software is shareware, costing $5 to register. As the author asks, "Isn't your sanity worth a few dollars?"


AppleCE update

[ Monday, February 19 ]

Erik Chong, author of Apple ][+ emulator, AppleCE, wrote in to say that there is a new release offering both landscape and portrait-mode support, button mapping (as either a joystick press or key stroke) and various bug fixes.


Pocket PC's get Flash!

[ Monday, February 19 ]

Just in case you missed the news that's made every other Pocket PC-related site out there, Macromedia have released a "developer release" of their Flash player for the Pocket PC. According to Pocket PC Thoughts, where I first noticed this news, it's capable of viewing Flash 3 and 4 files with full sound support, integrates with Pocket Internet Explorer, and will be bundled in ROM in future Pocket PC models.


PocketSNES: Casio problems solved

[ Monday, February 19 ]

There's a new release of PocketSNES now available that runs correctly on Cassiopeia Pocket PC's. In addition, there is now an option to alter the frame skip counter. While you're there, don't forget to check out the skins section which provides instructions on how to create a virtual skin for the emulator, as well as offering a Mario Kart one (pictured) to download.


ZIOGolf 2 offer almost over

[ Monday, February 19 ]

ZIO Interactive have written to me to say that their special offer whereby ZIOGolf owners can save $10 on a copy of ZIOGolf 2 "will be closed very soon".


PocketGB update

[ Monday, February 19 ]

Version 1.20 Final of PocketGB has been released, which incorporates all the features of beta 3 along with a few bug fixes. For more information, see the PocketGB News page.


The Fly: Bugs squashed

[ Sunday, February 18 ]

eSoft Interactive have announced version 2.0 of The Fly. The latest version incorporates various fixes, and is free to download for all registered users.



[ Sunday, February 18 ]

Omnytex Technologies have released their first Pocket PC game, a puzzler by the name of Eliminator. The object of the game is "to clear the board, leaving only one marble. You accomplish this by jumping one marble over another to remove the jumped marble."

The game costs $9.95, although there is a unique payment scheme based on trust. As its author, Frank W. Zammetti, explains: "If after downloading and playing with Eliminator, you decided that you like it and want to keep it, you will be expected to pay at that time. If you decide you don't like it, no problem, just delete it off your PocketPC, as well as deleting the file you download here, and that's that."

Also of note are the plans for future releases, which will have numerous "new board layouts, new pieces (not just marbles either!), background graphics, a Hall Of Fame (sorry it didn't make it in this release!), more and better endings and a couple of different game variations (odd man out, where you have to leave one specific piece and a memory-type game). I also plan on releasing a board editor for everyone to use at some point."


PocketSNES: Casio users' help sought!

[ Sunday, February 18 ]

If you own a Cassiopeia and have tried the latest version of PocketSNES, you're probably aware that it doesn't work properly. The PocketSNES team are seeking help as they "have no access to any of these devices and need some help diagnosing and fixing the problem. If you want to help, live in or near the Pacific time zone and use the MSN Messenger Service then please send mail to [email protected] with your details."


Turjah reviewed (belatedly)

[ Sunday, February 18 ]

Not-so-hot off the press is a review of Turjah at Microsoft's PocketPC.com site. Despite being relatively ancient in the Pocket PC games world, the game is described at one point in the review as "one of the newer releases from Jimmy Software". Still, if you missed all the reviews of Turjah the first time round, now's your chance...


PocketSNES beta 2 released

[ Saturday, February 17 ]

PocketSNES beta 2 is now available to download. This new version includes support for Pocket PC's other than the iPAQ, landscape mode, virtual keypads, and allows you to customise the hardware buttons.


Site addition; reviewers wanted!

[ Saturday, February 17 ]

As you may have noticed, there's now Newest Games and Latest reviews mini-listings at the top of the news section (see above!). These will indicate the newest five game releases and the five latest game reviews respectively, so that even if the relevant news item has disappeared from the front page, the link will stay for a while longer.

On a different note, I'm trying to add to the number and frequency of reviews at PocketGamer.org which I consider currently to be below par. Therefore, I'm looking out for potential PocketGamer.org reviewers, primarily with the aim of reviewing card/casino, puzzle/strategy and word games. For full details, please see this BrightHand thread.


Pocket Quake source code released

[ Saturday, February 17 ]

The source code for Pocket Quake has now been made available to download. For all the details, see the posts by the author, Dan East, in this discussion thread. Following the code's release, PocketMatrix webmaster, Chris Edwards, has applied for a "for a page over at SourceForge.net that would be the center for the development side of Pocket Quake".


Pocket Hustler patch & news

[ Saturday, February 17 ]

Pocket Hustler has been updated to fix a problem with installation on certain machines. In addition, the demo version's stroke limit has been increased from 10 to 20. For those who missed the earlier news item, GoDot Entertainment have also confirmed that they are working on versions of their games for devices other than the iPAQ.


Metalion reviewed (again!)

[ Saturday, February 17 ]

It would seem that the world and his dog has had his say on ZIO Interactive's Metalion by now. There's always space on the web for just one more review, however, and this particular one comes courtesy of Smaller.com. As spotted on the irrepressibly excellent Pocket PC Thoughts.


Pocket a PC Engine!

[ Saturday, February 17 ]

Domenico Dato has released his PC Engine (a.k.a. TurboGrafx-16) emulator, Pocket Engine. Currently only available for the iPAQ, the emulator "supports sound, virtual joystick, frameskip, normal and landscape display mode and runs at full speed".


FishingFishing reviewed

[ Friday, February 16 ]

Flux's FishingFishing has beautiful graphics, but has it got the gameplay to match? PocketGamer.org reviewer Seth Bilodeau tells it as it is...

Please note that the PocketGamer.org review system has changed slightly in that games are now given a score from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). For all the details, see the Reviews FAQ.


Power Grip reviewed

[ Friday, February 16 ]

The Microsoft Pocket PC site has a review of Power Grip, the bowling game from Flux. Here at PocketGamer.org, I hope to be able to bring you a review of Power Grip in the near future.


Pocket Quake: New version out now!

[ Friday, February 16 ]

The new release of Pocket Quake is now available to download. As mentioned in the news item below, additions include sound support and full TCP/IP support.


Pocket Quake: Now hear this!

[ Thursday, February 15 ]

Thanks once again to Mark Jackson who this time pointed out the following post by Pocket Quake author, Dan East, in this discussion thread:

"The current version has no sound support.  However, the version on my iPAQ has 100% sound support.  It will be available later today."

In addition, he adds in a later post that:

"The version I will post later today will not have the fixed point speed optimization.  I made progress in that area, but much more work is required.  I have already been contacted by an experienced fixed-point 3D Windows CE programmer  who will continue on with that optimization.  The sound support does not reduce the current FPS.  The source code will also be made available, either later today or tomorrow."

And finally, thanks to Lars Harrison for pointing out this thread in which Dan states that the new version will also include "TCP/IP multiplayer network support".


PocketSNES9X, NeogeoPocott latest

[ Thursday, February 15 ]

Thanks to Mark Jackson for letting me know that PocketSNES9X has a new homepage. However, the author states that he is currently "swamped with my wearable computer projects at school so updates will be infrequent".

Mark also stated that "Another thing you may not be aware of is that despite the version numbers, if you go to the NeoPocott General homepage and download the iPAQ version, games now run at a smooth and easily playable speed. This is actually old news, but the actual Pocket PC NeoPocott site never got updated with the new release for some reason - try it yourself and see. MIPs was also updated."


GoDot to support other Pocket PC's

[ Thursday, February 15 ]

Many thanks to Jean-Louis for letting me know that GoDot Entertainment are planning to support devices other than the iPAQ. The company are behind the Sokoban-style SokoByun and the pool game, Pocket Hustler, both of which I hope to be able to bring you reviews of at some point in the near future.


Apple ][+ emulator for EM-500

[ Thursday, February 15 ]

Erik Chong has released a freeware Apple ][+ emulator. However, it is only for the EM-500 although, as reported in this BrightHand thread, it would seem that it also works on the E-125. Unfortunately, it would appear that iPAQ owners are out of luck as the author states that he does not have any plans to make the emulator work on other machines.


New Dope Wars release

[ Wednesday, February 14 ]

There's a new version of DopeWars out courtesy of Jennifer Glover. The game simulates "the life of a drug dealer in 1984 New York, based upon the MS-DOS game of the same name, in turn derived from "Drug Wars" by John E. Dell. The idea of DopeWars is to deal in drugs on the streets of New York, amassing a huge fortune and paying off the loanshark, while avoiding the police who take a rather dim view of drug dealing..."

DopeWars is available for all Pocket PC's. Additionally, the game is both freeware and open-source.


Pocket Hustler released

[ Tuesday, February 13 ]

GoDot Entertainment have released Pocket Hustler, the first pool game to be written specifically for the Pocket PC. Pocket Hustler includes "Nine ball, Eight ball, Rotation ball, Bowling game, Carom game [and a] 3-Cushion game" along with "fantastic 3D rendered images". The game costs $24.95 (a demo is available) and is for the iPAQ only.


Adventurous Programmers sought!

[ Tuesday, February 13 ]

Pocket Adventures author, Kaiton Buitendijk, is seeking the help of eVC++ programmers who are also knowledgeable about GAPI. To offer your assistance, either leave your details in this BrightHand thread, or mail Kaiton directly.


ZIOGolf 2 released!

[ Tuesday, February 13 ]

ZIOGolf 2 has now been officially released, with its price set at $29.95. You can buy the game from ZIO Interactive's site.


Peter's Casino opening soon!

[ Tuesday, February 13 ]

From the author of Peter's Gamebox, a new casino game is on the way. Peter's Casino has been tentatively scheduled for release "in a week", and will include "Roulette, Video Poker, Dice Poker and Black Jack".


Rayman to hit Pocket PC!

[ Monday, February 12 ]

Major news from France today with the announcement that the highly-regarded platform game, Rayman is on the way to the Pocket PC! Currently under development by the Ludigames team, check out this press announcement for more screenshots and all the details.


SokoByun released, Pool game coming soon!

[ Monday, February 12 ]

As spotted at ce4you, GoDot Entertainment have released SokoByun, a variant of the puzzle game, Sokoban. The object of the game is to "push a block and match the color to remove blocks. Remove all the blocks to complete the level and go to next level. Use spring and special tiles to complete all the levels". Currently only available for the iPAQ, the game features outstanding graphics, but will be commercial software. At the time of writing, however, the Buy Now page didn't contain any pricing information.

Also from GoDot Entertainment is a pool game by the name of Pocket Hustler. Currently under development (unfortunately once again for the iPAQ only), the game will offer "Nine ball, Eight ball, Rotation ball, Bowling game, Carom game [and a] 3-Cushion game", all displayed in "fantastic 3D rendered images".


Peter's Gamebox

[ Monday, February 12 ]

Peter's Gamebox is a freeware collection of six games, namely:

  • Tetris

  • Tetris2

  • Snake

  • Same (where the object is to remove squares of the same colour)

  • Cannons (work out angle/shot power to hit your opponent)

  • Squash (Breakout clone)

Again, I noticed this one at ce4you.


Pocket PC catches Fly

[ Monday, February 12 ]

eSoft Interactive have released a tap-em-up in the form of The Fly. The idea is to catch the fly without squishing it, a task guaranteed to test your tapping skills to the limit! A four-level demo is available to download, whilst the full version costs $8 to purchase.


New PocketSNES release scheduled for Friday

[ Monday, February 12 ]

The PocketSNES site is announcing that "the next release (beta 2) will be available for download by Friday, February 16". Cassiopeia and Jornada owners will be happy to hear that this will include the release of MIPS and SH3 versions. Improvements include a landscape mode option (using the widescreen technique developed by Mark Rejhon which also features in PocketFC), "skinnable virtual keypads, customizable hardware keys" and an "improved installer". Thanks to Scott P for letting me know.


Programming article introduces free 3D engine

[ Sunday, February 11 ]

Thanks to Richard Cooper for pointing me to this article on programming for PDA's which concentrates on game development for the iPAQ. Written by Jacco Bikker, author of Lemmings for CE, one of the most interesting features is the introduction of a 3D engine for the iPAQ capable of displaying thousands of textured polygons per second at a decent frame rate - it's well worth downloading the demonstration to see the engine in action. Better yet, the source code of iPAQ3D, as the 3D engine is known, is freely available.


New PocketGB beta

[ Sunday, February 11 ]

There's another update to PocketGB, now at version 1.20, beta 3. As detailed on the News page, the main changes involve better video and audio performance.


@migo: Possible gaming problems

[ Sunday, February 11 ]

The @migo, having finally made it into the hands of "real" consumers, may not be as good for games as once hoped. In this BrightHand discussion thread discussing how well games work on the new device, Brian K and Dilatory Cheetah both report that holding down a direction on the joypad too far results in the keypress not being registered. Additionally, it would appear that the joypad cannot recognise diagonal movements. It is worth remembering, however, that it is still early to say whether these problems are for definite and affect every @migo.


NeoTiles: Full version now available

[ Saturday, February 10 ]

Stephen Heald's NeoTiles is now at version 1.0 and ready to download. The Mahjong-style game is freeware and changes made since the beta release include new time limits and more levels. Stephen also wrote to say that "The feedback I got from PocketGamer beta testers was great! I'd just like to thank everyone that contributed their time to testing the software, and even though all the requested features didn't make it into the first release I was so impressed with the ideas they will be appearing in a subsequent maintenance releases".


PDAutilities.com release Blackjack game

[ Saturday, February 10 ]

PDAutilities.com have released a version of the classic card game, Blackjack. A demo is available, and the full version will set you back $6.99.


PocketFC alternate download site

[ Saturday, February 10 ]

For those having trouble with the main PocketFC site (which appears to be a little on the temperamental side), here's an alternate download location for the new iPAQ-only NES emulator.


Pocket Flight Sim on a roll

[ Saturday, February 10 ]

Issue 10 of the Pocket Flight Sim newsletter is now out with information on a new downloadable demo, which is "a preview of flying using the new stick control. Roll is the only supported movement thus far, but soon pitch and yaw will be available as well. Drag your stylus left and right in the bottom-right circle on your screen to roll the aircraft".


TWSFC update

[ Saturday, February 10 ]

Many thanks to Dario for pointing out in this BrightHand thread that the E-125 and EM-500 versions of TWSFC have been updated to include "options for sound, frame skip, display FPS, FX chip, and V-pad [virtual pad]".


MIDI player

[ Friday, February 9 ]

I haven't seen any mention of a MIDI player that runs on Pocket PC's before, so this Japanese site (translated) may well be of great interest to MIDI fans. As originally spotted by Honolulu and then posted on LudiPocket, there is a MIDI player by the name of Mimidi available for download. Although written for older CE devices, it is reported to work on the Pocket PC - there is even an ARM download for the iPAQ (which worked fine on mine).

Please note that to extract the Mimidi files from the LZH compressed format in which the files are stored, you will need a suitable LZH decompression program. If you don't have one, you can find one at the Mono-Q Windows CE Software site (which also offers a couple of games well worth looking at!).


PocketGB update

[ Friday, February 9 ]

The Game Boy emulator, PocketGB, has been updated. Among the what's new list is improved performance and a "blend" option to reduce blockiness in full-screen mode. For full details, see the News page.


ZIOGolf 2: $10 saving now on offer

[ Friday, February 9 ]

The price reduction offer whereby ZIOGolf owners can save $10 on the new ZIOGolf 2 has now begun. It's worth noting that only the first 500 people to apply will be accepted for the saving, so it's best to head over to the ZIO Interactive site as soon as possible.


ZIOGolf 2 reviewed... again!

[ Friday, February 9 ]

Just in case you still haven't made your mind up, here's another review of ZIOGolf 2, this time at Tinytechnews.


Dope Wars update

[ Friday, February 9 ]

Version 0.6 of Dope Wars has just been released. Improvements include stability fixes and the ability to "buy guns, run from the law, buy larger coats and save/view high scores".


New iPAQ NES emulator: Pocket FC

[ Friday, February 9 ]

Thanks to Brian Cain for letting me know of this BrightHand thread announcing the release of a new NES emulator. Pocket FC (FC standing for "Famicom") features include support for autofire, landscape mode, full-screen display, zipped roms, and the source code is also available. Currently, Pocket FC is only available for the iPAQ (thanks to Tzvi Yosef for alerting me to this) and does not include sound support.


Leo's Flight Sim: Beta 5 released

[ Friday, February 9 ]

Beta 5 of Leo's Flight Simulator has been released, as was pointed out to me by Darren Behan. Unfortunately, the documentation doesn't yet appear to be updated so I can't tell you exactly what the new features are. However, from a summary glance at the game, it would seem that there are new planes on offer and multiplayer capability via network or Infra-red (although this might not actually be enabled - I wasn't able to test it). Incidentally, even though the site says - at the time of writing, at least - that the last update was February 2, the files have been changed more recently as only yesterday the iPAQ download would not install correctly. This has now been fixed.


SimCity: Construction halted!

[ Friday, February 9 ]

A source who wishes to remain anonymous wrote in with some interesting information regarding a version of SimCity for the Pocket PC:

"The SimCity for handheld devices licence has definitely been purchased by company Atelier in Paris. The company's already released Palm & Epoc (Psion) version of SimCity ports, based on the real original code from Maxis".

What's frustrating is the fact that "they have a Windows CE (2.x, not Pocket PC) version completed, but never released it" (a version was demonstrated running on a Jornada 680). However, due to the fact that "the company is now departing from retail software to focus on other markets", it is unlikely that a Pocket PC version will ever see the light of day... unless somebody purchases the license from Atelier, or "some company (i.e. MS, Compaq, etc.) helps [them] finish the product & pay for the marketing/ads expenses".


New PC Engine emulator on way; hosting required!

[ Thursday, February 8 ]

The author of the Pocket PC Come Back 64 port, Domenico Dato, has written to me to say that he has "completed porting Bero's source code to PocketPC and now the PC Engine emu is quite ready for a first release. I've succeeded in adding sound support too and the possibility to play both in normal and landscape mode". He is currently looking for a hosting solution, however, so please get in touch with him if you can help out.


Beta testers sought for new iPAQ 3D helicopter game

[ Thursday, February 8 ]

Sven Myhre of Amazing Games has posted a message in this BrightHand thread requesting "about 20 beta-testers" for a new "3D helicopter sim/action game" approaching beta status. Requirements are an iPAQ, "a passion for games and good technical knowledge". If you're interested, mail Sven to let him know.


NeoTiles beta available

[ Thursday, February 8 ]

Many thanks to Stephen Heald for allowing me to make available for download a beta version of his new game, NeoTiles (download: 214 Kb). The game is in the style of Mahjong, with the object being to match all the tiles before the time limit is up. As this is a beta test, please report any bugs any you find, and Cassiopeia and Jornada users especially are requested to confirm that the game works on their devices.

In addition, Stephen is also working on a game by the name of Maze. This will be a simple 2D maze generator, and should be finished fairly soon, perhaps even by the weekend. However, he does request that any people with artistic talent get in touch to help out with the graphics.


Virtual pad for TWSFC

[ Thursday, February 8 ]

Mark Jackson posted an interesting piece of information in this BrightHand thread that the latest E300 release of the SNES emulator, TWSFC, has a virtual pad. This most likely means that the next iPAQ release of the emulator will follow suit, thus providing a solution to the button problem.


SimCity: The license has been bought, but...

[ Thursday, February 8 ]

Check out the bottom post in this BrightHand thread from Inaki of Jimmy Software who says that the license for making a Pocket PC version of SimCity has been purchased. Two questions spring to mind at this point: first, just who has bought the license and, second and more importantly, are they actually going to make the game?


Metalion update

[ Wednesday, February 7 ]

ZIO Interactive have updated Metalion to version 1.1, featuring various gameplay improvements: for example, it is now easier to collect power-ups, and the easy level has been made easier while the difficult level has become harder. In addition, installation problems with certain specific devices (such as the UK iPAQ have been fixed.


Hanging around

[ Wednesday, February 7 ]

Hakim Sjöström of Sweden has released a version of the classic word game, Hangman. BDH Hangman caters for two-player games, and is freeware.


More HiveCE games on the way!

[ Wednesday, February 7 ]

Larry Bank, author of HiveCE, the engine behind Pacman in the Fun Pack (no longer available), has confirmed in this BrightHand thread that two, perhaps three, more games based on HiveCE "will be coming to the Pocket PC in the near future". Thanks to Frank for pointing this out.


More on ZIOGolf 2

[ Tuesday, February 6 ]

Pocketnow.com have a "sneak peek" at ZIOGolf 2, although it is a pretty detailed peek! And don't forget that PocketGamer.org has two reviews of ZIOGolf 2 should you want to read more.


Pocket PC hit by Dope Wars!

[ Tuesday, February 6 ]

A Pocket PC port of Dope Wars is underway courtesy of Swiftus Net, and a beta version is available to try out. This information comes thanks to Mr. D posting on the Pocket PC newsgroup. As an alternative, a beta version that's been out for some time is the imaginatively-titled DopeWars.


New MIPS chips are cooking!

[ Tuesday, February 6 ]

A new low-power MIPS chip (as used in the Cassiopeia series) is on the way, with speeds starting at 400 MHz (roughly equivalent to Intel's XScale technology). Alchemy Semiconductor are the manufacturers behind the new chip, and you can also find more information on their Product Information page and in this ZDNet article. Credit goes to Take1 who spotted this information and posted it in this BrightHand thread.


ZIOGolf 2 reviewed

[ Tuesday, February 6 ]

PocketGamer.org brings you not just one but two reviews of ZIOGolf 2, ZIO Interactive's sequel to their smash golfing hit, ZIOGolf. Can the sequel improve upon the original? Read on to find out...


Shaken not stirred...

[ Monday, February 5 ]

Scott Lunsford of NotAPalm.com wrote to me about Pocket Bar, a fun project that aims to be "an electronic bartender’s bible". "Version 1.0 of Pocket Bar will allow you to search for drinks by category and/or name. It will even make a random drink suggestion for you if you're looking to try something new. And best of all, it will be freeware! I’ve completed the application and expect to release the final version around the middle of February. I’m currently building the drink database, which will include 100 to 500 of the most popular drinks in the final database".

A beta version is available to download, and the author is happy to accept feedback or requests to include a particular drink via e-mail. Not game-related I know, but I suspect that it might still be popular... :-)


ZIOGolf 2: Upgrade offer

[ Monday, February 5 ]

ZIO Interactive wrote to me to say that "The first 500 persons of previous ZIOGolf users can have $10 save for ZIOGolf 2. The event will be started from 9-Feb or 12-Feb". When I asked for confirmation of what this meant, the reply came as follows: "We will give discount keycode to 500 persons and they can purchase program at $19.95 with keycode. We will create a form to check they already owned ZIOGolf 1 and if it is confirmed, I will send keycodes to them. However, purchasers of year 2001(ZIOGolf), they have to wait to get a program for 1 month. Because we will get sales reports from several sites 1 month later for Jan one".

All in all, it sounds like further clarification may be required! However, for people interested in this $10 saving, all the details will be posted on the ZIO Interactive website at some point in the very near future (quite possibly by the time you read this). Also, don't forget that a review of the game is on the way!


New site style under test

[ Monday, February 5 ]

I'm currently considering a couple of changes to the front page which you can take a look at here. The major differences are the addition of pictures and the fact that links now open in a new window automatically - please note that the news items featured are deliberately out of date! (Although the new design should still be Pocket IE-friendly, I'm considering a new Pocket IE-only front page which will look a little less cluttered than the current one). Are pictures worth it? Do you prefer links to open in a new window? Let me know your opinions in this BrightHand thread.


Anagram Plus released

[ Monday, February 5 ]

Puzzle Express have released Anagram Plus, in which the player has "to form the longest word possible from a seven letter word that has been scrambled. Games consist of a series of 5, 10 or 15 words. Points are awarded for the length of the word and also for the letters used (similar to Scrabble)". The game is shareware, costing $15.


Sega: The saga continues!

[ Monday, February 5 ]

There's another post from Sega's Takeshi Liu in this BrightHand thread in which he seems to prove his position at the company beyond any reasonable doubt. Disappointingly, however, he appears to reaffirm his belief that Sega would not be interested in developing games for the Pocket PC at the moment. Thanks to Johan, author of Swedish site, PocketSpel.com for pointing this out.

However, not everyone is giving up just yet. Mark Rejhon has even go so far as to register the domain, lettertosega.com, which points to an open letter to Sega that he has written. In it, he points out the popularity of the iPAQ and the potential that exists should the company also release a gaming sleeve. Well worth a read... and let's hope that Sega take note!



[ Sunday, February 4 ]

Check out this BrightHand thread in which Forced_Vengeance discusses the possibility of porting NetHack over to the Pocket PC. It would appear that there is an early beta of a port for Windows CE 2, but as this only offers MIPS and SH3 builds, iPAQ users will be out of luck unless a new version is made. It should, however, work on the Cassiopeia and Jornada Pocket PC's.


Stowaway: No iPAQ button problems!

[ Sunday, February 4 ]

Many thanks to Frederic Beaufrere, webmaster of the snazzy French site, iPAQ Paradise, who wrote to me to confirm that the upcoming Stowaway keyboard has no problem detecting multiple simultaneous presses on the iPAQ. There's a full report on the site on the keyboard, but here's a rough translation (any mistakes are entirely my fault!) of the all-important section:

"I've saved for the end a piece of news which is going to make 'Hard Core Gamers' rejoice. Having tested it [the keyboard] with iMAME, Doom4CE and the Colour Game Boy emulator, PocketGB, I can assure you that the Stowaway keyboard supports simultaneous key presses without any problems, thus finally allowing good playing conditions for games on the iPAQ. This argument alone will be enough to convince many a potential buyer, which is perfectly understandable!"



[ Saturday, February 3 ]

PocketPC.cz have released a version of the classic game of Mastermind. Their take on the game sees you attempting to "guess the sequence of five colored pegs the computer has selected at random from the colors in the bottom field" and is a commercial release, costing $6.


Moonlander reviewed

[ Friday, February 2 ]

Now you can relive those misspent years in the arcades with Moonlander, a Pocket PC port of the classic Lunar Lander. But would you want to? Read the PocketGamer.org review and find out...


ZIOGolf 2: ZIO considering options

[ Friday, February 2 ]

I received a mail from ZIO Interactive saying that the company "are planning to do an event for ZIOGolf 2. We cannot decide whole detail right now, but we may give special price for ZIOGolf 2 for previous ZIOGolf users". Don't forget that a one-hole demo of the impressive-looking ZIOGolf 2 is available for all Pocket PC's; a PocketGamer.org review of the game is also on the way!



[ Friday, February 2 ]

Now you can enjoy adventure games via AvantGo, thanks to French site, LudiPocket, who have introduced a novel gaming concept. The way it works is that you subscribe to their special AvantGo channel, which downloads the next stage of the game each time you synchronise. Over 25 different episodes are on offer and can be played in English, French or German. Discussion is in this BrightHand thread.


GAPI benchmarks: How fast is your Pocket PC?

[ Thursday, February 1 ]

Carpediem has made available a GAPI benchmarks utility which provides a good means of testing just how your well your Pocket PC can handle fast-moving graphical games. Provisional results as well as download links are available on the GAPI Benchmark results page at pocketPCpassion.


Sega considering games for @migo?

[ Thursday, February 1 ]

There's a post from Takeshi Liu, a "member of Sega Marketing", in this BrightHand thread. In addition to confirming Sega's plans to develop for Palm and the reasoning behind this decision, he also states that the company "are also looking into developing games for the @migo (tm) system, which does not suffer from the single-touch problem of Compaq's iPAQ (tm)". Of course, it's worth remembering that none of this can be considered official in any respect.


Pocketnow.com contest

[ Thursday, February 1 ]

Pocketnow.com wrote to me to let me know of what must be the most impressive Pocket PC contest so far. Up for grabs is $10,000 worth of Pocket PC hardware and software, and it all starts today!


ZIOGolf 2 demo!

[ Wednesday, January 31 ]

ZIO Interactive have sprung a surprise by releasing a demo version of ZIOGolf 2, the sequel to ZIOGolf.

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