In recent years, much has been said about generic games versus games that have brand names. Does a market exist for these "brand-less" video games? I have put together my first review of Applian Technologies Inc.'s Classic Arcade Games for Pocket PC.
"This bundle of 4 action games includes games similar to well-known favorites like Tetris, Breakout, Centipede and Whack-a-mole, and is value priced at just $9.95", but will people shell out to buy it?
The games in this pack consist of non-brand name versions of some famous games of yesteryear.
Batty, the Breakout look-a-like, features four difficulty levels (Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impossible), Sound Toggle, Pause Button, and the game screen. The colors in this game are varied, with sufficient contrast. The game play is very nice: the paddle moves perfectly with the swaying of the stylus. The Impossible difficulty is really not impossible; however, it would be safe to assume that you will get dizzy following the ball (especially if you are in a car or something else that is moving).
QTris, you guessed it, a Tetris-like game, is just that. The blocks are in the normal shape of Tetris blocks, and the colors are randomly generated. Nothing terribly exciting here, except that I found it amusing to use the stylus and the D-Pad on my iPAQ 3835 to control the rotation and position of the blocks. On the game screen, you have the Score, Level, Preview (next block), and a square divided into four parts which contain arrows designating what will happen to the current block if the stylus is tapped within the square.
Next is Rat Splat, a very unique game for the PocketPC. This game is similar to Whack-a-Mole or the like. Basically, a large square is divided into 9 smaller squares which contain holes where rats will "pop up". The object of the game? Splat the rats using your stylus! Like the other games, the same four difficulty levels are present, but Impossible is VERY hard.
Finally, we have Squirmy. In this Nibbles/Snake game, the goal is to feed Squirmy (the snake-like creature) apples, bananas, or whatever other kind of food pops up on the screen. Just don't let squirmy smash into the walls. I found this game to be particularly difficult using the stylus, as Squirmy moves in a certain direction depending on where you tap. Additionally, some backgrounds in later levels make the snake and the food indiscernible.
So, is this game pack by Applian just another shareware wannabe that costs money? I would say no. Not because of game-play issues, but rather because they seem to have genuinely attempted to reproduce classic, nostalgic games for Pocket PC users that want to have a little fun. Plus, at roughly $2.50 a game, hours of entertainment can be had with only a small sum of money.
If you are looking to pick up the Classic Arcade Game Pack, check out Applian's website.
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