There's a nice piece over on the Nokia Developer blog highlighting the story of ZingMagic, a long time favourite developer here at AAS for polished native Symbian games. The piece covers how the company got started, how its games are built and recent success with advertisement-sponsored versions of its games.
Recent News - Games
More a super-geek plaything than a mainstream set of games at present, but I can see where Nokia is going with this... Beta Labs just released a small set of NFC games, simple titles that leverage the NFC chip in the C7 and the newer Belle devices. You'll need a compatible device (obviously) and a number of NFC chips (e.g. in cards and stickers) to play though. Video and quotes below.
As promised, Angry Birds Rio has received a third episode to provide more fun fowl physics and extra game-play for those who've purchased the movie-tie in expansion game. Beach Volley takes place on the Copacabana Beach, and as well as the Marmosets replacing the Green Pigs, you've got new birds to throw, in the shape of Blu and Jewel.
Our very own Ewan Spence has been moonlighting over at the Ovi Daily App blog, here producing a review of Grim Joggers, the latest glossy take on the 'running' genre of game, here for Symbian^3 phones. He pronounces it "well programmed", "reactive" and "great fun". Expect another ODA guest review from Ewan later this month.
ZingMagic just 'zinged' their most popular board game conversions, with 'V' (as in five) versions of Chess Pro, Chinese Chess Pro and Checkers Pro, all also available in free ad-supported and paid for versions, for touch and non-touch Symbian-powered smartphones. There are extra variants, graphics and skill levels all round. Details, background info, links and some screens below.
Read on For Four Fabulous Friday links of interest, for perusal over your morning coffee or orange juice. Firstly, over at the somewhat prolific Ovi Daily App blog, you may have noticed a few AAS writers guesting in recent months? It's my turn now with my comprehensive review of Sparkle. You'll recognise it - shooting coloured balls from a cannon - but don't switch off, as it's also one of the best implemented games I've ever played. Yes, EVER.
This will either be a complete blast from the past or a glimpse into a world you never knew existed, but.... Nokia had a complete multimedia-accelerated game scene going on back in the early 2000s under the name N-Gage (no, not the software re-invention, we're talking plug-in MMC games on dedicated S60 hardware) and Martin from Retro Game Tech has been putting up occasional videos showing this growing collection of N-Gage's illustrious past. The latest is shown below. Thanks to Jay for the heads-up.
You may remember Ewan reviewing Barclaycard's promotional extravaganza, Rollercoaster Extreme, here on AAS a few weeks ago? We're giving you double review value now though, with Rafe guest writing for the Ovi Daily App blog and reviewing Rollercoaster Extreme from his own perspective, concluding that it's "pitched perfectly". See the title here on the Ovi Store for all Symbian^3 handsets.
Just a heads-up that Real Golf 2011 HD, which received a rave review from me on the Nokia N8, is now available in the Ovi Store for other Symbian^3 smartphones (e.g. the Nokia C7). Note that the N8 version is free, part of a specific licensing deal by Nokia, but the C7 and C6-01 versions cost £3. Don't worry about this too much, it's well worth the small fee and has almost infinite gameplay.
SPB Online Games launched yesterday for S60 5th Edition and Symbian^3, a collection of 4 instant online, multi-player games (English and Russian Checkers, Hexagon and Reversi). If interrupted, the games can be continued from the spot where they left off. Players can also "share their game experience in the real-time chat service". Mini-review, screenshots and links below.
Real Golf 2011 is a Gameloft title licensed by Nokia for some of its latest Symbian^3 graphics-accelerated handsets. It first appeared in Sw_update on the N8 in some parts of the world last week, but has now made it into the Ovi Suite update system as a whopping 180MB download for a wider range of N8 variants. Below is screenshot proof from me in the UK, including actual game screens and initial impressions. Comments and data points welcome from others, in terms of devices and regions!
New(ish) in Nokia's Ovi Store are a number of interesting free and commercial 'casual'/'traditional' games from Offscreen Technologies, available for both S60 5th Edition and new Symbian^3 phones from Nokia, including Freecell, (peg) Solitaire, Video Poker and Checkers. See below for screens, mini-reviews and links. And yes, full reviews of some of the big blockbuster 'HD' games are progressing in parallel, to be published over the next couple of weeks!
Nokia today released two new first party gaming titles through the Ovi Store. Ovi Maps Challenge is a map-based geography trivia game. As you play, you unlock additional levels and collect countries in your passport. Bounce Boing Battle is a two player game, played over Bluetooth between two devices, and offers a twist on the classic Pong style of gameplay. Both games are implemented in Flash Lite and have been developed by Rovio, the same company that created the popular Angry Birds game series, and are available for all of Nokia's touchscreen Symbian phones.
Botond.FM's 'instant' games have a definite appeal for quick gaming sessions. This is the latest incarnation of MicroPinball Casino, for S60 5th Edition phones, now with 'multitouch' even on resistive-screened devices - no, really. Here's my review of MicroPinball, tested on both the Nokia 5530 and the Samsung i8910, over on our Ovi Gaming site. Also posted this morning is my review of the free Color Master, which you'll know better under its classic board game title of 'Mastermind'. Hey, there goes your afternoon's productivity!
In All About Symbian Insight 133, we start with news of the Nokia 5250, Nokia's cheapest ever smartphone, following which, Steve shares some more detail from his recent reviews of Let's Golf and Mommax's Mains Battery Charger. Rafe talks about Nokia and Intel's new joint laboratory for 3D mobile user experiences. Finally Ewan gives us his commentary on the the re-branding of Nokia Music to Ovi Music. You can listen to AAS Insight 133 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.