Casual Friday: 17 Sweet Smart-Phone Tweaks and Games
Welcome back to PC World's weekly effort to celebrate sloth.
Operation: Cellular Slack
Games on your cell phone--lame, you say? You're obviously looking in the wrong places, friend, because this ain't about 8-bit blackjack or playing Snakes on a plane. I'm talking awesome puzzle games, graphic adventures, shooters ... wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.
Here's the deal: My economic stimulus hush money from Uncle Sam showed up, so I bought an HTC Touch. The phone is great for all that "productivity" nonsense I keep hearing about, but I needed to hack this sucker apart for goofing off while on location. My mission: Seek out sweet, free software for Windows Mobile 6. And, really, why shouldn't you benefit from all my hard work trying to avoid hard work?
Disclaimer: All of my finds work on an HTC Touch,
Emulation is always a gray area when it comes to gaming, and if you're not careful, it constitutes piracy. You do have a couple of options, though. First, if the game is released to the public for free--which happens with many ancient titles--you can play it. Second, if you own a game, you have the right to make a backup for yourself. Me? I'm backing up games to my cell phone! So why not try to run some classics between calls? Here are
1. ScummVM: I love the old LucasArts graphic adventure games. Sam & Max Hit the Road, Maniac Mansion ... I could go on. And I might if I had more room. I still own all the games, and this little software app (made for just about every OS ever conceived) lets me play them on my morning commute. Also, check out the bottom of the downloads page for a couple extra freeware games.
2. Pocket IIe: I've been hankering to play Karateka again. Maybe even to hit the high seas with Sid Meier's Pirates and to venture Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. If you feel the same, download this Apple IIe emulator, and you're halfway there. (You'll just need the Apple ROMs.)
Download These Now!
3. Zelda Mobile: This Java-based cell phone game is a work in progress (currently at "Demo3"), but it still manages to capture all the fun of a certain old-school action adventure game.
4. Pocket UFO: I wear my nerdiness on my sleeve, but when I found this fully functional
5. Samulos: It seems Tetris-ish, but it's really more like
6. Pocket Quake: Want to play a classic first-person shooter on your cell phone? No problem! Well,
7. Shift: A bunch of goofy-faced colored blocks keep closing in on the center, and you have to make 'em connect. Think of it as a Bejeweled-ish puzzle game that pushes everything toward the middle of the screen.
8. Pocket Gravity: By all rights, this program is utterly useless--yet, I keep opening it up, creating odd shapes, and seeing how they react with other objects in my little digital sandbox.
On to some of the slightly serious, but equally cool cell phone mods! (See the next page for more stuff!)