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Let's talk about old mobile gaming (Java, Symbian, BREW)

stranno

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Since early-2000, mobile gaming has been one of my biggest hobbies.

My first phone ever was an Alcatel One Touch 301. It did not feature Java, I guess games were programmed in assembly language of whatever Texas Intrument processor this phone had.

It was packed with three games: Puzzle (numeric sliding puzzle), Music (musical Simon) and Secret (numeric Hot & Cold puzzle).


My first phone with installable games was a Nokia 3510i. It was the color version of the Nokia 3510 and it featured a generic Texas Instrument UPP (Universal Phone Processor) with 8M of on-die cache, called UPP8M 2.2. It also featured the classic, yet VERY weird, resolution of 96x65 pixels (I suppose the first resolution of Java games).

It was packed with three games as well: Sky Diver, Backgammon and Racket.


The first game I ever installed on a mobile phone was XIII, a Java version of the console/PC game. It was also the first Gameloft game I ever played and, yeah, they were already the best studio in the market, pretty much since the beginning.


Full level​

Another of the first Gameloft games I remember was Rail Raider: The Devil's Mine, basically a copy of Sega Y Board's Rail Chase. The "superscaler" effect was pretty cool back in the day.


Another full level / Sega's Rail Chase (for the sake of comparison)​

This one had a pretty amazing remake for Symbian 7-8. Excuse the performance, you are not suppose to play it at 30FPS, it was probably a ~12-15FPS game.


My favourite game of 96x65 era was probably Macrospace's (nowdays GLU Mobile) Ancient Empires. An absolutely amazing turn-based strategy game in just 64Kb. Probably the only mobile game I have ever seen that surpassed the Gameloft's quality standard, at least on Java. It had a gigantic community with map and missions editor, many hacks and even a few unofficial third games, not to mention a pretty decent unofficial Android port.


I still have a photo playing the game back in 2003-2004, on the mentioned Nokia 3510i.


Of course this mobile did not have any kind of port, so games were installed through an unofficial SAT flashing cable. I dont have the phone anymore, but still have this cable :messenger_tears_of_joy:


After that I had some other Java phones like the Panasonic X60 or the Nokia 7250 but, tbh, I barely remember anything of them. I can't even find what were the firmware games of the X60.

My next phone was the legendary Nokia 6600, in my opinion the best mobile phone of all time. It was the first Symbian S60v2 and the first Symbian 7.0 phone ever. Before that there were already some Symbian 6.1 (S60v1) phones, including the 7650 (first Symbian phone ever), 3650 or the allmighty N-Gage.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Probably the first Symbian game I ever installed on a phone.​

S60v2 phones were backwards compatible with S60v1, so some S60v2 devices, like the Nokia 6600, 6630 or N70, were almost fully compatible with N-Gage games. Due weird behaviour in the N-Gage framebuffer, a few games required some of the most weird tricks you have ever heard of to fix graphics. Games like Call of Duty or Operation Shadow required bluetooth turned on, Sega Rally required a song playing on an MP3 player to have sound and, here it comes, on Colin McRae 2005 you had to do A CALL during the game to fix the colors :messenger_hushed:


Hello?​

According to Bent, the developer of the only Symbian 6-9 emulator so far, it happened due "metainfo hacks" at the beginning of screen buffer. What calls fixed? Who knows xD

To be updated..
 
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salamanderjuice

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I never had a phone that could run these. I do remember my friend had a port of Street Fighter II on his phone that was so zoomed in because of the vertical orientation that Dhalsim's punches went off the screen.
 

stranno

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I never had a phone that could run these. I do remember my friend had a port of Street Fighter II on his phone that was so zoomed in because of the vertical orientation that Dhalsim's punches went off the screen.
It was definitely the Glu Mobile version of World Warriors. Capcom also did one version of Street Fighter II, with proper aspect ratio, but it was a completely disaster, probably the worst button mapping of all time.


Capcom / GLU​

I had an N-gage and Pocket Kingdom (and most Sega games on the system) made it worth looking like this guy while talking on the phone.
Yeah. N-Gage (Symbian 7) was basically the pinnacle of Symbian gaming. Not even Symbian 9 (1-5) could match the quality of those games.

I will comment N-Gage as well, since I played most games back in the day on my Nokia 6600.
 
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stranno

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I guess God of War is shit now because God of War: Betrayal wasn't on a Sony platform:
I was never a fan of Glu Mobile's God of War: Betrayal, tbh. Graphics and art style were average for 2007, Gameloft already did much better graphics than those in that year. Gameplay was ok tho.
 
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stranno

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I would like to know more about the japanese iMode games.
I'm not much into that since you can't play them from the Europe/States, you need a japanese data plan in order to connect to the DoCoMo's i-Mode service.

Most i-Mode games were just regular Java games (EZweb) a bit tweaked to allow more memory and size (DoCoMo's DoJa standard). And they used Mascot Capsule 3D (Mobile Graphics 3D v3) extensively. In Europe/States only Fishlabs really used Mascot Capsule 3D that much, even Gameloft (that programmed in pretty much every single API/language/platform) only had two MC3D games: Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow 3D and Asphalt: Urban GT 3D.

Some of those games came to the west, for example Living Mobile published the Mascot Capsule 3D version of Bomberman 3D (as well as the regular M3G version), Sega China published Shinobi remake on regular Java as well, and even Verizon localized the mythical Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus - Lost Episode in their own uber-obscure digital market, long lost.

I think there are some BREW games on i-Mode, called EZapply, but there must be very few compared to Java games. G-Mode company is porting some of those BREW games to Nintendo Switch:


Ruwaga's channel is the way to go when it comes to i-Mode. He is trying to preserve every game he can before the service closes (purchases will close this summer, but the service itself will be available until 2026 or 2027, can't remember).

 
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namekuseijin

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I said they were coming, right? The nostalgic kids raised on mobile games and flash games...

imagine 40 years from now kids missing their sweet childhood inside minicrap, animal gross, among Ass, etc...
 
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Videospel

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Ancient Empires was absolutely amazing. That and City Bloxx were probably my favorites.
 
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makaveli60

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Awesome thread, it takes me back, despite the fact that hearing mobile gaming nowadays gives me the creeps and I avoid it like the plague... My first smartphone (when people generally weren’t even aware that they were a thing) was also the 6600 and I also remember tinkering with N-Gage games, emulators, etc. It was an amazing device. Some new phone came out with some new groundbreaking feature and boom you also had it on your Symbian phone thanks to the awesome scene. My favorite game on the 6600 was of course an unofficial Doom port. You could perfectly play the Doom games on it from start to finish. Good times...
 
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PropellerEar

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Never been into gaming on mobile, and probably never will.
I ran some emulators like vbag on N95 and SNES emu on N900.

Bought N-Gage to my little bro. The phone was built like a tank.
He was driving his scooter ~80km/h, that doofus had it in his sweatpants pocket, the phone slipped out and dropped on asphalt.
He went back and assembled it and it still worked. (had to get a new front for it as it was really scraped)
 

SkylineRKR

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Snake is perhaps the best mobile game I have played. It was simply and addicting. And i remember playing this quite a bit in 2005:


It was on my Ericsson and I think it kind of pushed past PS1 graphics.
 
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stranno

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Bought N-Gage to my little bro. The phone was built like a tank.
He was driving his scooter ~80km/h, that doofus had it in his sweatpants pocket, the phone slipped out and dropped on asphalt.
He went back and assembled it and it still worked. (had to get a new front for it as it was really scraped)
Yeah. Nokia phones were basically the AK47 of mobile devices.

Snake is perhaps the best mobile game I have played. It was simply and addicting. And i remember playing this quite a bit in 2005:

It was on my Ericsson and I think it kind of pushed past PS1 graphics.
It was another Mascot Capsule 3D by Sega WOW. They also did two more tennis games on Mascot, Tennis and Tennis Multiplay.

Ancient Empires was absolutely amazing. That and City Bloxx were probably my favorites.
Digital Chocolate quality was also top notch.
 

stranno

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Wasnt there a Doom turn based RPG that was actually good? I would play a remake of that for sure.
Wolfenstein RPG and Doom RPG were amazing.

Doom RPG (1) only had three versions: Java ME, BREW (Low End) and BREW (High End). BREW version had many improvements over Java, including textured floors and ceilings.

Kraze, a Youtuber with many BREW devices, has recorded the entire Doom BREW High End on the infamous Tectoy Zeebo.


Doom RPG 2 had more ports, including Java, BREW, Windows Mobile, iOS.. maybe more.
 
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stranno

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All Macrospace (biggest Gameloft rival) Java games before GLU Mobile (2003-2005). They basically did their own licenses, Cartoon Network licenses and Square-Enix licenses.

Screenshots, logos and "trailers" (gifs) taken from their archived website on Archive.org, unless there were nothing saved.

SQUARE-ENIX GAMES



Actraiser

Fight your way past centaurs, goblins, trolls and a menagerie of other mythical creatures in this side-scrolling action game.

Armed with your mighty blade and plenty of determination, you must cleanse the landscape of hordes of evil monsters! Based on the classic Super Nintendo game of the same name, Actraiser brings classic console gaming to your mobile phone.

Use 2, 4, 6, 8 or the directional keys to move, 5 to attack and 7 or 9 to crouch and attack

  • Intense sword-slashing fantasy action
  • Huge boss battles
  • Based on the classic SNES game
  • Online high scores let you show off your skills
Dev (Chris White) insight:

I did not code this version of Aleste from scratch, I merely ported it from Doja (version of Java run by certain phones) to J2ME (more common in certain parts of the world). In doing so, I reduced the memory requirements of the game from around 500K to 200K, reduced loading times, and increased the framerate.

I coded a new interface, more consistent with European phone titles, and enhanced a few other aspects of the title. The title received a graphical makeover from the original mobile port. You can view a screenshot of the original here.



Aleste

Become the pilot of an ultra-advanced attack craft, codenamed Aleste, in this mobile version of the 80's home console classic.

Your mission sees you fearlessly flying through enemy-packed stages, collecting weapon power-ups on your way to the explosive end-of-level boss battles. Each level ramps up the challenge and will keep you coming back for more adrenalin-soaked arcade action!

Use 2, 4, 6, 8 or the directional keys to move the ship, 5 to fire and 0 to activate auto-fire.

  • Classic shoot-em-up action for your mobile phone
  • Blast waves of enemies with an awesome arsenal of futuristic weapons
  • Huge boss battles like nothing you've seen on a mobile before
  • Online high scores let you show off your skills



Drakengard

It is an ancient time, and dragons still roam the earth. Two great powers, the Union and the Empire, wage fierce war for the control of a goddess who protects the harmony of the world.

In the mobile version of the epic PlayStation®2 game 'Drakengard' you take the role of Caim, the troubled hero. Battle the evil forces of the Empire alongside the red dragon, a fearsome creature that has promised to fight alongside Caim as he and the Union make a defiant last stand!

Take the battle across four different locations, fighting Empire forces on the ground and in the air! Each of the four levels combines fantastic sword-slashing action and dragon-riding combat to create a brand-new mobile gaming experience. The fight against the Empire starts here!

To move Caim, use 2, 4, 6, 8, or the directional pad, and jump using 1, 2, or 3. Press 5 to use your sword, and 7 or 9 to block enemy attacks. You can perform a dash attack by pressing #.

When controlling the dragon, use 2, 4, 6, 8, or the direction pad to move, and 5 to fire. Pressing 0 lets you perform an escape move to dodge enemy fire.

  • Lead the Union's battle against the Empire in this brilliant mobile version of the hit PlayStation®2 game
  • Intense ground-based and airborne battles across four different locations
  • Gameplay includes two different game modes- side-scrolling action and awesome aerial battles
  • Get a high score and unlock unique hints and tips for the PlayStation®2 version!

CARTOON NETWORK GAMES



Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Meet Cartoon Network's most popular Adult Swim trio:

Master Shake, the self-proclaimed leader, Meatwad, the stupid but adorable uncooked meatball and Frylock, the only member of the group with any sense at all. Together, they are the Aqua Teen Hunger Force!

Control the team as they smash stuff, bash stuff, and generally try to hit things as far as possible across 16 levels of surreal fun. Why? Why not! Are you going to argue with a talking milkshake with an attitude? I thought not!

You take control of your favourite Aqua Teen character in this instantly addictive and easy to play title. The aim of the game is to hit the various items as far as possible across the level to complete a number of challenges and to unlock new levels.

  • All the ATHF characters, including Frylock, Master Shake, Meatwad, Carl and even the Mooninites
  • 16 different levels and challenges to unlock
  • Super-simple controls means even a Meatwad can play!
  • High scores for every level lets you show off your skills



Courage the Cowardly Dog: Haunted House

Defend Muriel and Eustace against an invasion of monsters such as the Mummy and Shadow in this fast and addictive shoot-em-up. Use your paranormal busting props to eliminate the monsters before they reach you or your owners. Collect pies to gain extra points and use the paranormal powers of Eustace's mask to boost your firepower.

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to shoot.

  • Unlimited levels of fast arcade fun
  • Protect Muriel and Eustace from the monsters
  • Cool graphics
  • Collect the pies for extra points!
Dev (Chris White) insight:

This was the first game I coded for Macrospace. Generally, you run around eating pies, whilst shooting eyeballs, flying pumpkins and a cat throwing bombs. What more could you ask for?

Goodies: Review #1



Dexter's Laboratory: Security Alert!

Dexter’s arch-rival Mandark is up to his usual tricks. He has taken control of the defence system of Dexter’s laboratory and activated it to treat Dexter as an intruder. In this fast paced action game, you have to use bubblegum bombs, teleports, magnetic impulses, and other inventions to make your way to the control centre of Dexter’s Laboratory. Once there you must reclaim your laboratory through a final duel with Mandark himself.

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to deploy bombs.

  • The first mobile game ever featuring Dexter and Mandark
  • Fast and fun gameplay
  • Brilliant and varied levels with plenty of puzzles to solve
  • Great graphics and sound



Ed, Edd n Eddy: Giant Jawbreakers

Once again Ed, Edd n Eddy are doing all they can to get their hands on as many delicious jawbreakers as possible. But to the despair of the Ed's, the Jawbreakers are too big to fit in their mouths!

Help the Eds break the jawbreakers down to an edible size by smashing them up with an assortment of wacky weapons, from toilet plungers to slingshots to yo-yos!

4 - Walk left
6 - Walk right
2,8 - Climb ladder
5 - Shoot

  • Loads of crazy weapons to choose from
  • Play as any of the three Eds
  • Level save feature lets you choose your favourite level
  • 27 different levels to challenge even expert gamers
Dev (Chris White) insight:

This game was great fun to code. The process was helped by the fact, I had a few games under my belt by this point. For example, I had a good library of fast collision routines that I'd written, and some reasonable UI code.

I think the concept works well on a mobile, because the game is easy to learn and simple to control, whilst still offering a significant challenge.

This was also the first game I ported to the Doja platform. At the time of writing I've ported this game to almost 10 handsets. I've spent longer coding the ports than the original game. This is despite heavy code reuse between devices! The main obstacle is the varying screen size of devices, combined with unstable Java implementations.



The Flinstones: Grocery Hunt

Fred and Barney have just returned from the Bedrock shopping mall, proud that they have managed to buy everything on the shopping list. What they don't know is that the shopping bags have great big holes in them! Nearly all the groceries have fallen out. Wilma and Betty are furious! Now it's up to you to help Fred and Barney find all the lost groceries before nightfall!

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to use up a hammer to get through a rock.

  • All The Flintstone characters
  • 10 levels of puzzle action
  • Great graphics



The Flinstones: Bedrock Bowling

Get some stone-age sporting action on your mobile with The Flintstones Bedrock Bowling!

There's nothing that Fred and his pals like more than a trip to the Bedrock bowling alley and now you can join in the fun.

In Bedrock Bowling, you can play as some of your favourite Flintstones characters including Fred, Barney, Bamm-Bamm or even Fred's alien friend Gazoo.

You can choose to play a single game, join a tournament or even challenge a friend in the all action Versus mode. Bedrock Bowling is a fun mix of sporting simulation and cartoon fun that will appeal to gamers of all ages.

  • Choose from 8 of your favourite Flintstones characters
  • Unlockable bonus characters
  • Control the direction, power and spin of your shot for pin-point accuracy
  • Multiple game modes including single player, tournament mode and 2 player Versus mode
  • Online scores and statistics so you can show off your bowling skills to the world!



The Powerpuff Girls

The Mayor is on the phone, bad news again! Mojo Jojo has kidnapped Professor Utonium! Mojo Jojo has taken Professor Utonium to his lab where he will read the Professor's mind by using his newest invention. You better help The Powerpuff Girls before Mojo Jojo finds out how to reverse the effects of Chemical X and get rid of The Powerpuff Girls forever!

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to shoot and zero (0) to deploy a Chemical X bomb.

  • The first mobile game ever featuring The Powerpuff Girls
  • Fast and fun gameplay
  • Great graphics and sound
  • Includes the ability to post online scores



Samurai Jack: Samurai Showdown

It's time for Samurai Jack to defeat Aku and his evil minions once and for all! Guide Jack as he uses his samurai skills to fight the forces of evil. Use special moves, magic attacks and a range of samurai weapons to dispatch Jack's enemies, making sure you collect coins and power-ups along the way. Aku will use his evil shape shifting powers whenever he can, so Jack will need all his skills to win the epic final battle between good and evil.

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move, the diagonal keys (1, 3) to jump, the fire key (5) to attack and 7 and 9 for special attacks. The star key (8) pauses the game and the hash key (#) toggles the status bar on and off.

  • The first mobile game ever featuring Samurai Jack
  • Fast and furious gameplay
  • Great graphics and sound
  • A range of Samurai moves, cool weapons and magic attacks
  • 15 levels of Samurai Jack mayhem



Scooby-Doo! Castle Capers

When Scooby and his pals need shelter for the night the old castle looks just the place. But it seems that wherever Scooby and the gang go, a mystery is never far away! With spooky ghosts and walking suits of armour, there is more to the castle than meets the eye. Can you help Scooby solve all the mind-bending puzzles, collect the Scooby Snacks, and uncover the secret of the castle?

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to trigger use or interact with an item. By pressing (1) you change the player you control between Scooby and Shaggy.

  • All your favourite Scooby Gang members
  • 14 challenging levels
  • Great graphics



Scooby-Doo! 2 Dark Dungeons

After solving the mystery of the haunted castle in 'Scooby-Doo Castle Capers', Scooby-Doo and his pals are on the hunt for a new challenge! The gang have heard a rumour that the original owner of the castle, Lady Ebdon, hid the family treasure deep in the castle's dungeon.

However, it seems that someone else wants the treasure for themselves and is set on stopping the gang from getting to it first! Help Scooby and the gang find the clues that will lead them to the treasure, but be careful: the dungeon is filled with enough traps and scary spooks to give even the bravest adventurer the creeps!

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to trigger use or interact with an item. By pressing (1) you change the player you control between Scooby and Shaggy.

  • Even more mysteries for Scooby and the gang to solve in this brilliant sequel to 'Castle Capers'!
  • 14 levels of mind-bending puzzles and cool cartoon action
  • Play as Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, with plenty of help from the rest of the gang
  • Watch out for traps, mummies, flying bats and all kinds of supernatural bad guys!



Tom & Jerry: Cheese Chase

Collect all the cheese before Tom or the other cats catch you in this action packed cartoon classic! The levels are filled with traps and obstacles that you must avoid by dodging your way past them. You can also pick up and use a variety of objects ranging from banana skins to mallets to scare off the cats.

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to use a weapon once you have picked one up.

  • The first mobile game ever featuring Tom and Jerry
  • Fast and fun gameplay
  • Beat the cats with Jerry’s cool moves!
  • Great graphics and sound
  • Includes the ability to post online scores



Tom & Jerry: Food Fight

Jerry and his nephew Nibbles need your help as they raid the fridge for tasty treats in Tom and Jerry Food Fight !

But watch out - Tom's got a few tricks up his sleeve that are sure to spell trouble for the two mischievous mice!

Control Jerry as he bounces food from the fridge into their secret stash. You'll need quick reactions and steady hands to get all the fruit, cheese and cakes into the box without dropping any. But don't worry if that sounds too tough; mixed in with the food are some power-ups that will make the job easier!

When playing the game press 4 to move Left and 6 to move Right. If your phone has a joystick or D-Pad, this can also be used for movement. Bounce all food into the basket to complete the level.

Watch out for Tom as he will throw bombs at you and be sure to collect power-ups for special features. During the bonus game press left (4) when the meter is in the left yellow section and right (6) when in the right yellow section.

  • 15 levels of fridge-raiding fun
  • Super-simple but addictive gameplay
  • Extra bonus stages help you boost your score
  • Fun power-ups including Autopilot, Time-Freeze and more!
  • Finish the game to unlock the special Endurance level



Yogi Bear: Pic-A-Panic

Yogi and Boo Boo are going to the Blue Mountain Pic-A-Nic at the centre of Jellystone Park. This action packed platform game requires you to help Yogi and Boo Boo in turn to get to Blue Mountain by collecting all the food from each part of the park. Ranger Smith is keeping a watchful eye trying to make sure no picnic baskets disappear from the park, so be careful or you’ll get caught!

Use the directional keys (2, 4, 6, 8) to move and the fire key (5) to dig holes in the ground.

  • Yogi, Boo Boo and Ranger Smith too!
  • Great graphics
  • Loads of fun levels
  • Look out for the hidden bonus level!



The VBirds

Help the VBirds maintain the dance machine's power level. To keep the power-level from dropping you must take control of your favourite VBirds sister and start performing! The dance machine allows you to chose from a funky selection of sound tracks that you can perform to. When performing you make the VBird dance by pressing the keys according to the dance machines instructions.

Each character has her own individual style and moves, its up to you to master them all!

Follow the on screen move indicators by pressing the key corresponding to the arrow icons. You can either use the directional pad (if present) or press 2 for UP, 4 for LEFT, 6 for RIGHT and 8 for DOWN. The closer to the target you get the move, the more you will score.

  • 4 VBirds girls to dance with!
  • Easy to pick up and play, instant fun!
  • Crazy visual effects and dance moves



Wacky Racers

Fasten your seat belts for some Wacky Racing fun! Speed across 6 exciting tracks in this furiously fast n' frantic racing game. Stop your rivals with crazy powerups and dodge boulders, ice and other track-side obstacles as you try to unlock new tracks and win the Wacky Races championship! Wacky Races for your mobile includes all the racers from the show, from Peter Perfect in his Turbo Terrific to the glamorous Penelope Pitstop in her pink Compact Pussycat. And of course no Wacky Races game would be complete without Dastardly and Muttley getting up to no good - as usual!

Steer your vehicle using 4 and 6
Accelerate with 2 or accelerate and steer at the same time with 1 and 3
Brake with 8
Use any powerups by pressing 5
Or use the joypad if available

  • Cool 3D-style graphics and great sound make this a must-have game
  • 6 unique tracks to race across, through mountains, desert and ice
  • All your favourite Wacky Racers including Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect, The Gruesome Twosome and of course Dick Dastardly and Muttley
  • Post your scores on the online score table to show who are the best Wacky Racers in the world!

OWN LICENSES

Check further threads, there's a limit of 50 images per post :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Fbh

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When I was in Highschool we played a TON of Playman summer games:




This one kid in my class had it on his phone and for a couple of months half my class was obsessed in trying to get the high score in every minigame.
Shit was intense.
 
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Havoc2049

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Wasnt there a Doom turn based RPG that was actually good? I would play a remake of that for sure.
I loved Wolfenstein RPG back in the day. It was more along the lines of a Return to Castle Wolfenstein RPG. It had a solid story and the setting was really cool. id also did a strait up dungeon crawler RPG called Orcs and Elves for mobile which was excellent as well.
 
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stranno

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When I was in Highschool we played a TON of Playman summer games:




This one kid in my class had it on his phone and for a couple of months half my class was obsessed in trying to get the high score in every minigame.
Shit was intense.
RealNetworks' Playman series were really great, I liked the style a lot back in the day.

I was highly obsessed as well with a World of Goo clone, also published by RealNetworks (developed by Mr. Goodliving), called Tiki Towers (aka Tropical Towers). It also had Android/iOS versions and even a weird WiiWare 3D remake. Here's the Android version.

 
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stranno

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Second part of Macrospace games, due 50 images per post limit.

OWN GAMES



Alpha Wing

After decades of warfare the intergalactic alliance is crumbling before overwhelming alien forces. As a last desperate attempt to save mankind, an Alpha Wing advanced space superiority fighter is being deployed within striking distance of the alien home world...

Your mission in this action packed shoot'em up is to locate the enemy home world, penetrate the outer defences, infiltrate the control network and destroy the central command facility. Multiple weapon types, lots of different enemies and stunning graphical surroundings makes the game one of the most captivating of its kind!

Use 2, 4, 6, 8 or the directional keys to move the ship, 5 to fire and 0 to activate the shield.

  • Fight your way through a multitude of stages
  • Collect weapons to boost your firepower and enhance your shields
  • Defeat waves of increasingly deadly adversaries
  • Destroy the alien nerve centre in a dazzling final battle



Ancient Empires

It is a dark time for King Galamar and the Kingdom of Thorin.

Galamar's twin brother Valadorn has turned against him and is on the verge of capturing the kingdom for himself.

For Galamar, it is a battle for survival as he must conquer Valadorn's evil forces to save the kingdom of Thorin. Can Galamar and his troops triumph against evil wizards, giant spiders and soldiers that make up Valadorn's fearsom Red legion?

In this epic battle between good and evil, strategy, planning and nerves of steel are essential. Create and control your army for the final battle against the dark forces of Valadorn!

Use 2, 4, 6, & 8 or the direction pad to move units.
Action key: 5
View the attack area of units: 0
View unit characteristics: 7
In-game menu/map: right soft key

  • Fantastic graphics, massive battles
  • Choose different kinds of troops and decide your own battle strategies with the easy to use interface
  • Sophisticated enemy AI makes every battle unique
  • Conquer castles, occupy villages or all-out attack - the choice is yours
  • Skirmish mode lets you challenge a friend in a 2 player battle

Official website is still available



Cannons

Take control of a World War II style cannon in this timeless arcade classic. Power-ups appear at random giving you a super-shot with a larger blast radius. Varying wind conditions make the game tricky to master even for the experienced gamer.

Use 2 and 8 or the up and down keys to adjust the angle of the cannon. Hold 5 or the fire key to select the power level and shoot. Use 2 and 4 or the left and right keys to scroll left and right.

  • Play by yourself or double the fun with a friend!
  • Several difficulty levels ranging from 'Private' to 'General'
  • Pickup power-ups to increase your blast radius



Caveman

Transport yourself back in time in this superbly fun and addictive arcade puzzle game! Help Fred the Cave Man collect all the coins from each level by pushing rocks, solving puzzles and avoiding monsters and falling rocks. Watch out for blocking your way and for hatching monsters from skull eggs.

Use 2, 4, 6, 8 or the directional keys to move the player.

  • Fun and increasingly complex levels with challenging puzzles and fast action sequences
  • Your game is automatically saved after each level
  • Countless hours of fun



Caveman Xmash Edition

Caveman X-mas edition is the action packed sequel to the original Caveman. This time Fred is stuck in a winter landscape - help him collect all the presents from each level by solving puzzles and avoiding evil gingerbread men that roam the forest, sleeping snowmen that can be woken up and falling snowballs that squash everything in their path.

Use 2, 4, 6, 8 or the directional keys to move the player. 5 invokes a mini-map of the level.

  • 15 brand new levels with trickier puzzles and more monsters
  • Saves automatically after each level for improved gaming experience
  • New cool mini-map function



CrashNBurn

Make your opponents crash and burn in this great new racing game! Play 24 races in 3 different game modes, get upgrades for your car and even win other drivers' cars. With your nitro boosters you can zoom past the opposition once you've slowed them down with oil slicks and missiles, but watch out for the trains.

Play through the championship to unlock new races in the single player mode and earn cash to upgrade your car. Then you can try and set new lap and race records to upload to the online highscore tables.

Use 4 and 6 to turn, 8 to brake and 2 to use a nitro boost. 5 to shoot a missile and 7 to put down an oil slick.

  • 24 unlockable races on 8 unique tracks
  • Championship and single race mode
  • 3 different cars and choice of colours
  • Multiple race environments including winter and night
  • Target other drivers with missiles and oil slicks. You can even shoot at trains!
  • Online sharing of your best race and lap times



CrashNBurn Turbo

Crash 'n' Burn Turbo is a petrol-soaked, powerslidin', doughnutin', 400-watt subwoofer slice of street racing.

Choose your car, personalise it, then get out there and race it! There are no prizes for second place in this game…This mobile version of the brand new console game for XBox and PS2 lets you cause carnage and extreme crashes as you burn rubber around sixteen different tracks.

You can customise one of three different brutal, snarlin' racing cars and race it through six different championships. Smash and slam your opponents and leave them trailing in a cloud of Nitro smoke!

Use 4 and 6 to turn, 8 to brake and 2, 5 to use a nitro boost.

  • Cause carnage and extreme crashes as you burn rubber around sixteen different tracks
  • Three different brutal, snarlin' racing cars to choose from
  • Six different championships to unlock
  • Customise your car with cool paintjobs
  • Smash and slam your opponents then leave them trailing in a cloud of Nitro smoke!



Detonate

Help Lt Commander Zack Masters and the Freedom Alliance destroy a Xieon Empire weapons facility guarded by evil Dr Zork and his robots in this fast action arcade game. Blast your way through levels and collect power-ups while avoiding and destroying surveillance robots. Power-ups include multiple bombs, speed, shields and range. Every few levels Zack finds himself in an Airlock guarded by Dr Zork's advanced guard robots - a duel to the death.

Use 2, 4, 6, 8 or the directional keys to move the player and 5 or the fire key to lay bombs.

  • 12 increasingly difficult levels
  • Collect power-ups, shields and bombs to help you though your mission
  • Battle multiple advanced bomb-laying guard robots guarding the airlocks!
  • Defeat Dr Zork in the final battle for the command centre



Fatal Force

Satellite data shows a metallic mass some five kilometres across has landed in Siberia after travelling from somewhere beyond our solar system. All attempts by the army to reach the area have failed: tanks, soldiers and even planes have all disappeared without trace! It seems that whatever is there doesn’t want to be disturbed…

But the extra-terrestrial invaders are in for a shock in the shape of the Fatal Force! This crack team of special soldiers are the best planet Earth has to offer. There’s Nikolai, whose brute strength and short temper make him deadly at close quarters. Alongside him is Leon – cool under pressure, with a steely glare that lets you know he means business. And last but by no means least is Jade, trained assassin and an expert with any firearm known to man. It’s your mission to help the Fatal Force battle their way to the landing site, and make the aliens wish they had stayed at home!

With bonus game modes, Bluetooth™ multiplayer, online scores and player rankings and even downloadable skirmish maps, there has never been a mobile game as brilliant as Fatal Force!

Bluetooth™ multiplayer on Java Bluetooth enabled devices: Nokia 6600, 7610, 6230

  • Revolutionary co-operative and versus Bluetooth™ multiplayer modes
  • Amazing weapons including flamethrowers, rocket launchers, lasers, grenades and much more!
  • Slow down time for your enemies when you use the bullet time power-up!
  • Play through 4 graphically stunning environments as you fight your way deep into the alien ship
  • Skirmish mode with Deathmatch, Capture the flag and Domination maps
  • The totally unique Online Battlezone lets you team up with other Fatal Force players, swap hints and tips, form your own clans and more!

Official website is still available



Dragon Island

After a thousand years of peace and prosperity, the ancient evil dormant in the fiery depths of Dragon Island has re-awoken. Demons sowing despair and destruction are moving toward the kingdom, led by an evil dragon. Fire and darkness is falling upon the world. Only a valiant warrior can stand a chance to save the kingdom. But time is short and the journey to Dragon Island is treacherous...

Take control of the axe-wielding hero in this fast and fun platform adventure game. Climb ropes, collect power-ups, jump over a wide range of enemies and monsters to make your way to Dragon Island, where you must defeat the ancient dragon and restore peace to the kingdom.

Use the left (4) and right (6) keys to run and the up (2) and down (8) keys to climb ropes. Use the fire (5) key and diagonal (1, 3) keys to jump. Use the secondary fire (0) to throw your axe.

  • Travel through a multitude of levels set in three graphically stunning islands
  • Collect more powerful weaponry, shields and power-ups along the way
  • Lots of different types of increasingly evil enemies
  • Battle the ancient dragon in a breath taking final showdown!



Goldminer

Goldminer is a fabulously fast platform classic where you help Mack the Gold Miner make his way through increasingly difficult levels by collecting all the gold while avoiding thieves. Sometimes your adversaries steal some of your gold and carry it around. Dig a hole to temporarily trap the thief to collect what is rightfully yours. Once all the gold is collected, proceed to the exit to complete each level.

Use the directional keys or 2, 4, 6, 8 to move the player and the fire key or 5 to dig holes.

  • Fast and fun platform classic
  • Automatic game save after each level
  • Demo recorder allows you analyse your game and solve difficult levels



Man. Utd. Football

Manchester United Football is THE must-have game for all soccer fans. Play as one of the great Manchester United teams from history including the 1968 European Cup winning team, the treble-winners of 1998-9, or this year's FA cup winners! You can even create your own dream team of your favourite Manchester United footballers!

Manchester United Football packs hours of fun into your mobile. Play a friendly game, try to win the football league against other teams, practice your soccer skills in the training mode or create a 'dream team' of your favourite players.

Move up, down, left, right: 2, 8, 4, 6 or direction pad
Move diagonally: 1, 3, 7, 9
Pass: 0
Kick, tackle, header: 5
Select nearest player to ball: 0

  • The first official Manchester United game for your mobile
  • Play as some of the greatest players in football history - relive all the action!
  • Play friendlies, try to win the cup in the League mode or create a dream team of your favourite players
  • Perfect your skills with the cool practice mode
Dev (Chris White) insight:

More than simply Soccer Unlimited with new graphics, this version features player stats provided by Manchester United, the ability to create a Dream Team from past and present squads and a range of other enhancements.



Pipeworks

Pipeworks is an extremely addictive and challenging arcade puzzle game combining fast fingers with strategic thinking. Build as long a water pipe as possible before the water reaches the end of the pipe using the pieces of pipe provided. Keep an eye out for the next piece in the top right hand corner and don't forget that bonus points are awarded for using both directions of a cross-pipe!

Use the directional keys or 2, 4, 6, 8 to move the pointer and the fire key or 5 to place a pipe.

  • Very addictive game play
  • Upload your high scores and compete with friends!
  • Create the largest pipe against the clock





Soccer Unlimited

The score is 1-1, and your team has a free kick on the edge of the area. With only 10 seconds left in the match, you step up to take the kick.The crowd is hushed; you can see the concentration on the goalkeeper's face.

It is all up to you - the last kick of the game. Do you have what it takes to curl the ball into the top corner and win the match?

Packed full of crunching tackles, inch-perfect 50 yard passes, diving headers and curled shots, Soccer Unlimited is footballing perfection for your pocket! Choose your favourite team or create your own with the in-game player editor - in Soccer Unlimited you decide.

There has never been a football game that packs so much onto your mobile!


Move up, down, left, right: 2, 8, 4, 6 or direction pad
Move diagonally: 1, 3, 7, 9
Pass: 0
Kick, tackle, header: 5
Select nearest player to ball: 0

  • Fast and furious gameplay
  • Tackles, headers, free kicks and set plays - just like a real game!
  • 24 teams national teams to chose from or create your own
  • Play a friendly or a full competition - there is even a practice mode that lets you polish your skills
  • Online scores let you see if you can beat the best players from around the world
Dev (Chris White) insight:

Coding this football game presented some interesting challenges. Firstly, getting 22 players to move realistically around the pitch without reducing the phone to a crawl. Secondly the whole game had to fit into 64K, including code, graphics and sound. The final game contains training, friendly, cup and penalty modes, team customisation and bonus games.

Each player has individual stats, and the teams are fully customisable - player positions can be swapped and colours changed. I recolour the graphics on the fly, to generate these kit colours. I also added weather effects, which affect ball physics.

It was a real effort to get this game to run on the low end mobile devices. I'm continually moving code and graphics to and from memory!

Goodies: Spanish Ad #1 Spanish Ad #2 Review #1 Review #2



Soccer Unlimited: Penalty Shootout

The 90 minutes is up, you've had extra time. Only penalties can decide the winner. Can you keep your cool and win, or will you crumble under the pressure?

Penalty Shootout brings all the thrills and suspense of a real soccer shootout to your mobile phone. You'll need skill and timing to beat the opposition and make sure your team finishes the champions. Penalty Shootout takes you straight into the action and will keep you coming back for more!

There are two targets on the screen. The larger target indicates where the player taking the shot is aiming. The smaller target indicates where the goalkeeper will dive.

Keys:
2 - Move target up
8 - Move target down
4 - Move target left
6 - Move target right
5 - Shoot

  • Simple controls give you pinpoint accuracy to perfect your penalty skills
  • Multiple skill levels to challenge even the best soccer experts
  • Play against different teams - beat them all to win the Cup
  • Includes the ability to post your scores online and challenge your friends!
Dev (Chris White) insight:

The purpose of this game should be pretty obvious! It's a Penalty Shootout game, released for lower end devices, which are unable to run Soccer Unlimited for various reasons.

In my opinion, most penalty games aren't actually much fun to play, due to their random nature. I hope this proves slightly more compelling - you have to align two targets to save a goal, or move your target away from the goalie when shooting.



Bombs

This ultimate challenge of fast strategic thinking requires you to uncover a field of unexploded bombs in as short time as possible. Endless fun on public transport or while in a boring meeting. Three levels of difficulty are provided to ensure the game caters for all audiences from beginners to advanced players.

Use the directional keys or 2, 4, 6, 8 to move the pointer, fire or 5 to uncover a square and 1 to flag a square.

  • Dangerously addictive game play
  • Fast and Fun
  • Timeless puzzle classic



Turtles

Test your skills of timing and precision as you take control of Mack the mouse in this simple and cute but fun arcade game for the whole family. Carry packages across a river by jumping on turtles diving for fish. In later levels a storm cloud with lightning bolts makes life even more complicated for poor Mack, and even more challenging for you!

Use the directional keys or 2, 4 to move the player.

  • Fun and simple game play
  • Stunning graphics with changing scenery depending on the time of day!
  • Seriously addictive fun for the whole family



Anakonda

Anakonda - it's like Snake on steroids!

The same eat-and-grow gameplay that you know and love - but this time it's in brilliant colour, with loads of cool new game modes and challenges.

Choose from Arcade mode, Survival, Size Battle and Versus - there is even classic mode for all those Retro fans out there!

Use the directional keys or 2, 4, 6, 8 to move the snake!

  • Choose from loads of different game modes – from Arcade to Survival, Size Battle or even Versus mode
  • Try the fun Classic mode for some retro mobile gaming!
  • Watch out for worm-holes, direction pads and other crazy hazards



Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Relive the tension of one of the most popular game shows in the world! Test your general knowledge skills as you try to reach the magic million pound question in this fantastic mobile version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'. The game includes all the features of the TV show, including 50/50, Phone A Friend and Ask The Audience. The questions are randomly drawn from a pool of hundreds of different general knowledge brain teasers, so every time you play it's a totally new challenge! It's the perfect play anywhere, anytime mobile game.

When purchasing the game from the macrospace game site you will get the UK specific game. For local versions please see your local provider.

Use the directional pad/joystick or the 2, 4, 6 and 8 keys to navigate the game screen. To answer a question, use the controls to highlight your chosen answer and press 5 or the left softkey. To use one of your lifelines, use the controls to highlight the chosen lifeline and press 5 or the left softkey to proceed.

  • The first official Java game of the hit TV quiz show
  • Test your general knowledge as you try to get to the top of the money tree!
  • Hundreds of different questions keeps the challenge fresh
  • Not sure what the answer is? Use your Lifelines just like in the real show
  • Online high scores let you show off your skills to friends and family
 
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DadEggs

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Nice thread and great knowledge! Enjoyable to browse and read. I only had snake on my nokia. Was fun seeing the mobile phone game market grow and figure itself out. for whatever reason i always stayed away from games on my later phones. I think it was because my mother oversaw my phone plan so I didnt really have control over what I bought and spending time/data/money on using the internet features. At most i think i would delve into the few games that had demos/trials. Have very vague memories of them, not enough to recall any though.

My fav phone was some black samsung one that flipped open horizontally iirc, super durable, great form imo. prob a bit small for large hands/fingers that i dont have. It had a very rounded rectangular/oval body, maybe like an inch or so thick? It was beast. Very durable.
 
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stranno

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Look who's alive! Unfortunately I don't have any MMC card right now so I cant test any Symbian game, bluetooth transfer does not seem to work with Windows 10 :messenger_face_steam:
 
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jigglet

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I remember being impressed with Lumines on my old Nokia but my expectations were incredibly low, to be fair.
 

Drew1440

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I used to play Bounce on the Nokia 6230i, plus the free downloadable games when you had access to WAP/GPRS. There was a nightclub simulator by Nokia that I liked, can't remember the name of it thought. Also Sims 2 mobile.

Then I upgraded to a Sony Ericsson K800i, which had a 3D Java darts game that blew me away (even though I had a PSP back then, seeing 3D graphics on such a small device was amazing). Also remember the Opera Mini browser, it was like having a proper desktop class browser on your phone, and eBuddy messenger for MSN.
 

stranno

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I used to play Bounce on the Nokia 6230i, plus the free downloadable games when you had access to WAP/GPRS. There was a nightclub simulator by Nokia that I liked, can't remember the name of it thought. Also Sims 2 mobile.
Probably the "Nights" series of Gameloft. There were quite a few of them: Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Miami..







My favourite Java tycoon game was THQ Wireless' Prison Tycoon, really cool game graphics wise.



iOS screenshots, of course, Java only received 240x320 version with worse graphics.
 
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stranno

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Found interesting articles written by Steve Longhurst, nothing less than the developer of Snake EX2 (the game I was playing on the 6600) and Sky Dive.

Games I’ve Coded – Sky Diver​



I enjoyed writing about Triple Pop so much, I’m going to continue straight on with the next game I coded at iomo, Sky Diver. Sky Diver was another white label game for Nokia, this time targeted initially at the 5100, but also later the 3510i. The 5100 is technically very similar to the 7210, it’s another Series 40 v1 device, but is aimed at the ‘outdoor sports’ type person. It has a rugged rubber jacket that’s splash proof and the promo material at the time showed people climbing mountains using it! A game about sky diving was ideally suited to the device.

This time, the game was entirely new, there wasn’t an existing mobile game to base things on. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice a vague similarity to Pilot Wings for the SNES!


At the time, we created designs for games in one or two pages, and it was Glenn Broadway, iomo founder and creative director who visualised the ideas. Indeed, they were mostly his initially, even if they were refinements of existing ideas or games.

Technically, creating a sky diving game for a mobile device actually turned out to be fairly straightforward. My collegue Nick Reed (an amazing programmer who later became technical director of iomo and my boss at Infospace) wrote a few lines of code that demonstrated scaling and rotation on a set of points. By rendering lines between the points it looked like flying down from a height onto an airfield. The MIDP 1.0 specification has basic line drawing methods, but Nokia added an additional API with functions beyond the standard. The early Series 40 devices didn’t have Mode 7 hardware sprite scaling and rotation, but they did have an API with 2D polygon drawing methods. My job was to take the simple idea and along with artist Cameron Kerr, more input from Glenn, and QA from Nokia, flesh it out into the game it became.

Polygon Clipping

You can probably stop reading now if you don’t care about technical details! I didn’t post any code from Triple Pop because basically there wasn’t anything generally useful. In Sky Diver however, there turned out to be an interesting problem that needed to be solved. When the points that described the ground polygons were scaled too much, as happened at low altitudes, the large values passed to the drawLine and drawPolygon methods caused them to become really slow. I imagine there wasn’t any internal clipping performed on the geometry, only pixel clipping to the current screen clip region when attempting to rasterise the line to pixels. This meant if you did drawLine (0,0,10000,10000), it look a long time!


To the rescue came the seminal Computer Graphics, Principles and Practice by Foley, van Dam, Feiner and Hughes. It goes into great detail about line and polygon clipping, and gives algorithms in Pascal or C (depending upon the edition). I wrote these Java routines directly from the algorithms in the book:

Sutherland-Hodgman Polygon Clipping in Java
Liang-Barsky Polygon Clipping in Java

To use the routines, you call them with arrays of points, and arrays to put the clipped polygon points into.

if(land_type <= Land_Runway || land_type == Land_Ground) {

c = SutherlandHodgmanPolygonClip(num_points,
poly_x,poly_y, // input verts
clip_x,clip_y, // output verts
TOP
);

if(c > 0) {
c = SutherlandHodgmanPolygonClip(c,
clip_x,clip_y, // input verts
poly_x,poly_y, // output verts
LEFT
);
if(c > 0) {

c = SutherlandHodgmanPolygonClip(c,
poly_x,poly_y, // input verts
clip_x,clip_y, // output verts
BOTTOM
);
if(c > 0) {

c = SutherlandHodgmanPolygonClip(c,
clip_x,clip_y, // input verts
poly_x,poly_y, // output verts
RIGHT
);
}
}
}

if(c > 2) {
// Draw the polygon as a series of triangles.
// Here we assume that the polygon is convex, because the triangle
// decomposition for concave polys is much more complex and probably
// more time consuming than the poor performance of fillPolygon!
for(j = 1; j < c-1; j++) {
dg.fillTriangle(poly_x[0],poly_y[0],
poly_x[j],poly_y[j],
poly_x[j+1],poly_y[j+1],
colour);
}
}

} else {

c = LiangBarskyPolygonClip(num_points, // count
poly_x,poly_y, // input verts
clip_x,clip_y); // output verts

if(c > 2) {
dg.drawPolygon(clip_x,0,clip_y,0,c,colour);
}
}
The code above picks the clipping routine to use based on the land type of the current shape being drawn, the comments for the clipping routines explain the best ways to use them. The fillPolygon and fillTriangle methods come from the Nokia DirectGraphics interface, but you could replace them with drawLine calls for wireframe rendering. If you’re looking for some clipping routines and find these useful, let me know with a comment. I might even put together a standalone J2SE demo if anyone shows any interest 🙂

SOURCE

Games I’ve Coded – Triple Pop​



Triple Pop was the first Java J2ME game I coded at iomo, back in about 2002. It was a white label game for Nokia Series 40 devices, initially the 7210, but it found it’s way onto dozens of similar devices. The 7210 was one of the first colour screen Nokia J2ME devices. Until then, they had the 3410 and 6310i with Java embedded, but these had 96×65 1 bpp screens (that’s 2 colours, black and white, or dark grey and light grey on the phone!). The 7210 had a 128×128 colour display, could run jar files that were up to 64k and had 210k of runtime heap. It’s CPU was actually pretty nippy too, maths and game logic almost never turned out to be bottlenecks, it was always the screen updating that took time. The LCD response time was pretty slow, any attempt at animation over about 10 frames per second blurred terribly.

Triple Pop was already available as a Symbian application for the Series 80 communicator range, and we got the contract to write a Java version. I had the C++ Symbian code available to refer to when writing the Java version, which helped a lot. I lifted the algorithms for the heap of bubbles collapsing and rotating directly from the Symbian code. I still had to write the Java code from scratch, but there was no need to invent everything myself.

I won’t write too much about the game play, a video is worth way more than some words to show you what it’s about.


To be honest, there’s nothing very interesting to say about the development cycle of the game. The concept was simple and an implementation already existed to set the standard, there wasn’t much need for innovation or fancy coding. Early on we didn’t have actual devices, but the emulator turned out to be a pretty accurate model for the real thing, something Nokia sadly didn’t continue in later years! The game didn’t tax the device to any great length, it ran in about 60k of memory, jar size was less than 32k in the end, and it loaded quickly. Looking back, the aspect of development that strikes me the most is the similarity with how I do things today.

My basic development tools in 2003 were SlickEdit (v4 I think then), CVS, Java v1.3, Apache Ant and an obfuscator, at the time I used JODE. Today I use SlickEdit 2009 (v14 in old numbers), Perforce, Java 6 (or 1.6 in relation to 1.3), Ant and Proguard as an obfuscator. Basically the same tools, but there’s one difference. Today I code on top of a middleware framework that is the culmination of 7 years of mobile phone development experience. When I wrote Triple Pop, it was meant for a single class of very similar devices. Today, the codebase of a J2ME title must support hundreds of devices from many manufacturers. The specifics of doing this are the subjects for another time though.

Anyone developing a commercial J2ME application or game today needs to have a framework in place that assists with device fragmentation and porting. This could be an in house system built up over time, or a middleware platform bought from a 3rd party. Triple Pop had no underlying technology of note, it was just over 5000 lines of Java code and some PNG images. Later on, we used a system of pre-processing the source code for different devices and SKUs, but this early approach only scaled so far. Further to that, as iomo was acquired by Infospace and game production really stepped up, we adopted a full featured in house framework developed by Elkware (another Infospace acquisition). Today, at FinBlade, we use Bedrock from Metismo, which allows us to target both J2ME and numerous other systems such as iPhone and Google Android, all from a single source code base.

Mobile development has moved on a lot since 2002. Soon, I hope to write about more games I’ve been involved with, if for no other reason than to have a record for myself. Going back and playing Triple Pop again to make the video above made me think ‘that’s really quite fun, it’s worth remembering’, so I have 🙂

SOURCE

Games I’ve Coded – Snake EX2​


My next game in the “Games I’ve Coded” series is Snake EX2, originally available with the Nokia 3300.


From what I remember, I’m going pretty much in chronological order of Nokia embedded ‘white label’ games at the moment. There’s one more game to go for Nokia and one more application that wasn’t a game but more of a handy utility. I wish I could find the time at the moment to write more, and I’d love to get a post in about my companies latest product as soon as it’s available and I can talk about it publicly. I’m probably going to jump around a bit then with games I’ve coded and cherry pick the good ones that will make for some interesting writing.


I’m really glad I can say I wrote a Snake game on mobile. Even today, when I tell almost anyone what I do for a living, they know what Snake is. It’s one of those milestone beacons in the mobile game industry that shines out into the wider media and public consciousness. Of course, I didn’t come up with the Snake idea, and even the code base for Snake EX2 was an iteration of the J2ME version of Snake 2, done by my then colleague Nick Slaven, but at least I can truthfully answer yes when anyone says “You do mobile phone games eh? Like Snake?”.

There nothing very technically interesting to say about the Snake code really. It consists of the usual small number of J2ME essentials, a MIDlet, Canvas, TimerTask, a game engine class and a couple of extras like a custom gauge canvas for picking the difficulty level and two classes for the sound code. The game was designed to use the (then new) Multimedia API for J2ME which was included with the 3300, but it also needed to work on phones without the MMAPI, so it had a fallback using old style Nokia ringtone audio. Total lines of code came to ~5000. As you can imagine, Snake isn’t very heavy on the resources either. 12 midi files for the audio effects and 8 differnet PNG images for the graphics, not including the title screen, were all that was needed.


One thing that I do remember is the way that the game only updated the screen where necessary each frame. These days, it’s pretty common to do a full screen refresh each frame on mobile games, but on the older devices, it was worth being careful about full screen updates. In Snake, only the head, tail and any food that popped in or out needed to be updated each frame. Doing this meant the frame rate would keep to a steady 15 fps no matter how long the snake got.


KEmulator has problems with this game: Game does not update the full screen each frame, so buffer is not cleaned properly. And items always appear in the same place, for some reason.

You might notice there isn’t a background ‘texture’ to the playing area, it’s a plain colour. We originally had a sand like background tile, but when we finally got a real device to test with, the screen quality was quite poor. It couldn’t cope with the background pattern and there was a noticeable pixel crawl that occurred, so we had to get rid of it before the game was finished.


If you search YouTube, you can find various videos of people getting massive scores on Snake games, including EX2. One even shows a nice bug where the food spawns over the snake when it’s really long and fills the screen. It doesn’t seem to crash the game or cause a problem, except for having to keep moving the snake until the food gets free before eating it! Nokia QA must have missed that one.

Games I’ve Coded – Thief Deadly Shadows​



Moving forward with the ‘Games I’ve Coded’ articles, the next big game I got my teeth into was Thief: Deadly Shadows. I’d finished off several Nokia ‘white label’ games (Adventure Race being the last), and the next project to come along was commissioned by Eidos Mobile, and based on the Thief license. At iomo, we had a good relationship with Eidos who were very forward looking with the mobile market and were one of the big console/PC publishers to get into it early.

I had actually coded a Thief licensed game for WAP devices not long after I started at iomo. This was before mobiles even had programmable JVMs in them, and we were using a Java server platform from Nokia called the Mobile Entertainment Platform (MEP). Nokia wanted some games content for their MEP system so they could sell it to operators, and we created several original titles. In conjunction with Eidos, we also created a licensed title for them. The Thief brand was more suitable to the WAP click-wait-response style of gameplay, being based on stealth, rather than the more action oriented Tomb Raider. Thief: Constantine’s Sword was a based on puzzle solving and moving around a maze, avoiding guards and traps. It would be a fun bit of digital archeology to see if I can get the code running again one day. While doing a bit of searching on the net, I even came across an old forum thread with some discussion and old marketing promo we put together.


Anyway, back to Thief, sort of! At iomo, we had already created Tomb Raider: The Osiris Codex for Java mobiles, which was part one of a three part series of Tomb Raider games. My colleague Nick Reed had coded the Tomb Raider mobile games, and I think he may even have been on part two or three by the time I started Thief. It’s amazing that the www.tombraidermobile.com web page is still active after all these years! It even says “Coming soon to your mobile. Episode 3: Tomb Raider: The Elixir of Life”. All three games were very successful in fact, and in later years at InfoSpace, we created a Tomb Raider themed puzzle game called Tomb Raider: Puzzle Paradox. Later still, just after we formed FinBlade, I coded Tomb Raider: Anniversary Mobile, taking the best bits from the first 3 games and re-skinning it with an Aztec theme. If you’re interested in details for the mobile TR games, including all of ours, the excellent Stella’s Tomb Raider Site has all you could need.

The design for Thief was a side on platform game, in the same vein as the Tomb Raider games. This was the first time I had attempted a platform game, so I spent some time looking at the Tomb Raider Mobile source. It featured a 2 plane tile engine, with maps created in a tool called Tile Studio, and a scripting system with text level description files. As part of the build process, the level files were processed into binary data for efficient interpreting at runtime.


Since the artists were familiar with Tile Studio, I also used it for the Thief level maps, but I added a third foreground tile layer that went in front of the character sprites, as you can see with the bush in the screenshot above. I also made the tiles smaller, so more detail could be shown on the levels. The Tomb Raider scripting system was only really designed to be used by a programmer. The levels were designed on paper by a designer, and the sequence of puzzles and traps described in plain English. Nick then wrote the scripts to drive the game engine.

Here’s an small bit of one of the Tomb Raider level scripts. To be fair they were quite verbose, and the syntax was simple, but they contained lots of raw numbers that only a programmer might remember, and the parser was bespoke and difficult to expand with new language features.

# initialise the level
CODE=START

# main level
addblocks=0 dim=25,19 posn=0.00,0.00
# raising block
addblocks=1 tiles=22 dim=1,1 posn=8.00,15.00 cliparea=8.00,14.00-9.00,15.00

ENDCODE

# triggers
CODE=TRIGGERS
if endtimer=0&(!flag0) RUNONCE CROUCH-SHOOT
if flag0 RUNONCE RAISEPLATFORM
ENDCODE

#scripts
SUBCODE=RAISEPLATFORM
moveblocks id=1 movedata=0-8.00,15.00-2.0-8.00,14.00 go=1
cutscene posn=8.50,14.50 time=2.0
ENDCODE
For Thief however, we had extra resources available in the shape of a lead designer, Nik Bowen, who had been hired not long before. I needed to create a scripting language suitable for a non-programmer, and a framework for testing the scripts and levels quickly, without programmer intervention.

Since my game code was in Java, it was only sensible to write the tools in Java, and I used the lexical analyser and parser generator tools JFlex and CUP to write my scripting language processor. If you went to University to study programming, you will almost certainly have taken a course on compiler design which included lexical analysis and parsing. If you’re as old as me, you might even have been taught using the UNIX tools, lex and yacc. You could also write a bespoke parser using the text file reading and string handling mechanisms of your chosen language, but there’s a reason that tools like lex and yacc exist. I think it’s universal law that anyone who blogs about programming mention the “Dragon Book” at some point, so here’s my mention. If you are going to write a parser for a language, you should read it. Although first published in 1986, it’s still relevant today, and is one of those books every self respecting career programmer should have on his bookshelf.

I learned a huge amount from actually writing a domain specific scripting language, rather than picking an existing language. It’s a difficult decision to make, write your own language, or adapt/extend a general purpose one. There was no way I was going to get a Perl, Python, Ruby or other scripting language interpreter in my game runtime. Maybe I could have used a language like Ruby as the basis for my scripting, but I still would have had to learn about how to convert the scripts into the runtime data structures that the game engine would ultimately use, since it wasn’t going to interpret them directly. Getting the chance to put into practice what I’d learned at university was an opportunity not to be missed, and I think it paid off for me.

The script processor for Thief comprised of a very simple lexer, about 100 lines of Flex input. The language definition was a bit bigger, about 700 lines of syntax notation written as the input to the CUP tool, along with 300 lines of Java code embedded in the various helper methods. The frontend of the script was about 2500 lines of Java code, with small 15 classes that defined the different language elements. It was all tied together with the actual runtime code too, with shared interfaces that defined constants and references to localisable strings shared between the scripts and the runtime. Here’s an example of some of the bits from a Thief level script.

# Level script file.
# Anything after a hash on a line is a comment.
# Case is not important.

# Positions are specified as fractional tile coordinates, relative to 0.0,0.0 being the
# very top left of the level. So, 1.5,1.5 specifies the middle of the tile at position 1,1.

# Initialise the level
code=start

# Respawn points for garrett (need to go before the level object, in order for it to reference the respawn id)

respawn id=respawn1 posn=6,7.95 anim=hide:3:right
respawn id=respawn2 posn=14,33.95 anim=hide:3:left

# Dimensions (in tiles) and tile size (in pixels)
level dim=30,43 tilesize=16 id=mission1 number=1
flags=!revealed, !complete, !failed, !shop, chapter_start
nametext=Text_mission1_name introtext=Text_mission1_prologue outrotext=Text_mission1_epilogue
chapternumber=1 chapternametext=Text_Chapter1_Name chaptertext=Text_Chapter1_Intro
respawn_id=respawn1

# Objectives for the mission

# Get Lord Juliens bag
objective id=objective1 descriptiontext=Text_mission1_objective1 flags=active, !complete, !failed

# Garret's start position
character type=garrett id=garrett posn=6,7.95 anim=idle:0:right

# Items
item type=silver_gem posn=1,7.95 flags=!infront,loot

# other characters

# innkeeper should patrol left and right and will need to be pick-pocketed to retrieve the key. A water arrow can also be used to extinguish the torch in this room
item type=jade_gem id=innkeeper_gem posn=0,0 flags=hidden,infront,loot
character type=civilian id=innkeeper
posn=24,16.95
anim=walk:0:left
pocket_id=innkeeper_gem
action=patrolling_left
end0=left:25,16 end1=right:19,16 look=6 stand=15
flags=afraid_of_garrett

# Doors for travelling between areas
# Note the 'room' property. This designates which room (on the map) this door goes *TO*. When this door is looked though,
# that room will be revealed on the in game map
door posn=26, 7:27,7 id=door_A1 to_id=door_A2 flags=locked pick=3:l,r,d room=2

code=triggers

# This displays the name of the mission at the very start
trigger action_id=mission_name when
(test_posn character id=garrett posn=6,7)
endtrigger

# Cutscene triggers

trigger action_id=hiding_info when
(test_posn character id=garrett posn=13,7)
and (test_flags level id=mission1 flags=tutorial)
endtrigger

# Actions that are run by triggers

code=actions

# Mission name
action id=mission_name
cutscene camera_id=garrett camera_move=pan texts=Text_mission1_name texttype=instruction
endaction
It may look complicated, but it essentially boils down to a number of integer arrays that the game engine processes at runtime. What’s important though is that all the elements in those arrays are defined outside the code. The data controls the objects that appear on the levels (all the torches Garrett can put out with his water arrows, guards, other characters, switches, locks, chests, loot, you name it), how they interact (you could unlock a chest to trigger a cutscene that moved the camera to a part of the level to show you where a door was unlocked, etc.), and all the meta elements of the game like the requirements for completing the level. With all this in place, all I had to provide to the level designer was an automated build process that took a level script file, the level tile map data created in Tile Studio, and packaged it into a bundle that could be run in the game simulator. I think at the time we were using one of the Nokia J2ME SDK Simulators, I think it looked like the 3600.


Nik did an awesome job in scripting the 16 levels of the final game. It was released in 2 Episodes, with 8 levels in each. There were all sorts of cunning elements, like having to put out a fire in a fireplace using a water arrow to reveal a hidden door to a section of a level. We put in a section between the levels where Garrett had to run over the rooftops to a fence to sell his loot, and buy more supplies to the next level. The game was also ported widely by the Infospace porting team with versions as small as 64k and in Chinese. It may not have been as flashy as some of the Gameloft platform games that were appearing at the time, I’m pretty proud of how it turned out.

Here’s a gameplay video of the first level, to the point of selling your loot at the Fence. Most of the art assets (sprites, tiles and graphics) were created by Jon Davies, now of Megadev, and Marvin Hill, art director at Infospace, so credit to them too.

SOURCE
 
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stranno

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MMC has arrived and this bad boy is surfing Symbian again.


I thought speed would be higher, but seems like Rail Rider Symbian version is barely ~10 frames per second. At least is an improvement over the 3 frames per second of the Java version.
 

stranno

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I am sorry for the lack of updates, I want to continue this, but I have had some busy months. Some news:



bin/cat/ has been working on a BREW emulator called Melange. It is not exactly an "emulator", since it does most of the stuff natively on Android, it more like Wine on Linux. It can already boot BREW games without OpenGL support, like Doom RPG. Unfortunately it does not support touch, so OTG keyboard is mandatory, or sound, since BREW audio containers are not well documented (audio formats are already implemented in FFMPEG, that's not the problem).



Bent and Nikita have been working on EKA2L1 and it already has much better support for all Symbian versions, including N-Gage and N-Gage Service, most games should work perfectly fine and there have been some boost in performance and stability. The final incarnation of Symbian (9.5, so called ^3 series, later Belle and Anna) is coming to EKA2L1 on December. That would complete the Symbian support on EKA2L1, from Symbian 6.1 to Symbian Anna.


I have finished Call of Duty on N-Gage. The obscure OmegaSoft port to N-Gage of the original Infinity Ward masterpiece. It is quite an achievement of a port, since it features most of the key levels of the original Call of Duty. The biggest problem is, of course, the performance, it ran at ~7 frames per second on the original hardware. Curiously enough, the beta 1.2 of the game has more content (unlocked DLC) and performs better than the retail game :messenger_hushed: Using EKA2L1 you can boost the performance to ~30 frames per second for an stupidly smooth experience (animations are still locked to the original framerate, so it is a bit weird to look at).
 
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stranno

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A BREW prototype of NFS: Underground 2 was leaked (probably by the developer) months ago and it is playable on Windows, but it is barely a technical demo and it crashes a lot.



AFAIK, it was basically a mod of Need for Speed: High Stakes for Playstation. London based studio Ideaworks3D did some Playstation ports to Symbian, BREW and even iOS. They recompiled the C code to ARM, patched the Playstation bios calls and made a GPU software renderer called Paella. Pandemonium, Tomb Raider and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater on N-Gage are straight ports of Playstation as well.
 
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Synless

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There was a Metal Gear game I used to play on android from the Verizon store. It was full 3D, pretty decent for back then. I feel like im one of very few who got the chance to play it.
 

stranno

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There was a Metal Gear game I used to play on android from the Verizon store. It was full 3D, pretty decent for back then. I feel like im one of very few who got the chance to play it.
Ac!d series probably. IIRC both had 2D and 3D versions, maybe even Mascot Capsule 3D versions of the 3D games, not sure. Not my kind of games tbh. It works perfectly fine on J2ME-Loader, if you want to play it again.





Verizon store was really weird. It had an uber-obscure English localization of the BREW game (developed by Ideaworks3D) Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode. Clever name, since it is quite probably lost forever. There's not even a gameplay of that version on internet (the Japanese version longplay was uploaded to Nico Nico like a decade ago, and mirrored countless times on Youtube).
 
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stranno

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The witcher crimson trail is stll the only game in the series I've played lol
Is that even official? Looks like a cheap God of War: Betrayal mod.

I love how they put the N95 in the thumbnail, when it was probably one of the worst Java ME phones ever sold. The Java ME support on Nokia phones was light years behind Sony Ericsson (since Symbian was the Nokia thing).

The best all-around Java ME phone of all time was the Sony Ericsson K800i. There were some more powerful devices in the W series, even with native Mascot Capsule 3D support, but K800i usually had the best versions of the games.
 
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Synless

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Ac!d series probably. IIRC both had 2D and 3D versions, maybe even Mascot Capsule 3D versions of the 3D games, not sure. Not my kind of games tbh. Ir works perfectly fine on J2ME-Loader, if you want to play it again.





Verizon store was really weird. It had an uber-obscure English localization of the BREW game (developed by Ideaworks3D) Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode. Clever name, since it is quite probably lost forever.
I hadn’t seen that one. I found the one I was talking about. It was called Metal Gear Solid Mobile and was a sequel after MGS2. Here is some info on it. Mgs mobile
 

stranno

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I hadn’t seen that one. I found the one I was talking about. It was called Metal Gear Solid Mobile and was a sequel after MGS2. Here is some info on it. Mgs mobile
Oh, for some reason I thought you were talking about Java. Yeah, I know Metal Gear Solid Mobile, in fact, I uploaded the first playthrough of the game to Youtube back in 2013.


Nowadays it is perfectly playable on EKA2L1.


But, tbh, I don't know how you played it on Android. It has been emulated for the first time ever recently (months ago) and it only came out on N-Gage (Service). Edit: Well, according to that Wiki there's a Verizon (BREW) version. I would make sense, since it was an Ideaworks3D game and they worked with Symbian and BREW, but that surprises me A LOT. Now I want to see that version.
 
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Synless

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Oh, for some reason I thought you were talking about Java. Yeah, I know Metal Gear Solid Mobile, in fact, I uploaded the first playthrough of the game to Youtube back in 2013.


Nowadays it is perfectly playable on EKA2L1.


But, tbh, I don't know how you played it on Android. It has been emulated for the first time ever recently (months ago) and it only came out on N-Gage (Service). Edit: Well, according to that Wiki there's a Verizon (BREW) version. I would make sense, since it was an Ideaworks3D game and they worked with Symbian and BREW, but that surprises me A LOT. Now I want to see that version.
Yeah, I played it on this phone.