Give Mobile Gaming A Try Before You Buy

Sun Herald

Sunday July 13, 2008

Eliot Fish

N-GAGE MOBILE GAMES SERVICE

Platform Phone models N81, N82, N95, N93i, N93, N73

From Nokia

Rating N/A

Price $4-$16 each game

MOBILE phone technology has improved to the point where your humble handset has become a viable gaming platform. One of the leaders in the push to make mobile gaming more commonplace is Nokia.

Their clunky phone-gaming hybrid device, the N-Gage, may not have taken off back in 2003, but a newly released N-Gage application can now be installed on a variety of different Nokia phones for use with the new N-Gage mobile games service.

This virtual store allows you to browse and sample games in demonstration form on your phone before purchase. The application also provides a user profile that tracks your scores (similar to the Xbox Gamercard system), as well as a friend's list so you can easily tee up multiplayer games. The current catalogue spans classics like Tetris, The Sims and FIFA Football, with games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Metal Gear Solid Mobile on the way.

While there's no denying the software has evolved, actual mobile phone hardware still isn't very gamer-friendly.

The N81 has a few dedicated gaming buttons so you can hold the phone horizontally, but responsiveness still leaves a bit to be desired. At least you can now try before you buy.

EF

© 2008 Sun Herald

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