KEELE, Staffordshire, UK & Seattle, WA, USA – March 19th, 2008 Astraware(R) and PopCap Games(R) are very excited to announce a major update to PopCap’s best-selling, flagship game, Bejeweled(R) 2.
In version 1.30, Bejeweled 2 adds much-requested support for 240×240 square screen Windows Mobile(R) devices such as Palm(R) TreoTM smartphones and includes support for 320×320 Windows Mobile Professional and Classic devices such as Samsung’s SGH-i780 smartphone.
This update also sees the very first release on Windows Mobile(R) Standard devices. Bejeweled 2, version 1.30, supports 240×320 and 320×240 resolution non-touchscreen devices including the HTC S710, HTC StrTrk, Samsung Blackjack & Blackjack II, and Motorola Q and Q9.
The game has been brought fully up-to-date on Astraware’s current games framework and controls have been optimized for play with either 5-way or stylus. Bejeweled 2 is recognised by both public and media as the must-have puzzle game for your Palm OS(R) or Windows Mobile(R) device, and this update supports an even wider range of devices than ever before!
Bejeweled 2, version 1.30, is a completely FREE update for registered users. Players who haven’t yet experienced this award-winning classic can purchase a copy, priced $19.95, from the Astraware website: http://www.astraware.com/bejeweled2.
I have posted a review of the latest Astraware and Sandlot Games colaborative project, Westward over at 1SRC.com.
Astraware Westward is an adoption of the game of the same name from Sandlot Games. Westward is a family oriented strategy game for mobile devices. The object of Westward to is shepherd a small band of settlers with a few covered wagons into a bustling town full of colorful citizens while bringing the swindling “Mad Russian” to justice.
Go West Young Man
Learning to play Westward is easy. The first time you start up the game, Tutorial Teacher helps you along as you find your way through the first few game levels. There is also a built-in help system that describes the various game control elements if you are in need of a review when the Tutorial Teacher isn’t around. Learning the rules and game control elements only takes a few minutes. In the mobile edition of Westward, Astraware gives your preference to control the action with either the device’s directional pad (d-pad) or the stylus. While playing Westward, I found that the d-pad was acceptable for most tasks, but when I wanted to select a group of things, like the Sheriff Jenkins and his deputies, the stylus was easier to use.
Astraware has added Texas Hold ‘Em no Limit Poker to their popular casino game for Palm OS and Windows Mobile. This is the second time that Astraware has answered the call from their customers to add new casino games to the mix.
Update to Astraware Casino adds Texas Hold ‘Em No Limit Poker
KEELE, Staffordshire, UK – March 12th 2008 – Astraware(R) is excited to announce a new update to Astraware Casino.
In response to customer requests, Astraware Casino version 1.20, now includes Texas Hold ‘Em No Limit Poker, which allows players to bet the pot or even go all-in when they have that winning hand! Unlike a real casino, if you do bet the lot and lose, Astraware Casino will allow you to visit the Bank and carry on playing. There’s even a fun ‘Souvenir’ trophy for a big loss!
Alongside Texas Hold ‘Em No Limit Poker, Astraware Casino also includes Slots, Blackjack, Video Derby, Craps, Roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em Limit Poker, Baccarat, Video Poker, Video Keno, and Three Card Poker. The game gives players $1000 in their virtual wallet to begin playing with, and includes a fun trophy system with the ‘Souvenir Suitcase’, which marks achievements in each of the games.
Astraware Casino 1.20 is a completely FREE upgrade to registered users. The game is available for Palm OS(R) smartphones and PDAs running OS5 and above, and for Windows Mobile(R) Classic, Professional and Standard devices running Windows Mobile(R) 2003 and later.
For more details on Astraware Casino…
I have really come to rely on my Treo to make it through the day. I use my Treo 755p from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to bed at night. I use my Treo for everything. From email to scheduling my day, from contacts to web browsing, for news and information, and even an occasional game from Astraware.
The only draw back about my Treo 755p that I don’t like (having come from a Treo 700p) is that I just can’t get a full day’s use out of the 755p. To help feed my mobile computing appetite, I’ve just purchased the OEM-sized extended life battery from Seidio. The Seidio battery provides 2200mAh of battery power to the Treo, which is an additional 600mAh over the stock 1600mAh battery.
The thing that I like about this particular battery over others is that it is an extended life battery with the same footprint as the stock Palm battery. I really dislike extended life batteries that are double the stock battery size and require you to use a new back plate and that add heft to the device. It is also a nice touch that Seidio also includes a replacement battery cover for the off chance that the replacement battery turns out to be a really tight fit for the stock Treo back plate.
The 22oomAh OEM sized extended life battery for use with the Palm Treo 755p sells for $60 at the Seidio Online store.
I’ve posted this week’s 1SRC editorial; “Adios, Motricity.”
“After making a mess of one of the best mobile software portals, Motricity retreats to the west coast and dumps consumers for content and service providers.
Motrcity has decided to leave their direct to consumer businesses behind as they move to the west coast and engage in business with content providers, mobile operators, and businesses willing to contract with the company to deliver mobile “portals, storefronts, managed web and search,…[and] messaging gateway services”. (Read the press release)
In addition to ruining 2008 for the 250 employees who are getting laid off, Motricity decided that it would be a great idea to ruin the best online Palm software store, PalmGear.com, by rolling it up into the “revamped” PocketGear.com as a going away present. To add insult to injury, Motricity is looking to sell the PocketGear.com unit. I’m left wondering if it was even worth rolling the two sites together at all.
Looking back in hindsight, it makes perfect sense for Motricity to have consolidated their direct to consumer software online stores, PalmGear and PocketGear. Knowing that they were going to sell off the “non-profitable and non-core businesses”, rolling Palm and PocketGear into a single online store would make it more attractive to any company interested in buying the property. Unfortunately for whoever the new owner is, they will see that their work has been cut out for them. The repackaging of PocketGear.com has hurt the online retailer.
The roll up effort to migrate PalmGear.com into PockerGear wasn’t executed well. Much of the freeware and shareware applications had disappeared for some weeks. During that transition period, I was really turned off by entire user experience. In addition to not being able to find the software that I was looking for, as a Mac OS X user, I found the new site deign difficult to use. To this day, the drop down menus for device or mobile operating system selection still don’t work with FireFox 2.x. (During the transition, to Morticity’s credit, I never lost access to the software and registration codes I purchased from the PalmGear site.) Several months after the change over, the Palm OS software library is being represented on the site. Alexander Pruss’ FontSmoother is featured on the main page of the site. Great shareware applications like Tyler Faux’s LudusP are also once again available. And the popular freeware Palm OS file manager, FileZ, from NoSleep Software is available along with some 200+ freeware titles. However, are these efforts by Motricity to try and clean up PocketGear a bit too late?”
Keep reading on 1SRC.com…
Earlier this week, Brighthand’s Ed Hardy published a story on Asus’ announcement of the new Eee PC 900.
There are a few things that I find appealing about this device. First is the 9-inch (OK, the 8.9-inch ) display. And like the ill-fated Palm Foleo, the Eee PC 900 will run that display at a 1024×600 screen resolution. The current model Eee PCs have a 7-inch display and run at a lower screen resolution.
Another nice improvement is in the memory category. According to the Brighthand article, the Eee PC 900 will be configurable with up to 1GB of memory and up to 12GB of storage space. The article makes no mention of what type of storage the 12GB will be, however my guess is it will be flash memory, rather than a micro hard drive which have larger storage capacities.
The bad news, according to the article, is that there was no mention as to when customers in the United States might be able to get their hands on the larger unit or how much it will cost for the privilege of owning one.
As I mentioned recently on FoleoFanatics and 1SRC, without a new Foleo on horizon, I may have to break down and get a solution from another vendor. The Eee PC is attractive because of the low cost of the existing solutions. However, the HP Compaq 2133 has the name recognition behind it that could take the unit mainstream. From a design standpoint, I like the look of the Compaq better than the Eee PC, but I’m willing to admit that photos on the Internet are no substitute for actually playing with the device to see how it feels.
I’ll have to keep an eye on the future developments in the sub-notebook segment an vote with my dollars later this year as to which device will get to play second fiddle to my Treo.