If you’ve watched and/or checked out our unboxing of the Nokia Asha 202, you probably know that we’ve actually been asked to review some apps for the Series 40 platform that the device is running on. (Some people call it the Symbian S40, and is probably much easier understood that way.) For these purposes we’ve decked out our Asha with a few games from the EA lineup – which, incidentally, is free for 60 days whenever you purchase an S40 device. Needless to say, we took that advantage and downloaded some classics like Tetris, Bejeweled, and Cluedo – all normally selling for a PHP 50 regular price. (Billed to your Plan or Prepaid load.) To round our cast of review apps, we’ve also picked up a free (ad supporte) game called Adventure of Ted 2, and a utility weather app (Made in The Philippines!) called iTyphoon. Hop on over the jump to check out the reviews!
TETRIS (PHP 50) – EA Games
Did you know that phones with physical keypads still exist today (like the Asha 202) because it’s the best way to play Tetris without fiddling with touchscreen controls? (True story, bro!) Well no, not really. But the fact is, people still love real physical tactile buttons and Tetris is always best enjoyed with real buttons for precise control. Thankfully, the Tetris game by EA brings the classic Tetris gameplay and keeps it intact for a new generation of Touch & Type devices. Of course, if you’ve somehow been living under a rock for all your life and haven’t played the game, its easy enough to pick up and you should be lining up blocks in no time. Your prerequisite modes are all there, and you should be able to find some replayability in its casual “beat my high score” kind of gameplay.
For a Tetris game, graphics and sound are pretty much what you would expect. The interface is colorful enough and spiffy, albeit running on touch controls until you get into a game. Controls are spot on and thankfully keypad control is there without needing to play on the touchscreen-based buttons (which are still present). You will definitely like the remixed version of the classic Tetris tune though, which unfortunately isn’t the same music while in-game. We’d also like to have had some sound effects as its been purely music so far. Overall, if you’re getting this game for free, we’d easily recommend it. For PHP 50 though, we’d check out the apps below first.
BEJEWELED (PHP 50) – EA Games
The classic jewel matching game has been pretty much faithfully translated into the smaller S40 screen with Bejeweled for Symbian S40. If you haven’t played the game yet, you’re both a.) not missing too much and b.) didn’t pick a bad platform to experience it in. Bejeweled is basically a color matching game where random gems drop from the top of the screen and you can swap two gems vertically or horizontally to make a line of 3 or more gems. They would then disappear and anything above them would drop to possibly build more matches. While it may seem simple, the game has captured the time and imagination of a ton of casual and core gamers alike – and it will probably capture yours as well. You’ll more likely play this game during short downtimes in your commute or while waiting for your friends.
The graphics and sound category are covered quite well and should prove to be appealing to all of its target users – though we’d like to have some more animation whenever we make a match. Controls are solid though it may be a little more methodical in its response – fast paced users may need to slow down a little, particularly if you’re playing with two hands. Overall, its one of the must have games for any S40 system. Grab one either from the free EA games promo or PHP 50.
Classic Bejeweled Gameplay (Normal & Time Trial) Good graphics and sound Can be controlled through the physical keypad (better control too) Potentially free for new S40 owners Doesn’t need to be connected online to play Infinite replayability
Slightly methodical response speed Not enough animations Not enough for hardcore gamers
CLUEDO (PHP 50) – EA Games
One of the larger games from the (limited-time) free EA catalog is the adapted boardgame Cluedo. The Symbian S40 version gives you a touchscreen-based game that attempts to replicate the adventures of a murder-mystery detective (you’re actually a reporter though) where you interview suspects, search for clues, and find out the killer at the end of the day. None of the clues will ever lead you astray, but most of the time you’ll need to combine two of them together to figure out who had which weapon, who the suspect was, or where the crime was committed. The beauty of the game lies in its puzzle solving / deduction gameplay that sort of reminds us of Sudoku except in word clues. (Don’t worry though: its not math, just logic.) The game in itself captures the imagination and suspense of a mystery novel and budding Sherlock-holmes / CSI-types would find it fun to play. There’s 10 cases in the main campaign with increasing difficulty, but the best part is that it retains the randomness of the board game by varying the suspects, clues, locations, and weapons each time – promising a unique playthrough every game.
Graphics and sound would admittedly be one of the best out there for games in the Symbian S40 lineup – with adventure-game style point & click graphics. The backgrounds are well crafted; the characters well drawn; and even the menus, animations, sound and music all come together in a great package. The controls, however, require a precision finger(nail) to tap and interact with some of the smallest touchscreen buttons we’ve ever seen. Its so small that we’ve decided to play the game with a stylus to tap the right buttons without getting frustrated – we suggest you do the same. Despite that minor niggle, this is one of the best games you could have on your new S40 device.
Great graphics and sound Murder-mystery adventure style gameplay is properly fit for S40 Potentially free for new S40 users Doesn’t require online connectivity Lots of replayability
Controls are difficult without a pointed fingernail or stylus No option for keypad controls
ITYPHOON (Free) – Nueca, Inc.
iTyphoon is a Filipino-sourced weather information app that can possibly keep you up to date on specific Low Pressure Areas, Typhoons, afflicted areas, and other related information about our precipitation. The main screen features a quick summary on the weather forecast, while it also has a map area to see potential routes of typhoons that might be coming into the country. Unfortunately, at the time of its use the forecast didn’t seem to have made any mention of any rain activity – a fact that we can definitely say is inaccurate since we’ve been experiencing heavy rains sporadically for the past few days.
The app will ask you for a connection to the internet to download its data so you should be prepared for any data charges that may occur. (The app itself is free though.) We like the Mayon Volcano + Carabao on the main screen and the map screen looks great (probably sourced from Google). Sounds are of course, nonexistent and the touch controls work decent but some parts can take a little longer to load. It’s a large file too – clocking in at 1.4MB. Not bad for a weather app, but we’re not sure of its accuracy just yet.
ADVENTURE OF TED 2 (Free) – DreamGamez
Adventure of Ted 2 is pretty much a Mario clone without most of the good things that make Mario a great game. That may sound a little harsh, but that’s because you can tell the developer/s didn’t even take the time to make their own assets (graphics) for most of the game. There’s 8 worlds to play through, but they’re all just one level each so its really only 8 levels. Controls are rather floaty too, even though you control Ted through the phone’s keypad (left, right, jump). There’s no fireball here, or pipes you can duck into. (Though they have the same Mario pipe art assets.) The goal is just to navigate the horizontal platformer until the end of each level. After playing through it once, we doubt you’ll play it again.
Graphically, it works on its own, though it doesn’t pull anything special or amazing. The art assets are rather lacking in imagination or effort like they were done in MS Paint, and the sound is basically a looping 10-second song each level. Though admittedly the worst part about this game is that it shoehorns ad support whenever you launch it. So much so that you can’t play the game offline. When you start the game, it asks you a bunch of times to allow it to connect to data and all that. This is for downloading an ad for you to skip, then stays connected the whole time you’re playing. You’ll also get the ads in between some menu options and before you quit the game. Overall, unless you have a very lenient data plan on your SIM, it don’t recommend playing Adventure of Ted 2. (It is free though.)
Alright, there you go! 5 apps for you to check out on your Asha 202 or Series 40 phones. Keep in mind that EA will hook you up with 40 games for free (including Monopoly, Need for Speed, etc.) if you’re about to buy or recently bought one of Nokia’s devices. Most of them were pretty good too, but they weren’t in our list of review apps. Either way, hopefully we’ve covered some good bases in our list here – from paid apps (potentially free), to a free utility app, and technically-speaking, a free game. If you’re interested in checking out these apps or others like it, do drop by Nokia’s online Ovi Store here. Happy downloading!
Alex likes doges and wowes. Much bio.
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