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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Round the RIM. With Happy Hippos.

Because we really didn't look into it with any depth last time, (just outlined specs and a fantasy phone) we'll be putting in a full on review of our Quackberry Torch.  But first here is an update.

We gave you a full review of german chocolate and GBC game Das Geheimnis der Happy Hippo insel about 2 years back and despite adding this to the untranslated list over at Datacrystal we never thought that this would actually get a release.   This along with FDS Monty On The Run is possibly the most unlikeliest of Romhacks being as it is a translation from German to English and the second game I've actually requested being translated.

So far, what we've played of it, it seems pretty good.  You can get the patch here and read a bit of a review about it.  Now how about doing Snoopy Hajimete No Otsukai next...

Blackberry Torch: a review.

Forgive me if we covered bits of this in our fantasy fone piece but we'll be talking a little about our Blackberry Torch and how it fits in with other smartphones. 

First up is appearance.

Yup it looks nice.  You have an 8cm x 5cm touch screen, complete with 4 buttons and a  middle button that is a sort of analogue pad, (you press it and an arrow comes up simulating a mouse contact).  Its also black which means its a fingerprint magnet, and the touch screen while nice is aggravating, due to it triggering everytime you touch it intentionally and you really have to jab it when you want to trigger anything that you want to touch.


Comes with 7.0 version of Blackberry software and the usual Youtube / Facebook apps and stuff.  We have a mobile site to do our work with and its not that bad surfing.  Though you really do have to wonder about surfing the net on a tiny screen.  They give you a link to the Blackberry app store and of course BBM which we haven't set up.  We do have email and that, which isn't too bad.  Though Blackberry isn't so bad,
looking through the apps on the store reminds me of gaming back in the 80's lots of clones of popular ideas and lots of stuff that isn't free. 


We have two. First up is Brickbreaker an Arkanoid clone that looks like it was made in AMOS and handles like a pig on acid due to the janky touchscreen.  Though it has a one more go feel, sort of like Angry Birds, its a lets clear this level and get it over and done with, which is distinct from actual one more go, genuine gameplay as you can get.

The other is Wordmole. Which thankfully is excellent.  You have a grid of letters and have to make words to beat a time limit.  You can play through seasons and clearing a season gets you a sort of whack a vegetable (ironic seeing as the Wordmole himself is highly remedial looking, maybe he works for remploy) minigame.
The only downside is the highly suspect american English word list that won't recognise recognised words, we've lost games due to it baulking at regular words such as nib, nappy and maths.  Having said that its not bad at all.

Looking on the app store we see that £2 is the recommeded pricing point and maybe more (£5 for Gold miner) and due to it being on blackberry, its the gaming equivalent of a BBC model B, a nice idea but no one does any games for it.

Blackberry Desktop.

A semi servicable iTunes equivalent, it does sometimes want to sync your phone so it can slurp music and Photos, 9 times out of 10 it'll say connection sync failed and be a cunt about it.  It'll also auto import your music library a la iTunes but not your Pics and stuff.  Oh and is a real cunt about video files requiring only select MP4 files and  not having any free conversion tools out there to do it either.
Black marks there.

Overall.  If you can afford an Iphone or Android device then buy one of those they are better.   44%

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