• astraware

    Astraware Platypus Review

    Platypus is the latest game from the creative minds at Astraware and Idigicon. In this side-scrolling shooter you take to the skies in your F-27 “Platypus” fighter to defend the peaceful Mungola from the invading Collosotropolan Battle Fleet.

    Game Play

    Platypus is an adaptation of the popular game of the same name from Idigicon for Windows to the Palm OS and Windows Mobile platforms. Astraware has created a faithful representation of Platypus for the small screen providing you with pulse pounding excitement anywhere you happen to be. The game has three levels of difficulty (easy, medium, and hard). First timers will want to begin game play on the easy game mode until they get the hang of the game.

    You control your Platypus with the stylus by default. If your handheld PDA or smartphone has a 5-way nav pad, you can optionally use it to control your ship. The game also has two modes for firing at your enemies: autofire on and off. I tried playing the game with and without the default settings, and I found that game play was easer with the default settings. Trying to move your fighter around the screen and shooting at the same time with a 5-way nav pad like those found on devices from Palm turned out to be just a bit too difficult. When dog fighting in the skies over Mungola, you will be able to destroy most enemy aircraft with a single shot. Keep a watchful eye out for larger enemy ships as they will require multiple hits to destroy them.

    Platypus is made up of over 20 playable levels or missions that are broken up into 4 worlds, referred to in the game as stages. Once you have completed a stage, the next time you play the game, you are allowed to jump over previously played stages if you chose. You score points by shooting down enemy aircraft and demolishing ground vehicles. Extra points are awarded for destroying other targets of opportunity like buildings and airborne obstacles. Destroying enemy ships often releases bonuses and power ups. Falling fruit (cherries, grapes, and bananas) will give you extra points and floating stars will add power-ups to your ship. Power-ups only last for a few seconds, however you can do a lot of damage with rapid fire mode, scatter shot mode, and my personal favorite, the heat seeking missiles power-ups. Just fly your Platypus over the fruit or stars while they are on screen to pick up the goodies they offer. Just be careful when the shooting starts. If you are not paying close attention, you might try to pick up a cherry only to realize at the last second that it is really a bullet from an enemy fighter.

    I tested Platypus on a Palm TX, Palm Treo 755p, and Treo 750. In all cases the game played well with no noticeable differences in game play.

    Graphics & Sounds

    One of the unique elements of Platypus is that the game’s graphical design elements have been created out of modeling clay that was later colorized on a computer. The use of clay models gives the game a very organic feel to it. When ships, vehicles, or objects are destroyed, they don’t just blow up, they burst in a squishy, splattering explosion! With all of the messy shoot-em-up action taking place in the foreground, it is almost too easy to miss the graphics in the background that make up the game’s landscape. Trees, buildings, hills, and the sky are also beautifully crafted. You will want to crash you Platypus a few time just so you can look at all of the other graphical objects on the screen.

    The sound effects in Platypus are also well done. Laser bolts sound like laser bolts and enemy craft erupt with a satisfying plop while ground transports explode with a resounding ba-boom! The background music that is used in Platypus is a retro throw back to the mid-1980s, when side scrolling action games dominated computer screens of the day. While playing, I found the default music level to be too loud. Lowering it to the first level (out of three) was better. If I’m playing in an area where there are a lot of people around, I just turn the music off and set the sound effects volume to a lower setting.


    Platypus is a perfect mix of modern action game with deep roots in the classic slide-scrolling shooters from yesteryear. The game is easily picked up by both casual gamers and fans of action games. The replay value of the game is high because of the messy fun when things go “splat!” as they explode. In short, Platypus is an entertaining game that will keep players glued to their handhelds for hours! If you enjoyed Astraware Zap 2000, then you will want to add Platypus to your software library. Not since Bejeweled have I spent this much time playing a game on my Palm Treo.

    Buying Information

    Platypus is available today directly from the Astraware website for $19.95 and runs on recent Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs. Astraware is working on releasing future versions of Platypus for the Symbian S60 and UIQ platforms.

    For more details, visit the Astraware website at http://www.astraware.com/platypus.

  • astraware

    Club Astraware offers for May 2008

    The Club Astraware Member-only discount offer for May 2008 is Golden Skull for just $9.95, that’s a huge saving of $10 off the regular price!

    Golden Skull is a puzzle adventure game that will take you on an unforgettable journey through undiscovered Mayan pyramids and long forgotten ruins.

    Featuring amazing graphics, and an entertaining story mode, Golden Skull delivers challenging gameplay with unbelievable production value. It’s a puzzle adventure game the whole family will enjoy.

    There are 3 double points offers in Club Astraware this month, so members can build up their points even quicker and get even bigger discounts on games in the future! The games offering double points this month are Text Twist, Platypus, and Astraware Boardgames. Simply buy any of these games at full price and get twice the regular number of points! For example: buy a game for $19.95 and you’ll get almost $4 worth of points to use against your next purchase!

    These offers are only available in Club Astraware until the end of May 2008. To get your hands on them simply join or login to Club Astraware at http://www.astraware.com/club. It’s quick to join and completely free too!

    Readers of Foleo Fanatics and listeners of my weekly 1SRC.com podcast know that I’m a huge fan of Astraware’s games. Joining Club Astraware is a great way to pick up some outstanding games for your favorite Palm OS or Windows Mobile smartphone or PDA handheld.

  • astraware

    Astraware Releases Platyus

    KEELE, Staffordshire, & DONCASTER, S. Yorkshire UK – April 16th, 2008 – Astraware(R) and Idigicon are excited to announce the release of Platypus – the squishiest shoot-em-up ever – for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs.

    Based on the cult classic for PC and Mac, Platypus is a fast, frantic and fun side-scrolling arcade shooter with a difference – the entire game is made from clay! The vast continent-spanning city of Collosatropolis has finally reached the limits of its expansion, and tall buildings cover every available space. The Collosotropolan leaders have decided the simplest solution is to invade the neighbouring country of Mungola. They don’t anticipate much of a struggle – Mungolans are simple, earthy types without much love for industry. In fact, Mungola’s entire defence force consists of a single squadron of fighter planes – the venerable F-27 ‘Platypus’.

    Your mission is to pilot your trusty Platypus and save peaceful Mungola! Fly across the squashy fields and trees, avoid the snowy mountains and protect your planet. Shoot down the enemy ships and marvel as they disappear in a splat! Collect fruit bonuses and a range of power-ups to aid you in your quest!

    Platypus is a fantastic, fun arcade game featuring 4 massive worlds each with several challenging levels. It’s the perfect casual game for arcade gamers and the perfect arcade game for casual gamers!

    Platypus is optimised for play with 5-way or stylus and is available for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs, priced $19.95, from the Astraware website: http://www.astraware.com/platypus.

  • astraware

    Club Astraware offers for April 2008

    The Club Astraware Member-only discount offer for April 2008 is Astraware Casino for just $9.95, that’s a massive $10 off the regular price!

    Astraware Casino features 11 of the most popular games found in casinos around the world including Texas Hold ‘Em No Limit Poker, Roulette, Slots, and Blackjack. You’ll also get $1000 in your virtual wallet so you can start playing right away.

    Astraware Casino includes instructions on how to play each of the games, designed with casual players in mind. As you progress and play more, higher stake tables and games are unlocked, offering bigger bets and larger wins. Astraware Casino also includes a bank where you can get an overdraft if your luck is out, or stash your cash if you win big!

    Just like when you take a regular vacation, it’s fun to bring back souvenirs, and in Astraware Casino you get your own Souvenir Suitcase. As you play you’ll reach certain achievements which unlock different items to remind you of your trip to the Astraware Casino.

    There are 4 double points offers in Club Astraware this month, so members can build up their points even quicker and get even bigger discounts on games in the future! The games offering double points this month are Bzzz, Cubis, StarPop(R), and Hidden Expedition: Titanic! Simply buy any of these games at full price and get twice the regular number of points! For example: buy a game for $19.95 and you’ll get almost $4 worth of points to use against your next purchase! As a special bonus for Club Astraware members Hexic and Mozaki are both offering TRIPLE points this month, and they’re both available for the fantastic price of just $9.95 each.

    These offers are only available in Club Astraware until the end of April 2008. To get your hands on them simply join or login to Club Astraware at http://www.astraware.com/club. It’s quick to join and completely free too!

  • astraware

    Astraware Updates Bejeweled 2

    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.

  • 1src,  astraware

    Astraware Westward Review

    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.

    Continue reading

  • astraware

    Astraware Casino Updated

    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

  • astraware

    Astraware and Sandlot Games Introduce Westward

    This looks like a cool game. I am going to have to get a copy.

    Astraware(R) and Sandlot Games(R), the world’s premier developer and publisher of casual and family-friendly games, invite you to experience the life of a Frontier settler in the wild, rough and tumble world of Westward(R) for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs.

    Based on the highly acclaimed PC game by Sandlot Games, Westward offers many hours of absorbing game play as you guide your townsfolk in making camp, collecting valuable resources, seeing-off dangerous bandits, and building their communities.

    As you progress through Westward, you’ll explore 4 different locations over more than 20 levels as your hopeful citizens set up towns and seek their fortune in the Old Wild West. With over 25 types of building you’ll customize your town and attract new citizens whilst completing a range of side tasks and chasing down the Mad Russian to bring him to justice.

    Westward has been optimized for smartphones and PDAs and can be controlled using 5-way, key controls or stylus. The game is available for Palm OS(R) devices with hi-res screens and for Windows Mobile(R) touchscreen and non-touchscreen phones and PDAs running WM2003, 2003SE, 5 & 6, priced $19.95.

    To download a trial or to purchase, visit http://www.astraware.com/westward.

  • astraware,  windows mobile

    Astraware Updates Two Popular Games

    Astraware has released a pair of updates for two of their popular Palm OS and Windows Mobile games, Casino and Solitaire.

    Astraware Casino updated with 2 new games!

    Since the release of Astraware Casino in December 2007, customers have offered excellent feedback and requests for additional features. In response to these, Astraware Casino version 1.10 is now available as a FREE upgrade to registered owners. The new version includes two new games – Video Derby – which is reminiscent of the miniature mechanical horse racing games seen in casinos and arcades, and 3 Card Poker – a variation of poker also known as Tri-card Poker and based on the British card game, Brag. In addition, Astraware Casino now also includes a Repeat Last Bet option in Craps, Roulette, and 3 Card Poker to make it easier for players to repeat the more complex bets in those games.

    With new games included in Astraware Casino, players will discover yet more fun trophies to be unlocked and added to their Souvenir Suitcase.

    Astraware Casino version 1.10 is available for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs. Registered owners can simply download the new version and it will accept their existing registration code. New users can purchase a copy priced $19.95. To download, try or buy, visit http://www.astraware.com/casino.

    Astraware Solitaire gets an update and romantic Valentine’s card backs!

    Astraware(R) is pleased to announce an update to Astraware Solitaire which more easily allows the addition of new graphical features like extra card backs and backgrounds.

    Whilst players will see no difference in the way the game plays, Astraware Solitaire version 1.20 now includes a different way of handling resources so instead of having multiple special versions of Astraware Solitaire on their devices, players can keep one copy of the game on their device and install seasonal card back sets as they want. Spooky Halloween and seasonal Winter card back sets which were included in special versions of Astraware Solitaire are now available separately, and a brand new Valentine-themed card set is released just in time for the most romantic day of the year.

    Version 1.20 of Astraware Solitaire is a FREE upgrade for everyone who already owns any version of the game! Users wishing to upgrade from the standard version of Astraware Solitaire can simply install the new version over the top. Users of Astraware Solitaire Winter or Halloween editions should install the new version and add the card back packs they want.

    Astraware Solitaire is available from the Astraware website – http://www.astraware.com/solitaire. New users can purchase a registration code for $19.95.

    Existing Astraware Solitaire customers who have version 1.20 installed can jump right to the Solitaire Extras page and start downloading right away.

  • astraware

    Astraware to join the Handmark family

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. USA & KEELE, Staffs. UK – January 7, 2008 12.00 GMT – Handmark and Astraware have announced a new business relationship in which Astraware will become part of the Handmark family.

    Handmark and Astraware have worked together on entertainment projects for several years. Astraware undertook development work on the Tetris Handmark major game license, and both companies already offer each others titles on their respective web shops.

    Through the new relationship, Astraware will expand its existing UK games development studio to develop new high profile licenses as well as continuing work on original titles. In addition to Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R), Astraware will release their first titles for Symbian(R) S60(R) and UIQ(R) in the first quarter of 2008, and will add games for BlackBerry(R) devices later in the year.

    “We recognize the genius of the mobile gaming pioneers who created Astraware and welcome them to the Handmark family,” said Paul Reddick, Handmark CEO. “We share a passion for delivering superior mobile experiences.”

    “For over 10 years, Astraware has successfully created some of the best mobile gaming brands in the industry, building a company through unparalleled focus on quality and customer satisfaction,” said Howard Tomlinson, co-founder and CEO of Astraware. “I am excited to be joining forces with Handmark and we will be able to focus our experience and talent on creating games across more platforms, and together we will become one of the most powerful forces in the mobile gaming industry.”