Comments on: Play Ababall for Arcade-style Action

Ababall is the first game from iambic Entertainment, iambic's newest division, and is for color-enabled devices only. It boasts 32 levels of play and varying difficulty, with new challenges and block layouts for every level and a bonus room for those who can make it all the way through.
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I knew this would eventually happen...

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 9:16:43 AM #
"...and is for color-enabled devices only."

It was only a matter of time. Being a Palm Vx owner, I really hope this is not a trend of things to come.

They Made a Choice

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 9:52:11 AM #
As someone with an m505, I can say this game is eye-popping and amazing. 50 FPS in glorious color, with everything animated. Even the monster death animations are clever and smooth.

It's too bad there's no mono or grayscale mode, but given the complexity of the backgrounds and characters, such a version would be really hard to play... If the graphics were tuned down enough to make a mono version playable, it wouldn't do the game justice -- clearly part of the excellence of Ababall is in the presentation.

Iambic made a choice, knowing that color only would limit the marketspace of the game. I still think it was a good choice.

Nick (Bander)

RE: They Made a Choice
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 9:58:44 AM #
as an owner of a IIIc, the only thing I can say is WOW!
It looks like the game is using more than the specified 256 colors... and the speed is really good.

I do agree with Nick that the game needs the colors! A scaled down version wouldn't do the game any good...

Though the game is not yet perfect (e.g. palmgamepad support is not that good) it is definatelly worth the buy.

RE: They Made a Choice
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 12:30:21 PM #
I felt the same way about the control until I found out that I can control the paddle with the stylus. The stylus is the bomb, I can't see playing it any other way.

love it.

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 10:59:06 AM #
the best one i have played. Really good graphics and nice movment.

RE: love it.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 1:05:01 PM #
ditto. Very cool. JBH

Ababall got the PTPA Award

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 11:07:17 AM #
We, Palmtop-pro magazine as the premium European handheld computer magazine for the mobile pro awarded the big
"Palmtop-Pro Approved Award" to Ababall

This is the first time ever a game entered this elite "hall of fame” of rigid selected top solutions on the PDA sector.

Boris Michael von Luhovoy
publishing editor
Palmtop-Pro Magazine
THE magazine for the mobile professional

Only One Complaint

jnaron3 @ 6/6/2001 12:37:36 PM #
I *LOVE* this game, but I have one complaint: I truly despise the default control setup, and the fact that they are not configurable is really lousy.

Other than that, this game is beautiful, plays well, and is all around wonderful.

Visit The Internet Only Palm Users Group Home Page

I'm stunned

Altema @ 6/6/2001 4:15:23 PM #
Grabbed the demo when it showed up yesterday at PalmGear. The graphics are real intense, my kids saw the game and said "how did they get PlayStation graphics on your Palm?" This is one I'm going to grab as soon I can. If I was stranded on a desert island, this is one of the games I'd want to keep with my E-books (plus a solar charger!). Only drawback is that you have to pause the game to get out to your apps. BTW, it does look like they are going outside the standard colors for the IIIc. But that machine actually has a palette of 4096 colors to choose from, like the HP Jordana 450, but can only display 256 different colors on the same screen at the same time.
RE: I'm stunned
SilliconMan @ 6/6/2001 4:23:16 PM #
""BTW, it does look like they are going outside the standard colors for the IIIc. But that machine actually has a palette of 4096 colors to choose from, like the HP Jordana 450, but can only display 256 different colors on the same screen at the same time.""

Yupp your definetly right...

Palming away.....


SilliconMan @ 6/6/2001 4:10:37 PM #
I love Breakout, and hardball is great too, but this is AWESOME! The animation and graphics are GREAT and the gameplay is OUT OF THIS WORLD! The only things I don't like are the price, the sound, and the memory usage. Those are just small things though! WOW!

On my IIIc is almost seems as if the display is actually more than 256 colors, amazing!

Palming away.....


I.M. Anonymous @ 6/6/2001 5:40:44 PM #
At first, I thought that this was just some dumb old PONG game! But to my surprise this game is the real deal. The colors, the levels, it all just adds up to one heck of a game. No complaints, except that I wish, as with all other games on Palm that the sound was up to par with everything else. Go Adaball, go M505, go Iambic......

The game is fantastic

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 12:28:51 AM #
I was really shocked at how the colors looked on my Palm IIIc. I did a quick mini-review at


Best game on my Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 10:08:21 AM #
If anyone owns a Visor Prism this is a must get game. The colors are amazing and the animation is incredible. I paid for it 5 minutes after playing the demo.

I Don't Get It

Reed @ 6/7/2001 10:23:40 AM #
I am sure that adaball is a great arcade-style game utilizing the color capabilities of the Palm based PDA's, but in the end, it is just another abstract ball-based skill game with great color graphics. If the new Nintendo Game Boy Advanced utilizes a 16mhz cpu, then I don't see why not the Motorola Dragonball 33mhz based PDA's can't run more complex and involving games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3. They could be offered separately on the new cheaper read only SD or memory stick cards. Having a huge audience of Palm users, the major game developers should focus on the Palm platform. What do other gamers think? By the way, I use all the other features of the Palm, but being an avid gamer, would also like to see more sophisticated games on this mobile platform.

RE: I Don't Get It
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 2:12:27 PM #
Uhh.... Hate to break it to you but there have been 120 million gameboys sold in the world, and that's a much larger market that Palm's. The main problem is that the 16 mhz chip is used solely for games, in conjunction with other chips solely for games. Although the processing power of the GBA is smaller, it's architecture is inhereintly designed for games, and a Palm is not meant to do that. We are starting to see more advanced games, but I really don't think a Palm will ever be much closer than it is to a gameboy.

RE: I Don't Get It
Dural @ 6/7/2001 2:34:46 PM #
"Although the processing power of the GBA is smaller"

Actually that is not the case. The 16 MHz ARM RISC processor in the GBA is more powerful
than the 33 MHz DragonBall processor used in the latest Palm based PDA's. I think it is roughly
twice as powerful in the MIPS rating department.

Another thing is that the DragonBall processor, which is based on the Motorola 68000 processor
is just fine for games, as the Atari ST released in 1984 had a 8 MHz 68000 and it played games
just fine at 320x240x16-bits with full screen scrolling and lots of sprites. Note that the Atari ST did
not have any hardware blitter or sprite processor. Later models had a blitter processor, but was not
used in hundreds of games. I had an Atari ST and there where lots of great games, that had fast

The fact the Palm devices with a 160x160x8-bit screen has so few good games that are
impressive graphically (fast scrolling, quality animation, etc), I believe is because of lack
of good development, like using assembly programming to get the most out of the system.
I think most developers are using 'C'.

Supposedly SEGA is working on games to be released this fall for the Palm OS devices, and
then we will see some professional quality development.

RE: I Don't Get It
Reed @ 6/7/2001 3:18:08 PM #
My comments were also aimed not only at good graphics but also getting away from the basic arcade-style pacmon, invadors, galox, breakout, yada yada type games. I look forward to playing Crazy Taxi Palm and Sonic the PalmHog this fall though on my Clie.

Gameboy Advance
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/10/2002 7:55:22 PM #
The Gameboy also has dedicated graphics hardware. Programmers can rotate, scale and clip sprites as well as making sprites and backgrounds transluscent and transparent using hardware other than the CPU. Palm programmers can only use the CPU if they want to do these things, which is not practical for speed & difficulty reasons.

Wow... this is amazing

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 2:39:42 PM #
I cannot believe this game! Truly amazing. I am blown away by the colors and the animation. By the way, thanks for the additional review posting Carl... helped me learn more about what to expect before I decided to download.



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