Comments on: Astraware Releases Four New Games

Astraware has released four new games and updated many of their current ones.

Rook's Revenge is a real-time chess game that is more about being a fast thinker and mover than a grand master. While the game features a standard checkered board and chess pieces - all moving according to traditional rules - and the objective is to capture the opponent's king, this is where the similarities end. Instead of taking turns at moving their pieces, player can move them as soon and as often as they like.

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flame on

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 9:29:30 AM #
Allow me to be the first one to coment on the hold this game company has on PI's web site. Astraware gets a whole page all to their own for the new and updated games. Neat!! And with Handango's point system, if you buy all of these games on their site you will have enough points to have Handango send marketing directly to your email box!

OK, sorry about the above... was looking forward to some new news here on the 802.11 sled for the Clie line or a new Palm OS5 device about to come out. Best to all...

Bow to the will of I.M. ANONYMOUS
TDS Computer @ 9/4/2002 9:48:35 AM #

He has a point, Ed.
Could you please revamp your website to accomodate the above posters wants and needs? The rest of us don't matter. Just create news articles that please him.


Astraware makes some really nice PalmOS games. I wonder if these new updates also make them PalmOS 5 compliant? I am sure the originals work under OS 5, but maybe there is new code already in them to handle the new resolutions, etc...

Visit us at

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 9:50:46 AM #
I did quick search through PIC's archive looking for the last reference to Asraware. It was July 22, a mention that another site had done an interview with the CEO. The most recent actual article on Astraware I could find was May 31. That's over THREE MONTHS AGO. How does that fit in with your point? I'd be very interested to hear.
RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 9:58:00 AM #
> was looking forward to some new news here on the 802.11 sled for the Clie line

I got your news right here: it doesn't exist.

RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 10:10:47 AM #
Sure the news exists. Tell the idiot to look at two articles before this one. It's all about the sled for the Clie.

If the fools can't read, we really have got to stop responding to his tripe. Hasn't there been enough of his stupidity lately? This is a place for information (palmINFOcenter) - if he doesn't want info, he can go to for more garbage like him.

And if the ******* actually goes there, he'll find out it's as emptyheaded as he is.

RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 1:20:21 AM #
In defence of the original poster, HOW ABOUT HIS MAIN POINT?!?! There are TONS of games from dozens of game companies. Yet - in the last 5 months - 90% of PIC coverage is for Astraware games. I urge you look again at the archives. From the month of June:

June 14 - news item about an update to Astraware's 'Bejewelled'
June 22 - review of Astraware's 'Big Money'
June 24 - review of Astraware's 'RoundUp'
June 31 - review of Astraware's 'AstroDefence' other comoany gets half of the exposure that Astraware does from PIC. So please - stop yr defensive posturing. This is valid critisism. As a game freak i am constantly amazed that - if i spend hours searching - i can always find a new Palm OS game i had never heard of, and never seen press for, that is totally commercial quality, with much more work involved in creating it then a typical Astraware title. I am not bashing Astraware - they have done some great work, and clearly, they can't be blamed for enjoying the exposure. Maybe part of the problem is that other game companies do not submit news items, or do not submit games to PIC for review.

Still - this is a news site. If you are going to report the news then you must report more then what is handed to you. For most things, PIC does this better then any other Palm site (or any PDA site for that matter) - and i am a PIC junky as a result. However - if PIC is going to continue to cover / review Palm OS games, then they have to focus on more then just Astraware.

RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 9:21:16 AM #
Looking back through the archives, I see that to get to the last reference to a non-Astraware game you have to go all the way back to... Monday. And before that on Thursday of last week. And another on Wednesday of last week. Now tell me again how PIC doesn't say anything about other games?

You have to accept that Astraware is the dominant producer of palm games. Bejeweled has been number one on every list of 'Top 10' games for years. If PIC ignored them an some silly quest for equal time, it would be like ZDnet giving equal time to Microsoft and some guy who writes shareware in his garage.

RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 9:22:34 AM #
that's because Astraware is producing the best palm games out there, hands down. they rock. who else even compares in quality or quantity?
RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 1:05:42 PM #
Really! So when PC Magazine or Maximum PC posts a story about the the next or new release of Windows or the new Quake X, etc. they are really just advertising for Microsoft or id. Let'g get real. It is a fine line between advertising and news.

I guess you could say that Ed is playing favors to whatever company it is that is producing the 802.11 Clie sled. Shame on him, yet, it seems to meet your idea of news worthy and not advertising.

If you thinks it's advertising, then skip it. I consider it "advertising" if the copy comes directly from someone who financially benifits from the article and the article is mainly written by them. If Ed puts his own spin or comments in, then it is commentary or news on an item related to the Palm industry in general, and therefore is of interest to some portion of the Palm community. This argument about ads hidden as news is getting REAL OLD. Get over it.

RE: flame on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 2:23:33 PM #
This is also the difference between paper-based monthly magazines and a daily (almost realtime) electronic product. PIC is able to respond quickly to new items and at the drop of a mouse, post them. The paper resources finalize their copy WEEKS before it appears on your doorstep (you DO subscribe don't you). Running commentary like PIC is just impossible there.

I think PIC strikes a reasonable balance. They seem to cover a wide variety of issues fairly objectively. If you are a Palm / info / junkie, it's nice to know about many updates available from one place without having to run all over the web for info.

Has anybody actually looked at Astraware's web page lately and tried to extract concrete information? It's nearly impossible - it's such a jumble of color and ads that PIC is really the only place to go without actually downloading or purchasing everything first.

Thanks PIC and Ed.

Astraware rolls on

ardee @ 9/4/2002 10:01:48 AM #
You must admit, they do have a powerhouse lineup of nice games. (I only wish you could store more than 5 scores on each, or that you could summon the high-score table at any time.)

RE: Astraware rolls on
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 11:56:23 AM #
Anyone know how to retrieve high scores? I reinstalled a bunch of stuff on my Palm but I can't figure out how to restore my high scores for a bunch of games (which I worked hard to get!).

Dearth of Action Titles

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 9:53:12 AM #
With each passing month, more and more Palm devices suited to fast gaming are released onto the market. With all Palm units and the newer Sonys enjoying better buttons (and screens, in the case of the non-passive color models) you'd think there would be a resurgence in action/arcade games for the Palm OS. I guess developers are waiting on OS5.

Still, I'd like to see Astraware release some more button mashers, since Zap is such as high quality piece of work (though the constant updates are nice--this is an almost 3 year old program by now!). There are only so many pastel-colored puzzle games I am willing to register. Still, it's always good to see a torrent of new games hitting the market--especially from a reputable customer-oriented company like Astraware. Besides, the more titles the kids need 4 hardware buttons to play, the better! ;-)

P.S. What i'd love to see is a MMC card offered with a bunch of registered Astraware titles on it. Now that would be a nice addition!

RE: Dearth of Action Titles
htomlinson @ 9/4/2002 11:20:51 AM #
A few brief answers:
1) We have a number of new action-style titles in development - some in beta now.
2) All the new releases are OS5-Compliant (i.e. safe).
3) Having sets of our games on SD/MMC/MS is going to happen - but that takes a whole new step of infrastructure.
4) OS5 *enhanced* versions of many of our games are already in the works, including Hi-Res Bejeweled that will be compatible also with existing Sony hi-res machines.

Have a good week everyone, and enjoy trying out the new games!

Howard. (Howard Tomlinson, CEO Astraware)

RE: Dearth of Action Titles
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 11:31:30 AM #
That was a great quotable quote:

"There are only so many pastel-colored puzzle games I am willing to register."

Made me laugh out loud.

(But I do like the games.)

RE: Dearth of Action Titles
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 12:14:38 PM #
Wow, thanks Howard--nice to see such a timely and personal response! I've personally registered almost every dang action game you've offered AND I am still clinging to my original copy of Astroids! (how's that for devotion?) You'd be amazed at how many times I've blasted straight through Zap!, only to begin again from stage 1!

Seriously, though, keep up the good work and don't be discouraged by all the naysayers' flames on this board.

I've got an m505 now and am eagerly awaiting OS5 so that I can get down to some serious non-Gameboy portable action...

RE: Dearth of Action Titles
Altema @ 9/4/2002 12:19:46 PM #
"P.S. What i'd love to see is a MMC card offered with a bunch of registered Astraware titles on it. Now that would be a nice addition!"

That would be nice. My first set of games was by Astraware on CD. It's kind of a funny story. I was waiting for a new credit card, so I could not order Zap!2000 online. Then I saw it on CD in a retail store and was upset because I thought it was a rip off of the real deal. Reading the box while looking for a manager, I realized it was the genuine article, so I skipped the manager and went right to the checkout. As a result, Zap!2000 was the first application I bought for my Palm IIIe, which was quite a few devices ago... but they always had a version which worked well no matter which device I had at the time.

Howard, can I just send you the money for the new levels now? (hint, hint)

RE: Dearth of Action Titles
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/6/2002 12:30:23 AM #
Bull. Anyone who believes that Astraware produces the bulk of quality games on Palm OS and therefore deserves 5 times the coverage of all other companies ABSOLUTLEY KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THE GAMES THAT ARE OUT THERE! And why would you? PIC isn't reporting it. I guarantee any readers on the sidelines of this debate that the above posters - innocently but ignorantly - are completely unaware of the number of quality titles out there. If they were they would find the continued PIC/Astroware 'love-in' as strange as i do.
It's bizare to see some massize RPG not get mentioned while every little puzzle game from Astaware gets toted on this site. And ZAP! is a great game - but have you guys even heard of Siberian Strike, or Alien Terrain(both same genre as Zap)?
RE: Dearth of Action Titles
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/6/2002 6:58:12 AM #
>4) OS5 *enhanced* versions of many of our games are
>already in the works, including Hi-Res Bejeweled that
>will be compatible also with existing Sony hi-res

Huh. You know when the Clie 610 came out and I saw what could be done with hi-rez games I emailed Astraware and asked if they were planning to put out a hi-rez version of Bejewelled. The responding tech said that they weren't going to because Bejewelled already looked great enough.

Glad to see they finally caught up to us users. ;)

Rook's Revenge - Two Thumbs Up

Token User @ 9/4/2002 1:14:00 PM #

5 minute review
Fammy @ 9/4/2002 2:54:47 PM #
I played the easy setting for minutes.

Rook's Revenge is an interesting take on Chess. It gives the user the "instant gratification" that our generation demands. I was able to make four or five moves in the early levels for every one move the computer made.

Revenge has a lot of "fun" value. I can see how experienced chess players would be turned off (which I'm not). I enjoy a quick game of chess. I'll take a minute to think out my moves, but I am very impulsive. This game allowed me to satisfy that desire. I recommend you give it a try.


RE: Rook's Revenge - Two Thumbs Up
digichimp @ 9/7/2002 12:17:46 AM #
My ability as a chess player is akin to an inebriated swine but that is just above the poor AI of Rooks Revenge. They need a stronger AI!
Otherwise it is an interesting and addictive game worth the money.
RE: Rook's Revenge - Two Thumbs Up
htomlinson @ 9/7/2002 9:24:01 AM #
Thanks for giving the game a try!

It is not intended to be a Deep Blue, of course, but rather it is aimed to be sufficient to give a fun game!

We tweaked it such that a beginner player with a basic understanding of chess can still beat it to begin with on Easy mode. There are a number of intelligences that are ramped up as you get to different levels, though. The tactics that soundly beat the computer in the first few levels stop being quite so effective later on, and you have to use different strategies :)

With practise, a really good player ought to get to around level 20 or so on hard mode, and maybe up to level 40ish on Easy.

Because good players can finish each round more quickly, we really tried to make it so that a game would last for 5 to 10 minutes.

Rook's Revenge won't be replacing Pocket Chess on my Palm for instance - its quite a different type of game! But for when I want a quick battle (or when I want to show off the cool sound and hi-res on the NR70V) Rook's Revenge is ideal.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Nice but pricey

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 6:12:19 PM #
I know a lot of people will spend $15 but I just can't justify it.
RE: Nice but pricey
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 1:16:52 PM #
Then don't. No one is forcing you to buy, so just don't play the games. Go find all the free stuff you want. I think their stuff is at a fair price for the quality and enjoyment you get for weeks and weeks to come.

You probably have no problem going home tonight and ordering a pizza for $15 that will last you until tomorrow or a case of beer.

I'm not getting improved sound on my T-615?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 6:26:08 PM #
I'm not hearing any improved sound on my T-615... So, one, what sort of improved sound should i hear? e.g. A underlying song, or a da, da, da when I get the bonus? My bejewelled still clicks when I clear a set, but, its the same click I thought I had before? And I guess two, is there something I need to do to turn it on?

Thanks in advance.

RE: I'm not getting improved sound on my T-615?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 6:37:56 PM #
Hi, same person.

Turns out the answer is to USE YOUR BRAIN. Look at the .zip file & install Bejeweled-SonySound.prc rather than the -> Bejeweled.prc.

Thanks for not RTFMing me.

fighe puzzone

PIC mobile user @ 9/11/2002 12:19:53 PM #
ritengo una affermazione falsa,ingiusta nonché fuorviante l'asserire categoricamente che tutte le fighe rosse siano assai puzzone!


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