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Round Up Review
By Pepper
5/24/2002


The idea behind Round Up is really simple: move all the marbles where they belong. Marbles can be any of four different colors, or patterns on greyscale devices. There are six marbles of each color. The board is made up of four rectangles, each with six positions. The objective is for players to guide each marble to the rectangle that is its same color, one move at a time.

A very easy concept, but there is one twist: the only way to move a marble is if it is either touching a marble of the same color or will be once you make the move. For the first few games this rule is a real hangup and it makes you think about your strategy a little bit. But, after you've played through a couple games, it is hardly an issue.

Difficulty
There are three difficulty settings, easy, medium, and hard. The main difference between the levels is how scrambled the marbles are. Of course, each level gets its own highscore board, which keeps track of time and the number of moves.

Although it is a nice idea to have various difficulty levels, they really don't make much of a difference. The hard and the easy seem to take nearly identical time, the only real difference is the number of moves.

Overall, this game isn't very difficult. It isn't too hard to master the game, and then your only incentive to keep playing is for better time. At that point, the game ceases to be fun and can merely be used as a time waster.

Graphics
The graphics aren't too stunning, but they're not unusably poor either. In color, you really only notice the four main colors, although the shading on the marbles is a nice touch. On a monochrome screen the sections are made of different patterns and the marbles are shaded to appear 3D. It's cute, but the 3D effect was also carried over to the patterns and this makes it a bit more difficult to see the patterns. Certainly not unusable, but it is a bit of an annoyance.

Conclusion
Round Up is an interesting game, but one that you won't play for too long. The concept will be good for a long time, but the entertainment will not be. Give it a try, although consider the difficulty before purchasing.

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Are there any other better games other than from astware?

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 1:55:22 PM #
I don't want to be rude. But consider you give it such a low rating, why not review some other better games?
RE: Are there any other better games other than from astware?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 1:57:30 PM #
spell it wrong. should be Astraware.
Sorry.
RE: Are there any other better games other than from astware?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 2:48:07 PM #
I agree. I would love to see some different game reviews from people OTHER than Astraware. No question they make a great number of games (many good ones, too) but they are not the only software company out there.
That would make this site rather bias
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 2:51:28 PM #
It's good to see a sorta bad review... sorry Astware. Otherwise why read reviews? You would be able to see a list of features and nothing else would matter as you already know it's all good. Now we know we can go to palmInfocenter and they will give us the straight shoot on if it's good or not.
RE: Are there any other better games other than from astware?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 5:17:33 PM #
I think part of the complaint is that they just did an Astraware review, why not review someone else's game? It's not like there are SOOOO many products reviewed on here, seems like Astraware is getting a lot of press. They do make some good games, but they are not that cheap and there are lots of other great games out there.
RE: Are there any other better games other than from astware?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 5:19:29 PM #
Yeah, kinda funny, they finally charge only $10 for a game, and it's not one worth buying!!
RE: Are there any other better games other than from astware?
Altema @ 5/25/2002 8:31:06 PM #
I guess the problem is that Pepper is doing reviews while we sit around reading! Astraware produces more games than most (if not all) other companies, so it is more likely to have a couple in a row. Some are higher end, and some are geared for younger age groups. Iambic had a lot of coverage with both AbaBall and Bump Attack Pinbal, but at least they were not on the board at the same time.

RE: Are there any other better games other than from astware?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/26/2002 3:23:04 PM #
J-e-s-u-s C-h-r-i-s-t. This is 3 Atraware news items in the last couple of months (1 anouncement and 2 reviews). There have been a ton of games released already this year from other companies (many a thousand times more exciting then these stupid puzzle games. What the hell!!!!! I have seen games from other companiews that are way more complex and graphically interesting - clearly requiring a LOT more time, resources, and effort to produce then this dreg, yet - nothing on PIC. What the hell gives Ed?????

Games we want to see reviewed.....

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/26/2002 3:27:27 PM #
Instead of bloody 'Bubble-thingy, Part XXVXII' why don't you review (or at least give mention to) any of the following games ALL of which are more interesting, push the limits of the platform, and required a lot more work to produce then the Astraware ripoffs (yeah thats right - i said ripoff - which is an appropriate label for games that are simple to begin with that are then slightly altered, repackaged, then resold at a ridiculous price). A number of these are ports BUT they are atleast interesting ports that required more work, push the limits of the platform, and are more deserving of attention then the above cloneware:

-Siberian Strike
-Dragon Bane II
-Grand Theft Auto
-Spy Hunter (actually done by Astraware - and no damn bubbles!)
-Serious Sam
-Agent Z 2
-Karateka
-Aldon's Crossing


I realize that most of these games have been MENTIONED on PIC - but where are the reviews?? I am not even suggesting that all of the games on this list are GOOD - i don't know because i haven't played them all - that's why i want a review!

As for Astraware, come on you guys! You can't rest on the success of Zap! forever. You have done great things in the past (including excellent Midway ports), so why inundate us with these rehash games? Hmmm. I guess its because they make money. The real question then is - why do we keep getting full page reviews of this stuff on PIC???? There is so much interesting stuff going on in Palm gaming but you'd hardly know it from PIC reviews. Do you guys get yr grandmothers review Palm games?? Nice, soothing, simple games for granny to play - we dont want to get ol' grans heart racing you know.....

RE: Games we want to see reviewed.....
ardiri @ 5/27/2002 6:42:27 AM #
As a game developer myself, it is important to have reviews posted around the web - with PIC, the problem is the fact that they dont go around and ask for review copies of software. pepper obviously seems to like astraware type games - and, this is what is being reviewed here. not ed's fault really - maybe he needs to get in more reviewing staff that can broaden the horizon of the games reviewed.

we would happily provide copies of:

Lemmings and
Deity (when it is finalized - soon)

all we need from Ed/Pepper is an email requesting so - we are close to releasing new level sets of lemmings very soon also. both these games push the platform to its limits - however, are not at all puzzle based.


// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/

RE: Games we want to see reviewed.....
htomlinson @ 5/27/2002 11:28:12 AM #

Hmmm... While I agree with the review above of the game, and cheerfully admit that we've produced a lot of puzzle games recently (which aren't up everyone's street, so to speak), and definitely agree that there have been not enough reviews of all the games out there, I do *strongly* object to having our games referred to as rip-offs.

All of the Astraware games are either developed from an original design, or are fully licensed from the owner of the game. We went as far as removing the two 'cloned' games from our website a couple of years ago, since going in the direction of doing games which we didn't have the legitimate permission to write and sell wasn't the direction we wanted to follow.

Hence, none of our games are rip-offs, and the word clone is also incorrect. ( Whether you argue that PopCap and GameHouse cloned each other's games is a different matter, but I've already mentioned that in another forum). We pay license fees to the IP owners in ALL cases of our games that are not our own original designs.

I object to having the insinuation that we are doing anything that is legally or morally wrong, as making rip-offs (i.e. IP theft) would be.

I completely agree that just doing puzzle games isn't 'cool', nor do they push the boundaries as action games do, but to brand them as rip-offs is unfair and incorrect.

To ask PIC for reviews of other games - indeed to request some particular reviews, is a good move, however. Writing a good review isn't as easy as it often looks - but I'm sure that PIC would happily accept your offer to review for them, should you offer to do so. (I would be able to arrange for review copies of the Midway games including Spy Hunter, too, if Ed had a reviewer ready for those.)

Regards,

Howard Tomlinson, CEO, Astraware.


RE: Games we want to see reviewed.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/27/2002 11:39:31 PM #
There are reviews of these games...

http://www.pdabuyersguide.com/games/index.htm

RE: Games we want to see reviewed.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/31/2002 11:13:24 PM #
Try the reviews here...

http://www.pdabuyersguide.com/games

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