If you find yourself with idle time on your hands, BlackBerry games can come in handy. That’s not idle time as in vegging out — there are PS3s and Xboxes for that. But plenty of people face daily commutes, wait for meetings, and otherwise experience downtime during the day. Cell phone games have existed for quite some time, and as platforms have evolved so have the available titles. The iPhone made quite a leap in this regard, thanks to its large touchscreen. The BlackBerry Storm, too, has a penchant for gaming. Today we’ll take a look at some interesting titles for the Storm.
Free is awesome. At worst, you waste a few minutes of your time realizing that the quality of the game matches the price tag. At best, you find a worthwhile title that entertains you for weeks, months, maybe even years if you don’t get bored with it. Here are a few free titles we ran across. Tiltris As the name suggests, this game replicates classic Tetris, one of the original addicting games. Yet the game has a bit of a twist to it. The Storm, it appears, doesn’t have the requisite buttons in order to move, flip, and drop the Tetris blocks. The easy solution would allow users to flip and drag the blocks with their fingers, but Tiltris takes it a step further than that. To move blocks left and right, players tilt the BlackBerry in the proper direction. As if the blocks slid on the decline, the shift with the screen tilt. A swipe of the finger flips the block. The idea is certainly neat, and it’s cool to have a version of Tetris for the Storm — and for free, no less. But Tiltris certainly takes some getting used to, as I’m sure no one has ever tilted a screen in order to make the blocks move. No, it’s not perfect. As you can see in the demo video below, moving blocks at the last second, in order to slide them under other blocks, proves a challenge. It also takes a while to figure out exactly where a block will land. That’s not as big a problem, though, as the drop block function doesn’t appear to work. Still, for a free Tetris game we’re not going to complain a lot You can get Tiltris for free. If it asks you for a download code, enter 51216.
Dots Like Tetris, Dots is a game you might have enjoyed in your youth. You probably didn’t play it on a computer or video game console, though. If you were like me and my friends, you did it on a piece of graph or looseleaf paper from your notebook. It was a great time-killer in elementary school when we had a library trip or had indoor recess. The idea behind the game is simple. The board consists of dots, arranged in a grid. Players alternate placing lines either vertically or horizontally between two dots. You get a point for every box you create, as well as the next move. It might not be that easy, however; your opponent will surely try to make it as hard as possible for you to get that fourth line on a box. Again, the game is free. You can get Dots at App World. It works on all BlackBerry Storm models. Chess As a certified nerd, yes, I have Chess on my BlackBerry. Mine comes from Odesys, which I believe makes the finest BlackBerry chess game on the market, though I’m sure some will disagree. In any case, I enjoy it throughly. It works as well as a chess game can on a BlackBerry, I suppose. It’s even better on the BlackBerry Storm, however, as you can drag your pieces to the appropriate square, rather than navigating them with the trackball. Beginner chess players will like Odesys’s Chess as well — there’s a free version. The rub, of course, is that only Level 1 comes with the free version. Once you’ve pulverized the nincompoop computer to your satisfaction, it’s time to move onto the premium version, which includes seven more difficulty levels, two-player mode, and online play. To get the free version of Chess, head to http://wap.odesys.com/ from your BlackBerry browser and download. Once you’re ready for the higher levels, you can get the premium version at App World for $4.99. Labyrinth Our final free game utilizes the motion capabilities of the BlackBerry Storm. Not enough games use this, at least as far as I’ve seen. Both the motion capabilities and the touchscreen help separate the BlackBerry from other mobile gaming platforms. Maybe there’s just not as much interest in these types of games for the Storm. Anyway… You ever play Labyrinth as a kid? No, not the Jim Henson movie, but the tabletop game. It was a wooden box with a platform that moved on both planes. The idea is to move the platform up and down in order to move the ball through the maze, avoiding the holes until you reach the goal. The game makes a perfect transition to the BlackBerry Storm. The game comes with 16 levels, with 10 games in each level, meaning plenty of wall and hole combinations. The free version comes with 10 levels, and the premium version comes with the rest. You can get the free version here, and when you’re ready for more levels you can purchase the premium version for $4.99.
Most games for the BlackBerry Storm will cost you a few dollars. We’ll lay out some highlights here. Jewel Breaker If you can’t already tell, there’s definitely a puzzle game bend to this article. I grew up with mostly puzzle games, and now that I’m seeing them on mobile platforms it’s like being a kid all over again. Here’s another great choice: Jewel Breaker. It is not only a simple game, but it’s addictive and, most importantly, cheap. Players start off with a grid full of jewels of different shapes and colors. The object is to rotate blocks of jewels, two by two, clockwise or counterclockwise in order to create a line of three same-colored, same-shaped jewels. More points go to longer lines. You’re on a timer, so make sure you’re making the most efficient moves possible. Even better, Jewel Breaker remains one of the few five-star games in the BBGeeks Store which has survived over 200 reviews. It has 477, in fact, and all five stars remain colored in red. You can get Jewel Breaker for just $1.49. I think the time you put into the game will make it well worth the cost. Addictive Tower Defense This game puts all its cards right on the table, noting its addictive nature right in the title. And, because it is one of the few BlackBerry games that has any RPG elements, it’s quite a popular title. As the name suggests, beyond the game’s addictive nature, players have to defend against approaching enemies. This is done with jewels, which players place in towers. Each jewel represents a different power, creating different strategy options. The game comes with six maps, and Legally Addictive Games offers more maps, which players can download for free. There are also many difficulty levels, so you can move up once you’ve mastered one level. If you get good enough, you can brag about your tower defending skills with online high scores. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Addictive Tower Defense, which leads me to believe it’s exactly as addictive as advertised. If you want to take the plunge, you can get Addictive Tower Defense for $4.99. Druglord Wars Buy low, sell high. It works on Wall Street just as it works in the drug trade. But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? You might if you played Dope Wars back in the day. It was a graphing calculator game that made players into small-time drug dealers hoping to make it big time. Beyond the mere buying and selling of narcotics, the game includes many other elements a drug pusher might encounter. At various points in the game you might have to buy off cops, fight attackers, or find more storage for your stash. Buy drugs cheap in one city and sell them at a huge mark-up in another. Work your way up to drug kingpin. It’s all available in Druglord Wars. The game is simple, but terribly addictive. You can get Druglord Wars at the BBGeeks Store today for $1.49. If you see that price jump back up to the normal $4.99, get it at App World for $2.99. Air Traffic Control When I first saw this game, I didn’t think there was any way people would like it. I would have glanced over it, in fact, had it not been a five-star game with 381 ratings. So I had to check it out. And you know what? It is certainly addictive, especially as you get to the higher levels. The game’s premise is simple. As aircrafts come onto the screen, you draw a path for it to follow. Make sure planes, helicopters, and hot air balloons don’t run into each other, and make sure they get to the runway at different times. You can play at a landing field or aboard an aircraft carrier. Seriously, it’s that simple, and it’s that fun. I don’t think the following video even does it justice.
You can get Air Traffic Control for $4.99. The Sid Meier games Technically two titles, we’ll condense the Sid Meier games into one review. First up is Pirates!, a game where you play through as, well, a pirate. It’s kind of like the other game we’ll review, Civilization, except instead of controlling a budding empire, you control the life of a pirate. You build him up, making him stronger in various attributes so he can face the challenges of the high seas. You’ll not only have to fight unruly swashbucklers, but you’ll have to develop other skills as well, like bartering and cannon firing, just in case you need to engage in ship-to-ship combat. Work to control more men and build yourself up into a ship captain. Civilization IV is probably a more familiar title to most of us, seeing as the classic PC game has been through multiple iterations. In the computer versions players build an empire, starting with a capital city and expanding across a vast map. In the BlackBerry version, the empire is reduced to a city, though there is an ongoing feud with a neighboring city. Players advance not only by beating enemies in battle, but, along traditional Civ lines, gaining technological and cultural advancements. So, take your pick. You can get Pirates! for $4.99 or get Civilization for the same price. Cranium I’ll be honest: I bored of Cranium after playing it four or five times. Don’t get me wrong; it was a great time the first few plays, but afterward it got kind of old. I’m happy to say, though, that the BlackBerry version has a bit more staying power. No, there are no Sculptorades, but there are plenty of other mini games awaiting you on your path to Planet Cranium. There’s no intricate game board like the original, but it works in a similar manner. You play various mini games — like Cloozle, in which you have to draw a picture, or Polygraph, in which you answer true-false questions — to gain points and move towards the goal. So it’s not quite a puzzle game, not quite a strategy game, but something in between, with quirky fun mixed in. Again, if you enjoyed the board game even a little, I think you’ll enjoy the BlackBerry version. You can get Cranium for $4.99. Monopoly Need I even explain Monopoly? Anyone interested has probably played the board game classic. This isn’t a follow-up game, though. It’s no Monopoly Tycoon or any other version of the game. This is the original, adapted for the BlackBerry platform. You won’t find many surprises here, which is the entire point. It works in what is dubbed pass ‘n play mode, where you hand off the device to the next player. This is certainly the easiest way to manage a four-player game. You can pause the game and resume whenever. Oh, and just in case you play different rules than the standard game — I hate the payout for landing on Free Parking — you can customize some aspects of the game. If you want the full Monopoly experience, head over to Bplay, where you can get Monopoly for $6.99. Guitar Hero 5 For every phase of the Guitar Hero revolution, I’ve been a skeptic. When the original game came out, I wondered, “why wouldn’t people just pick up a real guitar?” But, after seeing my friends play it for months on end I gave it a try and got hooked. Then, when Rock Band came out I was incredibly incredulous. “Why not just buy a drum kit at that point?” And then I tried the drums, realized it’s cheaper and easier than a real set, and now burn people who test me. The same goes for Guitar Hero for the BlackBerry. Why would I want to play Guitar Hero without the guitar peripheral device? The answer: The Storm version. While I’m still not too hot on the non-touch versions, the game adapts well to the Storm. Using three buttons instead of five, players touch the icons as they scroll down the screen, completing the song. This version comes with 20 songs, which should keep you occupied during your idle time. It’s like an interactive MP3 player. You can get Guitar Hero 5 on your BlackBerry Storm for $9.99.
Bonus free section
Want to play simple games on your BlackBerry Storm without buying them? Then check out PlayStormGames.com. Designed for the Storm’s web browser, you can choose from over two dozen titles, which you can play right from the browser using the Storm’s touch screen. I had quite the fun time playing Duck Hunt. Also, a big thanks to The Storm Blog for links to many of these titles.
Joe Pawlikowski is the Senior Editor at MobileMoo.com and has been covering the mobile industry full time since 2007. When he's not writing about the tech scene, he can be found discussing his personal love - baseball (and more specifically the New York Yankees) as well as writing on his personal blog.