So this month I decided it was time to get another new mobile phone (or for those of you who call it so, cell phone). I went with the Sony Ericsson Z500a. It’s quite a nice phone: GSM, data services, text messaging, camera, Java, colour screen, the works. It’s really nice—you should call me sometime. But, what does this have to do with gaming?
Notice in the list of features I included Java. You may have heard of Java before, in reference to computer programs, and most importantly, games. That’s right, this phone has the capability to play Java games. I’ve got Tetris, Block Breaker, Pong, not to mention an NES emulator. Gives me something to do during pathetically boring classes at Burlington County College. You’d think it’d be tough to play games on a mobile phone keypad. I did at first. Quite the contrary, actually, I find it ridiculously easy. Too easy in fact ; I find myself playing games when I should actually be writing my GameCola articles. The toughest thing to get used to is that each game can make use of the keypad differently. What button fires a cannon in one game might not in the other; the * button being used as ‘A’ in the NES emulator might actually be ‘B’ on an SNES emulator. It takes a bit of practice.
Once you get used to each game’s individual controls, it becomes increasingly easy. Expensive, too. Games for mobile phones are not (always) cheap (although I’ve proven myself wrong on that in a few cases). And of course, the games make use of the phone’s other features including the phone’s speaker for sound and the vibrator (I’m not perverse, it’s just a built-in rumble-pack).
Soon we can start expecting to see games making use of the phone’s cameras, and other features. We could perhaps come up with some form of phone-tag, using random entries from your phonebook. (That’s not intrusive on your or your friends’ privacy at all!) Soon enough we could start using text messaging for some games, perhaps word games over the air with your friends’ phones. We don’t know what’s coming next (at least, I don’t, but I can guess). But where we are now is a damn good start. And with that, I have a Tetris game to win…