UPDATE (02/20/2007):

REVIEW: great, new Zelda clone Knight Tales - Land Of Bitterness - with MIPS support!

UPDATE (11/30/2006):

PocketGamer.org frontpage; this PPCT thread is also worth checking out.

This thread is also recommended.

A Roundup of All Pocket PC Games Part I – Games Compatible with the MIPS CPU

This is the first part in the series of my (hopefully) continuing roundup series on all Pocket PC games. In this series, I will (try to) review, (particularly compliance-wise) test and, what is more, compare all the available games on the Pocket PC platform.

As this is, fortunately (there’re quite a few games out there for the Pocket PC and new ones are arriving at a fast pace, showing that the platform is indeed living and thriving, despite what some people have predicted), a daunting task of big proportions, I’ve decided to start it “small” in the first installment of the series, by “only” reviewing games that also run on MIPS-based Pocket PC’s.

Please note that these games all have ARM versions and, therefore, are almost all compatible with even current Pocket PC’s. Therefore, reading this roundup will be highly useful for anyone having a Pocket PC – not just people with MIPS-based Pocket PC’s. It should be stressed that, up until 2003-2004, the majority of the games (except for mostly 3D titles, which weren’t particularly good on ARM devices either because of the lack of dedicated 3D accelerators) were released using both ARM and MIPS versions. As old games are, technically, not necessarily bad, this article may be a gold-mine for ARM users too. To help you in comparing a given title to current (2006) titles, I’ve tried to provide comparative remarks on all titles reviewed here to current ones so that even ARM users can see whether a given “old” game is worth checking out because there aren’t later, ARM-only (and, therefore, in this roundup not reviewed) titles to provide better (or similar) gaming experience.

1.1 A quick overview of MIPS-based Pocket PC’s


MIPS Central Processing Units (CPU’s for short) where present in several Pocket PC’s of the Japanese WindowsCE-based PDA manufacturer Casio. They had been active manufacturers of pre-Pocket PC devices based on the WindowsCE operating system before Microsoft’s releasing the Pocket PC operating system (OS for short) in early 2000; many will surely remember their E-10 and E-15 grayscale and E-100/E-105 color Palm-size PC’s. The latter two devices were real killers at their time: the E-100, released in early 1999 (the E-105 was released a bit later; see the reviews of the two devices in the May/June 99 and Nov-Dec 1999.html editions of the Handheld PC Magazine (which later became the Pocket PC Magazine), respectively) was the first palm-sized, color device with real multimedia capabilities and a great screen.

Casio remained as innovative in the dawn of the Pocket PC era as with the E-100/E-105: they have first released the E-115 (see the review of it in the May-June 2000 Pocket PC Magazine) and then, the E-125, in late 2000 (the review can be found in the January 2001 issue of PPCMag). The E-125 has become by far the best most popular Casio device of all times because of its beautiful screen and its being distributed worldwide. At its time, its screen was waaaaaay better than that of any other non-Casio Pocket PC device. While other Pocket PC’s used reflective, washed-out (the iPAQ 36xx series is an example) or even worse, dog-slow DSTN screens (the HP Jornada 54x and, a bit later, the even worse – 256-color – Jornada 525), Casio handhelds used transmissive screens. Transmissive screens, while virtually useless outdoors, have much better indoor color reproduction than all reflective TFT screens. Actually, very few even transflective screens can beat it (for example, that of the iPAQ hx4700, the Fujitsu-Siemens VGA Pocket Loox devices and the HTC Universal or the 2.8” HTC Pocket PC phones) – this means these screens are way better than most of today’s Pocket PC’s.

Unfortunately, the future of PDA manufacturers sticking with the MIPS (Casio) and the SH3 (HP) CPU’s in 2000 (they have only switched over to ARM in late 2001) was doomed. Compaq iPAQ’s, while, in many respects, were certainly worse than Casio devices, have used ARM CPU’s from right the beginning (that is, May-June 2000, when the first Pocket PC devices hit the market), they had a really distinguishing feature: the StrongARM CPU, which was not only upgradeable to the Pocket PC 2002 operating system, but also ran applications and games decidedly faster than MIPS CPU’s (not to speak of the very-very slow SH3 CPU’s used in the HP Jornada 525/54x series).

Both Casio and HP (before buying out Compaq) switched to ARM when the ARM-only Pocket PC 2002 age began, but it was too late – shortly thereafter, because of the low sales, Casio has stopped producing PDA’s for the non-Japanese market (they, however, have continued to produce PDA’s for Japan, which continues even today). HP has also killed the ill-fated (for example, the WM2003-based 57x series, while there were working prototypes, has never hit the shelves because of severe performance issues) Jornada Pocket PC series after buying out Compaq.

It was in Spring 2001 that Casio stopped selling MIPS devices outside Japan. Inside Japan, they have gone further with MIPS devices and released the E-750 shortly after releasing E-125. Unfortunately, it’s pretty rare outside the country, which is a pity because it was way better than the E-125. First, it had a MIPS VR4131 CPU clocked at 200 MHz (and overclockable to around 280 MHz – for comparison, the E-125 can only be overclocked to 180 or, in cases, 200 MHz). This CPU sports a dual data bus, which was very fast at its time, and has sticked to the classic, highly gamer-friendly Casio button/D-pad layout and usability. An ideal gaming device.

I also recommend the following PocketGamer.org threads on this subject. Please note that many of these links take you to MIPS vs. ARM flame wars; still, both ARM and MIPS folks write a lot of interesting and useful stuff. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this thread. This PPCT thread is also worth checking out.


1.2 Advantages of the Casio Cassiopeia devices


This, however, doesn’t mean Casio’s devices should be forgotten. They have always been perfect gaming devices. Not only because of their excellent screen, but also because they had a directional pad (D-Pad for short) and excellent, very easy-to-press additional buttons. It was only three years after the debut of the E-125, in Autumn 2003, that a gaming-wise comparable device, the Asus A620 was released; before it, there simply weren’t Pocket PC’s suited for serious gaming. Most PDA’s were far inferior to the E-125/E-750: not just because of the screen quality, but mostly because of the far-far worse button layout and D-pad (if it existed at all – the SH3 HP Jornada series didn’t even have a D-pad) usability.

Why is the D-pad quality that important? Because a lot of the games (mostly action titles – puzzles and the like can in most cases be controlled by the stylus) must be controlled by it. Then, it’s really important to be able to be absolutely sure the PDA registers the same direction as we wanted.

Surely, the Casio D-pad isn’t as good as the D-pad of even old Nintendo Gameboys (dedicated portable gaming consoles), but they’re still far-far better than those of the alternative Pocket PC’s.

This provides an explanation to why Casio devices were so popular with the Pocket PC gaming folks and why the device has long outlived the release of Pocket PC 2002 and even Windows Mobile 2003. Yes, several game developers have only stopped producing MIPS versions of their titles in late 2003 or even in 2004 – that is, three-four years after the release of these devices.

Yes, old Casio PDA’s are still really usable as gaming devices. I even recommend getting one (or some) if you want to have a really cheap gaming PDA for your kids. You can have an E-125 off eBay for, say, 50 bucks, which is far lower than the price of a, say, Asus A620 or, still sticking a Bluetooth-enabled PDA with an external Bluetooth gamepad like the Freedom/Brando/Chainpus.

And yes, there’re a LOT of games for them. An example: after installing all the games in this roundup, I’ve filled in a 512 Mbyte memory card almost entirely, without even installing not strictly necessary add-on packs. This means about 250 games, a lot of them being excellent, even with today’s stardards.

1.3 Casio problems


Note that much as the Casio screens are excellent (indoors), they have a big problem (in addition being almost useless outdoors): they have polarization unevenness problems in
Landscape mode. This means you may want to avoid playing games that require the player to play in Landscape. You are not guaranteed to encounter problems (for example, headache) because of this (see the user comments in the linked AximSite thread from here), however.

This is why I’ve also elaborated on the default orientation of the game. I’ve also mentioned if a game that is Landscape by default can also be played in Portrait (by just keeping the PDA in Portrait mode) – some puzzle / Mahjong games belong to this category.

First, let’s cast a glance at developers with more than one MIPS titles (in alphabetical order).

2. Developers with more than one (MIPS) game

2.1 4pockets


4pockets is known to produce really excellent titles for the Pocket PC. For example, their Great Gold Rush is one of the best multiplayer games. Their MIPS titles are of pretty good quality too. In addition to Pocket Breakout (see the "Breakout" section!), they have the following MIPS-compliant games:

GamePriceDescription / evaluationLink
Particle Wars$14.95Shoot'm'up vertical scroller. It's really spectacular but slow on a 150 MHz E-125 and, unfortunately, the graphical detail can't be decreased to help this. Not recommended on under-200 MHz MIPS devices because of this. Also see this.link
Marble Worlds$14.95See section 'Marble (Gyroscope) titles'link
Super Elemental$14.95Wow! This game rocks on traditional MIPS devices! For example, every new field has a separate, very nice (mono) music track and, as with 4pockets' games in general, very nice visuals. Highly recommended. Puzzle – but a very nice one! Also see this.link


Unfortunately, as far as their older titles (none of their newer titles support MIPS) are concerned, 4Pinball (also see this PG thread) isn't MIPS-compatible.

2.2 Absolutist


Absolutist, which is well-known for their famous Bubble Shooter game (my favorite on the Palm OS), has several Pocket PC titles that are supposed to be compatible with MIPS (it's only Aqua Words, Aquatic of Sherwood, Aqua Pearls and Swap and Fall 2 that only have ARM builds. Also, their Mahjong title, albeit installs on MIPS devices, has a non-MIPS main executable file inside. This too shows their games are not adequately tested on MIPS devices). Unfortunately, none of their games is actually playable on MIPS Pocket PC's – if they start at all, they are unplayably slow.

First, the following games mess up the screen entirely upon start: BlockBuster , BoXplosion, BubbleSnooker, ButterFlight, Checkers Challenge, Illustrix Bird Dream, Matching Hearts, JetDucks, Pool House, Rats and Spears, Rotate Mania, Smiling Bubbles, Solitaire Studio, Tetribox and Volley Balley. That is, you’ll see something like this:



I’ve tested this on two freshly hard reset (there were no software conflicts) E-125’s (a German and an English one; I’d like to thank the Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine staff for sending me the latter as a gift), installing via both ActiveSync and from the CAB file). In no way could I make these games display correctly.

Their other games also have major problems with the E-125. For example, Boa Constrictor ver. 1.10 starts, but it too has rendering problems: the playfield is only sometimes visible. Gem Slider 2 starts, but continuously flashes between the playfield and the main menu; the tiles just can't be moved. In addition, their Trivia Machine completely crashes the PPC upon trying to read its icon off the .EXE file! Upon booting, this may result in a need to hard reset your device because, if you install it in the main memory, the system will try to read the icon in an endless loop. Avoid installing it at any rate!

Their other games that, as opposed to the titles listed above, work but are uselessly slow are:


  1. Bubbles: you may have already seen the Absolutist Bubble-series on Palm OS. In there, they are just great and really enjoyable. The case isn’t the same on the E-125 – it’s just plain unplayably slow. Unfortunately, none of the Bubble Shooter-type games have speed setting options, unlike the Palm OS version to make them a bit faster.
  2. Bubble Flytrix (a Tetris clone).
  3. Bubble Thriller (JawBreaker clone)
  4. BubbleShooter
  5. Bubble Golden Pack (a collection of the above-mentioned Bubble games)


2.3 AIM productions


AIM productions is a well-known developer of mostly puzzle games. They have some really nice titles, must-be-checked-out like Toki Tori. Their MIPS-compliant games are as follows:

GamePrice (Euros/US$)URLComments
Babe Arcade 1.114.99linkExcellent Pac-Man clone; very responsive; it's only at switching between menu screens that the limited CPU power/speed results in stuttering sound/music. Also see this.
Board Game Pack 1.09.99link-
Brainstorm 1.14.99link-
Candy Catchup 1.09.99linkAlso see this.
Chix 1.2 9.99linkXonix clone (not as good as Spb Xonix II (VGA) (part of Spb AirIslands for ARM Pocket PC’s) but still much better than anything else Xonix-clone on the MIPS); don't forget to also tap 'Draw' when starting to move on the board; otherwise, the cursor won't move.
Date-A-Babe 1.039.99linkPretty funny too with cool music and even some small videos. Give it a try if you want to laugh at the possible answers!
Done in 50 Seconds 1.149.99linkIt's like the engine puzzle game like Traffic Jam on PPC2k2+ devices. As far as PPC2k-compliant games are concerned, it’s exactly like the SimbSoft Railroad Jam but is a bit better (in-game music etc)
DynaMike 1.04.99linkAlso see this.
G-Pod 1.2a9.99link2D RocketElite/Katakis-clone with colors similar to Xenon II; pretty good.
Molecule 1.024.99link-
Mr Dollar 1.019.99linkAnother PacMan clone; pretty similar to Babe Arcade of the same developer. Very nice! Also see this.
Odyssey 1.029.99linkVery good 2d space shooter scroller; considerably better than the well-known Turjah 2 but not as good as GikaDiver. Also see this and this.
Pocket Strippoker 1.34.99link-
Pocket Strippoker II 1.39.99linkVideo ed; very cool; also see this and this threads.
Pocket Wordquake 1.14.99linkNote that you may need to click the standard New menu to bring up the game-specific command bar; by default, the system command bar is visible until you switch to another one
QubiX 1.04.99linkXonix clone. The same engine, same sounds etc as with Chix; no point in getting it if you already have Chix.
Reveal Me 1.04.99linkPuzzle
Strip 4 You 1.09.99link-
Strip Blackjack 1.29.99link-
Tmax 1.09.99link"Get out of the maze" game. Very nicely rendered sprites and the additional twist of only letting a given number of steps in each turn. A must. Much better than Astraware's Mummy Maze for MIPS! Also see this.
Toki Tori 1.029.99linkExcellent! A must! Also see this. BTW, the title means “Oh / Yeah, a marketplace” in Finnish – in case you want to know ;)


2.4 Astraware


Everybody knows Astraware. They have some really excellent titles for ARM CPU’s.

Unfortunately, the “MIPS versions of games are bound to disappear from Web” is true with this company too. Titles that did MIPS versions but don’t have them online any more include Insaniquarium, Bzzz!, Rocket Mania, Chainz, Seven Seas, Bookworm, Mars Needs Cows, Mummy Maze, Fruit Frolic and Bejeweled. Their other PPC2k-compliant titles still have PPC2k-compliant versions online; they are bound to disappear, though, as soon as new versions are released. Please also note that the currently available Ricochet version is still PPC2k-compliant, as opposed to what the game homepage states.

In the chart, I’ve denoted the last known MIPS-compliant version with titles that don’t have MIPS-compliant versions online any more.

Action games: Dynomite 1.1 (PopCap Games)linklike Spb Bubbles
Bzzz! 2.12 (it was comp. as of version 2.0)linkVery simple, but pretty entertaining game: you are a frog and need to catch flies
Insaniquarium 1.2 (it was comp. as of version 1.09)linkJust great! A must! Landscape only
Rocket Mania 1.11 (it was comp. as of version 1.0)link and linkit's like Escape Velocity but not as good (for example, no in-game music)
Ricochet 1.03 (their homepage states it's not compatible, but it is) linkBreakout clone; much worse than Spb Arkaball II or Acky on ARM CPU’s
Board games: Yahtzee 1.05 (Handmark)linknot working – messed up screen
Battleship 1.0 (Handmark)linknot working – messed up screen
Monopoly 1.01 (Handmark)linkAlso see this thread
Trivial Pursuit 1.12 (Handmark)link (also in the Puzzle category link )-
Puzzle games: (Rocket Mania also belongs to this group) Chainz 1.11 (it was comp. as of version 1.0)link-
Mummy Maze 2.35 (it was comp. as of version 2.1)link It's like Astraware Mazera (review here) but not that good. AIM's Tmax is definitely better IMHO.
Nisqually 1.01link-
Rook's Revenge 1.0link (also in the Strategy category link )-
Seven Seas 2.35 (it was comp. as of version 2.1)linksome kind of pirates game requiring some thinking as to where to move / how to shoot; may be worth giving a try
Word games: Bookworm 1.13 (it was comp. as of version 1.08)link-
Scrabble 1.0linkAlso see this thread.
What Word 1.0linklink put in a non-i18n-compliant, hard-wired way
Word Mojo 1.02link-
Non-categorized: Mars Needs Cows 2.15 (it was comp. as of version 2.0)linkpretty good puzzle game
Fruit Frolic 1.25 (it was comp. as of version 1.0)linkanother Tetris-like game
Bejeweled 2.51 (it was comp. as of version 2.23, the Valentines Day Edition)linkno music; if you prefer music, PDAMill GameBox Gems v2.1 may be your choice
Not currently available: Shattered Worlds: Space Combatlink. As of version 1.1; it was MIPS-compatible.-


Please note that, in general, none of these games have music. This – if you prefer games with decent in-game music – makes them much less appealing than, say, the ARM or later versions of the same game or a lot of alternate MIPS games from other game developers.

2.5 Ballshooter Games


Most of their games support MIPS and SH3 PPC2k devices and some even support Handheld PC and Palm-size PC devices. They are still actively developed and updated and some new, MIPS-compliant games will be released in the near future. They are, in general, really worth checking out if you're into simple, but addictive games with, in most cases, decent in-game music. (The music is, however, the same with all their games – they keep reusing the same titles. Nevertheless, they're pretty nice to listen to.)

GameURLComments
Arcade: AntHill 1.10 build 122dClikgamerAn Oils Well-clone with decent in-game music. Highly recommended! Also see this.
XMas Pipes 1.10 build 42dNo longer available on their homepage! Still available over PocketGearAnother (freeware!) Pipe Dreams clone. Landscape only. Decent in-game music. Highly recommended!
ACTIVE BALL 1.1linkHighly recommended Arkanoid/Breakout clone: a lot of power-ups, different in-game music, no speed problems etc.
KRAKOUT 1.2linkInstaller only has ARM version!
LODERUNNER 1.51 B35linkHighly recommended – great in-game music, good tutorial.
X-MAS Runner PRO 2.0linkAs with LODERUNNER 1.51, highly recommended.
Burgerama 1.01linkInstaller only has ARM version!
X-MAS Runner Lite 1.20linkFree. Highly recommended.
Mario Docker 1.0linkInstaller only has ARM version!
PIPELINE 2002 1.05linkPipe Dreams clone. Nothing particular.
Strategy (mostly puzzle): BRICKSLIDER 2.01linkPretty similar to BRICKGENIUS. Nothing groundbreaking.
BRICKGENIUS 1.01 260DlinkA puzzle. It, as with most Ballshooter titles, has a built-in tutorial. Nothing groundbreaking (no in-game music, for example), anyway.
CHUKCHI KERLING 1.05linkHighly recommended puzzle game. Much as it's Landscape-only, it can be perfectly played in Portrait mode too (the playfield is symmetric). Ha sgreat in-game music.
POCKET BLOCKOUT 1.20linkA simple puzzle game – nothing really interesting (for example, no in-game music).
SEA PUZZLE 1.00linkUnlike all the other Ballshooter titles having in-game music, the music files are .OGG files in here, unlike the .xm tracked music in the other games. This also means the in-game music is stereo and is vastly different from the 'standard' titles in the other games. In addition, the main idea of this puzzle game is pretty simple, but may be quite entertaining. Highly recommended.
Bolts&Nuts 1.00linkDiamond Mine clone. (Please see this and this page for two online Diamond Mine games to see what the genre is if unsure.) Not recommended: the animation is really slow at both swapping tiles and filling in new ones. Most other Diamond Mine clones are far better in this respect. Note that if you use the installer of the self-standing game, the CAB is always installed to the main memory. If you, on the other hand, use the installer of the Brain Gym compilation, it can be installed anywhere.
BRAIN GYM 2 2.02linkA collection of BlackOut, Burgerama, Chukchi Kerling and Fast Swapper for $24.95. Installer only has ARM version!
FAST SWAPPER 2.05linkFree
TOTAL BLACKOUT 1.0linkA more advanced, Landscape, Pipe Dreams clone. Keeps crashing on me after choosing New Game.
ACADEMIC POCKET LINES 1.30linkNothing particular. The CAB is always installed to the main memory.
BRAIN GYM 1.3linkA collection of Academic Pocket Lines, Pocket BlockOut, Pipeline 2002 and Fast Swapper for $24.95
Card games: POKER JAM 1.00linkCAB file installed into main mem. Nothing groundbreaking.
Not listed in the main category list: Ms. Parkman 2005linkRecommended – has great in-game music.
Pacman 2linkUnlike Pacman 2, it has no in-game music.


2.6 CeCraft


Cecraft Pinball : Crystal Caliburn (including Angel Egg (also see this PG thread), the Paladin series ) (They're, currently, all version 1.01).

They are the best pinball game series for PPC2k devices – more responsive than Bounty Hunter 2099 Pinball, albeit they don't let for redefining the keys and don't have so much digitized sound. Also see this.

Their other (still) MIPS-compliant remarkable title is iGolf 1.04. It's not as spectacular as Zio PDA Tour Golf but is still perfectly playable. Also, it has multiplayer capabilities – unlike any other golf titles (or, for that matter, the second in the series). You may also want to see the article in the April/May issue of Pocket PC Magazine for more information on the alternatives.

2.7 Clickgamer


Mahjong Dragon
Landscape only (but playable in portrait). It has stereo in-game music and in-game hints.
Also see this.

Bomb Duck
Platformer; pretty slow. Nice in-game background music, which can't be disabled with the in-game volume controller. (I've tried this very hard to make the game a bit faster. In vain.)
Also see this.

Cold Fuzion 1.1
As with Bomb Duck, it's also impossible to set the music/sound effect volume inside the game (or disable them). A Jawbreaker/Diamond Mine clone with an added twist. May be worth checking out – nothing outstanding though.
Also see this.

2.8 Douglas Beck / Digital Concepts


Douglas Beck’s name is well-known from the early Pocket PC times. He has released some really nice titles.

Motocross Stunt RacerlinklinkA very good and fast, portrait (switchable to landscape) game. Note that the version on the official homepage is AMR-only; the Handango link is ARM/MIPS. Also see: link, this link, link; a review can be found here
RocketElite 1.13/2.0linklinkIt's worth pointing out that Handango advertises the game as 2.0 while the official homepage as 1.13. There're absolutely no differences between the two versions; the only difference is that the Handango version has a different exiting ad screen.
Stuntman Evolutionlinklink-
Flip It!linklinkThis is a funny animation tool. Also see link
WarbirdslinklinkA Joust clone. Also see link

2.8 Flux

This dev. company has released several nice games, most of them MIPS compliant and some of them even free, which are really worth giving a try. Make sure you check out their homepage for the other titles - here, I list the best two.

Blood and Ocean 1.1 Note that the official homepage of the company no longer links this title.

A nice turn-based strategy simulation game; really worth giving a try.

The Mark

A nice turn-based strategy shooter.

2.9 Garga Games


They have four titles; all of them being MIPS-compatible and one of them, Gangsta Race, is highly recommended.

Gangsta Race 1.1
Excellent game – a must at $11.95. If you knew Super Cars II on the Commodore Amiga, then, you know what this game is like :)
Also see this and this.

UnderQuest
(Clicgamer availability).
I don't think it's really worth getting unless you're really into 3D Wolfeinstein & co-clones. It's a bit jerky (and rather boring) on the E-125. Also see this.

MightCraft
Puzzle; also see this.

Maya Magic Puzzle
Another puzzle game. Also see this.

2.10 Iobox


The Finnish company Iobox, which was bought by Terra Mobile in 2001, licensed the rights for a lot of classic titles (for example, Defender, Robotron: 2084, Gauntlet, Mortal Kombat, Paperboy, Marble Madness, Midway Rampage, and SmashTV – see section 'Midway enter PDA scene' here) was out of business by year 2003 (Finnish language links!). Unfortunately, now, it's impossible to buy/get any of their old titles – your only chance to get them is some old magazine CD's.

In addition to the (nice, but not as good – pretty slow on the E-125 – as Marble Worlds by 4pockets) Marble Madness, I've managed to test Midway Rampage 1.0. It's really-really slow – definitely NOT what anyone would expect from a Finnish developer. Not recommended.

There're some reviews of their old games at for example PocketNow.

2.11 Jamdat


Their current homepage only offers mobile phone games; Pocket PC titles can't be found be there.

Unfortunately, their best titles (Links, Worms World Party) aren't available for MIPS. The ones that have MIPS versions are as follows:

GamePriceHandango URLDescription / evaluation
Awele 1.0.2$4.95link-
Bounty Hunter 2099 Pinball 1.1.2$9.95linkVery good compared to other pinball titles on PPC2k, except for the CeCraft titles. For example, Fast vs Furious Pinball v1.0 by Soft Agency LLC is definitely worse (no music at all and on the E-125, non-Dpad buttons can't be assigned to any functionality (it switches the task at once)). Here, there's background music, cool sound effects and controls can be redefined.
Full Hand Casino 1.01$14.95link-
Lemonade Inc. / Lemonade Tycoon (as of version 1.0.2, Hexacto has renamed Lemonade Inc. to Lemonade Tycoon)$19.95linkVery good
Merriam-Webster Crossword Challenge 1.0.0$14.95link-
Pop's Pipes 1.0.2d$4.95linkTetris clone; its original name, back in 2001, was Bob The PipeFitter.
The Emperor's Mahjong 1.1.0-linkVery good.
Tennis Addict 1.01$14.95linkVery nice. Landscape only. Controls are a little uncommon; see Soccer Addict remarks.
Slurp 1.04$4.95linkJawbreaker clone
Soccer Addict 1.0.3b$14.95linkVery nice. Landscape only. Note that the controls are pretty uncommon; make sure you read c:\Program Files\Hexacto Games\Soccer Addict\Soccer Manual.pdf or README.TXT in the home directory on the PDA before trying to play the game.


Note that while Baseball Addict was said to be MIPS-compliant, it wasn't the case. For example, PocketGear also lists it as ARM-only.

2.12 Jimmy Software


A well-known software developer from the early times of the Pocket PC.

Non-working: Jimmy Boyan Crystal – overdrives the device – the picture is running vertically.

Indiana and the Temple of Stones v1.0 – pretty good arcade; not as good as AIM (no in-game music) titles, Quigley's Quest or PDAMill games though.

Jimmy Boyan - better than average

Turjah II – very good, albeit not as good as AIM's Odyssey or, particularly, GikaDiver.

2.13 Microsoft


Microsoft’s old minigame compilations are really entertaining and certainly recommended. Their only problem is the comparatively high price ($29.95) and the lack of trial versions. (And, with Arcade PocketPak, the unavailability.)

Microsoft Arcade PocketPak: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac Man and Dig-Dug. No longer available anywhere.

Microsoft Games PocketPak: Cubicle Chaos (Breakout clone), Fire drill, Killer Commute (see the old Frogger game on the ZX Spectrum); Stock Scramble (~Lode Runner); Task Master (~Lemmings). Availability: Amazon and Handango. Also see this press release. Note that PocketGear / ClickGamer don't have any Microsoft games. It's no longer available on the official homepage.

The only pack that is still available on the official Microsoft homepage is Microsoft Entertainment PocketPak: Blackjack, Taipei, Space Defense, Chess, Minesweeper, Hearts, Cinco, Freecell, Sink the Ships, and Reversi (that is, mostly card/board games - no arcade titles).

2.14 N.I.


Japanese N.I is one of the best arcade game developer. His games are small, simple, cheap (or free) but really addictive.

His homepage linking all his (not only PPC) games can be found here; his Java games (playable in a Web browser, probably even on the Pocket PC - see my Java-related articles in my blog) are available here.

These really cheap (the first three packs const $5 and the fourth $7; there're trial versions) and really cool minigames are highly recommended, especially if you have little kids around. My relatives' children, for example, would die for "CR" Sonic-clone in Retro-Games 2.

(ClickGamer doesn't have the packs).

Game packOfficial URLHandangoPocketGear
1linklinklink
2linklinklink
3linklinklink
4linklinklink


Note that the games come without a decent CAB-based installer – you'll need to directly copy the contents of the mips subdirectory to your PDA. Unfortunately, as the built-in File Explorer in Pocket PC 2000 doesn't support creating links, you'll need to use third-party tools to create them to the executable files if you put them on a different directory from \Windows\Start Menu (you will want to do this because the apps also create configuration files in the same directory, which will result in new, non-clickable files turning up in your Start menu; also, you will want to reduce memory consumption). For this, use for example Resco File Explorer, which did support PPC2000 before version 5.3x. (That is, you'll need to get hold of, say, version 5.21.) Then, just highlight all the copied files on your PDA in Resco, tap-and-hold and choose Copy. Go to \Windows\Start Menu and, then, choose Paste shortcut in the context menu.

Also see this, this, this, this, this, this and this threads on other N.I titles and they in general.

Reports on his commercial games are here.

Of his four free games (his other free titles released earlier are no longer available anywhere), only DLGate and Balloon are playable on the E-125 (the case may be different on ARM devices!); Lode and Ball2 (see this for more info on it) seem to have compatibility problems – they are just unplayably slow, while they grind the CPU to halt, which is also noticeable because the is some continuous pulsing noise in the right sound channel.

2.15 Omnytex Technologies


All their three games are freely downlodable off ClickGamer if you've already spent at least $10 in there.

Invasion Trivia 1.6 (also see this)is a highly entertaining game; a must if you like the genre and want to have a good laugh.

K&G Arcade 1.6 (see this, this and this threads) is also recommended.

2.16 PDAMill


PDAMill is a widely-known Hungarian game developer company. They have high-quality titles, some of which also used to have MIPS versions. These are not officially available any more on their homepage. The games that also had MIPS versions are as follows:

Pdamill Gamebox Solitaire 1.1 – very good (music, even on the Casio!); Landscape-only

Snails – this (Landscape-only) title doesn’t need to be introduced. It is of very good quality – highly recommended.

PDAmill GameBox Gems v2.1 – really excellent! Has ambient music, well-animated and works in Portrait.

The same stands for (the Portrait-mode) Anthelion (also see this and this) , the great space shooter: while the beta still had MIPS, the final version dropped it. The beta is highly recommended (particularly if you disable the sounds)!

2.17 Pocket PC Studios


The well-known developer of megahit titles like Warlords II and Ancient Evil also have some MIPS-compliant games – unfortunately, only puzzles.

Note that the compatibility charts and/or the individual product pages have a lot of (false) information on compatibility. For example, the MIPS-compliant pocketPachisi is called ARM/Xscale-only on the individual product pages, and almost all the compatibility charts contain both the (MIPS) E-125 and the (SH3) HP Jornada 52x/54x.

pocketPachisi 1.0.1
A board game - nothing particular.

Rail Mania 1.0.1
A Pipe Dreams clone. Better than the other, MIPS-compliant PPCStudios games; for example, it features in-game music.
Also see this.

5 Card Spin 1.0
This, now, free card game is Landscape-only and has nothing really groundbreaking.

Baseball Today 1.0.4
It's a today plug-in. Takes up 2 Mbytes of RAM and must be installed in the main memory (which really decreases its usability on most MIPS devices with 16/32Mbytes of RAM). Also, it takes 3-4 seconds for the game to load – that is, if you enable it, displaying the Today screen will become considerably slower after a reset. Also, even if you disable the sound in the game, activating/deactivating the Today screen will result in an audible double-click, which is not necessarily what you want. Also, I wasn't able to uninstall the application.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend it. If you, however, like non-full screen, really simple games that you can directly access on your Today screen, give it a go.

Note that the direct Handango link doesn't work in the official homepage because of the age verification needed; use this (or this ClickGamer link) instead.
Also see this.

Warlords II – much as, at first, it was going to have a MIPS version, later, due to technical difficulties, it was dropped (see this, this and this on this question).

2.18 portable-games.com


Most of their games are MIPS-compliant – it’s only Tetranoid that is ARM-only.

Unfortunately, all their games, except for Ba-Boom! and Speedball 2, are in Landscape. Furthermore, their forthcoming (?) Lands of Shadowgate (also see the Definitive Multiplayer PPC Game Roundup for more info on this title) is still not released.

GamePriceHome URLHandango URLDescription
Déjŕ Vu I/II$14.99 / $19.99 ; bundled: $29.99linklink, link and linkA well-known adventure game from the Amiga/Atari ST times; landscape-only.
Battle Dwarves 1.1$14.99linklinkWorms clone; very nice and fast with great in-game music; landscape-only.
Shadowgate Classic-link and linklinkRPG; landscape-only.
Uninvited$19.99linklinkSame engine as Uninvited; landscape-only.
Ba-Boom!$9.99linklinkPuzzle
Speedball 2$14.99linklinkPretty good and fast. Portrait. Action – also see its Amiga/Atari version. Note that the Handango link only lists ARM compatibility; it's MIPS/SH3-compliant. Also see this.
Crystal Quest$9.99link-Pretty original and entertaining. LS.


2.19 Sean O'Connor's games


He has four games for the Pocket PC and, in addition to them, several others on the desktop. The latter even have multiplayer capabilities – the Pocket PC versions, unfortunately, don't (they would benefit a lot from added multiplayer capabilities!) His games can be highly addictive, albeit a bit expensive (much cheaper when purchased in a bundle though). See for example this and this thread for additional user remarks on these questions.

The four PPC games are (Pocket)General v2.1 (a traditional Stratego game), Conquest 2.0 (a Risk port), Slay 2.0 (winner of the PPCMag Best Software Award 2001 in the Strategy category and also having Palm OS and Symbian UIQ ports) and Rats.

As far as Rats is concerned, much as Connor mentions Rats now and then (for example, in the History), he doesn't list it as a separately downloadable entity. However, when you do install the all-in-one game pack, it'll also install Rats. It's a pretty nice and entertaining game.

Also note that there are a lot of additional, downloadable maps for Conquest. For desktop Windows users, there're plenty of other downloads too; for example, themes, extra islands or other translation files for Slay.

For ARM users, there're some alternatives to some of these games; for example, Warring Nations (for Slay) Add-Venture and Battle Of The Generals (also see this thread). Incidentally, the latter has never received a MIPS port, despite what has been promised.

2.20 SimbSoft


Simbsoft also has some titles worth paying attention to.

GameURLPriceOther remarksLandscape?
Lines3D 1.0link$9.95Great stereo in-game music! Also see this.+
Dice Strip 1.0 link (the page also contains free add-ons)$7.95--
Railroad Jam 1.1link$9.95Not bad; Done in 50 Seconds is slightly better though. Also see this.-
Volleyball 1.0link$14.95Very nice Arcade Volleyball-clone – highly recommended!- (you can switch to using LS view in the app)
Basketball 1.0link$9.95Also see this.-
Mouse Maze 1.3link$14.95Highly recommended. Also see this.+


2.21 Skwork Studio


Shattered Worlds series part 1: Space Combat
Also see this. Strangely, at first, it worked; after reinstalling it, it wouldn't start – it just exit with the "(Hardware) [0] No crf file" error.

Shattered Worlds series part 2: Planet Assault
See the same error message as with part 1. Also see this.

Quadrica 1.0
A puzzle; technically, it doesn’t offer anything particular.

2.22 WebVisia


They have numerous MIPS-compatible games. I've tested some of them (Webtrix – a not very good tetris clone, Galaxy – a mediocre Galaxians clone, Runes – a Bejeweled clone) and found their games mediocre to good but definitely lacking for example in-game music. For example the in-game music-enabled Ballshooter or AIM titles are considerably better.

You may still want to look around on their homepage and give a try to their games.

2.23 XI-ART


They only have card/Diamond Mine games.

Pick11 3.0 ($12.99)

(Handango 2.1 link – interestingly, the two versions have exactly the same internal CAB filedates – that is, 3.0 may not be newer than 2.1!)

It's a traditional coin/card game but with above-average visuals and sounds. Unfortunately, there's no in-game music (unlike under the main menu, which is only some seconds long and is, consequently, really repetitive) and it's landscape-only. Recommended if you like the genre, though. Also see this.

Towers 3.0 ($12.99): Card game, much better than most simple ones but not as good as the PDAMill title. Also see this.

ZooPip 3.0 ($9.99): a Landscape-only card game with (as opposed to other, MIPS-compliant XI-ART games) in-game music (which, incidentally, is really repetitive – as with the main menu background music of all the XI-ART titles). Also see this.

Wonderball 3.0
A Tetris-clone. Pretty mediocre. Also see this.

Their PPC games that doesn't support MIPS are BoozeUp and Lapsus 3.0.

2.24 ZIO Interactive


Probably the most widely known game developer company in the early times of the Pocket PC history is ZIO Interactive, mostly because of their desktop ports.

They have no PPC2k-compliant games online any more; all their titles (see the "Embedded & PDA" drop-down list on their homepage) is PPC2k2+ only. (This also means that ARM users looking for, say, Simcity 2000 won't find any information or even mentioning of the game on their homepage.)

GameClickgamer URLHandango URLPocketGear URLPriceCompatibility with other WM versionsLandscape?
Age of Empires 1.25linklinklink$29.95PPC2k2... WM5; VGA (note that PocketGear only has the MIPS version!). Also read this, this, this, this, and this threads+
Expresso Run----PPC2k2 for sure; also has a PalmOS version-
Simcity 2000 1.1--link$29.95Up to WM2003SE for sure+
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 1.0--link$29.95Up to WM2003SE for sure; also see this for more user opinions +
Ziogolf 1.21--link$29.95--
Ultima Underworld 1.0--link$29.95Also see this thread. +
Ziogolf 2--link$24.95Up to WM2003SE for sure-


3. Game genres

In this section, I provide a roundup of some (not all! For example, while there're many Pipe Dreams clones for the Pocket PC (and even MIPS), I haven't created a separate category for them. I've, however, always mentioned the genre of a given game in this article) game categories that have more than one MIPS games so that you can choose from between them.

3.1 Bomberman clones


Bomberman is a well-known game, which also has some MIPS implementations. I recommend this Flash animation if you don’t know the genre (also, there is an old PC version here).

DLGate by N.I
Probably the best. It's free and has been written by N.I, one of the best "arcade" developers for the Pocket PC. Also see this blog entry.

The Lord Of Bombs v1.0 by Feverent Games
A really-really weak (compared to Explode Arena or DLGate) Bomberman clone; ingame music must be disabled for tolerable speed. Also see this thread.

Super Bomber 0.95 by CafeCat
It's free and the latest version was released early 2004. Unfortunately, it no longer supports MIPS. Also see this.

Note that none of these games are as good as the ARM-only Explode Arena by Infinite Dreams, which I consider the best Bomberman clone for the Pocket PC. (See this article for more info.)

3.2 Breakout (arkanoid) games


GamePriceHandangoHomepageComment
Another Ball Magic 1.8 by Paragon Software$14.95linklinkPretty nice, recommended. Also see this for a complete review.
Bust'em 1.21 by Digital Concepts (Douglas Beck) $16.99link-Unfortunately, the sequel, Bust'em 2 1.0 , is no longer MIPS-compliant (also see this)
Active Ball 1.1 by Ballshooter$11.95-linkHighly recommended Arkanoid/Breakout clone: a lot of power-ups, different in-game music, no speed problems etc.
Pocket Breakout by 4pockets$14.95linklinkThe sequel, Pocket Breakout 2, is ARM-only) . Also see this thread . The ball moves much slower on my E-125 than it should (see for exampe Acky or Spb Arkaball II for how fast it should move!) and can't be made faster – this is, unfortunately, a dealbreaker for me because the game is just boring at this speed. It doesn't have in-game music either.
Cubicle Chaos (in Microsoft Games PocketPak)$29.95 (as part of Microsoft Games PocketPak)--Definitely worse than Bust'em or Active Ball 1.1; however, the other games in the package may compensate for this. See URL's in the Microsoft section.
Ricochet 1.03 by Astraware---See the Astraware section; Another Ball Magic, Bust'em, and, particularly, Active Ball 1.1 are much better
BallStorm v1.0 by Swivel Creations UK$7.99linklinkSignificantly worse than any of the above games.
Pocket Bovine Breakout by Cow Games$5-linkProbably the worst breakout game for PPC2k. Also see this.


Unfortunately, neither of these games are as good as the ARM-only Acky’s Breakout, Spb Arkaball II, Bust'em II or even the breakout game in Arcade Park.

3.3 Marble (Gyroscope) titles

Remember Gyroscope on the C64? Yes, there're (or, more exactly, have been) three titles for the Pocket PC that offer the same experience.

First, 4pocket's Marble Worlds, which technically is probably the best and also has two add-on courses. Also see this.

Second, Iobox's Marble Madness, which is a pretty nice game but no longer available any more anywhere now that Terra Mobile-Iobox is out of business (see the section on Iobox) It's only the Marble Madness(TM) EMUL8R Plugin 1.0 that is still available, but it doesn't contain the game itself.

Finally, Marble Alley by mobile-mania (also see this thread). Unfortunately, there's no trial version on the company's homepage.

4. Excellent miscellaneous titles

In this chapter, I list all the titles having been released by developers that, otherwise, don’t have anything else on the MIPS and, therefore, couldn’t be included in Chapter 2.

4.1 Elite (current MIPS build: 102x8)

The free beta of this (Portrait) game is really- really worth getting and installing if you liked the original Elite game in the eighties (and its successors). The latest beta is really-really good. For example, it plays the main menu music off an MP3, has very nice icons etc.

Also see this and this.
Note that the game has been removed from the public download area. However, you can download the actual beta version if you sign up for the beta test program here. The beta doesn’t support game saving; the final version surely will. Hopefully it'll be soon released.

4.2 CanTris by Mikko Kankainen


This is a free (Portrait) Tetris clone with really excellent multiplayer capabilities from Finnish developer Mikko Kankainen. The multiplayer mode even offers a deathmatch mode as described here . Also see my article on multiplayer games for more information.

4.3 Quigley's Quest 1.10 by Bayside Studios, Inc.


This (landscape-only) Sonic-type platformer is one of the best games for the MIPS (and even for the ARM CPU) – I really-really recommend it (definitely give the trial a try!). It should also be pointed out that Bayside Studios, Inc was one of the developers that still released MIPS versions in June 2004 of their game (also see the MIPS-related explanation on their download page).

Note that if you happen to have version 1.0, you will definitely want to upgrade to 1.10. The latter is far better than the previous version – for example, it has a great in-game background music. On my E-125 only the left audio channel was used by the game, though (must be a bug).

Also see this thread and this PocketGamer review (beware, the latter based upon version 1.0 – again, version 1.1 has in-game music.)

4.4 Dr. Pocket by PocketAdventures.com


Pocket Adventures is a well-known developer of several high-quality titles like Adventurer - The Island Chronicles (see this review) and The Travel Collection (see the Multiplayer Roundup for more info on it). Dr. Pocket is no exception – it is a very nice, animated Tetris-like title with very good, stereo background music (there're three, choosable background music titles). Highly recommended!

Also see this.

Note that PocketAdventures.com also has another MIPS-compliant game, the free (!) 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe. Finally, Ba-Boom! has also been released by the same developer – under a different name (see the portable-games.com section).

4.5 Radium 1.02 by Karma Studios


A pretty good (unfortunately, landscape-only) Tomb Raider-like 3D shooter with very good, stereo background music. It's definitely worth a try, even on a 150 MHz E-125. Also see this thread.

4.6 !PyroMania! 1.01


(also see the official homepage and this PG thread)

This Portrait-mode, brand new game is just great, even on PDA’s with MIPS CPU’s. Of course it's a bit (not much!) jerkier than on the ARM/Xscale (I've tested it on the iPAQ 2210, the iPAQ 3660, the WM5 HTC Wizard and the Pocket Loox 720) but still perfectly playable even with enabled background music (which is stereo and very-very good!)

4.7 Pocket 3D Blocks 2.2 by ValkSoft


(also see this thread)

Note that the trial version, while the homepage of the application is still existing, doesn't exits on Handango.

Great Blockout (Tetris in 3D) clone. If you liked the Blockout in 1989-1990, then, this game will be for you.

4.8 Blade of Betrayal v1.0 by HPT Interactive


Great looking (Portrait) 2D scrolling and fighting game.
Get/download from ClickGamer; also note that ClickGamer is still offering the game for free. Neither PocketGear nor Handango have it and, in addition, the developer has gone out of business in the meantime.

Reviews: mobiletechreview; a PG thread here, here and here.

4.9 Nuclear Time 1.50 by Mallocware


If you liked Fallout back in 1997 and speak German (the English version is both outdated and said to have a horrible English translation – I haven't checked it because I also speak German and, therefore, don't need to stick to English games), then, you'll like this RPG too. It seems a bit oversimplified and slow at first, but as soon as you get familiar with the GUI, you will find it satisfactory. Highly recommended!

Also see this thread.

4.10 Counter sheep 2nd ed 1.5 by Oz Creations


(Handango link here.)

This highly recommended (portrait) title is like Snails in top view. Make sure you give it a try.

Also see this, this, this, this, this thread and this review.

The developer also offers free upgrade levels.

Unfortunately, it doesn't offer inter-PDA multiplayer capabilities.

4.11 Tower of Souls 1.2


Great isometric RPG – action like Bitmap Brothers' Cadaver and, to a lesser degree, Blizzard's Diablo.

Additional availability: PocketGear (version 1.0 only!)
Handango (version 1.01 only!)
Also see this and this.

It's very important that you download and read the manual – the GUI isn't at all intuitive.

4.12 Soccer Kid by Richard Teather


A really nice platformer with in-game music. Perfectly playable with the Casio. Too bad the developer has gone out of business and it's impossible to obtain the game now from online sources.
Also see this PG thread and this review.

4.13 Escape Velocity v1.0 by Clickgamer


A good Pipe Dreams clone with music; Landscape only! Astwaware Rocket Mania is comparable to it; the latter isn't Landscape and has a strategy mode & some other components (rockets) but doesn't have music. $14.95.
Link here. Also see this review and this thread.

4.14 Fade 1.06 by Fade-Team


This game is by far the best text-based, native adventure game for the Pocket PC.

Compared to the ARM version, it has no sounds (even when it does install sound resources). Get it from here or here.

4.15 Exit Nights by Fade-Team


It's just a card game with (infrared only – no TCP/IP!) multiplayer capabilities. That is, it's nothing like Fade, the best game ever produced by the same developer. You may still want to give it a try. Also see this thread.

4.16 Pocket Snooker 3D v1.25 by TDRD Ltd.


Available at Handango ($9)

Note that it's one of the very few apps that install themselves into the main memory. It’s a very good game; comparable to the ARM-only Virtual Pool (see my review of the latter here). It has TCP/IP multiplayer capabilities. Also see this PG thread.

4.17 Warfare Incorporated 1.2


Along with the ARM/SH3-only, abdandoned game BugLord (see review here), this title is no doubt the best Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game for the Pocket PC. (Of course, don’t expect anything like Starcraft.)

4.18 Argentum: This is war 1.1 by Ionside


Availability: PocketGamer; Handango (no Clickgamer availability and the homepage of Ionside no longer exists).

This game is also a RTS. Not as good as Warfare or Buglord, though.

Note that version 1.2 (links: PG / Handango), released late 2003, is ARM-only; the MIPS version has been frozen at version 1.1 late 2002.

It's definitely worth disabling the music to speed up gameplay – unfortunately, version 1.1 is as slow in this respect as previous, unofficial, leaked versions (for example, 1.092).

Also see this, this and this thread for more info.

4.19 GikaDiver 1.0


(The ARM/MIPS/SH3 links are just at the top of the page!)

A free D-pad-based (no stylus-based control is possible; therefore, it's not recommended for any PDA with sub-par D-pads) vertical scroller shoot'm'up. It really rocks – it has everything a decent shoot'm'up needs. Too bad it only has one map (that is, the game is more of a tech demo than a fully-fledged game).

Also see this, this and this.

4.20 3D Air Hockey 1.0 by Handmark


This title is also worth checking out. Note that the game is definitely cheaper ($8, as opposed to $15) on PocketGear.

4.21 Pocket 3DNoid 1.0 by ValDeSoft


This very cheap ($2) game is pretty good. It's similar to Blockout, but also takes some random component into the stylus control. You may want to give it a try. Not available on Clickgamer/PocketGear. Note that it installs itself into the main memory if you install it with CabInst.

Unfortunately, it's pretty slow on non-overclocked E-125's. Therefore, I recommend Crazy Ball 3D by Max Image World over it. Also see this for a complete review & comparison of the two titles.

4.22 Sooper Scooper 2.1.0 by Cosiesoft


A Visual Basic-based, really simple, cheap ($2) game. It has pretty good in-game music. Worth a try.

Note that the same developer also offers the game Voodoo Pal (2.1.0). It's a cheap ($2), silly, really simple game. People who look for a PDA equivalent of a voodoo toy. Worth a try if you want to play something really silly.

4.23 Strawberry Mania v1.0 by Cronotech


A simple, but entertaining arcade game with in-game music; you may want to give it a try.

Note that the same developer has some other games too. The majority of them are pretty boring puzzle games, but they also have some arcades (for example the Spidy-Dog series). They're also accessible in the above-linked page.

4.24 PocketBowling 2.2 by Megasoft2000


(note that 2.2 no longer supports MIPS; the latest version I know of to support MIPS is 1.1)

Really simple-to-play, but pretty nice-looking bowling game. Note that you need to draw strokes (lines); if you just click the target, you'll be greeted with a "stroke registration error".

Also see this.

4.25 Flipit by PC Studios


It contains 19 Connect-4/Gomoku/Reversi type game variants and has very little memory requiremens. There’s a very similar, freeware game, Connex, by the same developer, which contains 5 game variants fully enabled - "Connex", "Gomoku", "Contax", "TicTacToe" and "DontConnex4".

4.26 Lines Platinum by not-big-deal


It’s a puzzle game. It has a free “Gold” version, which is only slightly less capable. May be worth a try.

4.27 Patiences Gold 2.12 by not-big-deal

A collection of 112 solitaire games; may be worth a try. It has a “Silver” edition, which is $2 less and “only” contains 50 solitaire games.

4.28 Rebound! by ideaworks3d

It's a very nice action game. Unfortunately, it's no longer sold either. You may want to read PocketGamer's excellent review of this game here. The ARM version is still available at HandanGo, but it's not guaranteed to work (it's trying to contact to the developer's server, which no longer responds to these requests.)

Unfortunately, the developer only has have N-Gage / Java / BREW games on their homepage.

4.29 ICMB by Geoff Macdonald

This title is a nice, free shooter game. It's a bit like Enslave - of course, it's much worse. For a MIPS device, however, it may be worth trying out.

Unfortunately, the successor to the game, ICMB II, only has an ARM version, as with the third title of the same developer, Blaster.

4.30 Forgrain

An interesting RPG game. Worth a try. (Demo download here.)

4.31 T-Force Platoon 1.0 by OrchiMedia

Another Cannon clone. Worth a try.

4.32 Jump & Roll - v1.0 by PublicPocketGames

This free platformer/action is also worth a try.

4.33 Crazy Ball 3D by Max Image World

Very good and fast 3D wall tennis title. Also see this for a complete review.

5. Other tested titles

In this section, I elaborate on some other titles I’ve also tested but didn’t find worth including in the previous, “the best titles” section. In a lot of cases, I only list the game to provide a working URL and show that the title indeed works (I've also tested all these titles).

5.1 Snake Trap 1.0 by PPC Utils


Very slow (and, therefore, not recommended), traditional snake game. Also see this.

5.2 Jump & Roll by PublicPocketGames /Reaxion


Note that, at first, it was free; off Handango, however, it costs $1.99.

5.3 Classic Adventure Game 1.0 by Tommy Do


Also see this.

5.4 Pocket Farm 1.322 by carrot4free


A Diamond Mine clone – this time with fruits. Not recommended – it has no in-game music and the animation is also pretty weak, compared to most other Diamond Mine clones. The related thread of a very early version can be found here.

5.5 The Pipe 0.20


This is a simple, 50 kbyte-big, free Pipe Dreams clone. One of the peculiarities of it is that it even has a WindowsCE 1.0 version. Taking its price and size into account, it may be worth checking out.

The links are in the middle of the page; if you can't find them, the direct link to version 0.20 is here (ARM version here).

Also see this.

5.6 Solskia v2.0 by Crimson Fire Entertainment


An isonometric RPG-adventure. Pretty weak – slow, there are no sounds/music, the battle system is very weak. New titles like the Palm OS-based Edge, or the even MIPS-compliant !PyroMania! are orders of magnitude better.

I also recommend making a generic search at PocketGamer for "Solskia" to see the story of the game (to be more precise, to see why it sucks so much).

5.7 HellChess by Hellcoder


A freeware chess program with both single- and multiplayer capabilities. Unfortunately, it is not FICS/ICS-compliant (see the Definitive Multiplayer PPC Game Roundup for an explanation). Still, if you want a freeware chess that works in both single- and multiplayer mode, it's significantly better than Valentine Chess.

Also see this.

5.8 Pocket Chip's Challenge by Iceboxman Technologies


A freeware port of Microsoft's Chips Challenge.

Also see this.

5.9 Supreme Snowboarding by Play'n'go


If you liked for example Horace goes skiing on the Commodore C64/Sinclair ZX Spectrum, then, this game will be for you. It's pretty simple but quite entertaining.

Note that Play'n'go no longer has any Pocket PC-related stuff online (but Java only).

5.10 Bouncing Eggs 1.0 by PDATopSoft


A very weak game. The blurb says "An addictive, exciting game" – well, I disagree.

5.11 Flick Off by Mark Neesam


A minigolf-like game. Free and supposed to be pretty cool. I, though, had problems in actually kicking the ball – I just haven't managed to do it on purpose. Also see this.

5.12 VT Pocket Tennis 1.0 by Virtual Toys


Compared to Tennis Addict, it's, in my opinion, worse – the controls are harder to use. It looks a bit better though. Also see this.

5.13 encircle 2.0 by bitlabs


It requires .NET CF. Also see this.

5.14 Mastersoft Chess


5.15 Clickomania v1.1 by Beiks


It’s a traditional Bejeweled clone. Nothing really interesting. Beware: it installs itself to main memory.

5.16 Crazy Bubbles 1.2 by Pocket Mind Software


Another Jawbreaker clone; well animated.

5.17 Dragon Bane II 1.0.5 by Mythological Software


Not bad RPG (with MIPS standards – on ARM devices, top RPG’s like Arvale I/II by PDAMill are far better. See this thread for more ARM tips). The text rendering could be much prettier & readable.

5.18 Dresden Gallery Puzzle v1.0 by PdaTopSoft


Not really recommended: this traditional picture scrambler game only has some 6-7 paintings to play with. It’s still cheaper than, for example, the absolutely loser Picture Scramble by Sambor Software. This doesn’t make it worth the money in my opinion, however. If you want to have a nice, free picture scrambler game, get for example the free Pocket 15 v1.0 by FerventGames.

5.19 Find the Pair v1.0


Puzzle, not very bad.

5.20 Tri-Peaks Hand 1.0 by Birdsoft


5.21 WordCube And Friends v1.2 by GetJar


A free set of three word games.

6. Emulators, game interpreters, Flash, Java

In addition to native games, there’re other ways of playing games originally meant for other and/or multiple platforms. Playing games originally developed for other platforms requires either an emulator or a game interpreter, while playing multiplatform games, in general, requires plug-ins (see for example the Macromedia Flash plug-in to play Flash games) or Midlet/Applet environments (as is the case with Java midlets/applets).

6.1 Emulators


Because of the restricted CPU power in MIPS devices, you can only hope for seamless emulation of other platforms that themselves are pretty simple, hardware-wise. This means you will be able to for example emulate

  1. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) consoles. I only recommend PocketNester for this purpose – the two other, MIPS-compliant NES emulator, MorphGear and YameCE, are clearly worse, speed-wise, on a 150 MHz E-125.)
  2. older (cartridge-based) handheld consoles like GameBoy and GameBoy Color. As is the case with NES, you’ll need to stay away from MorphGear for maximum performance. I’ve found Henrik Rydgĺrd’s free Mboy (which only has a MIPS version - that is, don't look for ARM builds) the best on MIPS devices. It, however, has problems running several games; with them, you’ll still need to look for a working, albeit definitely slower alternative.



This means newer consoles / platforms are hard to emulate on MIPS CPU's with decent speed (as opposed to current ARM PDA's). That is, there isn’t much point in trying to emulate, say, SNES or GBA games – it’s impossible to well emulate GBA even on most of today’s Pocket PC’s (see my GBA emulator roundup here), let alone on a much slower E-125.

Note that I’ll elaborate on this question more thoroughly in a forthcoming article dedicated to emulators.

6.2 Game interpreters

Game interpreters directly work on the data files of a given (type of) game and, therefore, make it possible to achieve much better speeds than with a generic-purpose emulators.

Fortunately, almost all (decent) game interpreters have MIPS versions. That is, for example, PocketSCUMM or PocketSarien.

I’ll also write an article on all the available game interpreters for the Pocket PC, with, of course, extensive MIPS information. In the meantime, I recommend this article on this question.

6.3 Macromedia Flash

Macromedia Flash is a highly popular multiplatform platform, also extensively used for gaming. There are even Pocket PC clients and MIPS is used to be supported too. Unfortunately, the available MIPS-compliant Flash players, in general, aren’t compatible with the latest Flash games – and the ones that are compatible are, in general, very slow. However, there’re some very cool Flash games that run on old MIPS (almost) flawlessly; one of them is the great, highly recommended game Johnny Rocketfingers.

Please see my full article on Flash on the Pocket PC for more information on this subject - it also elaborates on MIPS compliance.

6.4 Java


Unfortunately, there’re no Java midlet runner applications for the Pocket PC. The only available midlet environment, IBM J9 (see my article here) is WM2003+ only.

As far as Java applets are concerned, it’s only older versions of NSICom’s CrEme support them flawlessly on the MIPS CPU. These are no longer available, though. The alternative Web browser Thunderhawk, which is also able to run Java applets, also has a MIPS version, but its usage for games is not recommended because it’s very slow (it’s using server-side Java interpretation and only send over the images produced by the applet, which really slows things down).

7. Non-working titles

In addition to the (many) Absolutist and the two Handmark titles I've already elaborated on, the following games didn't work:

7.1 Pest Control by SpriteHand Software / TapRocket LLC


(Also see this and this)

It just didn't work on my E-125 – exited after an "error opening ali.mgf" error message.

7.2 Namco Pac-Man


The screen is invisible.

7.3 Yeti3D by intuitex


A small 3D game (or more of a tech demo). It messes up the E-125 screen and is, therefore, useless. Note that it even has 2700G support – see this for more info and an extensive review.

8. Haven’t managed to test because of the lack of the trial version

8.1 Puzzle Blocks by LimitedMedia.com


8.2 Mankala by Macrosoft


Also see this thread.

9. Haven't been able to find anywhere

9.1 HomingLaserCanon


This is a nice freeware game. Unfortunately, the official homepage no longer exists and only the ARM version is available.
The same stands for Equlaser, BlueArea and GallopAttack by the same developer.

9.2 Entertainment Pack #1 by Amiga-Anywhere


9.3 Rayman Ultimate by Gameloft

It also had a MIPS version (see this and this) too. It can't be found anywhere any more on the three repositories. The Gameloft homepage doesn't have any PPC titles any more either - they only list mobile phone ones.

The same stands for the other known Gameloft title, the vertical scroller Capcom 1942 /River raid clone:

9.4 Siberian Strike X

See this and this.

This game is very good even on the MIPS platform – really worth getting if you can. (Speaking of River Raid clones: unfortunately, none of the MIPS River Raid clones are as good as the ARM-only SkyForce by Infinite Dreams ).

9.5 Classics Action Pack and the Classics Leisure Pack by Sega

It (see this) is no longer available anywhere either. Sega doesn't even list Pocket PC as a supported platform any more. You don't lose much, however – according to the PG thread, these games were awful.

9.6 Sorcery PDA

This great RPG also had MIPS/SH3 versions upon the initial release. These versions have been dropped since then, though, and it seems to be impossible to get the MIPS version any more (Handango/PocketGear only have the ARM/Xscale 1.2 versions; the latter is no longer the MIPS one, as opposed to what is said in the linked PG thread). Also see this.

9.7 Billiard Master by DigYs Software

The developer has changed their name to Mobirate in the meantime and no longer offer pre-WM2003-compliant versions. "Old" versions are no longer available in public. This is certainly a pity because this game is really nice (see the Multiplayer Roundup for more information on the latest version).

9.8 MagicMatrix 1.0 by Minimax Development Group


Also see this.

9.9 Atomic Cannon Pocket

The first versions (see this) still had MIPS builds of this great game; later ones didn't.

9.10 Duke Nukem 3D by Frank Pennaut

This “project” was just a fake.

9.11 King's Bounty

This is a port of the well-known game by New World Computing. There used to be a MIPS version. Unfortunately, the official, 1.0 release has dropped MIPS support (even though the Handango page still states MIPS compliance). Unfortunately, later betas still available (for example, version 0.7; according to PG, version 0.5 still had a MIPS build) don't have a MIPS version either.

9.12 X-Fighter

The forthcoming space shooter also promises MIPS support; unfortunately, the currently available build doesn't have any.

10. Acknowledgements

A big thanks goes to Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine for sending me an English E-125 for free. Now, I can pass on my old, German-language E-125 to the numerous children of relatives :)

11. Recommended Links

My Games section in the Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Expert Blog.