The Five best (and worst) BlackBerry games

By Joe Doherty, ITworld |  Personal Tech, BlackBerry, blackberry apps

Recently, I rated the five best and worst games for the iPhone. Seems natural to write a similar review for the BlackBerry. The interesting aspect of reviewing games for these phones is that both are perceived (and created) as different beasts. The BlackBerry is still primarily a tool for business users while the iPhone was made for the masses. Therefore it stands to reason that the standout games on the BlackBerry platform are simpler, less graphically complex games than the iPhone. That doesn't mean that they're less fun...just different.

As with the iPhone games, the criteria is used for judging BlackBerry games is a combination of how well the game works with the phone's interface and the interest I have in returning to the game after trying it out. Think the opposite for "worst". A subjective process to be sure, but I did promise I'd find the best and this method seems as good as any.

So. On with the list:

BEST GAMES:

1) Lego Batman for BlackBerry by PlayerX ($9.99). Full disclosure: I love the Lego Star Wars video games. The Batman and Indiana Jones Lego games are also played often on my Xbox 360. So, I was thrilled and hesitant about finding the Lego Batman for BlackBerry. Fortunately, with a little mind-wiping, I found this game rather enjoyable. The gameplay is more like Mario Brothers in DC Universe costumes, but works well in a handheld format. The graphics aren't bad and lend themselves well to the BlackBerry's screen. If you can put the console games' versions out of your mind (like Adam West vs Christopher Bale), then you should be able to enjoy this little game.

2) Arcade Park vol. 2 by HeroCraft ($5.99). This is a nice little three-pack game bundle which includes generic versions of Dig Dug ("Digger"), Galaga/Galaxian/SpaceInvaders ("Galaxy Invades") and Gauntlet ("GoldHunter"). The games are similar in play to their named counterparts, and that bodes well for the BlackBerry. These games are not graphically heavy, but they are quite addictive all on their own. Plus, hey...three arcade games for six bucks. Not bad.

3) Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile by Magmic Games ($9.99). Full disclosure: I am not a fan of the Guitar Hero games. The reason being is I play guitar for real, and if I have the time to play Guitar Hero, I certainly have time to play my Les Paul Custom. That's my issue and I'll deal with it. That said, I have to admit the Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile is a well executed game and quite a lot of fun to play. As a matter of fact, I might have been more intense playing this game than any of the others. Not sure if that's a good thing, as I was blissfully unaware that I was holding up the line at the grocery counter. My justification for such enjoyment? My BlackBerry is a lot more portable and socially acceptable than my Gibson.

4) Nintaii by Mobigloo (trial: free. Full: $9.99). As a puzzle game, there are few as relaxing as Nintaii. Relaxing and not boring. Kinda like listening to Enya. The point of this game is to solve the geometric puzzles by moving what looks to be columns from Stonehenge around. The graphics are quite slick and I found it to be fun just to flip what looks like a block of granite to and fro. Wasn't going to make the review until I found myself killing more than a fair amount of time with Nintaii. Try it out.

5) Zombie Infection by Gameloft ($9.99). With Zombie-chic being so prevalent in our society these days, it's difficult not to get hooked on a fun little Contra-like shooter called "Zombie Infection". Equipped with a variety of weapons, this 2D scroller shooter allows you to blast many zombies to the netherworld. The interface is pretty decent, even if the action on the screen could look better on a small screen. Still, fun fun fun!

Note: Many of these games are cross-platform, so if you don't have a BlackBerry...it's probably available for your weapon of choice.

Don't like what's on my list? The nifty part of this age of interactive media we call "the inter-net" is that you have the ability and opportunity to respond. List your favorite game. Berate me for my crappy taste in mobile gaming. Whatever works. Let your voice be heard (well, read).

Now, on to the worst...

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WORST GAMES:

1) Pac-Man Pinball 2 by Namco ($6.99). Wow. I had heard that this game was ridiculous from a friend of mine, so I checked it out. Pac-Man Pinball is, well, just ridiculous. First, why on Earth would you buy a pinball game that is not, in fact, an actual pinball game? Pinball is about the feel of the table, the tactile usage of the paddles, trying to predict the physics of the bumpers and the sounds electronically egging you on. And then, why in the heck would you slap Pac-Man's name on this? Maybe he needed a little retirement money in the South Pacific with Ms. Pac-Man. I will say, the controls are fine. Other than that, run from this game. You heard me.

2) Wallace and Gromit Adventures by PlayerX ($9.99). You're reading the writing of a huge W&G fan. Aardman in general, in fact. Imagine my disappointment when playing "Wallace and Gromit Adventures." Part of the appeal of this claymation slice of Britain is the quips uttered by Wallace and the subsequent eye-rolling from Gromit. The puzzle game itself has promise, but the game is difficult to navigate and the animation is flat. Which is precisely the opposite of W&G.

3) Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail by Magmic Games ($6.99). Another friend of mine LOVED L.S. Larry. Needless to say, that person is no longer considered a friend. This game is atrocious. The controls, aren't suited for a mobile device. The graphics, storyline and "humor" are way below par for a seven dollar download. If paid to play this game, I would return the money and read a book.

4) Dance Dance Revolution Mobile by Konami ($6.99). I saw this game and wondered … how does this work on a mobile phone? Answer: it doesn't. Plus, I had to kick my own ass for downloading it.

5) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare by Glu Mobile ($7.99). COD4 is in my top 3 favorite Xbox 360 games. The graphics, the gameplay, the story...all top notch. The mobile version? It's not bad at all. If you have never played or seen the console version, this might be a fun little outing for your BlackBerry. But to be honest...it's kinda like drawning the Mona Lisa with an Etch-a-Sketch. Just...no.

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