Jan. 7, 2011, 8:44 a.m.
posted by sl
Play Free Magmic Games
In an effort to promote the BlackBerry as a worthy mobile gaming platform, Research In Motion has offered a free game from Magmic on its portal. The Bass Assassin fishing game has been available free for some time. Recently, as Magmic Games has become more popular [Hack #32], and they have released more games [Hack #33], RIM has worked out an arrangement to make more Magmic games available for free on its site. At the time of this writing, there are five games available on the BlackBerry portal (http://mobile.blackberry.com).
Bass Assassin is a game in which you try to catch the most fish in 10 minutes (tournament play) or just fish for the fun of it (see Figure). To cast, click the trackwheel once. This starts an oscillating meter on the left side of your screen. To make a long cast, click the trackwheel as the red bar is at the top of the meter. To make a short cast, click the trackwheel as it approaches the bottom of the meter. Once you've made a cast, use the trackwheel to speed up or slow down the retrieval of your lure. Try to time it so your lure passes right in front of the fish that you see swimming in the water. Once you hook a fish, your fishing pole bends and a tension meter appears on the left side of your screen. Use the trackwheel to scroll forward to reel in the fish or scroll backward to release tension on the line. If there is too much tension on the line, it will break and you'll lose the fish (and your lure!).
Raging Rivers is a kayaking game in which you try to navigate through a course on a river (see Figure). You are measured by how long it takes you to maneuver through the white water and obstacles that appear in your path. There are multiple gates that you need to pass through. You'll need to pass through the green gates from the upstream site and the red gates from the downstream side of the gate. If you miss a gate, your time is penalized. Also, watch out for the rocks and the stream's edge—if you touch those too many times, you'll destroy your boat and your chances.
Spider Solitaire is a variation of solitaire, a single-player card game (see Figure). The object is to clear all the cards off the table by making an entire row from king to ace of the same suit. Once you complete a row, it is automatically cleared. You can move a card to any column that has the next highest card showing—for example, the jack of hearts could be placed on the queen of spades or the queen of diamonds (or any queen, in fact). To move a card or set of cards, use the trackwheel to place the arrow over the row that contains the card you'd like to move. Select the row by clicking the trackwheel. Scroll to the destination row and click the trackwheel again, and the cards will be moved. You can only move groups of cards of the same suit. The game starts with two decks of cards. Once you run out of moves, scroll to the cards at the bottom right of your screen to deal an extra row of cards.
Klondike is another version of solitaire (see Figure). The rules are the same as the version of solitaire that comes with Microsoft Windows. You try to move all the cards to the top four slots in order from ace to king. In the lower rows, you can stack cards of opposite color and you can move kings (and all cards stacked on them) to empty rows. Use the trackwheel to scroll among the rows and select the cards you'd like to move. Scroll to the destination and click again to move the cards. Once you run out of moves, scroll to the cards on the top left of the screen to uncover more cards to play. Once you clear the bottom rows of all cards by moving them to the top four slots, you win!
Texas Hold 'Em King
The first version of the popular Texas Hold 'Em King game [Hack #32] from Magmic is available for free as well (see Figure). You won't find the online capabilities of the current version in this one, although you can upload your high scores to Magmic to see where you rank in the offline game. This is a great way to learn the game, but be careful—once you start playing this game, you'll want to shell out the $9.95 for the current version! Be sure to bring this one on your next road trip to Vegas!