Paul Makepeace ;-)

September 6, 2004

Flux Challenge

Posted in: Drivel

Flux Challenge Screenshot
I was looking for a replacement for the audio notes recorder on my Orange SPV PDA/phone when I discovered this first-person 3D fly-through game, Flux Challenge. Usually with PDA/phone games they're generally boring barely-animated block pushing exercises. I've seen some cool-ish 3D games on the P800 so I had some idea what a game could be like on a modern PDA. But holy cow, I wasn't prepared for this.

The game is to fly your race-ship through a tube, like a 2D car game but with the 3D element of steering it up and down. There are the standard game variations like picking your ship from amongst variously-abled craft, buying boosters, time trials, practice mode, and the usual cheesy back-story.

Right off the bat the game has a pretty kickin' opening menu sequence and audio track. Tapping quickly through the intro menu I start a game up. Wow: high speed colorful smooth 3D animation, more solid in-game music, intuitive controls (up, down, left, right on the phone's pad) and gameplay that rewards practice.

Fiddling with settings I turn on all the high quality graphics and sound options. The former includes higher poly models (i.e. fewer rough edges) and dithering. Put it this way, the graphics feel smoother and snappier than Descent 1 on a desktop PC back in the mid-90s.

If someone has a mobile phone with any game on it besides this one, safe to say, they are owned ;-)

Put aside that games are for fun, and instead look at what they are demonstrating. Games put huge demands on a computer; in a sense they are the cutting edge of what a device is capable of. To me, Flux Challenge and games of its technical and design caliber point to a viable future of sophisticated well-designed responsive PDA/phone applications, providing us with genuinely useful facility we can carry around with us. Pretty exciting stuff!

(This review has more screenshots. Here is the Flux Challenge download page.)

Posted by Paul Makepeace at September 6, 2004 02:38 | TrackBack
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