A Short Review Of Orneta Checkers 1.5
I am not usually a board game type person my self, I haven’t really played many and not one on my Pocket PC. That all changed when Orneta Checkers 1.5 was released and Orneta offered it free to the first 1000 orders on Handango. I took advantage of the offer right away and ordered it. It was easy enough to install and registration was easy. In minutes I was looking at a checkered blue screen with two sets of different coloured tokens sitting on opposite sides.
Was on novice, playing as the black pieces. You can choose the colour pieces you want to play as, what difficulty and if you want there to be sounds. The board interface is elusive at first, not knowing whether to tap or double tap a piece to select it. A single tap selects a piece and a second tap on a diagonally connect square moves the piece. However it isn’t apparent to someone picking up the game for the first time that that is how it works.
Novice was easy four times out of three, the third time was a bit more challenging but it was probably because of a accidental move made by me. Medium was a more of a challenge and the message “Thinking” appears somewhat briefly before each turn of the CPU. After not loosing any of the five matches in a row it was time to move on to expert difficulty. “Thinking” became the game for the CPU’s turns. It would spend almost a minute or more “Thinking” of it’s next move, even when the only move available was take a piece. It appeared that that was the only thing to change in this difficulty as I was once again able to win five matches in a row.
Winning five in a row on difficult was not as difficult as you would think. It was almost like playing the Medium skill setting again, but taking longer to play each move.
Orneta claim that this game is Orientation Aware (Resizes for the orientation of your screen and screen size) and Theme Aware (The game matches the colour of the theme active on your device). The Orientation Aware side of the game works very well, it adjust as quick as I adjust from portrait to landscape on my iPAQ. The theme aware on the other hand I couldn’t find how to access, until I read on a forum that it is only for Windows Mobile 5.0. Yet it is apart of the product information for the Windows Mobile 2003 version.
- Application name: Orneta Checkers 1.5
- Tested version: 1.5
- Author: Orneta
- Download: Trial
- Registration: US$ 9.95, purchase at our store or at handango.com. Users of Windows Mobile 5.0 click here. Users of Windows Mobile 2003SE click here.
In conclusion this is a great concept that needs a little more revision before they ask people to pay for it. The game is basic and the difficulty lies mostly in having the patience to wait out the “Thinking” message. The Theme Aware feature could have been reconfigured in the Windows Mobile 2003 version to allow the user to choose the colour of the board to at least give users of that platform a chance to change the look of the game. The interface is almost there, but something needs to be done about informing the user of what is going on. I give this a 70%