J2ME MIDP Games
This book will focus highly on the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) of J2ME, because it acts as the backbone for all small, mobile devices. Although the official release of MIDP is in its early stages, many companies and hobbyists have managed to put out an impressive line of games. Clearly, the speed in which games can be designed, programmed, and deployed is a result of the widespread use of Java and programmers' expertise in using it.
Karl Hörnell's MIDP-Man
An independent programmer named Karl Hörnell has put out some of the most impressive MIDP games, for both the Palm OS and cell phones. A cute and effective Pac-Man clone named MIDP-Man and shown in Figure 3.22, pushes MIDP's limits.
Figure 3.22 MIDP-Man.
HolyCowBoy's BlockBuster and HolyMoley
URL for BlockBuster: http://holycow.tripod.co.jp/cooldownboy/blockbuster.htm
URL for HolyMoley: http://holycow.tripod.co.jp/cooldownboy/holymoley.htm
BlockBuster, created by a Japanese programmer who calls himself HolyCowBoy, is a takeoff of Breakout or Arkanoid. Move the paddle back and forth in order to catch the bouncing ball. The ball will break apart blocks, sometimes releasing valuable pills that make your paddle bigger or cause the ball to move more slowly. Figure 3.23 shows the game in action.
Holy Moley is a "whack-a-mole game" that ingeniously lets you use your phone's numeric keypad to quickly whack moles that pop out of holes. You'll need quick reflexes! And be careful not to whack a flower. The game has six different stages. Figure 3.24 illustrates all the mole-whacking fun.
Figure 3.23 BlockBuster.
Figure 3.24 Holy Moley.
This is a simple but full-featured draw poker game created by another Japanese programmer named Koichi. A screen sample is shown in Figure 3.25.
Figure 3.25 Draw Poker.
Some of the most advanced MIDP games out there were written by none other than Roman VerhovsekCEO of Cocoasoft and coauthor of this book.
Axion is a quick-moving arcade game. You fly your ship through different landscapes, avoiding a wide variety of bad guyseach of which exhibits a different difficulty and behavior.
As you progress through the levels, you will pick up different weapons and types of missiles, as shown in Figure 3.26.
Figure 3.26 Axion.
The game will connect to a server and keep track of the top 100 players. Slightly different versions of the games are available for different phones. If your phone supports sound or vibrations, so does the gameyour phone vibrates with each explosion!
i-Skiing, shown in Figure 3.27, is a simple downhill slalom competition. Move your skier back and forth between the flags, racing against the clock. You will assessed a time penalty if you miss flags. There are also a number of different slopes to try.
Figure 3.27 i-Skiing.
Different versions of the game work on MIDP, iAppli, Personal Java, and KittyHawk (LG Electronics' i-Book phone). Multiplayer features will be provided in the near future.
Jerry the Cat: Indiana Jerrys
Indiana Jerrys is a complete side-scrolling platform game, similar to Super Mario Brothers or Manic Miner. You must move through different levels, avoiding bad dogs. Different levels have elevators and other moving platforms, as well as power-ups and goodies that can earn you a higher score. Figure 3.28 depicts Jerry in action.
Figure 3.28 Jerry the Cat.
Additionally, the game is multiplayer, with the capability for people across the world to compete in the same levels.
RomeBlack's Mobile Internet Maze Game
The game takes the simple Rock-Paper-Scissors idea and adds a new twist: You log in with your cell phone and join up to five other players in a maze. You take the role of either a rock, a piece of paper, or a pair of scissors, as seen in Figure 3.29.
You then chase opponents around the maze, while being chased by them. Rock will beat scissors, scissors will always beat paper, and paper will beat rock. Whoever is caught loses that round of the game.
Both a Palm and MIDP version of the game are available.
Figure 3.29 Internet Maze Game.
Sky Arts' Cube Game
The Sky Arts site features several different puzzle games for MIDP, along with a reversi and poker game.
In the Cube game, various colored cubes will fall from the top of a grid. If four or more of the same colored squares are positioned in a horizontal or vertical line, then they will disappear from the grid as shown in Figure 3.30. Any cubes higher up will fall, causing chain reactions. If you wait too long, then the cubes in the grid will grow until there is no more room, and you will lose the game. The other cube games provide variations on this theme.
Figure 3.30 Cube game.
Jshape's M-Type and MIDP Street Fighter
URL for M-Type: http://www.jshape.com/mtype/index.html
URL for Street Fighter: http://www.jshape.com/msf/index.html
M-Type is a Micro Edition version of the popular 80s arcade game called R-Type. You simply move your ship around, avoiding fireballs from bad guys and trying to beat the big boss at the end of each level. This game boasts some of the most impressive graphics to ever reach the small screen, as shown in Figure 3.31.
Figure 3.31 M-Type.
MIDP Street Fighter is a takeoff of one of the most popular arcade fighting games of all time. Although the game is not quite as advanced as the arcade version, it allows you to pit two martial arts characters against each other, as in Figure 3.32.
Figure 3.32 Street Fighter.
The Spruce Team in Japan has created an entire suite of famous arcade games:
Spruce InvadersA smaller version of Space Invaders.
Spruce TennisA simple paddle and ball game.
Spruce BlocksA Tetris clone.
Spruce ShooterA simple fly-and-shoot game.
Spruce MatchupA simple concentration memory game.
Spruce DriverA racing game, similar to the game that we will be creating together during the course of this book. See Figure 3.33 for a screen shot.
Figure 3.33 Spruce Driver.
Red Team's Dope Wars
Meanwhile, the Red Team in Great Britain has created a MIDP version of the popular text game Dope Wars, seen in Figure 3.34. Travel between Afghanistan, Colombia, and other international locales buying and selling illegal narcotics. Avoid CIA agents and use false-bottomed suitcases and ceramic handguns.
Figure 3.34 Dope Wars.
Most of the action happens as text messages, but this simple and funny trading game is still fast-paced and, well, addictive.