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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Pocket PC games

Blade of Betrayal by HPT Interactive, Price: $14.95
Reviewed August 2003

Finally a great looking 2D scrolling and fighting game that comes with an enticing story! Blade of Betrayal, developed by HPT Interactive, is an original platform game with very stylish graphics and animation to go with a wide range of environments. You will not only explore the 15 dangerous and sometimes hazardous levels to search for secret computer disks or office files, but also face different types of enemies or monsters and their bosses! What ties the graphics and gameplay together is a Shakespearean story, full of betrayal and many surprises, that reveals the truth over 5 chapters.

Starting on a rooftop guarded by ninjas, the game casts you as Spencer Corinth who is on a quest to invest the mystery behind your father’s death. After you get off the rooftop, you will be thrown in prison, escape through an office building and then travel into mechanical wastelands, an infectious laboratory, a monster-ridden forest, underwater mine fields and more. If you survive the attacks by prisoners, security guards, mutant monsters and all the obstacles along the way, you will only be rewarded with tougher boss fights at the end of the chapters. Luckily there are three difficulty levels to choose from.

You control the game by either a combination of the hardware buttons and the d-pad or the on-screen action buttons and the d-pad. Veteran gamers of this genre should feel right at home with this set up and newbies will take very little time to get the hang of the controls. The game design intends that you both explore the environment and fight enemies, but it doesn’t stop the advancement if you didn’t find every single item. There are two status bars on your character that indicate the health and power, and you can pick up power ups and lives as you travel through the levels.

The comic-book graphic style gives the game originality. Not only do the backgrounds and cut scenes have nice style, but they also look very sharp. The animations are smooth, responding well to the action controls. The monsters and enemies fit with the scene with bosses punctuating the end. The breakable walls and creative use of 2D space give this game a dynamic look.

Supplementing this stylish graphical world are equally well-crafted music tracks and sound FX. The dramatic background music and good collection of sound FX help gamers immerse themselves in the story. Blade of Betrayal supports ARM/Xscale and MIPS devices running Pocket PC 2000, 2002 and 2003. It uses about 10MB of memory and 12MB of storage space.

Even though the gameplay repeats in Search, Fight and Escape sequence, Blade of Betrayal can provide at least 20 hours of fun, more if you play at different difficulty levels. While your enemies can pull out machine guns or send tanks to attack you, you have very little weaponry to counter the attack. The challenge is sizable, but at least you can pick up power-ups to replenish your character and monsters don’t usually re-spawn.

Playing Hints and Tips

There is no shame in surviving on your knees. If you get hurt too badly or the enemy is too strong for you, kneel down and hit them low!

screen shot


ARM & XScale


Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics For the original style and the sharp images with smooth animation alone, you will enjoy the ride.
Sound Very nice background music that adds the drama and energy to the game. Sound FX collection is also very good.
Fun Meter Even Castlevania fans might find this game fun to play, though with fewer weapon choices. The action can get repetitive while the environment keeps the game interesting.
Addictivity If you are an action fan, you won’t be able to put the game down before you get to the end. If you like the game, you can always head back to the beginning after you completed it, and start at a tougher difficulty level.

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