Pocket PC Episode One, by Sony
Online Entertainment $19.99
Reviewed January 2003
By now, almost every gamer knows what EverQuest
is and many have played it online. Now Pocket PC owners can
take the game with them wherever they may go. Ported from
the most popular online game ever by Emodiv and published
by Sony Online Entertainment, the Pocket PC version of EverQuest
gives you the access to those infamous cities and your favorite
dungeons in the palm of your hand. Of course, you will pay
a price for portability: not only have the online chats and
trades disappeared, but also many features, weapons, characters
as well as treasures did not make it into this shrunk-down
The basic RPG game play remains the same
in EverQuest for Pocket PC, including hacking monsters, completing
quests, upgrading your character. You’ll be given 10
quests in the game; many are not long journeys or hard tasks.
The game advances in a very linear fashion. You will almost
have to follow the quest line tightly without wandering around
the dungeon just to kill and upgrade your character. I got
my Warrior and Wizard in trouble twice because I killed all
the monsters in some areas and couldn’t find any to
kill for the quests I picked up later.
Just as with the online version, you start
the game in Freeport, and your quests will take you to Commonlands,
Nektulos Forest, Neriak, Desert Ro, Oasis of Marr, Temple
of the Spectres, Nordok Ruin, and more. There are a good
number of enemies, though none too tough for you if you have
reasonable level upgrades. The interactions with NPCs (non-playable
characters) are very small compare to the online version-
the NPCs are there only to help you advance in the main string
of quests. You can walk around the towns and dungeons, but
you won’t be able to go into shops or inns.
EverQuest for Pocket PC offers four
classes of character: Warrior, Magician, Wizard and Druid.
Each character class has their own special talent as you
have seen in the online version, Warriors with their strength,
Magicians with their elements, Wizards with their spells
and Druids with their summons, though the number of weapons,
spells and summons is very limited. You will only see very
small glimpse of the vast untold amount of treasures, hundreds
of weapons, spells, armors and jewelry that are featured
in the online version. That’s not to say you will
run low on money. Your journey to the new territory is
often littered with monsters who will drop plenty of goodies
for you to pick up. But the trouble is you won’t
have a lot of carrying power unless you are a Warrior.
So always locate the merchants in the area when you first
enter it. I did end up with large sum of gold every game
I played since no merchant offered anything better than
what I picked up in the dungeon saving for one or two weapons
early on in the game. The only jewelry I could find were
The graphics are sweet but not ground breaking.
EverQuest for Pocket PC kept the graphic style of the original
version. The game looks very much like a shrunk-down version
of the original EverQuest, which is good enough by Pocket
PC standards. For the EQ vets who have conditioned their
eyes to the jaw-dropping graphics in the latest EQ online,
this game won’t look stunning. The movements of the
character are controlled by stylus and the quick action bar
is at the bottom of the game window. You have four slots
on the quick action bar, which can be anything from attacking
spells to heeling potion as well as summoning. You will not
be able to use the d-pad for moving characters.
There is no music in EQ for Pocket
PC other than the title music. The sound effects are plenty
and in good quality. The shriek of fire beetles, the moan
of Orc warriors, the chilling laughter of the skeletons,
all create a convincing environment of the evil crypts
and dangerous dungeons. There is no multi-play mode, just
yet. So don’t expect to have allies or trade goods.
Even though the current version of EQ only lists support
ARM, we tested on both ARM and XScale devices and both
Without the sense of community created
by the online version, EverQuest is still an outstanding
RPG for the Pocket PC. The Episode One in its title hints
that you will see more and more of your favorite locations
and features in the future. Four class heroes and a good
number of locations give great depth to this Pocket PC title.
Good graphics and sound effects will attract both casual
gamers and EQ vets. I can’t wait for the day when I
can sync my Pocket PC characters to my online inventory and
grab those beautiful treasures and trace my steps back to
the old dungeons. Until then, sharpen your sword in this
highly portable world of Norrath.
Playing Hints and Tips
1) Getting ahead of your quests isn’t
always a good idea. You might run out of monsters to kill
when you need to get things from them.
2) When you play as Druid and you like to summon the wolf, don’t let
him get stuck at corners. I’ve lost the wolf a few times when I wasn’t
keeping a close eye on him.
3) Make sure you talk to everyone you see. If you are not ready for that NPC
yet, they will say things that are irrelevant. You will have to come back later.
For ARM & XSscale
Chapter II: Attack On Qeynos
Chapter III: War on Faydwer