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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Pocket PC and Zaurus games

Sea Strike by Island Labs, Price: $14.95
Reviewed May 2003


Lucky Chicken has been developing games for all gaming platforms including PS2, Xbox and GBA. Now with help from Island Labs, Lucky Chicken has ported their Sea Strike game, originally developed in Shockwave for desktops, to Pocket PC and the Sharp Zaurus (Palm version coming soon!). Old school submarine gamers should remember the game where you operate destroyers and drop bombs on those poor submarine suckers. In Sea Strike, the tables are turned. You get to operate the speedy U-boat with zippy rockets. The only catch is you are running on limited air.

The game play is very simple yet addictive. You control a submarine, and your goal is to destroy a given number of enemy battleships both above and under the water to complete a level. You can move your sub in any direction to avoid bombs and mines as well as the rockets shot from enemy submarines. You can target and shoot your missiles at the enemy boats on top of you and the U-boats coming from the right. Your ammo is unlimited, but your air isn’t. The air runs out pretty fast, so you must catch enough fish to re-supply the air while in battle. As you advance to higher levels, you will face more intense battles with bomber planes and other added attacking military forces. The intensive game play provides you with enough rush for more replays, but the game gives you no options to set up the game controls or difficulty levels.

The graphics and animation will make your hectic battle look good. The port from the big screen to the PDA didn’t lose any sharpness or style in visual effects. The various background themes, weapon special FX and smooth animation will enhance the gaming experience. Even though the U-boat doesn’t look like the real submarines in commission nor could you figure out how fish can provide air for your U-boat, you will nonetheless appreciate the futuristic U-boat design and the imagination used to create more interesting game elements.

While the graphics enhance your game play experience, the sound FX provides just enough audio effects to get by. The rocket shooting and boat destruction sounds count for most of the audio effects. Sea Strike currently runs on Pocket PC supporting ARM/Xscale and MIPS as well as Linux Zaurus PDAs including SL-5500 and SL-5600. A version for Palm OS PDAs is coming soon.

It’s a great thing when you see your old favorites made their way to a new gaming platform. I would bet my next U-boat that submarine game addicts will find Sea Strike equally addictive compared to the old classic. The major face lift in graphics will give this old hit a new look. So if you haven’t join up, pack your bags- your U-boat is waiting for you!

Playing Hint and Tips

Move your boat around in the later levels to avoid those zippy enemy submarines and the smart bomber jets.

 

screen shot

 

Pocket PC
Linux

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics Great graphics and smooth animation.
Sound Not a big audio palette to go with the addictive game play and great looking graphics.
Fun Meter With level advance, you get more intense battles and more enemies. No options for game controls, no stylus support, no difficulty settings.
Addictivity If you are a vet of those old submarine games, you will find the game play equally addictive and the new design refreshing. Even though the replay value should be pretty high among these vets, lacking in bonus, rewards and other teasers will turned off some of today’s gamers.


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