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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Palm OS games

Serious Sam, by Global Star Software (also available at Many Computer/Consumer Electronics Stores), $19.99
Reviewed July 2002

If you have a Palm and you miss playing Quake or Doom, you can treat yourself to Serious Sam. Developed by InterActive Vision and published by Global Star Software, Serious Sam is a serious 3D FPS (First Person Shooter) game that supports both color and grayscale on most Palm PDAs.

The dungeon environment and game play almost mimic the classic 3D FPS games such as Quake. The environment will look familiar to the Quake and Ultima fans. Take the dungeon walls from those games and slap some Egyptian symbols and images carvings on the wall, you've got the world of Serious Sam. But there are some pleasing variations in the 15-level environments in this game. Ranging from Hatshepsut to Sand Canyon, from Tomb of Ramses III to Valley of Kings, from Moon Mountains, Oasis, Dunes to City of Memphis, Sacred Yards and The Great Pyramid, each dungeon has its distinct look and elements, not all dark gray-ish like in Ultima, but with monsters lurking around every corner just the same.

The monsters in this game are aliens. The story behind Serious Sam isn't all that serious: as a hero of Planet Earth, you (Sam 'Serious' Stone) are teleported back to the ancient times of Egypt, where you mush slay endless hordes of alien monsters in order to prevent their future domination of the planet. You journey through this ancient world as you advance in total of 15 levels. Before each level starts, you can see the list of monsters, their class, metabolism, perception, size, hostility, endurance and weapons in the level title window. Monsters all have their own unique look and are made with different materials. Whether is Scythian Witch-Harpy, or Bio-Mechanoid, or MarshHopper, one thing is for sure: you will get plenty of them. And "trigger happy" is the way of survival here.

With Sam's serious missions come some serious weapons like 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotgun, Submachine Gun, Rocket Launcher and Lasergun. The ammos are everywhere in the dungeon as well as other bonus goodies you can pick up. You can find out more about the weapons in the level title window as well. You can go back to any dungeon you've completed and play at any of three difficulty levels. If you die in the middle of a dungeon hunt, you have to start from the beginning of the level. It does not run on Palm m130, but runs fine on m515.

If you feel that you didn't kill enough monsters in Doom or Ultima, you can re-live those glorious days in Serious Sam. But be careful, killing these alien monsters in those creepy Egyptian tombs is very serious business!

Playing Hints and Tips

When you turn corners and open doors, be prepared to shoot. Many levels you will see waves of monsters swarm at you when you open a door to a new area.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics 3D visuals are quite good at high moving speed.
Sound Other than the beeping sound when you shoot or pick up items, there aren't many sound effects in this game.
Fun Meter If you are a FPS fan, there aren't that many games out there. This game is one of the best on Palm.
Addictivity 15 long dungeon levels are enough to keep you busy for a while. You can replay your favorite dungeons after you've completed the levels. Great replay value with additive game play.

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