24 February 2010

Fun with roguelikes on an old Palm

Nothing Unix related this time, however I unearthed a Tungsten T from the depths of my "ancient electronics" cabinet. Due to the device being too limited in terms of free dynamic memory, there was nothing really productive I could do on it; it choked and reset itself on something as harmless as opening a PDF file with PalmPDF. It makes a nice audio and video player however and can cope with a few not too demanding games.

Like Pocket City :-)

However I was even more interested in role playing games and it wasn't long until I discovered Roguelikes for PalmOS. The project hosts ports of Rogue, Larn and Moria.

By default, iRogue looks awful, no colors and such. The porter knew that too and added support for graphical tiles, of which I found none for download. So I created a tileset myself.

Aaah, that looks much better! Unfortunately the project was abandoned six weeks ago and is up for adoption, and nobody reacted to my mail with the tileset attached, so I'm putting the .prc file up for download here.

Wizard mode is too easily accessible in this port. For fun, I went for it and when I died, I decided to respawn undead. Then I created the Amulet of Yendor and left the dungeon.

With a predictable result.

And here comes kMoria.

I found the Moria port more fun and challenging. Getting color support is as easy as installing the included sample kMoriaColorDB.prc file to your palm and enabling color in the game prefs.

On this alpha version of the game, I had problems switching back to the big font, and that's why everything looks a bit tiny here. Furios, I decided to attack the next random person.

Which was no good idea.

On to more gaming.

No, this is not another roguelike, but a port of the C64 emulator Frodo. I really like the onscreen keyboard and that you can add common BASIC commands to the menu.

Smashin' blocks to jiggy three-channel SID music.

Palm OS was never a very open platform, but the usual Open Source suspects are there. What I like about the device is its big screen and the ease of getting software onto it. Give me a modern Linux based tablet that fits in a palm too and has decent connectivity, and I call it an upgrade.