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MMObility: More news and tech from the world of mobile


Welcome again to MMObility, your weekly stop for all things mobile! I've decided that it would be a good idea to make this column concentrate not only on the games for your phones, tablets and netbooks but on some of the different tech and items that any mobile fan will probably love. The games are the centerpiece, of course, but this is no fast-moving genre like "standard" MMORPGs... so filling in some of the gaps between development cycles with tech talk only makes sense.

This week I have a bit of news and a bit of tech. Feel free to chime in with your comments, especially if you have anything to add that might help people play better or shop better. Now, click past the cut!

World of Dragons

I found this odd little game on one of my recent in-depth searches on Google. Yes, the search engine can send you down some unexpected paths, but stick around past the fourth or fifth page and you can really find some gems. Of course, they could be unpolished gems like World of Dragons, but with some time and love this game could end up being pretty good. Basically you can play across all platforms: in your browser, on Facebook (which is just your browser again), and on your phone. It looks and feels the same no matter where you play.

The game looks decent enough, but odd bugs or strange coding has created a game that needs to go back in the oven more. This is a great game to use a stylus with (see below) because you have to move to the edge of the screen in order to go to the next section of the world, and sometimes it just doesn't register that well. Combat is instanced and turn-based, but aggro is a little much at lower levels. The game deserves respect for attempting a larger, old-school type of experience on the phone, so keep an eye on this one. With some tweaks it could be pretty cool.

Bamboo stylus screenshot
The stylus is mightier than the sword

I know that for many of us, the thought of using a pen-like device on our wonderful touchscreens is somewhat silly, but occasionally they do come handy. Certain websites or browser-based MMOs can feature such tiny buttons that it is easier to just tap them with a stylus instead of zooming in and doing it that way. I loved my old one, a standard $20 AT&T shorty, but I lost it at E3. I ran to Best Buy, which was selling the Bamboo stylus, one made specifically "for iPad." This means that it works pretty much on any touchscreen device I have in the house.

I prefer the Bamboo one because it has a narrower tip and sits more comfortably in my hand. It's also closer to a standard pen size. The only real drawback is that is seems to take a little more finesse to get the pen to register on the screen, but once you get used to it you'll be fine. This stylus is also great for art programs like Sketchbook. Sure, it's a little pricey at $30, but it is worth it. Just don't lose it at some gaming convention.

Warspear Online screenshot
Warspear Online rolls out updates

Every time a game adds a cash shop, an angel buys her wings. Now, Warspear Online can count itself among the many and the proud! With this new update comes a host of fixes and changes, the cash-shop addition being the main one. Also, new hairstyles are available at a barber, while players can increase bag space and teleport between resurrection stones. This game is really shaping up to be a sort of Zelda meets old-school MMO, and I hope it keeps growing. It's available for pretty much any OS you can think of. Personally, I enjoy playing it on the iPad.

HP TouchPad screenshot
HP TouchPads are now undead

If you laughed at the HP TouchPad when it was $500, but now you are dying to have one at $99, you can rest easy. You have basically two options. First, you can hit up eBay and snag one for around half of the original asking price, or you can wait for HP to release more. Yes, more are supposedly on the way. It looks like HP will be producing "one last run" to meet demand, meaning that you will probably miss that sale as well and still have to buy it on eBay.

Of course, this still doesn't mean that HP is going to support those pads. HP is going to slowly phase out all WebOS support and operations, meaning that you will eventually be in desperate need of an update or will be installing a different OS on the device. Still, you can certainly have some fun with a $99 device. My advice? Take the $250 you'd most likely end up paying and buy yourself a cool little netbook from eBay instead. Get one with 2 gigs of RAM. Buy a gently used one and you'll have a more useful device. Or just shell out $300 and get an original iPad. Either way, good luck!

Crystal Saga screenshot
Crystal Saga launches, basically

Crystal Saga is a cute browser-based MMO that packs quite a bit of content and options into its 1366x768 frame. (Well, at least on my laptop it does.) It just went into open beta, the equivalent of a soft launch for most MMOs. It's cute, it's simple to learn, and it comes with options that you would be used to from a standard MMO. It boasts five classes, different mounts, lots of room to explore, and a lot of players around (I can attest to that).

This is a noteworthy game because it represents just how much you can do with a basic browser-based game. Of course, it is built in Flash, but it still shows how much detail and animation you can get away with, even on basic devices. Also, you can sign in using a variety of ways. This is great for lazy gamers like yours truly who have a real problem filling out web forms longer than one line.

Alright, mobilers! That's enough to keep you busy for a bit. Remember, feel free to email me with any cool mobile news, or just send a tip to our tip line... see it up in the top right-hand corner of this site? Until then, be sure to look up if you're playing while walking!

Each week in MMObility, Beau Hindman dives into the murky waters of the most accessible and travel-friendly games around, including browser-based and smartphone MMOs. Join him as he investigates the best, worst, and most daring games to hit the smallest devices! Email him suggestions, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Raptr.

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