I had other plans for this article tonight, but as I mentioned earlier, there were a few new releases this weekend, rounding the App Catalog off to an even 35. So, I thought it would make sense to take a look at one of these new apps.
Spades is a card game in which you try to win “tricks” by playing the highest value card. At the beginning of the game, you have to predict how many tricks you think you will win. Gameplay then proceeds, with each playter playing a card from their hand. The highest value card (with spades beating all other suites) will win the trick and start the next round.
I have been a pretty big fan of Spades since I was in high school, so I was excited to find this one make its way to the Palm Pre App Catalog. The game started off pretty well, with four different variations:
- Partner Spade
- Solo Spades
- Mirror Spades
- Suicide Spades
My excitement pretty much ended there, however. The first thing I noticed was that the graphics felt extremely out of date, as though they were from a game which was made five years ago. I even looked up the developer to check whether this was a port from Windows Mobile or an older version of PalmOS (it was not). While it is true that card games do not require sophisticated graphics, I expected better than this.
Once the game got going, I also found that the animation was extremely slow. I almost thought that maybe some other program was interfering with it, because the cards were lagging so badly during game play. All of this, plus advertising support does not lead to a very good user experience.
While I am thrilled to find apps making their way to the App Catalog, I have to say that I was not as impressed by Spades as I had hoped. The poor graphics, poor animation, and ad support, generally lend to a poor user experience. That being said, I have been generally disappointed by the few games which are currently in the App Catalog. Hopefully better games will start making their way to the Palm Pre soon.