The Palm Pre’s little cousin, the Pixi, is often ignored by media and consumers, and is even shunned by some in the Palm community. It isn’t as fast as the Pre, and you sure do miss those 80 pixels, but the form factor is beautiful and the keyboard is in a different class to the bigger webOS option.
There are a couple of over clocking options now that also seem to help with the ‘Too many cards error’ that used to plague webOS in general, and the Pixi in particular. With a recent update, Palm also opened the door to PDK apps, basically full featured games, being released on the little device, and, if you can bear the long boot times of the games they look and run great on the tiny smartphone.
So, in honour of this often overlooked device (it’s currently £99 contract free in the UK. Seriously.) we are going to show you the five best games to download on Christmas day on your shiny new Palm Pixi while you wait for the turkey to cook.
Angry Birds/Angry Birds Seasons
The classic, multi million selling physics puzzle game looks and sounds fantastic on the Pixi, with the only problem being that the birds look too small when you are zoomed out all the way. This version also doesn’t have any online high score tracking, but it has all the levels, and there is also the great Angry Birds Seasons available, adding new levels and themes. The game runs smoothly, and doesn’t throw up many glitches or system errors, and all in all is a more than worthy first app purchase for the Pixi. It still has the frustrations of all the other versions but also all the addictive qualities that has made it so incredibly popular.
A great little game where you must try to pop vertically scrolling bubbles before they reach the top of the screen, with the score for each bubble getting higher the closer it gets to the top of the level, and with some bubbles moving in crazy patterns things can get hectic. This has a fantastic soundtrack to pop along to, and if you don’t like it you can always turn it off and listen to your own. Spotify goes along nicely with this, and it is an extremely addictive game, with bright, colourful graphics that have plenty of character. It has that magic ‘one more go’ factor that some games never have. Strangely ignored by the majority, this is a musical treat, and for the price a real bargain. A hidden gem.
A game where the aim is to tilt your GloBall around bright, inventive levels, this is a conversion of an iPhone game. The idea is to find and destroy all the different coloured blocks on each level, all the while avoiding the bad guys, and there are plenty of pickups to collect, such as electricity and explosion upgrades. The game plays just as well on the Pixi as the far more expensive iPhone, and the highlight is the fantastic, location aware high score system. The game will tell you the range of your high score, so it might say ‘you have the highest score for three miles’, and even goes down to distances in feet, so you just know someone on your street is beating you! It’s great to see such innovation translated so well to webOS.
Ground Effect Pro
The best racing game on the Pixi, this is a futuristic, WipeOut style game where you have to pilot a variety of hovercraft over some awe inspiring terrain in nail biting races. Featuring some great, smooth feeling controls and well designed tracks, the graphics are the true star here with mountains, lakes, hills and the sea all looking fantastic as you zoom in, around and over them. Plenty of tracks and vehicles means you won’t get bored, and there is even an excellent ‘free’ mode, where you can explore the environments without the stresses of racing or the constraints of the tracks. A must have for any racing fan.
Blue Defense: Second Wave!
An action strategy game that will require you to multitask, this is another iPhone conversion and another good game. You job is to defend your planet from attack by manning a gun turret to fend off an alien invasion. Sounds simple, but it’s anything but. You control the direction of fire by holding the phone vertically and tilting it in the required way, with the ability to fire in a complete 360 degree ring around the planet. Touching the screen splits the fire in two, one stream where you are touching and one where you are tilting. The drawback is that each stream has less firepower, and its possible to open multiple streams if you can squeeze more fingers on the screen. With attacks constantly coming from all angles things become very hard very quickly, but with lovely retro styled graphics and a decent soundtrack, this is great once you get your head around the game.