Queue is the latest game to arrive from IslandLabs.com, a company that
has written a number of Java applications that run on the Zaurus. Queue is licensed from gamekitchen, who
design and develop original games for wireless and web devices.
Installation was a bit more involved than normal for Zaurus apps. Although the
program appeared to install to a CompactFlash card, nothing happened when I clicked on the icon to start the game. Installing
the game to RAM solved the problem. Too many applications require installing to RAM, something the Zaurus is in short
Minor grumble aside, on starting the application a loading resource bar appears. You can tell
by the orientation of this bar that Queue requires you to rotate the Zaurus by 90 degrees. As the hardware keys are not
required for play, this doesn't represent a problem.
You are offered the option of starting a new game, starting a new game at the last level
you reached or exiting, by a rather badly drawn droid. It's a nice touch that the second option remembers where you got up to
even if you've quit the program. Choosing the first option presents you with a empty grid (similiar to screenshot 3 but there's only
one blue tile to start with). Around the edges, are red buttons. Clicking on one of the buttons pushes a shape out into the grid. There are four different types of shape,
one type of shape per side of the area. The idea of this puzzle game is to push the shapes into the blue tiles, so that they match. You know when the shape has matched, as
it turns green.
When you've completed a level, that awkward looking droid appears again informing you of the points
awarded for completing the level as well as a time bonus (Screenshot 2). Even when you've mastered a level, there's still the
challenge of doing it in the shortest time possible. Mentioning time, you only have 90 seconds to complete a level; failure to do
so and you lose one of your three lives. You can guess what happens when you've lost the third life :)
The game consists of 100 levels, and although the first dozen levels are really easy, it's not long
before I was deep in thought, requiring total concentration. As you advance through the game, you'll come across some interesting obstacles,
to make the game even harder. By level 11 you get a hole in the board. Actually this level is really easy to complete; it's purpose
is just to demonstrate what happens when a shape goes over a hole!
Completing the later levels wouldn't be that difficult if it were not for the 90 second time limit.
The last screenshot shows another twist that'll get your head thumping: arrows! You've also got to look forward to
bulldozers and gaining extra lives as you play on.
Like all good puzzle games, Queue makes you think hard! It's a very addictive game
with reasonable graphics. Even when you've mastered the game, there's still the challenge of improving on your score; not that I'll be
finishing the game that quickly (there's 100 levels to complete). Queue gets a thumbs up!