Mobem Technologies - mFunPack 1.0

Back in the late 1990's when Handheld PC's were all the rage, Fun Packs or Game Packs were quite a popular way for developers to bundle their individual game software titles into a group package. Today, that concept (with one exception) is pretty much gone when it comes to Handheld PC gaming software. The only exception is a group of 6 games bundled together by Mobem Technologies and sold as part of their mFunPack. This review takes a quick look at the last remaining holdout in the world of Handheld PC game packs.

Games that Challenge your Mind

The first thing you will notice about mFun Pack is that all of the games are your garden-variety, mind challenging strategy type games, so if your are looking for arcade or adventure games, this is not the Fun Pack for you. The second thing you will notice is that none of the games are original, but rather variations of existing classic computer games. Now that we have that out of the way, here are some of the nice games you get when you purchase Mobem's mFunPack.

mBoxman

This is a nicely done Sokoban clone, but instead of a man or guy, you have a squirrel or mouse (I can't tell which it is) pushing strawberries instead of boxes, to there designated locations. The game comes with 130 fairly challenging levels, nice sound effects and very limited options. You can choose a start level or you can restart at your current level, that's pretty much it - I told you the options were limited.

mBoxman

mBubble

As far as I'm concerned this is the best game of the bunch. Find two or more adjacent bubbles, pop them, score points and watch the rest of the Bubbles drop and shift. The game begins with 225 multicolored bubbles and ends when there are no more Bubbles to pop. The options are rather limited and consist of allowing you to undo your previous move and let you view a list of the number of Bubbles ranked by color. I'm not sure what the merit of this is, but I do like the fact that the software keeps track of the top five scoring positions.

mBubble

mFiveChess

This is a knock off of the popular Connect Five game, but I found it visually challenging due to the fact that developer choose to use very tiny black and white marbles or game pieces. Game play is fairly good, offering three levels of play - Beginner, Experienced and Expert. You can play against the computer or against a fellow human being and as in most of the game offerings in this package, you can undo your last move.

mFiveChess

mBlack & White

I must admit that this is a fairly good version of Reversi, even thought (as the title states) it only in Black & White. Just like mFive Chess, there are three very difficult to beat levels of play - Beginner, Experienced and Expert or if you'd like, you can choose to play against a fellow human rather than the computer. The only option available is the obligatory - Undo Last Move.

mBlack&White

ShangHai Majong

Interesting little variation of the Majong board game, where the object of the game is to match and remove 'like' tiles until you either, clear the whole board or you can't match and remove any more tiles. The game comes with three different tile layouts (not tile patterns) - Pot, Traditional and Cupola and some are more challenging than others. If you are stuck and need help, they have provided a 'Find A Pair' function, which hopefully you won't need to use too often. Other options include, the ability to Undo the Last Move and the ability to toggle sound on or off. My biggest problem with this and the next game (Sichuan) is that the tiles are far to small to be comfortably visible, if your vision is less that perfect. I'm not sure wither this was done inadvertently or purposely to make the game more of a challenge, if it's the later, then they certainly succeed.

ShangHai Majong

SiChuan Majong

This game is very similar to Shanghai but much more difficult to play. The game offers the familiar Undo Last Move and Find a Pair options, but it also lets you set the play options to Easy or Hard (both seemed difficult to me). Sound and Animation can be toggled on and off, but I really could see any difference between having the Animation on or off.

SiChuan Majong

Final Comments

The folks at Mobem Technologies have managed to put together a fairly interesting assortment of games at a nice reasonable price - $19.95 USD (£10.50 GBP, €15.00 EUD, ¥2100 JPY est.). It's unfortunate that there are no built-in help menus in the English version, but then again, these games are so familiar to most of us that we can easily do without written instructions. This software is distributed as 'shareware', so please be sure to register it, if you plan on keeping it.

Where Can I get Fun Pack?

mFunPack is available for download and purchase directly from Mobem Technologies website at www.mobem.com. There is no trial version of mFunPack, but there are trial versions of each individual game, which you can download and try out separately. Each game can also be purchased on an individual basis for $5.00 USD, so if you don't want all the games, you can purchase them ala Carte.

System Requirements:

Supports Windows CE 2.11 and HPC2000
StrongARM, MIPS

Rating  
Cost: 4 Star Rating: Recommended
Usability: 4 Star Rating: Recommended
Built-In helps: 0 Star Rating: Dreadful
Customer Service: 2.0 Star Rating: Weak
Overall: 3 Star Rating: Average

mFunPack 1.0 can be found at the following URL.
http://www.mobem.com/

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John Ottini
Handheld PC Reviews