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Ilium Software's Game Bag One

John Ottini | Handheld PC Reviews
December 22, 2003

First released in 1997, Game Bag One is probably one of the first game packs compiled specifically for Handheld PC's. The software consists of eight computer games that are sure to be of interest to most HPC users. One of the nice things about this compilation is that unlike some game packs each game can be installed or uninstalled on an individual basis. I would suggest that you try all of the games at lest once or twice and then simply uninstall the ones you don't particularly like or don't play very often.

Reliving my Childhood

I don't think that either of these first 2 games, Dots or Shuffle requires any real in depth explanation. I remember playing Dots (probably under a different name) with paper and pencil way back in grade school and I suspect that many of you reading this had similar experiences. This game has been around for a long time and so has the puzzle game known as Shuffle. I recall playing different versions of Shuffle, some had numbers, some had letters and others used photographs. Simply shift the tiles into the right position (in the least number off moves) to complete the puzzle or to align the numbers or letters in the proper order and you are the winner. Both of these are very will adapted for the Handheld PC and I found them quite enjoyable.




Cards Anyone?

The folks at Ilium must enjoy playing cards (or must think that we enjoy playing cards) because 5 of the 8 games in Game Bag are card games. All of the games are quite challenging although some require more luck than others.

If you enjoy Poker then you will really like playing Cross Hands. The goal of this game is to create the best Poker hands on each row and column. You are dealt a maximum of 25 cards and score points in accordance with the quality of each poker hand created. The rub is that each card you place on the grid cost you $10 so you have to keep that in mind or you will end up with a negative score like I did. (See below) Not as easy as it seems!

Cross Hands

In Hand Down you have to make 7 Poker hands - Straight, flush, full house, three and four of a kind, two pair and one pair. You score one point for each hand you complete and your goal is to complete all 7 hands. This is a fairly straightforward game but it did not hold my attention for very long.

Hands Down

King's Corners will drive you bonkers because it seems so simple but it's next to impossible to win this game. The goal of this game is to place all of the face cards in their assigned spots around the board with a King in each corner. After you fill up the board you must remove some cards to make room for more cards. You can remove all 10's and all pairs that add up to 10 thereby making room to deal and place more cards on the game board. If you can't remove any cards and you have haven't placed all the face cards in their correct positions on the board, then you lose. This is one of those games you will love to hate.

King's Corners

I'm not even going to bother explaining how you play Shift Left - just checkout the screen below and you can read all you need to know to about playing this card game. Yes it's that simple, but unfortunately there is quite a bit of card dragging involved and after awhile I found all that dragging, quite a bit tiresome and annoying. Hmmm - this can't be good for my screen.

Shift Left

Step Up is an interesting variation on your standard Solitaire game. You start with 4 Foundation piles and you have to stack the rest of the cards (in any suit) on these piles by using the following criteria. The cards on the first pile (far left) must ascend by ones, the second pile by twos, the third pile by threes and the last pile by fours. You have 4 waste piles to hold the cards you can't play right away and can possibly use later. This game definitely requires some strategy and planning, an abundance of card dragging and of course a whole lot of luck.

Step Up

And Now For Something Completely Different!

Namystics is a word puzzle game in which you use the edges of the polygon to figure out what word it is trying to spell. The edges connect the letters of a word and you have to guess the word. This one can be a very tough game and it didn't take very long for me to figure out that I'm not very good at it. Never the less it's a pretty unique and interesting concept for a word game and I can't say I've ever seen anything like it.


There you have it, Game Bag One by Ilium Software a fine assortment of interesting games that will keep you and your family amused for days.

You can buy or download your copy of Game Bag One directly for Ilium Software or from Handango at www.handango.com - eight great games for $14.95. Compatible with all HPC devices (MIPS, ARM & SH3)

System Requirements

Windows CE 2.0 and above
SH3, StrongARM, MIPS

More information on Ilium Software GameBag One can be found at


Cost: 4- Star Rating
Usability: 4- Star Rating
Built-in Help: 3- Star Rating
Customer Service: 4- Star Rating
Overall: 4- Star Rating