These are exciting times for Palm webOS with the possibility of a ton of apps and games being able to be ported from the iPhone thanks to the PDK. The first game I purchased thanks to the PDK is Cronk and I highly recommend you check it out.
I enjoy playing games on my smartphones from time to time and especially like when I have a game on hand to play for 10-15 minutes when there is a dull moment in my day. One of my favorite iPhone games has been Cronk. This is an action puzzle game where you play the part of Cronk the caveman and have to hurl stones at the lines of rolling stones to get at least three in a row to start knocking them out of the line. As you can see in my video below, I was very pleased to see the iPhone version of Cronk look so good on the iPad. The real reason I am writing about Cronk now though is because it was just released through Mobile 1Up for webOS devices thanks to the PDK rollout. I immediately purchased the game for $2.99 and recommend you take a look at my video below to see the game in action.
Why is the PDK important?
As stated on the Palm website, the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit is:
a new component of the webOS SDK that lets developers use C and C++ alongside the web technologies that power the SDK, and even mix them seamlessly within a single application. The PDK brings new functionality to webOS, including immersive 3D graphics, and gives developers who have built games for other platforms an easy way to bring their titles to the webOS platform.
The PDK is designed to make porting games designed for other platforms easier for developers. Most of the time I hear people mention moving iPhone games to webOS and that is just what Mobile 1Up did here with Cronk. As you can see in my video, the game is EXACTLY the same on the iPhone and Palm Pre Plus and actually appears a bit crisper on my Palm Pre Plus because the display is smaller with the same resolution.
It is pretty exciting to think that iPhone developers can bring a large portion of their extensive catalog to the Palm webOS platform in a fairly straight forward manner and if it can be done successfully we should see a TON of new apps for webOS devices soon. According to Palm, we won't see the floodgates opened until a later version of webOS rolls out since the PDK is only out in limited availability.
Gameplay of Cronk
I wrote a quick review of Cronk for the iPhone in November 2008 and it has gone through a few updates to make it better. Cronk is playable only in landscape mode and will automatically switch into this orientation when you launch it. The main screen has the name, access to options, access to directions, access t credits, and a Start button to get the game going.
There are only three options; music volume, sound effects volume, and smooth or rough boulders. Then when you tap Start to play the game you can choose from Classic or Timed modes. After choosing a mode you then select a difficulty level; easy, medium, or hard. The game then starts and you are off on your way tapping the display to roll boulders into the line to try to get at least 3 in a row and make the stones disappear.
I enjoy the sound, smooth gameplay, and crisp graphics of the game and highly recommend it for your Palm Pre/Plus for only $2.99.
BTW, Joel Evans from the ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer is the Managing Director of Cronk Software. I purchased the game with my own money and Joel did not request any special consideration or offer up statements for me to include in my thoughts above.