Ovi Gaming Features

S60v3 games are unofficial N-Gage games

Published by Tzer2 at 12:57 UTC, June 9th 2008

Do you want to know a secret? You can get a lot more N-Gage games for your N-Gage-compatible phone than Nokia is telling you about. These unofficial games are known as S60 Third Edition (S60v3) games, and they're technically the same thing as N-Gage games. S60v3 games have just as much access to the phone's hardware as N-Gage games, and their graphics and sound can be just as good too. Click on the headline of this item to find out where to get S60v3 games, how to install them on your phone, and which ones you should get.

What are S60v3 games?

If you think your N-Gage-compatible phone can only do official N-Gage games, you're missing out on all the unofficial N-Gage games. They're called "Symbian S60 3rd Edition" games, because N-Gage-compatible phones run on a software platform known as Symbian S60 3rd Edition. This is a bit of a mouthful, so it's often shortened to just "S60v3", and some people also call it "Series 60 v3" or "Series 60 Third Edition".

S60v3 games can access an N-Gage-compatible phone's hardware much more directly than Java games, which means better graphics and smoother gameplay.

In fact N-Gage games are really the same thing as S60v3 games, "N-Gage" is just a brand name for S60v3 games sold through the N-Gage application.


Lament Island screenshotK Rally screenshot

Lament Island and K-Rally for S60v3


Where to find S60v3 games

There are lots of commercial and free S60v3 games out there. Almost all of them are available as special installation files that end with .SIS or .SISX. These can be installed onto your phone directly by downloading them through the phone's web browser, or indirectly using your computer and the Nokia PC Suite application. Don't worry if that sounds complicated, it's very easy, and there's a link to a step-by-step tutorial later in this article.

Commercial S60v3 games are usually sold through retail sites such as Handango.com and Clickgamer.com, which provide you with a downloadable file that you can install onto your N-Gage-compatible phone (they'll probably also e-mail you an activation code which turns the demo version into the full game).

If a shop asks for your phone's IMEI number, don't panic! Every phone's IMEI number is printed on a metal plate underneath the battery, and you can also find it out by typing *#06# which will display it as a "serial number". The reason they ask for this is so they can lock the game so it only works on your phone, in order to fight piracy.

Free S60 games are usually available as .SIS or .SISX files from the game developer's website.


Atlantis Redux for S60v3 screenshotMicroPool 2007 screenshot

Atlantis Redux and MicroPool 2007 for S60v3


Which kind of S60v3 games are compatible with N-Gage phones?

All N-Gage-compatible phones are Symbian S60 3rd Edition (aka S60v3) devices. If you can get hold of an S60v3 game, it should work on your N-Gage-compatible phone.

Some sites may offer S60 3rd Edition games in a variety of screen resolutions, which can be rather baffling. It's very simple though:

All N-Gage-compatible phones have QVGA screens, which means they can run games that are 240x320 pixels (in portrait/vertical mode) or 320x240 pixels (in landscape/horizontal mode). You can also use lower resolution 176x208 games too, but these will have a black border around them.

Some games will be able to support both modes, and perhaps even switch between them while you play, but other games will only support one mode or the other.

If you're in any doubt about compatibility, download and install the game's demo on your N-Gage-compatible phone. If the demo works, then the full version will work too.


Return To Mysterious Island for S60v3Snakes for S60v3

Return To Mysterious Island and Snakes for S60v3


How to install S60 3rd Edition games on your N-Gage-compatible phone

There are two basic methods, both of which are very easy once you get the hang of them.

 - You can download and install the game straight onto your phone using the phone's web browser. This method works best for free games, as they are usually available as direct links to the .SIS or .SISX file, so you can just click on the link to download and install the game.


 - You can download the game onto your PC, then install it on your phone by connecting it to your computer using the USB cable. This method works best for commercial games, as they often require you to purchase the game on sites that are difficult to navigate on a small screen.

You can get complete step-by-step instructions for both of these methods over on the N-Gage School site.



Video of K-Rally in action


Which S60v3 games should I get?

Some S60v3 games are great, some aren't so great, and some games are sold as S60v3 but are actually Java (you can tell which games are Java because they have file names which end in .JAR or .JAD instead of .SIS or .SISX).

To help you out, here are some S60v3 games which we recommend for your N-Gage-compatible phone. Some of them are free, some are commercial. The free games tend to have less impressive graphics because their development budgets tend to be lower, but they can be just as much fun to play as the commercial games.

The "Review" links below all have numerous screenshots of the games along with detailed reviews, and the "Where to get it" links take you to sites where you can download or purchase the games.



Recommended Free S60 Games


 - Frozen Bubble

A free game, this is an "open source" clone of the famous arcade game Puzzle Bobble (aka Bust-A-Move) where you have to match chains of similar-coloured bubbles so they fall off the screen.

Review: Click here for our sister-site All About Symbian's review of Frozen Bubble.

Where to get it: Download the .SISX file from the developer's website (make sure you choose the one under "Binaries" called "S60 v3 (240x320)").


 - Snakes

We did a feature about this recently, Snakes is an absolutely superb phone game, one of the best ever made. It's a complete reimagining of the classic Snake game, set in a 3D world where you have to follow energy paths and clear levels within a time limit. The graphics, sound and gameplay are impeccable, with gentle easy levels to begin with that introduce the gameplay elements, followed by gradually harder levels to keep you coming back for more. This is one game every phone user should have.

Snakes was originally released for the old gen N-Gage. It has now been re-released by Nokia as a free S60v3 game with higher resolution graphics, so you can play it on modern N-Gage-compatible phones.

Review: Click here for All About N-Gage's review of Snakes for N-Gage-compatible phones.

Where to get it: You can probably get it directly onto your phone from the games section of your phone's "Download!" icon, or you can download it from the Nokia 5700 support site. The version on the 5700 support site works on all N-Gage-compatible phones.


 - S-Tris 2

This is a free Tetris clone with simple but nice graphics and music. If you want the basic Tetris gameplay on your N-Gage-compatible phone, this is the game to get.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of S-Tris 2.

Where to get it: You can download it from the developer's website. You'll find the S60v3 versions in the "Symbian Series 60" section. Note that S-Tris 2 doesn't have orientation-switching, so make sure you choose the 240x320 version if you want to play in portrait/vertical mode, or the 320x240 version if you want to play in landscape/horizontal mode.



Recommended Commercial S60 Games


 - Astraware Boardgames

This is a compendium of eight classic boardgames including Backgammon, Ludo, Nine Men's Morris, Chess, Draughts, Snakes & Ladders, Othello and Noughts & Crosses.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Astraware Boardgames.

Where to get it: You can buy it from the developer's website.


 - Atlantis Redux

A very plot-oriented adventure game, with a variety of object-based and skill-based puzzles, detailed panorama graphics, over 30 minutes of video clips and lots of voice acting. The game has you stumbling across an Ancient Egyptian object in the middle of the African desert, which allows you to open a gateway to a bizarre new world.

See also Return To Mysterious Island below, which is by the same development team and features even nicer graphics and more complex puzzles.

Note that this is the full version of Atlantis Redux. Releases for older phones cut a lot of the plot out, but this is the full game.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Atlantis Redux.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.


 - Flurkies

This might not have 3D graphics but it looks nice enough and plays absolutely wonderfully. The levels increase in difficulty at just the right rate, and the game is addictive because the later puzzles seem so simple but are very hard to solve. Highly recommended.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Flurkies.

Where to get it: You can buy it from Clickgamer.com. Make sure you choose the version that says "Symbian S60 v3".


 - Lament Island

A Chinese 3D action adventure with a fascinating plot, beautiful graphics and a very lovely soundtrack indeed. It looks and plays quite a lot like Tomb Raider, but it has a bit more emphasis on adventure and exploration rather than combat, though there is some combat involved. It also makes innovative use of the phone's camera and microphone for solving certain puzzles.

The installation process for this game is slightly more complicated than for other S60 games as you have to transfer several directories of files onto your phone's memory card. It's a pain, but there are installation instructions included with the game, and it's worth it as Lament Island is one of the best phone games ever made.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Lament Island (it received one of AAS's very very rare Mega Game awards).

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.

 - K-Rally

A top-down combat racing game a bit like Micro Machines combined with Mad Max. You have to drive around a track and finish first while collecting upgrades and money, and avoiding the weapons of the other drivers. The violence is very cartoonish, and the swearing speech bubbles when someone drives over a landmine always raise a smile.

K-Rally is made by Infinite Dreams, the same people who did Creatures Of The Deep for the new N-Gage platform, and it shows just how much attention to detail they put into their games.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of K-Rally.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.


 - Mau Mau

Essentially a phone version of the card game Uno, it looks very simple but also quite quirky and charming, and the gameplay is particularly addictive. It's not available in a QVGA form, but the 176x208 version will work on all N-Gage-compatible phones with a black border around it.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Mau Mau.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.


 - MicroPool 2007

A simple but splendidly-realised pool simulator which has a top-down view, very realistic physics and real time raytraced graphics. You can play against the computer, or two people can play the same game by passing the phone between them.

Also see Virtual Pool Mobile for a more spectacular-looking pool simulator.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of MicroPool 2007.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.

 - Return To Mysterious Island

An adventure game for S60 phones originally written for PCs, it features a rather spectacular graphical system and fascinating puzzle-oriented gameplay. You're a shipwrecked sailor who has to explore a strange tropical island apparently filled with long-forgotten technology. This is an unofficial sequel to the Jules Verne novel "Mysterious Island".

Also see Atlantis Redux earlier in this article, as it's a similar kind of game by the same developers.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Return To Mysterious Island.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.

 - Revival

A turn-based strategy game based on the original Civilization for PCs. You found a new civilisation and lead it as it develops technologically and politically, defending it from enemies and developing its cities.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Revival.

Where to get it: You can buy it from the developer's website. Make sure you choose the "Series 60 v3" version.

 - Sky Force Reloaded

An acclaimed scrolling shoot-em-up from Infinite Dreams, the development team behind the N-Gage platform's Creatures Of The Deep. The game mixes classic 2D gameplay with 3D elements to give SFR a more modern slick graphical look.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Sky Force Reloaded. (Note that this is a review of a version for UIQ3 devices, but the S60v3 version is virtually identical.)

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.


 - Super Miners

Super Miners is a boulderdash clone featuring rather nice 2D graphics and smooth animation, and is an older S60v3 game from developers Infinite Dreams.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Super Miners.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.

 - Tibia Micro Edition (aka TibiaME)

The graphics on this game look pretty poor by today's standards, but the gameplay is something special: this is the world's first ever mobile phone Massively Multiplayer Online RPG, it's been running since 2004, and it has thousands of players online at once. It's from the makers of the PC MMORPG Tibia, though they operate in totally separate game worlds and play quite differently too.

You can play the game on your own if you wish, but the joy of TibiaME comes from interacting with the other human players, either co-operating in quests and battles, or just trading and chatting in the towns. This is a unique experience in phone gaming, and something every phone gamer should try at least once.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's special in-depth review of TibiaME.

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.


 - Virtual Pool Mobile

A 3D pool simulator with excellent graphics, you can view your shots from any angle, and play against a variety of progressively cleverer computer opponents.

Also see MicroPool 2007 for a more straightforward pool simulator.

Review: Click here for All About Symbian's review of Virtual Pool Mobile. (Note that this is a review of an earlier S60 version, but there is also an S60v3 version now available.)

Where to get it: You can buy it from All About Symbian's software shop.



Sky Force Reloaded screenshotAstraware Boardgames for S60v3 screenshot

Sky Force Reloaded and Astraware Boardgames for S60v3

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Categories: How To, Software
Platforms: N-Gage

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