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 Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Mobile phone games turn 3D
Gladiator, PA
Soon you will be able to be a gladiator on your phone
BBC News Online's Mark Ward

Games on mobile phones are fast catching up with those being played on computers and consoles.

French mobile game maker In-Fusio has unveiled a colour 3D shooting game that will soon be available to download and play on handsets.

At the same time British mobile phone firm Orange is launching a range of games based on popular films and comic characters.

Many mobile phone operators are hoping that the games will prove popular enough to drive the sale of new phones and get customers spending money on data services.

Call charge

In-Fusio showed off what it claimed was the first colour 3D game on a mobile phone at the recent ECTS computer game trade show in London.

Called Mission 3D, the game is very similar to the classic computer game Wolfenstein 3D.

In-Fusio game on phone
Would you play for hours?
It makes the player find their way out of a maze of corridors shooting the robots and mad scientists that get in their way.

Yann Mondon, spokesman for In-Fusio said that it had developed specialised gaming software that is installed on phones when they are being made.

The gaming engine helps the game show the detailed graphics needed for sophisticated phone games. Before now most games on phones have been black and white and confined to a single static screen.

Despite the sophisticated graphics Mr Mondon said that playing the game did not prove a big drain on the battery of a phone.

"It's just like making an ordinary phone call," he said.

Racing game

Mr Mondon added that Britain was lagging behind the rest of Europe in the playing of games on mobile phones.

He said in Italy In-Fusio's Ferrari racing game had a huge following, with many people playing for hours or buying new parts for their car or helmets for their driver.

Once the In-Fusio gaming software is on a phone people can download different titles to play as they want.

He said In-Fusio was due to launch its portfolio of games in the UK in the next two months with an unnamed mobile operator.

Sword play

In-Fusio faces competition from many other firms, such as Arm and TTPCom, who have developed similar graphics systems for phones.

UK mobile phone network Orange is also due to launch some new games in late September.

The games include a game called Blood and Sand in which players have to train, equip and fight with gladiators. Another is based on the Judge Dredd comic character from 2000AD that lets people play as judges or criminals.

Another of its games is called Star Run and involves players travelling the Universe trading and fighting off pirates very similar to the classic Elite computer game.

All these games are based around Wap technology which lets a mobile phone view cut down versions of web pages.

You can hear more about 3D colour games on mobile phones on the BBC World Service programme, Go Digital.

See also:

07 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
17 Dec 01 | dot life
21 Jun 00 | Science/Nature
03 May 01 | Entertainment
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