May 8, 2008

Reset Generation: N-Gage mobile's new flagship

N-Gage hasn't really been a successful gaming console... first launched as a cell phone/Game Boy like device in 2003. than moved to be a feature on Nokia's N-series smart phones, there's a reason this is probably the first your hearing of it.

But Nokia is betting that Reset Generation is the mobile game that changes all of that. Based on much more popular video game characters Nokia didn't want to pay the rights for, Reset Generation is a parody/puzzle game. You play analogs of such favorites like Mario, Link, and Sonic the Hedghog, 12 different characters in all, as they all try to rescue their own personal princess before someone does:

"Each round of play has three phases: placing blocks, firing cannons, and moving/fighting characters. Placing blocks takes the form of laying down some very familiar tetrominoes, which can only be laid on the game board in empty spaces — making it tough to place blocks once things start to fill up. When a player has claimed spaces on the board in this fashion, they gain considerable advantages; a character will move faster over his own color, and has higher attack/defense while standing on his own squares."

The most interesting aspect as far as I'm concerned though is the marketing of Reset Generation. Rather than just sell it as a mobile game, Nokia is offering an online PC version for free that will take user input on the characters and gradually change what they say and how they act; an aspect Nokia is hoping will give RG both an initial promotional push, and longevity with fresh user-generated content.

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