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N-Gage Mobile Game Titles Cracked! Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham   
Thursday, 13 November 2003
This week we've seen a flurry of announcements concerning the proliferation of cracked N-Gage game titles. In this piece we take a closer look at how this happened and what the Symbian community can do to help (By Glenn Letham, Nov. 13, 2003)

N-Gage cracked! In a nutshell this means that once the security is disabled, games developed specifically for the Nokia N-Gage can be played on any cell phone that uses the Symbian OS. The reaction from Nokia... "We will work closely with ISPs and authorities, and continue to develop our own copy protection mechanisms to curb this action." So how did all of this hype come to fruition? We found the following at club-siemens. "Nokia wants you to buy an NGage phone, so that you can play these advanced games. They say they won't work on other devices. That's a plain lie and to prove it we have tested Sonic on the SX1. It runs absolutely flawlessly and with perfect graphics and good sound." Ok... I can understand that they may wish to prove that the applications can in fact be run on other series 60 devices... but why the attitude?

The image above depicts [apparently!] Sonic Hedgehog installed on the SX1

Unfortunately, mention of these illegal games often appears on numerous discussion boards around the web. You can't fault the hosts, most reputable forum hosts quickly clamp down on offenders by removing offending mesages and even banning the author of the message. At many forums (for exmaple, Wireless Gamer) the community members quickly jump in and "bash" people that attempt to abuse the lists rules. Here at SymbianOne we launched an N-Gage discussion forum hosted on Yahoo! Groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/n-gage/) which we had to quickly clamp down on and even resorted to switching the open discussion to a moderated forum. Myself, I hate having to monitor discussion threads and find that having to babysit threads can even disrupt the free flow of information and the exchange of ideas. Unfortunately the risk to developers, carriers, and consumers is simply too great to let the abuse continue. On the bright side, we now have a community of more than 1400 N-Gage users and enthusiasts taking part in the forum.

What's really disturbing to me is the blatant boldness of some of the creators of sites that share and even encourage the distribution of illegal games. Just N-gage boasts "N-gage craked games, craked software, java games, SIS games, Emulator Games, Tomb Raider Craked, and many more" Gamers-ngage, another feeble attempt by someone to share other people's hard work gamersn-gage boasts "Come here to download cracked nokia n-gage games fully working". Finally, the winner of our idiot award goes to a group actually called CrackedGames... apparently they are simply "Dedicated to get you yuor cracked N-Gage Games". C'mon Yahoo!, are these groups here to support this kind of activity? Apparently they are. Anyone with an anonymous Yahoo! email account can start a group and begin sharing files... bandwidth compliments of Yahoo! I think this would be a great place for Nokia to start. I applaud Yahoo! for making the forums available for us to use, however, more security and regulations need to be implemented.

Our policy regarding the SymbianOne N-Gage Yahoo! Group... SymbianOne does not condone the sharing or distribution of illegal, cracked, or otherwise innapropriate software, apps, or links to such applications will result in banishment from the list. Messages containing such material will be intercepted and blocked from distribution.

Are you searching for free, downloadable software for your Symbian OS device?

Encouraging the sharing of these kinds of products only serves as a dis-service to the entire user community, developers, and users alike. The end result is simply higher priced applications for all of us in the long-run.

In an effort to address this matter, SymbianOne would like to educate Symbian users about where they can download and otherwise safely access legal freeware and free downloads for their favorite symbian device.

Handango as a dedicated Symbian OS section where visitors can browse hundreds of applications, most providing a free trial download... a perfect place to start. FreEPOC's members are a wide and varied bunch. Their diversity reflects the fact that anyone can program. While some people have a lot of dedication to their palmtop, some of us have written the one application that they really need on their palmtop. Others feel the need to constantly tinker with their hobby of programming. It takes all kinds.

Dreamquest software offers their visitors free downloads, as do most game developers. Wildpalm another series 60 game developer has some great titles also available for free download. Of course these are demo's or trialware, however, full-functional versions are for sale for between $10-$30... a small price to pay for some great entertainment! Other developers like Juha Riihimäki simply offer free, full function apps for download. Wireless Gamer is also a good source of information and downloads.

A word of caution. In researching this piece we conducted a search through the Yahoo! Groups. To our dismay we find lots of places to access "free" downloads, however, many of these apps had no documentation, no restrictions, and many of them were even boasting illegal, cracked, or pirated apps. Beware of which group you join and in particular, be aware of the source of the applications you choose to download and use... practice safe and legal computing please! If the Symbian game developer community is to grow and prosper then users need to be more responsible and websites need to implement more rigid restrictions on serving/hosting applications.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 October 2008 )


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