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Shareware Sightings

Ancient Red from Skenesoft

One of the well-known secrets of the Palm is that it's become the leading-edge platform for handheld games. Sure there's no color, but unlike a Gameboy, Lynx, Gamegear or the Palm is an open programming environment where anyone with access to GCC (a free, Linux/Unix based C compiler) can write and sell their games.

One of the newest arrivals is Ancient Red - a Diablo-style game featuring a 3D isometric display. If you're not familiar with Diablo and other isometric displayed games, check out the screenshot of the Ancient Red. You're in an amazingly detailed environment where your character walks around in a lush scrolling landscape, interacting with nearly all objects and definitely all the characters that you find. The design and artwork in this game is simply fantastic. I've never seen anything like this in a handheld game.

The character generation, information screens, and all other game screens are well designed and packed with data. The whole game flows almost perfectly. The only minor complaint I have is with the initial menus where you setup your character and world before starting. You must name your character before starting or using it...yet the game will let you out of this menu without warning you of this. Rather minor complaint? Yes, that's about the worst thing I could find.

I'm nowhere near finished as Ancient Red has over twenty thousand screens of play-area! I could fill two pages of the magazine with screenshots and still not give you a complete idea of the scope of this game.

Ancient Red can be found on SkeneSoft's web site at for download and purchase and it can be found through or as well. Ancient Red is shareware and registration is US$29.95.

-Kermit Woodall

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