The Greatest Original WebOS Games
You know, when you visit VoxelArcade, that you are likely to come across some obscure games, right? There are even one or two obscure systems that we obsess about, but this one has to be the oddest of them all. How about a list of games for a mobile ecosystem that didn’t have many apps, and fewer games, and even fewer decent games.
You have probably never heard of Palm’s webOS, but it is a beautiful mobile OS that handles multitasking in a truly innovative and gorgeous way. I have run The Smartphone App Review for several years, and used every mobile OS under the sun, and webOS is the best, or was until HP decided to purchase the platform. Then drop all webOS hardware a month after launching the TouchPad.
There were a few big name games released for webOS, such as Need for Speed, The Sims, Angry Birds, Gangster and FIFA, but I want to concentrate on the very few, decent, original games released for the system.
Note: Obviously all these games are primarily available for both webOS phones such as the Palm Pre, Veer and Pixi, and in some cases, upgraded versions for the HP TouchPad. This may not last, due to the uncertain future of the webOS App Catalog. It is however, possible to get some of them running on a Nokia N900, although I am not sure of the legality of doing so, even if some of these games are most definitely ‘dead’. A few of them have been ported to iOS and Android, and I have provided links to these versions.
This was one of the few games that arrived for the platform before the PDK, 3D games began to appear, and although it may not look like it, Paratrooper was way ahead of anything else on webOS at the time.
Now ported to iOS, this lovely little action puzzle game has you guiding squadrons of plucky paratroopers to designated landing areas, avoiding all sorts of obstacles along the way. Still available for weboS, with a HD version for the TouchPad, this is really worth getting if you own an iPhone or iPad, and will while away a good few hours.
Just about the best original game for webOS, this brilliant game let you take control of a cannon, with the aim being to solve puzzles in levels that really used the platform to its full.
Short but sweet, and with a new idea on nearly every stage, this is likely to become a forgotten game, with the developer telling me that the game burnt him out. iPhone version on the way? Not likely, as ‘the code is a horrible, horrible mess’. It probably didn’t help that Palm/HP didn’t get behind the game as they should have, but if you do happen across a webOS device, give this a whirl.
This decent shoot ’em up was one of the early PDK games, and I believe its arrival on webOS preceded the English Android and iOS versions.
One of its kind on the mobile platform, ExZeus is an on-rails game in the style of Sin and Punishment, you flew a Japanese mech around 3D levels, blasting in mindless, yet enjoyable fashion. Probably the best game on the platform from a visual point of view, ExZeus was a welcome breath of fresh air.
Another game that began life on webOS before being released for iOS, BeamOut is a game where you fly a UFO around the countryside, kidnapping sheep and bouncing around pinball style levels.
I reviewed the game a while ago and was perhaps, too harsh on it, as I actually ended up booting it up quite a few times after the review, which is not something I can say about every game I review. Worth a look, and you can even grab it for iOS here:
There were quite a few puzzle games released for webOS, as the genre was perhaps the best represented on the Palm platform, particularly in the early days. Wobble Words was the best of them, with good looks combining with really addictive gameplay to produce an essential app.
Like a cross between Scrabble and Boggle, you have to score as many decent scoring words in a short space of time, and it is easy to lose a lot of time to this puzzler.
The best racing game for webOS was also the simplest, with dinky little cars racing around 2D tracks. The game was based on online leaderboards, with each track having three challenges. First of all you have to beat a certain time, then beat your own best ghost, and then the best mode in the game; beating the ghost of the player ranked just above you in the global leaderboards. Never released for any other platform, this will unfortunately go the way of Plasma Cannon, but is again a great little game that is well worth checking out if you have the right phone.
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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.