Games for BlackBerry

I’ve never been what you’d call a “gamer”, unless you count board games. I love Monopoly and Clue, especially, as well as Life, Risk, and Stratego.

Recently, a friend introduced me to two games I’d never heard of before that are fabulous: Red November, and a card game called Guillotine. I am also dedicated to Warhammer 40K. The only roleplaying success in my experience has been with Vampire: The Masquerade L.A.R.P.

For computer games, I like Dungeon Keeper, 7th Guest, and Myst (though I hate the puzzles in the last two; just let me roam around in the scenery, thank you). I do own a mystery game of the Titanic, but all I’ve ever done with it is enjoy the walk-throughs.

My one true computer game obsession, though, (and I’m darn good at it) is Dune 2000, and I refuse to own a computer that will not run it.

I possess a wonderful game called Spieluhr (it’s a game the band Rammstein had made) and I’ve only finished it once, but I enjoy letting it kick my booty while trying to best it a second time! I also like Jezzball, Ski, and that grand dame time-waster, Mahjong (for which I developed a secondary obsession years ago).

Along came a little device called a BlackBerry. Mine came with a game called Brick Breaker, which is very fun. I’ve only gotten as high as level 10 once, but someday….

For more than a year now, I haven’t bothered to acquire any other BB games because they offer nothing I care to play – until I found bplay.com. They have a Mahjong just for BBs! I went and grabbed it (pretty cheap at $4.99) and it is awesome, with animated graphics, special effects, and all. Yeah, the screen is a tad small for Mahjong, but it’s not too bad. Thus far, I get a kick out of the falling leaves, snow, and flying butterflies per background theme. I suppose they’re designed to be a distraction, but I just find them charming.

So what’s the point of all this? You guessed it – it’s another “Reasons I love my BlackBerry” post. Seriously, this is the best thing I’ve ever spent money on in my life. It beats the computer, the iPod, and even the car. Just plain bliss – and now, bliss includes Mahjong!

My latest obsession: BlackBerry themes

I had to stop in at the local Verizon Wireless store and have them upgrade the software on my phone (which they did for free, awesome) before I could successfully download and install themes.

Warning: These things are like potato chips or tattoos – you can’t install just one. And they are free! Seriously, does it get any better? A theme for every occasion, mood, holiday, or event! They aren’t even eating up much space at all on the phone. Ah, bliss! 

Just let me add one plea to those amazing souls who make these themes: Please make the icons on the home screen customizable. No matter how much I love a theme, if the home screen icons are static (and they aren’t the “right” icons) I delete the theme and keep hunting. Awesome animation tricks on these icons is not enough to sway me, either. For the record, these are the important home screen icons, in this order: Messages, Address Book, Browser, Call Log, Media, and Calendar. If you have more spots than that, Memopad and Tasks are next. Also, we need more Halloween themes (without Hello Kitty). Haunted house images are best, with icons that look like Jack O’ Lanterns. And thanks across the board for creating these wonderful things. It feels like Christmas morning when I find a really amazing one! 

For the uninitiated (to either BlackBerry phones or themes for them), let me first extend my condolences and urge you to take the plunge. They don’t call them “Crackberries” for nothing. Yes, any addiction can get ugly, but aside from sore thumbs and less sleep, this one’s pretty easy to live with.

To explain the theme obsession, think back to when you were a kid with your favorite toy. For the girls, it was probably Barbie, but why did we like Barbie? For the clothes. For the boys, how about those Matchbox cars? You wanted more than one, right? Yeah, that’s it – now you understand. No one wants to wear the same outfit every day, and neither should your phone.   

Alas, with most things that bring bliss, there’s a downside, as I mentioned briefly earlier. My BB has rendered me sleep-deprived by infecting me with Theme Obsession Acquisition Disorder (TOAD) combined with “Smart Phone Thumb Syndrome”. Factor in my OCPD (which kicks in hyper folder organizing compulsions) and you have someone who should have gone to sleep at 11 pm scrolling and clicking away past midnight, no matter how aching her thumb pads and joints are. On the other hand, I now have seriously kick-butt themes and a newly “pimped out” phone! This device is bucking for the “Best Thing I Ever Spent Money On” award…. I’m considering being buried with it.

Hey, if they can do knee and hip replacements, can thumbs be far off?