Reviews of N-Gage Games |
Other Materials Dedicated to the History of the 2000s |

“A platform for mobile games that won’t be inferior to their computer brethren,” before the turn of the millennium, it sounded like a naive dream, which would have made most people laugh and forget about such an idea after a few minutes. But it was not Nokia enthusiasts.

The century is turning and the Finns, like the captain at the helm, confidently lead the whole regatta of cell phone manufacturers as the flagship. The company is doing well, but the production of innocuous ordinary phones is becoming annoying. And, for a start, Nokia initiated the creation of the world of smartphones.

It was the company that put the most effort into developing the innovative mobile operating system called Symbian. Through the prism of time, we can see that it was the most significant step in Nokia’s history, they gave an impetus to the development of smart devices, and today they rule the world.

Click “Next” to watch other game reviews – all my videos dedicated to apps for the N-Gage platform included in this playlist


N-Gage: an Idea that was Ahead of its Time

But then it was a novelty, the climax of which, according to the Finns, should have been a real revolution in the face of Nokia N-Gage, a mobile game console based on the Symbian OS. Thanks to it, players from all over the world would be able to:

  • participate in global rankings (N-Gage Arena);
  • play with each other in full-fledged cooperative mode (the function performs through the Bluetooth connection);
  • enjoy colorful graphics on the phone screen;
  • and the best part, savor exclusive masterpiece games that you can’t find anywhere else.

There were also ports from other platforms, such as Tomb Raider from the PC, Sonic N from the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, and Atari gaming machines. In addition, it was on this legendary platform that the Asphalt series of games originated, and later its sequel came out, which was even the best of the next few generations of the game franchise.

It is also worth noting the size of the applications, which could reach more than 50 megabytes. For example, the games were tens and sometimes hundreds of times larger than their “colleagues” on the Java platform. In total, there were about six dozen releases for the N-Gage platform. The smartphones came out in two guises: Nokia N-Gage (often called the Classic) and Nokia N-Gage QD. There are three versions of these devices:

  • Nokia N-Gage – NEM-4;
  • Nokia N-Gage QD – RH-29;
  • Nokia N-Gage QD – RH-47.

Reasons of Failure on the Market

In general, Nokia invested tens of millions of dollars in the project, but in the end, it did not return the money through many factors. First of all, the price. Playing on Nokia N-Gage in the mid-2000s was a pretty expensive “pleasure.” The total purchase could easily exceed a thousand dollars (at that time, this amount could be roughly compared with 3-5 thousand now). See for yourself:

  • to start with, we needed the device itself, which at the start of sales cost $300;
  • a memory card could cost more than $200 (we’re talking about 2 GB, which was a huge size for its time, and N-Gage theoretically didn’t support it. However, some guys say that everything works. But still, more stable “Gaga” interacts with the card for one gigabyte, and it was cheaper. The price was about 80$). According to the official supported capacity, 256 MB is the recommended size for the device;
  • and of course the games. They were sold online as a downloadable installation package and on physical media. A single game cartridge costs around $30-50. A total of 58 games were officially on sale.

Secondly, the N-Gage platform represented an absolute novelty, for which the market was not ready yet. At that time, even a phone with a black-and-white screen was a solid thing to walk down the street, and when people saw Nokia N-Gage, they simply did not understand what it was or why they needed it. Thirdly, although Gaga was perfect as a game console, it was uncomfortable to use as a phone. For example, already became legendary the Sidetalking meme “thanks” to which Nokia N-Gage started to call Taco or Tacophone.

Smart2000s - Sidetalking Meme

Fourthly, piracy (no comments here). And the final chord, users could run games on other Symbian smartphones. These were the Series 60 first and second editions (from version 6.1 to 8.1). Yes, most of them couldn’t run even a third of the games on their “iron.” Yes, even the top models didn’t open everything, although they were more powerful than Nokia N-Gage. And yes (one more time), it was not always convenient to play because creators developed the applications purely for the Gaga keyboard layout. But… these moments played a significant role in the future.

N-Gage 2.0

The very fact of the “playability” of games designed for N-Gage on other devices led Nokia to the closure of the original N-Gage project (as a game console) in 2006. And in 2008, it launched N-Gage 2.0, a gaming platform for Symbian Series 60 3rd edition smartphones with the 9th version of the OS. However, it only lasted a year, and publishers had released about 40 games for the new platform. Most of them are ports from the original N-Gage or unreleased games for it. Finally, It is important to emphasize three moments:

  1. At the moment, we can play all games for the first N-Gage only on the devices themselves (Classic or QD).
  2. Players cannot run games for N-Gage and N-Gage 2.0 on the same smartphone.
  3. Now gradually begin to appear the test versions of a variety of emulators for Android and PC. In the future, it will be possible to play the releases from the original N-Gage platform and N-Gage 2.0. So even if you don’t have the relevant device at hand, you can still be able to feel the atmosphere of N-Gage using your laptop or modern smartphone.

Click “Next” to watch other gameplay videos – all of them dedicated to releases for the N-Gage 2.0 platform

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Mark in History

N-Gage can undoubtedly be called one of the most underrated creations in the history of the mobile industry. The platform did not achieve even a tenth of the recognition it deserved. But this unfair situation should not last forever. In my blog, I will try to prove that there were no bad games for “Gaga.” I’ll review each of them. So see you in the new materials, friends!

History of N-Gage platform is written by

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