Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How to Obtain and Install some decent free Games for the Blackberry

These notes come from some instructions I made for people today. I figured that they were worth sharing...

Blackberry applications, including games are generally loaded using either;
  • The Blackberry Browser (over the air)
  • The Blackberry Desktop Manager

The method you use will depend upon the particular game/application in question as some vendors use one method only. The "over the air" method is easiest.

Ka-Glom, Medieval Chess, Circle Poppers, BlackJack, Spider Solitaire and Suduku
Note: Not all of these games will be available as Blackberry rotate them on their site.
You will also find some older games listed under Classic Games (Spider Solitaire is especially good).

  1. On your blackberry device, go to: http://mobile.blackberry.com/
  2. Scroll down to Fun and Games and click on Super Games
  3. Click on Free Games
  4. At the Terms and Conditions, click I accept
  5. Find the Game you're interested in and Click on the arrow next to Download
  6. At the next screen, click on Download
  7. You'll get a bar graph that should last less than a minute.
  8. Click Ok on the Successful Installation Dialog box.

If you look around the blackberry site, you'll also find a lot of free ringtones and backgrounds.
You can make your own background, but that's for another document.

There's a lot more places you can go for mobile phone games (which aren't necessarily perfect for blackberry) one such location is;
http://www.mobilerated.com/rim-blackberry-8800-games.html

Games and Applications in .ALX format
ALX is the Blackberry application format. Unlike Java, applications and Games in ALX are specifically designed for blackberry.

First you need to locate some .ALX files and save them somewhere (eg: your desktop). You can find ALX files via Blackberry Forums etc, and searching in Google.

Before doing this procedure, you must have already loaded the Blackberry Desktop Manager software on your PC.

  1. Connect your blackberry to your PC using the USB Cable.
  2. Run the Blackberry Desktop Manager software (start, all programs, blackberry, desktop manager)
  3. Enter your current Notes password (and rewew encryption keys if prompted).
  4. If your icons are greyed out, you need to go into options, then connections and make sure that you set it to USB and click OK.
  5. Double-click on Application Loader
  6. Click Next and wait for the bar graphs.
  7. If you see applications already here, you could remove them if you wanted to by deselecting their checkbox - that's just a handy hint though... we're here to add.
  8. Click the button marked ADD
  9. Browse to the file you want to install and click Open
  10. Click Next, then Finish and wait for the Bar Graphs again...
  11. Click Close and disconnect your blackberry to play your game.

Note: The best way to disconnect your blackberry is to
  1. Close the Blackberry Desktop Manager software
  2. Right-Click the "Safely Remove hardware" icon on the system tray (near the clock).
  3. In the "tree" look for the word blackberry on a lower branch then go to the top of that tree.
  4. Click on it then click Remove and Ok.
  5. After a few seconds you'll get a message saying that it's safe to unplug the blackberry. (remove the USB plug).

Java Games
There are lots of web sites out there telling you that you need the Blackberry Software development kit to run java applications on the blackberry. This is no longer the case, provided that your blackberry has operating system 4.2 or higher.

The instructions for Java games installation are tricky, so I'll use someone else's instructions with some modifications;
(For citation reasons, I got these instructions from: http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/)

  1. Download the jad/jar file onto your computer's desktop.
  2. Check it has the right extension by right click and check properties on the file. The download might need unziping. (ie: JAR not ZIP)
  3. Connect your blackberry to Desktop Manager
  4. Open your Media Manager application in Desktop Manager
  5. In the right hand window, make a new folder in My Blackberry/Device Memory/Games
  6. Using the right side of your media manager copy your JAD/JAR files into the folder.
  7. You must follow these instructions Exactly, otherwise you won't see your file.
  8. Open the Media application on the blackberry
  9. Press the right button next to the trackball
  10. Click explore
  11. Track down to Device Memory
  12. press the right button next to the trackball
  13. Click Open
  14. Track down to your /Games Folder
  15. press the right button next to the trackball
  16. Click Open
  17. Select the JAR file
  18. Select "Download"

The Application will load on to your blackberry and is now available in your application menu.

You can also use this method to access HTML files/Text files/PDF Files etc on your media card and read them but you must the EXPLORE,OPEN menus to see them otherwise you can see the folders but not the files.

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