Astraware Celebrates Bejeweled?s First Birthday With Free Games and Other Prizes for All

In its first year, Bejeweled is honored with Best Game award and top sales rankings

THE MIDLANDS, England (April 15, 2002)… Astraware is celebrating the 1st birthday of Bejeweled, its acclaimed game for Palm Poweredtm handhelds known for its sparkling graphics and addictive game-play. Bejeweled, which recently was named Best Game of 2001 by Handheld Computing Magazine, is Astraware?s version of the popular online version by PopCap Games. Since it was first released in March 2001, Bejeweled has often been ranked among the most downloaded Palm OStm applications.

“Astraware has consistently produced software that we love to use to show off what Palmtm handhelds can do,” said Steve McGuigan, Manager, Software Business Development at Palm, Inc. “And because it?s available for grayscale and color, Bejeweled is great for any Palm handheld. Our latest handhelds — the Palm m130 and m515 — maximize game enjoyment with vivid color screens and support for more than 65,000 colors.”

To celebrate Bejeweled?s birthday, Astraware is hosting an online celebration at its Web site, www.astraware.com. Visitors will have the opportunity to register for prizes, including free games, and Astraware t-shirts and mugs. Other prizes include Palm m130 and m125 handhelds, both donated by Palm, Inc.; a Sony NR70V handheld donated by Sony; clip-on GameFace joysticks donated by Handspring; and software donated by many of the top Palm OS developers. Software sponsors include Electric Pocket, DreamQuest, Cutting Edge Software, Trust Digital, and Bachmann Software. To sweeten the pot, Astraware is guaranteeing that everyone who enters the contest will win a prize.

While many Palm OS developers are working hard to make their customers more productive, Astraware is striving to achieve the opposite results. “Curse you, Astraware, for all those lost hours when I could have been working — but no, I was having a blast playing Bejeweled instead,” exclaimed Denny Atkin, Handheld Computing Magazine?s editor-in chief. “Bejeweled is the first handheld game that should be regulated as a controlled substance.”

“In this age of shoot-em-up style games loaded with adventure and destruction – we love those games too, by the way – it has been amazing how wildly popular a simple matching game like Bejeweled has become,” said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware?s CEO. “Bejeweled is simple to play, quick to learn, and maddeningly addictive. We couldn?t be happier as we celebrate a tremendous first year for Bejeweled.”

About Astraware Ltd.

Founded in 1994, Astraware Ltd. develops shareware games and utilities for handheld computers. The company provides a range of products available for handheld computers, including the popular Zap!2000. Astraware?s Bejeweled game was recently named as the Best Handheld Game for 2001 by Handheld Computing Magazine. Handheld gaming enthusiasts have downloaded more than a million copies of Astraware?s products, and the company has customers in over 100 countries. For more information, contact CEO Howard Tomlinson at howard@astraware.com or visit www.astraware.com.

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Palm OS is a registered trademark, and Palm and Palm Powered are trademarks of Palm, Inc. All other products, services and company names are trademarks, registered trademarks or services marks of their respective owners.

Astraware Signs Deal with RealNetworks? RealArcade for Distribution and Marketing of Palm OS Game Titles

Popular Astraware games for Palm OS handhelds to be available at RealNetworks? RealArcade

THE MIDLANDS, ENGLAND (April 10, 2002) – Astraware Ltd today announced that RealNetworks will distribute many of Astraware?s popular game titles for Palm OS® handhelds through RealNetworks®, Inc. RealArcade(TM) game distribution platform. RealNetworks will also market Astraware?s games directly to its more than 4.5 million RealArcade users. Game titles that will initially be available through the RealArcade service will include: Bejeweled, Alchemy, Seven Seas, Atomica, Collapse and Text Twist.

"We believe that many of our over one million existing PC game customers who own Palm Powered® handheld devices will be interested in buying games for them, provided the games are of high quality and easy to acquire," said Paul Thelen, Director of Marketing for RealArcade. "Astraware was an obvious choice as a handheld device partner due to their strong reputation in the Palm OS development community and the high quality games they have produced."
Astraware is the first provider of games for handheld devices for RealArcade, and Astraware plans to provide additional games for RealArcade in the near future. The initial game set is a representation of many of the most popular and addictive of Astraware?s famous puzzle games and includes:

  • Bejeweled, recent winner of Best Palm OS Game by Handheld Computing Magazine, has been hailed for its highly addictive game play. In fact, due to its addictive nature, one reviewer recently decried that it is "quite possibly the most evil game ever created." Players strive to remove colorful gemstones from the screen by swapping adjacent jewels to create sets of three or more. Once jewels are removed, new gems fall onto the screen to replace them.
  • In Alchemy, players attempt to become the mythical Alchemical Grand Master by placing runes of magical shapes and colors onto the screen, thus turning lead into gold.
  • In Seven Seas, players navigate their galleon through hazardous waters, avoiding pirates, reefs, and even sea monsters.
  • Atomica players make molecules in Dr. Atomica’s Laboratory, building up atomic power by moving atoms to make larger and larger molecules without causing a nuclear eruption.
  • Players of Collapse need to move fast to find rows and columns of three or more like-colored blocks. They must then click on them to make them disappear, collapsing the rows and columns above.
  • For word game lovers, Text Twist never disappoints. Players begin with a six-letter scrambled word and they must attempt to unscramble that word, and as many other three, four, or five-letter words as possible, within a time limit.

"RealNetworks carries a wide assortment of very cool games for the PC, and we are delighted to provide our own collection so that their gaming community can become as hooked on handheld gaming as our own customers have become," said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware?s CEO. "As RealNetworks grows its new section devoted to handheld games, we plan to continually offer new and exciting games for RealArcade users to choose from."

All of Astraware?s new games work with handhelds running the Palm OS 3.0 or higher and each sell for $14.95. The games will now be available to download through the RealArcade software, and at: http://www.realarcade.com/.

About Astraware Limited

Founded in 1994, Astraware Ltd. shareware games and utilities. The company provides a range of products available for handheld computers, including the popular Zap!2000. Astraware?s Bejeweled game was recently named as the Best Handheld Game for 2001 by Handheld Computing Magazine. Handheld gaming enthusiasts have downloaded more than a million copies of Astraware?s products, and the company has customers in over 100 countries. For more information, contact CEO Howard Tomlinson at howard@astraware.com or visit www.astraware.com.

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Palm OS is a registered trademark, and Palm and Palm Powered are trademarks of Palm, Inc. All other products, services and company names are trademarks, registered trademarks or services marks of their respective owners.

RealNetworks, Real.com and RealArcade are trademarks or registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc