Astraware Press Releases

Astraware Casino released for Android phones

Staffordshire, UK – January 28th 2010 – Astraware® – the UK-based games studio is pleased to announce the immediate release of Astraware Casino for Android™ phones. The award-winning 11-game pack includes the most popular games played in casinos around the world including Texas Hold ‘Em Poker (Limit and No Limit versions), Roulette, Slots, Blackjack and Craps.

In addition to 11 games, Astraware Casino gives players $1000 in a virtual wallet to begin playing with, has a fun trophy system – the ‘Souvenir Suitcase’, and a virtual bank where players can get an overdraft if they’re down on their luck or stash their cash when they win big!

Astraware Casino supports a wide range of Android devices with the following resolutions: QVGA (240×320), HVGA (320×480), WVGA (480×800), and FWVGA (480×854). Android OS now joins other platforms in Astraware’s game engine and core technology library with multiple resolution support (BlackBerry®, Windows® phone). This bespoke technical system allows Astraware to port and optimize their games for new devices and platforms very quickly and ensures that the company’s games can be kept up to date with ease.

“We’re thrilled to be releasing Astraware Casino for Android devices today,” said David Oakley, Astraware’s Chief Technology Officer. “We’ve designed the game to make the most of each Android phone’s capabilities, from the HTC Tattoo up to the Motorola Droid or Google Nexus One.”

Astraware Casino is available for Android phones on device from Android Market and on the web from Astraware.com and Handmark.com. The game is also available for iPhone™ and iPod® touch, BlackBerry® smartphones, Windows® phone, S60®, and Palm OS®.

For more information visit the Astraware website here, and follow the studio on Twitter and Facebook.

Handmark Spins Off Mobile Games Studio as it Refines Focus

KANSAS CITY, MO and LONDON, UK – January 27, 2010 – Handmark®, the world’s leading developer and distributor of mobile applications and services, today announced it has spun off its mobile games studio, Astraware, as the company streamlines its business to focus on other strategic areas of mobile development and support.

Astraware returns to the management of Howard Tomlinson and David Oakley, two of the original founders, and will remain a Handmark preferred partner. Handmark will continue to support Astraware on a variety of distribution and promotional opportunities.

“We saw a great opportunity to join forces with Astraware to help create and extend a collection of fun, well-designed mobile games titles to a new audience, and we did just that,” said Paul Reddick, Handmark CEO. “I still see a great opportunity for their team to continue proving their leadership as a major player in mobile games and we will continue to work alongside them.”

Handmark acquired Astraware in January 2008. Together the companies have launched more than 20 games, including the popular GTS World Racing and Platypus for iPhone, as well as its multi award-winning Astraware Sudoku for BlackBerry smartphones.

“Handmark has always been and will continue to be a trusted partner,” said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware CEO. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the very best in mobile games, focusing on the core of our business which is making your mobile experience fun and exciting across new platforms and technologies!”

This follows a recent announcement in which Handmark publicized its aggressive plans to take more than 500 publishers mobile in 2010. The company is refining its focus to lead the rapidly growing mobile publishing market, as the only partner to offer a full-service mobile solution for newspapers, magazines and other content providers.

The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Handmark Releases Down 4 The Count Boxing Game on App Store

KANSAS CITY, MO (USA) and LONDON, UK – Aug. 26, 2009 – Handmark® today announced Down 4 The Count for iPhone™ and iPod® touch, a full-on action arcade boxing game, is available on the App Store. Building on its catalog of more than 35 games and apps in the App Store, Down 4 The Count utilizes the innovative Multi-Touch user interface to allow players to touch to punch, swipe to dodge, and hold to block as they take on multiple challengers each with their own unique style and special skills. As a feature of iPhone OS 3.0, Down 4 The Count allows players to create their own boxing-themed playlist from their iTunes Music Library, within the game.

“We’re delighted to work with SpiderMonk to help publish this exciting new boxing game for iPhone users to enjoy,” said Cassidy Lackey, vice president of Handmark Studios. “Down 4 The Count is a great addition to our catalog of quality titles and we look forward to helping the SpiderMonk team bring more of their unique, independently developed titles to iPhone in the future.”

Down 4 The Count sees players take on 10 challenging opponents in bouts of up to three rounds. Players must knock-out Banker Bob, Zed The Zombie and other fighters to progress through the rankings. The final challenge comes with Cyborg 3300, who must be defeated to become World Champion.

Down 4 The Count is the first game to launch as a result of a new publishing agreement between SpiderMonk Entertainment and Handmark. SpiderMonk has previously created games for consoles, handhelds and PCs. Down 4 The Count is its first offering for iPhone and iPod touch users.

Down 4 The Count is available at the introductory price of $0.99 for a limited time from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

For more information and to view a demo video, click here.

Handmark Releases Astraware Sudoku and Astraware Casino for Symbian S60 phones

KANSAS CITY, MO (USA) and LONDON, UK – Aug. 21, 2009 – Handmark® has today released its award-winning Astraware Sudoku and Casino games for S60® phones, including the new Nokia 5800 and N97 touch screen devices.

Recognized as one of the best Sudoku games for smartphones, Astraware Sudoku is packed with features, including its popular Puzzle of the Day which allows players to compete against other players worldwide to post the best time for that day’s puzzle, in addition to an integrated Puzzle Builder which creates billions of unique puzzles. The game offers a range of different options to help players solve puzzles including manual or automatic pencilmarks, a smart hints system and the hold and highlight system which can display an overlay for a specific number or pencilmark helping players to see where to look and what to look for. Astraware Sudoku is suitable for all levels of players and includes six levels of difficulty.

Astraware Casino features 11 of the best-known games found in casinos around the world, including Texas Hold ‘Em No Limit Poker, Roulette, Slots, Craps, and Blackjack. The game includes full instructions on how to play each of the 11 games and gives players $1,000 in a virtual wallet to begin playing. Higher stake tables and games unlock as players progress. Astraware Casino also includes a fun achievements system – the ‘Souvenir Suitcase’. During the game players will unlock different ‘Souvenirs’ to place in their suitcase to mark special achievements in the game. Souvenirs include special chips, fluffy toys, and fun items of clothing.

Astraware Sudoku and Astraware Casino are both available now at www.handmark.com for S60 3rd Edition and later devices as well as several other smartphone platforms. For more information visit: astraware.com/sudoku and astraware.com/casino.

Handmark Releases Astraware Casino on App Store with iTunes Library Integration

KANSAS CITY, MO – July 30, 2009 – Handmark® today announced the release of Astraware Casino – a fun, easy-to-use pack of 11 of the most popular casino games from around the world – on the App Store. Astraware Casino is the first new game release from Handmark to use the iTunes Library Integration feature of iPhone OS 3.0. Users with iPhone OS 3.0 compatible devices can select My iPod Music from the game’s Options menu and choose individual songs from their collection to create the perfect casino-themed playlist!

Handmark will be incorporating iTunes Library integration into a range of their existing and forthcoming iPhone™ and iPod® touch games, allowing players to create their own soundtrack for each game. Updates to existing titles with this great new feature will be rolled out over the summer.

“We are excited to be able to use these new APIs to enhance our games offerings,” said Cassidy Lackey, vice president of Handmark Studios. “It’s great to be able to design your own playlist to accompany Astraware Casino – there’s nothing like a bit of relaxing lounge music when you’re enjoying a game of Poker!”

Astraware Casino includes all the usual games you’d expect to find in casinos – Texas Hold ‘Em No Limit and Limit Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Slots, as well as some more specialist games like Baccarat, 3 Card Poker, Video Derby, and Keno. Astraware Casino gives players $1,000 virtual dollars to begin playing with and also includes a fun trophy system – the Souvenir Suitcase – with awards given for a range of achievements in the game.

Astraware Casino is available at the introductory price of $0.99 for a limited time from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

For more information and to view a demo video, click here.

Handmark and Sandlot Games Release Popular Trading Adventure ‘Tradewinds 2’ on Apple App Store

KANSAS CITY, MO – June 23, 2009 – Handmark® and Sandlot Games® today announced the release of Tradewinds® 2, part of Sandlot Games’ popular trading adventure franchise, on the Apple App Store.

Based on the acclaimed PC game by Sandlot Games, Tradewinds 2 is a highly immersive adventure for iPhone and iPod touch where players navigate the pirate-infested waters of the Caribbean. Be a master commander, defeating pirates and plundering their vast hordes of booty, or, play it safe by trading exotic island goods, gradually amassing untold wealth, power and influence.

“Once again Handmark has done an excellent job bringing another Sandlot Game to millions of iPhone and iPod touch users,” said Daniel Bernstein, CEO Sandlot Games. “We’re very proud of Tradewinds 2 for the Apple App Store and we believe that users worldwide will once again get swept away in the unique gameplay and story that unites the Tradewinds series.”

Gamers who enjoy trading and strategy games will love Tradewinds 2. Players can choose one of 5 characters to play as, or create their own using the ‘Character Generator’; explore 20 different ports each with different buildings and characteristics; and enjoy over 100 hours of gameplay across Story and Free Trade modes. Players new to this genre will gain an introduction via the full tutorial in Tradewinds 2.

“Following the success of Glyph® and Westward®, we’re excited to work with Sandlot Games to bring Tradewinds 2 to the iPhone and iPod touch,” said Cassidy Lackey, vice president of Handmark Studios. “The venerated franchise has a loyal online offering, and this immersive version reinforces our intention to bring high quality, value-packed games to the Apple App Store.”

Tradewinds 2 is available now for $4.99 from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore. For more information about Tradewinds 2, along with screenshots and a video demo, please click here.

Award-winning Astraware Solitaire Now Available for BlackBerry Smartphones

KANSAS CITY, MO and LONDON, UK – June 5, 2009 – Handmark® today announced the release of Astraware Solitaire – its award-winning solitaire games pack for BlackBerry® smartphones.

This highly acclaimed games pack, created by Astraware® – the Handmark Game Studio, includes 12 of the most well-known single player card games selected from customer feedback. These games include Klondike, Pyramid, Spider, Clock, and Yukon.

Astraware Solitaire boasts a range of exclusive, must-have features including:

  • Fully customizable game play allowing customers to use their chosen rule set for each game
  • ‘Mirror’ layout – an essential feature for one-handed use
  • Choice of card face, including an option suitable for those with visual impairments
  • Detailed statistics for players who love to track their wins
  • Golden Trophy Deck reward system which players can unlock as they play

“Of all the mobile Solitaire games I’ve ever played, Astraware Solitaire delivers the best user experience,” said Cassidy Lackey, VP of Handmark Studios. “It has all the card games I love to play and it’s the perfect game for those spare moments when I’m waiting at the airport or between meetings.”

Astraware Solitaire is available for the BlackBerry® Storm smartphone and all BlackBerry smartphones with a trackball. It is immediately available to download at www.handmark.com or www.astraware.com for $9.95 and will soon be available on BlackBerry App World™. For more information click here.

Handmark Announces Futuristic Racing Game, Phaze Available on Apple App Store

KANSAS CITY, MO – June 2, 2009 – Handmark® today announced the release of Phaze™, an exciting new futuristic racing game, on the Apple App Store. Phaze is unique to iPhone™ and iPod® touch and offers players an exhilarating race experience as they select their ship and race around 16 rollercoaster-like tracks with stomach-flipping twists and turns, and velocity-increasing boost pads, while collecting powerups and avoiding their competitors’ weapons!

“Following the success of GTS World Racing and Hellfire for iPhone and iPod touch we are excited to bring fans of arcade-style racing games another high-quality, addictive game,” said Cassidy Lackey, vice president of Handmark Studios. “Our partnership with world-class developers like Pazzazz, brings exclusive games to the App Store that will surely keep users on the edge of their seat!”

Phaze features 2 play modes – Single Race and Championship across 16 futuristic locations and with 4 levels of difficulty. Players begin with a choice of 3 ships, and a further 7 can be unlocked through Championship mode.

Phaze is available for $4.99 from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at http://www.itunes.com/appstore/.

For more information and to view a demo video, click here.

Phaze has been created exclusively for the iPhone and iPod touch by Pazzazz Games (GTS World Racing, Hellfire).

Award-winning Astraware Sudoku now available for BlackBerry® smartphones!

Staffordshire, UK – March 24th 2009 – Astraware® – the Handmark® Game Studio™ is excited to announce the release of Astraware Sudoku for BlackBerry® smartphones. Alongside the new release, this award-winning Sudoku game has also been updated for Palm OS® and Windows Mobile® smartphones – with enhanced graphics, and changes to the existing game engine to improve calculations and hints for some of the more difficult puzzles.

Recognised by many as the best mobile Sudoku game for a range of smartphones, Astraware Sudoku includes all the features avid Sudoku players want. The game includes the highly acclaimed OTA Puzzle of the Day that allows players to download a puzzle for each difficulty level from the Sudoku of the Day webserver each day and on completion submit their time to see how they compare to other players worldwide! The BlackBerry and PalmOS versions of Astraware Sudoku also enable players to download packs of puzzles at multiple difficulty levels as and when required, so players never need worry about running out of puzzles.

Astraware Sudoku includes a wide range of assistance including a Sudoku solver, manual and automatic pencilmarks, a smart hints system to give players helpful guidance without just showing the solution, and hold-and-highlight for locating particular numbers or groups. Players can use these features to learn how to play Sudoku, improve their game and progress to higher difficulty levels!

In addition, players can enter their own puzzles from magazines and newspapers and use all of Astraware Sudoku’s assistance to help solve them.

To coincide with this release, Astraware Sudoku for BlackBerry, Palm OS and Windows Mobile has been reduced to the new regular price of $9.95!

Astraware Sudoku is available for BlackBerry®, iPhone™, iPod® touch, Windows Mobile® and Palm OS®. For more information click here. For more indepth information on playing Sudoku, including more complex solving methods, visit our companion website at Sudokuoftheday.com.

Astraware releases fun new word game for multiple smartphone platforms

STAFFORDSHIRE, UK – February 6th 2009 – Astraware® – the Handmark® Games Studio™ has today released a fun new word game featuring ever-friendly, fishy host, Wordsworth Smartygills. Bubble Shuffle™ follows on from Bubble Babble in the ‘Bubble’ word game series.

Bubble Shuffle is a simple undersea-themed word-building game that challenges players to create words from a given set of bubble letters. Perfect for adults and children, the game begins with 4 letters to work from and increases over multiple levels to 7 letters. To progress from level to level players must create at least one word from all of the letters. Players can shuffle the bubbles as many times as they want, to help them find more words.

The game features 4 fun game modes – 2 timed, and 2 more relaxing untimed games, each with a variation on the basic gameplay. Wordsworth Smartygills guides you through how to play, and can provide hints and clues throughout the game just by tapping him. Bubble Shuffle includes 4 levels of difficulty, and advanced anagram-anglers are rewarded for finding more unusual and esoteric words, with the option of requiring rare words from the inbuilt extended dictionary!

Players can earn a collection of colorful seahorse pets for Wordsworth by various achievements, from reaching new difficulty levels to the challenge of finding all of the possible words within the time limit.

Bubble Shuffle is available for Palm OS®, Windows Mobile®, iPhone™ and iPod&reg touch. For more information, click here.