Astraware Launches Bejeweled Game of the Year Edition for Palm OS 5.x and Pocket PC with Dynamic New Aurora Sound System

Bejeweled Named Best Game Application 2003 at Handango Developer Summit

THE MIDLANDS, ENGLAND – August 8, 2003 – Astraware announces that its most successful PopCap licenced game, Bejeweled, has been named as Best Game Application 2003 in the Handango Champion Awards. In celebration of this honor, Astraware is releasing the Bejeweled “Game of the Year Edition”, which premieres the company?s new Aurora sound technology.

Aurora adds the single missing ingredient to Bejeweled?s formula for success, a musical score to accompany the game?s enhanced sound effects.

Aurora is the next evolutionary leap for Astraware’s products and game development because sharp sound effects and atmospheric music add so much to the impact and user experience,” said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware’s CEO. “We’re expecting to see an immediate rise in the sales of headphones as many of our players will still want to be able to attend meetings while illicitly trying to beat their Astraware high scores.
Aurora brings a unified sound system to Astraware?s games, allowing the company to support more devices with a greater variety of audio effects than ever before. Optional components within Aurora allow Astraware to add real-time mixing, spot sound effects, background music, and output systems for Palm OS 5.x, Yamaha Sound, Pocket PC and MS Smartphone devices.

The initial release of Bejeweled “Game of the Year Edition” is designed for all Palm-branded OS 5.x devices, including Zire 71, Tungsten T and Tungsten C models and Pocket PC 2002/2003 devices.

Bejeweled is very simple to play, but difficult for players to put down. They can choose from a relaxing and absorbing Easy-level, or a frantic Timed-level game, as they tap adjacent pairs of gems to swap them and make matching horizontal and vertical lines of three or more.

In honoring Bejeweled as “Game of the Year”, Handango recognized the game for its endurance as the top selling handheld game of all time. The game had previously been named Game of the Year for 2001 by Handheld Computing Magazine with a warning for new players to “put in for vacation time” prior to playing Bejeweled for the first time because of its addictive nature.