Astraware Seizes the Day, by Launching Bejeweled for Palm OS 5 on Same Day as Launch of Palm?s First OS 5 Handheld

New version of acclaimed game sparkles with enhanced graphics, audio and speed

THE MIDLANDS, ENGLAND (October 28, 2002)Astraware Ltd today, in conjunction with the release of Palm, Inc.?s new Palm? Tungsten? T handheld, the first Palm handheld based on the new Palm OS? 5 and an ARM processor, announces the launch of a new version of its award-winning Bejeweled game optimized to take advantage of the higher-resolution screen, improved audio and faster processing speed of Palm OS 5 devices. Bejeweled has been consistently ranked as the top selling Palm OS game since it was originally released in early 2001 and was named Best Handheld Game by Handheld Computing Magazine at the PalmSource conference earlier this year.


When we want to show off the performance and high-resolution screens of the Palm Tungsten T handheld, one of the first applications we turn to is Astraware?s Bejeweled, said Paul Leeper, Chief Evangelist, Palm Solutions Group. The sparkling gemstones, excellent game sounds and fast animation make the new version of Bejeweled an excellent entertainment choice for Tungsten T users.


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 the best game of 2001, the editors of Handheld Computing Magazine warned new players of its addictive nature by urging them to put in for vacation time prior to playing Bejeweled for the first time.


The new version of Bejeweled has been enhanced for high-resolution, high color-depth displays of the new devices that are arriving on the market. The game screen now supports 320 x 320 pixels and uses 16-bit color for the graphics. And while the visual aspect of Bejeweled is the first thing to catch a player?s eye, the sound of gemstones clinking together as they fall into place has always been an enjoyable part of the game. Enhanced sounds have been added for when gems land, swaps and matches are made, time runs out, among others.


The new version of Bejeweled takes advantage of the faster speed of the ARM processor by recreating the screen much faster than before, enabling the animations to run much smoother. Astraware has incorporated ARMlets, small pieces of ARM native code that enable the game to perform faster processing for such functions as unpacking and drawing graphics, into this new version of Bejeweled.


We believe in the old credo ?Carpe Diem: Seize the Day,? and we worked hard to ensure that Bejeweled would be ready for launch on the same day as Palm?s first OS 5 device, said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware?s CEO. We pride ourselves on producing the games that hardware manufacturers use to show off their device capabilities, and we?re not afraid to take advantage of new features to enhance our games! And what could be better than the most popular Palm OS game ever to welcome in Palm OS 5!

About Astraware Ltd.


Founded in 1994, Astraware Ltd. develops 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 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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