Sturgeon's Law states that "Ninety percent of everything is crap". I don't think I am being too controversial by suggesting that if Theodore Sturgeon had ever encountered mobile phone games he would have revised upwards.
There are decent games out there, but there is a lot of dross - derivative, badly designed and poorly implemented.
Nokia want to change all that. They have been running the Mobile Games Innovation Challenge - a competition that asks developers to submit their most innovative game designs for - running under Symbian or Java on N-Gage or standard Nokia handsets
Being Nokia, they have a certain amount of hard cash to throw at the problem and have put up prize money worth €70,000 - that's €40,000 for the winner, €20,000 for second place and €10,000 for the third runner up.
The ten finalists up for the big money are:
* Active Tecnologia e Consultoria Ltda. (Brazil) with Cinemarena - set in a movie theatre, controlling avatars on the big screen
* CreatePlayShare (India) with Ball - play any ball game on your mobile or even create your own new game
* Different Game (Sweden) with Ghost Wire - use your mobile device to communicate with ghosts
* Eclipse Interactive (UK) with Watchers - conspiracy adventure game that uses Nokia Maps and other real world tools to find locations
* Int13 (France) with Kweekies - augmented reality virtual pet game
* Jadestone (Sweden) and C4M (France) with Melokey - a music game for mobile devices where you learn to master songs and play them against other in-game characters to win the hearts of your fans
* LemonQuest (Spain) with Wave Pirates - turn into a pirate navigating the seven seas, looking for gold and glory
* Onur Yazilim (Turkey) with Comet Hunter - a 2-D shooting game which combines the excitement of shooting with natural sound effects made by players themselves
* Simlife (China) with XDancery - a music game where players can touch the screen, draw patterns on screen, shake the device or sing into it to hit the music tempo notes
* TechnoBubble (Spain) with Fun Cam - a mixed reality game that connects your camera on your mobile device to the TV
The winners will be announced at the Nokia Games Summit in Rome on 29 October.
Who will win one of the most prestigious mobile gaming prizes of 2008? [Game Challenge via NokNok.tv]