Monday, 16 April 2012

GP2X OHH program list 3c - Applications: Misc Apps (part 3 of 3)

This has taken... um... a while, hasn't it? Still, I really have done it now! Here is the last part of the "Misc Apps" program list. I was originally intending to go on to another category after this, but we'll have to see how it goes. I have a game review to write yet, for one thing!

OHH GP2X archive - Applications: Misc Apps

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

sbagen: create binaural beats
sdlmore-0.2.tar.gz: draws command-line output with SDL
SigGen try1: signal generator
Skin installer: copy skins from SD to the GP2X
Skin2x: manage your skins
Sleep: add sleep/hibernate facility to the console
SnowCatch - Screensaver - GP2X: screensaver/demo
Speaker Toggle: turn speaker on and off
Speaker Toggle (new firmwares): as above, for "new"(!) fw 1.4+
STerm 0.6.1 : terminal emulator

termula2x 0.2.1: another terminal emulator
Textreader: just what it says
timer: simple on-screen timer
Timer Skins: skins for the above
TinySDGL for gp2x: graphics library; includes gears
TioTest: SD I/O benchmark
Tv on: enable TV-out mode; can be autorun
txtcon: convert newline codes; fixes Gutenberg files
USB Host networking for GP2X: connect a CDC Ethernet device (needs cradle etc)
Viewer4DM (Viewer for Dictionary & Mp3): text viewer with music support

VNC Server for GP2X (F200 TS emulation): networking tool
VNCServer 2x: as above without F200/touchscreen support
Wget: content retrieval tool
Wireless USB toolkit: connect to open networks with an RT2570 dongle
xReader: Spanish-language text reader
Xreader 2beta: mutilingual version of the above
Xynth: very early GUI
Z-nCarder: text-viewer, primarily for Russian
zgv2x: image viewer

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Back again

I've been off on my Easter holidays, hence the brief absence. My to-do list now includes the following:

1) Continue the list of programs. No, honestly I will! Apart from anything else, I want to get the "Misc Apps" list over and done with.

2) Review another game. I've been playing one particular title a lot over the break, so that will be my choice.

3) Ramble on vaguely about anything I like, since it's not as if I have an audience or anything here...

Monday, 2 April 2012

A couple of things

1) Yes, I am still going to carry on with the list of programs from the OHH site. The pause is for reasons entirely unconnected with 2XGB, or even the GP2X. I will be getting back to it!

2) On the (hugely unlikely) offchance that anyone other than me actually reads this these days, please do feel free to suggest games you'd like to see reviewed.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

New game: Sqrxz 3 - Adventure for Love

Retroguru has uploaded a new Jump and Run game to the OHH archive: Sqrxz 3 - Adventure for Love is (surprisingly enough) the third in the Sqrxz series, and sees the titular hero collecting rings to try to save his kidnapped girlfriend Yve. Not perhaps the most original plot in history, but then this developer is trying to be retro! The GP2X port is by Pickle.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Game review: Sponge Blob Tennis

Sponge Blob Tennis
Genre: Sport
Author: Michel Rouzic ("A_SN")
OHH download: v0.1 "FBAX2007" (12/07/07)
Size: 3.0 MB
Licence: Freeware

Sponge Blob Tennis is, to my knowledge, the only (non-emulated) tennis game available for the GP2X, so it's a relief that it's quite a well designed program. As its name implies, you control a cuboid spongy blob, and whack a ball back and forth over an isometric tennis court. The game implements most of the basic features of tennis, though not tie-breaks. Notably, it runs smoothly at CPU speeds as low as 80 MHz, making it excellent for battery-powered sessions on the bus or train.

Addictiveness: 8
This is not an easy game to get started with, because of the difficulty of visualising the ball's movement in three dimensions on an isometric court. However, there's a real feeling of satisfaction that comes with even scoring your first point, let alone the much harder task of winning a game. I like tennis games anyway, so perhaps I'm biased, but I think Sponge Blob Tennis has what it takes to keep you coming back for more.

Depth: 6
More complex tennis games can have a great deal of depth, but this one is just too simple to score any higher. The main thing to learn is how to use jumps, which depending on your position cause either lobs or smashes. You also have to deal with the fact that the shape of your blob changes as you move -- you can be long and thin, or short and fat, or something in between! The game starts with both blobs AI-controlled; you can take charge of one or both.

Controls: 5
I found these rather fiddly. A and Y toggle AI/human control for left and right blobs. If you choose to control the left blob (and have the right one AI-controlled) you use the joystick to move and left trigger to jump. If you control the right blob, it's X and B to move and right trigger to jump. You're allowed to use (for example) joystick and right trigger, but what you can't do is use joystick and B, which would be my preferred combination. With two players, things get a bit cramped, but that's to be expected. Serving is always automatic, for both AI and human players.

Graphics: 9
I really like the look of Sponge Blob Tennis. It has a very attractive, old-school console, appearance that I think suits the GP2X perfectly. The design of the tennis court is thoughtful, with mown grass, a clubhouse behind the court, a useful digital scoreboard, and so on. It's been thought about right down to the flowers around the edge, and the colours are bright and cheerful. There's a lot to like here.

Sound: N/A
There isn't any.

Documentation: 7
Considering the unfinished nature of the program (see below), not too bad. There's a readme that explains the general principles behind the game, which has slightly uneven English in a few spots but is fairly easily understood; and the control guide that appears if you press Select is comprehensive and reasonably clear.

One bizarre line from the credits in the readme: "Original idea and artwork : An italian artist whose name I ignore (" I suspect "ignore" is a mistranslation into English, as it's a weird thing to say otherwise.

Completeness: 6
Sponge Blob Tennis is rough around the edges, as its 0.1 version number would suggest, but it's a playable game even as it is, and it can be good fun. What might have been, though... with better AI, sound, manual serving and tie-breaks, this could perhaps have become one of the truly great GP2X games.

Overall: 7
This was a tricky game to rate, because it has so obviously been left unfinished, but what is there -- especially the graphics -- is quite polished. I would recommend Sponge Blob Tennis, so long as you don't download it under the illusion that what you're getting will be a fully-fledged tennis sim. As Rouzic says in the readme, it's really more of a cross between tennis and Pong.

Friday, 16 March 2012

GP2X OHH program list 3b - Applications: Misc Apps (part 2 of 3)

Right then; here's part two of the Misc Apps section, at long last. Unfortunately the OHH archive is a bit of a mess in this category, with a lot of near-duplication. I haven't attempted to untangle things; just listed what's there. Part 3 of this list will be along in a week or two.

OHH GP2X archive - Applications: Misc Apps

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

GP2xOpenSSH: port of OpenSSH 4.3p2 client and server
GP2Xpdf: PDF viewer
GPmark GP2X: graphics benchmark
Gprss and Getrss: offline RSS reader and download tool
Graffiti: load a JPG and scribble on it
Grafx2 - The Ultimate 256-color painting program: bitmap-based graphics app
GReader2X: improved ebook reader
gshot: save screenshots of GP2X programs
gshot Sourcecode: source of the above
HDPARM 4 GP2X: SD card tester

Hotkey: background daemon; launches app on specified button combination
Icon starter pack for GP2X: collection of menu icons
Interactive Messageboard 2.0: bulletin board for DOSBox
J2ME PhoneME cli_install script: command-line installation for J2ME
J2ME PhoneME for GP2X: allows some Java games to run
J2ME PhoneME for GP2X v0.2: updated version of the above
JoyTest: tests joystick configuration
KdiTor: text editor
KdiTor: slightly newer version of the above [yes, same title!]
LCD Pixel Fixer: unstick stuck pixels

libncurse 5.7: ncurses library; uses Open2x toolchain
Links Web Browser: basic browser
Links Web Browser for GP2X: newer version of the above
lrzsz (ZModem): serial-based file transfer utility
Mandelbrot: fractal pattern viewer
Map2X 0.0.6 for GP2X: simple navigation app; uses Google Maps data
Map2X 0.0.6 for Windows: as above, but for Windows
Map2X : traduction francaise: French text for Map2x
Map2X: Traduzione italiana: Italian text for Map2x port of Midnight Commander; use telnet

Mount Nand FW3.0: enables the NAND to be mounted with older firmware
movie history remover: delete history of films watched
msmtp: send mails to server via STMP
nano2x: console-based text editor; use telnet
Network(RNDIS) over USB driver & Samba Server: custom kernel; beware!
New bluetooth modules and scripts for GP2X: what it says!
Notes2x: text editor
Open2X Image Viewer: picture viewer; based on o2xiv
PDFView : view PDF files
Pocket Flash Gp2x: basic Flash player (up to v7, without sound)

pv2x: image slideshow
pyBrush: simple drawing program
pyDiskUsage-fw2.0 : check free space in NAND and SD card
Qtopia F200 1.0.1: port of the PDA desktop
Qtopia on GP2X Test Version: older version of the above
RamHack Utility: tweak to increase your GP2X's speed
Rhapsody2x: command-line IRC client
Rhapsody2x: newer version of the above[yes, same title!]
rsvp4gp2x: Rapid Serial Visual Presentation

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Progress on the program list

Yes, things have gone a little quiet, but I'm still beavering away at the "Misc Apps" section, and I would hope to have the next part of the program list up in no more than a week from now. I want to do at least one more review in the meantime, though.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A couple more new uploads to OHH

Both from Rafa Vico ("saboteur"). We have:

La Escoba, a Spanish card game. Only in Spanish, but I was taught this game (by a Spaniard) years ago, so might give it a shot at some point.

EXP for GP2X, an "achievement system" compatible with several games, including La Escoba.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Games, games, games!

The first (just over) three months of the year have seen six new games released for the GP2X and posted up on the OHH archive, the best hit rate for quite some time. I reviewed Liquid Counter a few days ago, but we also have:

Wizznic: an implementation of the arcade classic Puzznic
Puzzletube: a tube-based (surprisingly enough) puzzler
Rookie Hero: a hostage-rescue platformer
Starship Soldier: a retro-styled "simple but tricky" arcade game
Bermuda Syndrome: a port of the 1995 PC Flashback-style game

It's great to see the little old GP2X still being supported by a core of loyal programmers, and I certainly hope to try these games out in due course.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Game review: Liquid Counter

Liquid Counter
Genre: Arcade
Author: Drumpi
OHH download: v? (13/02/12)
Size: 1.6 MB
Licence: Freeware

Sometimes simple is best, and the brand new game Liquid Counter (yes, there are still GP2X games appearing in 2012!) attempts to bring back the glory days of LCD handhelds, a little along the lines of Game & Watch consoles. The object of the game is very straightforward: you must press a certain button, or tap the screen (on an F200) as many times as you can within ten seconds. The tap version is one-player only, but the button options allow one to four players to compete. A countdown timer and a running total of score(s) are shown, and the top score flashes at the end.

Note that this game does not quite come ready to run. Two sets of runtime are provided -- one for official firmware, and one for Open2x -- and the appropriate one must be unzipped so that the runtime folder sits next to (not in!) the game folder.

Addictiveness: 6
More so than you might think, especially when it comes to multiplayer gaming. On your own, you might play this a couple of times and then shrug and move on... but when the competitive spirit is running hot, that fabled "I'll beat you all this time!" feel is very much in evidence.

Depth: 2
It would be difficult to find a less deep game than this one, given that "push a button as fast as you can" is pretty much the entire object. It only scores as high as 2 because of the multiplayer and tap options.

Controls: 6
The joystick selects which game you want to play. The A, B, X and Y buttons are the ones the players have to press. It's a bit of a squash with the full four, but probably better than trying to make others use the volume controls, trigger buttons etc.

Graphics: 6
They may be monochrome and very simple, but if the aim of the programmer was to convey a sense of old-fashioned LCD gaming, then that aim was met. The claim of "beautiful" in the OHH description is over the top, but "retro aesthetic" certainly isn't.

Sound: 3
Beeps. Squawky, basic beeps. Not unbearably annoying, and probably true to the game's feel, but they don't really add much.

Documentation: 4
You can add several marks here if you speak Spanish, since there's a decent readme (well, "leeme") in that language. Unfortunately, there's no English documentation at all beyond what's in the game. Thankfully the brief instructions included on screen are enough to get you started.

Completeness: 6
The game works, but it's still a bit rough around the edges. I'd like to see an English readme, a level select, and a mute option. A combined, and ready-prepared, runtime folder would be welcome, too.

Overall: 5
Liquid Counter is a nice idea, and things like Game & Watch emulators have done quite well on the GP2X. However, it's too lacking in features, and not quite polished enough, to score more than an average rating.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

GP2X OHH program list 3a - Applications: Misc Apps (part 1 of 3)

It's taking rather a long time to get through the huge (100+ programs!) Misc Apps section, so I'm splitting it into three parts. I expect I'll merge them all into one big post when I've finished. NB: I've left out the pre-rendered graphics viewer 3DNP GP2X, as the download link from OHH seems to be broken.

OHH GP2X archive - Applications: Misc Apps

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

2XWord: crossword solver utility
Autorun Icon for Windows F200 Style: put on root of SD card to create icon when plugged into Windows
Autorun ini and icon for Windows: as above, but for the F100
Autorun.ini and Icon for Windows PCs: as above again, but slightly different design
Battery Test: benchmarking utility
Box2d Physics Library tech-demo 0.0001: SDL port of the 2D physics engine
BusyBox 1.8.2 ( set of command-line tools
Cafix: connect a Casio fx-9850 calculator
Calculator: simple scientific calculator
CBook - EBook Reader: text reader

Clock2x: on-screen analogue/digital clock, with alarm
colourd - LCD colour correction daemon: adjust screen colours
Counter: very simple tally-keeping program
CPU/LCD-Tweaker: adjust CPU clock, RAM and memory timing
Croquet Deadness Board: tool for (American?) croquet players
dhcp client daemon: for the DHCP network management protocol
Dicey: dice-rolling app; supports many-sided dice and Fudge
DOSBox: Interactive Messageboard: requires DOSBox; shows text messages
Edge Pad: joystick-controlled notepad
Enexfi: file manager and explorer

Enlightenment for Embedded: proof-of-concept (unfinished) E17 implementation
eReader: another e-reader
F-200 wireless with WPA connect script: use the DWL-G122 adapter; requires cradle
fbGrab: grabs framebuffer and dumps it to .png file
Fcalc: touchscreen calculator, for F200 only
Fcalc 0.2: updated version of above
fetchmail: command-line POP3/IMAP mail grabber
* fGrabber - Ein fGrab Frontent: frontend for fbGrab
FlashPlay: simple Flash player
Flashplayer2x: another Flash player; fork of Pocketflash

FX00 Batery Meter: check battery levels
G(P)=2X: function plotter
GirEllO Reboot: software-reboot your GP2X
gmenu2x - MAME und NeoGeo Alias Files: gmenu2x alias files for, er, MAME and NeoGeo
GNU Netcat for gp2x: networking utility
GP2X Energy Saver 1.0: minimises power consumption when GP2X not being used
GP2X GPE: port of the GPE Palmtop Environment
GP2X Package Manager: install files as .deb packages
GP2X Samba Client: a Samba client. For the GP2X
GP2X Sierpinski Carpet: draws a Sierpinski Carpet pattern

GP2X Sleep: power-saving utility
gp2x Stereo Fix: fixes the "mono sound" problem with early firmware
gp2x stereo patch autostart: autostart file for the above
GP2X Text File Viewer - gp2x VTex v0.2: text viewer with wordwrap
gp2x USB Host Driver: attach a powered USB hub to the Ext port
GP2X USB Serial: redirect serial output to USB cable
GP2X-Write: text editor with Danzeff-style on-screen keyboard
GP2X11: port of the KDrive Tiny X Server.

* Note the slightly incorrect spelling of fbGrab

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Game review: Vectoroids2x

Genre: Shooter
Authors: Bill Kendrick / IceOnly
OHH download: v1.1.0 (23/03/06)
Size: 2.2 MB
Licence: GPL v2

Vectoroids2x is a port of, startlingly enough, Vectoroids. This in itself is a near-clone of the venerable Asteroids game from the year dot. The aim is pretty simple: you control a roughly triangular spaceship, and must blast away the large asteroids which drift about and threaten to destroy you. When you hit one, it splits into two, so later on in a level there are a lot of pieces of rock to avoid. You can both rotate your ship and use its thrusters to speed you out of trouble.

Addictiveness: 7
Not bad at all, but then it is basically Asteroids, one of the all-time classics of the early years of electronic gaming. Gameplay is very simple indeed -- you don't even get a hyperspace button in this version -- but that makes for good blasting fun. You won't play this for hours, but you might play it for a few minutes quite often.

Depth: 3
This category, on the other hand, doesn't fare so well. It's just level after level of firing away at ever-increasing numbers of asteroids. You do get an extra life every 10,000 points, but that's about as exciting as it gets. The only reason I don't rate even lower on this criterion is that learning to handle your ship accurately is something of a fine art.

Controls: 6
A little odd, but effective. The oddity comes in the fact that there's so much duplication: all four of the A, B, X and Y buttons do the same thing -- fire -- while so do all three of up, L and R -- activate the thrusters. Rotating uses left and right on the joystick. So, only four actual controls to learn, but nine possible buttons to use them with!

Graphics: 7
Rather nice, and suitably retro-looking. There's a static background of Jupiter, red spot and all, while the rest of the graphics are reasonably good imitations of real vector graphics. Your score, current level and number of ships remaining are clearly shown at the top of the screen, and it's nice that your ship is blue, to distinguish it from the white asteroids. I'm not sure about the multicoloured bullets, though!

Sound: 6
As usual, it's much too loud with the official GP2X headphones, but on this occasion the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the volume controls do nothing. That makes Vectoroids2x entirely unsuitable for playing anywhere you can't be noisy. The music itself is a little frantic, but it does the job. Other sound effects are basically bloops, but that's okay for a retro game.

Documentation: 4
Not very good. The original readme is included, but there's no specific GP2X documentation at all. Nor is there any on-screen help in the game itself. Admittedly the game is very simple to pick up, but it's a slight disappointment.

Completeness: 9
Loses a point for the documentation issue, but otherwise everything seems to be there. I can't really penalise it for not having hyperspace, as the PC version this is based on didn't have it either!

Overall: 6
Vectoroids2x is a solid, playable take on the Asteroids genre. It's nothing all that special, and though fairly polished doesn't deliver anything new -- though in fairness, it doesn't try to. If only the volume controls worked, it would have scored 7, and would have been a good game for playing in short blasts on the bus.

A change of focus

I'll be continuing with the program list -- don't worry about the wait; the next category is long -- but I'm also going to return to doing some reviews. However, I won't be focusing so much on the well-known, popular games, but rather those which have had little attention. In particular, I'm interested in reviewing games which have had no comments on the archive. Same basic review format as in the past, though.

Incidentally, I still have my F100(B) console, but it now runs Open2X DR7, as I prefer it to official firmware 4.1.0 or its original 3.0.0. Oh, and me being me, don't expect me to keep entirely to my new approach. I may still slip in the odd review of something more popular, an emulator, an application, etc.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

GP2X OHH program list 2 - Applications: Launchers

On to part two of the list. This installment isn't the most exciting, admittedly, especially as a large number of these programs (including GMenu2x!) fail to run properly, or at all, on my F100 with 4.1.0 firmware. Still, they may be useful to some. Next time around will be considerably more interesting, I promise!

OHH GP2X archive - Applications - Launchers

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

Filer2x: simple file manager/launcher
GMenu2x: full-featured alternative frontend with direct program link creation
* Gmenu2xLinks: auto-generate links for GMenu2x sections
GP2XMB: frontend designed to look like Sony's Cross Media Bar for PSP etc
Mocca: alternative graphical shell
QuickStart: autoruns a specified program on startup if a button is held down
Selector: frontend for handling multiple command-line parameters for apps
Stilish Menu: animated menu featuring all programs on an SD card
Sycophant (formerly GP2Xcc): comprehensive graphical app launcher
Unify: simple file manager

WanX: alternative graphical frontend
zLauncher 0.4.1: skinnable launcher; supports CPU speed setting

* OHH download file is misnamed as .rar; it's actually .zip -- rename before extracting

Sunday, 19 February 2012

GP2X OHH program list 1 - Applications: Audio and Video

Yes, I've found something to do with this blog! All right, it's not very thrilling, but it is at least relevant to the GP2X.

OHH GP2X archive - Applications: Audio and Video

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

AYLet.gp2x: plays ZX Spectrum .ay files
BSPlay: port of Soundmon Player for the Amiga
CAM2X: webcam/camera program, with drivers
conv_subs: script to convert subtitles from CP1250 to UTF-8
CraigAmp: music player supporting playlists, shuffle, album artwork etc
DicViewer: text file viewer with integrated MP3 support
Drumbox: 10-channel drum machine
ExDrum Machine: simple synth drum
FFPlay: experimental RM/WMV video player
FLite: speech synth for text files

GMU music player: music player with playlist and lyrics support
GP2X Tracker: basic drum tracker
GP2X TV-Out Fixer 0.3b2: enable TV-Out in many programs without official support for it
GP2XInitSound: modify the GP2X's startup sound
gp2xPd - Puredata: jam with Pure Data patches using the joystick
gp808x drumkit for Drumbox 0.1a: Roland TR-808 drumkit for Drumbox
libmedia + some codecs: adds MP2X codecs to libmedia; needs firmware 4.1.x
* Linball: unfinished pinball game
LittleGPTracker: sample-based tracker; interface based on littlesounddj for the Game Boy
madplaygp2x: command-line MP3 player

metro2x: simple metronome; requires pygame
Milkytracker: music creation tool based on Fast Tracker 2 for DOS
mov2gp: Perl script to resize movie files
MP2X: mplayer-based movie player, adding AAC/AC3 support and zoom for widescreen movies
MP2X modifications for Open2X: extra files for compiling on the Open2X firmware toolchain
MP2X skin : tech skin: alternative skin for MP2X movie player
MPlayer (Port from the PC Version): movie player with MPEG support
OldPlay: player for 150+ old music formats inc S3M, NSF, VGM etc, plus MID/MP3/FLAC
One More Music Player Client (ommpc2x): client for Music Player Daemon (included)
PBSynth: virtual analogue synthesiser

Pikix - VJ Software: basic VJing software
Sidplay2x: plays Commodore 64 music files
Soundbox: assign sound effects to the GP2X's buttons
ST-Sound GP2X: YM/SC68/SNDH music player for Atari ST files
stepSeq2x: 16-step sample sequencer
wmvplayer for GP2X(sample version): very basic WMA/WMV player

* Yes, Linball is included in this section on OHH. Don't ask me why!