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Mobile games have been popular for a while, but for the longest time they were pretty simple fare. Pixelated little images controlled by a few simple pokes of the cell phone buttons. Good for killing a few minutes when stuck in line somewhere.

However, the advent of Apple’s iPhone and other more muscular communications devices has opened up new vistas for mobile game developers. One is Publisher X, which is releasing a few interesting titles that will take advantage of the iPhone’s power.

The games include "Critter Crunch" by Capybara Games, "Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster" by Zen Studios and "Reel Deal Series" by Phantom EFX and War Drum Studios. "Zen Pinball" features sophisticated physics that send balls careening through colorful 3D backgrounds. In "Critter Crunch," you play as a plump animal of some sort and use your long tongue to feed smaller critters to larger ones. It’s all accomplished through touch and drag functions on the iPhone screen. "Reel Deal" includes poker, blackjack and Texas Hold ‘Em.

Doug Kennedy, one of the founders of Publisher X, said the iPhone’s creates opportunities than those offered on a conventional cell phone.

"The iPhone’s screen is really amazing, and it does a great job of making everything look good," Kennedy said. "The high resolution is really the key, I think, especially for 3D games, because it makes low-polygon count models look much better than they would if viewed on a regular computer monitor.

"It really makes it possible to do ‘real’ games and applications, not just trimmed down ‘cell phone apps.’ This devices acts like a gaming platform."

The games are to be available internationally.

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