Games on the television

A FEW days back, while browsing through the channels on my TV, I saw my Tata Sky DTH was offering Active Games. I was tempted to try out Ninja Mahajong, especially since the games were free till August 31. Soon, I was browsing through the rules of Ninja Mahajong, which looked similar to any other Mahajong game, except for the tiles which had Ninja warriors on them.

A few minutes later, the game started making sense. But there were issues. To start with, the Ninja warriors were not very clear and I had to really concentrate to make out the difference between the tiles. I checked it out on a couple of other TVs and found that the tiles were not great when it came to design, and the whole charade of Ninja’s fighting with each other every time you selected the right combination was a bit of an overkill.I tried the cricket game next. But I don’t understand much of the game and am not really interested in it. There was this guy throwing balls at me, and I was not able to hit even one of them. But my nephew managed pretty well.

The next game we tried out was the Kombat Fighter. It took me a couple of minutes to get the hang of it and get going. The only reason I could play this game was because I can type without looking at the keyboard, and most of us can use the TV remote without looking at it. But this game was not as much fun, you need to focus on the numbers that scroll on top of the screen, and press them. It must be fun for someone younger, but the game, from my point of view, was very average.

So, why am I writing this review. For one, this is a great way of getting some games on your TV, though only time will tell how much Tata Sky will charge for them. However, I would have loved more basic games, such as Pacman or maybe even car racing, rather than having games that slow me down. If I really want fast games, I will buy a dedicated gaming machine.

Overall, I found the whole experience slow, because of two reasons – the games have to download and take about five minutes to start up; the TV remote control is not really a controller for a game.

But things could get interesting as Tata Sky has plans to launch new games each week. Still, all this depends on whether the services are free. Once Tata Sky decides to charge, we will really need to see if it’s all the worth it.

The Above article appeared in the Indian Express, on Sunday September 05, 2010