123play is latest portal to offer free mobile games
Several big publishers on board for ad-funded site
So, an ad-funded games portal with hundreds of rubbish titles won't prosper, while a more focused site that cherry-picks good stuff might. That's our theory, anyway.
123play.com seems to be taking the latter route. The site is currently in beta, and only available to UK users. It features games from THQ Wireless, RealArcade, Digital Chocolate, Hands-On Mobile, and Indiagames.
As far as we know, it's the first time THQ Wireless has gone down the ad-funded route, incidentally. Anyway, you enter your number on the site to get a game sent to you over-the-air, with no registration process required.
There's a decent selection of slightly older games, including ace titles like Playman World Soccer, Worms 2007, Cake Mania, Stuntman Ignition, Sushi Mania and FotoQuest Fishing.
We tried it out, and our WAP-links arrived within a few seconds of entering our details on the website.
We saw ads for eBay, NME, News of the World, and Drench bottled water. When you see an ad, clicking brings up a pop-up menu, where you can choose to move on, or click through to the advertiser's WAP site.
We've encountered no problems, although it's worth remembering that you have to connect each time you load the game so it'll cost something if you're not on a flat-rate data tariff.
Still, we're impressed with the quality control that's seemingly at work, so will be keeping an eye on 123play.com as it develops.