"Whilst most gamers will no doubt know all about Elite already, and will almost certainly be more than a little interested about the fact that it's due to hit the PocketPC, there will still be some who might benefit from something of an introduction.
It was nearly 20 years ago that computer gaming started to grow up. In my eyes, that coming of age was heralded by the arrival of one single game. Back then, software houses would literally be just that - 'houses', consisting not of teams of developers but perhaps one or two programmers. Elite was written by two college friends in 1984 who decided to create a space trading game in their spare time while attending university. Elite rocked the gaming world and is still revered as a classic today. That's some achievement considering this was a game written for the BBC Micro computer in 1984. Elite would soon spread to virtually all home computers throughout the years but the BBC version was regarded as the best for many years.
Elite was one of those games that could be described as truly original at the time. It was the first 3D space adventure game, and it was the first truly open ended game where you were free to do exactly as you pleased. You could be a trader, bounty hunter, pirate... whatever life you chose to lead in the Elite world you had lots of space in which to do it, for Elite featured an entire universe with all the planets having their own characteristics, dangers and trading potential. Your only real goal was to reach the status of 'Elite' having started off the game as 'Harmless'".
More about the story of this game, plus links to Ian Bells' website, creator of the original version, and full review at PDACorps.