Following on from our Retro Game App Round Up Part One, we take a look at the last seven retro games now available on your smart phon – are worth installing on your smart phone?
Game: Space Invaders
Developer: TAITO Corporation
iOS – £2.99
Just how an alien fleet intended to take over Earth by moving slowly horizontally across the sky is anybody’s guess, but Taito has recreated the classic accurately for the iPhone. The player scrolls their anti aircraft gun from side to side, taking shelter behind shields and shooting the invaders, which drop down and increase speed.
The game has a number of control options, such as classic (use the buttons to move your tank) or the accelerometer (tilt your phone). The game has a number of control options, such as classic (use the buttons to move your tank) or the accelerometer. Taito Corporation charges 2.99 to install the full version, and quite frankly, what’s the point? It’s fun, but I’m not sure it’s 2.99 worth of fun.
Prince of Persia Classic
Android – £1.99 (Lite/trial version free)
Ubisoft’s ‘classic’ version updates the graphics but keeps to the same 2D side scrolling format ‘ the scantily clad Princess inexplicably stands in the way of the Vizier gaining the entire kingdom of Persia and the prince must rescue her by running through dungeons, and jumping over pits of spikes to fight skeleton, in between cut scenes of the Princess staring moodily at an hour glass
The controls on the game are not good – the Prince slides into chopping blades like he’s wearing shoes of butter but then won’t move after a fight to leap over a dead skeleton before it re-animates. The game also has an option to ‘re-start’ by buying a life ‘ there is a big ‘buy’ button next to this option, but I do feel there should be a warning pop up screen when tapping on it ‘ you can end up accidentally buying in-game.
The game costs 1.99 ‘ but it does have updated graphics and various playing options including sharing with friends, time trials and survival mode. There are a goodly number of levels to complete and in all, this was an enjoyable update of a retro classic.
Whacka whacka whacka¦the original Pac Man, and not the disturbing anthropomorphised version with his wife, is available for iOS and Android with some nifty new features. There are a variety of options for touchscreen controls, including using your device’s accelerometer, or going classic and swiping.
New features include a customised iTunes playlist that plays over the top of the sound effects (if you want them) while you’re getting your Pac on. Standard five lives a turn, three turns a go and you can start from any level you want, which is nice. As addictive as the original is and as fun as the playlist feature makes this, paying over two quid for this game is a bit much.
Revolutionary Apps LLC
iOS – £0.69
The early 90s Mac classic has been ported over pretty faithfully for iOS.
The aim of the game is to get your white line over to a goal dot, by swinging and sticking to other dots. With bonus points available for sticking to clear dots and obstacles to avoid that change each level, from the unthreatening wall to the down right worrying acid drops which hunt you across the screen, Spin Doctor brings back fond memories of long queues for the computer before class and three lives allowed before shifting over for the next person in line.
The iOS version has over 100 levels of play, four difficulty ratings (worryingly named after levels of med-school ‘ did this game start as a psychology experiment?) and at 69p, worth the price.Helpful instructions are displayed on the screen in type, and the controls are slick and respond well.
It’s not exactly thrilling, but it is a faithful port of a good game that uses your brain, keeps you interested and isn’t insanely priced.
AnDOOM is a pretty faithful port of the original First Person Shooter, complete with Doomguy’s increasingly battered face when his health drops, shambling aliens and former comrades-turned-zombies.
A word about the graphics – they are, by common What Mobile office consensus, pretty much exactly how they looked originally but on a tablet, it’s just painful. Retro graphics can be fun but DOOM doesn’t translate well to mobile devices.
Aside from this, the game play is pretty much the same and runs smoothly. Controls are via four arrows on screen, which works well, and several buttons for actions such as fire and open doors. The Android offering is the shareware version of the game but allows players to install DOOM I or II on the engine if they have the original on their computer, which is handy, although I’m not sure just how many people are still running DOOM I.
The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition
iOS – £1.99
Having long been told by respectable gaming types to try Monkey Island, it was with delight that I finally loaded this game and realised they weren’t just blathering all these years.
In this point and click role playing game, Guybrush Threepwood really wants to become a pirate (presumably because he likes scurvy and pillaging things) and the game follows his adventures as he tries to complete the three trials of piratehood, encountering the governor of Monkey Island, Elaine Marley, and her ardent but spurned admirer, the ghost pirate LeChuck.
The Special Edition has updated graphics, should you wish it, but, like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, also includes the option to switch back to the original 16-bit graphics by swiping two fingers across the screen; this is a gem of an option and actually, the original version can be easier to play, with a greater accuracy of cursor selection. Plus, little pixellated pirates laughing heartily at your characters’ naivety concerning grog is just plain awesome.
The game has an involved plot and is laced with irreverent humour that gets it just right and it plays well on an iPhone or iPad, the graphics on both versions are good quality and enjoyable and the price is not bad for a long game; plus, the game’s worth £1.99 for lines like “I’m a victim of society – not to mention halitosis!”