Apple’s iPhone marks a second golden age of computer gaming as nowadays anyone can choose from a variety of games, ranging from graphic intensive games to titles that chronicles them selves from the first golden age of gaming.
Those who have grown up playing classic games still can’t deny their affection with them. Many of these games, even today, are very strong in terms of gameplay, something we wish we saw in lot of modern titles. While those of you who were too young, or not born yet, to be able to play them and frequently question yourself why older people keep saying that developers don’t make games like this nowadays, now its your chance to play them and have your own say.
If you’re excited for how new tech can let us revive the classics on Apple’s handset, and in most cases also playable on the iPod touch and iPad, and instantly transport yourself back in time to when 4, 8 or 16 bits seemed like more than enough, then this article will suit you just fine.
Bungie’s classic FPS Marathon and its sequel Marathon 2: Durandalare, 18 years since their release for the Apple Macintosh on 1994, were again available for gamers who own the iPad or the iPhone, as developer S.D.G. Productions released both games on the App Store on March 21st, 2012.
“Marathon’s story and gameplay are outstanding; The AI Durandal descending into rampancy, his quirky humor and the hidden messages make excellent additions to the old school style. For many, Marathon will invoke a wave of nostalgia; for others, this will be the first experience with the seminal Mac FPS”. Said Daniel Blezek, Owner, of S.D.G. Productions.
Marathon was released at a time when Doom was enjoying popularity amongst PC users, and was widely seen as a Macintosh counterpart to Doom. The game takes place several centuries into the future in outer space and sets the player as a security officer attempting to defeat an alien invasion aboard a colony ship named the Marathon.
Marathon features a 27 mission campaign across 6 chapters, and tells the story of a cyborg security officer trying to save his spaceship and a humanity from an invading alien race called The Pfhor. On the cyborg’s side there is the ship’s A.I. computer and an arsenal of weapons including the devastating SPNKR-X17 rocket launcher, the TOZT-7 Flamethrower, and a rapid firing M.75 Assault rifle with grenade option.
Marathon is available for free on the App Store.
Sea Wolf, developed by Coastal Amusements is one of the most popular games of the 1970′s. The torpedo launching arcade classic first debuted in 1976, was also released in 3-D by Coastal Amusements in 2008, and now has now returned in mobile form.
Based on the popular WWII-themed game, Sea Wolf for mobile preserves the details that shot the arcade game to instant popularity but also takes advantage of the iOS platform’s enhanced graphics and tilt and touch technology. The game is comprised of 8 missions, wherein the sailor (the player) must destroy enemy ships and planes with torpedoes, 50-calibre deck guns and flares, while fending off enemy limpet mines and torpedo counterattacks. Sailors receive authentic mission briefings, and rise up the ranks as they complete each mission.
“Sea Wolf continues to be one of our most popular arcade games, so we handpicked it for our first foray into mobile gaming,” said Sal Mirando, Co-Founder of Coastal Amusements ahead of the game’s launch. “Our hope is that the mobile version of the game will both ignite nostalgia among original fans and reproduce a similar level of enthusiasm among younger gamers.”
Sea Wolf is now available in the App Store in two versions— a free limited version that allows players to conquer the first two missions and the full 8-mission app, which can be purchased for $1.99. You can also find a demo video on the game’s site, www.SeaWolfApp.com .
Head Over Heels
Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond’s seminal ZX Spectrum game, Head Over Heels was released for iOS devices during the weekend of 11th May, 2012. The game was developed UK based Elite Systems.
According to Elite Systems Head Over Heels:ZX Spectrum app ” is the near-100% original ZX Spectrum game, as designed by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond and published by Ocean Software in 1987 and will be presented – as an officially licenced product – utilizing Elite’s ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection technology”.
Head Over Heels is regarded to be one of the most succesful games of the 80’s, having sold more than 5 million units worldwide. In the game the player controls (initially separately) two characters instead of just one. The two characters have different abilities (Head can jump twice as high, control himself in the air, and fire doughnuts from a hooter to paralyse enemies; while Heels can run twice as fast, climb certain staircases that Head cannot, and carry objects around a room in a bag), which become complementary when the player combines them together after about a sixth of the game.
The Head Over Heels: ZX Spectrum app is offered as an in-app purchase from within the ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection / ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection HD apps. The Head Over Heels: ZX Spectrum app will also available in stand-alone form.
The original co-operative beat-‘em-up, where wo brothers, Jimmy and Billy, must beat up an army of thugs to save a girl who will later make them fight for her affections, is one of the most famous games of all time, and has made it to pretty much every gaming platform ever made since its 1987 coin-op debut.
Home versions of the game were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Atari 2600, Atari 7800,Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64, Game Boy, Genesis/Mega Drive and Atari Lynx, among other platforms during the series’s height of popularity.
A remake titled Double Dragon Advance was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. The NES version was re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in North America on April 28, 2008 at a cost of 500 Wii Points. Nintendo also released the GameBoy version on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2011. The latest remake was for the iPod Touch and the iPhone and features brand new gameplay, sprites and animations, and music.
The new iPhone release of Double Dragon, developed byBrizo Interactive clearly draws inspiration from the GBA game, with beautiful new graphics, lots of extra characters and new levels to bolster the highly-recognisable original stages. Touch controls in iOS games are not always perfect, and Double Dragon is no exception, however they manage to give you a nice roster of moves without providing too much stress most of the time. Add in the extra gameplay options, like network multiplayer and extra player-controlled characters, and you’re onto a serious retro remake winner.
At $1.99 fans of brawlers will find fewer portable experiences that satisfy quite so readily.
Another World is widely respected and is even today remembered as one of the greatest, and most unusual titles of its era. Released across more than a dozen platforms since its1991 debut, Another World has attained cult status amongst critics and fans. The game has been a favorite among critics and sophisticated gamers alike for its cinematic effects in the graphics, sound and cut scenes
“Another World is one of the most daring games ever created and we’re proud to be part of the team that will bring this terrific title to the iPhone and iPad platforms.” said Vincent Dondaine, BulkyPix COO of Sales and Marketing Director when the game was announced for iOS devices. “The game immerses you right from the start, begs you to react on impulse and rewards you by pulling you headfirst into this alien world and all the dangers that it beholds. We’re proud to bring thos great gaming experience to iOS.”
Another World chronicles the story of a young scientist hurtled through space and time by a nuclear experiment that goes wrong. You assume the role of Lester Knight Chaykin who has to dodge, outwit, and overcome the host of alien monsters and deadly earthquakes that plague the alien landscape hefinds himself within. Only a perfect blend of logic and skill will get Lester past the deadly obstacles that lie in wait.
The game does not not use static images or words to convey action. Instead the characters communicate through their facial features, gestures, and actions only. This literally forces the gamer to sink or swim at the outset and almost every scenario from that point on serves as a test of your wit and will to live.
Another World is available on the App Store for $4,99.
Donkey, often known by its file name DONKEY.BAS, was a computer game written in 1981 , which came bundled with early versions of MS-DOS and was the first PC game. The game is also notable because it was co-written by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
DONKEY.BAS is an extremely simple driving game in which the player controls a car but cannot steer, accelerate or brake, only changing lanes to avoid a series of donkeys on the road. There is no goal other than to avoid donkeys.
This is how Gates described the story of DONKEY.BAS at a 2001 Microsoft event. “It was myself and Neil [Konzen] at four in the morning with this prototype IBM PC sitting in this small room. IBM insisted that we had to have a lock on the door and we only had this closet that had a lock on it, so we had to do all our development in there and it was always over 100 degrees, but we wrote late at night a little application to show what the Basic built into the IBM PC could do. And so that was Donkey.bas. It was at the time very thrilling”.
Those who want to feel how gamers of that era felt while playing the first ever PC game thay can now re- live the exprerience thanks to a new version of DONKEY.BAS for iOS. It’s 99 cents, is compatible with Game Center, and includes both iPhone and iPad versions. Donkey is a faithful rendition of the original, complete with blocky graphics and bloopy sound effects, and the same objective: Drive down road, avoid hitting donkeys.
Prince of Persia
Jordan Mechner created and programmed the original Prince of Persia on an Apple II computer in 1989. Since then the game was ported to many devices including Atari II, SNES, and Gameboy Colour, and has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide. Its success launched a global franchise that now includes video games, graphic novels, toys, LEGO, and a blockbuster Disney feature film.
On the 1st of March Ubisoft have announced that Prince of Persia HD, a remastered version of the original game was available for purchase on the App Store. In Prince of Persia you battle your way through the game to rescue the Princess, in levels that are filled with traps which won’t be all that easy to navigate across, and merciless prison guards. Players can play through the game in three different modes: Normal, Time Attack where you have you have only 60 minutes to complete your mission, and Survival, where you should you finish the game in less than 60 minutes without dying.
Prince of Persia is available on the iPad for £1.99, and on the iPhone and iPod touch for £1.49.
Luckily for gamers iOS devices have become a surprise home for legions of old school PC classics. If you want to sample the earliest shooters, just try Marathon, a game released at a time when Doom was enjoying popularity amongst PC users, and was widely seen as a Macintosh counterpart to Doom.
If you have a crash in classic platform games look no further than Prince of Persia a game that when it launched back in 1989 represented a great leap forward in the quality of animation seen in video games and have won the loyalty of an exceptionally passionate and committed fan base.
Fans of beat-them-up games may be able to choose from hundreds of titles in the App Store but we doubt they will find a more enjoyable title than Double Dragon. Its slightly updated gameplay, graphics and unlockable features adds a depth not available in the original while still remaining faithful to its roots.
Those of you who want to check a game that was ahead of its era with its innovative use of cinematic effects and graphics, should play Another World, one of the most daring games ever created.
If you want to revive the late 70’s and very early 80’s in gaming now it’s your chance. Sea Wolf, one of the most popular games of the 1970′s, and Head Over Heels, one of the most successful games of the 80’s, having sold more than 5 million units worldwide, retain the details that shot them to instant popularity while taking advantage of the iOS platform’s enhanced graphics, Another legendary title of that era is DONKEY.BAS, co-written by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, a title that is regarded the first PC game ever created. Those who want to feel how gamers of that era felt while playing the first ever PC game they can now re- live the experience.
In conclusion, the 7 games games we saw in the article, and many other classics that are on the App Store like Doom, 7th Quest, and Monkey Island, need no further introduction as they have been released through the years almost in every platform available, and millions of people haves spent hours playing them. Thanks to the mobile gaming realm however a few more millions will be introduced to them and begin their journey through time.