In 1987, Casady & Greene published a game by Patrick Buckland known as Crystal Quest for the Apple Macintosh. Ths first game to support color on the Mac, Crystal Quest was a simple affair where the player used the mouse to move a sphere around the playfield, dodging enemies and collecting crystals in order to unlock an exit gate a the bottom of the screen.  While a very basic game, it worked very well with the mouse and offered some rather frantic gameplay in the higher levels.  Anyone who used a Mac extensively in the late '80s surely encountered this title and it likely holds a special place in his or her heart.  Crystal Quest was later ported to the Apple IIgs, Commodore Amiga, Nintendo GameBoy, and Palm OS devices.  Much more recently, an updated take on the original appeared in the Xbox Live Arcade, published by Buckland's own Stainless Games (who announced iPhone support back in July).

And thanks to Hands-On Mobile's recent App Store release [link], the iPhone can be added to the list of ports of of this classic action game.

Quite similar to the Xbox Live remake, Crystal Quest for the iPhone offers both a modern play mode, featuring updated graphics and audio as well as mild gameplay enhancements, and a classic play mode that stays true to the original's simple color graphics and controls.  The most notable gameplay enhancement in the modern mode is the ability to shoot at enemies in any direction by tapping in the enemy's vicinity.  The classic mode only allows shots to be fired in the direction that the sphere is traveling, like the original mouse-controlled game.  The game's option screen allows the choice of accelerometer or swipe control (or both) as well as sensitivity settings for each.

While the mouse is probably the perfect control mechanism for this game, the iPhone's control systems do a decent job of approximating the feel of the original, especially the swipe control mode (which is shown in our demo video).

True fans of the original should find the $4.99 iPhone version much to their liking.  Those unfamiliar with the game: don't be fooled by the easy first levels--the pace quickly heightens and before long will be more than you can handle.  Crystal Quest is a classic that is worthy of a look.

Game Details
Name: Crystal Quest (v1.0) Price: $4.99 [Buy]
Developer: Hands-On Mobile Size: 5.8 MB
Crystal Quest is a remake of the 1987 classic Mac action game, very similar to the recent Xbox Live remake from Stainless Games. It's simple "pick up the gem" action, but the pace quickly becomes frantic. Fans of the original should love this outing.

TouchArcade Rating

  • mek

    i can't see in the video, are the levels timed?
    i see that you get a time bonus

    i dunno, i'm not a fan of being timed recently, i'm looking for casual or anything but being forced into having 30 seconds to complete a level

  • mek

    i can't see in the video, are the levels timed?
    i see that you get a time bonus

    i dunno, i'm not a fan of being timed recently, i'm looking for casual or anything but being forced into having 30 seconds to complete a level

  • mek

    i can't see in the video, are the levels timed?
    i see that you get a time bonus

    i dunno, i'm not a fan of being timed recently, i'm looking for casual or anything but being forced into having 30 seconds to complete a level

  • http://www.jsayreallen.com Jonathan Allen

    I used to play this game all the time even though it would always crash our IISE. I would love this game, but not for $5.

  • http://www.jsayreallen.com Jonathan Allen

    I used to play this game all the time even though it would always crash our IISE. I would love this game, but not for $5.

  • http://www.jsayreallen.com Jonathan Allen

    I used to play this game all the time even though it would always crash our IISE. I would love this game, but not for $5.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @mek: There is a timer and if you complete the level in less time than the par time for the level then you get a bonus. You are not, however, in any way penalized for not completing the game in the par time.

    And I apologize for the quality of the video. Something about the contrast of the game made for a rather washed-out experience. (The posted video was actually my 2nd attempt at it...but not much better than the first.)

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @mek: There is a timer and if you complete the level in less time than the par time for the level then you get a bonus. You are not, however, in any way penalized for not completing the game in the par time.

    And I apologize for the quality of the video. Something about the contrast of the game made for a rather washed-out experience. (The posted video was actually my 2nd attempt at it...but not much better than the first.)

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @mek: There is a timer and if you complete the level in less time than the par time for the level then you get a bonus. You are not, however, in any way penalized for not completing the game in the par time.

    And I apologize for the quality of the video. Something about the contrast of the game made for a rather washed-out experience. (The posted video was actually my 2nd attempt at it...but not much better than the first.)

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I've got this game on my Apple IIgs, Amiga 2000, and Mac Plus.

    Good stuff.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I've got this game on my Apple IIgs, Amiga 2000, and Mac Plus.

    Good stuff.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I've got this game on my Apple IIgs, Amiga 2000, and Mac Plus.

    Good stuff.

  • Nukie

    Well, I am dating myself but I loved this game back in the day. A very well designed game and very challenging. I look forward to it coming to the iPhone. Well worth checking out.

  • Nukie

    Well, I am dating myself but I loved this game back in the day. A very well designed game and very challenging. I look forward to it coming to the iPhone. Well worth checking out.

  • Nukie

    Well, I am dating myself but I loved this game back in the day. A very well designed game and very challenging. I look forward to it coming to the iPhone. Well worth checking out.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I just loaded up Crystal Quest on my IIgs, Amiga, and Mac Plus and took some screen photos. See them in my Flickr set:

    http://flickr.com/photos/blakespot/3023603154/in/set-72157604421303889/

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I just loaded up Crystal Quest on my IIgs, Amiga, and Mac Plus and took some screen photos. See them in my Flickr set:

    http://flickr.com/photos/blakespot/3023603154/in/set-72157604421303889/

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I just loaded up Crystal Quest on my IIgs, Amiga, and Mac Plus and took some screen photos. See them in my Flickr set:

    http://flickr.com/photos/blakespot/3023603154/in/set-72157604421303889/

  • limtc

    My only question is why does it take so long to reach Touch Arcade home page. Crystal Quest is the first color Mac game.

  • limtc

    My only question is why does it take so long to reach Touch Arcade home page. Crystal Quest is the first color Mac game.

  • limtc

    My only question is why does it take so long to reach Touch Arcade home page. Crystal Quest is the first color Mac game.

  • http://omnigeno.blogspot.com OmniGeno

    I, too, played the heck out of this game back in the day. Wow, I haven't thought about this for ages. I'm glad someone thought about porting it, since it seems the iPhone/Touch is a prime candidate for Crystal Quest.

  • http://omnigeno.blogspot.com OmniGeno

    I, too, played the heck out of this game back in the day. Wow, I haven't thought about this for ages. I'm glad someone thought about porting it, since it seems the iPhone/Touch is a prime candidate for Crystal Quest.

  • http://omnigeno.blogspot.com OmniGeno

    I, too, played the heck out of this game back in the day. Wow, I haven't thought about this for ages. I'm glad someone thought about porting it, since it seems the iPhone/Touch is a prime candidate for Crystal Quest.

  • MilkManPablo

    I just got this for my iPhone and I have to say it's true to the original. Crystal Quest on the iPhone (and iPod Touch) is definitely a must have for any true Apple fan!!!

  • MilkManPablo

    I just got this for my iPhone and I have to say it's true to the original. Crystal Quest on the iPhone (and iPod Touch) is definitely a must have for any true Apple fan!!!

  • MilkManPablo

    I just got this for my iPhone and I have to say it's true to the original. Crystal Quest on the iPhone (and iPod Touch) is definitely a must have for any true Apple fan!!!

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Hey, what about Crystal Crazy, the later much improved version of Crystal Quest?

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Hey, what about Crystal Crazy, the later much improved version of Crystal Quest?

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Hey, what about Crystal Crazy, the later much improved version of Crystal Quest?

  • Jim

    Crystal Quest! one of my favorites games finally returns. But my all time favorite was Loderunner!! Anyone else want to see it on the iPhone?

  • Jim

    Crystal Quest! one of my favorites games finally returns. But my all time favorite was Loderunner!! Anyone else want to see it on the iPhone?

  • Jim

    Crystal Quest! one of my favorites games finally returns. But my all time favorite was Loderunner!! Anyone else want to see it on the iPhone?

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Well, OK, I don't know Loderunner, but chances are, it will destroy all my free time. What the heck! But, I still want to know about Crystal Crazy. It really IS better than the original (Crystal Quest). I've not yet bought the iPhone Crystal Quest (but, oh, hey, I will !!!!!!!!) but, I really would prefer Crystal Crazy. It was simply better. Does anyone know ANYTHING about this? Sigh!

    Dick

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Well, OK, I don't know Loderunner, but chances are, it will destroy all my free time. What the heck! But, I still want to know about Crystal Crazy. It really IS better than the original (Crystal Quest). I've not yet bought the iPhone Crystal Quest (but, oh, hey, I will !!!!!!!!) but, I really would prefer Crystal Crazy. It was simply better. Does anyone know ANYTHING about this? Sigh!

    Dick

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Well, OK, I don't know Loderunner, but chances are, it will destroy all my free time. What the heck! But, I still want to know about Crystal Crazy. It really IS better than the original (Crystal Quest). I've not yet bought the iPhone Crystal Quest (but, oh, hey, I will !!!!!!!!) but, I really would prefer Crystal Crazy. It was simply better. Does anyone know ANYTHING about this? Sigh!

    Dick

  • nev

    Fantastic!!! This was my all-time fave game at uni! I knew someone who played it for nine hours straight! Now if only there was a version to play on OS X!

  • nev

    Fantastic!!! This was my all-time fave game at uni! I knew someone who played it for nine hours straight! Now if only there was a version to play on OS X!

  • nev

    Fantastic!!! This was my all-time fave game at uni! I knew someone who played it for nine hours straight! Now if only there was a version to play on OS X!

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    nev: It may be time for you to get to know emulation. There are Apple IIgs and Amiga emulators for OS X. B&W Mac emulators as well. Google can be your friend.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    nev: It may be time for you to get to know emulation. There are Apple IIgs and Amiga emulators for OS X. B&W Mac emulators as well. Google can be your friend.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    nev: It may be time for you to get to know emulation. There are Apple IIgs and Amiga emulators for OS X. B&W Mac emulators as well. Google can be your friend.

  • Richard Conn Henry

    nev, I imagine you mean loderunner and not crytal crazy (or crystal quest) but you are not clear on this...

  • Richard Conn Henry

    nev, I imagine you mean loderunner and not crytal crazy (or crystal quest) but you are not clear on this...

  • Richard Conn Henry

    nev, I imagine you mean loderunner and not crytal crazy (or crystal quest) but you are not clear on this...

  • nev

    @Richard Conn Henry - No, I meant Crystal Quest

  • nev

    @Richard Conn Henry - No, I meant Crystal Quest

  • nev

    @Richard Conn Henry - No, I meant Crystal Quest

  • nev

    @blakespot - I used to run Crystal Quest on Classics and SEs (20Mb or super-duper 40Mb hard drive!!) - system 6 I think.. ah.. those were the days :)

  • nev

    @blakespot - I used to run Crystal Quest on Classics and SEs (20Mb or super-duper 40Mb hard drive!!) - system 6 I think.. ah.. those were the days :)

  • nev

    @blakespot - I used to run Crystal Quest on Classics and SEs (20Mb or super-duper 40Mb hard drive!!) - system 6 I think.. ah.. those were the days :)

  • Thynis

    Played this game constantly as a weee lad!!! Great Great game!

  • Thynis

    Played this game constantly as a weee lad!!! Great Great game!

  • Thynis

    Played this game constantly as a weee lad!!! Great Great game!

  • Richard Conn Henry

    Glad to see these posts! My wife almost went crazy over me playing Crystal Quest. How do we get wrapped up in such nonsense? But we do (I sure do). What does it all mean? I don't know! Do you? Cheers, Dick

  • http://henry@pha.jhu.edu/rch.html Richard Conn Henry

    Glad to see these posts! My wife almost went crazy over me playing Crystal Quest. How do we get wrapped up in such nonsense? But we do (I sure do). What does it all mean? I don't know! Do you? Cheers, Dick

  • Richard Conn Henry

    I am annoyed that iPhone does not seem to let you kill the sound on apps. My wife would be furious if she heard the Crystal Quest sound. Help!

  • http://henry@pha.jhu.edu/rch.html Richard Conn Henry

    I am annoyed that iPhone does not seem to let you kill the sound on apps. My wife would be furious if she heard the Crystal Quest sound. Help!

  • http://www.fd.com air

    one does not seem to let you kill the sound on apps. My wife would be furious if she heard the Cr

  • http://www.fd.com air

    one does not seem to let you kill the sound on apps. My wife would be furious if she heard the Cr

  • mgabrys

    The free release is overstuffed with ads. Deleted.

  • mgabrys

    The free release is overstuffed with ads. Deleted.

  • John

    MAJOR PROBLEM: The settings and high scores are NOT SAVED on iOS 4. (They remain when you press the home button, but if you actually quit the app or restart the phone everything is lost). Otherwise it's a great game.