beneath a steel sky screen

Back in July we reported that Revolution Software would be bringing its cult-classic graphic adventure Beneath a Steel Sky to the iPhone through its newly formed mobile group.  We're happy to report that the game is now available for download in the App Store [link].

Originally released for the Amiga and DOS in 1994, Beneath a Steel Sky is a sprawling graphical adventure set in Australia in a dystopian future. The story goes like this: the protagonist, Robert, crashed in the Outback as a child and was raised by a group of natives. After growing into an adult, storm-troopers sent from Union City by its all-powerful computer, LINC, kidnap Robert and kill his tribe. After entering the city dome, the helicopter transporting him crashes and he escapes into the city with his robot companion, Joey. Robert's mission is to find out why he was wanted and what to do next.

The game, which is notable for its excellent illustrations, drawn by famed comic artist Dave Gibbons, received very high praise at the time of its release and is widely considered to be one of the best adventure games ever created.  PC Gamer gave it 91% and called it "a must-buy for all serious adventure fans."  CU Amiga gave it 95%, calling it "one of the greatest adventures ever," while Simon Byron of The One gave it a 93%, saying, "I could sum this game in one word: Superb."

bass5

The iPhone adaptation, which has been ported to the ScummVM engine, uses touchscreen controls and dispenses with the on-screen pointer typical of Scumm games and, instead, uses blue dots to highlight points of interest.  The game's artwork has been enhanced with the iPhone release, which also features a high quality soundtrack and a new, integrated hint system.

See a video of the original version to get a feel for the game.

See the original game's five-minute intro video here.  Those wanting to try before they buy can have a look at the 2003 shareware release, playable on most major platforms.

App Store Link: Beneath a Steel Sky, $4.99

  • Septimus

    Sweet. I will be glad to play this again.

  • phatbhuda

    I have mixed feelings. It's great that another awesome SCUMM game is out on the iPhone. However it's $5 for a game that's been freely available for years. The improvements they made look nice, but I definitely have to decide if they're worth me buying the game for. I haven't finished the game on other platforms yet, maybe an iPhone version will convince me.

    • Maelick

      i have to agree with phatbhuda. While i would love to just go and download the game since ive played the free versions all over. I cant because 5 bucks is just seems alot. Maybe if you have never played it before it wouldnt be. Sad though i love the game...just not sure i wanna pay 5 for a game ive played free for a while. Maybe the price will drop a couple bucks then im right on board for it

      • Brad Newsom

        This is a remake guys. Its not like its an generic port sold for $5. Please read before you slam a product.

      • GreyDawn

        Brad Newsom, lol, it's you that needs to 'learn to read':

        A) They're not slamming the product. They're questioning price-value.

        B) phatbhuda makes it clear he's aware it's a remake with his comment, "the improvements they make may look nice..."

        Don't need to be so defensive.

      • Brad Newsom

        Doesn't sound like they understand worth to value very well. I questioned if they read it because they seem to miss all the features that make it well worth $5.

      • Maelick

        sorry if i offended you wasnt my intent, and yes i read all about the new features. It just seems disappointing that it would re-release it at such a high price tag. Like a said 2.99 and id instant buy. Hell i might buy it eventually anyways. Just kinda rubs me tha wrong way.

      • Brad Newsom

        Well, look at Myst. Nothing new to that game and it still was well worth the price.

      • phatbhuda

        Worth is a very subjective thing. I certainly wasn't attacking Beneath a Steel Sky for being a remake. I made some personal observations about the game. Since I hadn't finished the game before when I had played free versions of it, would I play it now that I have to pay $5 for new graphics and such?

        For example I made that evaluation with Monkey Island Special Edition. I never did finish it when it came out originally years ago, but I decided it was worth it now for me to do so on the iPhone.

        I'd also definitely repurchase Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis for iPhone in addition to The Dig, to name two more SCUMM games :)

      • Brad Newsom

        It doesn't even have to be updated for me to buy. Sure, in a non-subjective form of worth, it wouldn't take the cake. Its same ol' for probably $3-5. Myst makes sense since it isn't freely available. Yet, so many old classics are being released in the App Store for a price.

        Thankfully, I'd buy the Dig, Curse of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Fate of Atlantis, etc. Who knows, Lucasarts might be remaking those games too! Remember, BASS isn't Lucasarts, so our future may be brighter than we all think.

    • Frump

      I don't think "I can play it for free on my computer" is ever a valid argument . The whole point of bringing a game to the iPhone is portability, and that's the reason anyone would pay for any game that exists in a free version on the PC.

      I think it's more than worth the price myself; it appears to be a well-written and well-drawn interactive graphic novel that will take quite some time to work your way through for roughly the price of a (much shorter) comic book or DVD rental.

  • TiredOfMiniGames

    Instant buy!

    I loved this game on scumm but my PC crashed and I lost my data.
    Now I can finally finish it!

  • Neil

    Please, GOD, tell me there's a way to turn off that horrible, dirge-like background music!

  • JMelrose

    Options-->Audio
    Turn "background music" slider all the way to the left.
    Enjoy.

    Great game. Can't argue with the price. Never played it, and would have paid $10 for it easy on the computer. Now I can take it with me everywhere. Very cool. Nice job.

  • akira01

    One word:
    Masterpiece.

  • Deluxe

    To test Beneath A Steel Sky, you can go to GoodOldGames ( http://www.gog.com ), download it for free, then buy Broken Sword in the same move ^^

    And then after being totally happy, you return to AppStore, to buy BAST for the road...

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    The new intro alone is worth the money!
    Perfect work!

  • Steve

    Wow great gameplay trailer. With a horrendously dull opening 3 minutes where nothing happens except getting a headache at that repetitive sound effect.

  • ac

    Fantastic game, a classic for sure. I'll have to debate buying it, phatbudha and maelick make valid points, it's been free from Revolution for quite awhile now.

    I still have to finish Monkey Island and I haven't even started on Simon the Sorcerer. The grog carrying puzzle is maddening to complete on the iPod.

  • joseph

    sure, update the clarity of the art, but it looks like they changed the style....
    looks like it went from Pink Floyd's The Wall to "Disney presents: Beneath a Steel Sky."

  • akira01

    @Joseph:"but it looks like they changed the style…."

    no, it's absolutely the same style as in 1994.
    And it's better like that.

  • ac

    Ah hell, I love this game. And I totally forgot about the changes they implemented. Sold.

  • http://blog.domisljije.si Peter Prevec

    I hope that this game will be available in all the AppStores. I can't seem to find it in the Slovenian one. I want to play!

  • Michael

    Is there an option for subtitles?

  • jaytee

    Is the new art still by dave gibbons?

    because, uh, he's the shit. you wouldn't paint over watchmen, would you? (zach synder, i am looking at you)

    • Radek

      Yes. You can find more detailed info at revolution.co.uk

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    Meh- after having played it for a bit I'm not too into it. If you loved the original you'll love this but it just feels weak on the iPhone. Compared to Monkey Island which is more tongue in cheek and just fine- this is iffy. And please please please make the opening intro skippable. I literally put the phone down for 3 minutes and walked away as it played.

  • Swampthing

    WTF is with all these over caffeinated people who feel they have to SKIP an INTRO movie to an RPG? It isn't a friggin FPS guys, an RPG is all about the STORY!!!

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  • Sn7ke

    Ha - the only two Adventures I ever played were Kings Quest 7 and Indiana Jones :FOA. Im looking very forward to play this one as well

  • Dimitris

    I'm enjoying it so far.
    I had it on my Amiga but for some reason I haven't played it.
    But now is the time to get right back to it!!
    It's a good thing you can turn the music off.
    This is one helluva irritating music...

  • Jackson

    I am really enjoying the game. They haven't messed with the look, but concentrated instead on the interface which is excellent. $5 really is great value for a game that clearly hasn't just been shoveled across to iPhone.

  • Scummbag

    I have a j breaked fone and this is 1 of the best games I first had on my iPhone . I got pretty far. For those who want it for free just jb & download scumm vm. It's easy and there are heaps more style games. Fr me personally I am looking fwd to some more iPhone style controls. I will buy new version to complete. Game is so good dnd funny I'd worth it to me. But to those who want free just jailbreak. So easy so custom.

  • http://www.haiku-os.org nutela

    There are a lot of games on the NDS which would be cool to have on iPhone as well, games that come to my mind; Hotel Dusk - a terrific adventure with nice hand drawn art and great story, Professor Layton (haven't played myself), Animal Crossing (haven't played myself) and of course Phoenix Wright.
    I like these relaxing games where you have to think :-)

  • mike1450

    I gotta be honest... This is a neat addition to the adventure game genre, but it doesn't hold up to the LUCAS games, or even the sierra games. It feels small, like make the first act of a Monkey Island, or Day of the Tentacle. Those games felt EPIC. This one feels small. And the opening was better when it was just a slide show of comic panels. The animation is an afterthought. Also, make it skippable like mentioned before. There's a glitch off the top where if you're killed walking down the stairs, you can't continue without automatically walking down the stairs and you have to restart and sit through the intro again. Overall, I'd call this non-essential viewing.