iPhone developer TouchGrove, who brought us the retro '70s LED Football [App Store] for the iPhone and the entertaining Air Harp [App Store] for the iPad, has released another retro remake, Castle Bash [App Store] for the iPad.

Castle Bash is a remake of Atari's 1980 arcade release Warlords, which is probably best known for its release on the Atari 2600 console in 1981. Rated the 25th greatest video game of all time by Game Informer, Warlords allows up to four players to compete in a castle defense bout that's something of a combination of Breakout and Elimination / Quadrapong.

Warlords presents a game screen consisting four castles, one in each corner, each of which must be defended by a movable shield that can slide along the castle walls. The shield is used to deflect a fireball that bounces about the play area, knocking out bricks on impact with a castle wall. If a wall is breached and the fireball knocks out the king inside, that player gets zero points for the round, while the last player standing gets one point. The game allows for one to four human players to get in on the action.

Castle Bash is a very close rendition of the Warlords formula. The only real difference is the apparent lack of the ability to capture the fireball with your shield and send it off in the direction of your choice, as you can in the original -- deflection is the only interaction you have with the fireball. The game allows either one or four human players to man each castle, the latter scenario making great use of the iPad's large screen for tabletop group gaming. There is an Arcade mode which is just one round of quick play, as well as a Tournament mode that brings round after round of play. The game's visuals are straight up retro, with blocky, glowing pixels that, along with the simple, "blippy" sound effects, will take anyone familiar with the Atari classic right back to the early '80s.

Castle Bash, like Warlords before it, is a rather simple game by today's standards -- we're talking 30 year-old gameplay, after all. But it is entertaining. In fact, Warlords was recently released on the Xbox Live Arcade. The only real complaint I have with the title is the need to trace a finger along the line of the castle walls to move your shield. The arcade and 2600 releases used spinners / paddles, which would've been better approximated with a simple, linear touch slider. It's definitely more of a preference than a deal-breaker, though.

App Store Link: Castle Bash, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • mike

    ZE GOGGLES!! ZEY DO NOSSINK!!

  • mike

    ZE GOGGLES!! ZEY DO NOSSINK!!

  • Bill

    awesomeness!

    I loved this game on the atari. Been keeping my eyes out for something on the iPhone/iPad.

    Buying it right now!

    One thing for the future would perhaps be controls offloaded to iphones connected to the iPad. Then the ipad could be used as the screen with the iPhones as the atari paddles.

  • Bill

    awesomeness!

    I loved this game on the atari. Been keeping my eyes out for something on the iPhone/iPad.

    Buying it right now!

    One thing for the future would perhaps be controls offloaded to iphones connected to the iPad. Then the ipad could be used as the screen with the iPhones as the atari paddles.

  • Bill

    Ack! Wait a minute!

    haven't quite bought it yet.
    Is there an option to grab the ball and launch it where you want?
    This was the main way i remember playing. It wasn't so much pong/breakout as more a controlled pong/breakout attack.

    Also - are there AI controlled players? It was always fun to beat the AI controlled player with the controlled shot before the paddle got there :)

    • cranker

      I agree that you should be able to grab the ball and launch it where you want. That was the thing that made the game fun. It does not look like you can do this.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Indeed, this feature appears to be absent in the iPad remake.

  • Bill

    Ack! Wait a minute!

    haven't quite bought it yet.
    Is there an option to grab the ball and launch it where you want?
    This was the main way i remember playing. It wasn't so much pong/breakout as more a controlled pong/breakout attack.

    Also - are there AI controlled players? It was always fun to beat the AI controlled player with the controlled shot before the paddle got there :)

    • cranker

      I agree that you should be able to grab the ball and launch it where you want. That was the thing that made the game fun. It does not look like you can do this.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Indeed, this feature appears to be absent in the iPad remake.

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

    Hmm- that looks the very definition of what a 99-cent iPad app should be.

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

    Hmm- that looks the very definition of what a 99-cent iPad app should be.

  • Appaholic

    Great.
    Yet another cool game bypassing my iPhone.
    Gimme a break.

    • Greg

      I'm sorry, how exactly would you make a four-player game like this on an iPhone? Just saying.

      • Appaholic

        I used to have to play it in one-player mode all of the time back in the day.

  • Appaholic

    Great.
    Yet another cool game bypassing my iPhone.
    Gimme a break.

    • Greg

      I'm sorry, how exactly would you make a four-player game like this on an iPhone? Just saying.

      • Appaholic

        I used to have to play it in one-player mode all of the time back in the day.

  • mamak

    this is ancient .. and it's 3 bucks .. talk about antique value ..

  • mamak

    this is ancient .. and it's 3 bucks .. talk about antique value ..

  • mardas pye

    Looks terrible, and they didn't even copy it correctly.

    Warlords was a great game, but this I will pass on.

  • mardas pye

    Looks terrible, and they didn't even copy it correctly.

    Warlords was a great game, but this I will pass on.

  • http://www.americanelf.com James

    The game looks great to me, but the controls look horrible. Everyone in that video can barely control what they're doing... it looks like they're really struggling.

  • http://www.americanelf.com James

    The game looks great to me, but the controls look horrible. Everyone in that video can barely control what they're doing... it looks like they're really struggling.

  • Hmmmm

    i was going to do this game for iPad next but after thinking about it more decided not to as I don't think Atari will be so keen on developers rehashing thier IP like this. Some larger publishers don't take to kindly to this sort of thing of course... but good luck with it anyway.

  • Hmmmm

    i was going to do this game for iPad next but after thinking about it more decided not to as I don't think Atari will be so keen on developers rehashing thier IP like this. Some larger publishers don't take to kindly to this sort of thing of course... but good luck with it anyway.

  • Beezle

    Wow, this is Retro.

    When I first saw the iPad, I instantly thought that this would be a great device for 'Airburst' which is a Mac clone of the Warlords game.

  • Beezle

    Wow, this is Retro.

    When I first saw the iPad, I instantly thought that this would be a great device for 'Airburst' which is a Mac clone of the Warlords game.

  • marty

    I prefer my retro "authentic" rather than derivative.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      I do too. But, many don't have a room full of antique machines as do (presumably) you and I.

  • marty

    I prefer my retro "authentic" rather than derivative.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      I do too. But, many don't have a room full of antique machines as do (presumably) you and I.