The Barcode Battler was the epitome of early 90's handheld electronic gaming contraptions. It was a huge piece of black plastic with a LCD display and a few cryptic face buttons that absolutely decimated any batteries you put in it. When I first read about the device in whatever gaming magazine I was reading at the time, my mind was blown. The idea was that you went scavenging around hunting for barcodes, and after scanning them in to this monstrosity you discovered if that barcode was actually a powerful fighter, a useful item, or something like that. Incredible, right? Well, it was back then.
Unfortunately actually "playing" with the thing was entirely underwhelming, as it almost never could read any barcodes. Also, when it did, it just displayed three numbers indicating whatever statistics the device used to display your character. In other words, the Barcode Battler itself turned out to be the exact polar opposite of what you were expecting and imagining between the time you first read about it and when you actually got to getting your hands on one.
Check out this shockingly accurate video review of the Barcode Battler:
iPhone developers Önders et Gonas share an apparent love for wacky early portable electronics, and are in the midst of developing Warcode. Warcode is an iOS game playable on devices with autofocus cameras (So, the iPhone 4 and 3GS.) and sounds like it could be pretty cool based on the somewhat vague information posted in the Warcode thread in our upcoming games forum.
From the looks of it, you'll be able to scan in barcodes similar to the utility RedLaser [Free] to generate items and warriors much like the Barcode Battler. The main difference here is that Warcode sounds like it will have actual gameplay in the form of a single player campaign and Game Center-powered multiplayer.
I'm glad that it only took twenty years for someone to take the Barcode Battler and turn it in to what it should have been. I can't wait for Warcode to be released, as I have a feeling this barcode on this crazy mint flavored Orangina is going to be a beastly warrior (or cowboy, if the label is to be believed).