For a limited time, Rockstar Games is offering their iOS versions of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars at a 50% discount from the regular price of $9.99 to celebrate the Chinese New Year. GTA: Chinatown Wars was originally released for the Nintendo DS in March of 2009, and featured all of the essential components of a full-blown console GTA game but with toned down visuals and presented from a bird’s-eye view rather than the traditional third-person view. The title was a critical success, and later that year was ported over to the Sony PSP with greatly enhanced visuals.

In January of 2010, the entire game made its way onto the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. The iOS version falls somewhere in the middle of its portable console cousins, with visuals that are markedly improved over the DS version but fall a bit short when compared to the PSP version. It retains all of the content, however, and the virtual touch screen controls actually work much better than I ever could have expected, which we noted in our full review. Last September, a native iPad version was released with visual improvements that brought it nearly to the level of the PSP version and UI enhancements that catered to the larger screen.

GTA: Chinatown Wars has previously been on sale a few times during its lifespan, but it doesn’t happen terribly often. With a huge influx of new iOS device owners from the holidays, this is their first chance to grab the title at a discount in 2011. GTA: Chinatown Wars offers dozens upon dozens of hours of playtime given the lengthy story missions, numerous side quests and collectibles, and of course the endless hours you can spend aimlessly goofing around in the humongous sandbox world of Liberty City. If you own an iOS device and don’t yet have GTA: Chinatown Wars, it comes highly recommended, especially during this half-price sale that runs through this Sunday.

  • The Bat Outta Hell

    *Thumbs Up*

  • http://twitter.com/thelastdisciple thelastdisciple

    Just bought it :D

    Waiting on it to finish DLing. Thanks for the heads up TA!

  • Ramon

    Come on, bring Retina display to capable devices !

  • oliath

    Gong Xi Fa Chai

  • tomi676

    I will buy this game but first R* must improved graphics just like on iPad (and maybe even better) and of course Retina Display support I play on FREE version and graphics on my iP4 is terrible on other iDevices is ok but on iPhone 4 is unacceptable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Taylor-Barclay/100000727820513 Taylor Barclay

    I would buy this for me and my friends in an instant but without Retina display it looks completely terrible. I kind of wish I hadn't purchased a new iPod now.. most developers couldn't give a crap less about updating their apps for Retina.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hellioz-Dogol/100001254343956 Hellioz Dogol

      Dude, it's not free to update an apps to support retina. Are you willing to pay for the cost?

      • Voot

        Dude, at $10 a pop, it's paid for. But thanks for your concern.

  • Anonymous

    I can't believe there's still no iOS 4 fast app switching. Still a great game, though.

  • Bjorn Keizers

    Very nice. I highly recommend it to anyone that hasn't played it yet. I bought copies for DS, iPod Touch and iPad, and I'm still not bored with it. Especially the 'narcotics distribution' is fun.

  • HelperMonkey

    I have a 4th gen touch, and I really don't think that the graphics are particularly painful. Retina would absolutely be a significant upgrade, and it should have been implemented by now, but I don't think it's a deal-breaker that should keep anyone away from this game. It's certainly worth five bucks.
    (btw- nicely written, Jared.)

  • Anonymous

    Like everyone said, there needs to be a retina display update for the iPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/Sanuku Sanuku

    Instant Buy

  • Moreno

    Instead of a price cut, how about an update? I bought this game a while ago but have hardly played it, I have an iPhone 4 and while retina visuals would be nice, it seriously needs support for ios4 multi tasking, it's pointless playing this when as soon as you answer a call or read a text message it kicks you out of the game.