This past week we posted a preview of the first three games set to hit the App Store, marking the launch of the Elite Collection of 8-bit home computer games from noted and long-running studio Elite Systems. The games have just gone live and are available in both iPhone and iPad "HD" versions.

The initial Elite Collection titles that have arrived are Datasoft's 1987 magical platformer Black Magic, Image Works' lovely 1992 release First Samurai, and the frantic 1992 space shooter Enforcer from Manfred Trenz. Every one of these titles is very well implemented in iOS and is among the top tier of games to be found on the 8-bit platforms of decades past.

The Elite Collection is Elite Systems' initiative to expand their ongoing retro rebirth efforts by utilizing a new proprietary system -- a facilitator, of sorts -- that was designed in such a way as to not incorporate, reference, or in any way rely upon third-party property and that is able to deliver, to iOS, games that originated on platforms other than just the ZX Spectrum (Elite's original source platform) in near-100% original form. For more details on these titles (including videos), see our preview.

Elite will soon be following up these three initial titles with an additional six Elite Collection releases.

  • theRPGNOOB

    This is bullshit, the developers that made this are taking advantage of peoples nostalgia. 

    • Eli Hodapp

      Do we post anything that doesn't offend you in some way?

      • theRPGNOOB

         You guys have not offended me. The people that am mad at are the developers that are to lazy to make anything new and fresh and instead try to make a fast buck.

      • blakespot

        I have talked at length with Elite co-founder Steve Wilcox about this project and have been privy to a good many technical details of the system used to get these games over to iOS. I can assure you that the effort that has gone into the project is nothing that can described as making "a fast buck."

        Also, these are licensed titles. The original IP holders of the games Elite is bringing to iOS have agreed to certain terms and those IP holders are making money on these games they long ago created, perhaps for the first time in decades, as I know is the case with Matthew Smith (author of Manic Miner, etc.).

        Elite's intention is to bring these games of decades past to iOS in near 100% form. I, and plenty of others I am sure, can respect that and are glad to have them. Would it be nice to have a ground-up rewrite of all of these titles, altered to take full advantage that all the iOS platform has to offer in the way of multitouch, accelerometers, powerful GPU, etc? Yes, it would. But -- and I promise you this -- if such games were launched, and no "original mode" with the pixellated graphics were an option -- there would be huge complaints. We've seen that with a few titles that have come through the App Store in the past. But sure -- the original game and a reimagined take on the game, together, would be great, but doing a ground up redesign and redevelopment for a new platform is a dramatically different proposition than building systems to deliver the original titles to iOS in the best manner possible. It's a hugely different proposition and one that would rarely be feasible for a range of reasons.

        Elite is not trying to trick anyone here. It's plain to see that these are titles of old. And those who want to avoid them can do so. But lots of these games are great fun and I dare say worth a buck or two admission price.

      • theRPGNOOB

         Thanks for explaining that, sorry if I gave you guys a hard time 🙂

    • shamusbackinit.

      Only if you choose to purchase it, if you don't like, don't buy then they cant "take advantage"

      personally im all for it. I have been playing the spectrum and amiga games on the app store, defender of the crown, another world are better than most new games on the app store. mostly been enjoying back to school on the spectrum emu.. that is absolutely brilliant game. played it for hours.

  • Kaherka

    at 99 cents, it's hard to see how anyone's being "taken advantage of".

    • shamusbackinit.

      i think the spectrum games bought in a pack are about 19 pence each lol.

  • Steve Wilcox, Elite

    We'd be delighted to receive suggestions for other 8-bit titles to be brought back as 'Elite Collection' apps.

    The best way to do that would be to post suggestions at this forum thread. Alternatively we can be reached via our UK website, or via the 'contact' form in the apps.

    We look forward to reading your suggestions.

    • Ben Baker


      Forget the hater, this is awesome. Nostalgic, sure, but sometimes I do get nostalgic for awesome games. and I've wanted to play the Monty games and starquake for 20 years. So, thanks.

      Oe thing I'd ask- iCade support please! Seeing all the work you've done on the controller already (very innovative), then incorporating this Bluetooth controller shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

      Pretty please?

      • Ben Baker

        Actually I'm referring to your other release, the spectrum collection.

        But iCade fir this as well would mean I'd buy it too.. 😉

    • Alexhrose71

      Some C64 titles I'd recommend bringing over : Anything Llamasoft (if they agree of course), Racing Destruction Set, Eidolon or Fractalus, Movie Monster, Dropzone, Wizardry, Robin of the Wood, Thrust to name a few

      • drelbs

        Manimino's Commodore 64 app has several Llamasoft titles, free IAP...

    • Phil Baxter

      My personal favourite C64 game was a shooter called 'Delta'. It was published by Thalamus. I'm also very fond of the old Epyx games - Impossible Mission 1 & 2, Pitstop 2, and of course the Summer/Winter/World Games series. 

      Sadly quite a few really good C64 games were licensed from coin-ops or movie/TV properties, which I imagine would make securing those impossible. I'm thinking of the likes of Rambo, Miami Vice, Bionic Commando etc.

      You could look at some originals too - Monty on the Run, Thing on a Spring, Thrust, Mega Apocalypse, Head over Heels, Paradroid, Way of the Exploding Fist 1 & 2, IO, and Fairlight. 

  • Misty Jugs

    I'll be getting Black magic, and I'm looking forward to Alternate Reality: The City.

    Personally, I think these old games are better than most of the new stuff out in the app store. I never played none of these games, so it has nothing to do with nostalgia for me. Without these ports I would have never found out/played great games like Cybernoid, Back to School, Another World, Road Blaster, Transylvania Adventure, Phantasy Star 2, etc.

  • Travisr2h

    Icade support would be fantastic.  These games are great, but some suffer from the lack of physical controls.  Please make it happen. 

    • blakespot

      Steve Wilcox tells me they will begin examining the issue of iCade implementation as soon as they are able. FYI.

  • Loafer

    Thank you for these releases. As a big fan of the C64 and the Atari ST/Amiga, if you bring 'em to iOS, I will probably buy 'em.

    One question though: Since they are the same price, why not simply make the games Universal instead of one for iPhone and one for iPad?  As it is, I want to support you, but I don't know if I want to support you TWICE for each game.  Many of us own more than one iOS device and its a shame for devs to not consider a universal release, especially since this is emulated, developing seperate assets should not be a heavy development burden.

    Thanks for considering the above, this doesn't take away that this is an excellent start.

  • Slamraman

    It really does need iCade (even more than the spectrum one). I've just bought all 3 but probably won't play again until I can play with my iCade. Far too fiddly and slow. Please keep Uridium in the back pocket until it's iCade ready.
    I also remember an old C64 game called Guardian which was a Defender clone which would be magical (again with iCade - sorry) and get old Tony Crowther's game's on Potty Pigeon, his Monty Mole and all Llamasoft (but that I suppose goes without saying). Good work though - just with iCade support it would be perfect.

  • Phil Baxter

    The notion of releasing 'HD' versions of these screams ripp-off. These should have been universal, and they should have been part of a universal C64 app. iOS needs a proper full on C64 emu packed with classics, and so far we've been very poorly served.

    • Asdf

      Umm.. Apple doesn't allow emu on iOS in the App Store..

      • Phil Baxter

        I think you might want to have a look at the app store in future before saying such silly things - there are many emulators on the app store.

    • drelbs

      I don't the separate HD versions are so bad for the standalone apps, but it is disappointing that due to the way IAP works, you end up having to buy the same game twice for the HD and standard version.

      But, at a buck a game? And money is going back to the original developer/publisher? It's not so bad.

  • JimmyJam

    Does anyone know when these will be made available as in-app purchases in the Elite Collection?

  • Erik Thomas

    As someone who has never played any of these, can someone suggest one to me... assuming for the moment that I just intend on buying one (if I like one I may buy more).