This past weekend, Elite Systems released their third round of 8-bit games brought to iOS through their Elite Collection of 8-bit computer games effort. The three games in question are stand-alone titles and each comes in both an iPhone and iPad "HD" version.


One of the better scrolling shooters to appear on the C64 was Denaris [iPhone, (iPad coming)] by Manfred Trenz. Published by Rainbow Arts in 1989, Denaris was a re-release of the previous year's R-Type-alike shooter, Katakis.

Denaris pits you and your craft against a slew of evil robot enemies that arose from a typical Skynet-type scenario. (Silly humans.) Like R-Type, Denaris features multiple side-scrolling levels, plenty of asteroids to dodge, power-ups, and end-bosses.

The Denaris releases are available in both English versions and "DE" German language versions. A video of Katakis (the same game) playing on a PC under VICE emulation can be seen here.


The star of these releases is certainly Andrew Braybrook's Paradroid [iPhone, iPad] one of the most well loved games ever released for the Commodore 64. Originally published in 1985, Paradroid puts you aboard a large space vessel, in control of the "Influence Device," a special droid that must roam the many rooms and decks of said craft and destroy every other droid on the ship. All of the droids on board, including your own, have a certain power level indicated by an integer -- the higher the number, the more powerful the droid.

Each deck of the ship features a variety of rooms, doors, elevators, and computer terminals that can provide useful information about the ship. You can destroy enemy droids by shooting or ramming into them, though droids much more powerful than your own present a rather significant challenge. It is possible to take over another droid (even a more powerful one) by way of a timed mini-game, featuring logic gates and circuit diagrams, that challenges you to out-wire the enemy droid.

Paradroid is a highly unique game that has something of an eerie feel, for lack of a better word, and significant replay value.

Alternate Reality: The Dungeon

Following last month's release of Alternate Reality: The City [iPhone, iPad] is Alternate Reality: The Dungeon [iPhone, iPad], an RPG originally published by Datasoft in 1987. These two games are actually the first game, split into two pieces, of a planned six-game series that never materialized. But, despite this, they have gained something of a cult following.

At the beginning of the story, you find yourself captured by aliens and standing in front of a gate with a row of changing attribute values. When you step through the gate, the attributes freeze and you have become a new person in an alternate reality, possessing the attributes shown. While The City is played in an open area, The Dungeon takes place in the confines below the city and features improved graphics over the original.

Gameplay involves freely exploring the very large game world, interacting with a variety of characters along the way, and keeping your vital attributes in balance. Interestingly, some of the attributes of your character are not revealed to you, the player, directly, but can be gleaned through the manner in which other characters interact with you -- such as your character's alignment (good, evil, or neutral). It's a very open and free play experience, and perhaps to a fault; there is really no story behind the game and there is no real stated goal other than to interact with the vast game world and amass experiences there.

A bit of gameplay of the Atari 8-bit version can be seen in a somewhat rough video here.

Each of these titles features Elite's customizable "iDaptive" control system allowing for a variety of control systems for both portrait and landscape play and iCade support is on the way. We expect each of these titles to make their way into the currently-delayed Elite Collection and Elite Collection HD game collections with in-app stores.

NOTE: Denaris HD and DE HD are still in review at Apple. They should be available shortly.

  • Anonymous

    iCade / iCP?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • drelbs

    No collection yet?!? 🙁

    I'm hoping to be able to travel between The City and The Dungeon like in the old days...

    • blakespot

      Only the (original) 8-bit Atari version allowed that. Not expecting that here...

      • drelbs

        I did that on my C64...

  • Austin Riddle

    I think you needed to grow up with these games to appreciate them.  From my ignorant point of view, these look like someone puked up skittles on an iphone.

  • Andrew Toth

    Denaris had pretty great music. (it's under katakis in modizer)

  • Phil Baxter

    The notion of an 'HD' version for 8-bit emulation is ridiculous in the extreme. Elite should be ashamed of such practices.

    Also one ROM per app? Come on guys, that's absurd. Try harder please.

    • drelbs

      Where the separate versions really sucks is the IAP for the collections... I'm not as mad as buying the same base game twice, but don't really like buying the same packs/items/whatever twice.

      Then again, it's not like these things are anywhere near as expensive as they used to be. $20 in mid-80's cash today: $39.98

  • Werner Ruotsalainen

    @Phil Baxter: Well, one ROM per app does make sense if you take into account that Manomio's C64 emulator also has IAP's for a dollar, including Paradroid. And that was IAP, while these are much safer: they will always be accessible on your local machines, unlike IAP apps that have been removed from the AppStore. An example: if you purchased Droidz (a great native iOS Paradroid reimplementation) in 03/2009 for two bucks, you can sync it to your new iDevices, long after it being removed from AppStore. With IAP? Nope, no chance to installing it on anything anymore.

    • drelbs

      Definitely true, but for a couple of bucks? Not a big deal.  It's more convenient for me to have one app/icon on my overly cluttered iPhone.

      Hold onto your IPA files, hold onto your backups, use iPhone Explorer/etc. Plenty of ways to back IAPs up - may not be as easy to restore (until Apple gives us discrete app save capability)

    • Guest

      That's not exactly true. You can navigate to the app's Library directory with iExplorer and backup the preference file as well as any data that may have been downloaded with the IAP. It's not the most elegant solution but it works like a charm.

  • Werner Ruotsalainen

    And yes, iCade support please... no iCade, no purchase. (I've already purhchased Paradroid and Uridium in the C64 emulator.)

  • Anonymous

    I'm all for retro, but why emulate the this version Alternate Reality? This game was designed on a the Atari 800 series, taking advantage of its large (for its time) palette. All other 8-bit versions looked ill in comparison.

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      Prolly because they "only" have a C64 emulator engine, not that of the vastly different Atari 800 XL.

  • Anonymous

    I'll tell you something - misspelling Andrew Braybrook's name in the iTunes description does not bode well. Neither does describing the game as "... written by Andrew Breybrook (sic) and others." What others?

    The icon is hideous, and despite the fact that I loved this game in 1986, I'm holding off until I see some impressions...

  • blakespot