Last month we reported that an iOS remake of Barbarian - The Ultimate Warrior, aka Death Sword, was in the works courtesy of developer Microids and publisher Anuman Interactive, and after a couple of false starts in the past week, the game does appear to officially be available in the App Store.

Renamed Barbarian - The Death Sword [$1.99/HD] for iOS, the game is a one-on-one fighting game that originally released in 1987 for the Commodore 64 and most of the other popular computers at the time. Gamers lauded the competitive gameplay of Barbarian in the burgeoning fighting game genre, but most of its widespread notoriety was due to some racy packaging and the ability to lop off your opponents head in a shower of blood during battle.

The iOS version of Barbarian is completely redone with 3D visuals, several new modes and unlockables, and cross-platform local multiplayer. I've spent a few minutes with the game on my iPhone, and although I never played the original, it seems like it might be kind of cool. It's certainly got raciness and gore in spades, but I'm not so sure about the gameplay. It feels very basic and clunky, but it also feels like there might be some underlying depth to the whole thing that I have yet to figure out.

We'll be spending much more time with Barbarian - The Death Sword in the coming days to adequately get a feel for it, and there's currently a discussion of the game and further impressions in our forums.

  • Joseph West

    Looks like a Mortal Kombat clone. Run around and do some stuff, meet an enemy, and fight them in a gruesome two-dimensional battle. Then move on to the next opponent. Not a bad model, but nothing earth shattering.

    • Bruno Scheele

      Mortal Kombat - 1992
      Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior (the original for this game) - 1987

      Guess which is the heavily inspired by which 😉

    • michael bluth

      1) It came out way before MK, so there's that. Hardly a clone. I mean come on dude, it's in the first paragraph of the article.

      2) Why does something have to be "earth shattering". Where did anyone claim this was "earth shattering"? I enjoy a game of Solitaire and Poker once in a while, are those "earth shattering"? Certain games appeal to certain niche markets. You can bet this will be a highly popular game and no one will care about it being "earth shattering".

  • scott slomiany

    And there you go. Another example of why it's hard to take IOS devices as game consoles seriously. Because we should be excited about a graphic update of a game that originally released 25 years ago!

    • michael bluth

      Oh look, more hyperbole. No one is telling you to be excited about a 25 year old game. They're appealing to a subset of gamers that would enjoy being able to play a game that they used to play on a current hand held device. Is that so hard to understand?

      Also, I'm not sure if you're aware, but there's old arcade games on consoles as well. Wii? Xbox 360? All have ridiculously old games, just like iOS tends to have.

      Might want to think next time. You could save yourself the embarrassment.

    • Briker Ed

      That's hardly the reason. I'd argue it's more about the limitations of the iDevices, most notably the lack of physical buttons and workarounds the devs have to come up with in order to make an elaborate game that will feel comfortable on a touch-screen only device. Among other things. . . .

      Nothing wrong with being excited with a remake of something you liked 25 years ago, and some newcomers might like it as well. 

      • J.Shamblin

        Touch screens are only a limitation if you are too accustomed to physical controls or have trouble remembering where your fingers/buttons are. All it takes is some patience to get use to it. This next generation of users probably won't have that problem since they are growing up with touch devices.

      • Briker Ed

        Personally, I'd rather have my whole screen visible than my finger covering even a small part of it, and there's something gratifying (?) in having physical controls and buttons to mash. For me at least. . . . Granted, for many games out there it works really well, since all it takes is one finger which isn't on the screen itself all the time, but I'd dare say that those games aren't as elaborate as some other high-profile handheld console ones. Perhaps we'll see the devices evolve past the current screen dimensions, or otherwise, to facilitate and make a more comfortable experience while playing those 'complicated' ones.

  • Paddy Carr

    Ah finally Brad Nicholson the game has been released.

  • Dower Chin

    Ah Barbarian takes me WAY back. This might be worth looking into. The video seems to show the game seems relatively faithful to the source material.

    • Droid Hits

      The video is far from being the game, which is well.... dull, laggy, and unplayable.

  • karma32

    I road a camel for the first time yesterday, it was pretty exciting

  • dstruktopus

    I cant wait to purchase this!i was waiting for this i should of just waited instead of buying rally x :[

    Mortal Kombat was inspired by Martial Arts films and a little bit of Street Fighter.

  • Simon Finn

    I had this for my trusty Amstrad CPC 464 way back in the day. I remember looking at a scantily clad Maria Whittaker in a Computer and Video Games mag advert and not really caring what the game was like. Having said that, my friends and I had some really good two player battles going on and the little goblin/sprite/whatever it was, kicking a decapitated head away at the end of a contest was always fun to watch. And I seem to remember that the music didn't kick in until he had dragged away the carcass of the defeated. Great stuff. That being said I think I'll pass on this until I see a review or two.

  • Simon Finn

    Sometimes it is good to let old games stay in the past and I am wondering if that's what should have been done with this.

  • Droid Hits

    Downloaded, played it for 10 mins, removed it.

    This is probably one the crappiest games released this month.