198594_largerEarlier this year in January, we spotted a curious release in the Chinese App Store for a game called Contra: Evolution, which appeared to be a remake of the classic side-scrolling shooter with greatly improved visuals and touchscreen controls. And, despite Contra being one of the most cloned games in the App Store, this version appeared to be legit. It looked cool, but the only problem was that it was only available in China, and I wanted it. Badly.

Well, if you felt the same as I did then today is your day. Following some vague details last month that hinted as much, Contra: Evolution [Free / Free (HD)] has indeed launched worldwide in the App Store. I've only given it a short go, but it's pretty much what I hoped it would be: a revamped Contra. The two original action heroes Lance and Bill make their return, but there's two new female characters to play as too. The remade visuals look nice too, though it does feel like it's lost some of its charm over the original graphics.

Something that might be a point of concern is the addition of a dual-currency and IAP system into Contra: Evolution. So far it appears to be just the "speed things up" variety, and all the different weapons look like they can just be bought through playing the game, leveling up, and earning the currency. Time will tell how this shakes out.


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However, for a dollar, it seems worth checking out if you're a Contra fan looking for a fix on your mobile device. The virtual controls work about as well as you expect in a game like this, that is to say they're just OK. This was a pretty difficult game to begin with and virtual buttons don't help the situation, but the difficulty level seems to have been toned down from the original to compensate for this. I'm jazzed to keep on checking it out though, so grab it from the links below and hit up the forums for some more impressions and discussion.

  • Mihavey

    I want to see original contra from dendy on my iPad!

    • LOVE

      There was no console named "Dendy". It was a cheap Russian-Chinease clone of NES.

  • Travis Irby

    Excited about the game!

  • XvEsunavX

    Does the Konami code work? Lol.

    • xx99

      Yeah, but you have to pay about $20 for it. Seriously.

  • themostunclean

    Wow. This has been an insane week for great games on the App Store.

  • The Nothing

    All is right with the world...

  • Krel Adam

    just got this it looks amazing on the iphone 5

  • Jzracin

    Bout time some good games came out man i was getting worried but then contra came so im good now

  • ibmurai

    Bullshit standalone HD app.

    • Doctorossi

      How dare they exercise a publishing choice that doesn't happen to be to your personal taste!

    • themostunclean

      Relax man. It's only .99¢.

      Just buy it twice and consider it a $1.98 game. Still a great deal.

    • expresident

      I'm ignorant as to why this is an issue. Please clarify. Thx

      • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Flesh

        Yes, it's normally to pay for different resolutions...

  • Phantom Bruiser

    It's a pretty decent port, faithful in most ways. The original had control quirks when it came to moving and shooting at the same time, or shooting down, and this retains those same quirks--they're just made more prominent by touch controls.

  • ODMay

    Contra 13 or should I just call it Contra:Evolution since it's a remake?

  • Blodia

    I'm cuckoo for Gontra! Gaga for Gryzor!

  • Karzay

    This has been a very expensive week. So many great games released and they are all too hard to pass up.

  • redkins54

    Wow, can't believe only one person is asking about the most famous code of all time. So famous the deftones named a song after it. So, TA and anyone who's purchased the game, does the classic code work?

    • ImJPaul

      I'm just curious. Did you spell your favorite football teams name wrong? or what is a redkin....or what's going on with that

      • redkins54

        Lol no I didn't miss spell it. My. Favorite team is the Redskins. My last name is Kinder. So I take both and make RedKins. It's also my Fantasy football name.

    • dancj

      Up up down down left left right right B A start and writetyper are the most famous codes I can think of.

      • iamseamonster

        *left right left right


    • Doctorossi

      Please look for the 'Select' button on your iOS device and then report back to us.

    • XvEsunavX

      Thanks for the nod. I still reprimand my friends for mentioning "select" in the code.. We all know they only play with themselves... Oops! Others deny the select option as well. And that's how I earned my zinger badge. IDGAF if its in there or not; I asked a question, and some people always have to come and try to defecate in my cereal. Sadly, I ate my Wheaties this morning, and the people who love to whine should go whine on the forum. If you're already doing that then pick your second choice. Trying to be polite and firm here. Let those of us who were born when this game originally released enjoy it. Go in peace. Namaste. Ciao. Tschuss. Oh sorry, bye buddy. Au revoir. Dosvetonya. Move out from under your moms bridge.

    • xx99

      You have to pay close to $20 to bump your lives up to $30. It's a permanent change (you will start every new game and continue with 30 lives). I'm serious: the Konami code has been reduced to an IAP :(.

      • xx99

        I meant 30, not $30!

  • Bluejunco

    Ugh!! Make it universal

  • Goggles789

    The game plays great, but you need to spend real money on diamonds to continue if all lives are lost, and those are only available IAP. Big shame, because it actually feels great to play. :/

    • eventide

      Yep. The game is nearly unbeatable without spending more than what you initially bought the game for.

  • eventide

    They basically want you to spend another dollar for 10 more continues when you could have earned them in game by finding diamonds rather than spending real money.

    I'm so refreshed to see fair priced games that once you pay a fair price, don't ask you for any more money. That's how you earn repeat business and respect IMO.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Same here. Gave it a spin but can't progress without spending more. Deleted.

    • XvEsunavX

      Solid comment. I ended up buying it to justify a rant. I'm a little rusty and the touch controls don't help much. I'm gonna configure blutrol and give this another go with a ps3 controller if my Bluetooth stops lagging up a storm. Either with some practice I'm happy with my purchase.

      • XvEsunavX

        Either way* also, if I had the option... I would try before you buy. I miss Funcoland and their commercials with the disembodied hand bursting through closed blinds with cash in hand.

  • Ungibbed

    This looks like a perfect time killer for the iPhone as Metal Slug once was. Looks like iPhone 5 support is there which would replace my favorite run & gun (Shadowgun) that still has yet to be updated for the iPhone 5 among many other great shmups like AirAttack and more...

  • Phantom Bruiser

    I didn't even see the diamond IAP thing until after I beat arcade mode on my second try. I guess if you've never played this it's hard--all the patterns are the same from my youth, muscle memory kicked in and I breezed through it in an hour. I guess they gotta make more money on this somehow, but they're only getting a buck from me.

    • eventide

      Not my first rodeo with Contra. Been gaming since Atlantis, Combat, E.T., Slot Racers...you probably get the idea :p

    • Goggles789

      I probably would be in the same boat as you, as I played the tar out of this game as a kid, but I was struggling with the controls quite a bit. I don't think Contra is the hardest game ever made...to me Ikaruga or Dark Souls take that medal...however, the controls made an already difficult game just out of my league of patience.

  • broadcastmonkey

    Seems to have been removed from the uk store??

    • newjorg

      Yes, seems like it. Not good. 🙁

  • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Flesh

    It's not universal, so i am not going to buy it.

    I don't want to support a world, when you have to pay for different resolutions and aspect ratios

  • Monteirri

    Damn it's not in the uk or us App Store. Good thing I got it before they pulled it

  • blakedaking

    Not available in US anymore? What a shame...

  • Monteirri

    It is unfortunate maybe something to do with copyrights?

  • gambitph

    The controls suck big time! I cant finish the first round without dying at least once because of the lousy virtual controls.

  • eventide

    Not that I care too much but it got deleted from my ipad?? Makes me feel a little uneasy that someone can delete something you BOUGHT without your permission. What a fiasco. I'm NEVER supporting this company again no matter they release.

    • Monteirri

      How does software get deleted from your ipad I still have it.

      • eventide

        I have no idea. I can re download it in purchased history but its still strange how it disappeared from my ipad.

      • Monteirri

        Oh good then you're lucky. I wonder why they took it out of the App Store, bastards!

  • http://www.frivmini.com/ friv

    it is a game associated with my childhood, most boys are playing this game, and now also like

  • Sandalfo

    virtual controls don't work for me. not playable enough. deleted the game.

  • Turbobond

    Ugh. Knew I should have instabought, but now it's gone. Sad face.

  • http://www.fri-v.com/ Friv

    What a shame...