Category Archives: Retro

Last December Beamdog resurrected a classic and brought it to an entirely new generation of gamers with the iPad port of the 1998 BioWare RPG Baldur's Gate, but in June we got word that the game had been pulled from the App Store due to "contractual issues" with the game's publisher. Lame...

As an old fart who has been gaming since the birth of the home console, I have to admit that my eyes light up when I see a game as gorgeously retro as Kid Tripp [Free]. Once upon a time, 120x80 resolution was considered laughable in the high definition world of systems such as the NES and Commodore 64, an age where more pixels, more colors, more sound channels and more, well more of everything was better. ..

As a child I remember playing Galaxian several times. Each time I think I reached as far as a few levels in and then failed. It was a fun distraction but the arcade formula never struck a chord with me.  Understandably I approached Chillaxian [$1.99], by Madgarden, with caution. Can this part spiritual successor/part parody win me over on this classic genre?..

'A Ride into the Mountains' Review - Spare Design Shows Less is More

Sometimes it's best to dispense with the bells and whistles. Sometimes it's refreshing to see a game free of bloat, with no mediocre ideas, just doing one thing very well. A Ride into the Mountains [$0.99] does just that. Developers Chia-Yu Chen and Lee-Kuo Chen present a simple story through basic gameplay and a stunning pixelated setting...

As a hobbyist Unity3D developer myself, I often frequent the forums over there and have been keeping a close eye on Futuridium EP [$1.99]. From the screen grabs that the developers uploaded from WIP versions of the game, I knew that this title was going to be something a little bit special...

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded [$4.99] is a revamped, reshuffled remake of 1987's Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, a title that takes me back to 1989 and being a spotty thirteen year old. I remember going to my friend's house after school, plonking ourselves in front of his Dad's CGA IBM compatible and loading up Leisure Suit Larry, in the vain hope that we might see some pixelated female naughty-bits. Unfortunately, we never managed to pass the age test screen, as we didn't know the answers to any of the questions (I guess it worked), so we would always end up back in front of my friend's Amiga 500 for a spot of Chase HQ or drawing willies with Deluxe Paint...

At first glance, one might take a look at Jeffrey Fal's Dungeonism [$1.99] and dismiss it as yet another retro-inspired dungeon crawler. However, anyone doing so would be making a big mistake, as they'd be missing out on an impressive addition to the App Store. With a deceptive amount of depth, plenty of content and a great art style, Dungeonism is an excellent addition to the old-school dungeon crawling scene and must be checked out...

Kavinsky [Free] is a bit of an oddball. I get the feeling that it's going to be a love or hate affair. So before you read too far along, let's first decide whether you will indeed love or hate it. Are you older than thirty-five? Do you love old-school, side-scrolling brawlers? Are you fond of '80s music and Ferrari Testarossas? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you will no doubt love Kavinsky. If not, you are either too young, have no soul, or both...

In 1991, a game named Street Fighter II came along and it started off a whole new genre. Okay, the one-on-one fighting game had already been around for a fair while but with its multiple punch and kick buttons, super moves and large range of characters, Capcom's flagship arcade game redefined the genre and spawned a relentless swarm of clones. Arguably the largest contributor to the "Street Fighter clone" market was SNK...

Top down racers are a dime a dozen. Whether you've played Supercars on Amiga or Super Off-Road on the Commodore 64, the genre is hardly new, and for the most part is full of mediocrity, especially in the iOS world. There are the odd gems like Reckless Racing 2 [$0.99] but for every shiny jewel there is an equally unpolished turd. Enter GP Retro [Free / Free], a pixelated top-down racing game from Small Thing...

Here's something I've been waiting anxiously for – the stellar iOS port of Sonic CD [$2.99] has finally received proper widescreen support for the iPhone 5 and newest iPod touch. I've been having a love affair with the original Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] on iOS ever since it was remade (and stuffed with cool secrets) back in mid-May, courtesy of Christian Whitehead and co...

'Karateka Classic' Brings the 1984 Apple II Original to iOS

Last year, Jordan Mechner teamed up with Liquid Entertainment to create a modern remake of his 1984 beat 'em up classic, Karateka. The modern, 3D recreation of Karateka [$1.99] (which we reviewed in December) does an excellent job of conveying the tragic tale of the poor, imprisoned princess Mariko and the bold quest to rescue her to today's gamers using modern visuals, an original score, and unique, new fight mechanics. Another thing it does is give old school gamers a real itch to go back and play through the 8-bit original. Happily, as of tonight, that itch is easily scratched...

Sure, you might think you're a old school mobile phone gamer if you have fond memories of Nokia Snake, but the real cool kids were busy playing Space Impact [$0.99]. It was available on the Nokia 3310, the 5210, that weird sideways 5510, and a ton of those other bulletproof Nokia phones that seemed to have a battery that lasted for ages compared to modern smartphones. There's been a number of sequels and spinoffs over time, but Space Impact is the core game that every real Nokia gamer knew by heart...

We're still playing a bit of catch up from GDC, but one of the more substantial under-the-radar releases of last week definitely needs some more attention than it's getting. It's called Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold [$2.99] and the (currently available) first episode seems like a fantastic tribute to adventure games from ages ago. Set in the old west, you play as Fester Mudd and you need to complete all sorts of classic adventure-y style puzzles to progress in your hunt for endless riches...

While a lot of attention is paid to iOS games that seek to replicate and modify the experiences of dedicated gaming devices, one area that has little competition to the mobile scene is the casual genre. Relic Rush [$0.99], from Forest Moon Games, is the latest title from the casual-minded producer and hits a lot of the right notes for a simple gameplay experience. While Relic Rush is a bit short on content and lacks some features that are expected in this day and age, it's still a fun, simple platformer worth checking out...

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