For a limited time, Rockstar Games is offering their iOS versions of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars at a 50% discount from the regular price of $9.99 to celebrate the Chinese New Year. GTA: Chinatown Wars was originally released for the Nintendo DS in March of 2009, and featured all of the essential components of a full-blown console GTA game but with toned down visuals and presented from a bird’s-eye view rather than the traditional third-person view. The title was a critical success, and later that year was ported over to the Sony PSP with greatly enhanced visuals.
In January of 2010, the entire game made its way onto the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. The iOS version falls somewhere in the middle of its portable console cousins, with visuals that are markedly improved over the DS version but fall a bit short when compared to the PSP version. It retains all of the content, however, and the virtual touch screen controls actually work much better than I ever could have expected, which we noted in our full review. Last September, a native iPad version was released with visual improvements that brought it nearly to the level of the PSP version and UI enhancements that catered to the larger screen.
GTA: Chinatown Wars has previously been on sale a few times during its lifespan, but it doesn’t happen terribly often. With a huge influx of new iOS device owners from the holidays, this is their first chance to grab the title at a discount in 2011. GTA: Chinatown Wars offers dozens upon dozens of hours of playtime given the lengthy story missions, numerous side quests and collectibles, and of course the endless hours you can spend aimlessly goofing around in the humongous sandbox world of Liberty City. If you own an iOS device and don’t yet have GTA: Chinatown Wars, it comes highly recommended, especially during this half-price sale that runs through this Sunday.