Last week was a great time to be an iOS user and a fan of classic gaming, as three really terrific games were released.
First up is Pac-Man 256. Imagine the scenario within developer Hipster Whale: they have one of the most popular games in the world, getting a ton of positive reviews (Crossy Road). What do they do for a follow-up? Crossy Road 2, right? Nope! They make a new Pac-Man game using the same type of game play that Crossy Road enjoyed, an endless-runner type of game that both stays true to the original Pac-Man, as well as moving the character into a fantastic new direction on modern mobile gaming. For a developer to make such a radically ambitious game, taking a huge chance like this, well, it’s inspiring and very brave.
Collecting power-ups, outrunning the ghosts, eating power pellets, and constantly staying ahead of the Glitch make this one of the best Pac-Man games ever made. The name, Pac-Man 256, refers to a glitch in the original Pac-Man arcade in which a player who made it to level 256 would see the arcade machine “glitch out”, and random characters appearing on-screen. Here, the same random “Glitch” characters are constantly moving from the bottom of the screen to the top, forcing the player to keep moving to stay alive.
Even if you are not a fan of the original Pac-Man, there is a good chance you will like this game. It’s just that good. The game is a free download.
Racing games have always been popular on iOS. In fact, racing games have been popular on every video game platform in the history of video games. The racing game was a massive hit in the arcade in the 1980s, my favorite back then being Pole Position, followed closely by Out Run. Both arcade games were fun, and ate almost as many of my quarters as Pac-Man did power pellets.
Horizon Chase – World Tour
Racing games come out so often on iOS that I usually don’t even bother downloading them unless the buzz is loud and positive. That was the case this last weekend, as I kept hearing so many great things about Horizon Chase – World Tour.
Horizon Chase – World Tour, the developer says, was “inspired by the great racing hits of the 80’s and 90’s”, and it shows in both graphics and game play. It is very much an Arcade Racer, eschewing the realism many other racing games. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing!
Controls are very tight and easy. There are essentially four buttons: Left, Right, Nitro, and Gas. When you take your finger off the gas, the car breaks, so there is no need for a break button. As I said, the controls are very tight, which is essential in a bumper-to-bumper racing game.
True to the stated inspiration, developer Aquarius Game Studio has created a racing game that fulfills two important quotas: quick play, and rewarding replay. Only came in 7th in the last race? Go try again! Most races only take a few minutes! And if you do well enough, you will unlock bonus race tracks, where you can unlock new cars and upgrades to your cars.
The music, sound effects, 16-bit graphics, a wide variety of tracks and cars to unlock, MFi Gamepad: this game really does have it all. And more, you pay once ($2.99) and never pay another dime. That’s right, there is zero In-App Purchasing in Horizon Chase – World Tour!
Spend the $2.99 and play this game.
Final Fantasy Portal
Lastly, there is Final Fantasy 1. I have only played this a few minutes on my iPad, as there are only so many hours in the day, and the two games above have been eating into any game-play time I have. Still, it’s worth mentioning that developer Square Enix released an app called Final Fantasy Portal, which is a combo card game/developer news app. Usually I would have not bothered, but there is a special treat within the app: the ability to download, for free, Final Fantasy 1! This is a limited time offer, and expires on August 31st, so if you are a fan of the NES 1990 classic, this is a perfect opportunity to score the game for free. And as I said, I have not played it but for a few minutes, but it seems totally original with good gameplay, and solid, NES graphics. And hey, it’s free until August 31st, and the Portal App is always free.
This was indeed a great past week for both classic games, and new games inspired by classic games. Do you have any games on iOS that you play a lot that harken back to the classics? Let us know in the comments!