Quick, what’s your most favorite from your schooling days? Tetris, Pac-Man, Space Invaders? We just love these old-school games as they bring back sweet childhood memories that stick for life. Some of us get to play in the comforts of home via home video consoles that preceded today’s PS4/ 5 and Xbox Series X. Back then, to play these games, we’d have to lug a bag of coins to the arcade and wait for our turn to take a shot at setting a new record.
Nowadays, we play games on our smartphones when we’re bored or when waiting in line for our coffee or at the train station for the next train. Others may play to bond with friends or family. And getting that game is as easy as visiting a virtual app store and clicking ‘Download’. If you want to bring back memories, here is a list of 20 remakes of old-school games for the iPhone.
Time for a flashback. Destination: your childhood!
Back in the day, this game was called ‘1941’, where you play a fighter pilot who manoeuvre your plane around enemy fire and shoot their planes down. Nothing has changed in this one; its gameplay and game design look pretty much the same.
You control the plane by moving your finger around the screen collecting powerups that make you shoot more bullets or increase your rate of fire.
The gameplay is based off Atari’s original ‘Breakout’, released in the mid-70s. The iPhone version has improved graphics and colors, and more walls to break. You control the ‘paddle’ by moving your finger left and right.
This would be a little more interesting than the original game Pong as you have an objective of breaking the bricks, as well as different levels to complete.
Someone looking for a challenge, you’re sure to remember playing Frogger; a game where you need a lot of patience, a fast reaction time to dodge cars and perfect timing to reach the other side safely.
You control the frog by swiping up, down, left, right on the screen. Some rounds can be easier than others, but rest assured, patience and skill will get you across safely.
Another simple game that will bring back memories. Let’s pop some bubbles! On the iPhone version, you swipe left and right to aim the arrow and swipe up to shoot. Shoot the colored bubbles in clumps of three or more to clear them off the screen.
Any bubbles below the point of contact will fall and you win by clearing all the bubbles. The game is over if a bubble reaches the bottom of your screen.
The gameplay and graphics of this game is based on Atari’s ‘Battlezone’ released in 1980, with an added twist. Instead of 3 tank lives, you get a health bar. You control the tank with two joysticks which control the tank’s tracks.
It is an interesting and fun way to control the tank. You can also pick up power-ups and health points.
The iconic game of Nokia phones everywhere. Now available on the iPhone too! best of all, ‘Snake’ on the iPhone comes complete with the looks of the old phone minus the touch of the rubber keypads.
This game is simple and fast paced, and it’ll give you a rush of adrenalin or leave you frustrated. Either way, you’re bound to keep playing to make the longest snake.
Ping Pong Touch
This game takes you all the way back to the 70’s. Swipe your fingers up and down to control the paddle, and do not let the ball cross past your the edge of your side of the screen.
Some use the walls as bouncing the ball off the walls makes it hard to return it. However, you’re playing against an A.I., so bouncing the ball off the wall might work for your enemy rather than against.
An RPG made by the same developers of Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger charts your time-travel adventures as you try to save your planet. You navigate the map with a joystick and like most RPG it uses a turn-based battle system.
However, you have to use the on-screen joystick to control the cursor during battle as you cannot just tap on enemies, which can be a little challenging.
The Mortal Kombat series was popular in its time. Like most fighting games on the iPhone, this has a joystick on the left and action buttons on the right. You’re able to play all the characters from the original game and although the controls need some getting used to, it is still awesome to execute and watch the finishing moves.
Mega Man X
Similar to the original, Mega Man X has directional controls and two action buttons; one to shoot, another to jump. You can hold down the shoot button to charge your shot, releasing powerful ammo when fully charged.
There are many different weapon types and an array of levels with different robot enemies and bosses at each ending.
Doom was one of the pioneering games in multiplayer shooters of the 3D realm. For the iPhone version of the game, you don’t do as much aiming as the original; which is good as aiming on the iPhone is not easy.
You do however control your character as you run about the map picking up bullets, health and armour; and of course, killing enemies who cross your path.
Super Tank Battle
A survival game where you control a tank in a maze where some walls can be destroyed. You move the tank with the onscreen directional pad and have another button to shoot.
You’ll have to destroy a set number of tanks each round, as you collect points or power-ups from each destroyed tank. Definitely a classic game familiar to many.
Bomberman Touch – The Legend of the Mystic Bomb
Place bombs in strategic areas to blast through destructible walls and kill enemies who are out there to get you. The game goes on as long as you don’t get yourself trapped in a corner, for only doom awaits you there.
Each round only takes a minute or two to complete but that doesn’t mean it can’t give you hours of fun.
Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 3 is a slide-scrolling shooter game that many would have enjoyed playing. Survive waves of monsters by killing them with your gun. As you go through each level, you’ll be able to get power-ups, powerful weaponry, and points when you save people, pretty much just like the original that hit the stands 10 years ago.
Prince of Persia
Smartphones have the limitation of not having physical buttons which controllers do, which is why the controls on this game is not the greatest. You control your character with a slider to move left or right and 3 other buttons to climb, jump and pick up objects.
You’ll have to navigate your way out as you run into obstacles (and guards) to win the game.
Space Invaders is another classic games, where players move their spaceship left and right to shoot at the invaders, while dodging their bullets. No use hiding behind those barriers as they will quickly disappear as the enemy descends closer to you, one row at a time.
You might not be playing it on an arcade machine, but the 8-bit look and sound offers a brief flashback to a time when you were.
Duke Nukem 3D
Duke Nukem 3D will take you back to how first-person shooter games used to be. Expect a sense of nostalgia wen you start loading and nuke-ing.
The remake version of the game maintains its graphics from back in 1996. If you have never played the game back then, you will laugh at the tongue-in-cheek, macho and corny remarks Duke makes. One evident change is the smaller screen for gameplay.
It poses a challenge for controls which the new gameplay makes up for by allowing you to move the buttons (for moving, shooting, jumping or kicking) around rather than fix it to one side of the display. With that settled, prepare yourself for total meltdown!
One of the best role-playing games around, Final Fantasy will be releasing its fourteenth instalment and the storytelling is still alive and kicking.
For fans of the original Final Fantasy game released in 1987, you’ll be glad to know that the story remains pretty much the same. The good news is that this iPhone remake of the classic game has improved the original graphics! Control-wise, it may get a little awkward with the touchscreen versus the directional pad for the game.
Nevertheless, once you get pass the initial learning stage and got used to them, you’re be immersed in the game for hours to come. Ready to explore towns and dungeons, level up your character and slay some bosses?
Beat ’em up (or Brawlers) used to be huge during the 80s’ and early 90s’. The game concept is self-explanatory from the genre; you just beat the hell out of everyone! And none does it better than this gem.
Owners of handheld devices like iPhones will enjoy such condensed gameplay when they’re commuting or waiting for someone. As with some iPhone remakes, graphics are enhanced from the original Double Dragon video game released more than two decades ago. To maintain the trademark co-op two-player mode for Beat ’em ups, this remake allows you to connect and play with your buddy via Bluetooth.
How do you control your character without the classic joystick? Well, there’s the virtual controls interface. The sad thing is that it takes up a large area of an already limited screen size. If that doesn’t bother you, start downloading to save Marian from the Black Warriors gang.
Although this is not a remake of an actual retro game, it is a based on the view from top, avoid obstacle and collect power-up racing type of gameplays that we so ‘used’ to love so much (and probably still do). In fact this iPhone game app is developed by the same developer that brought you the classic Amiga racers, Nitro (by Psygosis) and ATR (by Team 17)!
Here’s how the game goes: you will need to get at least the third place in each race to progress to the next track (there’s a total of twelve tracks). You get to choose from a total of six cars in the game (three you can unlock via in-game purchase) that carry different specifications.
The game also has very elementary controls: left, right and up (accelerate). Each race lasts for only a minute or two, so it’s perfect for short gaming sessions.
This game character is synonymous with the golden age of video arcade games. And even today, Pac-Man is still widely recognized as the arcade game to ‘rule them all’.
First released in 1980, Pac-Man became an instant hit among video gamers of that time. This simple maze game is just so addictive and incredibly hard to resist. The iPhone app stays close to the gameplay of the original Pac-Man video game. To control the character, you can choose either a virtual joystick or use your finger gestures to navigate your favorite yellow chomping character around the maze, chasing or evading the ghosts.
You play Sonic the Hedgehog and spin your way through levels, collecting rings, beating enemies and obstacles. To spice things up a little, you can also get other items such as shields, invincibility and speed shoes to aid your progress through the levels.
Sonic CD was a top-selling platform video game that was released in 1993 for Sega Mega-CD exclusively. For the iPhone remake version, the simple control scheme of the original game is translated into two corner-sitting buttons Ã¢ÂÂ the left for directions, the right for jumping or spinning (hold down).
Along with great soundtracks and sharp graphics, this highly acclaimed side-scroller remake is definitely worth a download.
Only Tetris can make you very happy to see a straight four-block stick. Old-school Tetris addicts would know what I am referring to, but once you start playing, you may well know too.
This tile-matching puzzle remake for the iPhone may seem a lot more brightly colored and fanciful (each individual piece is in a different color) than the original 1984’s Tetris created by the Soviet Union. They made some changes to the traditional controls for Tetris so as to facilitate playing on a touchscreen device with a small screen.
There’s a One-Touch game mode. Each new piece that comes in stays at the top of the screen until you tap on one outline that the piece could fit or until it falls right down the centre when the time runs out. Once you tap at one of the outlines, the piece automatically goes there. If you don’t like this new mode, you can always play the normal mode where as the tile falls, you tap to change the position of the pieces and drop them by sliding your fingers down the screen.