Tag Archives: iphone

Gaming has certainly come a long way from dedicate machines that played games like Pong, to console systems like Atari and Intellivision, to the eventual systems we have today and our modern handhelds. A lot of people would still claim today that handheld systems like the Nintendo DS and PSP are still the best way to play games portably, but surprisingly the iPod has managed to offer us some excellent options as well. Regardless of whether you are a fan of Apple products, there is a lot to be said about how games are being developed for the iPod Touch and the iPad. Though I do not personally care for many of the games and other apps that have been offered, many of them being little more than cash-grabs, there are still a few diamonds in the rough. This is especially true for retro-type games that offer some great gameplay and content, but still fit into the 8-bit and 16-bit genres. Below is a short list of games that I highly recommend you check out if you have an iPod Touch or an iPad.


The Incident is a pretty straight-forward game that mixes elements of puzzle games and platformers. The basic story of the game is that there has been, you guessed it, an incident and you are just the man to figure it out. As objects of various size and shape begin to fall from the sky, it is your job to get out of the way as they fall and then climb on top of the pile to stay alive. As you get farther and farther up, you begin to learn more about what in the world is happening. You move your character by tilting the screen left and right to make him move, and tap the screen to jump. The controls are very easy to get used to and there are options for tilt sensitivity. The game does feature various power-ups that will help you out temporarily, as well as some hazards to avoid. You know, besides all the crap falling from the sky, as if that wasn’t enough. Once you reach a certain height, you beat that level and can move on to the next area. Though the total gameplay time is only about two hours, it does have some replay value, and only costs $1.99. Considering how fantastic the art is in the game and how fun it is to play, it is definitely worth it.


Hook Worlds is a run-and-gun style game that features grappling hooks to help you progress through the levels. There are currently four different worlds you can play, each featuring it’s own unique gameplay style and theme. In the first world, you play as “Gramps” who is trying to escape the curse after stealing an ancient idol in the jungle. Armed with you hook and rocket boots, the goal is to get as far as you can before the curse catches up to you and kills you. In the second world, you play as Zelle, the bounty hunter. Armed with a gun, you race across a haunted island, killing ghosts and collecting treasure. All the modes are simple to learn, but difficult to master. The game features some fantastic dialog and plenty of gear to unlock. The controls are very simple and easy to use. Though the game is certainly repetitive, that is only matched by how addictive it is to play. It is available from Rocket Cat Games for $0.99.


This is one of my all time favorite games for the iPod Touch and iPad. At first, you will think that you are just buying a sharper looking Space Invaders game, but it will quickly throw you for a loop as the game progresses. By combining modern top-down shooters with the classic skin of Space Invaders, you get an entirely new experience. The game uses touch controls and an auto-fire mechanism, and offers hours of gameplay. There are literally tons of different things to unlock and earn in the game, as well as varying levels of difficulty to choose from. One of the other great things about this game is that it is also available on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. If you want to get it for the iPod Touch or iPad, it will set you back $4.99, which is a little steep in my opinion. However, the game is fantastic, and if you can afford it, it is worth it.


Perhaps my second favorite game of late, League of Evil is a platformer race against time to stop fifty-four evil scientists from teaming up and destroying the world. As a super secret agent, you jump, flip, and bounce off walls as you punch and kick your way through evil minions and other treacherous devices. In the recent update, they’ve added even more levels, including a bunch that are so difficult, you may throw your iPod across the room. They’ve even included a disclaimer to warn you. The controls can be a little touchy, but overall it is a solid game with a great design. It is available from Ravenous Games for $0.99 and at that price, it is a steal.


Pizza Boy is an obvious throwback, or homage if you will, to classic games like Super Mario Bros. It features a familiar left to right, get to the end of the level style, with plenty of collectibles along the way and hidden levels to unlock. The story is that of a boy and the pizza he needs to deliver to his sweetheart, until evil birds steal it and he has to chase after them. The graphics are very sharp, and the game ramps up in difficulty fairly quickly. The one place that this game does fail to some extent is the controls. It is not very easy to control the main character and sometimes the signals can get crossed and he’ll go in the wrong direction. Of course, this might just be because of my big hands. It does offer quite a bit of gameplay though, and at only $1.99, it’s definitely worth it.


Now, this is pretty much just a straight port, and there really isn’t whole lot to mention about it. The main thing that makes this worth getting is that the original game is still one of the best Mega Man games. There was a time when you could get this game for $0.99, but it has since gone back up to $2.99. Unfortunately, it may not be worth it at that price. The main reason for this is because of the controls, which are not very responsive. Now, I’ve only played this on the iPod Touch, and perhaps it plays much better on the larger screen of the iPad. They haven’t changed much, but they have removed the password system and now allow you to save you progress in the game itself. It is fun to play, but I would keep an eye out for when it drops back down in price before picking it up.

The interesting thing is that there are quite a few options available for playing original 8-bit and 16-bit games on the iPod Touch and iPad. There are a couple emulators that you can buy, as well as install for free if you are into jailbreaking. I’ve messed around with the NES, SNES, and PSX emulators available and they all feature control issues. A lot of it has to do with the kind of game you want to play. They are great for turn-based RPGs, but for games that require fine movement skills like racing games and some platformers, it can be pretty bad.

So check out those games, and if you’re interested in getting more information on emulation for your iPod Touch or iPad, let me know.

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