If you are an eighties or nineties kid like me, you remember all the joys of retro gaming. I only caught the tail end of the era, but for any generation, there's nothing like it. Inserting dusty cartridges into even dustier consoles, sliding "40 best windows 95 games" into the monstrosity that was your PC, and getting headaches from staring long periods of time at a CRT, these things all made up who we were. Everything from the N64 and Atari to windows 98 and the original Playstation provided hours upon hours of addictive fun. The first game I ever played was on a DOS PC. ID's classic Commander Keen ate up hours and hours of my time, and while my dad hated it, i always found ways to play it. It's hard to separate a gamer from his game.
That's how i knew today's app would be a problem. I've moved on, grown up, and told myself gaming is for children, but one time playing this game, and my heart melted like ice in the sun. Mars Quest, made by the retropixel.org guys, has you in charge of a fat little astronaut on Mars, just trying his best to escape the myriad of devilishly laid traps and lasers and flying alien heads. I spent hours trying to get just one level deeper. The retro graphics and funky sound effects are executed perfectly, and the overall experience perfectly replicates an addictive classic gaming session, right on your iPhone or iPod.
My, so many adjectives.
The mechanics are similar to the Commodore 64 game "Snoopy", and the authors even say outright that it is a remake of that game. The tolerance for error is slim (only 3 lives, with the option to buy more via IAPs), but the short, one-screen levels will keep you coming back for more time and time again. The game has a dry sense of humor too: One level, totally blank, is given the creative title "No Inspiration".
The joy of the retro game is hard to describe to one who has never played one, or who is blinded by the current push towards excessive 3D performance. If you're one of those people, I highly recommend you at least give it a try.
Oh.. one other upside is it's price. Who needs to drop sixty hard-earned dollars at GameStop when you can have this little bundle of joy for free? Pick it up and play on!
All for zero dollars down.