Posts Tagged

old school

Sports games used to be better. Somewhere along the way, despite tremendous popularity of simpler titles like NBA Jam, Sensible Soccer, and Tecmo Bowl, the genre became obsessed with simulation. Developers stopped focusing on fun approximations of real life in favor of being as lifelike as possible — no matter how inaccessible and confusing it may be to the majority of potential players.

But there are those who are fighting back, creating sports games with uncomplicated controls, fewer obstacles to enjoyment, and more arcade-style action. Super Soccer Champs 2013 is one such effort, drawing on the legacy of Dino Dini’s Goal! and Sensible Soccer to provide a delightful, nuanced, two-button top-down soccer game.

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Adventure games once ruled the roost of gaming, dominating sales charts in the pre-Doom landscape. There was something special about graphic adventures in the late 80s and early 90s, which still resonates strongly with people today — just look at the frenzied excitement that surrounded former LucasArts (now Double Fine) designer extraordinaire Tim Schafer’s Kickstarter to make a new game in this spirit.

The touch screen happens to be perfectly suited for the classic adventure format, so I set off in search of Android titles that hark back to the genre’s point-and-click roots. Here’s what I found.

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To people of a certain age, point-and-click adventure games hold enormous nostalgic appeal. Millions of people fondly remember the quirky blend of comedy, puzzles, and absurd fun from the likes of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, King’s Quest, and their ilk.

The Great Fusion draws its inspiration from the classics of the genre. But it somehow manages to pull the worst that the point-and-click adventure has to offer, with thin dialogue, illogical puzzles, and a need to read the designer’s mind to get anywhere.

It’s hard to recommend, but the low barrier to entry and copious referencing of graphic adventures gone by make the game at least worthy of consideration.

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Retro games are big in the Google Play Store. While lush 3D visuals are able to seduce many gamers, solid, fun and addictive gameplay can be found even in titles devoid of buttery visuals and the need for a Tegra 3 chip. Games like Tiny Tower, Game Dev Story and R:Type have racked up both huge downloads figures and positive reviews. Generation-defining classics such as PAC-MAN, Tetris and Sonic CD have also made their way onto the Android platform, and these have literally been around for decades.

It’s obvious that nostalgia gaming is massively popular. Furthermore, people are willing to pay for the pleasure. Developers like Kairosoft charge almost top dollar for their full titles, despite the fact they are made of the blocky retro graphics of the 80′s and 90′s. It was thought high time therefore to group some of these together into a comprehensive round up. From Asteroid clones and RPGs to vertical scrolling shooters and addictive platformers… they’re all here. So, put down that Rubix cube and cast your mind back to dusty arcade cabinets, pockets full of loose change and blistered thumbs – here’s a bumper roundup of retro games available on Android.

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R:Type is another old school gaming gem that has found its way onto the Android platform. Ports of old games can sometimes be quite a let down, perhaps either because we expect more of games nowadays or because developers do not always do a good job of it.

R:Type was probably the very first game I was addicted to and an essential game for the SEGA Master System, so I was excited yet nervous when it was launched onto Android. Would it fill me with a warm nostalgic gaming feeling? Would it leave me in manly tears and my fond memories in shreds? Read on for how my experience with this gaming classic panned out…

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