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They don’t make games like Double Dragon anymore. While the parallels between coin-guzzling arcades in the 80s and today’s free-to-play mobile fare run more than skin deep, it remains a relic. Simple, straightforward, and brutal, it’s uncompromising from the get-go.

No special “mobile” difficulty can blunt its force — nor that of its sequels Double Dragon 2: The Revenge and Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone. All three are reproduced here in their full glory, warts and all, with touch controls for the gamepad-lacking and the usual host of extra features that you’d expect from a re-packaging of a classic series.

If role-playing games in the spirit of the Super Nintendo-era entries to the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Phantasy Star series are your thing, Kemco should be planted firmly in your radar. The Japanese developer has now released more than 20 RPGs on Android, at varying degrees of old-school.

I decided to finally take the plunge with their latest, Fortuna Magus, which seems to be more of a throwback than other recent releases. It’s a fun and well-conceived adventure, with an engaging battle system and an unconventional story of three children heading out in search of their father a decade after he vanished, but a solid set-up is let down by poor writing and pacing issues.


It’s amazing how quickly the variety and quality of games have increased and improved in the Play Store over the past couple of years. There are now tons of titles available for Android devices in every genre, with graphics and gameplay that rival those seen on games for best-selling portable consoles. Don’t believe me? What if I told you the new kid on the block is a 2D side-scrolling pixel art endless running arcade fighter?

Besides being a mouthful, that’s really the best way to describe Punch Quest, the latest release from Noodlecake Studios, publishers of such casual entertainers as Ready Steady Bang, Zombie Road Trip and Huebrix (which we loved to bits and reviewed here). You play a dashing hero clearing his way out of a dungeon filled with ghouls and creepies, and you’re not afraid to let your fists do the talking. Let’s see if all these genres come together to create a knockout title, shall we?


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.


Relic Rush: A Fun One-Touch Retro Homage to Indiana Jones

Games have been aping Indiana Jones since Raiders of the Lost Ark burst into the cinema in 1981, but few execute on their vision as well as Relic Rush — a retro-styled one-touch game of racing through dungeons and tombs in search of treasure.

It’s pretty light on depth, but it’s so well made and cleverly conceived as to be a glorious distraction worthy of the hour or two time investment.

Collect Coins, Avoid Bombs in Politician: The Game

“Get Rich, Avoid Explosives!” So says the tagline of simple-yet-addictive politics simulator coin-collecting title Politician: The Game. There’s not a whole lot to this Snake-like battle to accumulate wealth, but like all great quick-fix games its elegance will win you over and steal away your time.

While Politician looks like some bad shareware from 20 years ago, it’s utterly brilliant — both as a game and, if you care to read into it, a satire — and I couldn’t recommend it more.


Mario is almost an institution these days, such is his fame, popularity, and brand recognition. But you need a Nintendo game console or handheld in order to get in on the fun. So what are you to do when you have a hankering for some Super Mario action on your Android phone or tablet? Why, you try one of these games!

I’ve rounded up five of the best Android titles that replicate the run-and-jump style and substance of Super Mario games from the NES and Super Nintendo eras. Go ahead and take these Mario-wannabes for a spin.

Abstract line-drawing game Qix stormed the arcades in the early 1980s, winning players over to its frenetic action and unpredictable enemies. It was ported, cloned, and adapted dozens of times for nearly every platform during the years that followed, most famously in 1992 Windows game JezzBall, which had you trapping balls by building horizontal or vertical walls with the mouse.

I’ve played just about every Qix or JezzBall-style game that’s graced the Android platform, and put together this list of the best. With these 12 ports and adaptations you’ll be Qix-ing back for days.


Z Origins: The Classic RTS, Now on Android

Z Origins is the Android port of the original Bitmap Brothers PC game of ‘Z’. First released in 1996, it came just a year after the the initial release of Command and Conquer, another popular genre title. However, what made Z stand out were the more aggressive enemies and added complexity of gameplay.

Now this classic is on Android, and you can once again enjoy the humour, action and intensity of the original. Retro gaming is a big deal on the Android platform, but can be done quite badly. Which camp does Z Origins fall into? Read on for more…

When I was a kid, there were a few things I loved: baseball, my Walkman (woo), and video games. With video games, my Sega Genesis and Game Gear (which was way, way ahead of its time) were the best consoles. Of course, the games I loved the most were those in the Sonic franchise. Sonic 2 and 3 were golden for me, especially after my grandmother got me Sonic and Knuckles as a gift at the end of one school year.

Since moving on to to more advanced gaming consoles, I’ve missed the classic play of those old school video games. My hope was that Sonic 4 Episode 1 would take me back. Let’s see how it stacks up to my very fond childhood memories.


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