At GDC earlier this year, we learned that Sega ported the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Android, giving a new generation of gamers a chance to experience the game that kicked off one of the industry's largest franchises. The port, which finally showed up in the Play Store earlier today (several weeks late), comes with widescreen support and features exclusive to mobile versions, such as the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles.
Some games are old, and some games are really old. Karateka falls into the latter category. This side-scrolling karate action game was first developed in 1984 by the creator of Prince of Persia, and today a port enters the Play Store nearly 30 years later. Android gamers can now experience one of the grandfathers of the beat 'em up genre.
Karateka first appeared on the Apple II, and is the product of a time when the number of colors your monitor displayed could be counted on your hands and feet.
I was seven years old when Carmageddon first hit store shelves in 1997. Even if the game hadn't been widely banned and censored around the world, I still wouldn't have gotten my hands on it. The off-the-wall violence and bloodshed would have been a bit too much for my parents to permit me to play with good conscience. While leagues of long-time fans poured money into the Kickstarter campaign that allowed Stainless Games to port the game to Android in the first place, I am visiting the game for the first time.
Raul Julia. That's what this Virgin Mobile ad makes me think of. I'll explain that later. First, the facts. If you're a T-Mobile customer, Virgin Mobile wants your business. So much so that it's willing to give you a $100 credit if you port your number over before May 31st. Straightforward, right? Cool. Now, here: Have an octopus.
Did you ever watch Mystery Science Theater 3000? If not, you should.
Gamers in the mid-90s might remember spending hour upon terrifying hour playing Hexen: Beyond Heretic. The technology might have changed, but now you can get reacquainted with the realm of Cronos in this port from the same developer that brought us the Doom and Heretic ports. However, this game only comes with demo files – you have to provide the genuine article.
Hexen GLS is still the game you remember, but it's been cleaned up a little around the edges.
Though you may not have heard of them, Zeboyd Games is something of a darling in the world of indie gaming. After scoring hits with the quirky neo-retro RPGs Cthulhu Saves The World and Breath Of Death VII, the two-man studio made it big by landing a contract with webcomic giant Penny Arcade. The third game in the series, On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness III, abandoned the 3D style of the previous entries for a sprite-based, pixelated throwback to 16-bit gaming goodness.
Don Bluth... What happened? You had such a good run. You made film history by actually giving Disney a run for it's money with Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time. They were classics! But then Rock-A-Doodle happened. Then Thumbelina. Then...lord forgive me for speaking it's name...A Troll in Central Park. The decline was quick and painful. Before the movies started getting weird, though, Dragon's Lair came out and revolutionized the laser disc gaming industry (no seriously).
At the end of October, Rockstar Studios announced that the mobile version of its smash-hit Grand Theft Auto: Vice City would be coming to Android and iOS. Now, it has announced an official release date of December 6, with a $4.99 price tag across all platforms.
The release marks the 10th anniversary of a game many remember from the Xbox and Playstation 2. This version will be enhanced for mobile screens, including updated character models, lighting, and different control options that should make the experience as smooth as possible.
If you were one of the many people looking forward to playing Carmageddon on your Android device this summer, you may be disappointed to learn that you'll have to wait slightly longer than expected.
Despite earlier promises that the Android port would arrive 'shortly after' the game's iOS release this summer (it's currently waiting for Apple's approval before it hits the App Store), the developers have now said that the game won't be available on the Play store until late 2012 or early 2013.
It seems that mobile gaming is a haven for all the old classics to reappear. Rising even further from the ashes of the past than most other recent arrivals comes Z Origins, a remake of the RTS from the DOS days simply called "Z" by The Bitmap Brothers. It predates notable fan favorite Command and Conquer from Westwood Studios. Though it did come out roughly four years after Dune II (also from Westwood) which served as the archetype for most RTS games to follow, Z departs from traditional RTS gameplay in that collection of resources and structure construction as a requisite for certain units were not part of the game.