Guest Post: 10 Games From Your Childhood, Now on Your iPhone

Being a gamer back in the day was a unique experience. This writer remembers spending hours re-programming his config.sys and autoexec.bat files to free up just 10kB of RAM, to play adventure games like King’s Quest. It seemed infinitely preferable at the time, compared to learning math or the intricacies of combusti0n.Oh, the lengths a gamer would go to, for the sake of his gaming.

Nowadays, games that came out on the Amiga, Commodore64, Atari 2600, Sega Mega Drive & Genesis and the Super Nintendo are available on new platforms like the iPhone or Android. With computing power having exponentially grown since the late 80s & early 90s, your iPhone can readily handle the gaming demands of yesteryear. The nostalgia of youth, clothed in experiences that no parent could ever understand.

So without further ado, here are 10 games from your childhood, now available on your iPhone (and other iOS devices).

Prince of Persia Classic HD

When this was released on the Apple II in 1989, it kickstarted the sidescrolling platforming genre. And it wasn’t just about the novelty either. With wonderfully fluid animation, fiendishly intricate platforming puzzles and ball-breakingly difficult combat, we were with the Prince every step of the way as he fought to save his kingdom, and of course, to rescue the princess in distress. This is UbiSoft’s HD remake with the newer Prince circa 2008.

Price on App Store : $1.99

Space Invaders

Hands up, who spent hours at the arcade washing away coins to achieve the high score on this bad boy? Simple in concept, immensely addictive in actual gameplay, Space Invaders is a cornerstone of gaming history. The idea is simple – move your spaceship from side to side, shooting at aliens before they reach you. Easy, right? That’s before you factor in bombers that rain their payload all over you, increasing speed and, shock horror, the aliens being able to shoot back. A classic for the ages.

Price on App Store : $4.99

Doom Classic

Say hello to the grandfather of the modern first person shooter. With no Doom, there would be no call of Duty, Battlefield, or BioShock. All this from a game from 1993. The story has you as the lone surviving marine on the Martian moon of Phobos, trying to fight your way through a demonic horde to save humanity from an invasion from Hell. Still able to scare people almost 20 years later, this is a must-have on your iPhone’s game collection.

Price on App Store : $4.99

Galaga / Galaga Remix

To purists, Galaga is when space shooters started getting serious. With a top-down perspective, one could draw similarities to Space Invaders, but that’s where it ends. Whilst Invaders had you only moving from side to side, Galaga had you moving in all 8 directions on a 2D plane, with the screen constantly moving you onto your next objective. With dynamic moving enemies, bullets and missiles flying everywhere and power-ups galore, this is the game that taught us that even when armed with bombs, you should still be very, very afraid. There is also an HD remake for the iPhone.

Price on App Store : Free / $2.99 (Galaga REMIX – HD remake)

Sonic the Hedgehog

The game that launched an empire. As Sega’s mascot of the 1990s, Sonic was everything a kid growing up then wanted to be. Cocky, fast and a one-liner always on hand, the blue-haired whizz kid was just ubercool. Sonic’s games were simple, side-scrolling affairs in principle. But the element of speed added a layer of complexity, as players fought to see who could finish levels faster as they got more complex. All in the name of destroying the evil Dr. Robotnik.

Price on App Store : $2.99

Time Crisis Strike

Ahh, the on-rails shooter that was part of an arcade phenomenon, and still is to this day. Ducking behind cover, reloading, kill everything, and move on to the next scene. Formulaic? Perhaps. Fun? You betcha. As you fought hordes of enemies on your way to saving the city from the machinations of madmen and terrorists, you always got the sense that death was waiting for you if you weren’t careful. The tension, 15 years on, is still as addictive as ever.

Price on App Store: $2.99

Pac Man

This yellow man (or blob, depending on how you define humanity), almost needs no introduction. Yes, he looks to be feeding off things that look suspiciously like pills, and the ghosts chasing him are probably lost cast members from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, but damn it was fun. Who said chasing dots could never be enjoyable? All together now everyone… wakawakawakawakawakawakawakawaka!

Price on App Store : $4.99


Combining cuteness and violence in one inimitable package, Worms is unique. With cartoon graphics that will out-cute any Pokemon (actually, with their rocket launchers and cluster bombs, they’d out-Pokemon the Pokemon handily), and more destructive power than Rambo on a sugar high, the game let you indulge in wanton destruction of all things cute and cuddly.

With teams of 5 worms each, two players (or the player and the AI) would use various weapons of varying power to eliminate all the worms on each other’s teams. Now there’s a thought – cuddly worms. Who would’ve thunk it?)

Price on App Store : $2.99

SimCity Deluxe HD

Building your own city. Watching it grow from a tiny little hamlet into a bustling metropolis. Dealing with tornadoes and alien invasions. All in a day of the life of a Sim City mayor. It’s nto enough to build zones for commercial areas, or housing. Underground subways, waterpipes and electricity lines all need to be factored in.

The first popular title to actually introduce the concept of a software toy (a game with no obvious ending or end goal), SimCity kept this writer up many nights, beavering away at building the city of his dreams. At least having this on your iPhone will make sure you remember to charge it!

Price on App Store : $0.99

Duke Nukem 3D

For Manchester United, there is Manchester City. For God, there is the Devil. For Doom, there is Duke Nukem 3D. Where Doom was serious, Duke Nuken was tongue in cheek. Save the world from demons? Try killing strippers instead. This game let the world know that first person shooters need not take themselves too seriously to give gamers a good time. That, and that it is completely okay to shoot a police officer that happens to look like a rather obese pig.

Price on App Store : $0.99

Know of any other gaming classics on the App Store? Leave a comment, or let the writer know.

About the Writer

Hailing from Kuching, Sarawak, Syed Rafie is more than just a wordsmith with an unnatural love for electronics, gadgets and video games. Working as a writer and editor at Malaysia’s largest online shopping mall, Lazada Malaysia, he tends to favour pursuits that challenge his lack of physical refinement and his obvious intellectual deficiencies.

Connect with him on Google+ (Syed Rafie), or follow him on Twitter (@origamiblade) for more product news, previews, reviews, comparisons and personal thoughts that could mangle your understanding of the space-time continuum.

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  1. MattS June 8, 2012

    Great post, and great list! Agreed with all of this – and funnily enough I have most of these games on my iPad! The only thing I’d suggest you’re missing is Avalorn. Old-school RPGing at its finest.

  2. Syed Rafie June 12, 2012

    Hello MattS!

    Thank you for the comment. I will have to give Avalorn a try one of these days. I wish they would release the older Final Fantasies on android and iOS. THAT would be all kinds of awesome.

  3. Panda September 10, 2012

    Thank you @Syed for your Post, I would recommend Avalorn as well… the older FF will be on ioS and Android one day for sure, I dont think that Squaresoft will skip the market, do you?

  4. Jignesh Padhiyar December 29, 2012

    Brilliant collection here. Quake was another favorite. But I guess Doom satisfies enough. The other strategy games were the AOE and AOM series.