Ever get the hankering to play some classic arcade games, but, alas, you're nowhere near your arcade? Or your go-to place is Granada Hills' Family Fun Arcade, which is set to close?
If you have an iPhone, you have plenty of gaming options for those long stretches of time spent in waiting rooms or in the passenger seat of a car. Some companies, like Atari and Capcom, offer Arcade apps that allow you to purchase multiple classic games. Some fan favorites are available to purchase alone. Occasionally sample versions are available for free download.
Below are five arcade staples available in iOS form.
5. Ms. Pac-Man
Because chomping down on power pellets never gets old, Ms. Pac-Man also comes in an iOS format. Ms. Pac-Man Lite is the free version of the game. It's one level, so if you want to play through the rest of the game, you'll have to upgrade for $4.99.
There is a joystick option for this game, but it really doesn't mimic the feel of actually playing with a joystick. I prefer playing in the Swipe (Classic) mode. It's still a little awkward, but less so than pretending I'm using a joystick.
Namco also has an iOS edition of Pac-Man.
4. Dance Dance Revolution
I was a bit apprehensive about playing DDR by tapping my fingers on a cell phone screen, but this 99 cent app is actually a little addictive. DDR S+ comes with three songs you can use. There is an ample library of additional music you can purchase, ranging from Lady Gaga to LCD Soundsystem. There are both Training and Game modes, both of which feature a variety of levels and different features. In Game mode, you can pick one of several different characters to play.
Conceptually, this is really similar to the arcade versions of DDR games. You tap your fingers on a pad that resembles the dance floor of the arcade game and match up the arrows as they float up to the top of the screen. It sounds easy, but it really isn't. Judging from the disclaimer at the beginning of the game (see above image), it's safe to assume that DDR S+ can get fairly intense.
Electronic Arts' Tetris app is a pretty good deal. For 99 cents, you get three different versions of the game. These are all updated versions of the game, complete with an updated version of the theme song. If you're used to playing the '80s versions of the games, you will have to relearn Tetris.
The One Touch mode is my favorite as it's closest to the old Game Boy version that I still frequently play. The big difference here is that you'll see outlines on the screen of various places the puzzle piece could fit. You tap on the outline where you want to place your piece. This alternately makes the game easier and more confusing. There' also a Marathon mode, where you essentially drag pieces to the bottom of the screen and a Galaxy option, where you try to clear the screen with as few puzzle pieces as possible. Neither of those kept my attention.
Bonus: You can download the original Tetris theme through this app.
The premise of Frogger for your iPhone is as simple as the game you knew as a kid. Don't get hit by a car. Don't drown. With this iOS version, you can play the game with new art or the classic Frogger design. There are a few different modes here. Turbo, as the name implies, speeds up the game. There's also a Nighttime option and an Inferno mode, where your little frog drops flames as he jumps. It's a good game to play when you're sitting in waiting rooms. The free version has these major features. If you want the full version, it's 99 cents.
There are several different Frogger games available in the iTunes App Store. My favorite is Frogger Frenzy, which is free. This is an iOS pinball game with intense 3D graphics. John S. Coligan, director of digital publishing, calls it "the most sophisticated phase in the franchise's evolution." That's no exaggeration. In many ways, it feels like an actual pinball game and the whimsical world they created for our amphibian hero is really quite beautiful.
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1. Street Fighter II
At $3.99, Capcom's iOS version of the classic fighting game is a little pricey, but it's worth it. The Street Fighter II app comes with three versions of the game: The World Warrior; Champion Edition; and Hyper Fighting. It looks a lot like the arcade version and, in some ways, it feels like the old game as well. The big difference is that you're using a touch screen as both the joystick and the command buttons. It takes a while to get used to this difference, especially when you start to notice that your fingers are blocking portions of the screen.
You can play this game solo, but if you want the competitive, arcade feel, you can use your Bluetooth to play against other users. FYI, there's also an iOS version of Marvel vs. Capcom II.