iPhone Loves The 80s
Celebrate the decade of excess with these totally awesome Apps.
It's tough hating the 80s, the decade that gave us the Nintendo Entertainment System, Michael Jackson in his prime and the Lakers/Celtics rivalry. Even the toys looked cooler, and you can't knock classic films like Aliens, The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark; then there's 80s music, a staple at clubs across the globe.
With this in mind, the App Store has become a time machine of sorts, transporting users to the famous decade of excess through numerous downloads. That said, here are a few of our favorites.
Transformers G1: Awakening (Download it)
The robots in disguise rumbled to the App Store in this turn-based strategy game (ala Advance Wars) that pits good-natured Autobots against evil Decepticons. A plethora of characters made the cut, including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and Soundwave. We spent several hours maneuvering our heroes into place, then squealed like fan boys at the cut scenes featuring the original designs from the epic cartoon series. The fact that G1: Awakening costs $0.99 makes it irresistible.
Inspector Gadget's MAD Dash (Download it)
The bumbling detective made a respectable iPhone debut in a game that follows the same basic formula as Canabalt. In it, you must keep Gadget pushing forward without plummeting off the side of a building, wandering too close to electrified wires or getting squashed by a moving train. It's a neat concept, and familiar tricks of the trade (rocket skates, inflatable jacket) add tons of personality, but you'll need lots of patience and plenty of skill to make it to the next level. A plethora of hazards make split second decisions nearly impossible, resulting in lots of painful restarts and a generous helping of trial and error gameplay.
That said, XMG Studio deserves a ton of credit for securing the original Inspector Gadget artwork, theme music and ten unlockable episodes. The nostalgia alone makes this free download worth it.
Voltron (Download it)
Give Zarkon and his terrible Robeasts the business in this Voltron-inspired third person adventure, which is coincidentally the first video game based on the popular cartoon show. Not only will you explore 30 levels as the five iconic lions, but you can also transform into Voltron and tear through enemies. The original theme music and characters make this a must play.
Double Dragon (Download it)
Billy and Jimmy Lee resume their butt kicking ways on the iPhone. This re-imaging of the arcade classic includes improved graphics and music, in-game achievements and the ability to experience all the head-crunching fun as one of several characters, from lowlife thugs to bosses. It's a bit pricier than most Apps ($3.99 for a limited time), but once you hear the familiar tunes, the four bucks will seem worth it.
Back to the Future: The Game (Download it)
After the horrible NES games, it seemed like the Back to the Future series was doomed. Then came Telltale and its surprisingly enjoyable adventure series. Back to the Future: Episode 1 is a point and click adventure that follows Marty McFly as he goes back in time to find his good friend, Doc Brown. Not only do the characters resemble their movie counterparts, but Christopher Lloyd reprised his role as the zany scientist. As for Marty and co., Telltale did a wonderful job hiring impressive sound-a-likes. Definitely check out the game, but just remember it's iPad exclusive.
Dragon's Lair (Download it)
Do a little digging, and you'll uncover a handful of laserdisc games on the App Store. The most famous, of course, is Dragon's Lair, the arcade classic from legendary animator Don Bluth. Based on split-second timing, the game follows the heroic Dirk the Daring as he plunges headfirst into a fortress full of danger. Narrowly cheating death makes for a fun time, but we also enjoyed laughing at Dirk's demise. Princess Daphne better be worth it.
Space Ace (Download it)
Of course, if you pick up Dragon's Lair, buying Space Ace should be next on the list. Don Bluth returns, this time with a sci-fi themed adventure starring a muscle bound hero looking to rescue the lovely Kimberly from the nefarious Commander Borf.
Top Gun (Download it)
Before Tom Cruise went insane and started jumping all over the place, he seduced audiences as a fearless pilot in the movie Top Gun. As it turns out, the iPhone/iPad game is the perfect companion to the movie. Fly into the danger zone and shred evildoers across multiple levels, earning medals and achievements along the way. Sort of like Afterburner for iOS.
Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man (Download it)
Everyone's favorite power couple (sorry, Mario and Peach) took their respective games to the App Store, where you can spend hours navigating mazes, gobbling power pellets and snacking on those annoying ghosts. The virtual arcade stick can't replace the real thing, but you should be able to do some damage with the touch screen. Waka waka waka.
If you quote movies all the time, check out the handful of soundboards available on the App Store. While not the most feature packed downloads, they contain a handful of images, scenes and quotes from some memorable 80s films like RoboCop, Roadhouse ("Pain don't hurt") and Back to School.