While the latest Nokia Lumia smartphones are capable of running high-def, 3D, physics-based games, there’s something quite charming about those retro games we all (anyone above the age of 30) played as kids. Fortunately, there’s a bunch of these games available on Windows Phone Store for those who fancy a bit of old-school gaming.
For those who remember, arcade games could only be played on an arcade machine, or in later years by buying a cassette tape and loading it up on a gaming system at home that took about half an hour to load. Now, you can play some of those same games by just pressing play on your touchscreen.
Frogger – £2.29 ($2.99)
Initially released in 1981 (yes, that makes it 31 years old), Frogger is an arcade classic.
The aim of the game is to get a family of frogs home, avoiding all the deathly obstacles in their way.
Starting at the bottom of the screen, your frog attempts to cross a busy highway. Your duty is to make sure he crosses the road safely by dragging him from his current position to the desired one. Move your frog up to progress and to reach the next lane, or left, right and backwards if need be – what ever it takes to avoid the never-ending automotive-assault.
Once you’ve made it off the tarmac, you reach the bank of the river. Here you can compose yourself, take a breath and figure out how best to proceed. Your next task is to make it across the river and to your home on the other side. Leap onto the backs of turtles, crocodiles and logs as the float and swim up and down stream.
With all moving at different speeds and in different directions, you have to time your jumps right. The chances are, you’ll need to jump backwards a few times as you’re swept downstream and away from another moving platform.
Pac-Man – £3.99 ($4.99)
Pac-Man is even older than Frogger. It was first released in Japan in 1980 – ageing it to 32 years old.
You play as Pac-Man, a round yellow man (more of a blob, really) with nothing but a large mouth that’s used to defend and attack.
The playing arena is a very simple maze that contains you, four enemies known as Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde (ghosts), and a trail of pellets. Pac-Man’s mission is to eat all the pellets to advance to the next stage. However, the four ghosts will try their best to stop you, by following you, predicting your next move in the maze and taking away precious lives once they catch you.
You can get your own back, of course, by collecting any of the four larger, flashing power pellets. Once you’ve eaten one, the enemy runs away in fear and here’s your chance to eat them. The effect is only temporary, though, so gobble them up quickly.
Progressing through the levels offers much the same gameplay as the first level, but the ghosts are less susceptible to the power pellets.
On the Windows Phone version, Pac-Man is controlled by using a virtual joystick at the bottom of the screen. Push the stick in the direction you want to go – simple.
Pong7 – £Free
Pong is the oldest game of the three, dating back to 1972 and is a simulated table tennis game.
Because the game dates back 40 years, the graphics and gameplay are very simple. A ball is bounced between two bats; one controlled by you and the other controlled by a teammate, or a computer player. If you choose the two-player option in this version, you’ll have to get your friend to sit opposite you and control the other bat on your screen – which could prove tricky, but still fun.
When the ball is released in the centre of the screen, hold your finger on your bat and drag it left and right (or up and down, depending on how you’re holding the phone) and try to bounce the ball back across the screen to your opponent. After a few volleys back and forth and the ball speeds up rapidly, making it very hard to make the return hit.
The first player to reach nine wins the game.
What was your favourite game when you were a kid? Was it one of these games? Let us know, in the comments below.
Image credit: garann