Retro Gaming Roundup: 40 iPhone Games to Take You Back in Time


There are few iPhone games that I will immediately buy. Most of the ones I do, however, are the classic games I played as a teenager.

The iPhone/iPod touch is more than powerful enough to handle these games and it seems that there are many people like me who are keen to experience these classics again. So, here’s a roundup of modern ports of classic games. Only official ports of classic games are detailed here — clones and the like do exist but I had to draw a line in the sand. I’ve also included links to Wikipedia for those interested in the history of the games.

Classic Arcaders

The Video Arcade is where mainstream gaming began, and there are plenty of original ports from this era to re-live your youth shoving coins into cabinets. I’d still like to see BubbleBobble make an appearance here to completely satisfy my urges. Read More about Retro Gaming Roundup: 40 iPhone Games to Take You Back in Time

Stanza vs. Classics: Maybe I Can Save You $3

I read a lot, and have been very impressed with Stanza for the iPhone as an ebook reader. Like many, however, the idea of Classics was appealing, and upon release I purchased the app.

So how does it compare to Stanza? Would I recommend it? The answers, in my opinion, are that it doesn’t, and I wouldn’t. Not now, anyway. 
Classics primarily touts two things: special book cover art and a pseudo real-book page-turning experience. But the former could be more hindrance than help when you’ve got a lot of volumes, and the latter’s novelty wears off quickly, though it seems to be the primary reason Classics has received a lot of praise. 


The books’ cover art, sitting on virtual “shelves”, are lovely. And since there are only 12 they present no problems scrolling through them. But if you get 50 or so on this thing it’s likely to be an awkward list. Too bad we don’t know how quickly we’ll get that many, since it’s not under our control. Currently it’s a dozen, and we have to wait for more. I believe content should be a lot higher priority than that. 
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Classics: E-Book Reading At Its Finest

The wait is over as Classics is officially available. As previously mentioned, Classics is a highly refined e-book reader that provides users with a collection of public domain books. What sets Classics apart from the plethora of similarly available apps in iTunes is that first, each book was painstakingly formatted for the iPhone/iPod touch, and second, the interface is truly amazing.
When you first open Classics, you’re presented with a bookshelf with your available choices. The current version offers you eleven books including: Alice in Wonderland, Flatland, and The Metamorphosis. You can rearrange your books to your liking, but as it stands, there is no option to add or delete books. Once you’ve decided on a book, you just tap to open it.
The developers took great care in giving you the most minimal of interfaces so the words can shine. All there is, is a title bar (that also acts as a progress bar for how far along in the book you are), a Home button, and a Table of Contents button. Beyond that, everything else is the beautifully formatted page.
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Classics for the iPhone Makes Reading Look Good

Classics, an upcoming e-book reader for the iPhone/iPod touch, looks like the Crown Jewel for the App Store’s Book category.

Developed by Phill Ryu and Andrew Kaz, it features a gorgeous UI that includes elements such as a virtual page flip to give the illusion that you’re turning an actual page, and an elegant bookmark letting you know that your page is saved when you switch books. It comes preloaded with eleven classic works and more will be made available via free updates.
The ability to add your own books (that are in PDF or text format) does not exist, but the developers are evaluating this, and other possibilities, for a spinoff e-book reading app.
The initial library includes:

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • The Metamorphosis
  • Paradise Lost
  • Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Alice in Wonderland (Illustrated)
  • Through the Looking Glass (Illustrated)
  • Flatland (Illustrated)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The Jungle Book

The developers took great care in making sure each book was properly formatted for optimal reading and trimmed down all the would-be application clutter to the bare necessities so you can focus on the book and forget about the app. As a bit of a teaser, we’ve included the wireframe of the page-turn animation (designed by CG artist Kevin Capizzi) as well as a run through of the app just to show the detailing that went into Classics development.
You can sign-up to be notified of when Classics is released and, when available, will sell for $2.99.
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