If your knowledge of Android games starts and ends with Angry Birds, you’re missing out. The Android Market is full of retro arcade games whose simple and addictive nature translates perfectly to the mobile gaming experience. Take a step back in time and revisit these classic games of yesteryear. With a little practice, you might just be able to beat your high score from all those years ago.
1. Pac-Man & Ms. Pac-Man
Any discussion of retro arcade games would be incomplete without the genre’s leading power couple. We're talking of course about Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man. The key selling point to these games on the Android is their authenticity. The developers put a lot of effort to get the details right. Everything that you love about the original game is here: the bouncing cherries, the classic 8-bit chase music, and even Ms. Pac-Man’s adorable bow. The biggest downside is the lack of a joystick, but once you get used to the unobtrusive touch controls, you’ll be chomping dots and dodging ghosts like a champion.
2. Mobile Andrio (Super Mario World)
Due to licensing and copyright issues, many of your favorite classic arcade games have not made it onto the mobile market. Fortunately there is a whole subculture of developers dedicated to filling in these glaring gaps with games that emulate (some might say rip-off) popular favorites. Mobile Andrio is a game “in the style” of Super Mario that features a mustache and overall-clad plumber who jumps on bad guys and travels through big green pipes. It’s not perfect, but it will have to tide over fans until the official Nintendo version appears. It’s actually sort of fun to pick out all the minor changes from the original, like how the main bad guys are dragons instead of turtles.
Tetris was developed for the computer in 1984, and has been available on nearly every single gaming system since then, which speaks to the timelessness of this deceptively simple game. Android users can enjoy an officially licensed version of Tetris, complete with the original music and levels, and unlike many other classic games, the updated touch controls actually work better than a joystick. Geometry has never been so fun.
4. Space Invaders
The original shoot ‘em up game. Space Invaders’ influence is apparent throughout the history of gaming, and now an official version is available in the Android Market. At this point in history, the crude graphics of the game have safely transitioned from cheesy to charmingly retro and kitsch.
5. Ping Pong Top Game
True fans of retro gaming will want to go all the way back to the original. Atari’s Pong was the first home video game that was widely available and is still popular due to its historical relevance and addictive gameplay. Unfortunately, there is still no official Atari version of the classic for Android. The next best thing is the oddly named “Ping Pong Top Game” which mimics the original’s ultra simple interface, replacing joysticks with responsive touch controls. Spending hours knocking a tiny white dot back and forth may seem laughable by today’s standards, but play it and see first hand why this is one of the all time classic time wasters.
From retro 8-bit classics to cutting edge gaming experiences, Android is a versatile platform that can turn your mobile device into just about anything.
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