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Best retro games for iPhone

Since both screen size and processing power of smartphones are limited when compared with computers and consoles (handhelds excepted!), it's been fascinating to see some of the inspired creativity coming out of development studios.

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Michelle Starr
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1 of 16 Taito Corp

Bubble Bobble Double

Since both screen size and processing power of smartphones are limited when compared with computers and consoles (handhelds excepted!), it's been fascinating to see some of the inspired creativity coming out of development studios.

App games hearken back to a simpler time when, due to the limitations imposed by the technology, games had to be creative and compelling, yet maintain individuality, in order to get any traction.

This connection has not gone unnoticed by developers and publishers, who have returned some of our best-loved favourites to the smartphone screen.

Note: Android and BlackBerry versions, or their closest equivalents, have been provided where possible.

AU$5.99

Good things, in the Bubble Bobble universe, come in twos: two irresistibly adorable little dragons popping bubbles and avoiding foes and, in the case of Bubble Bobble Double, a part of the original 1986 Bubble Bobble game as well as an entirely new Bubble Bobble just for the iPhone! It's a win-win!


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5 of 16 Atari Interactive

Super Breakout Ultra

AU$1.19

The original ball-bouncing, brick-breaking game; forget Arkanoid, Breakout is where it's at. Originally released all the way back in 1976, it was right at the forefront of videogame history. This version doesn’t come with any of the original 8-bit game, but it does recall those halcyon days with some added twists just for the iPhone's functionality.

For Android (AU$2.74)

For BlackBerry (US$0.99)


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6 of 16 Taito Corp

Space Invaders

AU$5.99

Those little aliens are one of the most iconic images ever to come out of videogames, and have spawned a rash of homages, from clothing to art, to ice cube trays, to home furnishing. Now you can carry the 1978 game around in your pocket, faithfully ported to iOS, with a few tweaks and extra features just for fun. And if you're looking for something a bit snazzier, there's Space Invaders Infinity Gene.

For Android (US$1.39)

For BlackBerry (US$3.99)


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9 of 16 Dragon's Lair

Space Ace

AU$5.99

More an interactive animated film than a full-on video game, Don Bluth's Space Ace, along with Dragon's Lair (iPad only), nevertheless blew gamers away in 1983 and 84 for how drop-dead gorgeous they looked. It's shortly to be ported across to the PSN, but you can get ahead of the curve now with this iPhone version that looks even better than the original arcade game.


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15 of 16 Bow Mobile Corporation

Double Dragon

AU$4.99

Some would argue that perhaps Street Fighter IV is a better game, but since it was new only last year it gets trumped in this round-up by a vamped-just-for-the-iPhone version of 1987's smash hit Double Dragon.


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