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iPhone retro gamingWe’ve been playing the new iPhone version of The Secret Of Monkey Island obsessively since launch yesterday, and all the touchscreen swashbuckling action got us wondering, what other retro games is the iPhone crying out for to help ease your commute? First person shooters prove a bit tricky to play, even if they clearly can be done, so we’ve scribbled down some of the games we reckon would best make the jump to touchscreen controls. Here’s the fruits of our brainstorm – iPhone game developers take note!

Day Of The Tentacle

1. Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle
This point and click LucasArts adventure goes straight into the number 1 spot, because while it’s every bit as good as Monkey Island or Sam & Max the studio’s left it to rot. Seriously guys, what’s up with that? The click to move controls would be a doddle to port, as Monkey Island’s shown. Can we have an iPhone revival please? Thanks.

Commander Keen2. Commander Keen
Before id software made a little known game called Doom, the studio was a dab hand at platformers, and finest of the bunch was the Commander Keen series. It saw you bouncing around on a pogostick, collecting lollipops and Pepsi cans and blasting wolves dressed in drag with your laser. You’d need the on-screen D-pad for this one, but the speed of the game is pitched perfectly for it.

Syndicate Wars3. Syndicate Wars
The iPhone is certainly up to handling the isometric graphics of this 1996 strategy classic, as well as the controls. Nothing beats a good bit of espionage and assassination on the bus.


Monkey Island for iPhone sets sail for App Store


 Command & Conquer4. Command & Conquer
We’re sure the iPhone 3GS is up to this one. Face off as the Brotherhood of Nod or the Global Defense Initiative in a touchscreen tactical fight to the death. You could even play deathmatches with friends using the iPhone OS 3.0′s bluetooth skills.

Descent5. Descent
Back in 1995, this original sci-fi sim/shooter blew people’s minds thanks to its full 3D rotation, but while that’s nothing new today, it’d still be a tall order to navigate around the maps on an iPhone, especially with up to 7 players on your tail. Fun though.

Theme Hospital6. Theme Hospital
Theme Park didn’t work so well on the Nintendo DS, but the smaller scale of Theme Hospital would be perfect for the touchscreen iPhone controls – you could even tilt to move across the building. Burst all those bloaty heads with a tap of your finger and pluck people’s barnets to cure them of hairyitis. If this doesn’t happen, we’re going to need some prozac.

The Dig7. The Dig
We’re still waiting for the film version of this LucasArts adventure and the brainchild of Steven Spielberg, but we’d take a re-release on the iPhone in the meantime, so long as it didn’t take so long to develop this time around. The dark and spooky alien world to uncover would certainly make a break from all the light, kaleidoscopic fluff to be found on the iPhone App Store.


iPhone 3GS review


Dungeon Keeper8. Dungeon Keeper
If this ever made its way on to your iPod touch it wouldn’t so much be the “funnest iPod ever” as the most dastardly. Bullfrog’s brilliant strategy game saw you inflicting all sorts of pain on your minions, and is crying out for a touchscreen makeover. Let’s just hope Apple sees the funny side and doesn’t ban it for being too evil.

Grim Fandango9. Grim Fandango
We’re mentioning LucasArts again because it makes great games, OK? Or at least did, and Grim Fandango, a hysterical adventure romp through the land of the dead was one of the very best. We’d love to see a version of Manny on mobile that made use of the iPhone 3GS’s swish graphics, so let’s hope this App Store split starts sooner rather than later.

Silver10. Silver
Sticking with more graphically advanced games from yesteryear, this medieval RPG from the late 90s has huge potential with an iPhone conversion. Not just because it was fantastically addictive (it was), but because the unusual fighting system saw you pulling off slashes, parries and combos with mouse gestures. We reckon they’d be easily replicated with multitouch finger prods.

  • Alex

    LucasArts will be missing a massive opportunity if it doesn’t start porting all its point and click adventures. Monkey Island is great and seems to be selling very fast already, even with its slightly dodgy mouse pointer interface.. Please also don’t forget the indiana jones point and clicks as well :)

  • http://www.electricpig.co.uk Ben Sillis

    Good shout Alex. And you know, if LucasArts wants to make Lego Day Of The Tentacle too, that’s fine by me…

  • http://www.zath.co.uk Zath

    I remember playing all of these games at the time except for Commander Keen.

    Some very good choices and like you, I really want to see LucasArts re-polish Day of the Tentacle with a special edition, followed by all the rest of their classic point and click adventures – the great thing being it’s been so long since I played them, it’d almost be like playing a new game :)

  • http://www.carrieactually.com Carrie

    i definitely need commander keen for the iphone, lol

  • http://mathiasbynens.be/ Mathias Bynens

    How about Super Mario?

    • http://www.gravatar.com James Holland

      I’m still itching for a re-make of Elite on the iPhone. I used to play that for ages. Never was much good at it though…

  • http://mathiasbynens.be/ Mathias Bynens

    I would definitely buy “iDonkey Kong”.

    • http://www.electricpig.co.uk Ben Sillis

      Simple, but unbeatable. Although I’d also like to see iDonkey Kong Country, one of my favourite platformers as a kid. I was just on the threshold of missing the NES growing up.

  • http://www.itlgames.com itlgames

    What about those isometric platformer games like Head Over Heels, Batman, Fairlight, Knight Lore,… ? Check “Alone”: itunes.apple.com/gb/app/alone/id356286001?mt=8

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/NDEMWM53GSVDZJROD27FYYM4CI Christoffer Sandberg

    Great list you've put together here. All of the listed games are fantastic and they would absolutely make a good apperance on the iphone!

    Im really hoping for these games (from the list above)

    1. Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle
    3. Syndicate Wars
    4. Command & Conquer
    6. Theme Hospital

    Two games I would like to add to the list is Transport Tycoon Delux and Sim Hotel.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed to see any of these games on my favourite phone….

  • Elliott Harry

    X-COM UFO defense should be in the list

  • dudgest

    We need Another World, i'd defo buy that

  • zanx

    Silver and Dungeon Keeper would be awesome on iphone :D

  • Katy

    Commander Keen was one of my favorites. I'd love to see that on the iPhone!

    • bensillis

      The blue wolves used to scare me silly when I was a kid.

  • Derp

    Day Of The Tentacle, you can already play on the ScummVM.

  • ChosenOne

    Syndicate was superior to syndicate wars IMHO, both classics. Would love to see theme hospital – that’s what lead me to this site. But my all time faves….. Fallout 1&2!!
    Sod easing the commute to work, I’d just call in sick.

Hot chat, right here!


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