Classic Gaming on Android
Let’s be honest. We all got our start playing games. It doesn’t matter if it was on Atari, Sega, PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo. Games were what drew us to computers in the first place.
The concept of a “Classic Game” means different things to different people. It may mean Mario Brothers and Zelda. It may mean Final Fantasy or Sonic. Maybe Halo. Anyone up for Space Invaders or Pac Man? And that’s the beauty of the Android OS. With so many developers out there, chances are really good that someone has created a version of your favorite classic for you. Here are some thoughts on turning your Android mini-PC into a classic arcade powerhouse.
It has to start here. Pong came out as an exclusive to Sears stores in 1975, back before most of us were even born, but it’s still going strong today. Admittedly, the graphics are very basic and there isn’t much to it besides hitting the ball across to the other player. But when it comes to classic games, this is the best place to start.
Arguably the most popular game of all time, it has grossed more revenue than any other game – EVER! Pac Man catapulted to popularity in 1980 and has spawned several spinoffs, massive amounts of merchandise and even a cartoon show. The best thing about Pac Man is that the original company, NAMCO, still makes and updates the game over 30 years later.
Pong and Pac Man were two of the main players in the early days of arcade games, but they were by no means the only players. Atari came out with great games like Asteroids and Centipede that continue to be popular today. Like Sega, Atari has moved away from hardware and now exclusively creates games. Their apps aren’t free, but they’re the official versions and well worth the .99 cent pricetag.
Unfortunately since Nintendo has a handheld device of their own, they keep a pretty tight lid on their major characters. This means you won’t find a direct-port of Super Mario, Zelda, Yoshi or Princess Peach on Android. However, there are some pretty good games that are similar. Mobile Andrio is as close a Mario clone as you’re going to find. If that’s not close enough, you can download a Nintendo emulator and get the official versions. Be warned though: emulators have a nasty habit of being buggy.
Long before the Wii, Nintendo had Duck Hunt. A simple game concept turned into one of the most addictive games on the NES. Nintendo doesn’t have an official version of this classis, but in this case, that’s a good thing. The best modern interpretation of the game is Duck Hunter. The graphics have been updated and you even get a choice of rifles to use.
As a bonus selection, check out Zombie Duck Hunt.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sega’s little blue ball of lightning has several official versions on the Android. Some are paid-apps, but most are free. After Sega got out of the game console business they’ve rebranded themselves completely as a software company, so they make taking care of their cash cow..er…hedgehog a top priority.
Konami has updated the classic Frogger game where you try to avoid becoming road kill. The graphics are completely refreshed and the game even includes a multiplayer option where you can compete with your friends.
The good news is that Square Enix has made a great effort to get the most popular Final Fantasy games ported over to the Android OS for phones, tablets and mini-PCs. The bad news is that the games aren’t free. Even the original Final Fantasy is $7, and the prices only go up from there. Still, if you feel the urge to join the Warriors of Light, there’s only one place to go.