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Action-packed retro style games for Android

by Larry Sullivan

I grew up running to the arcade and pumping quarters into video games. I have no idea how much I spent, but it was a lot of fun. I can still remember getting cramps in my thumbs and wrists when the track ball was first introduced.

Slowly but surely, a lot of those old video games are now making their way onto Android. One game I really like was called Tempest. It’s a tube shooter, where the goal is to survive as long as you can. It was a tough, fast paced game. Well, I recently found it in the Google Play Store and it’s just as fun now as it was then. Today’s list offers a number of the retro style games I have played that remind me of Tempest.

Tempest from Atari Greatest Hits (Free, $0.99 IAP)

The game Tempest is available through the free Atari Greatest Hits app. When you download the app, it comes with Missile Command (the original) but you have the option to purchase games individually for $0.99 or all of them for $9.99. Your job in the game is to destroy all enemies that came at you as fast you can. You are a small ship and can only move around the edges of the geometrically-shaped board. When you clear the level you fly to the next board which will be another shape. When in trouble you can hit the “kill all” button.

The game comes with a good numbers of settings you can adjust. You can change the difficulty, how many lives you start with, screen sensitivity, and even turn on the cheat mode. Also, you can play in portrait or landscape mode and change the layout of the buttons on the screen. The game has OpenFeint leaderboard support. Getting used to the controls took some time, and apparently I have not gotten any better at this over the years.

PewPew (Free)

PewPew is fast-paced space shooter. With duel on-screen joysticks you control firing and moving of your ship. The game has five different modes: Pandemonium, Dodge This, Asteroids, Assault, and Chromatic Conflict, each has its own challenges. There are three different types of ships you can fly, but you need to unlock them by winning medals in the game.

The game has local and global statistics. If you wish to participate in the global stats, you can upload them within the game. You can adjust up to nine different options in the game. PewPew 2, an updated and paid version of the game is also available for $2.56.

Tilt Arena (Free)

Tilt Arena is very similar to Pew Pew. It is also a fast-paced space shooter but this game has no joysticks. When the game begins, so does the shooting. To move the ship all you have to do is tilt your Android device. There is no way to control the speed of your ship and you are only allowed to fly within a certain predefined area so you need to be quick.

You can share you scores online in Tilt Arena. The game does have a number of options you can adjust such as screen sensitivity, inverting the vertical or horizontal, and even enabling touch controls (but that is no fun). The game is ad-supported but Tilt Arena (Full) is available for $0.99, and it has no ads and new game modes as they're released.

Supersonic (Free)

Supersonic is a music-driven 3D ride game. When you first start the game it recommends using earphones. Follow that recommendation, the sound effects and background music are excellent. The game has three modes: Classic, Blitz and MixTape. In each, you are racing down a tube and need to collect and avoid certain objects, and last as long as you can. The music in the game is central. The levels have been designed to the rhythm of the electronic music by Kitkaliitto.

Supersonic comes with global leader boards and Open Feint support. As with the other games you can change a number of settings such as tilt sensitivity, invert controls, and calibrate your device. There is an ad-free version of the game, Supersonic HD, available for $0.99.

What was old is new again! Each of these retro-style games remind me of many of the games I played as a kid. All are fast-paced games with cool graphic and sound effects. They also remind me how frustrated I would get when I would lose on the first level! So if you want a great shooter or racing action, these games should do the trick.