Retro Games That Need A Mobile Re-boot

The mobile phone I have in my pocket is literally thousands of times more powerful than the then state of the art desktop computers many of us were using when we fell in love with computer games. With this kind of power in our pockets, it is little wonder so many iconic games from our childhood are finding themselves rebooted and given a new lease on life in a mobile format.

Whether you gave up on gaming but still have a fondness for the pursuits of your past; have your own children and want to show them what you used to do at their age; or just want to indulge in some nostalgia, there are bound to be some retro titles with a mobile release that will appeal to you.

Despite the second success that a lot of these games are experiencing, there are a few of my favorites I have yet to see. Here are the top 5 games that I would like to be able to download on the app store.

5. The World’s Greenest Detective

Platform: Amstrad PCW
Original release: 1986


Batman games are popular right now, with the enormously successful and award winning Arkham series. This might be the perfect time to rediscover the first Batman computer game. 

The Amstrad title made a very early attempt at 3D and saw Batman navigating a series of green and black rooms trying to locate all his gadgets and Batmobile pieces which have been stolen and hidden by The Joker, who is holding Robin hostage.

In true Batman style, you cannot kill your enemies, but instead have to avoid them while solving a series of mazes and puzzles. The original game had no capability to save, so the game was perhaps overly challenging. With this additional function, a mobile release of BATMAN is sure to keep you occupied on the train for some time to come.

To date, there have been two attempts at bringing BATMAN back: a very rare and little known GameBoy Advanced version of the game was supposedly released; as well as a freeware online version renamed WATMAN. However this piece of Batman history deserves a place in the mainstream, so it has made my list of retro computer games that need a mobile re-release.

4.The Keen Series

Title: Commander Keen 4-6
Platform: PC
Original release Date: 1990-91


The Commander Keen series was one of the first to bring console style platform gaming to the PC. With an imaginative story and characters created by Tom Hall, Commander Keen was a real rival to its console competitors. 

Commander Keen follows the adventures of 8 year old boy genius, Billy Blaze. With his homemade spacecraft and pogo stick he becomes Commander Keen, defender of the universe. Whilst Sonic and Mario received movie and TV spin-offs, Commander Keen has been largely forgotten. Isn’t it about time this hero was remembered with a port of his games to the iPhone?

There was one attempt at making Commander Keen mobile on the GameBoy Color, but with few of the original creators backing that game, it was a complete flop. The makers of Commander Keen were also behind Duke Nukem, Wolfenstein and Doom – all of which have had recent mobile releases. Isn’t it about time for Commander Keen to get one too?

3.The Dope Fish

Title: N/A
Platform: PC
Original release: N/A


Not strictly a port of a retro game, but here’s one video game character that really deserves his own game. The mobile platform could be the perfect place to do this. The Dope Fish was originally a minor character in the fourth Commander Keen title; however, has had cameos in several games since, the most recent of which being Max Payne.

The giant green fish, purported to be the second dumbest creature in the universe, has a thought pattern that consists entirely of “swim, swim, hungry, swim, swim.” Exactly what would happen in this game is really down to the imagination of its creators. A few fans have already had a go on the PC, but this is one game that is best suited to a mobile platform

4.Pikachu I choose you

Title: Pokémon
Platform: GameBoy Color
Original release: 1998


Pokémon games have already seen mobile success on GameBoy, but with almost everyone having a smartphone, isn’t it about time we found a way to relive the fun of catching, trading and battling pocket monsters on our mobile phones? Pokémon is a game that was easy to pick up and put back down. It seems like a game that would transfer really well to the mobile platform given the multiple connectivity options available on phones.

However, this is not a game we can expect to see anytime soon. Nintendo is still focusing on releasing new versions of Pokémon games for their Nintendo DS handhelds and have stated they have no interest in creating games for rival mobile platforms. 

Unless Nintendo begins to view the App Store as an obvious money spinner, it is unlikely we will see Pokémon there anytime soon.


Title: Loom
Platform: PC
Original release: 1990


One of the mobile re-releases I have enjoyed most has been The Secret Of Monkey Island. This game, with its complete makeover, has made great use of the touch interface on iPhone. I would go as far as saying I have enjoyed playing this game even more the second time around than I did the first (and I was a fan the first time too.) It left the player wanting more. Another LucasArts title to use the same point-and-click adventure style was Loom. 

Loom; therefore, makes it to the #1 position. I want to see Loom given the same treatment The Secret Of Monkey Island received. I hope the result will be a game I will enjoy every bit as much. Loom sees you as Bobbin, exploring a strange world where all the elders have been turned into swans. You must find clues and follow the story to find a way to save them.

Although we were happy to hear this game was recently released on Steam, it was not given the same makeover as The Secret Of Monkey Island.
About the Author
Ewan Cambell MacDougall is an avid gamer and iOS user. He has provided this article on behalf of Equanet. Equanet supplies businesses with a wide range of Apple computers and other Apple products.

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