More than 25 years ago, Mac owners were introduced to Shadowgate — a medieval fantasy quest that overcame its black-and-white limitations to become one of the most immersive and enjoyable graphic-text adventures of its time. On August 21, Shadowgate is coming back, so we're comparing the classic version of the game to its modern counterpart, accompanied by commentary from one of its co-creators.
The original Dungeon Keeper series on PC turned the tables on old-school fantasy conventions. Rather than being the do-gooder hero, you instead took the role of a dark overseer tasked with carving out a vast subterranean realm and populating it full of insidious traps, not to mention evil minions primed for slaughtering virtuous warriors. Opening the floodgates and sending the good guys to their doom was a great change from the norm, which made for lots of fun and oft-hilarious moments. Dungeon Keeper on iOS — a free-to-play reboot of sorts — streamlines things enough that it's a different beast from its predecessors, but the series' trademark humor and absorbing lair crafting remains blissfully intact.
Featuring a battle system that feels like the perfect blend of fighting and role-playing encounters, Super Nintendo classic Tales of Phantasia was kept out of Western gamers' hands until it was ported to the Game Boy Advance nearly a decade later. Now almost 20 years after its original release, this classic Japanese RPG makes its way to the App Store in a universal iOS release. Unfortunately for those expecting a seamless port, its new free-to-play format and associated changes make it a less-than-enjoyable trip back in time.
Hauling around a heavy backpack crammed with a Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, dice bag, pewter miniatures, and other tools of the tabletop RPG trade can be exhausting. Luckily, Dungeons & Dragons action is more portable than ever thanks to the iPad re-releases of BioWare’s celebrated Baldur’s Gate games, and 2000’s Baldur’s Gate II is the latest to make the leap. This return romp through the Forgotten Realms definitely recaptures the magic of playing AD&D 2nd Edition long ago, but the old-school design doesn't make a perfectly smooth transition to iPad.
If you were a gamer with an Apple II in the mid-'80s, there are a few names likely to stir nostalgic echoes somewhere deep in your heart; names like Choplifter, Hard Hat Mack, Ultima, and (most relevant to this review) Karateka. The first-ever game by Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, Karateka finally reappeared as a rhythm-based remake in late 2012, but now Mechner's giving old-school Karateka fans what they really want: the unvarnished original, adapted for iOS and fitted with tweaks designed to tug at our sense of nostalgia (while also making the game less frustrating).
Lode Runner should be instantly familiar to anyone who spent much time on computers during the '80s. Originally released in 1983, it focuses on the adventures of a lone stick figure out to get rich while evading sinister guards. Lode Runner Classic offers up a faithful, mostly unchanged port of the 30-year-old original — but while the game itself is still mostly fantastic, the iOS shell that's been built around it leaves something to be desired.
Apple has certainly never been shy about using celebrities to pimp their products -- from the iconic “Think Different” print ads to U2 front man Bono joining forces for the original RED iPod. But did you know that the company commissioned artwork from a soon to be famous artist back in 1989?
Sooner or later, everything ends up on eBay. A human kidney? Check. A walk-on part in an Ally McBeal episode? Check. A grilled cheese sandwich with the face of the Virgin Mary scorched onto the bread? Check. The Mac Museum of Franklin Park, New Jersey? You'd better believe it. The private museum's collection of insanely awesome Apple memorabilia is up for grabs on the venerable auction site. What could be better?
We got hands-on with the new iPod's after Apple's big music event. Will they tear up the charts, number one with a bullet? Or are they next summer's state fair act? Follow the jump for our hands-on first impressions.