That every hit PC game has 100 clones and revisions for Android is as true as the fact that PC gamers constantly insist that “they don’t make ’em like they used to.” Hence the determination to save all the games that’ve impacted generations of gamers on platforms not suited at the start for replicating console controls. Here’s our list of some of the Android ports out there that promise to bring butterflies to the stomachs of all you diehard retrogamers out there.
Free Heroes 2
Thanks to a port of the SDL libraries for Android, lots of PC games have been brought to smartphones and tablets. Heroes of Might & Magic II has a place in the deepest nook of the heart your average thirtysomething, and this remake lets you play with the content of the trial version and expand it will the original files of the full game. The developer has also done a port of the third part of the saga, but that wasn’t the AWESOME one, as I’m sure you’ll all agree. [Download]
The original controversial and charming game from Stainless Software has an official adaptation that used to be paid, though a few months ago it got converted into a freemium game by throwing in a few ads and the option for in-game purchases. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the full Android experience without the green blood or clips and miss out on the dizzying sense of liberation from your preadolescent days. [Download]
In this case, not a direct port. We could almost call it a clone inspired by the first two installments of Sid Meier’s Civilization saga. As an open project, it’s got adaptations for all platforms, including Android, obviously. Prepare thy charger. [Download]
Tyrian is a legendary Martian killer released in 1995 and exclusive to PC. It got famous thanks to shareware versions distributed in magazines back in the day. Years later its code was released and the same developer who did Free Heroes 2 picked it up and released an Android adaptation of the full game. [Download]
Only one DOOM, innit. The same thing happened to DOOM’s legendary first two installments as to Tyrian – its shareware version got so popular that even though it only included the first 10 levels of the first game, it became a gaming (and aesthetic) reference for a whole generation. It’s precisely that shareware version included by default in this port, though you can get the .WAD files for DOOM I and II to enjoy the whole thing. We explain how to install it in this blog post. [Download]
Transport Tycoon is another of those sagas that whisk you back to your carefree days of yore, full of five-hour gaming sessions and binges on Oreos and milk. Unlike Freeciv, this game disassembles the original code to create this open-source reconstruction of the Deluxe version of the Chris Sawyer title. [Download]
Hard drugs in the form of ASCII code. Godfather of roguelikes as we know them today. A game with 30 years of constant updates to its name and ports for practically every platform you can imagine. Okay okay – this ARPG where you have to trek through randomly generated, rough-looking settings could be too intense for a lot of people, but we’re still talking about a piece of gaming history that has to be tried out at least once in your lifetime. [Download]
If we’re going to talk about FPS, mentioning Wolfenstein 3D is an absolute must. This unofficial port includes the shareware by default and can also run both the files of the full original game and its Spear of Destiny expansion. [Download]
The renowned Commander Genius in a sleight of hand maneuver, this port lets you play the seven platformers from id Software (as well as from Gerhard Stein), though by default it only includes the renowned shareware versions of three of them. [Download]
Ur Quan Masters HD
We end on a high note with a direct port of the brilliant Star Control II, deemed one of the best games ever created for PC and a point of reference in the world of space simulation and exploration of the planets. It was the developers themselves who released the original game code and participated in developing this port for modern machines. The change of name is due to the fact that Atari owns the license, though this port is essentially the same epic experience. [Download]
Extra: A ton of graphic adventures!
Here’s a combination of two things: the fact that many classic titles have been distributed by their authors for free, and the existence of ScummVM, the multiplatform player that lets users play many of these graphic adventures on modern devices. You can currently play titles such as Dreamweb, Flight of the Amazon Queen, Beneath a Steel Sky and Lure of the Temptress completely for free, with the controls adapted for touchscreens and using your taps like you would a mouse. [Download]