iOS Retro Gaming: Hardlines and Air Fox

It’s becoming quite clear that for an old joystick junkie like me, Apple’s app store really is a huge treasure chest of classic games. There’s so many wonderful titles that take inspiration from their vintage counterparts whether in looks, soundwise or gameplay, there’s always something that’s a throw back to a classic and begs for one more go. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of duds out there but these two are not destined for my recycle bin.

Air Fox

You’ve only go to look at the screen shots below to see what classic this is based on.


….and just like Activisions 1982 hit, River Raid, Air Fox has it all, including those chunky Atari 2600 graphics. It plays perfectly on the iPad too with the tilt gyroscope being used to steer your aircraft left and right and up/down for acceleration and brakes leaving your thumbs free to tap the screen to fire your gun.

Gameplay is the same as River Raid, destroy or dodge the enemy ships and aircraft, steer your craft around the twisting terrain, avoid collision with the ground and bridges whilst keeping an eye on your ever depleting fuel. Fuel pods are scattered throughout the game map and flying over then will give you a top up. Unlike River Raid, your fuel is used up much quicker therefore Air Fox is not as forgiving if you miss a fuel pod.


Even without rose tinted glasses, Air Fox is one damn fine pick up and play game in it’s own right. A worthy nod to Activision.

The original River Raid box art. Funny enough, I spent a few hours playing this (and many more classic 2600 carts) just the other day at the Retro Computer Museum. It’s no wonder I’m hooked again!


Hard Lines

If there’s one game that i’ve played the most since getting my iPad, then Hard Lines wins this hands done without a shadow of a doubt.

Ok, so I’ve got a bit of a thing for neon vectors but Hard Lines’ devilishly addictive gameplay keeps me coming back over and over again thanks to it’s pick up and play dynamic. You can play for 60 second an have fun or loose hours with this one.

Hard lines is a remake of the classic Centipede/Snake games with a touch of Light Cycles from the Tron movies. There are various modes of play which range from classic Centipede mode where the aim here is to run over the flashing icons to gain points (but also causes your ‘line’ to gain size) and carefully navigate the game map without crashing into your every increasing line.


Survival mode (my favourite) see yours and many more lines on the game map and the aim is to cause you’re opponents line to crash into yours or another opponents line. It’s like one huge royal rumble light cycle fest…..a thon. Destroyed lines leave behind flashing ‘things’ which when collected increase your line size and thus giving you an advantage over your opponents.

Timed mode is also a lot of fun as you race around collecting the flashing icons to increase your time. The more icons you collect the longer your line becomes and the once large game map soon becomes a very tight place to be!

Some of the random text messages are so funny.


Control of your line can be handled in three ways to suit your taste. Either finger swipe left or right to steer, touch the area you wish to move to steer or use the tilt mechanism to steer.

Even on the smaller iPhone screen it plays well, but on the iPad, it’s outstanding.


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