Many classic arcade games have found a new home on the iOS devices, though few have made the transition as smoothly as Double Dragon. This 1987 side-scrolling action game has known many iterations on many different consoles, and it has now been remade for the iDevice. Thankfully, it’s no Sega-style remake either.
There are three play modes in this game: Dragon, Double Dragon, and Time Attack. All three bring you through six stages of bad guys. The first is single-player, the second allows a friend to join via bluetooth, and the third just clocks how fast you can go through each stage.
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Before you start any play mode, you have to choose your control method. “Auto” gives you three buttons: attack, jump, and special. “Manual” splits attack into punch and kick, giving you another button to use. Auto allows easy combos, but manual lets you access more combos, and allows more efficient use of weapons. Both are very intuitive and easy to use, and though the buttons are large, they hardly obscure any action.
This remake is not identical to earlier versions, but it succeeds at providing a classic arcade game experience, complete with credits, lives, and timers. Unlike in the arcade days, however, you can now share your stats, which Double Dragon makes easy to do using Facebook, Twitter, and GameCenter. The one point that hasn’t been upgraded to modern times is saving. While there is something to be said for playing an arcade game in one sitting, distractions and interruptions on any mobile are frequent, and it’s no fun to be punished for that.
Besides the lack of saves (and the occasional struggles with depth perception), Double Dragon is an excellent remake. It has some replay value too, with a whopping 26 playable characters, 24 of which have to be unlocked. It is easy to pick up for newcomers as well as faithful fans, making it a good game for any old-school arcade junkie.