4 Must-Play Laserdisc Games on iOS
When Dragon's Lair first hit arcades, everyone who passed by it stopped dead in their tracks. They had never seen anything like it before. An animated adventure that you could interact with and play? It was unheard of at the time, and the game made so much money (it was the first arcade game to cost $0.50 to play), that sequels and copycats soon followed. It would be years and years before gamers could play these laserdisc games at home unless they had purchased an actual cabinet. Even then, the laserdisc players inside didn't last very long and they were rather expensive to maintain. Now, with gaming technology being as advanced as it is, gamers can play these laserdisc classics -- on their iPhone, iPad or Android device -- wherever they go. It's like having your own portable laserdisc library in the palm of your hand. The App Store has a few of these laserdisc classics available for download. Sadly, some -- like Super Don Quixote or Thayer's Quest -- aren't available. Others, like Cobra Command, have been pulled from the App Store completely. What we have left are these animated laserdisc classics you'll love to play. (And no, we're not counting the terribly transferred Mad Dog McCree as one of them. Sorry!)
Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp took the formula from the first game and turned into more of an episodic adventure with longer scenes and more moves to memorize. Some argue there are too many moves. Once again, Princess Daphne has been kidnapped, this time by the evil wizard Mordroc, who wants Daphne as his bride. (Honestly, who can blame the guy. She's probably the best looking girl in that crazy kingdom.) Dirk must travel through time to try and catch up to Mordroc and rescue her. With some crazy stages inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and time periods where you fight dinosaurs and hang out in the Garden of Eden, there's no shortage of eye candy. It's a shame that there's no high definition version, because the game looks rather old compared to its HD cousins. Still, fans of the original Dragon's Lair will want to give this sequel a shot. (Update - As of December 2013, Dragon's Lair 2 has now been pulled from the App Store. Perhaps an update is on its way?)
Road Blaster was one of the last laserdisc games to hit arcades and also one of the most frantic. Your new bride was just killed by a gang of lunatic punks, and you're now on a mission of revenge. The action is nonstop, there are constant explosions, close calls, civilians diving out of the way and punks that deserve what's coming to them. Road Blaster looks great in HD on the iPad, and it's a lot of fun if you've never played it before. Just make sure you don't hit the gas when you're supposed to hit the brakes...
One of the biggest debates in retro arcade gaming is which laserdisc game is better -- Space Ace or Dragon's Lair? It's certainly a tossup, with pros and cons for each one. Dragon's Lair was the first one, but Space Ace really took things to the next level with its story line and crazy characters. And what is the story? Ace's girlfriend Kimberly has been kidnapped, and it's up to Ace to save her from the evil Commander Borf, who plans on taking over the Earth by using his Infanto Ray to turn all of mankind into infants! Zapped by the ray himself, Ace (now known as the wimpy Dexter) must avoid deadly robots, goons on motorbikes, evil versions of himself, monsters and more before facing off with Borf. Space Ace was an instant classic when it hit arcades just four months after Dragon's Lair, and the game looks and runs just as great as it did when it first captured gamers' hearts all those years ago.
Dragon's Lair in HD for the iPad is a glorious thing to behold. The original animated video game, and the first arcade machine to introduce the world to laserdiscs, Dragon's Lair is arguably the ultimate laserdisc game. Filled with fantastic stages, wonderful villains, a sexy princess and an evil dragon, Dirk must find his way to the dragon's lair without falling into one of the many traps and obstacles laid before him. Gamers spent most of their time in the arcades at this machine in 1983, and 29 years later, people still stop to play it if they happen to come across one. It's a true classic that should be in any retro gamer's library.