When Nintendo announced they’d be working with Apple to launch Super Mario Run on iPhone, the partnership made a lot of sense. After all, both companies share a similar arc in the history of their respective industries, each defining the early decades of the home gaming and computing industries, respectively. But perhaps the most relevant similarity is in the two companies’ focus on design.
Nothing can touch the Fallout series of role-playing games for post-apocalyptic immersion; the ’50s, atomic-era nostalgia and post-nuclear holocaust loneliness and horror that the games simulate have gained the series a huge and devoted following. But none of it would have been possible without a breakout 1988 computer RPG called Wasteland.
This is the original Parrot Asteroid Classic car stereo head-unit ($349), and it made quite a splash when it launched last year. The single-DIN, 4×55 watt receiver boasts a formidable array of features: Bluetooth connectivity, powerfully accurate voice recognition for both calls and music, a GPS receiver, a bright, 3.2-inch LED screen and a quiver of apps that run off its customized, upgradeable, early-vintage Android 1.5 OS (all of which require a data connection via a dongle).
Though this model was originally called the the Asteroid (no Classic), the Classic nomen was added to lessen confusion as three new models were announced a few months ago. However, the Asteroid Classic still very much in play; in fact, as this review goes live, the Classic is the only member of the Asteroid family currently available, as its new siblings haven’t shipped yet.
With its Android-based OS, you’d be forgiven if you thought the Asteroid Classic was more friendly to Android phones than the iPhone. In fact, the opposite is true, as I’ll explain later. And while it suffers from something that can probably be described as teething trouble, it’s still a lust-worthy system.
If you were (or still are) the proud owner of a Sega Dreamcast, then you may remember the classic title Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in North America). Jet Set Radio was hailed as a revolutionary game due to it being one of the first to make prolific use of a rendering technique called cel-shading (allowing for a “cartoon-like” appearance of 3D rendered objects). While these rendering techniques aren’t so revolutionizing today, Jet Set Radio remains a rollerblading, music loving classic, featuring wholesale amounts of spray paint.
If you’re reluctant to spend $99 on an Apple TV just to enjoy your iOS games on your HDTV over AirPlay, check out this Kickstarter project for the GameDock by Cascadia Games, the team behind Cavorite for iOS. It plugs into your TV via a HDMI connection and allows you to “play classic games the way they were meant to be played,” in full 1080p. It even has two USB ports on the front so that you can hook up a pair of retro gamepads.
Retro gamers can now enjoy 100 classic Atari titles on their iOS devices thanks to the launch of Atari’s Greatest Hits. The application is a free download that comes bundled with Pong, and through in-app purchases users can download additional game packs at $0.99 each, or the entire collection of 100 games for $14.99.
The collection of classic hits includes 18 Atari arcade games and 92 Atari 2600 games. But the fun doesn’t stop there; the app also boasts head-to-head multiplayer over Bluetooth and original cabinet and box art.
Check out the entire list of games available – and those that support Bluetooth multiplayer – after the break.