Cult of Mac favorite: Missile Command (iPhone game)



What it is: An iPhone conversion of Dave Theurer’s then-terrifying missile defense game. By tapping on the screen, you launch missiles from your silos, protecting six cities. When they’re all gone, the game chillingly displays ‘The End’ rather than the usual ‘game over’ message.

Why it’s good: 1980s arcade games were based around immediacy and playability and are therefore potentially perfectly suited to iPhone. In the case of Missile Command, the original’s trackball controls have been replaced with far more immediate touch controls. While this makes the game easier in the short term, it can also lead to rapidly wasting your arsenal—and every missile counts when you get to the frenetic later levels.

Purists might balk at the dodgy fonts (c’mon, Atari, get out an update that ditches the comic lettering and uses the brutal type of the original), and the bundled ‘modern’ version offers nothing over the original (and in many ways looks uglier), but for five bucks, this is old-school gaming at its finest.

Where to get it: Missile Command is available on the App Store, and is at the time of writing being sold for $4.99. For more on Missile Command itself, see the surprisingly accurate Wikipedia article.

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