It’s hard to find anyone who didn’t spend at least one childhood summer playing through, say, Super Mario Bros. or Chrono Trigger. Gamers who grew up to be “productive members of society” (read: you and me) have fond memories of their favorite video games and, for many of us, the lessons we learned from said games were instrumental in our development as responsible adults. Space Invaders taught us that the little guy CAN win against overwhelming odds; Diablo instilled in us the value of patience and a sharpened longsword; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showed us that the very worst of humanity’s (turtlekind’s) traits show up when you’re in multiplayer mode and you happen to be the least skilled player on the team. Yeah, no pizza saves for you, “Donatello”, we’ll just say hi to April for you.
Thanks to Android developers, some of the games we grew up with are available for download on our business phones right now. (Let’s be honest, we don’t really use those things exclusively for work, anyway.) Here are four really good suggestions.
“Wait a minute,” you say, “How does freaking Snake ’97 count as a classic?” Well, take a minute to breathe, as you count backwards and come to the horrific realization that 1997 was 14 years ago. Yep, we’re that old. Don’t worry, though, no one will judge you if you have this free app on your phone. It even has a unique interface in the form of an old-school cellphone keypad and a “backlit” mini-screen. It even has the dot-matrix display that was a constant source of amusement and irritation for many a bored student. It’s the next best thing to time travel, trust me.
Download: Snake ’97[divider]
Sonic the Hedgehog
Who could forget that spikey, blue, too-cool-for-you anthropomorphic hedgehog who tapped his foot and wagged his finger at you whenever you took too long to make a move? Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most popular gaming icons ever, and with good reason. His unique abilities, set against a fast-paced, side-scrolling backdrop, made for hours of entertaining and addictive gameplay and put him a few steps above his mushroom-snorting, mustachioed plumber rival in the eyes of many gamers. It’s great, then, that SEGA has teamed up with Android to bring the experience to your phone. For $2.99, you can download the SEGA Genesis classic on your mobile device, and experience the engrossing gameplay and trippy environments that made the game a bestseller two decades ago.
Download Sonic the Hedgehog [divider]
Final Fantasy III
Despite many technical issues in recent years, the Final Fantasy games are still a big thing. And why wouldn’t they be? Initially intended to be just one game (hence the “Final” in the title) way back in 1987, the compelling story, revolutionary battle system, and addictive gameplay had gamers hooked, and its popularity only grew with every new installment. If all the merchandise, fan sites, and cosplayers aren’t enough to convince you, well, Square Enix has just the thing for you. A port of Final Fantasy III is now available for download on your Android phone, for $15.99. FFIII is notable for introducing the job system and the ability to summon powerful creatures to aid you in combat. The price is a bit steep, but it’s well worth the nostalgia tears you’ll definitely be crying if you’re a big fan.
Download: Final Fantasy III [divider]
You think kids these days are weird? Wanna go on a REAL head trip? Download this game package for free on your Android phone and experience firsthand how it felt like to be a gamer in the ‘80s. Back then, they didn’t have Halo – all they had were wolves trying to catch eggs in baskets, cats that were handy with fishing rods, and gigantic purple spaceships. Hours of LCD-style goodness are waiting for you. Don’t be scared of the purple spaceship.
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