Mega Man 2, Earthworm Jim, Myst, Golden Axe, Secret of Monkey Island -- TiPb's Top 5 Retro Games!


Today’s TiPb Top 5 will be directed towards our iPhone and iPod touch wielding readers who love their classic, retro games. Just like our other TiPb’s top 5 must-have posts, all of these applications are available in the App Store. For the full run down, follow us after the break!

Mega Man 2


Originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1988, Capcom's Mega Man 2 ranks in as one of the greatest retro games ever made. This iPhone version is a pretty close port of the Nintendo original. The game features the same simple graphics from the original version along with the 256×256 pixel playfield. Controls are handled via a virtual onscreen joystick and two buttons. The biggest negative that some of you may not like is the game's difficulty -- or lack there of. It's pretty easy to get through this one, especially when compared to the original.

  • Utilize virtual arcade controls to control the blue bomber.
  • Rebalanced gameplay for the iPhone experience.
  • Battle your way through 14 levels, and conquer 9 unique bosses, each with a unique weapon!
  • Bringing the original classic NES game to the palm of your hand


Mega Man 2 [iTunes Link] is available now in the App Store for only $.99 but hurry as this price may soon change!

Earthworm Jim


Initially released on Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo back in 1994, Earthworm Jim broke new ground in 16-bit gaming and we are happy to say the Gameloft iPhone version holds up pretty well. No corners were cut with this one as everything that makes the original a classic is here. -- nice crisp graphics, excellent sound and good controls.

  • Run, gun, swing from hooks with your head, launch cows, bungee jump, rocket through speed levels and more!
  • Face 12 types of enemies and 9 bosses.
  • 4 different styles of gameplay: Side-scrolling run & gun, space racing, bungee jumping and underwater levels
  • 10 original environments divided into 16 levels
  • 4 levels of difficulty, including the challenging mode of the original game
  • The re-mastered cult soundtrack
  • iPod library access to play your favorite tracks while playing the game.


Earthworm Jim [iTunes Link] is currently available in the App Store for $4.99.



Myst was one of the first games to be put on a CD-ROM in 1993 and back then it simply awed gamers around the world. With the iPhone version of Myst you not only get an exact replica of the original but you get it improved graphically. Yes, the iPhone version of Myst is visually more impressive than the PC/Mac counterpart.

  • All the original Ages & gameplay
  • High quality images (better than original Myst)
  • Full music & sound effects
  • Original movies & animations
  • Auto-save (when quitting or phone call)
  • "Bookmark" system to save & restore progress
  • Swipe to turn
  • Auto-zoom in certain close-up areas
  • Quick access to hint guide
  • Works with iPhone 3G, the original iPhone, and iPod touch.


Myst [iTunes Link] is available in the App Store on sale for $4.99.

Golden Axe


Sega's 1989 classic 16-bit game Golden Axe is available for your iPhone. Those of you familiar with the original will feel right at home as it's a exact replica of the Genesis version. You pick one of three characters -a powerful Fighter, a female Amazon, and a mighty Dwarf. Each have different strengths and magical powers, and your mission is to battle through dark castles, on the back of a giant turtle, and even on the wings of an enchanted eagle to challenge the Death-Adder. Along with your sword and axe, you can hop on the backs of the Bizarrians and use their fierce attacks like fire breath and tail whips.

Those of you who do not own a iPhone 3GS may want to avoid this as there are reports of it being a bit sluggish on the older models.


Golden Axe [iTunes Link] is available in the App Store for $4.99.

Secret of Monkey Island


This remake of the 1990 classic PC title Secret of Monkey Island weighs in at a hefty 351MB and it is worth every single byte. If a brilliant story, great visuals and good controls are what you look for in a game, this one's is for you. Some reviewers complain about the controls but we did not have any major gripes. Sure they could be improved but this very well may be the best version of this LucasArts classic.

  • An all new re-imagined contemporary art style
  • Complete voice over by members of the original Monkey Island™ franchise cast
  • A re-mastered musical score using live instruments
  • Plus, scene-for-scene hot swap to seamlessly transition between Special Edition and Classic modes at anytime


Secret of Money Island [iTunes Link] is available in the App Store for $7.99.

Have a classic retro game you would like to add to this list? Please share it with other readers in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


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Reader comments

Mega Man 2, Earthworm Jim, Myst, Golden Axe, Secret of Monkey Island -- TiPb's Top 5 Retro Games!


I've been losing a lot of time to RogueTouch, a really nice realization of the really old dungeon crawler game that I played when I was a college freshman so many years ago.

I loved golden axe, but the port to iphone was an early port with bad controls and only a limited number of restarts. I can't tell you how frustrated I am that I can't do the moves that I could do in the arcade version and how cludgy the controls are.
More recent games with the virtual D pad have designed better controls to deal with touchscreens but this one was not very responsive and was too easy to get killed zigging when you told the d pad to zag.

Going back a bit before most of those games were made - 1984 to be specific! There was a puzzle game called Repton which kept me amused for hours as a kid at school (in fact everyone was playing it!) anyhoo recently superior software (the original developers), who amazingly are still going, have released an updated version for the iPhone called irepton. If you are talking about old skool classic retro games then this has to be worth a look as it is totally addictive and takes me back years! It's in the app store at

Hmmm, I'm afraid this article is a swing and a miss. I'm impressed that you care enough to write about retro games (and they're GREAT on the iPhone), but this list leaves a LOT to be desired. The virtual D-pad controls in EWJ and MM2 are decent but hardly the best of the platform. Why should anyone want to play Golden Axe when we have Hero of Sparta? Here are some better old games to try:
C64. This is a full-featured Commodore 64 emulator with a bunch of games available, and more on the way.
Cobra Command. Laserdisc cartoon shooter with a very distinctive 1980s vibe.
DOOM Classic. The best ancient first-person shooter, and as creator John Carmack says, "as you remember it, which is better than it actually was." Great graphics, controls, sound.
Duke Nukem 3D. Imperfect controls but everything else is there.
Dragon's Lair. The original laserdisc quarter-eater.
Sword of Fargoal. Lovely remake of c64-based dungeon crawler.
Final Fantasy I and II. Nice ports of PSP remakes of some classic role-playing games.
Nescaline. If you were lucky enough to snag it the night it was available, this emulator allows you to play Nintendo games on your iPhone.
Pac-Man Championship Edition. A terrific re-imagining of the old game from the original author. It remains true to the original while adding modern pacing and fun.
Rise of the Triad. The "other" big FPS that is often forgotten since it lived in the shadow of DOOM.
Rogue Touch. Rogue with touch controls. Enough said.
The Simpsons Arcade. Crisp graphics and fun character cameos that's better than its Konami arcade inspiration.
Star Rangers. Star Raiders with tilt and touch controls, better than ever.
Beneath a Steel Sky. Funny, clever point-and-click game with better controls than the Monkey Island remake.
Vector Tanks Extreme. Battlezone on steroids. Fun fun fun.
Wolfenstein 3D Classic. Prototype for DOOM. Awesome in its own right.
Now go play some real retro games. Next time you want to make a list like this, consult me first and I'll help you do it right!

And what about Archon! That was one of the BEST and most replayable of all Commodore 64 games. Unlike some of the titles on this list, I think this ARCHON for iPhone is actually better than the C64 one was, and they even added multi-player and new levels and campaign mode! It's totally replayable and the perfect length.
IMHO even if you never played the original, Archon is one of the best value per $$ of any game app I have on my iPhone. Also, there is no other game of this genre at all on the app store, it's by itself.

@Jindo That was an incredibly helpful comment. Thanks for pointing those out, some are new to me!