While porting older games from console versions to iOS is hardly a new concept, it seems this week we had a plethora of high-quality titles burst onto the App Store. I've already talked about FEZ: Pocket Edition hitting the iPhone and iPad this week, and now it's time to talk about another blast from the past, Oddworld.
The Oddworld series has been around in some incarnation since the late 90s, and the developers at Oddworld Inhabitants Inc have always been able to make their titles enjoyable and fun. While Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty may be a few years old to the market, it's brand new to iOS this week, and if you're a fan of Oddworld games of the past or enjoy mobile games that bring you a console experience, New 'n' Tasty is worth a look.
Thank god for MFi Controller support
Let's rip the band-aid off; Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty needs an MFi Controller. I don't use the word "need" lightly either, but just look at the screenshot above; the only other option without an MFi Controller is a convoluted mess of buttons all crammed to one side of the screen. I was playing on the iPhone 8 Plus — which is currently the biggest screen in the iPhone lineup — and I still felt like it was too cramped to be functional.
Personally, I love games that allow for gamepad support, which makes the entire experience feel like a premium console game, but I recognize that it's a barrier for a lot of gamers. You might argue that mobile gaming is meant to be as simple as possible and you shouldn't need a controller to enjoy a game; if that's your point of view, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty isn't for you.
Taking into consideration that this game is a port of a console game, I'm willing to give Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty a pass in this regard. The game was always designed for a controller so it makes sense that a MFi Controller would be so crucial.
Delivers console experience
If you can get past the need for a controller, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty delivers a fantastic gameplay experience that ensures the game looks and feel like a console title.
The graphics are fantastic. The game takes up a decent amount of space — over 3GB — and playing it on my iPhone 8 Plus with all the advanced graphics settings on, it's easy to see why! From when you first load up a new game and you're watching the opening cinematic to the middle of the action when your sneaking past enemies, the textures, colors, lighting, and rendering of the environments is flawless.
Taking advantage of all the advanced graphics will most likely require a newer hardware, but luckily for older iPhone and iPad users, the developers have included options to deactivate some of the games more intensive cosmetic features so that the game will run smoothly on older hardware. I booted up the game on my iPhone 6s Plus to see how it would perform, and to my surprise, it ran quite well with all the settings turned up to the max. That being said, I did have a much smoother experience by turning off the dynamic lightning feature when playing on my older iPhone, so keep that in mind if you don't have the latest and greatest.
On top of the graphics being incredibly well done, the overall flow of the game is exactly what you want to experience in a platformer. Every new element the game throws at you feels fresh and adds a layer to the gameplay which prevents the game from getting stale. The difficulty is adjustable from the beginning — you can pick from easy, normal, or hard — but I found playing through the game on normal gave me the right amount of challenge to make the game enjoyable.
If you love Oddworld games of the past, New 'n' Tasty will likely check all the boxes for you. The quirky humor, the well-thought out game design, and goofy protagonist all stand out as great features we have seen from Oddworld Inhabitants Inc before.
If you don't have a MFi Controller at the ready, I would suggest not paying for this title; however, if you have a gamepad and are looking for a game that looks and feels like a console platformer, the $7.99 price tag is actually pretty reasonable for a game as well-polished as this.
Other games this week
FEZ Pocket Edition: Although it's a few years old and it's a port, FEZ Pocket Edition is a full game and you won't feel like you have been ripped off for spending $4.99. The graphics are gorgeous, the controls are simple and intuitive, and everything I loved about the original remains intact. See on the App Store
Life is Strange: Another console and PC game that's been ported to iOS this week, Life is Strange offers a fantastic story-based narrative that lets you choose the outcome of the game. The visuals are beautiful hand painted and the multiple endings make multiple playthroughs possible. $2.99 on the App Store
Games available for pre-order
Apple you can now pre-order games so you can download them automatically when they launch. Every week I'll give you a quick rundown of the titles you can pre-order!
Bridge Constructor Portal: It's time to start thinking with portals! Expected to launch December 20th, 201. $4.99 on the App Store.
Thumper: Pocket Edition: The "rhythm violence" game that will have you speeding along to the beat! Expected to launch January 24th, 2018. $4.99 on the App Store.
Sonic Runners Adventure: Everyone's favorite hedgehog and his trusty friends will be running on an iPhone screen near you! Expected to launch December 20th, 2017. $2.99 on the App Store.
Anithero — Digital Board Game: Become the ultimate thief by using your stealth, cunning, and the odd murder or two. Expected to launch January 2nd, 2018. $3.99 on the App Store.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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