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The 10 Best Free Retro Games of all time

Loie Favre

Retro games, though they aren't as masterfully made and highly detailed as the new games of today, still offer great entertainment. This is partly due to childhood memories that come flooding back once you play these game, giving you that nostalgic feeling. It's also because they are so easy and offer hours of stress-free fun. We've explored the caverns of retro-games that have made their way back to the smartphones and tablets of today and brought you ten that will definitely tickle your fancy!

teaser retro Games
Hours of retro fun are at your fingertips! © AndroidPIT

Ping Pong - The forefather of video games

Way back when, Atari came out with the world famous video game Pong. It was 1972 when this game made its way to arcades (obviously not on mobile phones, since those were created the year after in 1973). This minimalistic forefather of video games has since been re-made for smartphones and the app can be downloaded in the Play Store.

Choose your level and let the ping pong action begin! © AndroidPIT
Your smarpthone is your opponent in this classic retro game. © AndroidPIT

The game principal is simple as 1,2,3, but mastering it is another story. Basically you just need to move the white bar in your ''court'' up and down to hit the ball back to your opponent, which is your tablet or smartphone. While testing it out, the app didn't stop running when I prompted it to. Nonetheless, this classic game is definitely worth a try.

Comparable games are Ping Pong Matrix, Mega Ultra Ping Pong Deluxe and Classic Ball and Paddle.

PAC-MAN - It's chomping time!

Everyone knows the all-time favorite game Pac-Man with its little circle dude zipping around a maze, running away from roaming multicolored fiends and trying to eat fruit. The Japanese video game made its first appearance in arcades in the 80s and was an instant hit. The point of the game, for those aliens who haven't been on the earth for the last 20 years, is to ''eat'' all of the dots. The larger dots in each corner will turn the roaming enemies into ghosts that Pac-Man can ''eat''. Once this happens, they go zipping back to the center box, where they turn back into their normal selves.

Chomp away at those dots while avoiding the Pac-Man-hungry fiends. © AndroidPIT

With the smartphone app, you can either steer the little guy by swiping or with a small touchscreen joystick. This is definitely worth a try and (almost) never gets old.

Comparable apps for those who just love this game can also try PAC-MAN Championship ED, PAC-CHOMP! Namco, PAC'N JUMP or Ms. PAC-MAN Demo by Namco. These are just demos offered for free. The full versions on the other hand do ask for a fee.

Frogger Free - Ribbit! Don't let that frog get run over by a bus.

Sega came out with this arcade and video game in 1981 and now you can play this on your smartphone or tablet. You guide the wee little frog across busy streets and torrential waters to try to avoid getting him squished by moving vehicles, angry turtles or floating logs. The tablet version offers you a small joystick that allows you to move the frog right, left, back and forth. With your smartphone, you simply use your finger. The app is free and the only buying option is if you'd rather have an ad-free version.

Avoid Frogger getting squished and guide him safely across streets and rivers. © AndroidPIT

Similar games that you can also install are Froggy (Frogger clone) and Frog Road Free.

Tetris Free - A classic gameboy game for the whole family.

Again another classic game that everyone knows. First appearing in 1984, this game is still very popular and forged a way for many games following the same game principal. As usual, you can download this free app. It's worth a try!

 Stack blocks and make full rows in this retro Tetris game.© AndroidPIT

This game is made even easier with the app version, which shows you where the blocks of different shapes and sizes will land. I found this took away from the initial challenging aspect of the game, not that it was ever too difficult to begin with anyway. Deciding where your blocks will go can be controlled by swiping and you just tap to turn them.

Similar games are Tetris Battle and the Gameboy version Basic Tetris Game.

BoulderDash - TheColletionLITE - Gem-Hungry Rockford is at it again!

Take a walk down BoulderDash memory lane with this app. They remade the game that first appeared in 1984, which applies the same rules: Rockford needs to collect gems from various caves and find a way out. If you want to really explore all the past versions of this game, then just for a few bucks, you'll be able to explore the caves of versions from 1984. 1985, 1986, 2003 and 2005.

There are 5 different game variations from the last 30 years. © AndroidPIT

Collect gems and bust through boulders to find the exit. © AndroidPIT

While the full version does require a fee, it does offer about 2013 caves to explore, which is quite a lot and will definitely make for hours of fun. What's more, you get all the BoulderDash version in one, meaning you don't have to pay extra for each of them.

Some other comparable games are Heartlight and Digger, which put to test your forging and collecting skills.

Snake'97 - Nineties-licious fun!

Minimalist to the core, Snake'97, a large-pixeled classic game that made its debut in the 90s, is available for your smarpthone gaming fun. You'll feel like you really took a step back in time: a Nokia phone is displayed on your screen. You use the buttons of the phone to control the snake while it tries to get the stars, while avoiding hitting any walls. On the other hand, I felt that the game controls didn't respond quickly enough and as the snakes speeds up, this became even more annoying.

This makes me think back to my T9 days. © AndroidPIT

Some other games that might tickle your fancy are Snake Free, Snake and Doodle Snake.

Commander Genuis - Our boy Billy Blaze off on an adventure

Remember the little Billy Blaze? This chap is back from the 90s and on your Android. With him, you'll explore levels one, four and seven of the classic side scroll game. The game is just like the original one, like taking a step back in memory lane.

You first start off on land and as you complete each level, you are brought to new landscapes. © AndroidPIT
The game's graphics are identical to the DOS version. © AndroidPIT

Sonic CD Lite Free - Sega at its best!

It's just been revealed, much to avid retro-gamers' delight everywhere, that the original version of Sonic the Hedgehog from 1991 will be coming to Android soon. Sega developers are re-mastering the original version for smartphones. This ''new'' retro game will be available as of April and will offer a blended in control pad and a jump button, just like the old days.

Sonic the Hedgehog original retro game is coming to Android very soon! © Sega
Sonic runs through different worlds, trying to avoid danger. © AndroidPIT

Other Sonic games are Sonic CD Lite and Sonic 4 Episode II LITE, which can be installed for free from the Google Play store. Full versions, on the other hand, do require a fee.

LCD Retro Games Collection: 3 classic games blasted from the past

Avid retro-gamers shouldn't miss out on these 3 fabulous games in the LCD Retro Games Collection app that really capture the whole feel and vibe of older games, back when graphics were simply and steering a cake-walk. These games are the demo version of Letter Shoot and Coconut Joe (full version costs only a few cents), as well as Power Race in its full version.

Letter Racer tests your reflexes. © AndroidPIT
 Collect coconuts with Coconut Joe © AndroidPIT
Retro racing with Power Racer. © AndroidPIT

Legends of Yore - Pixelated to the max on these mini adventures

Remember when you could actually see the individual pixels? It all comes rushing back with Legends of Yore, a pixelated game where you use different characters to venture through various adventures. The free version has 20 different levels and with a cost, you'll get more with the complete version.

The pixelated dude runs through different levels. It pretty much reaches the level of how pixelated a game is allowed to be. © AndroidPIT

Other cool retro games are Giana Sisters, Hatchi Tamagotchi, Prince of Persia, Space Invaders, Radiant Free, Doom, Stardash Free, R-Type and Hugo Retro Mania. Though these are all newly made games, they still capture the essence of the original game.

I think that playing these games is really fun, except I do miss the original controller. The GamePad from Samsung is most likely a good solution to this problem.

So now you have a good variety of retro-games and I'm sure all of these will offer you hours of fun. Obviously I would test them all out first before splurging on the full version. They may or may not live up to your childhood memories. That being said, give them a try and tell us what you think.

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  • CJ Brown Apr 13, 2013 Link

    It may not be retro, but for a Primetime Television Cartoon that's lasted 24 Seasons, I will consider it retro enough - and that would be The Simpson's ....

    The creators of The Simpson's, along with Electronic Arts, have created one of the funnest Game Apps available on "all platforms" called THE SIMPSON'S TAPPED OUT (its like the Sims, only you can't sim yourself into a Simpson's Character - but that could be happening in the future) ....

    Download for FREE (add me as a neighbor - - get free donuts you can use to purchase things for your own Springfield) purchase what you want with real $ (so far? I haven't spent any real $, because this is a 5 minute virtual zen garden experience done daily by me) ...

    Not bad for a FREE-mium Android Game App