"Save keys to open doors."
I still hear that phrase in my sleep. It haunts me, and I love that it does.
There is something brilliant about an arcade game in which your life continually drops simply by your existing. In such a game, it doesn't matter how well you play, you're going to end up popping quarter after quarter after quarter into the machine so you can get further and further. Oh sure, many such games have ways to gain life and thereby extend play, but it takes a lot more than most folks have to get through such a title on a single quarter.
On the new Midway Arcade iOS app, Gauntlet and Gauntlet II are both part of a 99 cent DLC pack, but the notion of buying the 99 cent base game and not getting Gauntlet and Gauntlet II boggles the mind. It isn't that the base app doesn't come with great old arcade games, it totally does—they include Joust, Spy Hunter, Rampage, and Defender amongst others—but Gauntlet, and NARC, which is in the other DLC pack, are what would sell me on the title. And yet, while those two games would be enough to convince me to get the app and the DLC, through the years I played most of the games on far more systems than I care to remember. In fact, when I first got an NES, I bought Rampage to go along with it.
In short, there is a haunting amount of nostalgia present for people of a certain age in the Midway Arcade app, and those who play it on an iPad won't be disappointed with what they get. While multiple game controls are present on both systems, the small size of an iPhone screen makes it somewhat difficult to manipulate the virtual joystick, especially as character movements aren't particularly smooth in games of this age. The experience on the larger screen iPad is a significant improvement over the iPhone.
I was actually a little unhappy playing the games at first, the characters are all, almost universally, small, and figuring it all out on the iPhone after getting used to playing back in the day in the arcade is tough. As stated though, switching to the iPad alleviated the problem and gave me the necessary retro bliss I desired. Plus, when I first turned the game on I heard those magic words, "Save keys to open doors," and I hadn't even bought the DLC yet.