There’s nothing like 8-bit graphics and music to create a sense of nostalgia in just about anyone who played the games in the arcades. Once cutting edge, these retro games now take up very little space on Android phones.

Retro games may be small in terms of file size, but they pack a wallop as they play just like the originals regardless of whether using internal or external game controls. Hop across a busy highway in Frogger, eat the dots before the ghosts get you, or stack bricks before the screen fills up, ending the game. Following are the 4 retro games that don’t need a quarter for an extra life or a new game when you lose.



The game by Bandai Namco started the 8-bit revolution with its distinctive “wakka wakka wakka” noise as the yellow circle missing a slice, also known as Pacman, sped around the screen. Players need to avoid the ghosts who are bent on destroying Pacman and preventing him from clearing the dots. The basic premise of Pacman is simple: players try to clear all the dots to advance to the next screen. The ghosts get faster and faster on each screen, but so does Pacman. It’s a race to the finish with Pacman having only one defense to turn the ghosts into vulnerable edibles.

The Pacman app comes with the classic gameplay for nostalgic types and hard-core enthusiasts. But it also comes with different types of gameplay that make for an interesting experience. Compete with other players in tournaments or play fresh and new maps to keep up the challenge of the classic game.

PAC-MAN Price: Free



Image via Flickr by David Drexler

The designer of Frogger was inspired by watching pedestrians try to cross an 8-lane highway. He turned pedestrians into a frog and the 8-lane highway into a river full of dangerous obstacles. Players are treated to an 8-bit sound every time Frogger takes a leap. One wrong move and the frog gets it.

The app has been around for a few years, but it features updated graphics while leaving the gameplay alone. It’s still a blast to play, and all of the original features are still in the game, right down to the fast-moving logs and cars.

Frogger Price: Free

Space Invaders

Space Invaders comes from the same era as Pacman. Simple graphics, limited mobility, and hours of fun define this game that challenges you to try to blast the aliens out of the sky. Players face off against a relentless grouping of aliens determined to take out the base and the defending gunner. The mechanics are straightforward as players slide the gunner left to right and try to avoid falling bombs. The original “pew pew pew” sound emits from the gunner whenever it’s fired. An ominous monotone acts as a metronome while the field of space invaders slide from left to right. While this game isn’t graphics heavy, it does look great on a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 because of its high-resolution display.

Invaders - Retro Arcade Space Shooter Price: Free

Q-Bert: Rebooted

The original Q-Bert signaled a shift in arcade games from 2-D to 3-D. It was unlike anything players had seen to date and sent a thrill through the gaming community. The game consists of bouncing a character, Q-Bert, around geometric tiles in order to turn them the same color. His enemies are many and took advantage of new video card technology to bounce, slither, and hop around the screen. Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of Q-bert is the censored speech balloon that appears above his head when he’s killed.

The app version of Q-Bert offers more levels, more play, and the same diabolical enemies trying to take out Q-Bert. It’s a gamer’s delight that keeps on giving no matter how old it gets.

Q*bert: Rebooted Price: Free

These retro games and others like them use mechanics that work. They’re delightful, full of surprises, and never get old. Their lasting popularity over the decades shows that good design always wins out. Gamers have a rich array of choices when it comes to video games, yet there’s nothing more refreshing than a return to the classics of yesteryear for hours of nostalgia.


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