The original 8-bit Contra video game, released by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console back in 1988, has become a legendary classic. Many still consider it the pinnacle of side-scrolling run-'n'-gun gameplay, with its fast-paced action and steep difficulty proving to be an addictive formula.
Now that same familiar experience was been remade into a high-definition title called Contra: Evolution. It is available on the Google Play store for $0.99. Development was handled by PunchBox Studios. This is a somewhat faithful remake of the original NES cartridge game, with the same format for its gameplay mechanics, level designs, boss battles, and other elements. In fact, it is being promoted as the "first fully licensed Contra game for mobile."
There are new components, though, as players now have access to a new character selection set, including two entirely original characters to choose from. The Spread gun is intact, along with seven stages inspired by the original pathway.
Although Android users may rejoice if they were fans of the first iteration, early user reviews are mixed. Within the first 24 hours of release, it has received more five-star ratings than any other; however, at press time, it has received just as many one-star votes as four-star. Some users are experiencing frustration with the amount of in-game permissions.
Curious would-be purchasers should note that this is the same Contra: Evolution that released on iOS devices in June, and reached the top of the Apple Store paid game charts in many countries.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.