(4 out of 5)
If you told me that one of my favorite PC games from back in the day would soon be playable on the same thing I use to make phone calls with, I would have laughed you right out the door. Well, that is exactly what has arrived as the iTunes application store, Wolfenstein 3-D. I immediately jumped at the chance to download this great game, but I won’t lie, I was a little worried that the experience may turn out to be just a cheap port that looks like Wolf 3-D but really isn’t. Well that is not the case here, this is the full fledged, Nazi-shooting classic that amazed us all back in 1992.
The very first thing to address is how the controls look and feel. It does take a little getting used to at first. The largest issue I was having was spinning around to shoot an enemy. You have a choice of four different control schemes. It’s really two, but one way favors a left or right handed person. You can have an up and down arrow with a sliding arrow on each side to turn around, with your gun on the opposite side of the screen. This basically sets you up to play with your thumb controlling all direction and the other shooting.
The other variation is kind of like a very simplified version of how controls are for first-person shooters today. You have one thumb doing your basic movements, forward, back, left and right. The other thumb then controls your spinning movement, with the gun icon above that. Both ways work well, but I prefer using my thumb to control all movements because it seemed a little faster in terms of response. You also have the option to change sensitivity which is nice because the default is a little slow.
Once you get the controls down you are treated to an excellent experience, all of the sounds and music from the original PC game are here and in full force. The graphics are pretty much identical to the original, but there is absolutely no slowdown or frame rate issues on the iPhone. The game has all of the original six episodes included, as well as all of your favorite enemies. ID Software really did a great job getting this one to the iPhone, and I think it’s a perfect fit. There’s nothing like having a little free time and taking out a level. Now obviously, if you were not a fan of Wolfenstein 3-D back in the day, your feelings probably won’t change, because this is almost identical in terms of the overall game.
Those looking for a multiplayer option will have to look somewhere else because this is a straight up single player, which is how it was really meant to be. I guess they could have thrown in a deathmatch type option, but I just don’t think it would have felt right with Wolfenstein 3-D.
Fans of Wolfenstein 3-D will love this on the go version just as much as they loved the classic version. It will cost you $4.99 from the iTunes application store, but with all six episodes included, it’s really a pretty decent deal. ID Software did not leave anything out when they ported this to the iPhone, and that’s exactly what it is, a direct port from the PC version, but that’s really all I wanted.
They didn’t need to try and make it bigger than it was or add some kind of new gameplay to match up to todays games, just that classic game will work for most people. So if you’re any kind of a Wolfenstein 3-D fan, pick this one up from the application store, you won’t be disappointed. The controls are tight, the sound is well ported, and it’s just an all around fun game to play.
Wolfenstein 3-D Screenshots from ID Software