Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
The latest case of a highly regarded classic being reborn comes from independent developer nerdgames. In their debut application for the iPhone, they are bringing back StuntCopter developed by the late Duane Blehm. While this game was considered innovative and novel a couple decades ago, I’m sure you’re all wondering whether it’s still relevant today.
For the setup for the game, StuntCopter is as simple as it gets. You are a dude that’s tethered to a helicopter, and the goal is to land into a moving horse-drawn cart. Based on that being one hell of a stunt, it's quite easy to see where the game's title came from.
You progress in StuntCopter by working your way through levels. Completing levels are based on clearing goals for the amount of successful jumps for your virtual dude. As you’d expect, the difficulty increases from the horse-drawn carts moving faster along with being paired with stiffer jump goals.
Navigating around in StuntCopter makes sense. Control of your helicopter is done exclusively through the iPhone’s accelerometer, and it works very well. Launching your dude is done with a succinct tap of the glass. I'm happy to report this scheme holds up admirably even on StuntCopter's harder levels.
StuntCopter makes no apologies for being a retro game. It’s black, grey, and white color pallet are “monochromistically” (yeah, I made that word up...) sound. The antiquated sound effects will make you reminisce of hours wasted away on an Atari 2600 or Colecovision, if you’re old enough that is. Don’t get me wrong, I typically prefer a little sizzle for my eyes and ears, but the effect the guys at nerdgames were going for are not lost on me.
To answer the ultimate question of whether you should you care about this port, I’d say definitively and decisively assert a big fat... "maybe.” If you have a thing for retro games, you’ll probably love StuntCopter. For the other 95% of the buying public that doesn’t have the emotional attachment, there isn’t much staying power here. Outside of this being a well done port of a 22-year-old game, Stunt Copter is not doing anything here that’s particularly progressive in comparison to the sea of other games out there.
The same dilemma I had with Rogue Touch applies here, and like my positioning there, I’m going to grudgingly opt to score StuntCopter based on how it’d relate to the uninitiated. Should you have some fond memories of this game, tack on another two points and you’ll have my score for the initiated.