Baldur’s Gate and other great PC games given a second wind on iOS

by Phil Hornshaw

Back in 1998, the fledgling role-playing game developer BioWare released Baldur’s Gate, a Dungeons & Dragons universe RPG that became one of the most popular ever made. Many gamers still count it among their favorite games of all time.

The game was so well-loved that even a 15 years later, it’s still hailed as a classic. And like many other great classic titles, Baldur’s Gate has been given another chance, remade for both PC and mobile, in the form of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for iPad.

Baldur’s Gate features an insane amount of content, boasting 80 hours of gameplay, which is exceptional for a mobile title (versus 300 hours for last year’s console and PC title The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). The remastered version not only packs everything that the original had, from its characters to its weapons and armor, but adds new content: Additional characters to meet and befriend, for one, and an entirely new adventure for players to conquer in-game.

Revisiting Baldur’s Gate is going to make a lot of fans of older RPGs extremely happy (BioWare is the company that went on to make titles such as the popular Mass Effect series on consoles), and it’s definitely a huge game to make its way to Apple’s mobile platform.

We’ve seen other classics get revivals, thanks to the iPhone and iPad. It’s quickly becoming a great medium through which old games can be reborn.

Visiting Another World

Baldur’s Gate joins some illustrious classic gaming ranks by coming to iOS. Last year, we saw Another World ported to the platform, which has some serious old-school gaming cred of its own.

Called Out of This World in the U.S., Another World was first released in 1991 and was an early portent of what cinematic potential of games. It’s an action-platformer, in which the game’s main character, Lester, suddenly finds himself transported to, as you might guess, another world. The alien land into which he’s thrust is rife with dangers, and its beautiful graphics stand pat in today’s gaming market.

Another World is notable for being a great and difficult, as well as a notable one on the landscape of game development. It’s a story told nonverbally, and yet the visuals and the action portray the events with a great silent movie feel. The iOS version is, thankfully, filled with auto-saving checkpoints, which allow players the chance to fix things pretty easily after dying. This is really important because Another World will kill you. A lot.

But visiting Another World is definitely a journey worth taking, whether you’ve been there before or not. Even with some experience in the game, the revamped touch controls help to make the classic feel fresh.

Unlocking a deserted island’s secrets

It feels like a disservice to not mention one of the ultimate classic PC games that has seen a whole lot of love on iOS: Myst.

When it first hit PCs way back in 1993, its high-end graphics were pretty stunning. The 3D adventure game has players exploring an empty island filled with strange structures and ruins. It was beautiful and even groundbreaking in its day, as well as notoriously difficult. Before the Internet age, players had only their own wits to help them solve the game’s various puzzles, and wandering the island while discovering its mysteries killed lots of hours for many, many people.

The ethereal quality of the world and the mysterious, unfolding story, discovered in bits and pieces throughout the game, made Myst a classic. It wasn’t long before a sequel, Riven, was released as well. Both are available on iOS right now – they’re rather large files because they’re so packed with content.There are more great games that are getting a second wind on Apple’s mobile platform, ranging from classic role-playing titles to old side-scrollers. Sega, Square Enix and Rockstar Games are a three publishers that have been diligent in making their older games available to new players. It’s great rediscovering games that have long been unavailable or out of the public eye. Here’s to hoping that more timeless titles show up in the iTunes App Store in the near future.

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