Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Castle Wolfenstein on iPod Touch
I recently bought an iPod Touch for a bit over $200 and find it to be great fun. It is like buying an iPhone except my monthly contract is ZERO, because it connects with my home wireless network and other wireless networks where I have a password.
One of the cool elements of the iPod Touch is the fact that it gives you access to the Apple "Store" where you can purchase new applications. The vast majority of the applications for the iPhone work on the iPod Touch, except for a few that require a microphone (the iPod Touch does not have a microphone because it isn't a phone).
In the Apple Store I saw this game - Castle Wolfenstein - and immediately had to buy it. The game was a few dollars which were very well spent.
CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN BACKGROUND
I had an Apple II in varying configurations growing up. We played a lot of games, including Wizardry, the pioneering D&D simulation, but we also really liked Castle Wolfenstein. The original Castle Wolfenstein featured an Allied soldier trying to escape from a German WWII castle - the game was notable because it was the first (I knew of) that used voices - the guards would yell at you in German and shriek when you shot them. The game today looks very primitive but at the time it was revolutionary - especially because it involved stealth (you snuck past the guards and they would follow you after shots were fired), and wasn't just a shoot-em-up. Here is a cool wikipedia page with history and some screen shots from the original.
Later, a 2nd version of Castle Wolfenstein came out where you attempted to escape from the castle but it was one of the pioneering "first person shooter" games. You could just see your pistol with a view of the solder in a small box... as he got more banged up there was blood on his face. At the time walking through the maze with pictures on the wall and secret passages was just amazing - it was such a jump over everything else out there at the time. The game also pretty much popularized the "boss" phase, where you came face-to-face with one of the toughest guys at the end, often with cool weapons. The game also led to DOOM, which of course spawned much else in the future. Here is another great wikipedia page with the history of the game.
Personally, I started playing the game and was surprised by how much of the mazes and details I remembered. Apparently my brain is still reserving a lot of cells for this type of information. Unfortunately, my carpal tunnel kicked in and I had to delete the game after finding myself playing it for a few hours at a time on consecutive days.
But BOY does that take me back, and is highly recommended for anyone wishing to re-live old gaming times in a very small package with a 100% faithful port of this game.