Arcade Returns: Best Free Retro Games Apps From Pong To Tetris

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These best free retro gaming apps let you relive the arcade era on the go.

The arcade once existed as a pixelated entertainment mecca where humans could feed huge masses of gear with fiat currency for a shooting at the elusive highscore list of all time. In recent decades, the appeal of this once thriving industry has waned, although new arcades have appeared in major cities across the country in recent years.

Today, our smartphones allow us to enjoy many of these classic video games from the comfort of home or on the go. Many of these pioneering staples like Pong and PacMan are available in modern reimaginations that stay true to the original aesthetic and gameplay. Without further ado, here are the best free retro game apps to relive the arcade experience.

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The original block-building puzzle game takes only a few moments to learn and a lifetime to master. As the blocks descend from the top of the screen, players need to move the pieces to fit the blocks already in place along the bottom. Once a row is filled on the screen, that level of blocks will disappear, creating more space for players to work with. As the path progresses, the parts begin to descend more quickly, which increases the risk of error.

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Frogger is an arcade classic that allows players to control the frog of the same name in a multitude of environments, from stream crossings to congested freeways. The Journey of Amazing frogger offers a great modern take on the original gameplay.

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Pac-Man always stands the test of time thanks to the beautiful simplicity of the game. Simply erase the dots on the board, gobble up bonuses and avoid ghosts if necessary en route to the next level.

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Galaga Wars is a modern take on the classic Galaga arcade game. Galaga purists may not necessarily enjoy this iteration, however, Galaga Wars offers a modern and compelling interface while remaining true to the original concept.

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At the height of the Cold War, Missile Command was a classic of Atari arcade games in the 1980s. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of Missile Command, Atari created Missile Command Recharged as a modern version of the ‘original.

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Infinite Pong is an outstanding comeback arcade game for smartphones. The Infinite Pong app allows players to compete in a one or two player setting. The gameplay itself is not much different from the original version of Atari. Simply use a number to drag the racket across the screen to return the ball to your opponent.

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Breakout was one of the pioneering arcade games in the 1970s and Breakout: Boost acts like a modern version of the original. Similar to Pong, players use a paddle to directionally deflect a small ball. However, in Breakout: Boost, players attempt to deflect the ball to slowly break through various barriers, with each strike knocking out an individual block in a structure.

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Snake enjoyed near cult status among cellphone users of the 90s; especially those who had Nokia models during this period. Snake ’97 offers a modern virtual variation of the original. For more authenticity, Snake ’97 actually transforms the front-facing gamer phone screens of an older Nokia model. To control the snake, players need to press the number buttons on the Nokia keyboard.

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It only takes a few seconds to master the basics of Q * bert before taking on the challenges. The gameplay consists of crossing a series of geometric structures made up of small blocks. To clear each level, players must touch each block of the overall structure. Various obstacles are introduced to complicate matters and sometimes players have to use tools to complete the puzzle.

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