iPhone Life magazine

Enduro Review - Retro Atari racing fun!

The app store is chock full of games from the dawn of time, back when blocky pixels (we didn't know there were any other kind) were cutting edge, and many games were played more in the player's imagination than on-screen. Since many a geek of that era now owns an iPhone, our legacy has followed us to new generations. Enduro is about as raw a retro title as one can stand, and is one of those games that almost questions the wisdom of resurrecting some of this stuff (upon firs blush).

Ok, so I'll be frank. I never owned an Artari 2600, but I remember playing Enduro at a friend's house, it being rather hard, and so I didn't go crazy to play it. It was cool to watch, though. The notion of 3D perspective in games was pretty novel in 1983, and Enduro was one of those games that seemed to have engaging aspects that made it more fun. It felt like you were in a long-distance race when you played. The scenery changed, and conditions became harder with fog, and night driving scenarios. By today's standard, it is kind of flat and monotonous, and the car and driving sounds are terribly primitive, but I found that it is still a challenging and engaging game, and couldn't stop trying to make the second day's challenge!

I ran the game on both my iPad and my iPod touch, and can report
having no problems on either. The accelerometer makes controlling the car a little challenging, especially with iPad's bulk (any steering game has similar issues). The iPod was better suited, but it was somehow more fun on the iPad (just about everything is, I am discovering). You can calibrate the game, but I didn't see where you could adjust the sensitivity. Enduro is only 13.9MB in size, so grab any way ya like.

The point of the game is to compete in the National Enduro race. You control your car by tilting the unit left/right to steer. The blank areas to right or left are touch areas for brake and acceleration. You need to pass a certain number of cars each day to continue though the levels. As you race, the conditions change from day to evening (nice touch-the coloring along the horizon), mountain/snow track, foggy, morning and day again. It looks simple--almost like Frogger with a different perspective if you block out the illusion of forward motion, but the cars quickly become too fast to navigate through requiring judicial use of brake as well. Turns are also tricky as it's hard to calculate where they will pass. If you strike a car, your car goes to the side of the road and slows for a period (letting cars pass you again).

Your progress is noted in the digital display at the center bottom (number of cars passed, mileage, etc). When you are approaching the end of the day, you will start to hear a beeping to warn you your time is almost up. The game plays as far as I can tell just like the original. The developer tried to faithfully reproduce the exact game, with the exception of control mechanisms, and Openfeint game center integration.

I love these old games, even though I am terrible at playing them (still). It is cool to be able to grab them for almost nothing on the app store now. You can grab Enduro in iTunes for 99 cents here. I hope this one will be an "enduring" classic for years to come....ouch! ctually I understand that Nemo games is working on an Enduro motorcycle port as well, and adding touch controls in a future release. 


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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.drupalgardens.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.