Developer: Classic Contra Game
Price: Free play with in-app purchase(s)
While we are hot on reviewing Nintendo games and apps, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my days of dominating Contra with the cheat code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, start) which gave you unlimited lives. Well, I searched “contra game app” in the Google Play store, and apparently the original developer, Konami, has sold rights to any developer willing to pay their asking price. Needless to say, you will have options. I defaulted to downloading the Contra app with the highest rating, Classic Contra, at 4.7.
Classic Contra Game Play
For starters, you don’t have to blow into the end of the game cartridge or console to get the game to load properly. Just tap your app and you are ready to play. It’s a landscape format game mimicking the Nintendo controller almost exactly with your left thumb controlling the 8-position direction pad and your right thumb controls the A (shoot) and B (jump) actions. Start at Stage 1, The Jungle, and you will immediately notice the similarity to the original Nintendo game. The graphics, audio, and game play are identical to the original Contra with the only exception being you are holding a smartphone in lieu of a controller.
You can’t enter the aforementioned cheat code for unlimited lives as you only get three. Once you die three times, you can chose to watch a video for an extra life or select “no,” and if you want to continue, you will have to sit through an advertisement, of course. Even sometimes when you pause the game, you will be greeted with a video ad. Well, guess what? You can buy your way out of the bombardment of ads for only $.99. You can also purchase additional lives (up to 30) and the “spray” or “spread” gun (the best!) up to unlimited use for prices ranging from $4.99 to $14.99. These are relatively cheap price tags especially if you desire to lose the ads and be competitive. If you know me, my cheap self will suffer through the video advertisements until I can’t take it anymore. Well, I am already at that point, so there goes $.99, and it really is a relief not to have to deal with those annoying ads. This is just the reality of the free app world and is no fault of the developer.
If you are reading this article and asking yourself “What’s the big deal with Contra?” Either you aren’t of my generation or just haven’t simply heard of it. Regardless of whether or not playing Contra induces a nostalgic memory, you should give Classic Contra a crack. I will say I had to you get used to my gorilla- like thumbs being an obstacle or maybe it’s just a sign I need to upgrade my smartphone.