Contra: Evolution devolves off the App Store

Contra Evolution
Konami classic Contra appeared briefly on the iTunes App Store last week, before being pulled. If you missed it — you really didn’t miss much.
I’m a sucker for retro gaming at the best of times, so a version of Contra — even if it was a tarted up modern graphics version for 99c seemed like a sure bet. It certainly sounds like it, so the fact that it’s vanished might seem a little irksome if you didn’t jump at it straight away.
Except that it’s rubbish. Really quite bad.
It’s not so much the difficulty spikes — this was the game that gave us the classic Konami code, after all — although it does suffer from floaty and imprecise controls. Yes, it’s a touchscreen game, and that’s always a tricky thing to manage, but unless you’ve got a photographic memory of the original and its attack patterns, you’re going to die a lot. At which point, you’re probably going to want to continue… which, apart from a very miserly provision of diamonds is an an in-app purchase.
That’s where it really pours salt into the wounds. Even the Konami code is effectively an in-app purchase; drop $21.99 to get those continues. Eugh. This is exactly how to do IAP the wrong, wrong way, just as it was with Tetris Blitz.
Although with it having been pulled, I’ve got to wonder; what happens when you try to buy something as IAP? Does it still go through, and if so, who gets the money?

Sure, have my credit card details. Take my firstborn child while you're at it.
Sure, have my credit card details. Take my firstborn child while you’re at it.

No, I’m not insane enough to try.
I’ve got nothing against hard games — indeed, I relish them — but hard has to come with the expectation of challenges that can be overcome, not simply purchased around. At a guess, it’s been pulled due to license issues. Essentially speaking, if you didn’t pick it up, you’ve dodged a bullet with more aplomb than the in-game controls would easily afford you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.