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Retro Game Challenge game review

Live all the glory of the Golden Age of video games with Retro Game Challenge. There were tons of arcade games and home consoles everywhere back in the 1980s, and not just the Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari. Your parents might remember the hoopla around classic games like Pong, Space Invaders and Pac-Man.

XSeed Games for DS
Sound: 8.0
Gameplay: 9.0
Replay Value: 8.0
Overall Score: 8.0

Deep old-school living-room game experience. Virtual magazines give you codes. Music adds to the tension.

Saving doesn’t happen automatically after each completed level. Spelling errors. Could use a few more games.


Retro Game Challenge isn’t just game playing; it’s a complete experience. Sure, you’ll hear ancient-sounding 8-bit music compositions and see some old-timey graphics. For a moment, you might think “I don’t want to play this; it’s too old.”

But you’re hooked right away. The first thing you see is this guy’s head with a crown, a kingly presence suspended in a green background of 1s and 0s. It’s as if you’re taken inside an old console to see someone living in there.

Game Master Arino bets you can’t finish all the challenges he gives you. You won’t take a challenge like that lying down, will you?


Arino transports you back to a 1980s living room where you have a “new” friend to play against. The graphics here are much better, and Arino as a kid is cool, if a little temperamental. When he loses, he wants to throw the controller down. Weirdly, he also wants you to beat his older Game Master self.

Your first four challenges occur within a game called Cosmic Gate, which is like the old Galaga. Colorful insect aliens move in swirling formation, trying to blast your missile launcher out of existence. The challenges? For example, you’ll be asked to use a special warp mode and then get 200,000 points (which is difficult, but not crazily so).

Just as cool as the game is a virtual magazine called GameFan that you can browse through for tips on powerups. You’ll get codes to enter into the DS, too.

Since this game is all about the classic stuff, you won’t use the touchscreen and stylus much. In Cosmic Gate, use the B button to shoot and the D-pad to move around. (When pausing, press up, up on the D-pad, then AA, then BB for a cool powerup.)


Robot Ninja Haggle Man is a fast-paced platformer like the earliest Mario games. You even save a princess, just like Mario does in pretty much every Mario game. In Haggle Man, you throw ninja stars and close doors to defeat enemies. Sometimes you have to jump on their heads. Later, play Haggle Man 3, a much more difficult version because the enemies are more powerful and faster, the game design more treacherous.

In Rally King, take the wheel of a fancy racecar. You control it from above, not in a first-person mode. But you do have the ability to drift and even a drift boost option to keep you far ahead of the pack.

Star Prince gives you a spaceship with many powerups. You battle bigger, more complex ships than yours, while moving your ship up and down to avoid being shot.

But the most complex (in a good way) of the bunch is a pretty intense role-playing game called Guadia Quest. Here, your king has a mission for you, if you’re brave enough to take it. You’ll travel many roads and find things like the Light Soul, the Royal Key and the Mirror of Truth. Watch out for the last boss, the horrible Scream from the Darkness.


Taken individually, the games wouldn’t be all that. But put them together with the many challenges, the magazines, the living room and the bickering of the strange Game Master, and you have a DS game that’s varied enough to be a cut or two above many other games available now. Plus, you can play the games all the way through in Free Play mode once you’ve completed the challenges. In Free Play, Cosmic Gate has 64 levels.

The game isn’t flawless, though. If you don’t “save” before shutting down, you might lose your progress. I completed three levels of Cosmic Gate, then shut the game off. I had to start all over again. So make sure to save, which is done after clicking on the “Quit” portion of the onscreen menu. Then there are the spelling glitches in the game, especially the one that uses “shooted” as a verb instead of “shot.” There’s just no excuse for that, even in the 80s.

24 Comments on Retro Game Challenge game review

  1. kirbyrules999, if there was SMB on here, then the game would be published by Nintendo. So, NO. Sorry.

  2. does it have any rpgs

  3. gothscout666 // August 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm // Reply

    this game is awsome! i bought it to try it out and it is so fun. i espacally like Gaudia Quest and the haggleman games. i even know a secret boss in Gaudia Quest. The Game Gaudia. if any of you have it here is a tip. get your people to around level 30 before trying the first dungon the get a wind gaudia. they are most commonly found across the bridge north west of where you start out. but beware the are lots of strong monsters around there. also if you cross the next bridge north west of there there you will find even stronger monsters. you will eventulley come to some trees or mountains north of you keep going straight and you will find a patch of dirt and a lone tree. stand on top of it and press A then the menu will pop up go down to look and hit A again it will say something like there is nothing there…oh wait whats that? then you find the fearsome Game Gaudia.he is super strong!

  4. You are saying that the graphics need a little more work… Didn’t you read the article? It says 1980’s games, this are retro games. Graphics do not make a good game. The Atari Jaguar and the Micro Gameboy Advance both were horrible and failiers and for the time they had great graphics. Don’t beleive me do a search on video game consoles. RETRO GAMES ROCK! I still have my dad NES and his old Atari.

  5. kirbyrules999 // June 5, 2009 at 8:09 am // Reply

    Does it have SMB?

  6. darthmonkey // May 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm // Reply

    i wish U could play it onliine

  7. pee wee456 // April 30, 2009 at 9:25 am // Reply

    i love this game

  8. You might now me from the dsi review post and the Whos your favorite video game hero. But anyway to get to the point, i think this it a great game over all the graphics could use a little work but its not that bad. I really think that this is a good game and i will purchase it later.

  9. my dad dose’nt let me play video games,but i’m always at my friend’s house playing it.i’d prabaly rate it 4 1\2 stars.lets just say that i really like it!

  10. this game is ratical

  11. it is awsome

  12. it looks kool


  14. this is cool and awsome i’ll tell my friends

  15. I want it it looks cool and fun dosent it

  16. thank you

  17. I’m pretty sure the spelling glitches were intentional, to make for an authentic 80’s gaming experience

  18. i think this game is cool

  19. This Game sounds so much better than little big planet and Namco museum. I WANT THIS GAME!

  20. awsome

  21. it is awsome

  22. i might purchase this game

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