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More retro game goodness from Square


The mobile phone screen has proved perfect for revamped versions of 2D classics. Square-Enix’s Secret of Mana for the iPhone is another great example of this. A game approaching its 18th birthday, (it was first released in 1993), expect Zelda-esque graphics, as you fight to save the world from collapse. (Isn’t that always the case?)

The controls have been dragged over to the iPhone’s touchscreen, kicking and screaming. It was tough to move the character where we wanted him, and attack what we wanted to attack. Fortunately, you’ll be joined later in the game by two other characters who will make up for your sloppy swordmanship.

Be warned too, that it’s no cinch to finish. Fortunately, you can’t die in the first boss fight, or at least you’ll be instantly revived to continue the battle. It took us around seven non-deaths to win, and that was only the first one. The game isn’t a quickie, either, and should last several long train-rides or evenings in. If you die, you’ll be taken to the start menu, but can return back to the screen before your death. Very handy.

Expect the usual wacky characters and plot diversions of a Square-Enix game, and characters can be grown as you want them to. Use a sword a lot, and you’ll get better at using a sword. Use a spear a lot and… well you get it.

It’s been given a polish-up since 1993, with some updated hand-drawn profiles, pretty water and environment tweaks, and the ability to minimise it, do something else, and get right back to playing when you want to.

If you liked this, then we recommend trying the two first Final Fantasy games, also available on iTunes, both with heavy graphical upgrades, and both pretty damn hard.


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