Growing up, I was Nintendo through-and-through. I never owned a Sega console, although I secretly adored playing Sonic the Hedgehog and Ecco the Dolphin (imaginative game-naming department over at Sega, eh?) at my friends’ houses. Now that Nintendo have won that particular console war, I can finally play Ecco the Dolphin without feeling like I’m cheating on my NES.
So I was pretty excited to learn that the serious little Bottlenose has just swum his way onto the iPhone, complete with terrible soundtrack and wonderfully awful graphics.
The game doesn’t translate too badly to the touchscreen format; the Megadrive controls (D-pad and ABC buttons) are positioned onscreen, and you can choose between full screen and panel modes.
Originally released in 1992, the story goes that a suspiciously violent gust of wind sweeps most marine life out of the sea and little Ecco is the ocean’s only hope. He can communicate with the few dolphins left in the sea using his sonar abilities and needs to return to the surface for oxygen every few minutes; oh yes, it’s very realistic. Except for all the bits about finding crystals and solving mysteries and fighting enormous octopuses.
It’s fine family fun and a nice slice of retro gaming for £1.79, although today’s youngsters might find it all a bit slow and clunky for their new-fangled tastes.