Atari has been milking Missile Command nostalgia for a while with re-released games and even plans for a movie (not that it has materialized), but its latest may be appealing for its relatively straightforward appeal. It’s developing Missile Command: Recharged, a slightly modernized version of the classic base defense game for Android and iOS. The touch input is the most obvious update, but you’ll also see an upgrade system, power-ups, achievements and online leaderboards to keep things fresh. There’s even an augmented reality mode — you can play on a virtual cabinet in your room if you have memories of spending all your quarters at the arcade.
The title will be available in spring as a free-to-play title with ads, although there will be a one-and-done purchase option to play the game ad-free. You shouldn’t be nickel-and-dimed to death, then. This won’t be the most spectacular way to celebrate Missile Command’s 40th anniversary (it first hit arcades in July 1980). However, it does show how far gaming has come over four decades. A game that used to require a hulking cabinet and a trackball now fits easily into your pocket, with touch and AR technology that wasn’t even on the radar 40 years ago. And look at it this way: it’ll be a much more affordable trip down memory lane than Atari’s long-delayed VCS console.