I’ve mentioned a few times on this site how much I love the Konami 6-Player X-Men Arcade game from 1992 (as a part of my dream arcade or while rambling about the Pryde of the X-Men Cartoon), and in general the X-Men have come up a few times (like when I was re-gifted my old comic collection or when discussing the Essential X-Men Crossover ads.)  Let’s just say that it’s a safe assumption that the X-Men were a pretty big part of my pop culture experience as a tween and teen.  In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I feel lucky to have grown up during some of the best years for that comic property, getting into them around 1987 and sticking with them until the departure of the main series writer, Chris Claremont, around 1991-92.  I was there for the VHS release of the very under-appreciated Sunbow pilot, Pryde of the X-Men, I remember staring slack-jawed at the pegs when the 91 Toy Biz X-Men action figures were released, and was one of six billion people who fell in love with the artwork of Jim Lee as he came onto the Uncanny X-Men comic.  But getting back to the arcade game, that game was released right as my love for the X-Men was at its height.  My small group of friends at the time were all also x-fanatics and there were a number of birthdays celebrated at a local go-cart/arcade establishment called Malibu Grand Prix where the five of us spent all of our money on that beautiful 6-player machine…

X-Men Small

If there’s one thing that I miss about the disappearance of arcades across the country it’s the ability to step up to the above machine, plunk in a bunch of quarters and kick some Brotherhood of Evil Mutant butt with Wolverine, Dazzler and Colossus.  A few years ago I had the opportunity to pick up one of these cabinets for about $500, which as I understand it is a steal, but I ended up passing based on pure logistics.  Where in the hell was I going to put this behemoth?!?  It has to weigh at least 750lbs and there is no way it would fit through my front door let alone trying to find a place for it in a 2 bedroom apartment.  No, owning one of these machines is pretty much out of the question and so I resigned myself to never getting another chance to try and take down Magneto and his minions.  Well, that’s what I thought until this past weekend when Glen Manders, the gentleman spearheading the release of the Cheestroyer vinyl toy I blogged about this past weekend, pointed out that the game is available for iPad and android tablets.  Um, HOLY CRAP!


I was a little skeptical at first as I’m not a huge fan of playing games from the arcade or home systems ported to the iPad.  I just don’t like using the touchscreen as a d-pad, it’s not comfortable in my hands typically.  I feel the same way about emulators on the computer.  I can’t use a keyboard to play them for crap, and I’ve yet to invest in a usb controller.  Honestly I’m just not enough of a rabid gamer to bother with it, at least not to invest the $20 or so I’d have to in order to make the gaming experience more in line with what I remember as a kid.  Anyway, I went into the X-Men Arcade game app pretty skeptical.  But after messing around with the settings for a bit, I was completely won over and was sitting in amazement as I got a chance to play this long lost arcade game again…


As I booted it up and watched the opening sequence it was like being 15 years old again…

Cut Scene 2


Just like in the arcade you have six X-Men to choose from, Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Dazzler…


…and you play through 7-8 levels battling against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, more or less the exact line up from the Pryde of the X-Men cartoon, including Pyro, the Blob, the White Queen, Juggernaut and eventually Magneto.  Not sure why Toad got the shaft and left out of the game…


For the most part you’re fighting your way through a city against mini Sentinels and armored brutes with cannons, but you also do battle with a series of other X-Men villains including the Reavers (well, a few variations of the tank-treaded punk Bonebreaker), Wendigo, Mastermold, and Mystique.  There’s also a handful of Egyptian statues in there that I think were supposed to point towards Apocalypse, but I’m not sure…

Cyclops 1



So many familiar things came flooding back while playing this game, from Wendigo shouting his name as he pummeled the crap out of me, to how it kind of sucked that in order to use your mutant powers you had to spend heath points!

Storm 2

Back in the arcade days, this totally sucked because it meant plunking in more and more quarters as you killed yourself in order to have Storm summon a tornado, Cyclops fire his optic blasts, Dazzler set off a light bomb, or have Nightcrawler teleport.  It made a little more sense with Wolverine, who goes into a berserker rage, or Colossus, who shifts from metal to human back to metal with a sudden explosion.  At least you get to walk around skewering Sentinels as Logan and beating the crap out of armored villains with Peter’s Russian metal fists.  But the rest of the X-men are a little more hampered by sacrificing their innate mutant abilities in lieu of punching and kicking (or in the case of Storm, smacking people upside the head with a scepter?!?)

Colossus 1

Dazzler 2

Even so, the game is still super fun and with this tablet app version you have the amazing benefit of unlimited continues, so you can totally let loose with all your mutant abilities!


I was a little surprised how short the game is, considering my friends and I were never able to beat it back in the 90s.  I was able to play through and beat the game twice in an hour!  Granted, I had it set on the Easy difficulty, but still, it played through pretty quickly.  This is hardly a complaint though, as I had a lot of fun making my way through the levels, and plan on going back and beating the game with all six of the X-Men…

Mystique 2

There were also little things that I forgot like Nightcrawler’s ability to stomp on villains that have been knocked to the ground, and Magneto declaring that “You’re Dead!” when he takes one of your player lives…

Nightcrawler 1

There’s also a multiplayer function, but I haven’t had the opportunity to check it out.  All in all, for $0.99, if you’re a fan of the original arcade game you can’t go wrong.  There’s so much nostalgia to be relived with this game, and it takes the edge off of not buying that hulking cabinet when I had the chance!

Magneto 1