iPhone’s Flashback explained
App Store abandonware, full screen play coming soon
The waves of nostalgia are still washing over us after seeing Delphine Software’s seminal sci-fi platformer, Flashback, appear on the App Store.
Then a few questions were raised about exactly what process the port was using. Upon its initial load, the game downloads an extra couple of megabytes, which is quite unusual for an iPhone game and did make a couple of retro gaming iPhoners raise a quizzical and concerned eyebrow.
The developer of Flashback’s iPhone adaptation has been chatting over on the Pocket Gamer forums, and has clarified exactly how Delphine’s game came to the iPhone.
“[To clarify], this is a port of Gregory´s REminiscence licensed under GPL (yes we can monetise that and we've talked to Gregory) and as you probably has experienced by now the game data isn't included in the app, but downloaded from abandonware sites on first load, where it has been available for a decade now,” explains Brain from Manomio.
“We have been in contact with the remains of Delphine, who had no commercial interest in the game and had no idea about where IP belonged anymore. This was the only way we could get the game out, without violating any rights.”
Very reassuring news, and quite an exciting development in terms of App Store approvals. Apple is notoriously strict about applications running their own executables (game ROMs, for instance) and is generally quite averse to additional, outside downloads.
But Manomio’s process for bringing abandonware to the iPhone was apparently acceptable to Apple, and highlights a system that allows developers to delivers a host of retro classics to the iPhone.
“We got a lot of feedback from users and can inform that we're working, right now, on an update to improve controls, add full-screen play, and more.”