Contra Evolution Right Out Of Pocket (Android & iOS)

Action On The Go With Contra: Evolution

Speaking about this sequel of Contra series we can only tell one thing – It’s evolved into something! With Contra Evolution this franchise made its way onto mobile devices. Important note that this is not simply an port or just graphically enhanced version.  It does give you the same side-scrolling bullet-fest action though, but with updated graphics, controls and new game elements. Developed by Konami, published by CocoaChina and served to the audience for just $0.99. With given price tag this popular classic is well worth the download. Once you start playing you’ll notice that you get to select a character. In case you don’t remember, that’s something you couldn’t do in the original. The two original characters are available, as well as two unlockable female characters.

Contra Evolution gameplay

How neat does that look? Classic shooter is back – now in HD!

Available On Android & iOS

Just like the original game and most of the Contra series, Evolution is light on story and heavy on action. Your task is to storm through levels and pour bullets and rockets around the place.  The tough part is that if you get hit even once  you’re dead. Power-ups and various weapon upgrades scattered throughout the levels make things easier though. Two gameplay modes are available, arcade and mission mode. Mission mode is a concept where you have to complete level with certain number of points within a given time frame. Arcade mode is a remade version of the NES game. Some innovations are implemented in levels but you can still recognize authenticity of Contra games. Each stage also remixed music from the original game. To play a stage in mission mode, you need to complete it in arcade mode first. Graphic enhancement fits perfectly and the game looks great. When it comes do difficulty, you can choose one of three options. Now, when it comes to co-op, it’s unfortunately not available. This was to be expected though, since there is no way to play co-op on mobile devices.

You could guess that in Contra Evolution it might be hard to control your character using touch screen. To make things easier Konami came up with hree control options available. You can choose from classic directional pad, fixed joystick and floating joystick. Through the play we  found the classic directional pad to be the most responsive. No matter which option you choose, it will likely take some getting used to. Luckily there is an auto-fire option, which frees up your fingers for more important things like running and aiming.  The best thing about this game is that it stays faithful to its predecessor, the original Contra title. I mean the graphics are updated, but the enemies and stages are all recognizable. Now, one thing Evolution is missing compared to rest of the games from the series is definitely multiplayer mode. One thing I loved about the original was Bill and Lance going together busting aliens. Everything is easier and fun is doubled when you play with a friend in co-op mode. All we can do is hope for an update that will bring Wi-Fi based multiplayer mode.

Contra Evolution character selection screen

Character selection screen. Lance looks more than ready for some action!

Play Contra Out Of Pocket

Another innovation is in-game currency system. Let me brake it down for you in few sentences. There are two types of currency, just as most mobile games these days. First are coins which can be earned in game and is used to purchase certain weapons and continues. On the other side we have diamonds which must be purchased with real money. They are used to purchase better weapons or to buy 30 lives. As you can see diamonds replaced famous Konami code.  Contra Evolution looks and feels fantastic, and the new characters fit in pretty well.This greatly adds to the gameplay value. Not to forget that mission mode is a nice addition. Only thing this game lost, and it lacks it in my opinion is co-op since it adds to much fun to Contra games. Lastly, I think the game and the players could benefit from a tutorial or gameplay explanation. Some of the elements might be confusing including the currency system.

Nostalgia is a powerful force. Contra Evolution is a must-have for fans of old-school Contra games. Fun yet challenging gameplay for the most part, Evolution shouldn’t disappoint. For the price tag of only $0.99, it’s a great pick-up-and-play game for franchise fans and anyone looking for some side-scrolling action.