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App description: The Exidy arcade classic is back, in this officially licensed port, now for your iPhone and iPod Touch! Crossbow was one of the first games to feature a light gun in the arcade and it was also the first arcade game with fully digitized sound effects and speech. (earlier games only featured speech synthesis or a loop tape) Optimized for touch interface but retaining all the classic sounds, characters and enemies, Crossbow is ready for a quick play anytime!

Ouisch's comments:
Starting this only because I haven't seen anyone else jump on it. No idea how to post links/app info/etc, so somebody can go ahead and do that.

My worry here is... is this legit?

Crossbow was one of my all time favorite arcade games (I was a huge fan of all the Exidy gun games actually). If this is a licensed port, I'm all over it. Anyone know anything else about the devs?

09-09-2010, 07:17 PM
#2
Yes, it's legit. Just check out the Wikipedia page on the game.

09-09-2010, 07:32 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 845
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
Yes, it's legit. Just check out the Wikipedia page on the game.
What am I missing on the wiki page? I don't see anything about it being licensed by Mean Hamster, nor anything that indicates a legit port to iPhone was announced.

EDIT: Actually it does, way over in the corner. Apparently Mean Hamster got the rights to some Exidy games (including Crossbow).

OK, buying now, impressions later. If you're out there Mean Hamster, please get Cheyenne and Chiller going next!

Playing: Space Ace, Road Blaster, So Long Oregon, Necronomicon CG, 7th Guest, Deathsmiles
Waiting for: Mad Dog McCree, 11th Hour, Necronomicon CG update!

Last edited by Ouisch; 09-09-2010 at 07:48 PM.
09-09-2010, 11:52 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 845
Game Impressions

Sorry for the double post, but it doesn't seem like there's much love for Crossbow around.

I TOFTT'd this one, not really incredibly impressed with it, nor am I really gutted by it. It's basically what I expected from an iPhone port of Crossbow. You tap to shoot the various obstacles barring your "friends" from making it to the other side of the screen and try to keep them alive as long as you can. The mechanics work well for the most part, but the tap to shoot mechanic doesn't really feel overly accurate (the shot can sometimes appear a little beside where you think you actually tapped).

Unfortunately, my hopes for an "arcade accurate-ish" port weren't really realized.

A couple of things that really bother me...

First off, your "friends" aren't supposed to have energy bars. If they get hit by an obstacle, they're supposed to die pretty much instantly in a ball of fire, not grunt and stand there for a while while they're attacked. Which brings me to my next point... I'm pretty sure the crocodiles under the bridge aren't supposed to be able to hurt your friends that are walking across it. That's the one thing I've come across in the game so far that really made me groan. The crocs pop up too fast to really deal with them properly (and in the arcade that was fine as they didn't hurt you).

When you choose a path from the map screen, you're supposed to go the same way each time (according to the color you choose). Now I could be wrong as I haven't had that much time to spend with the game, but I swear one time I hit the red button and went to the alley (which is correct) and the other time I hit the red button and went to the desert (which is wrong). Speaking of the map screen... when the other graphics of the game are somewhat close to the arcade presentation, why does the map look like some kind of odd watercolor?

Besides that, some of the sounds are arcade accurate (while others seem far from it). Honestly the only sound I really cared about was the trumpet fanfare when you start the game, and the "HA HA HA" the evil wizard's eye makes when it appears (both are there and fine BTW), but some of the other sounds are pretty off (the glass in the lanterns in the first alley breaking, various other things).

The graphics look pretty close to the arcade for the most part, though the sprites seem pretty over-sized compared to what I remember. Plus the Ghost in the alley level is supposed to float smoothly and speedily across the screen, not choppily and speedily.

All that being said, it's actually pretty rad to have a version of Crossbow on my phone. If the devs are here, the biggest suggestion I'd make is some more allowances for arcade accuracy. At least make an "arcade" option where the scoring is adjusted and your friends don't have health bars (and the alligators don't hurt you).

I think I'd recommend this game to fans of the arcade game (of which I have a feeling I might be the only one), but it's worth a look anyway if you're interested in tap to shoot/shooting gallery type games.

Playing: Space Ace, Road Blaster, So Long Oregon, Necronomicon CG, 7th Guest, Deathsmiles
Waiting for: Mad Dog McCree, 11th Hour, Necronomicon CG update!
09-10-2010, 12:05 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
What am I missing on the wiki page? I don't see anything about it being licensed by Mean Hamster, nor anything that indicates a legit port to iPhone was announced.

EDIT: Actually it does, way over in the corner. Apparently Mean Hamster got the rights to some Exidy games (including Crossbow).

OK, buying now, impressions later. If you're out there Mean Hamster, please get Cheyenne and Chiller going next!


You have to click on the Exidy link, there it explains that Mean Hamster acquired the rights to the game. If anyone else was wondering.
09-10-2010, 08:03 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
I'm glad to see an Exidy classic make its appearance on the iPhone even if just for nostalgia's sake. A little disappointed that they took some liberties with it though. But my main issue really is that the majority of the fun of arcade gun games was ... well, the gun. It was a test of skill, how well you could aim and shoot. You lose that with tap and shoot. It sounds like Mean Hamster tried to build in some artificial inaccuracy, but that just won't do. It's not the same thing at all. I was a pretty damn good shot.

I dunno. On the fence here. It'd be nice if they made it closer to the arcade, even if you have to tough instead of shoot a gun. But yes, Cheyenne and Chiller are a must!

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
09-10-2010, 08:30 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
I'm glad to see an Exidy classic make its appearance on the iPhone even if just for nostalgia's sake. A little disappointed that they took some liberties with it though. But my main issue really is that the majority of the fun of arcade gun games was ... well, the gun. It was a test of skill, how well you could aim and shoot. You lose that with tap and shoot. It sounds like Mean Hamster tried to build in some artificial inaccuracy, but that just won't do. It's not the same thing at all. I was a pretty damn good shot.

I dunno. On the fence here. It'd be nice if they made it closer to the arcade, even if you have to tough instead of shoot a gun. But yes, Cheyenne and Chiller are a must!
I played this a lot in the arcades too, but you're right that it doesn't quite work as a tap-to-shoot. It's not terrible, but not great fun either.
09-10-2010, 12:16 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 845
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
I played this a lot in the arcades too, but you're right that it doesn't quite work as a tap-to-shoot. It's not terrible, but not great fun either.
Yeah, that's pretty much exactly my take on it.

As I've had a chance to play it a bit more, there are some more things that I've stumbled across that are a bit annoying.

For some reason the "Jungle" scene has music now? It never did in the arcade and none of the other scenes in the iPhone port do. It's pretty jarring.

In the "Castle" scene (the one where you have to shoot out the chains of the drawbridge and deal with the archers), arrows seemingly come from nowhere? In the original arcade version, to deal with this scene, you'd normally just concentrate fire on the archers because the arrows they shot were really hard to hit. In this version, that doesn't matter, because even if there aren't any living archers on top of the castle, arrows will still fire out like crazy. I guess that's kind of OK to make it a little bit more difficult on the iPhone, but it seems off.

And my main complaint so far with this port... the map screen and "choose your path" mechanic. I'd really like one of the devs to explain how exactly that's supposed to work. There seem to always be 2 choices, the "red" path and the "green" path. In the arcade, there were sometimes 2 choices (red and green), and sometimes 3 (red, green and blue), and there may even have been 4 occasionally. What was consistent about the arcade is that if you were at one location, whatever color you chose would take you to another specific location (ie, if you were at the beginning, red would always take you to the alley). In this version, it seems like there's some element of "randomness" to where the paths decide to take you. IIRC, the "correct" path in the arcade (the quickest path to the last screen) was red green green red (and maybe one last red?). In this one it seems like 1/2 the time you choose red from a location you go one way, and the other 1/2 the time you go a different way. Which becomes really frustrating when you keep backtracking through scenes instead of moving on. I'd have to spend some more time with this to figure out exactly what they did here. I have a feeling, since there are always two choices, in some of the locations where there would have been three choices in the arcade, they threw in some random element on one of the two choices. If that makes any sense at all. Which can make it quite frustrating if you're trying to follow a set path. I think this is something that could really use a fix. It's possible I'm just understanding the mechanic wrong though. If I ever figure it out, I'll report back.

I do agree that the Exidy gun games don't really fit the whole "tap to shoot" mechanic, and were a lot more fun with the gun in the arcade. However, I honestly think that if they put some more effort into making this game closer to the arcade (removing the "features"/"concessions" they made for the iDevice port), it would actually be a better game and could become a bit more popular.

But yeah, devs, if you're out there... please give us Cheyenne. And don't change anything.

Playing: Space Ace, Road Blaster, So Long Oregon, Necronomicon CG, 7th Guest, Deathsmiles
Waiting for: Mad Dog McCree, 11th Hour, Necronomicon CG update!
09-10-2010, 01:34 PM
#9
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Perhaps they need to dig out MAME and play it a bit longer. Crossbow and Cheyenne were the two I played in the arcades (I think the controversy surrounding Chiller prevented arcades anywhere in my vicinity form picking it up) so those are the ones I'd like to see most, preferably untouched by creative license (unless it's available as a separate game mode, then they can do what they want in that other mode). I'd go for it as long as I could play it in its original form. That drawbridge section sounds like it wouldn't be quite so much fun.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
09-10-2010, 02:00 PM
#10
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 845
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
Perhaps they need to dig out MAME and play it a bit longer. Crossbow and Cheyenne were the two I played in the arcades (I think the controversy surrounding Chiller prevented arcades anywhere in my vicinity form picking it up) so those are the ones I'd like to see most, preferably untouched by creative license (unless it's available as a separate game mode, then they can do what they want in that other mode). I'd go for it as long as I could play it in its original form. That drawbridge section sounds like it wouldn't be quite so much fun.
Yeah, it's really not. And less fun in the fact that I can't even get there consistently because of the randomization of the paths.

I actually sent an email to the devs about that, and apparently there was a dip switch in the old arcade game where you could set it to randomize the paths each time, so that seems like it's just working as expected (though an option to shut that off would be nice). Plus, even if that's true, I know there were occasionally 3 paths in the arcade version, but this version only ever seems to have "red" and "green".

I totally agree with you though, I'd be so much happier with this game if they included an "arcade" mode, even if it wasn't optimized to work on an iDevice.

I'm still having fun with it, and I'm very glad Crossbow came to the iPhone either way. Lots of room for improvement though.

Playing: Space Ace, Road Blaster, So Long Oregon, Necronomicon CG, 7th Guest, Deathsmiles
Waiting for: Mad Dog McCree, 11th Hour, Necronomicon CG update!