DONKEY.BAS by XVision icon

DONKEY.BAS ($0.99) by XVision is a dollar well spent if you love classic retro games for your iPhone and iPad.

For those that are unfamiliar, this is one of the original driving games, originating in 1981. Donkey, also known by the file name “DONKEY.BAS,” was included in early versions of DOS, which came on the original IBM PCs. It’s also worth noting that this was actually a game co-written by Bill Gates.

So what exactly is in DONKEY.BAS? It’s simple, really. It’s a driving game with two lanes, and you must avoid hitting the donkeys. Yeah, you read that right – it’s you versus donkeys.

The game features one-tap controls, so it’s incredibly easy to play. Tapping on the screen will move the car from one lane to the other, and you must do this whenever a donkey appears in front of you. If you run into it, then you lose a life, and you also get to see your car and donkey get blown into smithereens (not really, but they do turn a fuchsia color and split up into four pieces).

Each time you avoid a donkey, you’ll notice that your car will move up the screen, or basically gain some speed. This makes it harder to avoid donkeys, because you will end up near the top and a donkey will appear out of nowhere. Good reflexes are a must in this game.

Once you reach the top of the screen, you will get a point and then you will go slow down and find yourself at the bottom again. The goal is to get to the top as much as possible in order to rack up points. Sounds easy, right? But it’s actually harder than it sounds.

DONKEY.BAS by XVision screenshot

The graphics are extremely 8-bit, which will definitely bring back memories for those that have played this back in the ’80s. There is no chiptune soundtrack, but there are vintage “beeps” and “boops.”

Additionally, there is something in this version that was not in the original: Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements. There are 14 achievements to obtain, so it will keep you entertained for a while.

This is definitely not a game for everyone. I can imagine that you are reading this and thinking “this looks really stupid.” That’s fine – the game is not for you. However, if you grew up in the ’80s and remember the original version, then this game will definitely bring back memories. Or, if you are the type of person that didn’t grow up in those early days, but enjoy vintage games, then this is worth checking out.

You can relive the past for just $0.99 in the App Store.