Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. If you know what this means, then you’re likely to find the following bit of news quite interesting: Contra has just been reborn on iOS.

That’s right. You can now play the classic run-and-gun shoot ‘em up game from Konami right on your iOS device with the newly released Contra: Evolution.

Contra: Evolution had its soft launch last January in China, where the game’s developer, PunchBox Studios, is based. But it’s only now that game has been made available internationally.

As its name suggests, Contra: Evolution is an “evolved” version of the classic Contra game that debuted way back in 1987. To be sure, it bears basically the same story and stages as the original. But it also presents some notable modifications that make it a worthy download for old fans as well as new players.

Contra: Evolution

First and foremost, Contra: Evolution is rendered in HD visuals, as befit the platform it’s on, instead of the 8-bit graphics found in the game’s source material. As well, it includes a remastered version of the classic game’s soundtrack.

Also, Contra: Evolution has an all new equipment system, which is itself equipped with in-app purchases, which in turn are unheard of in the era of the original.

Contra: Evolution also features two new female characters, in addition to the two original male ones, whom you can play as while you shoot enemies and collect winged letters.

Yup, Bill Rizer aka Mad Dog and Lance Bean aka Scorpion are making their commando comeback in Contra: Evolution. But now they’re joined by Ricci Erica aka Flame Rose and Sally Inohara aka Moonshadow.

Th game is out now on iOS in two separate editions for iPhone and iPad: Contra: Evolution for iPhone and Contra: EvolutionHD for iPad. They’re available now in the App Store for $0.99 each.

Unfortunately, the above-mentioned Konami “30 lives” cheat code doesn’t lend itself well to Contra: Evolution’s touch-based trappings.