Although the open source aspects of Black Shades aren’t easily included in this new adaptation of the 2002 UDevGame contest - seeing as how the iPhone is locked down tighter than Guantanamo Bay - it’s still fascinating to see it resurrected for Apple’s handset.
For those who’ve not crossed paths with Black Shades before, this is a home brewed game that was a winner at iDevGames design competition in which entrants had to put together an open source game that runs natively on the Mac. The creator of Black Shades, David Rosen, has won the competition three times in a row.
Anyway, according to the Wolfire blog, porting Black Shades to the iPhone came as a stroke of inspiration, and two of the original programmers hacked out a full conversion in little over one long night’s work.
Black Shades pits you as a bodyguard who must protect the VIPs from an attacking legion of zombies, assassins and all manner of miscreants in an infinite, randomly generated cityscape.
You can knock the assailants unconscious, blow them up, gun them down and perform that most glamorous of bodyguard moves, the flying tackle to knock the VIP out of harm’s way.
If you’re concerned about the boxy, Amiga-esque graphics - don’t be. They’re present simply to serve a purpose, and that’s the way the game has always looked. Such sparse visuals allow the game to run at lickety-quick speed, and perform some deliciously pleasing rag doll physics.
An exciting development for freeware lovers (although the iPhone port does cost 59p), and an interesting Mac gaming history lesson for everyone else. Cue Whitney.