If there's a recurring theme among people describing Google Play, (previously known as Android Market), it's that the quality of the apps is varied, with some being as polished as a finest platinum, and others being as polished as a severely neglected pub toilet at 4am on the morning after half-price baked beans special night.
At the same time, when it comes to describing the early days of home computer games, it is often mentioned that the quality of clones of popular arcade games was as predictable as the traction of a heavily tranquilised, cross-eyed dairy cow traveling down a sharp incline following an industrial scale butter spillage.
So, what happens when you cross Google Play with a fairly obvious 8-bit clone of the arcade game Boulderdash? It turns out, actually - a real jewel of a smartphone game.
That game is called Repton 1, and it's a remake of the old Superior Software title by Tim Tyler, which was available on the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, C64, and ZX Spectrum back-in-the-day.
You play Repton, and have to collect a number of diamonds from underground caves, avoiding rocks, eggs, and the monsters that hatch from them. There are also safes to bypass, for which keys need to be collected.
Where some games can be fiddly to control on Android devices, often suggesting an add-on controller is desperately needed, Repton 1 has really nice gesture control. Simply swiping a little further along from Repton, will lead to him walking in that direction. There's no need for an on-screen joystick or keyboard, in part because the game only really needed four keys in the days when it was played on computers with a keyboard.
Sound wise, as you play, there's a nice little looping tune which is a more refined version of the tune in the BBC Version, as well as some cool interesting sound effects including a sampled speech "Gah!" when Repton is squashed by a boulder.
It's well worth downloading the free version - which some discerning players may like to note appears to include no adverts - for the first few levels and, if you're good enough to progress there are in-game purchases for varying skill levels (prices correct on 3rd Nov 2016) ranging from £0.79 GBP for the Young Repton levels to £2.29 GBP for the harder Tricky and Challenge level packs. A discount Mega Bundle, containing all the levels costs £8.95 GBP.
Repton 1 is available on Google Play from Superior Interactive, and is also available for Apple devices including the iPhone and iPad as well as PCs.
Thanks for reading