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Retro gamers eager to play games made for the 1982 vector-based console The Vectrex no longer have to wage brutal eBay warfare (unless they absolutely want to). Vectrex Regeneration, following in the footsteps of Atari’s virtual arcade, is a loving iOS-based recreation of a system so cool, it had its own built-in screen. Nevermind that the screen was an absolute necessity since televisions in 1982 couldn’t display the laser-sharp, line-based vector graphics like you see above.
Vectrex Regeneration, developed by Welsh studio Rantmedia Games, is free to download in the iOS app store and will eventually include all 29 retail titles for the system as well as several independent projects from the console’s thriving home-brew community. While the app is free, you’ll only have access to one original Vectrex game (the Asteroids clone Minestorm) unless you pay $6.99 for the expansion pack. Only 18 programs are available right now, but the expansion will unlock all future content added to the app.
The coolest thing about Vectrex Regeneration is how Rantmedia re-created the colored plastic overlays for each game. The original Vectrex screen is actually black and white, so to add color and detail, developers made physical thin plastic sheets that would spruce up the screen.
So if you’ve never seen or played with a Vectrex, Regeneration is a cool glimpse into gaming’s past and a great way to celebrate the console’s 30th anniversary. It’s regrettable that the system never really took off in the ’80s since the crisp clarity of vector graphics was a refreshing change from sometimes indistinguishable sprites.