Though not as popular as Super Mario or Zelda, Konami's Contra nevertheless remains as one of the greatest titles that helped put Nintendo on the map. This retro shooter is set to make a comeback, and has been soft-launched in select Asian countries ahead of a worldwide release. Of course, you can try the game yourself right now, thanks to a nifty workaround.
Aptly named Contra: Return, the classic shooter has been updated with console-quality graphics and audio, but retains familiar elements like side-scrolling gameplay that's sure to give you flashbacks of endless hours spent as a kid just trying to beat one level. Thankfully, the game now gives you a health bar, and does away with instant death to make things more fluid and exciting.
Contra: Return has been further fine tuned to bring it more in line with mobile gaming. It allows you to team up with other players via co-op gameplay, and is even slated to bring PvP battles into the mix in a future update. Besides that, the latest iteration of Contra lets you unlock new heroes, weapons, and other goodies to help you dominate the battlefield.
As a soft launched game, you can't officially play Contra: Return unless you live in either the Philippines, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. Don't fret, however, as you can easily bypass Apple's region restrictions and give this game a try right now before it arrives stateside, so keep reading if you want to learn how.
Contra: Return will work on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 or higher. Because the game is only available in the countries listed above, you'll need to create an Apple ID that's based in one of those countries before you can install it in the US. In this case, we'll choose the Philippines, since it's a favorite place for developers to soft-launch their games on a trial basis.
Creating an App Store login for another country is incredibly easy to do — simply sign up for a new Apple ID using a valid email account and a realistic home address based in the Philippines, then sign into the spoofed account on your iOS device. If you want a more thorough guide on this topic, feel free to check out our tutorial at the link below.
Once you've successfully set up your Philippine-based App Store account, the rest of the process will work exactly the same way as installing any game or app. So open the App Store and either search for Contra: Return to download it, or tap on the link below from your iOS device.
Keep in mind that as a soft-launched game, Contra: Return is technically still in development, so don't be surprised if you encounter some bugs while playing. In our testing, however, we found that the game ran almost flawlessly while playing on an iPhone 8 and iPad Mini 4 on iOS 12. How's the game running on your end? Be sure to share your findings on the comment section below.