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Rock and sock it like 'Rocky' for his big 4-0

Yo, Adrian. How you celebratin' the 40th anniversary of  Sly Stallone's original"Rocky"?  Starting Thursday, Sylvester Stallone's underdog Philly boxer Rocky Balboa  will be yours to  play or fight against – shrunk down and cartoon-ized on  iOS (Apple format) screens,  thanks to a new mobile game being released by Tapinator in conjunction with MGM Interactive.

Familiar foes Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago also appear in this "Rocky," along with a bunch more fighters who haven't had any screen time - all unlocked as you excel in the ring and  train in Mick's Gym.

"At the moment Mick's Gym is the only scene from the movies, but as we evolve from the 1.0 (version)  we may throw in more Philly visuals – like the run through the Italian Market or up the Art Museum steps," ruminated  Tapinator CEO Ilya Nikolayev, a Russian-born,  U.S. raised Rocky fan "since I was five."  (He's now 32.)

Landing five days after the  actual 40th anniversary of the first (of seven) "Rocky" films – "because Thursday is the normal release date for mobile games" – Tapinator's  tribute is one of the more generous examples of the  "freemium" mobile game model, and follows in the wake of company hits like "Combo Quest," "Rotatio" and "Burn It Down."  A mobile version for Android devices will be released next year.

After downloading the Rocky app in the Apple store or at, users can sign up and play live, for free, against global competitors (accessed as a guest, or more visibly through Game Center or Facebook) . In the process winning reward packs, building up your player roster and spiffing up Mick's shabby gym.

Impatient types can sharpen  skills and rise through the ranks more quickly  by buying game currency, dubbed Gold, in "buckets" ranging from $1 to $100. Big spenders are rarer but hardly unknown in the freemium  game arena, said Nikolayev. "We call them The Whales."

Searching for the "Rocky" game in the Apple App Store also pops up a rival Vivid Games title, "Real Boxing 2: Rocky," which Nikolayev says "was released in conjunction with 'Creed.'  Theirs is more like a 'Fight Night' boxing simulator, hyper-realistic. Ours is more arcade style, with rewards."