Apple doesn’t like to allow emulators into the App Store, so try submitting one for approval and you’ll quickly get a big fat no. But some cunning iOS developers have found a way to sneak emulators through Apple’s App Store approval process by making them look like innocent apps.
The latest hit the App Store today. It’s called Earthquake 7 and its App Store description promises “the latest earthquake news.” But enter a secret phrase into its search bar and you have an emulator that plays all of your favorite Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles.
Earthquake 7 is priced at $1.99, and at first glance, it doesn’t look like it’s really worth it. You’ll see a map with a whole bunch of pins, each of which represents a recent earthquake. You can tap one for very basic information on the event, but that’s about it… or so you may think.
But if you tap the search bar and enter “gba activate 638,” you’ll enter into a secret emulator that plays your favorite Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles. It doesn’t come with any games, so you’ll see a blank list at first, but you can add your own ROM files using the file transfer feature within iTunes.
Once you’ve loaded up a game, you’ll see a Game Boy interface like that in the picture at the top of this post. I’ve had a quick play around with it and it seems to work pretty well, though it does stutter at times causing your game to slow down. I must also note that I’ve only been able to get older Game Boy games to play so far, but it’s supposed to play Game Boy Advance titles, too.
If you want Earthquake 7, you’ll have to act pretty quickly, because Apple pulls these titles incredibly quickly once it finds out about their dirty little secret. Bear the caveats I’ve mentioned above in mind before you splash $2 on it, though. Also bear in mind that the stuttering issue is unlikely to ever get better, because as soon as Apple pulls this app, it won’t receive any updates.
If you want it anyway, just click the source link below.