The Commodore 64 emulator application for iPhone was pulled from the App Store by Apple in September 2009 for leaving its BASIC interpreter intact and accessible via a backdoor hack. This week, the app has returned after some rework by its creator, Manomio — with BASIC included.
C64 now contains the BASIC interpreter and Commodore 64 ROM files, which Apple originally rejected the app over. Now, due to the new relaxed developer policies, Apple has allowed the C64 app back into the App Store fully intact. As a result, the emulator now lets you run your own BASIC code inside the app. It will still run classic Commodore 64 games, and it now comes with a total of eight free games (with more available via in-app purchasing).
I tested the new release of C64, and confirmed that the app successfully emulates the venerable Commodore 64 sound and graphics. It includes some modern gaming features, too, such as auto-save and the option to play games full screen in portrait or landscape mode.
I was able to write a few lines of BASIC code and experiment with POKE commands that allowed me to change the screen colors. Experimenting with BASIC was a challenge, because the apps emulated keyboard was tiny, cramped, and wouldn’t work in landscape mode. This made BASIC more of a novelty rather than something you’d use to create a real BASIC application with.
The C64 emulator includes eight free games: Dragons Den, Le Mans, International Basketball, International Soccer, International Tennis, Jupiter Lander, Arctic Shipwreck, and Jack Attack.