Reliving your childhood with retro games on iOS is, I find, one of the best ways to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon — until you get frustrated with the virtual controls that keep getting you killed and you threaten to throw your iPad out of the window. But thanks to the iCade 8-Bitty, a new Bluetooth control pad for iOS, you can now play your favorite titles with real controls.
With Nintendo adamant it’ll never bring its games to iOS, the only way to enjoy your favorite titles on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad is to jailbreak your device and download an emulator. But that’s no longer the case. You can now enjoy more than 100 NES and Game Boy games in your iPhone’s web browser.
Face it. Your Apple TV is boring. It looks just like every other Apple TV, everywhere in the world. Sure, you might say it doesn’t matter, that the whole point of the little puck is to get out of the way and let you watch TV shows and movies, but that shows a lack of imagination. What you need, my friend, is a set of decals. And not just any old decals. You need decals that make your Apple TV look like a NES console.
While this may not be quite as awesome as that NES controller concept for the iPhone we showed you last week, it’s still pretty amazing. Paul Rickards, a blogger behind biosrhythm, has hacked a NES controller to work with iCade games on his iPad using a Camera Connection Kit.
If you’re an iOS gamer, there’s no better accessory for your iPhone than a game controller that allows you to use physical controls within your favorite games. And there’s no better game controller than this one, inspired by the retro gamepad from the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Emulators themselves are on fairly well-established legal ground, but the ROM files required to play all of your favorite classic video games are far sketchier. Technically, if you rip a copy of a game yourself as a backup, you’re in the clear… but since few have the technical acumen or equipment to do so, they usually resort to downloading the ROMs from warez sites.
That’s primarily the reason why Apple has traditionally kept its App Store so closed off to emulators. So expect Nescaline, an NES emulator for the iPhone and iPod Touch, to be pulled as soon as Apple gets wind of it.
On sale for $6.99, Nescaline has a full feature list, including multitouch, light gun and save state support. It ships with five homebrew NES games, which is certainly legal. Unfortunately, its cardinal sin — at least in the eyes of Apple — is allowing users to input a URL where they can download additional ROMs. That means it’s as easy to put a warezed copy of Castlevania III on your iPhone as it is to cut-and-paste a Google search.
Expect Nescaline to be pulled quick, and if it comes back to the App Store at all, for the download feature to be neutered. Unfortunately, for right now, if you want to play emulators on your iPhone, legally owned games or not, jailbreaking is still your best bet.
Update: That didn’t take long. It’s been removed from the App Store.