A man has a dream: one day all of the glorious three-decade sum of Nintendo’s exclusive video games will play on a cell phone, and GBA4iOS in conjunction with the G-PAD have done just that!
Fire up the Super Nintendo (SNES) Super Marioland on your iPhone. I could stop the article right there. There is nothing to sell here. We all want Mario and Luigi and Yoshii rescuing the Princess from Bowser on our phones and GBA4iOS gives it to us for free.
A streamlined emulator called GBA4iOS will bring many side-scrolling favorites, like the original NES Mario Bros. and Sega’s Sonic to the phone at no cost and without the need to illegally jailbreak your iPhone or iPod touch.
The bottom half of the iPhone, iPod or iPad becomes the controller of the system you are playing a game on, as if it is a Nintendo Game Boy.
The experience would not be worth retro gaming if you could not fully mash buttons, however, so the English company G-pad has mad a silicone rubber gamepad that slides right over the touchscreen controls interface making a real keypad and buttons for your gaming pleasure.
The G-pad is currently on Indiegogo and has an $18 Easter Offer newly added for early birds that need a slip-on game controller ASAP (count me in).
Are there any catches?
Well, not exactly . . .
You see Nintendo has not sanctioned or licensed any games for any other systems beyond their own handheld platforms, like the Nintendo 3DS, and therefore, the GBA4iOS is only emulating the Nintendo games’ experience (though I cannot tell the difference when I am stomping on koopa’s or eating shells with Yoshii) and citing the titles’ copyrights.
How is this legal? I have no idea. But if it was illegal you could bet that Nintendo would have brought down the longstanding GBA4iOS site and free product.
Apple has not exactly condoned the emulator either, because it is not available for download in the App Store and in order to access the array of free for download Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games, like Pokemon, you must open the Safari browser on your iPad and go to the site to download.
It is a small price to pay for free retro gaming goodness.
Ding, ding, ding! The Mario coin sounds are dead nuts accurate too!
You do not have to jailbreak your iPhone, but you do have to change the date on the phone to before February 18, 2014 before iOS will let you download and open the GBA4iOS App.
I did this and it worked out. The games download and play quickly and beautifully, there are ways to save and even use cheats for the myriad of games available from the Nintendo library.
The date can be turned back to the automatic setting after the download is finished.
The Game Boy just came home to your iPhone!