Very few times does an App truly delivery what is expected of it, especially when it comes to emulators. Since Old School Apps is all about emulating classic games on modern devices, and since mobile gaming has become the new hot thing, I felt it was proper to pay homage to an App I came across on Google Play called RetroArch. This App truly stands alone. I have found no App to be of equal value to what RetroArchcan offer. Keep reading to hear some of it's best features, and why I hold it so high in my list of Apps.
If you've got an Android device and even a little love for classic gaming, chances are you've gone to Google Play and typed in "NES emulator" or "SNES emulator" or whatever your poison might be. Chances are after doing such a search, you were left off more confused, as there are so many emulators for each platform to choose from. Some of these Apps are free, but Ad-supported. Some of them are free, with the option to pay between $0.99 and $2.99 to unlock a full-featured "PRO" edition. Hopefully you haven't bought any of these Apps yet, unfortunately, I've bought at least one emulating software, luckily it was on sale for $0.99 when I did. Let me make this next statement really stand out.
If you take away one thing from this blog post, I hope it's the next sentence...
STOP PAYING FOR EMULATION SOFTWARE
Why use RetroArch (besides the fact it's free)?
Obviously, the fact that it's free makes it a candidate worth trying out. Now here's reasons as to why this Android app is really stunning compared to anything else I have ever seen on Google Play... RetroArch Plays the following kind of games:
- PlayStation 1 (emulator: PCSX ReARMed)
- Super Nintendo (emulator: SNES9x Next)
- Nintendo Entertainment System (emulator: FCEUmm / NEStopia)
- GameBoy / GameBoy Color (emulator: Gambatte)
- GameBoy Advance (emulator: VBA Next) (*)
- Arcade (emulator: Final Burn Alpha)
- Neo Geo Pocket Color (emulator: Mednafen NGP)
- Virtual Boy (emulator: Mednafen VB)
- Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (emulator: Genesis Plus GX)
- Sega Master System/Sega Game Gear (emulator: Genesis Plus GX)
- Sega CD / Mega CD (emulator: Genesis Plus GX)
- PC Engine / PC Engine CD (emulator: Mednafen PCE Fast)
- WonderSwan Color / Crystal (emulator: Mednafen Wonderswan)
- Cave Story (game engine: NX Engine)
- Doom 1 / Doom 2 / Ultimate Doom / Final Doom (game engine: prBoom)
As you can see, RetroArch allows you to play a lot of console games, all within the same App.
But wait, there's more!
RetroArch supports plug and play of several different gamepads, including both USB and Bluetooth models. This feature may be limited based on the Android device you use as well. You can also customize the touchscreen overlays to your likings, something most Android-users will love. You can also expand this App yourself, making it even more powerful and unique to your own needs. Now on to the #1 "feature" of RetroArch, it's 100% Ad-free and does not require any odd permissions from your device. No bullshit, plain and simple.
Another great feature that makes RetroArch stand a little higher in my opinion is the ability to use Dropbox for both ROM storage and save file storage. I own 2 Android devices, so it would be nice to know when I'm loafing out on the couch playing Chrono Trigger, that I can have my game's saved state available on my phone while I'm on the go. Sure, you could manually download/upload to Dropbox before you head out, but being able to run and write files directly to Dropbox's automatically-syncing App's folder definitely has it's perks. I have been suggesting this to many emulators and haven't seen much action done about it. Way to go RetroArch!
RetroArch in action
At the time of writing this, RetroArch had a 4.5 star rating, based on 565 reviews. This review is my own, the creator of RetroArch did not ask me to write this, in fact they probably don't even know this review exists yet. Screenshots and Video were taken from the RetroArch App page mostly due to my own laziness. My review is based on my experience using RetroArch on a Galaxy Nexus phone, and an Asus Transformer TF101 Tablet.
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