Hands-On with the new App Store Delta Game Emulator

A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS. Now the Delta Emulator is in the App Store.
Apple GBA4iOS Nintendo Gameboy Advance

A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and because it violated the rules at the time, Apple stopped downloads. Emulators have been violating App Store rules for years. But that changed on April 5, when Apple suddenly made a U-turn and announced that it would now allow retro gaming emulators in the App Store.

Testut seized the opportunity and uploaded its latest emulator, Delta, to the App Store yesterday. Unlike the other two emulators released in the last week, Delta is incredibly polished and offers an all-round enjoyable gaming experience. Delta supports gaming systems such as NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS.

Delta also automatically loads the appropriate interfaces for the different systems depending on what is currently being played. The gameplay is excellent – it feels like you’re playing a retro Nintendo device. It’s worth noting that Delta is such a great emulator because it’s not new. You’ve been able to get it on your iPhone for a while using alternative installation methods, but of course the whole thing is much easier and quicker via the App Store.

Delta’s on-screen controls work perfectly for gaming, but it’s also compatible with a variety of retro and modern game controllers. It also supports save and load states and content can be synchronized between devices. There are also advanced features like support for Game Genie and GameShark cheat codes, a hold button, and fast-forward for quickly going through slow parts of games.

Automatic cover download

When you import a game, Delta automatically finds corresponding covers. Additionally, there is support for 3D Touch and app icon shortcuts for accessing recent and favorite games. No games are included when installing Delta. However, the emulator can open ZIP files in iCloud Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive. Apple’s App Store rules allow “retro gaming console emulator apps” and Apple says developers must ensure their software complies with “all applicable laws.”

If you haven’t downloaded Delta yet – it’s worth buying. The app will probably no longer be removed from the App Store. But there is always the possibility that Nintendo will complain now.

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