Fully Functional MAME Emulator Appears in App Store

TouchArcade notes the appearance of an arcade game called Gridlee in the App Store.

Gridlee is a 1983 arcade game that was never officially released, but the code was later released for free for non-commercial usage in 2001. The App Store app uses MAME 0.139u1 (MAME4iOS) to provide the emulation engine for the game. MAME is a popular arcade machine emulator that will run thousands of arcade games if you have the original ROMs.

When launching the free app, users are greeted with the Gridlee game. TouchArcade readers, however, quickly noticed that additional ROMs could be copied into the App's ROM directory (without jailbreaking), revealing the fully functional MAME emulator.
When word of this hit our forums, readers were quick to pull out iExplore and begin digging about the app's directory structure looking for a ROM folder. Well, it's in there, and sure enough, if one copies other MAME ROMs into that folder, the Gridlee app starts up with the standard MAME4iOS ROM listing, allowing for a great many games beyond just Gridlee to be played on the iPhone or iPad in this Universal app.

The story is similar to the iMAME Emulator that was released into the App Store in December, 2011. Apple quickly pulled that app a few days after its release. While a number of individual emulators do exist on the App Store, Apple has been more restrictive about these open emulators, presumably due to potential legal issues.

Gridlee is a free download on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 23 months ago
Someone should sneak a Gameboy Advance emulator into the App Store. :D
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
Nice one. Downloading now, before apple decides to take it out.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

Someone should sneak a Gameboy Advance emulator into the App Store. :D


It's "Game Boy Advance." "Game Boy" is two words.

That would mean looking for a free open version of a gameboy adv game no?


IT'S TWO FREAKIN' WORDS (nerd rage)

i want to play pokemon games on my iPhone! without jailbreak! not some 1984 games!


It's not Apple's fault that you can't. It's Nintendo's. They don't want to release that game for a platform they're not selling hardware for.

At any rate, I'd like to remind everyone that by using emulators like this to play ROMs that aren't explicitly free, you're committing an act of piracy. Just because a game is older doesn't mean it's not still copyrighted. If that's what you want to do, fine, but at least be consistent and don't look down on those who jailbreak their devices to pirate iOS software at the same time - stealing ROMs is no less a crime.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
Has anyone checked if there's iCade support yet?
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

Is this the same MAME engine as the pulled iMame app or a more advanced one capable of some newer games (like SEGA Rally)?


This is a newer version.

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I've already got iMAME, so no need for this.

As far as a GBA emulator... I have one on my iMac. I don't have the source code for it, but I wouldn't imagine it's very difficult for whoever does have it to port it over to iOS.


http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=2647375&postcount=53 (http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=2647375&postcount=53)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

i want to play pokemon games on my iPhone! without jailbreak! not some 1984 games!


I'll take things that will never happen for $500.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

Has anyone checked if there's iCade support yet?


Yes, the release notes (under help) indicate that there is iCade support. I don't have one but other forums indicate that it works. Edit: I checked settings; it has iCade settings.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
I hope the mobile OS scene will finish soon, as there isn't one that really cares for users. Android is just scary: why antiviruses are recommended on an OS derived from Linux is beyond logic: they took Linux and "evolved" it towards Windows 95 class security. OTOH, iOS has the security that Android should have, but unfortunately the iOS security is driven not by users convenience, but by Apple convenience: approval on the AppStore is done on the basis of what Apple likes, not what users want.

Fortunately, we're quickly arriving to a moment where new released tablets can run complete OSs, such as complete Windows8, and Linux, so we can finally use mobile devices that have adequate security, aren't limited on features, and have a long time evolution. The sad point is I don't see Apple releasing an OSX tablet, but anyway I hope the mobile OSs scene (android and iOS) to finish soon and never come back, for the good of Humankind.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

It's "Game Boy Advance." "Game Boy" is two words.



IT'S TWO FREAKIN' WORDS (nerd rage)


I'd love to install it on my ITouch... (wrong capitalization on purpose too!)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

Pirates justify their theft all the time (to themselves, at least). "Abandonware" is a perfect example. Who decides whether software is abandonware or not? Certainly not the parties who hold its publishing rights; it's the pirates. I doubt very many of them actually bother to get in touch with the publishers or any other relevant parties to ensure they actually never intend to continue to market or profit their product before they rip it off.


And who decides what is "theft" ? The last time I checked even the laws on the books don't support YOUR use of the word "theft". Information falls under copyright law since things are copied, not stolen. True "pirating" also involves SELLING the information to make a profit off someone else's work, not just copying it, but that fact seems to have escaped the press over time as well. People like you like to throw words like "theft" around and in my opinion this only make yourself look ignorant of both the law and the concept.

Who gets to decide what copyright law is and how long it lasts? The last time I looked several large corporations like Disney have managed to lobby the thing into near infinity when it was only supposed to be used to protect a single person's ideas during their lifetime and only for things like books. Software was never included because it never existed.

Who decides now what is and is not a copyright violation? People in the pockets of these corporations? Yes, I think so or the laws would reflect their original intent. Copyrights ORIGINALLY lasted 14 years with the option of another 14 year renewal and then became public domain. Since 1978 after much lobbying, it is now the life of the author plus 70 years and shows no sign of ending there the way it's continually modified by lobbying of corporations that never die (i.e. early Disney should be public domain by now since it dates prior to 1978, but it's already been extended to 2023 for the earliest cartoons and it will never happen if Disney gets their way).

Current law also ignores both the scope and shelf life of computer technology. A book may be viable for hundreds of years but even it was limited to a time not much longer than the life of the author whereas software becomes ancient in much shorter periods of time and hence the reason old games devalue so quickly to the point where they are no longer even offered for sale because the cost to do so outweighs any sales they might make.

So please don't go around calling people thieves when you have no idea what you're talking about. People should be supported for their ideas and works, but there should also be reasonable limits on these works. Mickey Mouse should not be exempt just because a large corporation thinks it can make money on it until the end of time, for example.

Patent law is far more reasonable and ironically, it gets far more bad press due to all the insane software patents given out these days, something also never designed into the law and therefore able to be challenged in court. But by your thinking, almost every corporation on earth is guilty of theft since most of them have been accused of patent violations at some point including Apple.
Rating: 1 Votes

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