Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the ‌App Store‌.


With official support available for emulators, Testut this morning released his latest emulator, Delta, on the ‌App Store‌. Unlike the other two emulators that have been released in the last week, Delta is incredibly polished and provides an all-around pleasant gameplay experience.

Delta supports game systems that include the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS. Skins for the different systems load automatically depending on what's being played, and the app does an excellent job making you feel like you're playing on a retro Nintendo device.

It is worth noting that Delta is such a great emulator because it is not, in fact, new. It has been able to be installed on iPhone using alternate installation means, but the ‌App Store‌ is a much more streamlined way to get it. Delta is the must have emulator, at least for NES content.

Delta's on-screen controls work flawlessly for games, but it is also compatible with a wide range of retro and modern game controllers. It supports save and load states, and content can be synced between devices. There are also advanced features like support for Game Genie and GameShark cheat codes, a hold button, and fast forward for speeding through slow parts of games.

When you import a game, Delta automatically detects the appropriate box art, and there is support for 3D Touch and app icon shortcuts for accessing recent and favorite games.

There are no games included with Delta when you install it, but it can open zipped files that are uploaded to iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules permit "retro game console emulator apps" and Apple says that developers are required to ensure that their software complies with "all applicable laws."

If you haven't downloaded Delta already, it's well worth going to pick it up. We're not expecting Delta to get pulled from the ‌App Store‌, but there's always the possibility that Nintendo could protest now that it's more widely available, so download it sooner rather than later.

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Top Rated Comments

kiensoy Avatar
6 weeks ago
Delta Emulator alone is much better than the entire Apple Arcade library.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blackstick Avatar
6 weeks ago

Delta Emulator alone is much better than the entire Apple Arcade library.
My wife: "I'm a simple woman, just the OG GameBoy version of Tetris with no IAP crap, please."
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blackstick Avatar
6 weeks ago
Productivity is going down today...

Attachment Image
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
6 weeks ago

My wife: "I'm a simple woman, just the OG GameBoy version of Tetris with no IAP crap, please."
We are kindred spirits. Original Gameboy Tetris is the best version. End of discussion.

I already installed it, and now I finally have proper Tetris on my phone that I can play anywhere.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mnsportsgeek Avatar
6 weeks ago
Where do you get roms?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mukiex Avatar
6 weeks ago
Real talk, in the mobile space, emulation is typically the closest you're gonna get to an engaging traditional game experience.

Apple's kind of burned traditional gaming down to the ground since day one, when they decided games shouldn't be more than a dollar and basically made it impossible to ever find a good game.

That 100% of their RE Framework games have been bought and paid for by Apple, and that Capcom has ported literally 0 other games on the same framework to iOS, really speaks volumes.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)