As gaming has advanced in leap and bounds over the last 20-30 years, the gameplay has become more complex and the graphic have become more realistic. Games continue to push the envelope of what is possible on a console and PC, but people continue to pine for the simpler games and the classics continue to thrive. A majority of these games can be played on the Droid phone via emulators of the classic consoles and computers.
While this list is a fairly comprehensive list of possible systems that can be played on the Android phone, most of the emulators below are paid apps that do have free versions. There are also competitive emulators for some of them, but I am limiting the list to one emulator per system for simplicity. I am also not linking to the ROMs required to play the games on the phone, but they can easily be found with a quick Google search involving the system name and the word ROM. Each of the applications listed below can be downloaded by clicking thru and scanning the QR code with a barcode or QR reader.
- Apple][ - My original computer was an Apple ][e, so it’s great to see its software able to be used on modern machines, even if that old machine fits in less space than most computers require just to boot up.
- Frodo C64 – Another throwback to the days of the software on audio cassette and Quick Loader cartridges, Frodo C64 is a Commodore 64 emulator application.
- UAE4Droid – The original high end graphics computer, the Commodore Amiga, in an Android app.
- SIMH Simulator – Mainly an emulator for the hard core geeks, one can hack around with historical mini computers, including PDP-1, PDP-8, PDP-10, PDP-11, VAX and AltairZ80 and classic operating systems including CP/M, MP/M, RT-11, RSTS/E, TOPS-10, VMS, 4.3BSD and UNIX v7.
- MSX Emulator Beta – This Japanese computer is most notable in the US for having an exclusive Metal Gear game that never made it to the Western Hemisphere
- Altair Z80 Emulator – The Altair Z80 was one of the first personal computers available, and can now be emulated on the phone.
- Windows 7 – Admittedly a joke app, but one that the UNIX based Android users will appreciate. There is a paid version as well, but unnecessary.
- NESoid (Lite) – Relive the glory of the 8-bit era and learn with the Super Mario Bros. that the princess is in another castle with this NES emulator.
- SNESoid (Lite) – The 16-bit era comes to your phone with this application so you can replay what some consider to be the best of the Final Fantasy series.
- Gearoid (Lite) – Not only can this emulator play the Sega Master System games, but it can also play the Sega Game Gear to maximize your mobile gaming.
- Gensoid (Lite) – Classic Sonic the Hedgehog comes to your Android powered phone with this Sega Genesis, aka Mega Drive in Japan, emulator.
- PC-Engine / Turbografx 16 – The first 16 bit game console wasn’t very popular, but it was the birthplace of Bonk.
- Android Arcade Emulator – Although not a console, the Android Arcade Emulator is a copy of MAME for the Droid, allowing you to play the original arcade games directly on your phone.
- Playstation – The original PSX games can now be played on the Android Phones with psx4droid so you can get your Final Fantasy VII fix on the mobile. Additionally, it supports a bluetooth controller to get the full button action.
- Although Sega put out two handheld consoles, Gearoid is listed above with the Sega Master System and the Nomad played Genesis cartridges on the go.
- GBCoid (Lite) – The Game Boy Color will let you play those old Gameboy and Gameboy Color games on your Droid.
- Gameboid (Lite) – The second generation Nintendo handheld – the Gameboy Advance – is now handheld on your Android phone.
- TIEmulator – The classic Texas Instruments Scientific Calculator in an application on your phone.
- Droid48 – An application to emulate the HP48 Scientific Calculator.
It is amazing that a phone now has more power than computers and consoles over the last 20 years. The most notable absence of any Atari based, Intellivision and Colecovision emulators. Also notably missing are old PCs like MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 IBM computers. These iconic machines are important parts of the history of computers and video games and are a hole in an otherwise impressive list of systems that can be run on the Droid. If you know of any emulators I’ve missed or ones you’d like to see, let me know below.