ZodTTD released an updated version of his N64 emulator on Cydia today, now dubbed n64ios. If you’re itching to play original N64 games in your pocket, keep in mind this is an early release. n64ios, at this point in time, is more of a tech demo of what ZodTTD’s emulator can do more than it is a final product.
By ZodTTD’s own admission, this is a barebones release. This version does not include save states, landscape orientation, or the iPad interface Drunkenbass was said to be working on. ZodTTD warns that some games won’t be playable due to graphical glitches or performance issues, but I’ve found that the bigger issue in many games is control. The virtual d-pad buttons seem to pull double duty, which needlessly makes certain games unplayable. Even with Wii controller support, input is unpredictable. The menu button doesn’t work, so when I want to change settings I have to exit the app and then kill it from the multitask dock.
Since games rely on user input, these interface issues are a serious hurdle. This could either be fixed with an improved control scheme by Drunkenbass or with the ability to assign controller input. Personally, I would favor the ability to assign controls.
On the bright side, n64iOS finally works with iOS 5 and the actual emulation looks good. Sure, it’s full of graphical glitches, but many games run smoothly (if not quite at full speed). While save states aren’t supported, cartridge saves are. On the technical front, the emulator seems sound.
Accord to ZodTTD’s Twitter feed, a large update is coming soon which will revamp the entire user interface, ROM manager, and controls. Wii Classic Controller support may also be doable, although PS3 controller support is in the air. He is also looking into making Paper Mario playable; currently it crashes after the title screen.
Until the next update comes out, I just can’t recommend paying $1.99 for n64iPhone. This current release is only out to prove that the emulator works with iOS 5; think of it as a progress report. If you, for whatever reason, need an N64 emulator on your phone right away, regardless of its state (or if you want to donate the money to ZodTTD) you can buy n64iOS from the ZodTTD & MacCiti repository on Cydia.
Which games do you want to play on n64ios? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.