An App Store favorite of our readers who relish the retro is surely Manomio's Commodore 64 [link], the C64 emulation system / game store that does a great job of putting an expanding list of 8-bit classics right in our pockets. We first got wind of Manomio's emulation effort in June of last year, when it was submitted to Apple and rejected, as it was determined to be in violation of the iPhone SDK agreement.

Then said Apple,

Thank you for submitting C64 1.0 to the App Store. We've reviewed C64 1.0 and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it violates the iPhone SDK Agreement; "3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s)."

It was the system's included BASIC interpreter that was the sticking point for Apple, it turned out. Manomio disabled (and then removed, as it was deemed necessary) the BASIC interpreter and the app finally found its place in the store, and in Apple's good graces.

Last Thursday, Apple made significant changes to the iOS SDK agreement, relaxing restrictions on development tools used to create iOS applications. One of the areas of the SDK agreement affected was section 3.3.2, the specific part of the agreement that Apple determined Manomio had violated with the initial releases of C64. Upon hearing this news, Manomio CTO Stuart Carnie was quick to read over the new Apple document and found the following, updated section 3.3.2.

3.3.2 An Application may not download or install executable code. Interpreted code may only be used in an Application if all scripts, code and interpreters are packaged in the Application and not downloaded. The only exception to the foregoing is scripts and code downloaded and run by Apple’s built-in WebKit framework.

As can be seen in the new language, interpreted code is now acceptable under certain circumstances. In light of this fortunate turn of events, the developer has put together an updated version of C64 (v2.0) with BASIC enabled. Wanting Apple to be fully aware of his re-inclusion of the BASIC interpreter, Carnie extensively underscored his changes in the Reviewer Notes section of the submission form and additionally sent a courtesy e-mail to Apple on the issue. Since then, the developer and Apple have had further correspondence regarding the update and the response so far is positive. Apple will, understandably, spend additional time reviewing the application, but Carnie says he remains cautiously optimistic.

If Apple does end up rejecting the update, Manomio's plans are to remove the BASIC interpreter, but leave in place the other enhancement that this update brings, Carnie tells us. Those other enhancements include:

  • FIX - fix crash when attempting to use the "Download All" feature and many games are queue
  • FIX - Add additional controls to Hunter's Moon
  • FIX - iPad landscape view is no longer partially off the screen
  • NEW - Upgraded to OpenFeint 2.6.1 (includes time-scoped leader boards)
  • NEW - iOS 4.1 tested
  • NEW - New "Always use keyboard" option to access additional in-game features

Apple's recent update to the SDK agreement gives developers of all manner of apps more flexibility, but is a particular boon to developers of retro system emulators and games. We've got our fingers crossed that C64 with BASIC enabled is given the nod by Apple and that other developers are inspired to bring others classic systems and games to our favorite mobile device family.

  • alma

    Very hard to use well the virtual joystick, it makes almost useless this fantastic app.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      I disagree, but Manomio has already acknowledged upcoming support for the GameBone:

      http://toucharcade.com/2010/09/11/an-update-on-the-upcoming-gamebone-controller-accessory/

      • Yrogerg212

        ...which has no joystick, or even analog stick. This is a marginal improvement.

      • Adams Immersive

        The quality of the D-Pad remains to be seen before we know how well games will ply, but there’s hope: an 8-way D-Pad is a direct replacement for a C64-style digital joystick.

      • TKO

        I'm just want to try it with bluetooth keyboard support. I'm great with old-school joysticks, but was never a fan of the dpad. These days I'm better at playing emulated games with a plain old keyboard.

        There is the occasional classic, like Time Pilot, Chaos Engine, Karate Champ, and Robotron, for which the excellent X-Arcade stick is a must. Must work out a way to use that on the iPhone. Totally awesome overkill device. ;)

    • george

      I was going to comment on that, the stick movement looks a bit awkward at best :(

  • alma

    Very hard to use well the virtual joystick, it makes almost useless this fantastic app.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      I disagree, but Manomio has already acknowledged upcoming support for the GameBone:

      http://toucharcade.com/2010/09/11/an-update-on-the-upcoming-gamebone-controller-accessory/

      • Yrogerg212

        ...which has no joystick, or even analog stick. This is a marginal improvement.

      • Adams Immersive

        The quality of the D-Pad remains to be seen before we know how well games will ply, but there’s hope: an 8-way D-Pad is a direct replacement for a C64-style digital joystick.

      • TKO

        I'm just want to try it with bluetooth keyboard support. I'm great with old-school joysticks, but was never a fan of the dpad. These days I'm better at playing emulated games with a plain old keyboard.

        There is the occasional classic, like Time Pilot, Chaos Engine, Karate Champ, and Robotron, for which the excellent X-Arcade stick is a must. Must work out a way to use that on the iPhone. Totally awesome overkill device. ;)

    • george

      I was going to comment on that, the stick movement looks a bit awkward at best :(

  • Dragon

    At the moment c64 is capable of downloading executable data though, so I guess this will have to be changed to bundle all the possible roms within the update and just unlock them?

    • stooovie

      That is NOT executable file, it´s not executable by iOS. Only native code is considered as executable.

      • Dragon

        Well, interpreted then if you want to be picky.. either case, downloading it is no longer allowed.

    • Stuart Carnie

      No, all games are included in the app bundle that is submitted to Apple. This is why we must do an update each time we release new games. When you purchase a new game within the app, once approved is immediately available.

      Cheers,

      Stuart

    • Jim

      All available roms (and even a few more) are already bundled in the IPA. The app doesn't actually download any games.

  • Dragon

    At the moment c64 is capable of downloading executable data though, so I guess this will have to be changed to bundle all the possible roms within the update and just unlock them?

    • stooovie

      That is NOT executable file, it´s not executable by iOS. Only native code is considered as executable.

      • Dragon

        Well, interpreted then if you want to be picky.. either case, downloading it is no longer allowed.

    • Stuart Carnie

      No, all games are included in the app bundle that is submitted to Apple. This is why we must do an update each time we release new games. When you purchase a new game within the app, once approved is immediately available.

      Cheers,

      Stuart

    • Jim

      All available roms (and even a few more) are already bundled in the IPA. The app doesn't actually download any games.

  • http://www.saucelifter.com Madgarden

    IAP's are separately approved by Apple, and wouldn't be considered "downloadable" scripts or code... i.e. download and install willy-nilly from anywhere on the net.

    Still, I hope you can save your BASIC programs... :D

    • Dragon

      I guess that sounds plausible enough.

  • http://www.saucelifter.com Madgarden

    IAP's are separately approved by Apple, and wouldn't be considered "downloadable" scripts or code... i.e. download and install willy-nilly from anywhere on the net.

    Still, I hope you can save your BASIC programs... :D

    • Dragon

      I guess that sounds plausible enough.

  • James Cude

    Kind of doesn't make much difference to me. Basic is what it is- fun to Print Screen and Goto 10 and then pretty much nothing. Please focus on games, a LOT more C64 games. Oh that and the Amiga emulator.

  • James Cude

    Kind of doesn't make much difference to me. Basic is what it is- fun to Print Screen and Goto 10 and then pretty much nothing. Please focus on games, a LOT more C64 games. Oh that and the Amiga emulator.

  • hanerlend

    Native iPad support would be great aswell! :)

    • fafner

      Yes please!

    • http://manomio.com Stuart Carnie

      It's on our list - a complete revision of the UI too

  • hanerlend

    Native iPad support would be great aswell! :)

    • fafner

      Yes please!

    • http://manomio.com Stuart Carnie

      It's on our list - a complete revision of the UI too

  • PHUCK-O

    More games! And they shouldn't be more than 99 cents. i went to buy space taxi and it was 1.99! too much for an ancient game with an app that already costs 5 bucks.

    let's see some jumpman, impossible mission, world games, winter games, calfornia games, maniac mansion, montezuma's revenge and more!

    • chris

      they have to make deals with the company's to put them in the emulator.. i really do not think they have much choice in how much they charge. its probably up to the company that owns the rights to the game. im guessing they make there money off the main app it self not the dlc. just a guess tho..

      chris.

      • Blades

        Unfortunately a lot of those games you mentioned have been gobbled up by bigger companies like EA. So, the chances of some of the classics becoming available could be slim....

      • Chaz

        My favorite part is when big companies buy IPs only to ignore them from day one and let the rights rot in some rusty file cabinet.

      • PHUCK-O

        the app still is much improved than it was when first released

    • http://manomio.com Stuart Carnie

      We're definitely working on some of those titles.

    • TKO

      The developers have always tried to negotiate low prices, but at the end of the day it's not their decision. IMHO the rights-holders to Space Taxi are discouraging the purchase of this particular game, because most of the other games are much better value for money.

      Then you get nice devs like Jeff Minter who make his titles available for free. Damned nice of him. Hopefully more of the rights-holders will come to be more sensible about the current worth of these titles in the context of iOS games in general. (But I'm weak-willed. I just buy em all anyway.) :)

  • PHUCK-O

    More games! And they shouldn't be more than 99 cents. i went to buy space taxi and it was 1.99! too much for an ancient game with an app that already costs 5 bucks.

    let's see some jumpman, impossible mission, world games, winter games, calfornia games, maniac mansion, montezuma's revenge and more!

    • chris

      they have to make deals with the company's to put them in the emulator.. i really do not think they have much choice in how much they charge. its probably up to the company that owns the rights to the game. im guessing they make there money off the main app it self not the dlc. just a guess tho..

      chris.

      • Blades

        Unfortunately a lot of those games you mentioned have been gobbled up by bigger companies like EA. So, the chances of some of the classics becoming available could be slim....

      • Chaz

        My favorite part is when big companies buy IPs only to ignore them from day one and let the rights rot in some rusty file cabinet.

      • PHUCK-O

        the app still is much improved than it was when first released

    • http://manomio.com Stuart Carnie

      We're definitely working on some of those titles.

    • TKO

      The developers have always tried to negotiate low prices, but at the end of the day it's not their decision. IMHO the rights-holders to Space Taxi are discouraging the purchase of this particular game, because most of the other games are much better value for money.

      Then you get nice devs like Jeff Minter who make his titles available for free. Damned nice of him. Hopefully more of the rights-holders will come to be more sensible about the current worth of these titles in the context of iOS games in general. (But I'm weak-willed. I just buy em all anyway.) :)

  • Gload

    OpenFeint update? WTF

    Learn to Game Center. It's time to move on. It's only going to benefit everyone if we stop splitting the community.

  • Gload

    Learn to GameCenter.

  • Gload

    OpenFeint update? WTF

    Learn to Game Center. It's time to move on. It's only going to benefit everyone if we stop splitting the community.

  • Gload

    Learn to GameCenter.

  • Chaz

    You should supporting GameCenter, not OpenFeint.

  • Chaz

    You should supporting GameCenter, not OpenFeint.

  • Klaus

    BASIC! Hope Apple will accept this! This is the greatest news to me! Amazing! Thank you!

  • Klaus

    BASIC! Hope Apple will accept this! This is the greatest news to me! Amazing! Thank you!

  • Rud

    10 PRINT "YAY!"
    20 GOTO 10

  • Rud

    10 PRINT "YAY!"
    20 GOTO 10

  • dave

    does this mean a MAME for iPhone can happen?

    • Thomas Christiansen

      MAME yeah, that would be awesome :D

  • dave

    does this mean a MAME for iPhone can happen?

    • Thomas Christiansen

      MAME yeah, that would be awesome :D

  • http://www.gavinroskamp.com/ Gavin Roskamp

    So when will we be getting a DOS emulator? :)

    Really though, I'd like to see some good NES/SNES emulators.

  • http://www.gavinroskamp.com/ Gavin Roskamp

    So when will we be getting a DOS emulator? :)

    Really though, I'd like to see some good NES/SNES emulators.