Few releases on the App Store have made me squeal in greater delight than Hudson's TurboGrafx-16 GameBox [Free], for several reasons. First off, while most were busy arguing whether or not Sega does what Nintendon't, I was busy having the time of my life playing classics such as Blazing Lazers, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, and Bonk's Adventure. Secondly, this might be one of the best implementations of a console emulator we've seen so far on the App Store.
Downloading the actual emulator itself is completely free, which gets you access to World Sports Competition as well as a daily rotating free demo game which you can play for three minutes. (Today's is Salamander.) From there, you can view the catalog of currently available games, which it sounds like Husdon has plans to constantly expand. These games are $2.99 each, and once you unlock them via in-app purchase you can play them to your heart's content.
Much like the original TurboGrafx-16 system, the emulator has a D-pad and two buttons, along with a turbo mode for each button that can be toggled on and off. The games I've tried control about as well as you would expect a console game designed for a controller to play with virtual controls. They're entirely workable, but don't expect the same precision as a physical controller.
The controls situation is alleviated somewhat by a great save state system that allows you to save and resume games at any time. If a jump is coming up that's particularly tricky, just save your game state, attempt it, and instantly load where you were again if you fail. Sure, it's a little cheesy, but it has substantially lessened the frustration I usually experience when I die in these types of classic ports due to the lack of precision from virtual controls.
Right now the game selection in the emulator isn't the best, and aside from the previously mentioned World Sports Competiton and Salamander, it also comes packed with Gradius, R-Type, Bonk's Adventure, Bomberman '94, New Adventure Island, Vigilante, Ninja Spirit, Military Madness, Victor Run, Soldier Blade, Jaseiken Necromander, Dungeon Explorer, World Class Baseball, and China Warrior.
TurboGrafx-16 GameBox is a marvelous emulator packed with nostalgia for anyone around during the TurboGrafx-16 glory days. It's substantially cheaper than picking up a TurboExpress and the real game cards... which is easier said than done due to the systems being afflicted by the capacitor plague, making functional units very hard to come by. There are a ton of games I'd like to see included with future updates, but this is a great start. Now only if Sega would release something like this instead of packaging all their games individually...
Watch Button Watch App