It certainly isn't the first time someone has snuck on to the App Store, and I can almost promise it won't be the last, but if you're big into grabbing things you "shouldn't" have (per Apple's approval process) then Awesome Baby Names [$1.99] is something you need to snag immediately. What initially appears to be a very simple and silly baby naming app is actually a fairly full-featured Gameboy Advance emulator.

Accessing it is simple, load up the app, tap the top left corner three times, the middle button once, then immediately above that once. Presto, you're thrown into a ROM listing for a Gameboy Advance emulator. You'll need to use iExplorer or something similar to load a Gameboy Advance bios as well as the actual ROMs into the app, but once you do that, it's (reasonably) smooth sailing.

For help with getting this all running, definitely check out the thread in our forums. Admittedly, getting this all working is a little trickier than playing your typical iOS game so if fiddling with your phone's file system via iExplorer sounds over your head, this might not be for you.

Update: Aaaaaaaand just like that, Awesome Baby Names joins the many other similar trojan horse apps that have been released. Apple seems to have just pulled it from the App Store. If you were able to grab it, store that .IPA somewhere safe. I recommend snagging a free Dropbox account and just using it to permanently store apps like this so you'll always have a copy in the cloud if you ever need it again.

  • riggysmalls

    Got it. Hope I can figure out iExplorer so I can get some of these games on my phone!

    • steve22691

      I can't get it to work I hit the top left corner of the screen 3 times then press middle an where do I touch after that bc I press right above it and it doesn't work

    • drelbs

      You can also use File Sharing in iTunes! Easy Peasy!

    • riggysmalls

      Just an FYI, everything can be done from within the app. No iExplorer or anything else is needed. There's a bit of a trick to it, but it isn't super difficult:

      1. Use the search function and google "Download GBA Bios Bin" (you need a non-zipped file).

      2. Download the file then restart the app.

      3. Click the search button again and locate a zipped ROM of your choice.

      4. Enjoy the game, make sure to restart the app before installing another ROM. πŸ™‚

    • Thomas Vagning

      If you got the app can't you please then share the .ipa file somewhere like mediafire ect. so other can download it

    • ryn2340

      Can you email apps if so can you send it to me

  • Decoy_Octopus

    Is a jailbreak required to use it?

    • alex13111


  • toztman

    The instructions aren't working for me πŸ™ I must not be hitting the right area

    • alex13111

      Hit the top left corner by the first name, hit the middle button, and a little bit above that.

    • blackbear219

      Top left of the striped area three times, then hit the button that says "middle". That will make a link appear right above that "middle" button that says "Ready Player One". Hit that and you're in.

    • SkyMuffin

      it has to be in portrait mode, not landscape.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      You'll know you're hitting the right spot when you see the names change. The first letter of each name will be a G, B, and A respectively. Then a new text string will appear below the last name (hard to see). Tap the text string to launch the emu.

  • alex13111

    I picked this up as soon as I saw this notification on my phone.

  • steve22691

    Not working

  • Tommy

    This is hilarious, well done, whoever came up with this πŸ™‚

  • Adams Immersive

    Interesting. But since they know it's a sneaky thing that will be pulled (and never receive updates), charging money for the experiment seems a little sneaky too! Even if it is (to most people) just a baby name app.

    • ZarieoZ

      I read before that apple only give them their checks when they reach a curtain amount of return from downloads thus avoiding minor transactions.... So I don't think they even got the money, they should have known that as I now don't know what's in it for them.

  • Paul Hopper

    Anyone having trouble getting it to work should visit the thread linked above , images of places to tap are there πŸ™‚

  • AlmightyMax

    Yo TA, can you do a TA Plays if only to show how to access it in video form? I'm not getting it to work...

    • AlmightyMax

      Never mind I found it. For anyone else having trouble, for me the Ready Player One link was right below the middle button (I have a 4S so maybe that's why the placement is different?) it's camouflaged pretty well, I wouldn't have seen it if I wasn't looking!

  • Ben Bristol Habegger

    aaaaaaaand it's gone.

  • silly zipper

    And it's gone.........

  • witedahlia

    It's not letting me get it from the App Store... Maybe they already pulled it.

  • Simon Windmill

    Kinda (alright, completely) bullshit to charge for this. As it's gone I can't check, but I'm going to assume they've just taken the work of other emulator authors and slapped their sneaky app around it.

    • Greyskull

      True, all of the others I can remember (iMame, Gridlee, iDos or Dosbox) were free. This guy was just trying to grab a few bucks quick. If it was free, it might not have disappeared so quicky.

      • ikari_paul

        in a way, im kinda happy that it was pulled. a crook would just benefit from the (free) work of another developer...

        apple's quickness kinda indicates that they know right away when these things happen, but they kinda allow them to exist for a few weeks (Gridlee), as long the app is free. Interesting

      • Craig Grannell

        I'm not sure that's the case. With Gridlee, it was MAME fronted by a genuine productβ€”a game. In this case, the app completely hides behind what's essentially an entirely different product. Gridlee going on to the App Store bent certain rules (although I've still not found a reason why iMAME was pulled, let alone Gridleeβ€”after all, sideloading is possible even in Apple apps), whereas this one attempted to circumvent the process entirely.

  • Katalyst

    It has been pulled from the US store. (Glad I had the TA mobile app and saw the notification :))

    • alex13111

      That's how I found out about it

  • MrSHakerEsq

    Bagged it.

    • monoclespectacle

      Wait a minute, so stealing games that are still under copyright protection is okay, but downloading games that go free on the app store is not.

      You sir are a fool and more than likely just another lonely troll.

      For reference this guy gets all huffy whenever TA posts a freebie alert, yet here he is ready to get his digital thief on.

      • PureRumble

        Let he who has not ripped throw the first burned cd...

      • shadax

        Throw the first what?

      • ExcaliburEdge

        It's ok, they've all been converted to coasters.

      • MrSHakerEsq

        Not sure what your little rant has to do with me as I paid full price to the developer for the app, as I always do.

        Jealousy I guess.

      • monoclespectacle

        Lol now I know you're a troll.

        So what's your next baby's name going to be?

  • Frank Hopewell-Smith

    Well it obviously not there anymore - I just bought some useless Β£1.59 baby naming app. Lame

    • MrSpud

      What?! If you downloaded it, you have it. No?! Did you read the whole article?

      • Thaurin

        There's a similarly named baby names app in the store. He probably got that one. Beware!

      • Frank Hopewell-Smith

        Indeed - that is the one I got in my rush

  • Laszlo Tuss

    I got it! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the nice TA app notifications!

    Pokemon Fire Red works like a charm, but i cant load my old gpsPhone save πŸ™

  • dmarcoot

    I find that the MAME emulator and other apps that Apple yanked in past still will be stored by iCloud for me when I restore my phones. That said, I too keep a copy of these apps on dropbox, just in case

  • anada

    Since I've downloaded it, is it possible for me to lose the app since its been pulled?

    • drelbs

      Just make a copy of the IPA file on your computer. If you downloaded it on an iDevice, "Transfer Purchases" in iTunes to get the file on your computer.

      • anada

        But then I shouldn't really be able to lose it, no?

      • Greyskull

        Or, for the future, set itunes on your computer to automatically download everything you purchase (free pr paid) on your idevice.

  • vic_viper_001

    Aww rats, it gone... guess I'll just have to use my GBA to play the games instead πŸ™

  • Zombie_Toaster

    Aaaand it's gone

  • DarkRoxima

    Just noticed that Gridlee also got pulled. πŸ™

  • steve22691

    Got it to work I saw the player one thing below the middle button couldn't see it before sucks for the slow pokes

  • Zeldaniac

    1. Jailbreak
    2. Download gpsPhone
    3. PROFIT

    • DarkRoxima

      2. Install gba.emu
      3. More profit!

    • DarkRoxima

      2. Install gba.emu
      3. More profit!

      • Laszlo Tuss

        But without your old Pokemons!

  • GrumpyOldMan

    Piracy is cool, as long as it is retro?

    • Zeldaniac

      No, but playing games that you already own on your phone that you already take with you is cool. Or is that just me?

    • Greyskull

      Short answer? Yes.

  • Psiufoxx

    Darn it.

  • mlamont_

    Darn! This would have been awesome to play around with! Have always wanted to play old Gameboy games on my iPhone!

    • Craig Grannell

      I wouldn't be concernedβ€”I downloaded to try it out and possibly write about it. I rapidly came to the conclusion that it's awful. The 'chrome' visuals aren't Retina, the sound stutters and playback is too fast. At best, using TouchArcade's own ratings system, this would get a 1.5.

  • ikari_paul

    doh! they were quick to pull this one. saw it like an hour after this post, and now its gone :-S

    whats the best website to be informed about these "sneaks" asap? Is TA quick enough?

  • babeve

    It's gone. : (

  • gnomekingofpain

    Works with every game I have tried so far. The Stupid thing is I would have been happy to buy any of those games from Nintendo's 3DS eShop, but they have not bothered to make even the most popular first party GBA titles available. You can't even buy those titles they gave away to people who bought the 3DS before the price cut, and those would not require any more work from Nintendo then to slap a price on them and list them in the store.

  • Cleardragon

    Hey guys glad I downloaded before it was pulled
    Where do you install games?

    I'll check it out when I get home

  • regkilla

    damn it was pulled fast!

  • Cameron Fenton

    Is there a good reason Apple doesn't allow emulators on the App Store? Or is it just some terms of service nonsense? They aren't illegal in themselves, so why not have them available?

    • blueblur121

      Because they make it easier to pirate games.

    • Craig Grannell

      Emulators are available on the App Store, but only when they're fully licensed and therefore do not breach someone's copyright. Search the store and you'll find, for example, a handful of ZX Spectrum emulators and at least two C64 emulators. Elsewhere, plenty of apps are essentially emulators as well, including many of Sega's. The difference with something like a GBA emulator, is there's no legal way to provide a functioning system.

  • ExcaliburEdge

    Bought it, proved it works, told a friend... it was pulled before he could get it.

  • Austin Downs

    Ya know why I like Android better than iPhone? Android lets this stuff exist. They don't care. I have 6 emulators on my phone and NO ONE cares. Apple sucks btw.

    • Zeldaniac

      I have them too. On my jailbroken iPod.

  • blueblur121

    It's not available in America! D:

  • Dammster

    I see that hidden link for Dropbox! πŸ˜€ nice try

  • Spudboy

    I bought it 20 seconds after getting the bat signal from TA. Now off to find whatever thingamajiggy I need to play a game.

  • mindseyes

    So does anyone have the IPA saved they can share of this App???

  • gnomekingofpain

    Turns out you don't even need iExplorer or any other software, iTunes will transfer the files just fine. Glad I jumped on this as soon as I got the notice from TA.

  • macsmister

    Please someone tell me. What's the best GBA emulator in Cydia? This news makes me want to revisit Advanced Wars and Zelda on this system.

    • Loading3

      If you have iphone 4 and up - gba.emu
      If you have lower ones - gpsphone.

      • macsmister

        I have iPhone 5. I will try GBA.emu. Thanks!

      • regkilla

        GBA.emu works great on my iPhone 5

  • theforkfactor

    I would also like to know if the IPA can be shared for those who missed it. Is this possible to get the app this way?

    • mindseyes

      Yes I was wondering the same ?

  • elia

    Yes I download on time πŸ™‚

  • bkmzm

    Is it available in the US App Store? It says its not available!

    • regkilla

      It got removed.

  • HCastle23

    Got it and it works. You don't actually have to use iExporler to use it. Just go into the Apps portion on your device via iTunes. It'll act jus like any other file sharing app. It runs pretty well to, sound might be choppy here and there, but gameplay runs as you would expect, classic GBA. That's all for now, back to Advanced Wars!

  • 7lilwhitewolf7

    Astro Boy: The Omega Factor

    Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

    Gunstar Super Heroes: Elite Mega Extra Large Pro Force Infinite {lol edition}

  • macatron

    I'm definitely happy that I was able to get this (thanks to TA)!! πŸ™‚ That being said, I've always wondered how someone even discovers these kind of hidden gems, though. I never would've thought to look twice at a baby naming app (let alone think that it housed an emulator to boot)!! Oh well, I'm not complaining. Time for some Golden Sun on my iPad!! πŸ˜€

  • Bloodangel

    What's best... This or GABA.emu?

  • Bloodangel

    This or gba.emu?

  • LunaKnight2

    Awewhh that sucks not available in Canada

  • chriscambell

    Can anyone point me to an article or something explaining how I'd back up an .IPA via Dropbox?

    • Thomas Vagning

      You make sure to transfer you purchases from your iPhone/iPod to your iTunes library. The find the .ipa file and where it is saves on you mac or pc. copy the file and put it into you dropbox or uploade it to mediafire ect. Does this help you?

  • JordanC07

    Now I have Mario on my phone. My quest is
    Thanks you πŸ™‚

  • Bloodangel

    What's best... This or gba.emu?

  • Nutrilica

    I have this and I want to get cheats or other saves on it. It's really hard. Has anyone found a way? If someone shows me how, ill give an .ipa file for this.

  • Gobblejuke

    Is anyone else having issues with stuttering sound? Is it just the game file I have downloaded?!

  • ilikefungames

    I'm too late!

  • lurtz6

    Could anyone post the ipa in a dropbox or something for those of us who missed the app?

  • holden2015

    Could someone share it with those who missed it? πŸ™‚

  • BipolarByDesign

    At least I can now say my graphics have been on the AppStore, I'm the guy (K.Nitsua) who designed that GBA controller skin, lol

  • gnomekingofpain

    It works surprisingly well. It is however better suited to turn based games and the like as opposed to action games. Stuff like Castelvania, Metroid, and Astro Boy work better then I expected. But the virtual d-pad and buttons do make the games somewhat harder, and less fun, then playing on a real GBA, or if they had ported the games to the DS or 3DS. Still since Nintendo has failed to make GBA games available on any current systems, this is a very viable solution.

    This is a weird area since while it is piracy, there is no non pirate way to play these games on any current portable hardware. I would actually prefer to have the games on my 3DS, and would be willing to pay for them. (again, I had all these games years ago when I had a working GBA)

  • Fuzikami

    Jailbreak is the way to go applefags

  • anabolicMike

    Glad I have an android tablet :D. I have all the emulators I want, including ps1. When it comes to phones though iphone reigns supreme. Perfect size and speed. Oh yeah, I would love a gba emulator though. Too bad I missed this lol.

  • ryn2340

    Someone should make another one I really want it

  • ryn2340

    Is there any way to get it

  • Kane Resurrected

    Anyone willing to trade there IPA of (awesome baby names) with my working copies of Killer Instinct Arcade 1&2 including CHD's that work with the Gridlee app for iphone/ipad/ipod? only thing is the games won't run smoothly on current gen idevices. You must wait for iPAD 6 πŸ˜‰ like i'am! or 64-bit chipset devices when they launch in 2014 πŸ™‚

    • JustMeNow

      If you have Nescaline, you've got yourself a deal!

      • Kane

        Nescaline? Please enlighten me.. Or I could try and find it for you πŸ™‚

  • JustMeNow

    ABN is totally amazing! I'm so glad I have it!

  • disqus_IJGiVuWQfk

    what is the function keys of almost all the games?