fZ5EJaKOne thing I forgot in the annual tradition of telling the App Store Christmas story this year was the nearly-annual tradition of a developer sneaking an emulator onto the App Store moments before the iTunes freeze thinking it'll last until Apple thaws out next week. iMAME did it a few years ago and lasted exactly two days, which I believe is the current record holder for longest time an emulator has been on the App Store before getting pulled.

This time around, Floppy Cloud [$1.99] has grabbed the iTunes freeze emulation torch. It's masquerading as a file management app, which technically lets you manage your files, but if you let it "manage" a .nes NES ROM or a .smc Super Nintendo ROM in a very special way: It'll load right up inside of the appropriate emulator. Both iCade and MFi controllers are supported too, making this a particularly sweet find for someone who owns any kind of controller accessory.

Using Floppy Cloud is super easy. Download the app onto your iOS device, load it up, and hit the "+" in the top right corner to connect to your Dropbox account. Don't have a free Dropbox account? Click one of these links to show you love Eric Ford or Carter Dotson more. (They get a little extra space free when you sign up through their referral link.) Once you've got Dropbox, log in, and navigate to where you have your .nes or .smc files stored. Tap the one you want to "manage" and blammo, you're playing a SNES or NES game.

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Now, just so you know what you're getting into when you download one of these: As mentioned, it'll likely be pulled from the App Store pretty quickly. Back up your Floppy Cloud .ipa somewhere safe (Like the Dropbox account you just signed up for!) as it might not be available in your previous purchases after it gets removed. Additionally, NES and SNES games were very much designed with the tactile feedback of a controller in mind, and often the ability to press two buttons at once, or press a button while holding another. This is nearly impossible with virtual controls. Unless you plan on exclusively playing turn-based RPGs and similar, you're going to be in for a frustrating time.

That being said, I have completed full games using virtual controls in emulators like GBA4iOS. Anything is possible with a little patience, particularly with the right kind of game (i.e. RPGs, as mentioned), and the experience gets exponentially better once you add a MFi controller into the mix. If you're at all into emulation this is very much worth picking up, as it not only runs on the latest versions of iOS but it's also universal.

Now, to start the clock to see how long it lasts...

  • VirtualBoyFreak

    The record holder is not iMAME. Gridlee lasted several weeks before it got pulled.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Did Gridlee allow you to throw anything at it though and it'd work? I seem to remember it being way more restricted.

      • VirtualBoyFreak

        Yeap, you could put in the ROMS zipped in one folder and they'd run perfectly. It was a new MAME which ran much more ROM images than iMAME because it was based on a newer version of MAME. Have a look at the Gridlee thread in the forums, it was full of comments of which ones worked and which ones didn't.

      • VirtualBoyFreak

        Btw, it seems Blood Bros. is also a hidden MAME, so that one wins top-prize for the longest stay in the App Store 😀

    • cofunguy

      Based on the version history of floppy, it has been out since November. Oh well, another emu that will bite the dust soon.

      • garbul

        Probably to stay under the radar until the time was right. BAhAHA! It's so sneaky!

  • Jet_Black

    Downloaded! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  • beyondthetech

    Which other emulators out there, on the App Store on via elsewhere, can do NES emulation?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      If you jailbreak there's a bunch, if you don't jailbreak this is it.

      • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

        Lawnmower Retro Arcade has been out and emulating NES games for several months now. Full MFi controller support, too.

    • Opinion

      So my comment with helpful input was deleted. Just google things brother.

    • Opinion

      This is not it lol

    • beyondthetech

      Even if there's code out there to compile and have a dev sign, I'd consider it.

  • evilelvis777

    It's the same emulator as "remote files" which was released a while back; great graphics but crappy controls, unfortunately...still, it's good for Soul Blazer etc.....

    • MikeGenius27

      You can't be for real graphic is dated no detail but rate is weak too

      • evilelvis

        I am "for real"; the graphics are great on my iPad Air, arguably higher resolution than the original SNES graphics, which were usually played through a standard TV via the aerial input. There is no noticeable lag on the iPad Air and any other graphical shortcomings are down to the age and nature of the games, not the emulator.

  • TheNoobOfTheCentury

    Sorry im new to emus, does this have a save/load button?

  • jeffyg3

    This is such a great file manager

  • Jaap Valent

    After the great post about emulators last week I went ahead and did the jailbreak and installed retroarch and mame4ios.
    They are working perfectly but I can't get my ps3 controller to work.
    Have btstack and controllers for all installed but when I try to connect the four red lights on the controller keep blinking.
    If I look at the bleutooth symbol on my homescreen it changes color when I try to connect somsomething is happening.
    And on two tries of the many times I tried tomcommect to mame4ios I saw ps3controller on the list but it didn't complete to connect.

    Anybody have a solition or tips?

    • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

      There are additional steps required to pair a PS3 controller. Have you read the instructions regarding the Dualshock 3 inside of Controller for All?

      • Jaap Valent

        Are you talking about this

        Download and install SixaxisPairTool
        Connect both your iOS device and PS3 controller to your Windows computer
        Run SixaxisPairTool and insert your iOS device Bluetooth address (you can find it in Settings > General > About > Bluetooth)
        Click Update and disconnect your controller.
        Done!

        Yes I have done that even tried both versions of sixaxispairtool but no luck

      • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

        Huh, do any of the inputs on the PS3 controller show up in the Game Controller Tester? Timing is critical when it comes to pairing the PS3 controller, you need to be sure you press the pair when the notification appears on app startup.

      • Jaap Valent

        Sorry don't know what you mean with game controller tester?

        I hav tried to connect a lot of times so I got the timing of when tp press down 🙂

  • terrence92

    Awesome! Controller support made me buy it

  • Alexythimia23

    Hijacking this thread!! BIOSHOCK AND HITMAN GO ON SALE NOW!!! Lol probably as cheap as they will ever be.... Spread the word! Just waiting on monster hunters, icewind dale, baldurs gate 2 and the world end with you... Then il have a very merry xmas if that happens haha

    • Opinion

      Hitman go was free a few weeks ago. Bioshock doe

    • Jake

      what's the price for bioshock?

      • Alexythimia23

        £2.99 in the Uk

      • spsummer

        It's showing $10.99 right now, hasn't dropped-yet

      • icruise

        It has now dropped to $4.99 in the US.

  • http://f1archives.com/ Gregz0r

    Awesome. I love grabbing these. Already got iMAME, Gridlee and iDOS - now this.
    If someone could please sneak a fully iPhone 6 Plus compatible version of RetroArch into the App Store, that would be just great. 😉
    Looking forward to enjoying 'managing' these files'.

  • Edmilan

    They timed the release just right with the App Store freeze

  • squirpe

    If you're after MAME in the app store, BloodBros is a good one and has mfi controller support.

    • VirtualBoyFreak

      This one takes the prize for the longest MAME port in the App Store. Several months. Wow!!

    • evilelvis

      I can't seem to find that in the UK store?

  • unlimitedfury

    I'm curious about full mfi controller support. I see steelseries as one of the options but not any others. Is there a universal option? Much appreciated.

    • Brandon

      My Mad Catz CTRL works

      • drc23

        Can you get your Mad Catz CTRL to work with SNES games? If so, how? Mine only works with the NES games.

      • drc23

        Nevermind. I got it to work.

    • ericdfields

      did a quick test of super mario 3 and super mario world with the controller. worked great! there's an ever so subtle lag but I can't tell yet if it's the controller, iOS, or the app's fault.

    • Erik

      Anybody get an icade controller to work? My 8 button doesn't work from what I can see. No option to add it in the settings either.

  • Yeong-Tae

    Is this any different at all from Remote Files? I've already got that, but if this has anything new then I'll pick it up...

    • Brandon

      You can save locally and I don't think remote files has Mfi support (I couldn't find it). Works with my Mad Catz controller!

      • Zendorphin

        One save total though I think? Not even one per ROM. :-/

  • vectorarchitekt

    Would kill for a Genesis emulator, so I could play Burning Force and Outrun on my iPad....

    • ocehcap

      Get "provenance" genesis, game gear, master system, snes emulator.

      • vectorarchitekt

        Is that for jail broken devices?

      • vectorarchitekt

        I found it. Is it trustworthy?

      • ocehcap

        Yes. Great emulator by James Addyman.

      • Phoen1x1

        I can play the Thunderforce games on my iPhone with this? Sweet....thanks.

      • ocehcap

        Yes you can.

      • vectorarchitekt

        Thanks!!

  • JindoFox

    I'm a tiny bit worried about giving a known sneak full access to my Dropbox, but will give this a try nonetheless. Seems like fun.

    Apple should just suck it up and allow emulators. They have plenty of other harmless but sketchy things in the store. Google and Microsoft allow them, too.

    • greatdane

      Make a dummy dropbox

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Who are you calling a dummy? 🙂 That is great advice and a free Dropbox is big enough to hold everything this app needs.

  • skidz26

    Any idea how to use iCade core? I connected via Bluetooth in settings but can't use within games. Thx

  • OzymandiasAeonis

    Anyone know if it works okay with the 6 Plus? Hate to buy it and find out it has some strange scaling issue, crashes with no hopes of it being updated.

    • Nucky

      I'm using it on an iPhone 6 plus and it works perfect.

  • Golan Klinger

    A few things that may be of interest...

    Floppy Cloud is being sold by "Kyle Hankinson" and last year's Remote Files was sold by "Hankinsoft" so I think it safe to assume they're both by the same person. I own both and can confirm that Floppy Cloud supports NES and SNES ROMs whereas Remote Files only supported SNES ROMs. Also, FC allows you to save your ROMs locally. Both FC and RF use the SNES9x v1.53 core for SNES emulation and I don't know what FC is using for NES emulation. Oh, and FC has ads and costs twice as much as RF cost.

    That's all I've got so far. Hope that helps someone.

    • OzymandiasAeonis

      What kind of ads like bottom banners in the file browser or fullscreen ones when starting a ROM?

      • JindoFox

        The ads are not intrusive. They only show up in menus, not during gameplay.

      • Golan Klinger

        Across the bottom in the file browser only (thank goodness).

        I'll have to experiment a bit more but from what I've seen so far, the NES emulation seems a lot more jittery (particularly the sound) than the SNES emulation which is the opposite of what I was expecting. Odd.

    • garbul

      Nice detective work. Presumably the ads support the dev long after Apple has pulled the plug.

  • skidz26

    Seems like only snes games have iCade support 🙁 still worth the price the pride of admission though!

  • tvzoid

    It works with Gametel controller but there's a way to mapping the buttons??

  • icruise

    So far none of the NES or SNES rooms I've tried work, and these are all ones that I've used successfully with other emulators in the past. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. The NES ones give me an error and don't load, and the SNES ones seem to load (present me with the controller) but I get nothing but a black screen.

    • JindoFox

      Are you unzipping them? The app can do that for you if you "open" a zip file. Every .smc I've thrown at it works, including FX chip games.

      • icruise

        Yeah, they're just .smc and .nes files, but I haven't used them in years. I wonder if my files are corrupt or otherwise messed up somehow.

      • icruise

        Just tried downloading a fresh ROM and it worked, so it looks like there's something wrong with the format that my other games are in. Any ideas as to what the problem might be? I'm using a Mac if that makes a difference.

      • icruise

        Sorry to reply to myself so many times, but it turns out that the problem was caused by having my roms stored in a folder that was a subfolder of my Applications folder. For some reason, this caused DropBox to treat them differently when I tried to copy them (displaying an arrow for them as if they were aliases, even though the full files appeared to be copied). I moved them elsewhere and now they work.

  • Brad

    Works great with my Moga Rebel controller!

    • unlimitedfury

      What settings did you use? So stoked now, I have a Moga too!

      • Brad

        I just left it with the default settings and it worked right away with zero issues.

        How do you like the Moga? I absolutely love mine, I think it's pretty much the greatest smartphone accessory ever. I have one for my Android phones too.

      • unlimitedfury

        It's great! I've heard of issues with connectivity but ever since I updated the firmware right after I bought it, no issue whatsoever! It's like playing a super high res PSP. The d-pad took some getting used to, that's the only issue I've had.

      • Brad

        Yeah I heard about connectivity issues but I personally haven't had any. And yeah man, it turns our phones into bad ass portable consoles. It's better on Android at the moment just because there are more games that support controllers but iOS is catching up. Being able to play MC4+5 and NOVA 3 with a controller is amazing. I can't wait for Gameloft to update the iOS versions for MFi support.

      • unlimitedfury

        I went on the Moga website to check game compatibility when I got it and didn't realize Android was checked too. 🙁 Most games that I feel really need it, support mfi. Works now, maybe did have a momentary connectivity issue. Lol

  • icruise

    iCade support is a nice plus. I have one of the larger iCade cabinets that I got for a song a few years ago, but never really found many games that supported it, so it's just been collecting dust. This changes that.

  • Bone16

    I bought remote files back when it came out but had to redo my phone from scratch when I got the 6 plus. Going back on all my recently purchased in App Store I can't find it there anymore. When they removed from the App Store do they take it from purchased as well? Since I did buy it can I get a refund? I can't find 148 apps app anymore either although that was free, I still miss it.

    • OzymandiasAeonis

      Yes when Apple pulls a app for a TOS violation it will be pulled from your purchase history, that's why I always backup the .IPA files when apps like this happen.

      • Bone16

        Ty. Don't mind buying again as this one has regular nes as well. Will back it up this time as well as all future apps in trouble of being pulled. Works great by the way

      • SuperDanX

        How do you back up an ipa file?

      • OzymandiasAeonis

        Load up iTunes on a PC/Mac and download the app, next you'll want to find the Mobile Applications folder and look for the .ipa file in this case it would be called "Floppy Cloud 1.0.4" and back it up to anything you want like Dropbox.

  • jusadamfal69

    Downloaded! Thnx for the info!!! Touch arcade is the best! I check it regularly!! Merry Xmas!!! Hoe to ho

  • jayzilla87

    This is truly awesome! It even works with my PS4 controller through 'Controllers for all'!

    How can Apple ban this from App Store when it's officially a file manager and underneath the hood that's exactly what it does... It just incorporated something extra, right? Or has this to do with (copyright) laws?

    Well I'm glad I bought it anyway, just save the .ipa in a good place like they say in the article 🙂

  • AnAmericanLiverpoolFan

    Ok total newbie here--why do I need to?: "Back up your Floppy Cloud .ipa somewhere safe". One I've downloaded it, isn't that enough?

    • garbul

      Sure but if you ever erase your iPhone or get a new one, you won't be able to re-download from the App Store because it's going to be pulled. The .ipa file allows you to load it back on your iDevice through the magic that is iTunes.

      • AnAmericanLiverpoolFan

        Ok great that makes sense. What's the best way to back it up?

      • zergslayer69

        Sync your device to itunes on computer. And then put the ipa file somewhere safe.

  • Drachkin

    "Extension not supported" .. I tried two different rom file and both tells me this. Any idea why?

    • godofodd

      I got that error when trying to use a .sfc instead of a .smc.

  • Lemmonz

    Anyone know where to find a .smc file for A Link To The Past?

    • ItouchBrett

      Plz don't ask this question. Use google.

    • Goggles789

      Emu paradise

  • MS

    Does it support the duo gamer pad that game loft had out. My phone is not jail broken so I'm looking for the least expensive supported controller.

  • magicmikezero

    I know I need to upgrade my phone but just wondered if snes runs well in 4s? Anyone?

  • Kugiro

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

    • JosephWelke

      Confirmed. And I just bought it an hour ago!

      Is this the record for shortest-lived MAME on the App Store?

      • bryngylf

        MAME? I do think it is only NES/SNES emulation (the latter based on snes9x)

  • RomanReigns

    cant find it..seems its pulled from appstore

  • Reza

    Has anyone tried running Genesis or GameBoy ROMS?