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Still Alive: ‘C64 for iPhone’ Gets iCade Support, iPad Coming

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It’s been over a year since the last update, and many in our forums were worried that the app had been abandoned, but I’m happy to report that Manomio has released an update to C64 for iPhone [App Store], the Commodore 64 emulator and game store (at over 50 titles right now) for iOS, that we’ve been tracking since way back in 2008.

Stuart Carnie of Manomio filled me in on the license tangles he’s been dealing with since late last year which stymied work on the app, but indicates all is now resolved and that he’s excited to bring this update, as well as return his focus to development and the acquisition of new licenses for C64-loving iOS gamers.

The big news in this latest version of C64 for iPhone, version 2.2, is the addition of support for the iCade and compatible devices (such as the iControlPad and Gametel controller we recently covered), which is huge news given the nature of the typical Commodore 64 game title. In this initial implementation, iCade support means joystick and fire button emulation — certain games with extended features, such as The Last Ninja, still require tapping the screen for key input and the like. This update also brings full support for iOS 5.

It’s worth pointing out that, presently, C64 is not a Universal application, and so using it on an iPad in the iCade means running the iPhone app at 2x video magnification. However, Stuart has big plans for the app and shared a short-list of what’s coming, down the road…

  • A new, Universal app!
    • This is a rewrite in order to add all the required features
    • PRO: By not replacing the iPhone version, we can keep existing users with old hardware on the current builds
    • PRO: For compatible games, we’ll continue to add them to C64 for iPhone
  • Activate your original C64 for iPhone purchases if you have it installed
  • Cycle-exact emulation — will require ARMv7 devices
  • Same OpenGL ES 2.0 retro visual effects currently in progress for iAmiga
  • iCADE / iControlPad / Gametel support
  • TV-out
  • Network play
  • More in-app purchases, including existing titles
  • A big pack of free games to get you started
  • Retina display support
  • BASIC mode, with 1541 “disk" save support

The following demo video taken by one of our readers shows C64 for iPhone running on an iPad, being controlled with an iControlPad (in iCade emulation mode).

We’re very glad to see Stuart out of the woods and moving forward with his efforts to bring retro fun to today’s gamers. We will keep readers in the loop on the latest from Manomio as the news unfolds.

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