TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Delta – Game Emulator’

TouchArcade Rating:

Is this cheating? Riley Testut’s Delta emulator has been in active development for half a decade, and its roots go back even more than a decade if you count the GBA4iOS emulator that preceded it, so it’s not exactly new. And it’s not exactly a game either; it’s more a means to play games, thousands of games in fact, from a number of different retro game platforms. But gosh darn it, I’m not going to let the fact Delta isn’t “new" or a “game" prevent it from being highlighted alongside its official release on the App Store in light of Apple’s new attitude towards allowing emulators.

Make no mistake though, this isn’t just some emulator. Delta is like a masterclass in design and functionality. Many years ago we’d be thankful if we got some janky half-working emulator snuck in through an equally janky calculator app or something, it was the early App Store’s version of walking to school in the snow uphill both ways. Delta on the other hand feels like every square inch was designed for mobile touchscreen devices, because it was. It uses all the gestures and features we know and love on touchscreen to make using the app feel natural. One of our favorite YouTubers, Retro Game Corps, has a great overview and “how to" video of Delta that is well worth a watch.

One of the more surprising things about Delta for me is that it actually plays surprisingly well using just the touchscreen. I kind of imagined myself only ever bothering when I have my Backbone controller handy, but with how well the haptic feedback is implemented in Delta, and with the range of awesome skins and the ability to import new skins giving users a very clear and nostalgia-filled set of virtual buttons to use, I find that touchscreen alone is fine like 99% of the time. Yes, there will be certain games I’ll want to bust out a controller for, but since that’s not something I carry on me at all times I love that I can confidently play such a vast number of games even if all I have with me is my iPhone.

This is such a weird time for me. I was heavy into the jailbreaking scene in the early iPhone days, mostly for customization reasons, but running emulators was a big part of it too. Having practically the entire history of video games in my pocket at all times was a huge draw for me. However, nowadays my Miyoo Mini and my Steam Deck cover just about all of my emulation desires, and I’ve come to appreciate having dedicated devices for that rather than something that’s tied to my phone. It’s kind of ironic that Apple is now allowing emulators at a time that it’s least exciting to me. That said, having the entire history of video games (or at least a large chunk of it) ALSO on my device that never leaves my side will no doubt come in handy, and that the experience is so fantastic thanks to Delta makes it all the sweeter.

  • Delta - Game Emulator

    Delta is an all-in-one emulator for iOS. Delta builds upon the strengths of its predecessor, GBA4iOS, while expanding to…
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