With Santa’s sack bulging with some worryingly PS4 and XBONE shaped lumps he should probably see the doctor about this Christmas there’s many a tear in a young ‘un’s eye to be wondered upon when, come the shining morn of Christendom’s very own Copperfield-of-the-cloth, they stand helpless before a locked living room door; ignored and unwanted they listen forlornly to the sounds of merriment and glad-tidings being held by their father and his bestest of chums behind the staid portal, Santa’s munificence now a lost dream of hope to the wanton lust of another and his six-pack of Pale Ale and copy of CopyCat-C.O.D.

But as you probably won’t be able to tear the little buggers away from their iPhone-A-Friend and their constant updating of Facebook and Grindr anyway feel no guilt of the greedy nor shame of a parent-done-bad-by-their-child as Jeremy Kyle would attempt to lay upon your brow, for an answer ‘presents’ itself anon; upon reaching the next checkpoint in your online quest to save Scottish oil from American freedom point the in-built browser to the old email account and forward them this list of the 5 Best Emulators For Android…

…because sod Apple.



 DraStic – DS Emu

Fully embracing the handheld it emulates DraStic is the quintessential example of an app embracing the platform it’s running on. Incorporating the touch-screen nature of the DS on the frontage of your phone is a slice of lardy cake for this handy little emu, and with an on-screen pad and button combo there’s an irresistible urge to have ‘just one more go’ of the game in hand as the Game Over screen mocks your fallen heroes prone corpse.

Compatibility is as high as Marley on his birthday and gameplay is as smooth as a pimp in Vegas and when running on most hardware there’s little in the way of issue or concern. Not every ROM runs 100% and there’s a few that will simply refuse to even deign the ‘Load ROM’ option; but with the majority of big-hitters (so we’re talking mostly anything with Mario or Pikachu in it) loading with ne’er a complaint, there’s not much to complain about here.



FPse – PlayStation

Hands down simply the BEST emulator out there bar none. And coming from a self-diagnosed Sony fanboy you can guarantee there’s no hyperbole in that last sentence, no sir!

So bias may be on my side but the facts speak loud for themselves; Tekken 3, Gran Turismo, even the holiest of Grails that is FF7, if you have the storage space this emu will run it. And, thanks to an option menu with more choice than gluttons carvery at the petting zoo, you can tweak and twiddle to your heart’s content to get damn near any title from the PlayStation 1 back catalogue running on your magnificent mobile.

The only downside to this wonder of wow is that it doesn’t come with the Bios file needed to run the thing. A minute or two of your life sacrificed on the altar of Google will quickly remedy that issue, and with a bit of patience getting it set-up and yourself familiar with its inner workings you’ll soon be breaking back into Midgar in no time.


John GBC
John GBC

John GBC – GameBoy Color

But what if, you ask, you’re more a traditional sort of gamer? One for whom the delights of a monochromatic green screen floats your sailing vessel of choice? Well for them we have the glorious John GBC Emulator.

Bridging the gap between the 8- and 16- bit handheld’s era this emu will quite happily run both first and second generation Pokemon releases for your daily desk-jockeying distractions, as well as all those wonderfully ‘inspired’ homemade Pokemon-hacks.

Issues are practically non-existent and compatibility isn’t even a question you need raise when looking at the list of titles on your SD card and wondering if you prefer some Classic or Color Tetris today.

Options include the usual Cheats menu and button layout configurations, with a Fast Forward and Save Anywhere State getting you through any troublesome bits of plot. And with the file sizes of the platforms games taking up less space than the imagination shown in a primary schools Harvest Festival donation to the old folk of the town you could quite feasibly carry the entire library of GB and GBA releases in back pocket of your fashionably skinny jeans.




For a bevy of brilliance and bugger all cost comes the best Ninty emu of the 64-kind, the incongruous of name and infamous of fame Mupen64.

Though similar to many other N64 emu’s at first glance it takes a keen eye to spot the major advantage of having this emu ensconsed in the Games folder of your phone; simply put, what it can’t play, you don’t want to play.

It’s some way off a complete one hundred percent compatibility with Nintendo’s cartridge largess, but with the emu purporting a penchant for pixel perfection (and fair play, you can see it pushing them to their bits-and-bytes limits) there is nothing standing in the way of the those truly dedicated to investing precious toilet time seeing Superman64 fail hard in craptasticular fashion.

Again options are plentiful, with everything from key-mapping to save-anywhere states present and pleasant and correct; in fact the only downside to downloading is, what with Nintendo cherry-picking the bestest of its back catalogue for re-release upon it’s portable pal, only those truly wishing to experience Z-buffering and fog in games such as Turok and Duke Nukem 64 need apportion a portion of their mobiles memory to installation.

Time will be needed for some ROMs to run, and even then there’s no guarantee you won’t lose the best part of several hours grind to a ‘Fail To Load Error’ as the emu-fairys design to stick their wands in the works and break its brains.

But you cannot make an omelette without first breaking some eggs, as they say, so whichever emu you opt for you will at least enjoy a hearty fried slice of belly filling gold – just remember to back-up your saves.




Now we’re talking! For those looking to emulate Sega’s final stab at owning the home console market and like a bit of a challenge getting the settings set just right comes the of bounty that is Reicast.

A Dreamcast emulator looking to fill that swirl-shaped hole in your life Reicast is not the emu for those easily intimidated. Some brain strain is needed to get this thing going, again requiring an original Bios and some tinkering involving new folders on your phone, checking pathways and virtual memory cards and so on and such.

Not fully one hundred percent perfect it serves more as a curio of surprise and quiet expectation; each new ROM selected will be a game of ‘Will it load?’, each new update offering hope that ‘This time it’ll load!’..

Clearly not the path of least resistance but promising so much simply by dint of offering a god-damned Dreamcast for your bog-trotting jollies, there’s reason enough to stick with its development and enjoy what morsels you may glean, for truly these will be the most succulent of sweet-meats yet tasted but your – as yet – uneducated emulation palette.



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