September 1, 2010 | by Lars Aronsson
We recently reviewed the Commodore 64 emulator Frodo C64 here on Androinica, and now it’s time to take a look at the C64’s spiritual successor: the Amiga 500. In the early 90s, I was personally dumbfounded by the Amiga’s graphics which blew contemporary video game consoles out of the water. The Amiga 500 was released in 1987 and represented a return to Commodore’s roots, since it was sold in mass retail outlets just like the C64. It featured a 7 MHz CPU, 512 KB of RAM and 640 × 256 graphics.
UAE4Droid is an Amiga emulator for Android that has been around for quite some time now, and it’s based on the popular UAE4All. The emulator has however been a work in progress to put it mildly, but with the update that arrived today it’s finally good enough to warrant a review, even though there still are some annoying quirks left that I hope the developer will address.
Before you can start using UAE4Droid, you need to specify the location of your Amiga 500 Kickstart ROM and tell the emulator which game in the .ADF format you want to play. There are also various performance settings, as well as options for scaling and the virtual joystick. The biggest improvement in the latest build of UAE4Droid is in fact the new on-screen controls with multi-touch. They now have the exact same layout as on Frodo C64, and while they aren’t as refined as those on yongzh’s console emulators, they’re still acceptable. If your device has a trackball, it can be used as a mouse.
On the whole, UAE4Droid’s performance should be excellent on high-end Android phones, and I’ve successfully managed to play a few of my favorite Amiga games such as Moon Stone, Lost Patrol, Turrican and Giana Sisters. Sidescrollers are usually the smoothest. The sounds the emulator produces is notably good.
UAE4Droid has some issues, though: most importantly, the inability to save game states. If you disable the “Cyclone M68K emulation” mode which is optimized for ARM CPUs, the app should theoretically let you save and restore your progress, but I haven’t been able to play a single game in this mode. It’s also bothersome that you have to press Menu > Show touch controls every time you launch a game, since there’s no way to have the virtual buttons on by default. Still, UAE4Droid is a must for all Amiga fans and hopefully the developer will keep improving it.
- Amiga 500 emulator
- Plays ROM in the .ADF format
- Fine sound quality
- Saving game states doesn’t work (HTC Desire)
- The virtual joystick has to be manually activated each session
- You need your Amiga 500 Kick start ROM to use the emulator
App: UAE4Droid | Price: Free