Delta is good but this is the iPhone game emulator I’m waiting for — Play SEGA and PlayStation consoles from anywhere

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Pips and Pixels

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Pips and Pixels is a new column from James Bentley, iMore's resident gaming expert, discussing all things gaming in the Apple ecosystem. Pips and Pixels explores the latest news, accessories, and titles you might have missed out on, and brings you commentary from the leading developers in the app market. As recent advancements in the Apple Silicon M processors and the brand new A17 Bionic chip show, Apple is becoming more serious about gaming. James looks to the rest of the games industry to see what could be next for Apple gamers.

Delta, the iPhone gaming emulator, has now been on the App Store for more than a week, and it has rocketed up the charts in that time. I’ve been testing it out and it works wonderfully, perfectly emulating old Nintendo consoles. However, news this week of another emulation project in the works has excited me far more. 

On games I’m excited to play, Fallout 4 is now working better on Mac than on Windows, somehow. The next-gen update has broken everything except the game on Mac. If you’ve finished the show and want a little bit more of that world, now is the perfect time to jump in. 

Finally, I managed to sit in on a session with Supercell, the creator of Clash of Clans, and got to ask a few questions about its new game, Squad Busters. It looks hectic and fun in a way that could almost only work on an iPhone. 

Read on for the full rundown

This week's Apple gaming news

1. Exclusive: iPhone emulator Provenance following Delta onto the App Store, with SEGA and PlayStation support in tow 

Provenance is the emulator I’m currently most excited about. As we revealed earlier this week, the PlayStation and SEGA emulator is currently in the works for an iPhone launch but it is being held back as the team is investigating Apple’s new rules. Delta, the emulator for retro Nintendo consoles, looks great and is very nostalgic but the PlayStation / SEGA era of consoles is what I’m looking forward to seeing most. 

I’m looking forward to seeing some fun homebrew titles in the style of PlayStation One games, fully taking advantage of the polygonal graphics and sound. This is what I can see myself playing on the bus or on a plane as growing up in the ‘00s, nothing quite gets me nostalgic like the look and sounds of the PlayStation.

As we pointed out in our list of the great free homebrews on Delta, there are already tonnes of excellent games out there. In fact, One game that feels designed with this exact restraint in mind is GoodBoy Galaxy, which can be played with a physical GameBoy cartridge. It has a ROM that you can download right now but it is a paid experience. Delta being widely available on iPhones could further incentivize developers to create experiences for the platform. I can’t wait to see where emulation software goes in the next few months. 

2. Fallout 4 next-gen update is a mess on Windows — but surprisingly, finally works like a charm on Mac

Despite the next-gen update for Fallout 4 being a huge problem for long-time fans of the apocalyptic RPG, it now works perfectly with Whisky. The game translation tool for running non-Mac games natively, Whisky is one of the best pieces of software for any Mac gamer. If you’re wondering how to play Fallout 4 on Mac, it has suddenly become very easy. 

Most excitingly, the sudden resurgence in players trying out Fallout 4 and the next-gen update is likely tied to the popularity of the Fallout TV show. Given it is now playable on Mac in ways it wasn’t before, this is a sign not only that old games getting higher player counts could positively affect Mac gamers but further suggests that Mac gaming is becoming more serious. Dedicated apps like Whisky are now further incentivized to get wider swathes of games running on Mac and players benefit from that investment. I can’t wait to start blasting around The Commonwealth again. Don’t miss out on the older Fallouts while you are revisiting the series or playing it for the first time though. 

3. “We’re famous for killing all of our games” — The team behind App Store hit Clash of Clans has canceled ten games before launch, now it’s finally ready to release its next major title

I recently had the chance to sit in on a briefing of Squad Busters, the new game from Clash of Clans creator Supercell. There, I saw a hectic brawler all about upgrading squads, farming resources, and collecting gems. It was compared to Mario Kart at one point, a comment that would feel out of place for any other action title. Yet, it feels oddly fitting here. Squad Busters looks like it is designed with fun first, and everything else second. I’m looking forward to finally giving it a go. 

Gaming news from our friends

Ubisoft hints at the future of Assassin’s Creed’s Basim but says “no post-launch content is planned for Mirage” from GamesRadar

Assassin’s Creed Mirage was tipped to arrive on the best iPhones like the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro in early 2024. However, we have still not received word on that release date. Despite this, the devs have said they don’t feel quite done with Basim’s adventures and something is a little better than nothing here. Hopefully, we’ll still see Basim on iPhone this year. 

After selling 1 million copies, Balatro creator admits it’s “held together with hopes and dreams” as game devs rally around the roguelike’s beautifully nightmarish code from GamesRadar

Balatro has been doing incredibly well since its launch and it currently functions perfectly on not only the best Macs but older ones too. One X user spotted that much of the code in the game is inefficient, stringing together clauses to run through specific scenarios, rather than running a larger line of code to pave over it, and LocalThunk, the developer, has responded. The Balatro dev said that Balatro is “held together with hopes and dreams” and plenty of indie devs supported this sentiment. One said, “Remember the goal is to ship games, not make the neatest and most elegant code routines.” Balatro works, and it works well. That’s really all that matters. 

Calendar: April's Big Game Releases

Another Crab's Treasure

(Image credit: Aggro Crab)
  • I have had the chance to play through Another Crab's Treasure, a crab soulslike, and it's a surprisingly approachable entry into the soulslike genre. It has some technical problems with frame drops and some glitches but these are a light distraction from what is otherwise a charming, creative, and surprisingly dark game. Though it is not playable natively on Mac, it has launched day one on Xbox Game Pass so you can stream it straight to your iPhone with a subscription, 
  • Stellar Blade, a PlayStation-exclusive action RPG focused on fast-paced combat in the style of Bayonetta and Dark Souls, has just launched. Our friends over at GamesRadar gave the game 3.5 stars in its review.  Though it is not available on PC, Sony has been known to port some of its games to Steam so an eventual release is not out of the question. 
Swipe to scroll horizontally
GamesRelease DatePlatformsPlayable on Apple?
Throne of BoneApril 8PCYes
Children of the SunApril 9PCNot natively
Harold HalibutApril 16PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo SwitchNot natively
No Rest for the WickedApril 18PC, Xbox, PlayStationNot natively
Sker RitualApril 18PC, Xbox, PlayStationNot natively
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred HeroesApril 23PC, Xbox, PlayStationNot natively
Another Crab's TreasureApril 25PC, Xbox, PlayStationNot natively
Sand LandApril 25PC, Xbox, PlayStationNot natively
Stellar BladeApril 26PlayStationNo

Level Up — Gaming accessories on our radar

If you’re looking to get a little more out of your gaming setup, the Razer Leviathan V2 is an excellent soundbar that sounds fantastic. Sound is one of those things that is overlooked when you’re gaming until you get something really nice to let those soundtracks shine. 

Razer Lebiathan V2 | $249.99 at Amazon

Razer Lebiathan V2 | $249.99 at Amazon

In our recent Razer Leviathan V2 review, we said “the V2 puts itself into our good books with enjoyable spatial audio, burly bass, and plenty of sonic punch.” It has very cool spatial audio with head tracking, fits into a budget well, and has a big, bassy sound to boot. 

Hitting the Arcade — What to play on Apple Arcade

Pips and Pixels Hitting the Arcade

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Arcade is filled with tons of exclusive experiences and fantastic games. However, with so many out there, it can be hard to decide what to play. Here are a few choices I've been testing out this week:

I played the original Kingdom Two Crowns around half a decade ago and recently picked up Kingdom Two Crowns+ on Apple Arcade for a bit of nostalgia. It’s a side-scrolling strategy/puzzle game where you have to protect a settlement from danger by collecting resources and slowly building up your encampment. It’s hectic, has a wonderfully dark atmosphere, and can get super tough if you aren’t paying attention.

To relax from what can be a real challenge in our last game, I’ve also started playing Threes+ again. It’s a simple math game all about matching tiles of the same number to get the highest number possible. I have picked up this game and put it down five or so times over the last few years and I’m sure I’ll pick it up again this time next year.

Have you played any great games this week or seen some interesting Apple gaming news we've missed? Let us know in the comments!

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.