TurboGrafx-16 GameBox (iPhone/iPad)
Although it was overshadowed by contemporary Nintendo and Sega consoles of the day, the TurboGrafx-16 nevertheless carved out a small place for itself in the hearts of hardcore gaming eclectics. Now it's back in emulated form on iOS. Can the TG-16 still deliver fun two decades later?
- Games library offers tried-and-tested arcade classics
- Individual games are expensive, no enhanced graphics for the iPad
If you're a fan of the old TurboGrafx-16 console, then this iPhone/iPad app will provide some highly enjoyable mobile classic gaming.
As its name suggests, the GameBox is the official emulator of the old late 1980's, advanced-for-its-time NEC TurboGrafx-16 games console, which was also known as the PC Engine in Japan and Europe. The App is a free download, but if you want to play any of the 16 currently available, faithfully emulated Turbografx games, you'll have to fork over $3.99 for each one.
The App's roster of games is varied, and includes some stone cold, tried-and-tested arcade classics. Top picks are three superb side scrolling shoot 'em ups, Gradius, Salamander and R-Type. There's also a trio of old-school beat 'em ups, the highly enjoyable Vigilante, the pretty decent Ninja Spirit, and the comically wobbly China Warrior. Bonk's Adventure and New Adventure Island both deliver classic platform fun, and Bomberman '94 continues to provide very entertaining arcade action even after all these years thanks to its timeless gameplay. World Sports Competition and World Class Baseball are both okay, and Military Madness, Jaseiken Necromancer, Soldier Blade, and Dungeon Explorer are trips down memory lane probably best left to those who enjoyed them the first time around. Oh, there's also Victory Run for those who want to re-experience the thrills and spills of a sprite-based racing game. And if you don't know what that is, you probably won't like it.
One of my beefs with this emulator is that there are no differences between the iPhone and iPad versions. Considering how simple it is, couldn't Hudson have spent a little extra time putting together some iPad-specific screens so that the App didn't run pixel-doubled on the iPad, as it currently does? The iPhone version looks great though.
However, the emulation is excellent, and each game is faithfully recreated in all its past glory. Control options are good, and ensure that even the fiddly shoot 'em ups are reasonably playable. Some of the games are great, particularly R-Type, Bomberman and Vigilante, and overall the game selection is strong. More are apparently on their way, and purchasers who make requests will allegedly be listened to. Devil Crush, Blazing Lazers (Gunhed), Rainbow Island, New Zealand Story and Galaga 90 please!
The per game cost of $3.99 per game seems a little pricey, particularly if you want to buy a bunch of them. Some bundle discounts would be appreciated. It would also be nice to have iPad-specific screens, rather than pixel-doubled screens from the iPhone version.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Miofive 4K Dash Cam review: This friendly road watcher is ‘here for you!’
- 2 Dell U3223QE review: A winning debut for an IPS Black monitor
- 3 Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: This 4K monitor plays nice with consoles
- 4 Firewalla Gold review: Powerful home network security in a tiny box
- 5 Acer Aspire 5 review: An affordable laptop that’s enjoyable to use
Latest News Articles
- This real-life “aimbot” uses a physical mouse to cheat at shooting games
- Bethesda’s classic Elder Scrolls games arrive on Steam—for free
- We tested 22 different RPGs on the Steam Deck
- Steam Deck’s first major update adds a lock screen, Windows 11 support
- Sony is getting serious about bringing more PlayStation games to the PC
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- Top 10 best Android and Apple phones for under $600
- 25 Essential Party Games On PC And Console To Play With Family And Friends
- Mesh Wi-Fi vs Traditional Routers: Which is better?
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies