Fans of arcade classics were rejoicing when a port of MAME (Multime Arcade Machine Emulator) popped up on the iTunes app store back in December, but all of the excitement quickly led to disappointment as Apple removed the app from the app store only a few short days after it made its debut.
While it’s not likely Apple is going to change their mind, regardless of the app’s legitimate (legal) uses, arcade junkies have another alternative available to them now – this time, it’s on Google Chrome. Google engineer Robert Muth is responsible for the port, which he says took him about 4 days.
Muth wrote a rather extensive case study on porting MAME to Google Chrome’s Native Client. It’s a pretty tech lingo-heavy write-up that will likely appeal to developers more than anyone else, but it’s a worthwhile read if you’re curious as to what goes into porting software such as that to Native Client.
If this is the first you’ve heard of MAME, the emulator allows users to play classic arcade titles such as Pac-Man, Galaga, and just about any other arcade title released in the 80s and 90s that you can think of. There’s a catch, of course: in order to use it legally, you need to own the actual board for the game you’re playing.
You can pick up the app by heading over to the Google Chrome app store and downloading the “Robby Roto” arcade game, which includes the port of MAME. It is, of course, copyright-free and thus legal to download. If you have other ROMs available to you, you can upload those and run them through the app as well.