It would seem that the folks on Apple’s crack team of app approvers have been slipping a bit lately. Just the other day the company approved iTether, an unlimited tethering application for the iPhone. And now this.

Word has been spreading like wildfire this afternoon that Apple has admitted iMAME into the App Store. So, what’s the big deal? Well, we’re pretty sure the ROM-playing emulator doesn’t quite meet Apple’s strict app guidelines…

MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, and it allows you to play thousands of classic arcade [ROM] games by Sega, Nintendo, and many others. And since you can download these games for free, it’s not looked upon favorably.

How’d it make it in the App Store then? Well the app’s description is fairly vague:

 “iMAME is an application designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software on modern personal computers and other platforms. The intention is to preserve gaming history by preventing vintage games from being lost or forgotten.”

iMAME comes with 10 classic arcade titles, including Star Fire and Robot Bowl. But word on the street is that you can load other ROMs onto the iPhone without jailbreaking using a utility like iExplorer. Yeah, we’re counting down the minutes until this thing gets pulled.

However, at the time of this writing, it is still available. Grab iMAME while you can for free from the App Store.

[Cult of Mac via Touch Arcade]

  • Dan

    lol got it, now to figure where to load my roms

    • Daniel Belini

      Me too!!

  • WOW … It’s Free 😀

  • YES! just downloaded it 😀 loving it atm

  • Dan

    if anyone can figure out in what folder to put my roms it would be great, installed it on my iPad 2 (not jailbroken)

    I don’t seem to see a var/mobile/media/rom directory

    • var/mobile/Applications/[random numbers]/Documents
      and games are in *.zip format.

      • JT

        I only see two folders: apps and media?

      • u click apps than look for iMame click it and go to documents and dats where the roms r at

      • Dan

        I don’t have a var folder in my iPad

      • Anonymous

        Get AppLinks (it’s free) from Cydia and start it. Hit the little circled arrow in the lower left corner. This will create /var/mobile/AppLinks and inside this directory are softlinks to all apps in the filesystem. No need to browse random numbers anymore.

    • Dan

      figured it out, can’t play nes or snes game… this is useless to me

  • Anonymous

    Can this thing run any SNES roms?

    Or is it strictly arcade games?

    • i think arcade only. ima try to get the old donkey kong game. if i can figure out how to put rome in

  • i wanna play bagman

  • i figured out how to put roms!

    • Mind telling us, please?

      • Anonymous

        I’m using iExplorer. On the left side just look for iMAME then go into Documents. All of the ROMs are in there.

  • Bad thing about this is you would need to save the app somewhere to download it offline since once it’s banned, it won’t be anywhere around, but more than likely it will be available on Cydia. 🙂
    Too bad this will not work with heavy ROMs on older hardware like an iPhone 3Gs for instance.

    Thumbs up!

    • u can always put it on ur computer on iTunes?

    • Anonymous

      This has been available on Cydia for a long time. Someone just packaged it up and submitted it to the App Store.

  • What program are you guys using to browse your devices? I have an iPhone 4s that I need to access root folders to transfer all my mame roms.

  • metal slug ftw

  • Use iFunBox to get inside 😉

  • Not all the “roms” are running… Mortal Kombat r4 doesnt work. :S

  • IFunBox works with A5 Devices to “explore” inside the device and modify files….

  • None of the ROMs I downloaded from romworld seem to appear, any other suggestions/places to obtain? Any confirmation of working ROMs?

    • You restart your devices after you install your roms?

    • See my reply below, but only very early ROMs from the 0.37b5 ROMset will work with this emulator. It is based on a very, VERY old version of MAME (Released in 2000!) and as such will only work with this limited ROMset.

      The current version is version 0.144, so you see that there have been 107 major revisions to MAME since the 0.37b5 that this was based upon. You won’t be running modern ROMs anytime in the near future!

      DaveP in Ohio
      AKA DocMAME

  • Anonymous

    None of the ROMs I’ve installed have worked :/ this blows

  • One of the reviewers in the Australian App Store said to use 0.37b5 ROMs for best results. They’re apparently ROMs specially built for iOS, so google that if you’re having problems.


    • There is nothing illegal about emulators… and as long as the iMAME application only ships with ROMs that are released from the game companies to the public domain there are no issues with it violating terms of the MAME licensing structure.

      This version is based upon one of the very earliest versions of MAME, and as such only emulates a very small number of games, as it only emulates a couple of actual hardware platforms. You aren’t going to play any of the newer ROMs for a very long time if ever… the newer the real machines, the more complex the emulated machine and the more horsepower it takes to emulate. So for now there is no legal issue as long as you run ROMs that you personally own the original machine ROMs or the public domain ones, but you are limited to the 0.37b ROM set.

      DaveP in Ohio
      AKA DocMAME

  • mikefromto1234

    can someone send me an IPA PLEEASSSEEE i really would like this app :'( i will be eternally grateful

  • “this app doesn’t exist in the us store”