John GBA Lite - GBA emulator
John GBA Lite - GBA emulator review
If you still feel nostalgic about those good old handheld consoles, it’s easier to install an emulator than to search for still working items. John GBA Emulator is the app that lets you run games for Game Boy Advance on your Android smartphone (or a tablet, though smartphone will copy the console better).
Good Old Game Boy Advance
The app by John Emulators is meant to revive the experience of the best handheld console of the early 2000s (until Sony PSP came). This console was home for games like Pokémon, Metroid, Castlevania, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy series, classics like Mario and Donkey Kong games, and so on. There is about 1500 games released for GBA so far, and most of them can be found as ROMs and launched on Android devices with emulators like this.
As for the interface, you need to hold your phone in landscape mode for controls to emulate the good old Game Boy Advance. If you hold it in portrait mode, it rather resembles Game Boy Color. There are still A and B, left and right buttons, and a D-pad emulated as virtual controls. They vibrate back a little when tapped, but the vibration is not localized.
Even the cheapest of today’s smartphones is capable of running even the heaviest game for GBA. Given that the size of a ROM is about 4MB (no typo!), and the app is capable of handling them zipped, your phone probably can contain the definitive collection of GBA games even without an extra SD card.
How to Play
It’s easy when you are familiar with Android. All you need to have (in addition to this app) is at least one .GBA file in your memory. This is the extension of the ROMs for the original console and for emulators. The app can scan the storage if you suddenly don’t remember where you have placed them.
Then starting the game is easy: the interface copies the way the original console looked. The buttons respond fast, and there aren’t any lags often caused by hardware differences. At least, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow delivers even smoother experience than the original version.
If you need to exit the game for a while, just do it. The emulator will run in the background, and the game will be paused. When you return to it from the notification bar, the game will prompt you to push the A button to resume.
There may be the individual incompatibility of certain ROMs with John GBA Emulator. Then you should search for a repack and make sure (or inquire on forums or social media) whether this particular ROM works with John GBA Emulator.
The app is ad-supported; the ads, though, mostly sit in the banner area above the virtual screen, not interfering and not tempting to tap. This is the ad support we’re ready to put up with. If you are not, removing ads will cost you just $0.99.
- Copies the original button layout or that of Game Boy Color;
- Supports most ROMs;
- Is compatible with even the freshest Android versions;
- Low system requirements.
- Ads constantly are shown above;
- Some games won’t run under it.