Access 3DS Games on Your iPhone Using This App

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Since Apple revised its App Store guidelines in April, a slew of retro game emulators has emerged for the iPhone. Emulators like Delta allow users to enjoy games from the NES to the DS, while Retroarch offers a trip down memory lane with OG PlayStation titles. However, until now, there hasn’t been an option to play Nintendo 3DS games on your iPhone. If you were keen on experiencing classics like Ocarina of Time 3D or Super Mario 3D Land, you had to resort to alternative emulator platforms or invest in a 3DS.

Enter Folium, the first emulator to grace Apple’s App Store with support for 3DS games. Not only does Folium cater to 3DS titles, but it also accommodates DS and Game Boy Advance games, making it an ideal choice for aficionados of Nintendo’s last three generations of handheld consoles. Nonetheless, if you’re yearning for earlier Game Boy titles or retro consoles like SNES or N64, you’ll need to explore other emulator options.

Unlike its counterpart Delta, Folium comes with a price tag: Developer Jarrod Norwell has priced the app at $4.99. While there are free alternatives for playing DS games, if your heart is set on indulging in 3DS games on your iPhone, you’ll have to fork out for Folium. Considering that $5 is a fraction of what a single 3DS game used to cost, it’s a reasonable investment.

Similar to other retro emulators on iOS, Folium doesn’t provide game files for users. This aligns with Apple’s App Review guidelines, which permit emulators but prohibit the distribution of copyrighted material. Upon purchasing and installing Folium, users must supply their own ROMs or game files to the app. While the legalities surrounding this practice are debatable, emulator enthusiasts argue that it’s permissible as long as you own the corresponding game.

Once you’ve acquired your 3DS ROMs, Folium is compatible with iPhones running iOS 15 or later, iPads running iPadOS 15 or later, Macs running macOS 12 or later, and even Vision Pro. The app offers various upscaling filters like HQx and xBRZ, allowing users to tailor the display of older games to suit modern smartphone screens. Additionally, for DS and 3DS games, users can choose between booting into the Home Menu or launching the game directly.

Folium supports an array of controller options. While playing on the iPhone’s touchscreen is an option, many users may prefer pairing the app with dedicated controllers for a more immersive and precise gaming experience.

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