Quick Review: Gensoid Genesis Emulator for Android

Just when I thought I’d died and gone to heaven with the Nesoid NES Emulator for Android (see the review here), along comes a Genesis emulator from the same developer called Gensoid.If you have a T-Mobile G1 and you’re even remotely interested in playing NES or Sega Genesis games on it, your total out of pocket cost will be just shy of five bucks. Nesoid costs $1.99 and Gensoid costs $2.99. Or simply buy one or the other. You can’t really go wrong.

Like Nesoid, Gensoid features the same slick interface and plays just about any Genesis ROM you can get onto your device’s microSD card. Sound and music are still a bit wonky, resulting in framerate slowdown here and there but most games work just fine and you can turn the sound off in the settings menu, which improves framerate dramatically. Take a look at the above video to see what I mean about the sound. It’s not perfect but it doesn’t really ruin the experience. I tend to play most games with the sound off unless its a pivotal aspect of the game itself.

Each ROM gets its own save state, so you can save your progress mid-game and the next time you load the ROM up from Gensoid’s menu, the program will ask you if you want to load your previous save state, start a new game, or delete your save state. This is a great feature, as it allows you to slowly chip away at a game whenever you get a spare moment throughout your day. It’s seriously a wonderful time killer.

Controls are a bit finicky thanks to the G1’s cramped keyboard but everything works well enough to make most games playable. You’ll have a bit of trouble with sports games and games that require a lot of diagonal movement but most other games aren’t too much of a problem. The controls are all customizable, too, which allows you to figure out what’s most comfortable and then lock it in.

Like Nesoid, I can’t recommend this purchase highly enough — it’s three bucks for hours and hours of entertainment. The only thing that really needs improved is the audio portion of the program and, of course, perhaps some enterprising individual out there could build a sweet Bluetooth joystick attachment that holds the G1 in place while you use an actual D-pad and buttons.

Gensoid is available in the Android Market for $2.99. There’s no demo available, but you can check out the demo of Nesoid to get a feel for what to expect.