10 Epic Homebrew Games To Play On Delta That Are Both Legal & Free

Two images of Seb's phone showing two different emulator skins for Delta

Now that you’ve got Delta downloaded on your iPhone, I’m imagining that you’re scouring the internet looking for games to play on the go. There are a whole host of homebrew games available on the internet to play that are 100% free and legal to download as they aren’t mods or hacks of existing games.

Homebrew games are wholly original titles made by developers for old consoles, and while they might have been influenced (in some cases quite heavily) by existing titles, they’ve been created from the ground up and don’t use any existing parts or framework ripped from popular titles, so you can download them with a clear conscience and play them for free without feeling like a cyber-criminal.

I’ve played a whole host of homebrew games that are free to play on Delta over the past week for the NES, Game Boy, and N64, all of which work in Delta, and have made a list of my ten favourite titles for you to check out!

1. GoldenGBA

GoldenGBA playing on Seb's iPhone 11

From the still above and the name GoldenGBA, you might be able to guess what this game is heavily based on. The characters even look like the cast of GoldenEye too, with players picking from a suited Bond-style character, a character wearing a very Boris-esque shirt, and GoldenEye 007 multiplayer favourite Oddjob who is, true to form, much smaller than the other characters.

Twinned with the GBA skin I downloaded to spice up my phone screen, this game is incredibly addictive. The level feels a little like an Microsoft screensaver from yesteryear or an old Castle Wolfenstein mod, but the gameplay is awesome. The whole thing is essentially a multiplayer deathmatch, complete with the ‘red kill screen’ when players die. Pressing turbo mode makes everyone move so much faster too which really ups the difficulty level if you’re after a challenge.

2. Hermano

Hermano jumping over Death on Delta

Hermano is a charming little game about a deceased friend (now a skeleton) who has to rescue his living friend after he’s captured. It’s designed so well with beautiful black-and-white graphics that give it a cutesy Film Noir style vibe. Hermano is incredibly cute; just look how happy and excitable he looks when jumping over enemies in the shot I took above!

Death and Frankenstein look very friendly, though they won’t think twice about taking some of your life away when you walk into them. Use your head to attack and shoot bombs at enemies in order to clear a path to move forward. As this is designed to be a GBC game, the controls are super simple, and it’s got some serious Mario vibes about it that make for relaxing gameplay that doesn’t take too much thinking about.

3. Bridge Quest

A screenshot of Bridge Quest for the GBA on Seb's phone

Bridge Quest has some Legend of Zelda and early Fire Emblem vibes about it. I started off in an empty house and went through a tunnel filled with bats only to come back to the same house again which confused me a little bit, but after I got my bearings, I came across some knights that reminded me of the enemies in A Link Between Worlds and proceeded to get spiked by a sword.

Move with the D-Pad, shield yourself with B, and attack with A. I really like the colourful graphics in Bridge Quest and the musical score is very impressive for a free homebrew game too. It’s a little bit like an 80s power ballad, so channel your inner Bon Jovi while playing. I’ve died more times than I count (still not as many as Number 9 on this list though).

4. Unearthed

Seb's iPhone with the GBC skin next to a radio. Unearthed gameplay is on the screen

Unearthed is a good little puzzler that requires players to collect all the ore on one level before moving on to the next. There are blockades in the way in some parts, which means you’ll have to dig down to a lower level and shoot back up in new areas in order to proceed. The catch is that every time you dig down, you use up fuel, so you’ll need to make sure you’re topped up regularly to make sure that you don’t get stuck.

I like games that tease my brain, and the level design makes me think of a mixture of Bomberman and the games I used to play on the Sky Box back in the day like King Tutti. Once again, for a free Game Boy Colour game, the graphics are amazing. It’s incredibly well put together and the controls are super smooth. This is definitely one for those who like a challenge, especially when it comes to completing the levels in the least number of moves!

5. Dango Dash

Seb holding up his phone with a shot of Dango Dash on the screen

Dango Dash starts off with Dango being told by his mother to go out and start earning some cash in the job she’s just got for him. She’s pretty insistent, quite rudely so, but it doesn’t seem to bother Dango who diligently heads out to get some of her favourite dumplings for her. I don’t want to say that he should earn ‘Son of the Year’, but I’m heavily implying it!

The game itself feels like a portable version of an Alex Kidd game crossed with the interior elements of the early Pokémon titles (i.e whenever you go inside a house). The colours aren’t incredibly exciting, but it has that early GBC game vibe about it so I can wholly forgive it for that. It’s very fast-paced which will keep you on your toes with an engaging story that will capture your attention from the very first heated conversation with your mum (Dango’s mum, not your own!).

6. Apotris

A Tetris look-alike game on the iPhone

Ok, there are no prices for guessing what Apotris looks like. This game is so like Tetris that I find it hard to believe that it’s allowed to exist. Still, I’m not complaining at all; having a homebrew version of Tetris to play on the go on a Game Boy Advance on my phone is the stuff that dreams are made of.

The music sounds a little like a rave, so maybe don’t play it while trying to relax, but the controls are fantastic. Choose from Marathon, Sprint, Dig, and Ultra modes, pick your difficulty, and start slotting shapes together. Push up on the D-Pad to make your shapes immediately drop down, and use A or B to twist your pieces to fit in the gaps. Hey, you know how to play Tetris, I’m not going to explain this to you anymore. It’s bright, it’s colourful, and it’s a great game to have in your arsenal.

7. Nova The Squirrel

Seb holding his phone next to his dog Bilbo

Nova The Squirrel is a homebrew NES game that feels very much like Kirby’s Dreamland crossed with a Mario game, so much so that the developer has made reference to the world-famous plumber in the still above. It might have made my dog Bilbo fall asleep, but I really enjoyed moving through the side-scrolling levels while shooting stars from my tail to attack enemies.

Instead of collecting coins, players collect money bags with dollar signs on them hanging in the air. I struggled aiming my shooting stars at enemies up above me and really didn’t understand what was going on with the introductory story, but they were just small gripes that I quickly got over once I got stuck into the gameplay. My advice – skip the intro and get straight into the game.

8. Tandem Trouble

A close up screenshot of Tandem Trouble playing on Delta

The first time I played Tandem Trouble I ended up dying 30 times on this part with the moving platforms above, a section right at the beginning of the game. I got a little further than this to a part where flames were popping off the roof and the floor and closed the app without saving my progress, but I’m trying not to think about it because it made me insanely angry.

The game requires players to change between two characters with different skills (hence the name Tandem Trouble). One character with red hair can run super fast, and the other with blue hair can jump multiple times in the air, making jumping over large patches of fire possible. It’s easier to play while holding your phone sideways so the screen is bigger because the controls are a little wild, but if you love games like Lode Runner 64 and Crash Bandicoot, then this is one to download.

9. Core Machina

Core Machina for the GBC on Delta

Core Machina reminds me of if Professor Layton and Carmen Sandiego made a game for the GBC. It’s very story-driven, meaning the narrative draws you in from the very beginning, and the sepia-style graphics have a bit of a post-apocalyptic vibe to them which I really like. The character sprites are a little flat compared to some paid homebrew games, but they do the job and are different enough to be able to tell who is who.

I’ve got to admit that I’m not far through the game yet, but I’m already intrigued to know why the thief who stole the character’s gear needs it so badly and why everyone seems to be after her. It all feels very detective-esque, and the characters already have a lot of depth to them, plus there are multiple locations to explore as the story progresses (I don’t want to give too much away and spoil anything).

10. Twintris

Twintris gameplay on the N64 emulator in Delta

I know I’ve already included a Tetris game on this list, but Twintris looks and feels a lot more like Tetris Worlds for the N64, hence the N64 controls on my phone above. The backgrounds add a little extra spice to the game – everyone wishes they could play a version of Tetris with a person riding a pterodactyl in the background, right?

Players use the D-Pad to move the coloured pieces, B to turn them in one direction, and A to drop them down to the bottom of the screen. It’s simple to grasp (it’s Tetris after all) and has different difficulty levels depending on how much of a pro you are.

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