Are you passionate for old gaming consoles? A TV box with Android operating system can be used not only for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc… streaming services, or as media center for playing audio and video files in various formats or for IPTV but you can also turn it in a powerful retro gaming console thanks to various emulators.
Kodi, the famous media center, starting from version 18 it allows to be used as a gaming platform through Retroplayer, a new player core that plays games using game add-ons, you can find a guide on tvaddons.
There are various free and paid Android apps that allows to emulate many gaming consoles, this article shows how to play Amiga games, DOS games and ScummVM, an emulator for playing popular old classic point and click adventure games like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion etc…
To emulate the famous Commodore console on Android TV box there are various apps available, i tested Uae4arm, a fast and powerful emulator that you can download for free from Play Store.
Uae4arm need kickstart ROMs to work, the app already includes the AROS kickstart ROM but you can use other ROM files if you have them, eg. the ones of Amiga Forever, or get them from Internet. After you open the app a menu with various settings will be shown, most important settings are:
- Paths: the paths where emulator search for system ROMS and the configuration file
- Quickstart: here you can choose the desired Amiga model to emulate, the configuration file and floppy disk paths, the images of Amiga games disks (*.adf). You can use the device internal storage or a micro SD if your TV box has the slot.
- ROM: here you can select the main ROM file to load and other ROM files (extended ROM, cartridge ROM…)
- Floppy drives: to enable/disable floppy and select the paths.
- Game ports: here you can configure the ports
- Input: here you can customize the input controls
- Savestates: here you can load/save game states
There are many other options that allows to configure CPU, RAM, sound, screen etc…
To start a game you just need to select a kickstart ROM file, the floppy disk file and press Start. Enjoy all your Amiga games!
To emulate DOS on Android TV box the best option is Magic DosBox, maybe the most versatile and updated emulator.
You can buy it on Play Store, you can also find a detailed guide, tutorials and a good support forum on the developer’s site.
It’s recommended to use the internal device memory as storage for the games, eg. the Download folder.
You can use an app like RAR to extract the files from the archives if you have them in compressed format.
In the welcome screen press the green arrow icon to start the application.
In the next screen, Games layouts and settings location select Private.
Choose the desired theme, you can select Standard or Fantasy theme.
Finally you can read some suggestions.
Once the initial setup is finished you can add a new game to the library easily.
Tap on the plus sign present at the middle left of your screen. Now, under the Add dialog box, tap on New game.
In the next dialog box give the game a title, then in the Hardware section check the Use SVN Core checkbox (needed if you want to use the load / save game states function), in the Software section tap on Choose under the Main program section and browse to the game’s .exe file; on Setup tap on Choose and select the game’s .bat file. However, if there is no such .bat file, you may select the same .exe file that you choose above, finally tap on the green tick to save.
Tap on the icon that has just been created to start the game, to modify the settings described above or delete a game from the library just long press over the icon.
If you want to optimize your gaming experience, you can configure virtual keys, hotkeys, game-pad and sensors, gestures, mouse, save/load game states and more.
ScummVM is an emulator available for various platforms that allows to play point and click adventure games.
There is an Android porting that you can download for free from Play Store, you can read the documentation on the official web site.
You can use the internal device storage or a micro SD to copy games, there is also a Cloud option that allows you to connect your own Google Drive, OneDrive, Box or Dropbox account.
Start ScummVM, allows storage permissions when asked, then tap Add game and choose the folder where is stored the game, the game will be added to the launcher, press Start to play the game.
In keymaps tab you can manually configure the controls.
The touch control scheme can be switched in the global settings.
To open the virtual keyboard, tap on the small keyboard icon at the top right of the screen.
By default, the saved games are saved in the internal app folder. To change the path, go to the Paths tab in either the global or game-specific settings.
You can easily find Amiga games, DOS games and ScummVM games to download on abandonware and retro gaming sites.
Android TV box retro gaming with Amiga, DOS and ScummVM emulators
There are many other Android emulators, with the one mentioned in this article you can play the 80s and 90s games of the famous Commodore console, MS-DOS and point and click games on ScummVM.
An Android TV box is a suitable device for retrogaming, just connect it to your TV with HDMI cable. For a better gaming experience i suggest to use a bluetooth keyboard, mouse and/or controller and configure them in the emulator’s options.