Last year we took a look at Retrospecs, an iOS app that allowed users to add a whole range of accurately emulated retro console filters to photographs using just their iPhone or iPad. Retrospecs is still going strong and is constantly being updated, but now there is a new upstart vying for attention on the App Store. Its name is Famicam64 and while it's also a retro-themed camera app, it positions itself as an 'arcadey' alternative to Retrospecs' 'simulation.'
Coming from Japanese developer PXL:Artificer, Famicam64 draws design inspiration from the classic Commodore 64 not only with its branding and name, but also the aesthetic of the interface itself. Proudly displaying yellowing plastic and blocky, colourful menu images that look like they've ripped straight from any US Gold or Rainbow Arts title, Famicom64 allows users to snap images with any one of over 40 real-time filters that range from a fantastic oscilloscope, to retro systems like the Gameboy and Atari 2600.
The difference between this and the aforementioned Retrospecs (aside from the filters being applied in real time, as you point the camera around) is that none of the filters are officially licensed, so while the names are approximations of the systems they aim to emulate, they aren't overly apparent on first glance. That said, it's really easy to scroll from filter to filter via the chunky on-screen wheel and the controls are all very intuitive.
Perhaps the best thing about Famicam64 is the bundled image editor that allows you to do all the usual adjustments, such as cropping and changing brightness, pixel density and effect intensity. Meme text, adding game-themed sprites and effects are also supported. Not only this, Famicam64 comes with a host of fun frames that will let you turn your retro snaps into floppy disk labels, cartridge stickers or even faux Commodore 64 game boxes. Famicam64 is a great app and adds a new dimension to the camera functionality on your iOS device. It isn't as historically accurate as Retrospecs, but it is a great new addition to the ever-growing stable of retro-inspired camera filter applications for mobile devices.
Famicam64 is free to download from the App Store; while a paid version costs £2.29 and removes advertising and unlocks a whole host of additional filters and editing options.
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