Modern Review: Retrospecs (iOS)

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Camera apps for iOS devices are pretty common on Apple's App Store. The sheer number of them is bewildering, and they all profess to add something new to your photos - be that new frames, colours or tints. Until now though, being able to simulate how your images would look if displayed through retrogaming hardware has been sorely missing from our iOS devices.

Enter Retrospecs, a new camera app that does just that. Opening Retrospecs, you are instantly greeted with the ability to shoot a new photo or choose from your library. Next, you are presented with a whole host of different systems and each option alters the way the image looks depending on the colour pallette and display that each console or system would output. Pretty much every major system is represented here, from the Apple II and Atari 2600 to the SAM Coupe and the Super Nintendo; and being able to give an authentic 'Amstrad loading screen' look to your best family portraits is something that never gets boring.

The list is pretty bewildering, and some of them also offer different display modes - for example, the Sinclair QL offers filters in either 256x256 8 colours, or 512x256 4 colours and the various Commodore and IBM systems have a wealth of display choices. Further to these options, Retrospecs also offers users the ability to really tinker with the dither effect and other filters such as low light compensation and vibrancy boosts. The Teletext filter is also a nice addition, and turning a selfie into something that wouldn't look out of place on a Digitizer page is more fun than it probably should be.

All of the usual cropping, saving and social media sharing options are present and correct and the low price of £1.49 means that Retrospecs is an app that iOS-using retrogamers shouldn't really be without. You could argue that nothing beats using genuine retro technology when trying to get an authentic stylised look, but not everybody owns a Gameboy Camera, for instance. If photography and antiquated tech are something you'd like to have a go at combining, then Retrospecs is definitely worthy of your attention.

Link: Retrospecs Website


Last Updated ( 28 March 2015 )  

Tom Charnock

A true connoisseur of failed and obscure console hardware, if Tom isn't extolling the virtues of the Jaguar CD's texture smoothing abilities or the Dreamcast's vast array of useless peripherals he's usually on Twitter asking where all the Super A'Can games are.

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