MADrigal's simulators

» What is this website about?

This site has information about handheld games simulators for PC.
There's a vast archive with the games I made, which you can download for free if you wish.
It is not actually a site on the more popular "emulation". No emulators on this site. Really.

» What is simulation?

It's a peculiar kind of programming. A simulator is a program which reproduces the behaviour of a certain system or software.

» Why is simulation different to emulation?

- an emulator reproduces the hardware of a certain system;
- a simulator attempts to reproduce the software or the behaviour of that specific system.
Emulation is much more accurate than simulation... but simulation is much funnier for programmers!

You can think of simulators as a sort of "clones" or "replicas" of original items: a programmer studies a certain software and then tries to make his simulator as closer as possible to the original item.

» Finally, why simulating instead of emulating?

Because of the complete lack of information about the wide range of 4-bit microprocessors used as "engine" in handheld video-games.
Every single Game & Watch, handheld game, VFD tabletop - and so on features an unique microprocessor and it would require a comprehensive "programmer's guide" to understand the way it works and, consequently, how to emulate it.

On the contrary, you'll find almost every desired information, programming books and even ready-to-use emulators over the internet, about almost every 8 and 16 bit microprocessor in existence. This is because those CPU's were too much expensive and redundant for use in cheap handheld games, so they were featured in computers, consoles and coin-ops.
This made all of the hardware and software houses publish detailed reference guides for these microprocessors, in order to encourage programmers to develop specific software for their own computer or console.

» ...more questions?

Please take your time to read the FAQs.