Winulator lets you play classic Windows games on your Android

It’s not often that I’m really excited about software. I guess I’m jaded. But not today; today i’m here to report on something that really makes me say ‘wow, finally! And I bet, if you’re like me, you’ll say the same.

Winulator is an Android application that provides a runtime environment for Windows DirectX API programs. So it’s a type of emulator, but, according to the developer of the app, it’s not an emulator in the classic sense. For a program to run in Winulator, it requires a one-time conversion process, using a PC application called Winulator Converter Helper.

Conversion is required due to different processor architectures – Windows programs are written for the x86 architecture, while most Android devices (except for a few Intel-atom powered devices, like the Motorola Razr i or Orange San Diego) run on ARM processors.

WCH will convert .exe and .dll files from original Windows 95 or Windows 98 applications and turn them into ARM compatible applications.

The project is an brainchild of Dan Aloni, and so far he has modified a Windows game to run on Android – Caesar III, the seminal city builder released in October 1998. Aloni has made it run on his Asus Transformer TF-101 and on a Galaxy S, although there are still a few issues to iron out (notably, the game sound won’t work. ).

Each application has to be converted and modified manually to run in Winulator, which takes time. Dan Aloni has only run Caesar III on Android so far, but says he will add more games and apps, depending on demand. He finally plans to publish the app on the Play Store. I’m not sure what the intellectual property implications are, but I hope the project doesn’t run into too many legal issues.

Now I know which game I would like to play on my Galaxy S2. It is the one and only StarCraft Broodwar. If anyone manages to port it to Android, it will truly be a dream come true for me. What old school games would you like to play on your Android device?

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