Is Gamefabrique Legit or Scam? Gamefabrique Reviews

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  • Post published:February 22, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

Gamefabrique is a website dedicated to classic video games from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The site features emulators, ROMs, cheat codes, reviews, and articles about retro gaming.

But is Gamefabrique legit and legal site to use? Or is it an illegal scam? In this comprehensive review, we’ll examine Gamefabrique closely to determine if it’s above board or sketchy.

Let’s dive in.

Overview of Gamefabrique

Gamefabrique launched in 2007 as part of the Fabrique Company network of nostalgic entertainment websites. The site’s focus is on classic console and arcade games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Gamefabrique features the following main offerings:

Emulators – The site provides downloadable emulators for consoles like NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and arcade cabinets. The emulators allow users to play classic games on modern computers and mobile devices.

ROMs and ISOs – Gamefabrique hosts and links to 1000s of game ROM and disc image files that work with its emulators. This allows users to download and play classic game titles.

Cheats and Hints – The site has an extensive collection of cheat codes, walkthroughs, FAQs, and guides to help users play and finish classic games.

Reviews – Gamefabrique features reviews of classic games written by its staff and users. The reviews rate games and provide recommendations.

Gaming Articles – There are hundreds of articles about classic gaming history, development, pop culture influence, and modding scene.

In addition to the main offerings above, Gamefabrique has an active user forum community. It also runs nostalgic giveaways and contests regularly.

Is Gamefabrique Legit or Scam?

The biggest question around Gamefabrique is — is gamefabrique legitimate and legal site? Providing access to emulators and ROMs of classic games falls into murky legal territory. Here are some key factors to consider regarding Gamefabrique’s legality:

DMCA Takedown Policy – Gamefabrique complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by providing a link for copyright holders to submit takedown requests for infringing content. This shows an intent to cooperate with copyright law. However, critics argue this doesn’t make their core model legal.

ROMS and Abandonware – Gamefabrique argues most retro games are “abandonware” – meaning they are no longer sold or supported by the publisher. So ROMs of them are fair game. But companies like Nintendo still enforce copyrights on old games aggressively.

Emulator Legal Status – Game emulators themselves have faced legal challenges but are generally considered legal if they don’t contain copyrighted code. Gamefabrique claims its emulators don’t violate any patents or IP.

No Direct Downloads – The site doesn’t actually host most ROMs directly. Instead it links out to other sites for downloading. This may be an attempt to limit legal liability, but it’s still facilitating piracy according to critics.

Disclaimers – Gamefabrique provides disclaimers that it does not endorse piracy and users should only download games they own. But these ring hollow to many copyright holders.

Based on the above factors, Gamefabrique seems to operate in a legal gray zone. It walks a fine line in trying to avoid blatant copyright infringement. But most mainstream companies and lawyers would argue the site ultimately violates IP laws in spirit if not letter. At minimum, Gamefabrique facilitates and benefits from copyright piracy of retro video games.

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Is Gamefabrique Safe from Viruses and Malware?

So Is Gamefabrique Legit and safe? Beyond the core legal concerns, users also worry that emulators, ROMs, and other files downloaded from Gamefabrique may contain viruses, malware, or security risks. Here are the main factors to evaluate safety:

Site Reputation – Gamefabrique has been around for 15+ years with no major reported malware or breach issues. Long standing reputation provides some level of trust.

User Vetting – Emulators and files are downloaded millions of times. Lack of widespread problems indicates files are generally clean and vetted.

Comment Moderation – The site actively moderates comments and forums to remove reports of infected files to protect users.

No Executables – Game ROM files themselves can’t contain malware – only emulator programs have execution risk. And emulators are open source and used widely.

Third Party Downloads – When providing ROM download links, Gamefabrique warns users these are third party sites outside their control. So scrutiny is required.

Overall, Gamefabrique seems reasonably safe from a malware perspective. The biggest risks come from downloading executables (emulators) from unknown sources or following random third party download links. Sticking to reputable sources mitigates most risk. But 100% safety can’t be guaranteed. Use common sense precautions on any site.

Gamefabrique Review Criteria

With the legal and safety issues covered, let’s move on to reviewing Gamefabrique itself based on key criteria:

Selection of Games

Gamefabrique provides access to thousands of classic console and arcade titles through its catalog of ROMs and ISOs. Key positives:

  • All Major Systems – ROMs and emulators for NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, PS1, Game Boy, etc. Arcade machines also covered extensively.
  • Depth of Catalog – Obscure and lesser known titles get coverage alongside popular games. For hardcore retro fans.
  • New Games Added – Site is still actively updated with new ROMs, cheats, and articles. Covers new classic systems like PS2.
  • Easy Browsing – Games sorted clearly by console, genre, year etc. Search works well along with filters.

Selection is the core value Gamefabrique provides. And they deliver an immense catalog of retro titles conveniently organized and accessible.

Quality of Emulators

To play the thousands of ROMs, you need reliable emulators. Here is an assessment of what Gamefabrique provides:

Top Open Source Emulators – Uses popular emulators like SNES9X, Nestopia, GenPlus, etc. These are developed by active communities.

Custom UIs – The emulators are packaged into Gamefabrique branded apps with custom UIs. This makes them more user friendly.

Multiple Versions – For many consoles, Gamefabrique makes multiple emulator versions available. This provides compatibility options.

Cross Platform – Emulators available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more. Works on desktop and mobile.

Active Updates – New versions of emulators added regularly. Fixes bugs and adds enhancements.

The emulators offered are very solid options derived from open source projects. The convenience of Gamefabrique’s neatly packaged and branded apps is a plus for casual users.

Quality of ROMs

The bread and butter of any retro gaming site is its ROM set. Let’s judge the quality of what Gamefabrique provides access to:

  • Complete Sets – Has full US and international ROM libraries for each console. Gets you the entire catalog.
  • Clean Dumps – ROMs appear to be clean dumps from original game cartridges and discs. Important for accuracy.
  • Fast Downloads – Download speeds when grabbing ROMs from external sites is reasonably fast. Doesn’t seem throttled.
  • Malware Free – No reports of infected ROM files over the long history of the site.
  • Good File Formats – ROMs made available in lossless and uncompressed formats when possible for purity.
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The ROM set offered by Gamefabrique is definitely solid and one of the most complete collections around for retro collectors. Just be smart when downloading from random third party sites.

User Experience

Beyond the games themselves, we also need to evaluate Gamefabrique in terms of user experience:

  • Nostalgic Design – The site’s neon retro graphics and visuals transport you back to the 90s. Evokes gaming nostalgia well.
  • Easy Navigation – Interface is clean and games/content are always easy to browse and find. Search works great.
  • Active Forums – Forums are still lively and get new posts daily making them useful resources.
  • Responsive Support – Support staff seem very responsive in comments and forums when users have emulator or download issues.
  • Lack of Ads – Site is thankfully free of disruptive ads like auto-play video and pop-ups.

The user experience is definitely above average for a retro gaming site thanks to the active community and clean design. Help and downloads are facilitated well.

Value Added Content

Beyond just games, Gamefabrique provides a wealth of value added informational content:

  • Thousands of Articles – The site hosts an extensive “museum” of high quality articles on all things retro gaming. Updated weekly.
  • Detailed Game Pages – Each game gets a detailed profile page with cover art, screenshots, manuals, etc. Great for gaming history.
  • Active Reviews – New and old game reviews are contributed regularly. Gives gamer perspectives.
  • Cheat Codes and Guides – Vast cheat code indexes and game strategy guides add to the old school experience.
  • Videos and Music – There are also multimedia sections with retro game ads, music, and footage for atmosphere.

For a gaming site, the sheer amount of articles, reviews, guides, images, and videos offered for education and entertainment is outstanding. Big differentiator.

Alternatives to Consider

Gamefabrique isn’t the only option for accessing retro games. What are some alternative sites to consider?

  • Emuparadise – One of the oldest ROM sites around. Also offers emulators and an enormous game library.
  • Vimm’s Lair – Smaller selection but strict non-piracy policy. Known for safe, verified content.
  • OpenEmu – Multi-system emulator focused on Macs. Clean UI and great performance.
  • RetroGames.cc – European based site with very fast downloads and emphasis on file verification.
  • Internet Archive – Massive collection of emulated games, legally via software preservation. Limited systems.

For alternatives, Emuparadise is most similar in scale and scope to Gamefabrique. Vimm’s Lair offers a slower but more careful curated approach. And check out OpenEmu and RetroGames.cc for quality over quantity.

Final Verdict

In summary, here are the key pros and cons of using Gamefabrique:

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Pros

  • Massive library of emulated classic games from almost any retro system
  • Provides reputable and user friendly open source emulators
  • ROM sets are complete collections representative of each console
  • Safe downloading of games if smart practices used
  • Great user experience with help forum and active community
  • Unmatched library of articles, reviews, guides, and videos

Cons

  • Exists in a legal gray area – ethics of piracy an issue
  • 100% safety of third party downloads not guaranteed
  • Selection isn’t curated for quality as much as quantity
  • Can enable video game addiction and time wasting

So is Gamefabrique ultimately legit and worth using? There are certainly ethical concerns around contributing to retro game piracy. But the site provides an unmatched library of content and classic titles mirrored nowhere else. If you emulate titles purely for nostalgia of games you own, use proper security practices, and participate in the community, it delivers. Just be thoughtful in how you leverage the controversial resource.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Gamefabrique:

Is downloading ROMs from Gamefabrique 100% legal?

No. While it tries to avoid blatantly hosting illegal content themselves, obtaining and distributing ROMs likely violates copyright law in most cases even for old abandoned games. The legality is hotly debated, but downloading ROMs ultimately takes place in a gray area at minimum.

Can I get malware or viruses from Gamefabrique?

The risk is low but not zero. Stick to downloading from vetted sites, scan files, and only run reputable emulators to maximize safety. Malware is more likely from sketchy third party sites than Gamefabrique directly. But there are never guarantees with pirated software.

Does Gamefabrique have console games beyond the 8 and 16-bit eras?

Yes. While the focus is on the NES to Playstation 1 era, Gamefabrique is expanding into more modern generations. They now offer emulators and some ROMs for N64, Dreamcast, GameCube, PS2 and more. Just expect fewer games and more flaws emulating more advanced systems.

What are the best emulators supported by Gamefabrique?

Top emulators include SNES9X for Super Nintendo, Nestopia for NES, GenPlus for Genesis, DeSmuME for DS, PPSSPP for PSP,trained Dolphin for GameCube, and PCSX2 for Playstation 2. These are developed by the open source community and enhanced by Gamefabrique.

Is it safe to use the Gamefabrique community forums and comment sections?

Yes, Gamefabrique moderates comments and forums closely, so they are free of spam, trolls, and malware risks. Don’t click random links from users, but the discussions themselves are safe and a good source of support.

Conclusion

Gamefabrique ultimately provides a stellar library of content and downloads to satisfy retro gamers. But it walks a fine legal line that users should evaluate carefully for themselves. If emulating old games you personally own for convenience and nostalgia, it offers an unparalleled catalog of titles, emulators, entertainment, and information to enhance the classic gaming experience. Just take proper security precautions when downloading files from third parties. And consider supporting the original developers of any games you truly love.

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