iControlPad Bluetooth controller for mobile devices
Finger clickin' good
iGamer Ever tried a bout of Quake III on your Android tablet or a few laps of Super Mario Kart on your iPhone? Chances are, you spent the first few seconds smiling with nostalgia and the rest of the time hurling expletives at the poor controls. Even simple platformers, such as Super Mario World, although translating well onto touchscreens, are often spoiled by fingers obscuring most of the action.
The iControlPad avoids the screen obscuring swipes of touchscreen gaming
Until now, retro gamers wanting more authentic, unobscured gaming have either had to pair a Wiimote with their device or use one of two half-baked controllers, the Zeemote GSI or MSI BGP100.
Like the Zeemote and BGP100, the iControlPad is a custom made Bluetooth gamepad that works with all Android, iOS and WebOS devices. But unlike those controllers and the Wiimote, the iControlPad offers a more comprehensive range of gaming controls.
About the size of your average smartphone, the iControlPad combines a D-pad with twin analogue nubs, Start, Select, face buttons and shoulder buttons. It's also available with two side clamps, which lock around smartphones to create a surprisingly decent looking, if a tad bulky, handheld console.
The side clamps were tested with an iPhone 4, but the developer lists numerous other compatible smartphones on its website here. Once locked into place, the iPhone is incredibly secure and, unless you've opted for the dandy new white iPhone, the unit looks convincingly homogeneous. But while the physical love affair proves instantaneous, the intellectual matchmaking takes a touch more effort.
This is not a gadget you grab off the shelf of PC World, pop home and fire up. A little more patience and geekery are required to get the device working. And, thanks to Apple's closed-shop policy, it's a great deal more involved on iOS – the iControlPad only works with jailbroken iOS devices.