Update 11/17/14: The NES30 has been restocked after quickly selling out back in September.
Last weekend we published an exhaustive review of the 8BitDo NES30, a Bluetooth controller designed for phones and tablets with the looks of the original Nintendo Entertainment System but the extra buttons from the Super NES. The reviewer came away impressed thanks to solid functionality, a smart button layout, and a slavish dedication to the classic NES aesthetics.
Nostalgia has the peculiar tendency to improve things with age. Despite the fact that a new luxury sedan might be objectively better in every way than, say, a '69 Chevelle, a collector might expend hundreds of hours and twice as much money restoring the original Chevy. Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the gaming world, where players seem to venerate the games, systems, and companies that they grew up with.
Update: the developers released another quick update on September 19th, explicitly supporting the MOGA family of controllers. The NES30 mentioned below, a generic Bluetooth HID controller, is also working. Well done, Noodlecake and RocketCat!
Remember those awesome mini-drones that Parrot showed off at CES way back in January? It looks like the Rolling Spider and Jumping Sumo are on sale now, at Brookstone and the Apple Store at least, for $100 and $160 respectively. And if you bought the drone, you'll want something to control it with. Enter the FreeFlight 3 app, made specifically for controlling Parrot's new toys. It's a free download, though you'll need an Android 4.0 device to install it.
Kids these days with their fancy smart homes, their smartphone-controlled lights, Bluetooth-connected door locks, and their mind-reading kettles. Back in the day, people manually flipped switches, turned keys, and pressed buttons. Appliances didn't control themselves, and that was a-okay. But sprinklers, yes, those should be automated, and using your smartphone to monitor them just makes plain sense! Tell me more about Rachio's newfangled Iro smart sprinkler controller.
Okay, not all homeowners are grumpy old men (get off my lawn!), so I'll drop the impression and just tell you what Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can do.
Crescent Moon has been one of the more reliable developers on the Play Store as of late, and their newest game is definitely worth a look from anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned beat-em-up. Nakama evokes the spirit of 2D side-scrolling fighters like Streets Of Rage or Double Dragon. At least, it's like Double Dragon might have been if you played it at 200 frames per second.
You play as an inexplicably blocky ninja on a quest to save his friends.
Zombie games are more played out than Star Wars at this point, but combining them with new and interesting genres is a way to get my attention. Thus we have Zombie Tycoon 2, the latest game to jump from the PlayStation 3/Vita to Android. But this one is unique: in keeping with its console gaming roots, Zombie Tycoon 2 requires a controller to play. That officially makes this the first SHIELD-exclusive title for the time being.
It's been just over a month since our review of the iMpulse Bluetooth Controller was posted. It was not flattering, mostly due to what I considered a fatal oversight in its software: the inability to function as a gamepad recognizable by the default profile in Android 4.0 and later. Black Powder Media, the creators of the Kickstarter hardware, have apparently seen fit to remedy that oversight with the latest firmware.
The beta firmware adds a new profile for the controller which should work with any game that supports external controllers natively; the Kickstarter page states that the developers have tested the firmware with Grand Theft Auto 3, Granny Smith, and Mongo Madness without incident.
Nintendo hoped to revolutionize console gaming when it slapped a 6-inch touchscreen in the middle of the Wii U Gamepad, providing anyone who bought the console with a tablet that can manipulate objects on their television screen. While Sony launched the PlayStation Vita with a touchpad and has inserted one onto the upcoming PlayStation 4 controller, it's sought a cheaper way to provide their gamers with a similar tablet experience. That's why when Beyond: Two Souls launches for the PlayStation 3 early next month, gamers can use the newly released companion app BEYOND Touch to play the game in place of their usual controller.
When we first reported on the iMpulse controller, I was excited. A super-portable Bluetooth controller that strives to capture the near-perfect control scheme of the Super NES and only adds a few ounces to my pocket? Sign me up! And that's exactly what I did, almost a year ago.
Now, eleven months later and six months after the controller was supposed to ship, I've got it in my hands. And it is a bitter, bitter disappointment.