Published on January 3rd, 2013 | by Greg0
Ring In The New Year With iPad Gaming Accessories
Welcome to 2013! We’re excited for the new year, and the many great things we have in store for you. We’ll be heading to CES shortly, joining the throngs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, generally the largest convention in the world. There’s the New York International Gift Fair held later this month, as well as the big Outdoor Retailer show that ushers in a new season of sporting goods.
But first, you’re probably looking for a good way to spend those recently-acquired gift cards! And if you have an iPad, you might very well be looking for new accessories that add some badly-needed features. From the same folks behind the adorable, kid-friendly gaming system Duo Pop and interesting if limited Arcade dock come a pair of gaming add-ons that make playing pinball and action games much more engaging.
We’ll start with the Duo Gamer, which is basically a Bluetooth joystick for your tablet. Other solutions stick on to the device, but are pretty limited and not very durable. This one held up to some serious playtime, and doesn’t offer much lag, another issue that can plague controllers of all kinds. It will work with the iPhone and iPod Touch as well, but we primarily tested with an iPad 2, and it works great- with one serious limitation that definitely makes it a harder sell. Basically, the software library is limited to specific Gameloft titles- and if you use those, then you’ll enjoy this greatly. It’s fairly comfortable, and you’ll be able to play twitch titles far better than competitors- especially with FPS games like N.O.V.A. 3 or Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation. We also liked the extra accuracy with driving games like Asphalt 7: Heat. At $40, it’s also not a bad deal- again, as long as you play titles that are supported.
Similar restrictions hamstring the Duo Pinball- a cute and clever dock that serves as a solid base for pinball lovers. Using the accessory with the app Pinball HD Collection, you get five free tables. And they are certainly decent tables, with some good gameplay- but it’s not the best app in the store, and not the widest selection. As serious pinball lovers, a few staff have tried literally hundreds of tables, and you always make some compromises for electronic versions- the buttons here don’t have quite the same feel, and the tilt option requires you to remove your hands from the controls and touch the screen (not a very good idea generally). Finally, the spring-loaded flipper- a key part of pinball control- is wonky and loose here. It also uses Bluetooth, which works well, except for a bit more of visible lag than the controller in our experience (perhaps because of the software). At $60, it’s also fairly expensive for a single-purpose peripheral, limiting our recommendation to those who really love the tables available.