Finally! Sure, we use that word far too often, but for the iCade Mobile, the physical D-Pad game controller for the iPhone and iPod touch, it seems somewhat appropriate. After what seems like years in development, and months since we saw it at CES, the iCade is finally available to buy at everybody’s favorite nerd-o-rama, ThinkGeek.
So what does your $70 buy you? An ugly but functional game pad with a D-pad and buttons, just like the Super NES controller (only bigger). The iPhone sits in a spinning cradle for vertical or horizontal play, and the iCade connects via Bluetooth, circumventing Apple’s pesky (and expensive) rules on using the 30-pin dock connector.
What games can you play? Search the App Store for “iCade” and you’ll find all sorts of “famous” titles like Super Lemonade Factory and Donkey Jump. I’m partially kidding: you can also get Namco Arcade, which is full of appropriately retro gaming action.
You can also use the iCade with the iPad, although obviously it won’t fit into the cradle.
It’s pretty neat, but I have gotten used to games designed for the Touch Screen now. Then again, if they add support for Grand Theft Auto on the iPad, then I’m in.