Every time I’ve talked about iOS gaming, I’ve said that it’s missing one thing: physical controls. Sure, all kinds of games work well with a touchscreen, but a lot don’t. Numerous accessory makers have attempted to change this with add-on controllers, but none have really taken off.
The Bladepad hopes to change that. It’s a detachable case with a slide-out controller that features dual analog sticks, physical buttons — including shoulder buttons — and more.
The Bladepad attaches to your iPhone like any snap-on case, but it’s much more than a protective shell. Slide it open and you’ll find a physical gamepad, complete with a full console controller layout. It includes a d-pad, four action buttons, start and select buttons, and four shoulder buttons. Best of all, it also features two analog sticks.
Like any iOS gamepad, it connects to your device via Bluetooth. But unlike others, it features button backlighting with can be turned on and off during gameplay, and a nifty charging cable that delivers juice to your iPhone and to the Bladepad at the same time.
The thing I like most about the Bladepad is its analog sticks. Very few iOS controllers have these, but they make things like first-person shooters — which are painful on a touchscreen device — a joy to play.
Of course, the Bladepad is useless without support from iOS developers. But according to its creators, they are already in talks with “several major game studios and many independent studios” to bring Bladepad support to iOS games.
Bladepad will feature game support from both top studios and indie game makers (think ‘top action/adventure and sports games on iOS.’) Expect Bladepad to have the game support of a popular handheld console.
Like all Kickstarter projects, Bladepad needs your backing to become a reality. Its creators are looking for pledges of $2 or more, but if you pledge $69, you’ll get a Bladepad as soon as they begin shipping. That’s $30 less than its retail price. Check out Bladepad on Kickstarter using the link below.