The Wikipad GameVice straps to the sides of your iPad mini, adding buttons to your large screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
As a gamer, I want a controller with buttons. I lust after this new product category like I do any new gadget that I think will improve my gaming experience. I think that if you play games with any frequency, you’ll want them too.
Unfortunately, I also think the majority of mobile gamers are making do just fine with touch interfaces, thank you very much, and that these lust-worthy devices will soon find their way to the dustbin for most who buy them. Not because the controllers, including one that straps to the sides of your iPad mini like the loving embrace of an alien face-hugger, aren’t any good. On the contrary, these are solid, high-quality gaming peripherals that will make certain types of console-like games (platformers, open-world sandbox games, first-person shooters) much easier to play.
Stratus by SteelSeries Category: Game Controllers Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch Price: $79.99
The joy of most iOS titles is the ability to play using the touchscreen. The gaming world has benefitted greatly from iOS game developers learning how to best control their games without a physical controller.
However, there are a few games — especially versions of old-school console games — that just cry out for an actual button-filled controlling device that you can use while staring intently at the screen.
The Stratus, and other controllers like it, aims to fill that need with a smaller, super-portable and highly accurate controller that takes advantage Apple’s own iOS game controller code that’s built right into iOS 7.
Whether you’ll find this a successful or not depends a lot on your device, the games you want to play, and how your hands fit on the Stratus itself.
Every time I think I’ve found my favorite pair of gaming headphones, Steelseries sends me another one to try out.
H Wireless Gaming Headset by Steelseries Category: Headphones Works With: Mac, iOS, Android, PC, Gaming Consoles Price: $299
This time, it’s the H Wireless series, a fantastic, well-designed headset that connects via optical or analog inputs to provide stunningly good Dolby sound without wires. You can, of course, connect an iPhone or iPad to the box, as well, getting a quality sound to walk around the house with.
One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.