The second generation of the Gamevice controller has been upgraded with new buttons and thumb sticks, and it’s great for “old school” (think Pac Man) gamers like me.
It’s compatible with the iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPad mini, iPad Air , 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. I’m using it with my iPhone 7 Plus, though I’m tempted to get one for my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, though I suspect that would make the super-sized tablet just too unwieldy.
The Gamevice clamps around the top and bottom of your iOS device and provides buttons and analog sticks. The two halves of the controller are connected by a rubberized strap that runs the length of the back of your iPhone or iPad with the Gamevice attaching to your Apple device via a Lightning port. Bluetooth connectivity would be a nice alternative, but, alas, this isn’t an option. Once plugged in, the Gamevice is automatically recognized by your iOS.
The device has other advantages (more on those in a moment), but it really makes gaming on an iOS device more fun. You get four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, two analog sticks, and a directional pad (d-pad), as well as the menu/start button. The thumb sticks are ergonomic and comfortable (though you do need to press them firmly) and work great with old-school classics like Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as newer games such as The Binding of Issac , Impossible Road, Marvel Contest of Champions, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, and (especially!) Riptide GP: Renegade.
Besides serving as a game controller, the $99.99 Gamevice also adds a headphone jack to an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and sports a Lightning port for charging the phone while in use at home or on the go. However, keeping the accessory on your smartphone or tablet (especially the former) is impractical for most of us, so you’ll have to install the Gamevice when you’re playing games and remove it when you’re not.
The iPhone now powers the Gamevice, so the game controller doesn't need its own battery. Thanks to the Lightning port, you can charge your smartphone and gaming peripheral at the same time.
You download and use the Gamevice Live App to find and download compatible games from the Apple App Store. Gamevice Live is available in over 114 countries and directs you to a library of more than 900 compatible games.
If you’re content playing games with an iPhone or iPads touch controls, there’s no need to spend $100 for the Gamevice. But if you’re into, for instance, Minecraft, Max Payne and/or or Grand Theft Auto ports, it will certainly enhance your gameplay.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★