What I played this week - My favorite games with the JOYSTICK-IT!

Out of town on business, and didn't have much time for games, but when I returned this weekend (to be greeted by Hurricane Irene) I had finally received a package with 2 JOYSTICK-IT Arcade stick game accessories (bought one for my daughter) from my fav geek site ThinkGeek.com! So, after battening down the hatches, I wasted no time trying one out on several of my favorite games (Galaxy on Fire 2, Jet Car Stunts, and Paper Racer), and wow is this a simple yet worthy add-on! Read on for more info and to check out my action videos...

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iPhone/touch gamers, listen up! You want to add one accessory this year, don't forget about the JOYSTICK-IT! It is the perfect fusion of our favorite device, with the all-time best game controller! This joystick attaches to your iPhone, iPod or iPad screen (larger version sold specifically for iPad) via suction cup--which does leave a slight ring when moved, so use a screen protector if you are picky about that sort of thing (it did wipe off). The underside of the JSTICK causes feedback to the screen much the same as your fingertip would, so when placed precisely on or near soft input control points in a game, for example, gives much finer game control than smearing your finger all over hell and creation!


The chromed JSTICK mobile is suited perfectly to arcade style games, but served quite well to augment somewhat amateur skills when playing racing and action games. With Jet Car I used it like a throttle/brake combo lever by attaching it between the 2 touch buttons on the left side (top activates the jet thrust, and the bottom the air brake). Much better than trying to jam your thumb down between or on several buttons, eh?!


Paper Racer fits like hand in glove with the JSTICK. Precise positioning is however crucial, or the car will not be as responsive in certain directions. Took me a few tries to get it just right, but finally able to make it work. I haven't beat every level yet on the iPod, but won't be long now....


Galaxy on Fire was somewhat finicky, requiring the most repositioning. The JSTICK kind of rolls around under your thumb in the various directions, it's mesh underside making contact with the screen in the direction you are tilting. Unlike a real joystick you shouldn't expect a perfect experience in every game, but for GOF2, it was good enough for directional control of the ship. Using 2 would be cool as well--firing control and drive the ship too!


The verdict is that the only thing better than one JOYSTICK-IT Arcade stick would be 2. Now that I have a true game controller, I might actually score a few points (one can always hope)! Other games that are great with JSTICK-IT include Robokill, BloodnGuns (tip: get 2 for these shooters), Brothers in Arms, and I 'm sure many more...(feel free to post up your own picks). You can grab one or more here at ThinkGeek (on sale for $12.99).




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Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.