Gamevice for iPhone REVIEW Console Quality Controller for Your iOS device
I don’t think that there is a universal language that can reach more people than Video Games. No matter the genre, no matter the location nor the console, we can find something to fill our time. My love for video games started with my NES and expanded with the console tech to the modern Switch and Xbox One. Interestingly, retro has made a comeback and I am replaying many of the Sega, NES and SNES games from my youth. As a father of three young children, my available personal time has dwindled. I do not miss my RPG, MMORPG, FPS time as now I get to play games like Minecraft, Lego Dimensions, and Mario Odyssey with my children. They have become my focus, my world, and my delight. When we travel or when we are out and about, we will often play iOS games on my iPhone or iPad. The games are fun but lack the excitement of playing with a controller. Gamevice gives you a console-grade controller for your ever-ready iPhone.
The Gamevice device arrived in an attractive 4 1/8 inches long by 3 1/4 inches wide carry case. The color was difficult to categorize but could be best described as a silver/black tweed-esque clamshell style case. Atop the case, you can appreciate the delicate, thin white silk-screened GAMEVICE logo. The less-is-more design was accented by a well-stitched 12-inches long surrounding zipper. Unfortunately, the case direly needs a carrying handle, as it is too big to fit inside of a typical pocket. It will fit nicely into a bag, backpack, or purse and possibly into a large cargo pocket. Opening the 1.9-ounce semi-hard shelled case, you will separate the case into two unequal halves. The top half of the case has internal dimensions of 2 3/4 inches wide by 3 5/8 inches tall by 7/8 inches thick and has an included 2 1/4 inch tall mesh separator. Since the device does not require power, game cartridges or a charging cable, I do not know what purpose the mesh pocket was designed to serve.
Within the lower half of the case, you will find the 4.9-ounce Gamevice device nested in a 2 3/4 inches wide by 3 5/8 inches tall by 1 1/2 inches thick pocket. Both the upper and lower halves of the case have a 5/8 inch diameter depression, which serves to accommodate the two thumbsticks of the controller. The device is broken into two halves, securely attached along the back with magnets. If you pull the two halves apart, you will find a 2 inches wide by 5 inches long rubberized connector that serves as a backing for your iPhone. The right half of the device has an upper thumbstick and four rounded AXBY buttons. As an Xbox One fan, I was excited to see that Gamevice chose to use red, blue, green and yellow button colors. However, the colors corresponded to different buttons than on the Xbox controller. On the Gamevice controller, the A was red, the X was yellow, the Y was blue, and the B was green.
Beneath the right thumbstick, you will find the four 5/8 inches diameter AXBY buttons. The 5/8 inches diameter buttons were slightly smaller than the 7/8 inches diameter Xbox One buttons. The left side of the controller has a 7/8 inch by 7/8 inch D-pad beneath the left thumbstick. This configuration/layout felt natural and well designed. Located along the top of both the left/right controller halves, you will find four trigger buttons L1/L2 and R1/R2. As I found with the left controller button layout, the trigger buttons were easy to access and responsive. Adding to the above features, Gamevice included posterior grips, as an added touch of flare. Despite the differences between the Xbox One and Gamevice controllers, the Gamevice controller proved to be incredibly comfortable in hand. The controller, like a good pair of shoes, became more comfortable with time.
Any controller is only as good as the device it controls. Luckily my iPhone X is amazing. To start, I inserted my iPhone X into the right controller, aligning the lightning port with the lightning adaptor. Next, I stretched the back over my phone and placed the left controller on the top of the phone. If done correctly, this should snap securely onto your phone. Along the right side of the left controller, you will find the release button to separate the controller from your phone. Beneath the right controller, you will find a lightning port, to charge your iPhone while playing. If you have the older Gamevice GV156 device, it will work for iPhone 6/6 Plus and 6S/6S Plus. The newer GV157 Gamevice device will work with iPhone 7/7 Plus as well as the 6s/6s plus and 6/6 plus. There was no mention of the iPhone X or iPhone 8/8 Plus models on the packaging. With dimensions of the phones nearly the same as the previous models, I was surprised that the newer phones were not mentioned on the packaging. I can attest that my iPhone X fits securely and solidly into the Gamevice. If you navigate to their website, you will see that the X and 8/8 plus are supported.
Download the Gamevice Live App from the App store and then peruse the available compatible games. You can download any of the listed games, dji spark drone or control the sphero BB8, BB-9E, and R2D. Many of these are free, and some of them are paid apps. From the home screen, you can see that there are 75 featured games. You can enjoy games like Riptide GP Renegade, a fun Waveracer style game ($2.99), Portal knights (a 4* Sandbox RPG for $5), Alto’s Odyssey ($4.99), Bouncy Smash, Death Squared, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite iOS ($3.99), Lineage 2: Revolution (MMORPG). Street Fighter IV, Minecraft Story Mode or Pocket Edition, GTA III, Vice City or Liberty City Stories, Marvel Contest of Champions, Final Fantasy VII or IX, numerous Lego games, Oceanhorn ($7.99 RPG). I was initially dismayed that my favorite mobile games were not included in the featured list. Additionally, many other popular games were not listed in this Featured list either.
After evaluating the App further, I noticed the down arrow along the top of the app. This will allow you to choose between Categories, All, New, Featured, Free, Paid, Action, Adventure, Arcade, Board, Card, Educational, Entertainment, Family, Lifestyle, Music, Productivity, Puzzle, Racing, Role Playing, Simulation, Social networking, Sports, Strategy, Trivia, Utilities and numerous. The Gamevice Live App also has a search feature, which will allow you to check if your favorite game was available. My favorite iOS game is War Robots, an amazing Mech style game. I have enjoyed playing the game on my iPad Pro 10.5″ as well as my iPhone. I felt it was harder to play on my iPhone due to the limitations of the screen size. However, when I added the controller to my iPhone X, I found that the games were more enjoyable. Having grown to love the Xbox One controller, the dual thumbsticks brought a sense of nostalgia.
To test the controller on multiple Apps, I started a Bishop on Lineage 2: Revolution, I enjoyed multiple rounds of Modern Combat Versus, I continued to play war robots and enjoyed a little retro Sega action with Altered Beast and Golden Axe. Reviews of the individual games are beyond the scope of this review. I liked that the Gamevice App separated the games into genres and allowed you to search for given games. When you touch each game, you will be taken to a second screen. From there, you can see the price; you can navigate to the App store, download the game and see the control scheme. The buttons were incredibly responsive, no matter the game that I played. With a total of 1119 options, each of us should be able to find multiple games to enjoy. Anyone who wants a Nintendo Switch Style experience for a fraction of the cost should look for a Gamevice controller. I would rate the overall experience at 5/5 stars.
Gamevice used to control DJI Spark Drone.
Originally published at macsources.com on February 22, 2018.