Mobile gaming has blown up over the past decade, not only with addictive games like Candy Crush Saga, Temple Run, and the like, but with more complex games which require four fingers and two thumbs to play. Thanks to the power of smartphones matching PCs from a few years back, we now have ports of our favourite classics, like the Grand Theft Auto series, we also have new built-for-mobile games which feel on-par with PC titles, like Vainglory.
For the most part, these games aren’t difficult to control, but first person shooters and even games like Grand Theft Auto, can be tricky, especially with on-screen controls. When you need split second reactions, sometimes this virtual thumbstick just won’t cut it. So in comes the controller peripheral, usually a Bluetooth controller which mimics the on-screen controls. They’re usually pretty great, but at the same time, they’re an added extra for you to carry around. So in comes the Gamevice, the best of both worlds.
In a nutshell, the Gamevice is a mobile game controller which essentially turns your iPhone or iPad into a portable gaming device, much like the PS Vita. It’s suitable for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including the iPhone 6S and S Plus. It’s fully adjustable allowing both both devices to fit into the Gamevice comfortably.
It’s worth noting though that the Gamevice doesn’t fit phones which are in cases which is slightly annoying, as I have a fairly tight-fitting case which can be a bit of a pain to remove, especially if I only plan on jumping on a game for five to ten minutes – something which is considered an average playing time for mobile games.
Speaking of portability, the Gamevice isn’t a clunky bit of kit either, as the soft strap which connects the two halves can be folded up and two magnets in the back of both halves allows you to stick them together to keep the Gamevice more compact and easy to store.
As for getting the device set up, it simply connects to your phone using a built-in Lightning connector, which means there’s no fiddly Bluetooth connections needed, though you will have to charge the Gamevice beforehand for it to work.
The Gamevice offers with two thumb sticks, four face buttons, a pause button and a battery check button, there’s also four shoulder buttons: two trigger-like buttons and two bumper-like buttons. There’s also a D-Pad, perfect for those classic console titles like Sonic the Hedgehog.
The controller itself feels largely familiar, especially as someone who owns a PS Vita, the only real difference is that you can’t select the game you want using the controller, not to mention the choice of games are completely different too, not that it’s an issue, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried to use the controller to navigate around my iPhone’s homescreen.
As for the games, there’s an insane amount both free and paid. Finding them however, is the hardest part. Fortunately Gamevice has launched their own app, Gamevice Live which lists a number of compatible games, again, both paid and free, which then takes you to the App Store so you can download it.
Using the Gamevice is a total breeze if games are compatible. Though I have found that a number of games which Gamevice say are compatible have failed in some way, namely Rayman Adventures, for some reason the game recognises that there’s a controller attached, but doesn’t actually recognise the controller’s inputs. So even with Gamevice Live, there’s a possibility that the game may not work fully.
That being said, for every incompatible game, there’s about a hundred (at a guess) compatible games from Real Racing 3, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, and LEGO: Star Wars, to Minecraft: Story Mode, Disney Infinity: Toy Box 3.0 and FIFA 16 Ultimate Team. The only real limitation you have is the memory on your iPhone to hold all of the games you want to play.
Overall the Gamevice is a fantastic addition to your gaming collection allowing you to play games on your iPhone or iPad comfortably without fiddly on-screen controls. There’s also a massive library of games already compatible with the controller too. If you’re an avid mobile gamer but hate on-screen controls, then I’d definitely recommend the Gamevice.
This review is based on a sample sent to us by Gamevice.