Duo Gamer ($40) from Gameloft (a mobile-game maker) is a controller for playing games on smart devices that replaces touch-screen controls with physical controls, making many games easier to play. It works with most iOS devices. The controller is a little too large for convenient portability, but for in-home gaming, it's an improvement over touch-screen controls.The
Design. The Duo Gamer has four face buttons, one shoulder button on each side, a directional pad, two analog sticks that double as buttons when clicked, and a power button. It's powered by two AA batteries.
The controller comes with a stand to hold your device in place while you play, and a pouch to hold the controller. The stand is a welcome inclusion and does its job, though some iOS devices have cases that also serves as stands, which might be easier to use, especially if you're trying to save space while traveling.
The Duo Gamer was easy to pair, via Bluetooth, with the Apple iPad I tested on. And finding games in the App store is easy enough; just search "Gameloft." Not all of Gameloft's games are compatible with the Duo Gamer, though—you have to read the game's description or check the Duo Gamer website to find out which are.(See also: Take control over your Android games with MOGA)
Highs. The controller feels solid, and all the buttons were responsive and gave a satisfying click when pressed. Setup was very easy. And the physical controls were a marked improvement over touch-screen controls for fast-moving games like Brothers in Arms 2: Global Front and NFL Pro 2013.
Lows. While the Duo Gamer isn't overly large, it has an awkward rectangular shape that doesn't feel very comfortable while you're playing. There aren't many games that are compatible with the controller, and they aren't particularly easy to find. And an app that organizes compatible games for quick reference would help, similar to the Moga Pivot app.
Bottom line. The Duo Gamer controller does a good job of replacing touch screen controls with physical controls. It can be uncomfortable to use, though, especially for those with smaller hands. It's too large for a pocket, but it will fit easily into a bag if you're traveling.
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