To play games on the go back in the early 1990’s, you needed a Nintendo Game Boy (or the short-lived Sega Game Gear). While these were state of the art when they arrived, portable gaming was extremely limited, and usualy involved short rounds on Tetris while waiting for a bus. Thanks to the advancement of smart phones, and the boom in popularity of casual games, portable gaming is now everywhere. The mobile gaming industry is growing at an amazing rate, with both indie developers and large publishers creating games, hoping for the next Angry Birds or Jetpack Joyride.
One of the reasons many people hold back from playing games on their phone (myself included) was the limit of controls on a phone or touch-screen. Swiping a screen to execute controls doesn’t feel natural to me and I find games with on-screen control pads to be lack in immersion. Thankfully, there’s finally a solution to these problems with the MOGA controller, a handy mobile phone accessory that enables console-style gaming on mobile phones.
The MOGA Controller
When I first heard of the MOGA, I was immediately skeptical. I didn’t think that the addition of a controller would suddenly make mobile games accessible to myself (and many others) and if it did, I imagined there would be a lack of support from developers and publishers and that it wouldn’t work very well.
Believe me when I say that the MOGA is an outstanding piece of tech and most importantly, it works! And it works brilliantly!
The MOGA holds your phone between the two sides of the controller and sits in your hand much more comfortably than a phone. The controller can be lengthened to suit many phone sizes and I’m more than confident that the majority of Android phones will fit into its frame. When not in use, it can be folded in half vertically and the sides can be contracted, meaning that the MOGA controller can fit into your pocket, handbag or backpack without taking up valuable room.
When setting up the MOGA controller, it’s as simple as turning on your phone’s Bluetooth, and partnering with it. That’s it, and the whole process takes up a maximum of 30 seconds. Once you’re set up, you’re free to check out the huge library of compatible games. To make this even easier, the MOGA has a companion app, called MOGA Pivot, which lists MOGA-compatible games and where to get them (the majority are on the Google Play store).
I had thought that due to the Bluetooth and battery-operated nature of the MOGA, that it would drain any batteries used to power it fairly rapidly, though so far, I have played many hours with the MOGA and not needed to change batteries once.
Also, it is possible to play mobile games on your TV with the use of a high-definition link cable for your phone. That way, you can sit back on your lounge with your MOGA and game on!
There is a huge number of games already compatible with the MOGA, and even more on the way. Not only that, but the MOGA has even gained the support of such big-name developers as EA Games, Gameloft, SNK-PLAYMORE, SEGA, High Voltage and more. No matter your tastes, chances are there’s a suitable game compatible with the MOGA.
At the time of writing this article, I have played over ten games, from first-person-shooters, to sports games and role-playing games, all of which work with the MOGA brilliantly. The first title, Downhill Extreme, is a downhill skateboarding game. When playing with the game’s default controls, the touch screen offers little in the way of control over the on-screen character, with the skateboarder either turning left or right, without any subtlety. When playing with the MOGA however, there is much more control and thanks to the analogue sticks, there is full control over how much you turn, from the slightest lean to a hard turn.
After playing some more casual games, I decided to really put the MOGA to a conclusive test. I downloaded a zombie FPS, called Dead Trigger. In it, players must complete various objectives and hold their own against waves of the undead. This is the game that convinced me of the MOGA’s potential. I was able to run, shoot and strafe like any other FPS I have played. The trigger on the back of the MOGA felt great, just a tad smaller than what I am accustomed to. I would even go as far as to say while the MOGA is certainly a handy accessory for the mobile gamer, it may even help further the mobile gaming industry itself, as it allows for more varied and precise gameplay than smart phones previously offered.
- Extremely portable
- Offers truly console-like precision and accessibility to mobile games
- Excellent battery life
While the MOGA may be young, its still an awesome piece of tech. The library of games gets better every day, and I’m hoping that the device gets the support of other big-name publishers soon. Having some hands-on time with the MOGA Pocket Controller not only proved that mobile games can be more accessible, it proved to me with a controller, mobile games can easily compete with those available on a home console.
Score – 9.5/10
Editor’s note: Earlier this week, it was confirmed that a MOGA Controller be coming soon to iPhones, so don’t fret Apple supporters, you will get console controls on your phone soon!