iCade 8-Bitty smartphone game controller by ThinkGeek
$29.99 at ThinkGeek.com
How popular are those old-school "8-bit" console games, the ones with blocky graphics that we used to play in video arcades? They're so popular that a new Disney movie based on them, "Wreck-It Ralph," just opened in theaters. And they're also popular enough for ThinkGeek to invent a gadget to help you play these classic games on a smartphone.
8-Bitty is a game controller with a full suite of pushbuttons and a "D-Pad" for moving your character around the screen. It connects to a smartphone through a Bluetooth wireless chip.
Now all you need are some games. The 8-Bitty only works with a limited number of compatible games. There are dozens that claim to be; find a link to a list of them at the ThinkGeek site. But several that I installed on my iPhone just didn't work for me. After much trial and error, I finally got the controller to work with a ridiculous little time-waster called Stupid Jones, which mainly involves dodging past razor-sharp blades of death. I died a lot, but 8-Bitty was hardly to blame.
You'd have to be pretty hardcore about this kind of game to spend $30 for a controller that's as big as your cell phone. But Walt Disney thinks that there are plenty of you out there, and so does ThinkGeek.
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