Android 2.3 or later
Review Rating: 4 stars
As a core gamer for more than 30 years, l will be the first to admit that I snub my nose at cellphone games. At first the simplicity was a turn off, but now hundreds of high-quality casual and core games are available. However, I still can't get past the annoyance of using touch screen controls. Not only do my fingers block major portions of the on-screen action, but they also leave an oily residue that further diminishes the visuals. Thankfully, a handy new mobile gaming controller called the MOGA has managed to eliminate these flaws.
The MOGA is a black rectangular controller that can be paired with Android cellphones and tablets to move the controls off-screen. It has a cool built-in retractable arm that holds Android phones sideways at a comfortable angle, letting users see both the screen and the controller. Since it uses Bluetooth to connect to Android phones and tablets, the MOGA doesn't have to be attached to the unit it controls. It's even possible to hook it up to a cellphone or tablet, and then display the visuals on certain televisions.
I'm thrilled to see that the MOGA uses the familiar ergonomic console controller setup to which most gamers have become accustomed. Since Nintendo feels the need to change their controller setup for every new console, the last thing I want to do is learn another foreign set of button placements! Dual analog sticks grace the front of the MOGA, and four face buttons above the right analog stick resemble that of Sony's and Microsoft's controllers. Two shoulder buttons add extra controllability to the unit, and there's also a start and select button on the front. My only complaint about the controls is that the analog sticks don't offer full movement.
Anyone who likes third-person action games or first-person shooters simply has to add this cool device to their collection! It makes playing these types of games so much more enjoyable because players can focus on slaying enemies instead of struggling with the controls. The MOGA also greatly enhances flying and space combat games as well as platform games such as "Sonic CD" and "Pac-Man." I can't imagine the frustration of playing these types of games using touch controls!
Not every game on the market works with the MOGA because games must have compatibility added by the developer. Fortunately, this can be done both during development or added in a patch after release. Currently about forty games are compatible with the MOGA, including: "GTA: Vice City," "Steampunk Racing 3D," "Jet Set Radio," "The Dark Knight Rises HD" and "Real Soccer 2013." In addition, at least two free games are included with the MOGA app. All compatible games can be downloaded from the MOGA app store or the Google store, but better support will come from MOGA itself.
Not only does the MOGA enhance my portable gaming experience, it's also very quick and handy to set up and use. The unit comes with its own carrying bag, and both the MOGA and an Android phone (unless it's the Galaxy Note II) will fit easily into a standard pocket. It only takes a few seconds to pull out the MOGA, attach a phone, and then get the gaming party started! Sadly, one major oversight can cause problems. The control button on Samsung Galaxy phones (and possibly others) ends up on the underside of the phone when turned sideways, so it isn't accessible when the MOGA is attached. This means that gamers have to manually remove the phone from the device to adjust the volume, which is an unnecessary annoyance.
Power A claims that the MOGA will run for up to eighteen hours on two triple A batteries, and I have yet to run into any problems with power consumption. However, I would gladly sacrifice a few hours of power to get a rechargeable battery pack instead of using standard batteries.
Casual gamers will be intrigued by the MOGA controller, but this handy device is a must-have for core gamers on the go!