Touch screens are cool, but they can be a bit rubbish for playing games. Thankfully, on Android there’s a wide range of controller accessories that’ll allow you to reclaim that precise, tactile experience of playing on a console-style gamepad. Once you’ve picked up your Samsung Gamepad or the Moga Mobile, then you’ll want to check out these five recommended games that all boast excellent controller support – all tested with the Samsung Gamepad that we reviewed earlier!
Dead Trigger is the normal controller-enabled game of choice for me on Android, giving a real console-like first person shooter experience that demands highly accurately placed shots on the harder levels. The sequel, Dead Trigger 2, was recently released and provides a more expansive game world, but is a less demanding test of the controller thanks to the default option to automatically fire when a zombie is targeted. Both games are much more playable with the Gamepad than with the touch controls.
Super Hexagon is another title that demands good reflexes and precise input, although the game requires the use of just two buttons to rotate clockwise or counter clockwise as you evade incoming geometry. The triggers of the Samsung Gamepad I was using served me well here, and I had much more consistent results than with touch input alone – although surviving sixty seconds on the upper difficulties remains challenging!
Riptide GP is an aquatic racing game often used to test graphical prowess, but it’s also an interesting test between touch, motion controls and controllers. While the first two options are well implemented, a good gamepad makes a big difference here – particularly one with precise analogue sticks. Both this and the sequel Riptide GP 2 are a blast to play – I’ve never had so many people ask me what I was playing and if they could have a go as with these two!
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the second of three GTA games re-released for Android (along with the earlier GTA III and the later GTA: San Andreas). While sufficient attention has been paid to the touch input to make it a viable experience, if you want that true console feel then a gamepad is a must. Here having a gamepad worked beautifully, making cars easier to drive and headshots easier to land. The GTA titles are a fine example of what is possible with a gamepad on Android – a full length console port that offers as much depth as the original, a far cry from the clipped experiences of many mobile titles.
Perhaps the best use of the controller is for playing games made for older gaming consoles and handhelds, through apps like Drastic for the DS and PPSSPP for the PSP. The single pair of triggers makes the Samsung Gamepad best for games on similarly-equipped systems – that means PSP, DS and SNES are ideal with their single set of rear triggers, but the multiple rear buttons of Xbox and PlayStation consoles are not. While emulation and ROMS raise legal and ethical issues (which I won’t go into here), they are certainly extremely effective ways of accessing a deep library of classic titles, many of which offer much more lasting appeal than the average mobile game.
Thanks for checking out the article – now, what are your favourites? Let us know in the comments below!