iCade 8-Bitty Retro Wireless Game Controller Review


I always felt that smart phones and tablets were a perfect platform for retro gaming and though you do not need a gamepad to enjoy those classic games, it vastly improves the overall gameplay giving you that old school feeling of playing on your NES.

The first thing I noticed when I received my 8-bitty is the NES inspired design. The pad feels a lot like the old NES control complete with the button layout except the 8-bitty also features two top buttons. The fake wood paneling on the side is a nice touch and the buttons on the 8-bitty feel sturdy so don’t worry about going button mashing crazy.

The back of the controller has a panel which you can remove with a small screwdriver in order to access the two AAA batteries inside. It also features an on/off switch which is great to save battery life. When you turn the pad on and it is paired with your device you will see the blue indicator light on the top left.

Let’s talk games. The 8-bitty works with classic gaming applications like Midway Arcade and Atari Greatest Hits. You can also see a list of compatible games the 8-bitty works with. Now I use it mostly for emulators on my Android phone including the MAME4droid which works perfectly with the 8-bitty. Nothing beats loading up some Final Fight and being able to use a real controller that is durable and comfortable to use.

Now one might wonder why you would want to carry around a controller almost as big as your phone. Also, there may be some conflicts with some games, mainly iOS games where you may need to play around with the button configuration or you may have to use strange button combinations in order to play. However, as more games accept external controllers this will become less of an issue. The truth is, as great as smart phones have become some of the classic games like Megaman and Castlevania still play best with a good controller and at $29.99 the 8-bitty fits the bill.

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.

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