For a long time, playing games on your iPhone involved one of two solutions; sticking with games that only needed the touchscreen to play, or using clumsy “virtual” pads and thumbsticks to get around the game and play it like it was meant to be played. But with Apple putting out official controller support for iOS 7, MOGA has wasted no time getting the Ace Power to market.
Control Is Key
First of all, the Ace Power has all the inputs you could ever ask for, and then some. There are four face buttons, a d-pad, two analog sticks, triggers, and a headphone jack, with a layout patterned after the Xbox controller. It’ll even charge your iPhone while you’re playing. And it’s got a clever, space-saving design on top of that.
Essentially, the Ace Power slides open and you fit your iPhone inside, connecting the controller through the Lightning port. When you need your phone as an actual phone, you can just pull it out and push the two halves together, making for what looks like a standard controller that you can easily tuck into a bag or in a pocket. That said, as you may have guessed, a quickly manufactured device that slides open won’t feel the most secure; there have been complaints that the two halves don’t stay together.
In general, the Ace Power is what you expect from a good manufacturer like Power A trying to get a product to market as quickly as possible. It works, and it works well; you’ll finally be able to play some of your iOS games the way they were obviously intended to be played, just with the hardware that didn’t really exist until now. But it’s likely that next year’s product will be sturdier and at the same $99 price, so if you can wait, that might be the best option.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.