Posts Tagged ‘surface’

A new physical joystick specifically designed to increase control precision in smartphone or tablet games could soon be winging its way to you after successfully achieving its funding goal on Kickstarter. The team behind ScreenStick say that it can be used on most touchscreen games with on-screen controls and is totally platform independent, meaning that iOS, Android and Windows Phone are all covered.

The package includes both a traditional joystick and a joypad attachment, so you can choose which is most suited to your specific game.

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Games that have been testing for compatibility so far include big titles such as:
GTA: San Andreas
FIFA 15: Ultimate Team
Minecraft

Real Racing

I love the idea of this as I’ve always found touchscreen controls in-natural and lacking in any form of feedback. Bluetooth joysticks and joypads compatible with smartphones are on the market, but the reason they haven’t taken off, I suspect, is that they add considerable bulk.

Smartphones games are now getting to a point where they are rivalling the last generation of console games, but are stuck with primitive touchscreen controls. This pocket sized accessory could well be what die-hard gamers need on the morning commute to give that home console feel.

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ScreenStick £8

It is amazing the things you can do on a tablet nowadays. The games you can play and the uses are endless. From talking to your friend half way across the world for free to editing a hi-res photo with professional detail while on the sofa listening to music. It makes me think of what did we actually do when we were younger? How did we survive? How did our parents keep us entertained?!

As a parent myself, it worries me that my child uses the iPad far too much and sometimes we all rely on it far too often. I have even seen my son walk up to a digital photo frame and swipe to the right to see the next picture, but left feeling slightly confused as it doesn’t work.

The question is, are children nowadays too reliant on modern technology and is the imagination that I think we had, going to be lost to a processor? This question can only be answered as time goes by and we see what happens to the next generation.

All is not lost though…A company called Tangible Play (made up of old Google staff) have released Osmo, a new crowd funded app for kids that encourages ‘real world’ play. It allows the user to pick up things and build using their hands, thanks to a mirror attachment which turns the iPad’s camera to view the surface where your child is playing.

Recently I have looked around the App Store and failed to find anything that is different or breaks boundaries, but this app is very different and we should stand up and take notice.

All of the games to be used with this kit are optimised for ages 6-12 but each game has a varying range of difficulty. Take Newton, it’s a physics game, which uses the same concept as “Cut The Rope” where players can use any object, from lines on a piece of paper to a toy or even their own hands to control the stuff on screen. All you really need is a piece of paper and a pen to get started.

Tangram, is a game where puzzle pieces in the real world must be matched to the shapes on screen. The kit comes with an iPad stand and mirror connector and promotes your child’s creativity as suddenly the brain is thinking in many dimensions!

I do not only love this as a educational toy for my kids, but also as a concept in itself. It is not often you get something that comes along that breaks the mold and creates a whole new genre of games….this might just be that thing.

Available now on the Osmo Website for $49. This is a steal considering what you get and of course this will double once pre-orders have been fulfilled. The company is concentrating on developing the apps, but will eventually open this up to developers to create their own games….so watch this space.

Check out the Osmo video