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Published on March 3rd, 2012 | by Greg


iPad Gaming Accessories From Discovery Bay

Gam­ing on the iPad has a great deal to of­fer. From clas­sic board games that trans­late well in­to elec­tron­ic ver­sions (Tick­et to Ride, Scrab­ble, Bog­gle), and mu­sic-based games like Groove or Au­di­to­ri­um, and plen­ty of RPGs or puz­zles, we’ve seen the plat­form han­dle most types ca­pa­bly. The li­brary of ti­tles is ev­er ex­pand­ing of course, as the App Store se­lec­tion swells in ev­ery di­rec­tion. But there have al­ways been a cou­ple of small is­sues with iPad gam­ing- prob­lems that are true with all tablets and are cer­tain to be the case with the iPad 3 as well.

The first is­sue is with con­trol­ling fast-twitch ar­cade games. We’re big fans of Atari clas­sics, so the Atari Ar­cade got us ex­cit­ed- it’s a cute piece of hard­ware that serves as a com­bi­na­tion iPad dock and joy­stick/but­ton con­trol pad. Plug your iPad in­to the base, and then you can play Mis­sile Com­mand for free once you down­load the avail­able app, or down­load oth­er games for an ad­di­tion­al charge. It sounds great- un­til some fine print catch­es up and re­al­i­ty sets in. The joy­stick is not par­tic­u­lar­ly sol­id, the base a bit un­sta­ble, and the unit feels fair­ly cheap. You’ll pay for ad­di­tion­al games, but most of the 99 in the full pack­age are ter­ri­ble, some of them Atari games that aren’t re­al­ly made for joy­sticks and don’t play well. If you have oth­er games- Pac-Man, for in­stance- they won’t work with this con­troller; the on­ly com­pat­i­ble ti­tles are those in the “Great­est Hits” app so far as we can tell. That said, Crys­tal Cas­tles and As­ter­oids, Ad­ven­ture and Cen­tipede are fun, but those are about the on­ly four we liked. Over­all, at $60, the price doesn’t re­al­ly jus­ti­fy the hard­ware un­for­tu­nate­ly.

But that doesn’t mean iPad gam­ing ‘ap­pces­sories’ have noth­ing to of­fer! We liked Dis­cov­ery Bay’s Duo Pop quite a bit. Much like the GameChang­er, the goal of this add-on is to en­able mul­ti­ple peo­ple to play around one iPad. Un­like the GameChang­er, this one had more ap­peal to adults, and en­abled up to four of us to play quiz-type games us­ing the in­clud­ed buzzers. Think “You Don’t Know Jack” triv­ia- an SNL game is avail­able that is pret­ty fun- and with a few dif­fer­ent apps the sys­tem can ap­peal to fam­i­lies or just about any­one. Grant­ed, we wished that we could ac­tu­al­ly play the YD­KJ game us­ing these con­trollers, but the three avail­able apps were free which was nice (and can be played so­lo with­out the con­trollers). Ex­tra ques­tion packs cost $2 or $3, and the oth­er two ti­tles are Guessti­ma­tion and High­lights Hid­den Pic­tures Count­down. Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial site, an app called “New York Times Swoop” will be com­ing, though we have no ad­di­tion­al de­tails. At $40 and avail­able wide­ly on­line and in stores, this is an easy way to pull friends in­to a quick game, or keep the kids qui­et if you on­ly have a sin­gle tablet and shar­ing isn’t com­ing nat­u­ral­ly.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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