All posts by Evan

PosiMotion’s Helix Gaming Grip – Make Your iDevice Feel Like a Console

The PosiMotion Helix Gaming Grip ($19.99) is simply incredible; it fits in the hands like a dream.  I’m a large guy, 6’5’’ in stature, and so holding my iPod Touch has always been a bit difficult, as part of my thumbs/fingers tend to block the screen a little.  While using this grip, though, I haven’t had that issue at all; I’ve been very comfortable.  Users and gamers will feel more at home with this, as it makes playing the iPod/iPhone much more natural in feeling- the accelerometer based games feel more precise with tilting, and it makes playing touch games feel much more like holding the familiar Playstation or XBOX controllers.

I have used it with a multitude of games including F.A.S.T., Real Racing, Jet Car Stunts, Street Fighter IV, Skate It, X2 Snowboarding, and COD Zombies.  Each one of these games has felt loads easier to play with the attachment, and I’ve been able to achieve better scores on some pickup and play style games as well.

The attachment allows for both landscape and portrait view, and firmly locks your iDevice into place- there’s no chance it’s going anywhere.  As well as this, purchase of the grip comes with a code that will allow you to download a game called Twisted Abyss upon release (any day now), and the game is slated to be a $9.99 purchase.


Comfort: I’ve touched on this already, but it really feels natural in the hands, and allows for much easier gaming.  Rather than feeling like you’re playing games on an iPod, it feels like you’re playing video games on an actual system.

Style: It looks sleek, and also provides a way to play both landscape and portrait games by performing an easy switch in direction for the iPod/iPhone.

Price: People will complain that this is $20, but think about this- it’s like buying a controller, but for something that is handheld.  Really you’d pay more than half that for a case, and this firmly holds your iDevice in place while you game to your hearts content.


Case: You have to remove your case to use this, and with some that can be a hassle.

Portability: While sleek in design, and a good size, you can’t bring this everywhere with you in your pocket.  That’s okay, though, as it easily fits in a backpack or bag.  Or even a briefcase!  Just not a pocket.

The PosiMotion Helix Gaming Grip is available for $19.99 at Best Buy, and you can find more info about it and see it in action on PosiMotion’s page HERE.  It is incredibly comfortable and makes the entire gaming experience much better, and is definitely worth the purchase if you have $20 to spare.   I used it with my 1G iPod Touch running 3.1.3.  NOTE: We received a product for review.

AmpliTube iRig- A Portable Effects Pedal

The other day I was searching for third party attachments for the iPod Touch/iPhone related to music (as I am an avid musician), and I came across something that made me jump with excitement.  The company IK Multimedia is developing an extremely portable effects board/collection of pedals.  And it’s going to be usable through a phone, with output to either headphones or an amp, if one gets the correct cable.

The main intention is to plug in your guitar or bass to it, which I plan on doing when I get my hands on it, but I also believe it will work really well with my electric violin and synthesizer.  Although the price for the hookup is $39.99 and may seem kind of steep, each pedal on its own would cost at least that much.  Chorus, Phazer, Delay, Wah, and Overdrive are some examples of the pedal effects software included in the full edition of the app ($20), but there will also be a light version for $2.99 and a free version.  Each version will allow for the purchase of more cabinets/stompboxes through DLC.  There are also 32 presets in which you can save your specific combinations of sounds.  Pretty sweet.

The AmpliTube iRig is a really unique and cool idea for any guitarist or bassist seeking to add lots of super portable options to their sound for an affordable amount of money.  We will be reviewing it upon release, so be looking for that in the next month or so.  I certainly can’t wait to try it out!

To view the trailer for the AmpliTube iRig click HERE

To view the full press release click HERE, click “Press Releases”, and then “IK Announces AmpliTube iRig.”

Sailboat Championship PRO Review: Sail the Smooth Seas in Style

Sailboat Championship PRO is a fun overhead racing game where the objective is to get the highest time possible while navigating several fun aspects of the sea.  The courses are all different, with obstacles and changing wind everywhere.  This creates a need to find the best path possible, which isn’t always easy.  Openfeint is integrated, letting players check to see how fast they completed courses against other players globally.

The player participates in a series of Regattas (a series of boat races) against set times, or against other AI boats.  These boats do not follow the same path every time, leading to a very interesting and unique racing experience each time you test the waters.  After finishing a level, the player is awarded a medal and a certain amount of experience.  The medal determines this experience, and also whether the next course is unlocked or not.  The experience goes towards gaining points which allow the player to increase the statistics of their ship and sailing skills, and 6 different boats can be unlocked with better and better statistics themselves.


Visuals: The boat looks fantastic, but the water looks incredible.  The style is very simplistic, but the colors are very nice and detailed.  One particular aspect of the visuals I enjoy is that you can see the ground of the sea below you occasionally, but the blue darkens showing no bottom where the water is deep.

Relaxing: The audio is very relaxing, with the wind and ocean sounds playing while you race through non-stressful situations.  The graphics are not sharp or too vibrant.  The entire concept of Sailboat Racing is relaxing, imagine the breeze flying across your face as you steer a boat on a sunny day…  I find that thought quite nice and calming.

Controls: The steering wheel displayed at the bottom right of the screen is very fun to move around and turn to steer.  It also is relatively easy, and relatively realistic- to achieve tighter turns you really have to crank it around.

Control Options: The player can choose to control the direction of the sail as well, but this is much more difficult and for the most advanced players.  I experimented with it somewhat and found it really neat, but I prefer just having to deal with the reaction of the boat to the wind direction and not having to do the extra thing.


Difficulty: There is no tutorial mode in this game, but you can download the Lite version (as recommended by the developers) to prepare yourself for the level of difficulty in the full app.  I did not want to delete anything from my iPod to make space, but after doing so and playing the Lite things were much easier from the original frustration that I had when playing.  Of course the Lite can be deleted from your device immediately after playing.

Amount of Content: Although I have spent a lot of time with this game, much of it has been replaying levels.  There could definitely be more included, possibly as DLC.  Maybe I’m just being greedy but I want to play more material from this original game!

Sailboat Championship PRO is a beautiful and relaxing racing game by Infinite Dreams.  The controls are fun, the audio is great, and the concept is unique to the iDevice.  The only gripes I have with it are the high difficulty and the amount of content, the first being solvable by downloading the Lite Version, and the second is me being hooked by the game.  I fully recommend picking this one up.

Sailboat Championship PRO was developed by Infinite Dreams Inc., and I played through version 1.10 on my 1G iPod Touch running OS 3.1.2.  The price is $2.99.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape Review: Throw Your Fist, if You Can Aim Correctly.

A port of a successful game on several platforms since 1999, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is a 3d platforming game that was released to the appstore on March 1.  To advance in the game, the player must collect lums, little pieces of the world.  Once a certain amount are collected, you can advance to the next area, and once 1000 are collected and a few other tasks completed, Rayman can awaken a spirit to save the world from the robot pirates from outer space.

The gameplay mainly consists of running around as Rayman, and throwing his floating fists at enemies.  He also has other powers that are available to him, such as helicopter ears in which he can glide slowly to the ground.  Rayman has lost his powers, but over time and through the narrative more of his old powers are regained.  Each bigger level has many smaller areas, each of which are passed once enough lums are collected, and his friends freed from their cages.


Completeness: It is great to have an iDevice game that not only delivers solid gameplay, but brings along a full story as well.  Too many times have I heard gamers complain that there aren’t enough complete games on the platform; apparently Gameloft noticed that too so they decided to publish one.

Rayman: For those not familiar with this series of games, I thought I’d quickly touch on the main character.  Rayman is really fun to play as; he is athletic despite not having any limbs, and throwing his fists is very fun- you can melee attack at both short and long range.  He really is unique within the gaming world.

General Sillyness: The premise of robotic pirates from outer space is hysterical, I found myself laughing during the entertaining cutscenes.


Controls: This game is great… except for the controls.  There is a virtual joystick on the left and two buttons on the right, for jumping and throwing your fist.  Those buttons are great, but the joystick takes this title from being a great title to being an okay game with a lot of potential.  It is difficult to get the orient Rayman properly, I found myself having to attempt obstacles over and over again because I would miss because of poor controls.  Ironically, here on No DPad, I think that this game should have a virtual dpad because character motions would be much more accurate.

Camera: It wasn’t always easy to get the camera centered behind Rayman, partly because of the controls, and partly because of the slow response time of the camera.

Auto-Save: In iPod games it is customary for any game exited to auto-save immediately when the home button is pressed.  Unfortunately, the game has predetermined save points that sometimes take a while to reach.  This is not a pick up and play title.

I have had some fun with Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but my fun often was turned to frustration because of the plagued controls.  I also do not always have a ton of time to spare, so the first time I picked it up I played for about 15 minutes and quit.  When I returned, I had to do everything over again.  If you don’t mind these issues, then it is definitely worth trying because it is a wonderful game, but otherwise it may be worth waiting to see if Gameloft updates the controls.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape was developed by Ubisoft and published by Gameloft, and is available for $6.99 in the appstore.  I played version 1.0.1 on my iPod Touch 1G.

Street Fighter 4 to be released tonight!

According to an article on Joystiq, Street Fighter 4 will be released into the App Store tonight.  Capcom has apparently stated that it could appear any time within the next few hours.  Get ready for some old fashioned button mashing!  Wait a sec…


Street Fighter 4 has been one of the most popular fighting franchises in the history of fighting franchises, and the release on iPhone should prove to be quite successful.  While Capcom has a knack for ruining games for the iPhone, it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out.

If you aren’t familiarized with Street Fighter IV and its predecessors, check out this excerpt from Wikipedia:

Street Fighter, commonly abbreviated as SF, is a Japanese fighting game in which the players pit the video games’ competitive fighters from around the world, each with his or her own special moves, against one another. Capcom released the first game in the series in August 1987.

And that’s that.  Expect Street Fight IV to drop into the App Store TONIGHT!