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Mobile - The Best iPad Games to play with a Controller

#1
The Best iPad Games to play with a Controller

With iOS 13, Apple has made it easier than ever to pair your iPad or iPhone with a great game controller through Bluetooth. This, combined with the release of several heavy-hitting console and PC ports leads me to declare 2019 the Year of the Controller in iOS games.

So what’s it like going from playing exclusively via touch to playing like a True Gamer? Let’s take a look at some of the best games from 2019 to play with a bluetooth controller.

What are the best iPad games for controllers?


  • Dead Cells
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Rogue Legacy
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer: Amplified
  • Gris
  • Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
  • Journey

Best Controller for iPad


I picked up an Xbox One S controller, and although I am loathe to continue to contribute to Microsoft’s empire, it’s the best choice if you’re doing most of your gaming on PC in addition to your iDevice. The Xbox One S pad pairs as easy as any other Bluetooth device on the iThing and instantly with Windows PCs. What’s more, most games on both platforms will change their button prompts to match the Xbox controller’s layout, making it a cinch to pick up and play. If you already have a PS4, no need to run out and buy a new controller because those will work just fine too. For a dedicated iWhatever controller, most people like the SteelSeries Nimbus, but it’s not that much cheaper than the Xbox pad.

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Dead Cells


A platforming hybrid of Dark Souls and a procedurally-generated death labyrinth, the roguish Dead Cells requires both careful planning and lightning reflexes. If you’re leaning more towards the careful planning strategy, the touch controls are pretty good – a swipe-anywhere pad controls the game with virtual buttons and touchable menus. For twitch gaming, you need buttons. There’s just too many options in this game to remember where are the virtual buttons are by muscle memory. Then you’re dead, again.

Hyper Light Drifter


A stylish top down action game with a vast world, Hyper Light Drifter reminds me of a cyberpunk Zelda on acid. Beautifully animated and devilishly challenging, this game demands a lot from the player. The touch controls are okay — the game has fewer options than Dead Cells — but when the plasma bolts really start flying they’re not enough. With a joystick, Hyper Light Drifter‘s tight, lightning-fast movement shines. (For similar gameplay that works in one-handed portrait mode, Immortal Rogue is basically Hyper Light Drifter stripped down for mobile, and it’s pretty good!)


Rogue Legacy


The vintage NES-style platforming displayed in this game is best served by a classic d-pad rather than a joystick. I found the Xbox pad fairly comfortable but those with shorter thumbs may prefer a PS4-style controller with the d-pad placed at the top. Rogue Legacy was in the first wave of the platforming roguelike revolution on the PC, and it’s main innovation was adding random mutations to your hero, not all of which are helpful. Hypochondria, for instance, exaggerates the damage you take, while near-sightedness makes everything far away blurry.


Crypt of the Necrodancer: Amplified


Likewise, the grid-based movement in this rhythm-game/roguelike hybrid really benefits from a directional pad. This is one of the games that still worked pretty well with touch controls: basic swipes move your avatar and that’s it — combat and other interactions are handled automatically. Still, swipes aren’t the most precise motion to try to time to a beat. The game takes full advantage of its simplified control scheme to build interesting challenges that are all the more challenging for being executed on a beat. Your weapons hit automatically, but in unusual patterns; some enemies aren’t a threat on every other beat; you only have until the end of the song to finish the floor.


Gris


It takes something special for a narrative puzzle-platformer to stand out in this day and age, but Gris has that special sauce. A combination of a delicately-told story and beautiful music and animation makes Gris a journey worth taking, even though the puzzles and platforming isn’t the most challenging. It’s not a twitchy game, so the onscreen controls work okay, but it’s worth pulling out the gamepad just so you don’t have your fat thumbs covering up the gorgeous artwork.


Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap


A really truly classic platform game, Wonder Boy is a remake of a 1989 Sega Master System title. The old-school platforming challenge has survived the adaptation intact, with awesome new animated art replacing the original pixel graphics. The touch controls are not great in this case, with buttons that are too big for a phone screen and too small for a tablet. You’re better off playing the game it was meant to be played thirty (!!) years ago: with some real buttons.


Journey


Another recent iOS port from a previous generation, this Playstation 3 hit is a great fit for iOS, even with touch controls. However, controller support was added after launch, and it makes a big difference in the Journey experience, especially for controlling the camera in the platforming sections of the game. If you liked Sky: Children of the Light by the same developer, you should definitely pick up this one too.


Best Apple Arcade Games to play with a Controller


If you’re an Apple Arcade subscriber, there’s several games there that do great with a gamepad:

  • Bradwell Conspiracy‘s first person puzzling benefits from joysticks
  • EarthNight is a very cool endless runner
  • Hot Lava is unplayable with touch controls
  • Sayonara Wild Hearts will hit the beat much more easily with buttons
  • Shantae is another great traditional platformer
  • Exit the Gungeon‘s bullet-hell arena is much more fun with your thumbs off the screen

Do you have any games you enjoy playing with a controller? Or a controller that you enjoy using with your tablet? Let us know in the comments!



https://www.sickgaming.net/blog/2019/12/...ontroller/
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