Like all iOS controllersat least those that are not merely joysticks and buttons you stick on the screenthe PowerShell$62.00 at Amazon has limited game support. That is a problem with all iOS controls that connect through either Bluetooth or the Lightning connector to the device, but the list of supported games for iCade controllers like the iCade and 8 -Bitty is nearly three times longer. The iCade in particular supports many more classic arcade titles, but lacks enormous, convincing names like The Walking Dead and Bastion. Apple iOS 7 gamepad support will hopefully result in physical control integration that is more extensive and more consistent for the PowerShell and other controllers in the foreseeable future, compared with previous iOS versions’ haphazard gamepad support. This depends on game programmers now out the tools are there but the games still have to be written to use controllers through them.
The PowerShell is longer than the iPhone or iPod Touch thicker although it’s designed to hold, but not much broader. It measures 7.9 by 2.6 by 0.7 inches (HWD); it’s rectangular and slightly arch, with an iPhone-formed hole in the middle complete with Lightning connector. The PowerShell weighs just 4.2 ounces without an iOS device in it, accounting for both its physical controls and built in battery. The back holds a G-shaped logo that glows blue when reddish or active when low on electricity, as well as a big cut-out for the camera of the iPhone (and for easily pushing the iOS device out of the PowerShell when you are not using it). Lastly, the lower right-hand corner of the PowerShell supports a lanyard hole, and a micro USB port a power switch.
The PowerShell’s controls are unfortunately minimalist. It has no dual analog controls, and even its direction pad that is analog feels more like an electronic direction pad that something that can be used for precise motions. The front has four little face buttons ordered in an Xbox-design A/B/X/Y shape, with a Pause/ Start button recessed below 7. Two shoulder buttons round the PowerShell out for a disappointing total of one directional control and six buttons (not counting the Pause/Start button). The movement controls on iOS devices are ostensibly supposed to ease the importance of analog sticks or pads, but my frustrating time with StormRaiders proved that there only are not enough controls to play most 3D games well.
The first-person shooter Dead Cause plays better, but underscores the need for dual analog controls. You use the direction pad to go in the game, and then swipe over the screen with your thumb to train. Like all touch screen controls, this means your thumb will be blocking part of the screen most of the time. Physical controls for both moving and aiming independent in the screen would have made the PowerShell much more useful.
Side- scrolling and reconditioned -camera games gain much more from the PowerShell than first – or third person games. LEGO Lord of the Rings and the PowerShell played pretty well, although the wiggly direction pad did not quite offer the responsiveness of a digital direction pad or the precision of stick or a standard analog pad. Muffin Knight also profited from the PowerStick, and both games felt more satisfying than any on screen controls would offer to browse and assault with the direction pad and face buttons,.
The built in 1,500mAh battery can keep your phone charged for around as long as its own built in battery, which is a fine touch even if the PowerShell is bulkier and has less ability than non-gaming battery cases. Despite the battery drained and not charging the phone, the PowerShell works as a control.
The Logitech PowerShell is a good thought done haphazardly. With just one wiggly way pad that’s allegedly analog but really merely feels six control and unresponsive buttons, it’s underequipped for the form of games it wants to command. At $100, unless you don’t mind dealing with 3D games and love retro games, the PowerShell is a pricey novelty that fails to live up to its potential.