Game Gripper Review
The Game Gripper is an interesting little add-on for smartphones. The Game Gripper is basically a controller that you place over your physical QWERTY keyboard on your smartphone and is actually a very simple piece of hardware and fairly ingenious. If you have a Samsung Epic 4G, Motorola Droid or Droid 2, LG Ally, Samsung Moment, Nokia N900, Motorola Backflip, or Motorola Devour, and you have an application that emulates console games, then the Game Gripper is a useful addition for you.
Design (4 out of 5)
The Game Gripper is essentially a rubber pad with plastic buttons that poke through the holes strategically placed on the rubber pad. Press down on the plastic button and it will press down onto your QWERTY keyboard. Extremely simplistic, but a great idea nonetheless. Since the rubberized pad covers the majority of the keyboard, you won't accidentally click any other keys. You can buy different types of colors for the Game Gripper, but the design is overall the same.
You have a directional pad on the left and a set of buttons on the right. It looks like a merge of the old Super Nintendo layout, with the boxy shape of the original 8-bit Nintendo, and with some, the added coloring like the X-Box. Overall, for gamers, this design is all too familiar, which is a good thing.
Utility (4 out of 5)
The Game Gripper is extremely useful if you enjoy playing console games on your smartphone.
The rubberized pad fits snugly over the QWERTY keyboard. It's not a piece of hard plastic that won't fit in your bag, in fact, the rubberized pad allows you to just toss it around. It's flexible and bends so you can squeeze it into your pocket if need be.
The Game Gripper does start to slide a bit if you press on the keys too hard or too frantically but that's actually a good thing. It comes with a warning stating that you should not press too hard on the keys as it may damage your QWERTY keyboard. The sliding gives you that reminder that maybe you're pressing too hard. When normally pressing the buttons, it feels comfortable and it's much better than trying to use the physical QWERTY keyboard by itself.
Most people would assume a controller such as this would be good for playing simplistic games like Super Mario or Sonic or Zelda, but you can actually perform some fairly advanced maneuvers. For instance, when playing Street Fighter 2, the Game Gripper helps you pull off moves such as the Dragon Fireball or the Hurricane Kick with Ryu, or the Sonic Boom and Flash Kick with Guile. These moves aren't just maneuvers performed by pressing one key, you actually have to move the directional pad and press the keys. Once again, on the physical keyboard, almost impossible, but with this gripper, it's much easier.
Overall Verdict (4 out of 5)
Overall, if you've got one of the eligible smartphones with a physical QWERTY keyboard, our Game Gripper review shows this is an awesome addition. During long rides or if you're bored, you can simply pull out the Game Gripper, fit it over your keyboard and have a fun time using your smartphone as a game console on the go. It has its slight faults, such as the slipping, but overall it's a solid piece of equipment to add on to your smartphone arsenal. Combined with the low price of $3.99, there's really no reason to avoid it.
Screenshots by author courtesy of Game Gripper