Backbone One Mobile Controller Review: 2022

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

When I find a game I like, it’s hard to walk away. That said, it’s also hard for me to carve out time to relax and dive into the game for a few hours when I have chores to do, dogs to walk, and appointments to stop being late. As a result, I usually don’t play much when I’m at home. And while I love my Switch, it’s just too big to fit in most of the bags I take with me when I leave my apartment, so it ends up gathering dust in its dock until I go. have time to sit on the couch and play a game or two.

Like a Switch or Steam Deck, the Backbone has joysticks and buttons on both sides of its controls, and they’re all comfortable and fun to use even for long gaming sessions. It works with games you’ve downloaded from the App Store (as long as the developer has added support for hardware controllers), such as Retro bowl Where The shot is reborn, and it is compatible with cloud gaming services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming. Apple Arcade has an impressive library of games designed to work with hardware controllers as well, so even if you can’t play Switch games with the Backbone, you still have plenty of options.

At the bottom of the controller there is a 3.5mm. headphone jack (or of course you can use wireless headphones) as well as a USB-C or Lightning port (depending on whether you have the Android or iPhone model) for charging so your battery won’t drip during a game of Fortnite. The Backbone itself is powered by the phone’s battery, and it doesn’t require a Bluetooth connection to operate, so you don’t have to worry about recharging your battery before going out – just drop it in a bag and you’ everything is ready.

This convenience is where the Backbone shines. Sure, a Switch or a Steam Deck can fit in most backpacks without too much hassle, but I always have my phone on me anyway, and an iPhone plus a Backbone can easily fit in most little ones bags, fanny packs or even a suitably sized clutch. The added portability – and the console-like experience the Backbone delivers when paired with a good game – has turned gaming on my iPhone into a first-class experience that can follow me almost anywhere.

If I have a little time while I wait for my doctor’s appointment or have a long drive ahead of me, I can pull out the Backbone, pop my phone in, and lose myself in one of my favorite games. It can be a simple roguelike card game like kill the arrow where I can get through a few rounds pretty quickly, a day of hard work on my farm in Stardew Valleyor a dive into the zombie-infested world of The last of us through Playstation Remote Play. Whatever mood strikes me, there’s a game to match, and I can do it all from my iPhone screen.

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