Helix gives iPhone gamers a good 'Grip'

If you're really into racing games, flight simulators, first-person shooters, and the like, the Gaming Grip is a must-have accessory.

The iPhone may be many things, but it's no steering wheel. Much as I love using accelerometer controls in racing games such as Jet Car Stunts and air-combat sims like F.A.S.T., the iPhone is just too small to grip comfortably. Consequently, I end up getting frustrated with the games I should be enjoying.

I was skeptical that PosiMotion's Helix Gaming Grip accessory could change that. It looks pretty goofy, and at $19.99, it seems pricey--especially considering that the aforementioned games have a combined price tag of just two bucks.

The Helix Gaming Grip gives you a much better grip on your iPhone or iPod Touch, making certain kinds of games much more enjoyable. PosiMotion

I was wrong. The Gaming Grip is worth every penny, especially if you're serious about games. By adding a rounded, steering wheel-style shell to your iPhone (or  iPod Touch 2G/3G), the Grip makes just about any accelerometer-powered game easier to control and, ultimately, more fun to play.

It took me a while to figure out why I couldn't get my iPhone to snap into the Grip. It turns out that Helix preinstalls the iPod adapter, and it looks so much like a part of the hardware, I didn't realize it needed be removed (a task that's not exactly easy). I know: RTFM, Broida.

With the adapter finally out, my iPhone 3GS popped in easily and securely. Then I starting playing a bunch of games I'd previously abandoned, including the two I mentioned above, Super Monkey Ball, Ground Effect, and Split Second.

The Grip makes a huge difference. True to its name, the Grip gives you something to grip. It's designed to hold your device in either landscape or portrait position, so it works just as well with games like Apache Lander (portrait) as it does with Need For Speed Undercover.

It has another clever design element: cutouts for sync and headphone cords. There's not a lot of clearance for either one, but there's enough to make it work.

I still think the Gaming Grip is overpriced, but for anyone who wants to get the most out of their iPhone-iPod action games, this is an accessory worth having.

 

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