Duo Gamer review review: An iPad game controller, but not the one you want

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CNET Editors' Rating

1.5 stars Poor
  • Overall: 3.0
  • Design: 4.0
  • Features: 5.0
  • Performance: 4.0

Average User Rating

4 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Duo Gamer is wireless, has dual analog sticks, and works as a game controller when the iPad is connected to a large-screen TV.

The Bad An $80 price is insane, it feels clunky, and it only works with a limited batch of Gameloft games. You'd better love Gameloft.

The Bottom Line The good news: the iPad has a game controller. The bad news: it only works with a few games. Meet the awkward Duo Gamer.

Editors' Top Picks

I've always wanted a physical game controller for the iPad . So, when I first heard about the Duo Gamer, I was ecstatic. This was the device the iPad needed: a stand and a simple dual-analog-stick game pad to turn your little tablet into an effective miniature game console.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Discovery Bay Games' Duo Gamer has a big drawback, though. Actually, two of them. The first: this game pad, quizzically and paradoxically, only works with Gameloft titles. And, not even all of those: right now, the Duo Gamer is only compatible with Asphalt 7: Heat, Modern Combat 3, Order & Chaos Online, Brothers in Arms 2, and N.O.V.A 3, with "more to come."

The second is the price: $80. That's higher than any console game controller, and as much money as the iCade arcade cabinet. For this little plastic Bluetooth puck of a controller, it feels like a joke. It has to be a joke, right?

Sarah Tew/CNET

Alas, no. Discovery Bay Games claims that part of why the Duo Gamer only works with one publisher's set of games has to do with the rules of creating accessories for App Store titles. Whatever the reason, the end result is that this is a hobbled product. The iCade somehow managed to work with a whole growing family of indie games and retro classics; the Duo Gamer's limited-use library means that you won't be bringing this out every day, or, probably, at all.

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Where to Buy See All

Discovery Bay Games Duo Gamer Controller

Part Number: CNET-Duo-Gamer Released: Oct. 3, 2012
MSRP: $79.99 Low Price: $6.19 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct. 3, 2012
  • Wireless Technology Bluetooth
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Compatibility Mac
About The Author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.