MOGA Ace Power Review: I have the power!!!
When I made the switch from Android back to iOS (yes, that's a switch people make), I was sad. Not because of iOS or the games/app available from the Apple app store; as a matter of fact, I prefer the gaming choices available to me with Apple. I was sad because I wouldn't be able to use the MOGA Pro Controller with my iPhone.
The MOGA Pro Controller is the best mobile gaming controller I've ever used... and I've tried a lot of crap ones. Then I was told, “Hey Lance, don't worry my dear friend. MOGA makes a controller for iPhones!”
And I was like, “They do?”
To which my friend replied, “Yeah, and it charges your phone too!”
While that is not a conversation that actually happened, the above statements are all true. The MOGA Ace Power is MOGA's controller compatible with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone and 5th generation iPod Touch.
The MOGA Ace Power kinda-sorta has the same layout as an Xbox 360, and while it isn't as comfortable as the Pro Controller I used to use, it's not a bad experience. You have your two analog sticks, your L1/L2 and R1/R2 shoulder buttons for FPS games, D-pad and the typical 'A, B, X, Y' face buttons that are pressure sensitive. The button layout is really good, and the action on the buttons are among the best you'll find for a mobile controller.
The Ace Power collapses and extends to cradle your iPhone or iPod Touch in the center of the controller. While it fits nice and snug in there and looks darn good at the same time, the expanding design adds a certain sense of instability. I feel like I could break it and snap it in half. Luckily, there's a S.M.R.T. Lock feature that secures your iOS device in place after the controller squeezes around it. With it, you can rest assured that your phone isn't going anywhere.
What really makes this controller great is that it has a built-in battery – chargeable via a micro USB – which powers your phone while you play. It gives the gift of extra battery life! As great as that feature is, it would be nice if more games and developers made use of the controller. Right now, the number of of games that support the MOGA Ace Power are small. Hopefully a lot more patch their games to support it. That said, the games that do support it work in perfect unison with the controller. If you're wondering if your games work with the MOGA Ace Power, here's the list of iOS games supported.
Among the games I tried were Call of Duty: Strike Team, Dead Trigger 2, Limbo, LEGO: Lord of the Rings, and Muffin Knight. The FPS games ran like you would expect their console counterparts to, and the controls really shined in those situations. Limbo was a lot easier with the controller instead of touch. However, with LEGO: Lord of the Rings I was forced to use the D-pad for movement instead of the analog sticks. This did not thrill me. That leads to the only real problem I have with the Ace Power – there's not a way to re-map controls. Really, I'm just spoiled with analog sticks over D-pad controls.
That minor gripe aside, I highly recommend the MOGA Ace Power to any mobile gamer sporting an iPhone 5 or newer. It adds a console-like experience to your phone/iPod, and I didn't want to play any games that didn't it didn't support. If older titles patch for compatibility, the MOGA Ace Power becomes a must-buy peripheral for mobile gamers. Oh, and let's not forget that it keeps your battery fresh.