In the years since Apple introduced the specs for iPhone-compliant game controllers in 2013, you've had no shortage of options for adding buttons to your iOS bleep-bloop. Good options are another story.
Some controllers embraced Bluetooth. Others resembled Xbox controllers with a cradle for your phone. A few stumbled onto the best layout, adding the buttons and such to the sides and turning the iPhone into something akin to the PlayStation Vita. But most of them felt cheap or imprecise. The Gamevice controller gives the idea a sheen of quality.
You can get the Gamevice controller in iPhone, iPad mini, and iPad Air sizes, and the plastic construction doesn't feel out of step with Apple's anodized aesthetic. It offers four action buttons, a D-Pad, dual analog joysticks, and four front-triggers just like you favorite console controller. It connects to your iPhone with a Lightning connector, and recharges its 400mAh battery via microUSB. And it weighs about one-third of a pound, minimizing fatigue during epic sessions.
It ain't cheap at $100, especially since you could always, you know, just use the on-screen controls. And you run the risk that the iPhone 7 expected this fall won't fit. It's compatible with at over 800 games, which means it's not compatible with many, many more games. You'll want to download the Gamevice Live app first to make sure your favorites are on there.
If they are, and if you're the type who wishes your phone were more like a Vita (it practically is, in terms of game quality) Gamevice deserves a look. For what it's worth, it's the only gaming controller in the Apple Store, which is a pretty big power-up. At the very least, it beats swiping your way through another lonely, thumb curling NBA Jam session.