One of the challenges that comes with dipping a toe into the PC gaming pool is finding a suitable control setup–especially if you’re making the jump from the PS3, Xbox 360, or home video game consoles. You can certainly attempt to game with a mouse/keyboard combo, but if that isn’t your thing, the $9.95 MiniStick may be an item of interest. Depending on the type of games that you like to play, that is.
The accessory’s insert has the setup instructions. You place three self-adhesive, Velcro-like loop pads on either the WASD keys or the up, right, and left arrows–whichever is your preferred control scheme. Note: It’s recommend that you tweak your keyboard options by setting Repeat Delay to Short and Repeat Rate to Fast. Find out how to do that here.
I plopped the MiniStick on my PC’s arrow keys and fired up the Broforce demo, a 2D run-and-gun shooter that is a throwback to ’80s action titles à la The Expendables. I ran through levels and bucked guns with ease. I liked that MiniStick reduces the wrist strain that comes with directly manipulating the arrow keys. Note: If you place the MiniStick over WASD, make sure that you don’t need the Q or E keys because they will be damn near impossible to hit.
That said, MiniStick didn’t fare nearly as well in one of my favorite genres: The bullet hell shooter. The fast direction changes that comes with dodging bullet sprays wears on controllers, and MiniStick is no different; it popped off the keyboard several times during an intense Jamestown session. That was a bit disappointing, but expected considering that it’s not a natural part of the keyboard.
So, should you get MiniStick? Honestly, it depends on your usage model. It excels with simple arcade-style games, but anything more complex may prove troublesome. At $10, MiniStick may be worth the cash, but be aware of its limitation.
Note: Image comes courtesy of Goozer Nation!