3 Games That Go Beyond The Average Controller Setup

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Playing video games with our favourite controller in hand, or with a trusty mouse and keyboard if you’re a PC player, feels precise, and it’s the way that most of us want to play when we’re unwinding and getting immersed. However, some video games decide to subvert this normality, offering up a unique mode of control that sets them apart from the rest. 

Here are some unique examples of games that go beyond the average controller setup. 

Ring Fit Adventure 

A fairly new fitness game from Nintendo that uses the detachable JoyCon controllers on the Switch, Ring Fit Adventure certainly lives up to Nintendo’s reputation of having some pretty ‘out-there’ add-ons and console designs. Players will strap one controller to their leg, measuring movement below the waist, while the other controller goes into a bendable ring- like contraption, which has a built-in gyroscope and measures force. The bottom of the left JoyCon even has an IR sensor, which can monitor your heartrate. It seems that Nintendo packed a lot of tech into these small controllers, giving them the option to experiment and have fun with what was otherwise just a simple detachable controller. 

Similar to Wii Fit before it, but perhaps a bit more physically taxing and with more of a game element to it (with RPG elements baked-in, such as being able to purchase health and new equipment for your character along the way), Ring Fit Adventure is quite the workout, and pairs up with your Nintendo Switch system to give you reminders on a daily loop, encouraging you to stay healthy while having fun. 

With the growing coronavirus pandemic forcing many people across the globe to self-isolate and stay in their homes through fear of spreading/contracting the virus, many are restricted from going out to exercise in the gym, and need to come up with a workout routine that they can do from the comfort of their own homes. For many, Ring Fit Adventure has become the answer, so much so that the game with its peripherals has sold out completely in China, with important prices going for in the hundreds. 

Adapting To A New Control Scheme - Game development for proprietary peripherals and console hardware in general can be difficult when you don’t have any prior experience (or perhaps just experience developing for one system). Companies like Abstraction games specialise in these sorts of challenges and porting obstacles, with knowledge and expertise in multiple different genres and platforms over the years. 

Donkey Konga 

If you thought that the ring accessory from Ring Fit Adventure was strange, here’s another Nintendo peripheral that’s equally strange, but you might have forgotten about. Donkey Konga was a Donkey Kong spinoff game released for the Gamecube in 2004, in which you used the included bongo drums attachment in order to hit out beats to a matching rhythm. That’s right, bongo drums. 

While Donkey Konga itself doesn’t garner that much attention anymore, The bongo drum controller has transcended the original game it was intended for, and now has a legacy of its own. In true internet joke fashion, speedrunners and competitive players have modded the controller in order to be able to play different games on it, adding to the challenge. One player even went so far as to map the controller in order to play (and complete) the notoriously difficult Dark Souls. The internet never ceases to amaze. 

Pokemon GO 

One of the biggest things to happen in mainstream gaming in recent years, Pokemon Company and Niantic’s Augmented Reality catching game Pokemon GO sparked a phenomenon when it originally launched on mobile devices. Using your phone as a portal into the world of Pokemon, the game has you out and about, exploring local parks, cities and points-of-interest in order to find and catch the little creatures that can pop up from anywhere. 

Raid and gym battles scattered around the world also encourage you to get competitive with other players, or work together in real-time to achieve a common goal. This unique style of play ended up being a hugely social experience for many, and people still meet up at different spots in their local towns and cities to go round together and interact with where they live in a way that they never have before. 

Another game that has been in the news due to coronavirus, developer Niantic has released an update giving players huge discounts on items that allow them to attract Pokemon to their destination, rather than them getting out of the house and roaming around to find them. This is obviously in order to prevent the further spreading of the disease.

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