Category: Utilities / Gaming
By: Sound Tang, Victor Chow
Compatible devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 2.2.1 or later. Works with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
Plomonet rating: 7/10
There are many games that were traditionally played with a joystick, or a gamepad that have been emulated on to the computer, such as Pokémon Fire Red, which was originally released for the Gameboy Advance. Whilst it is possible to play with only the keyboard, the experience may not be the same. WifiPad allows you to use your iPhone, iPod touch or even iPad as a wireless gamepad that connects over Wi-Fi to your computer.
The requirements for WifiPad to run is: the WifiPad app on the device from the App Store, and the WifiPad server for the computer from the WifiPad website. Both the computer and the device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Using the WifiPad Server, you can name your server (default is your computer username), and change the gamekey map to fit your game. It is also possible to create multiple gamepads, so that you can choose the gamepad for the game you are about to play.
It is possible to find or create gamepads for any type of games on the computer. On the WifiPad website, there are many gamepads designed by other users for specific games or consoles (http://www.wifipad.com/getgamepads.php). Below is an example of a user playing halo with a WifiPad gamepad:
Although the idea of WifiPad is sound, there are some problems that have not been smoothed out yet since it is not yet a mature product. Some of the problems, as acknowledged on the WifiPad website are: the stability of the game play is limited by the strength of the Wi-Fi network, the gamepad might disconnect or have sporadically connection; not all games work well with the WifiPad; and the experience is not 100% the same as physical gamepads.
Users have commented that having an alternative connection (such as Bluetooth), and implementing tactile feedback when the keys are pressed might improve their WifiPad experience.
Overall, WifiPad is a viable free controller for computer games. However, do not expect a perfect experience as it is still in its early stage of development (Ver. 1.1), and WifiPad are aware of limitations in its gameplay. But, do try WifiPad and play old school games such as Donkey Kong with a gamepad instead of the keyboard.