Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AppGear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I first experienced augmented reality, I was rather amazed. Through the computer's camera lens, I was able to see something that really wasn't there in real life. But, it was there! But, it really wasn't. 

You could talk about augmented reality to someone who has never experienced it first hand, and that would still not be enough to explain just how transformative an experience it is. I've tried, too — explaining that it's a lot like finally being able to see something like an imaginary friend. With special glasses, a completely different world opens up to you. 

I see "AR" apps aplenty, but few as immersive as I would want them to be. As someone who is more of a casual gamer, I definitely appreciate gaming experiences that are simple to understand, visually compelling, and addictive. 

I picked up the AppGear Elite CommandAR, inserted the required array of batteries, plugged the audio cable into my smartphone's headphone jack, installed a compatible game, and… was firing away at moving targets within moments. Then, I was laughing — having almost too much fun, spinning around my home office and trying to target these floating orbs that weren't really there.

Elite CommandAR in Action

It was the controller that made all the difference to me, to tell you the truth. I've played AR games on smartphone surfaces alone — and while they're certainly fine, there's something to be said about holding onto an object that further thrusts you into an experience that an augmented reality world can provide. 

The Elite CommandAR was light enough to hold onto for a period of time without introducing too much fatigue. Of course, I'm really not accustomed to holding my arms out or up for anything for tasks that take longer than a minute — and, yes, this toy gun (despite appearing like it would work with a single hand) was designed to be held by both hands. The trigger could be pulled comfortably by either pointer finger — but the other controls were positioned and optimized for left-handed operation (while holding onto the gun's grip with your right hand). 

The trigger was quite responsive; I never felt like there was a delay in between the time I'd press a button and something would happen on-screen. Same goes for any of the other controller buttons. 

The suggested games, themselves, were engaging enough to keep me from wanting to put the plastic pistol down! I found myself walking to a more open space (than what's available to me in my home office), spinning around to fight virtual enemies through a very comfortable viewfinder — my smartphone. 

And that's the kicker: not only does it work well with iOS, but Android as well. Too many products these days are locked into a single vertical. This way, you could battle a friend in the 2-player co-op mode and not have to be running on the same smartphone platform.

Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review

So, yeah — you could continue to play games on that single flat screen device. But when it comes to first-person shooters… I tell ya, I'd rather be holding onto something that feels like a gun instead of merely tapping a screen. It's far more compelling an experience that way — and the Elite CommandAR provides a perfect compliment to software that's easy to manage and plays well.

I'd much rather play a game on my smartphone than connect to a cumbersome console. With Elite CommandAR, I was untethered and free to take the screen with me wherever I wanted to play. Mobile gaming, as I've been saying for years, will kill consoles eventually — and these types of accessories serve to bring that future into the present. 

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8 thoughts on “Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review”

  1. Sorry to bother, but I have to disagree on that last part. As long as console gaming offers far more complex or rather complete experiences than cheap phone-games, console gaming will keep being alive.

  2. I think you are both wrong :p

    Video gaming is expanding, not shifting…

    Hardcore gamers will always choose dedicated gaming devices (consoles, gaming pcs, etc.) over the rest.

    What’s happening is an expansion towards the more casual gamers, or the, as-of-recently, non-gamers, who find the use of a device they already own for something else (phone, tablet, mediaplayer) a more comfotable choice for gaming needs.

    This is not about consoles dying, nor casual gaming overtaking, this is about expanding the gaming industry’s audience.

    Chris, you should have known better not to compare those two worlds. This is just like that silly question you hear: “Kindle paperwhite or the new iPad?”

  3. I agree with “Tympakianakis”. Video games are currently the youngest mainstream entertainment medium. And like many other mediums over time it has/ will expanded to become something that appeals to anyone.

    However Chris, just because one form of the medium has become more prevalent in recent years that won’t stop the people who currently enjoy the more “traditional” form of video games from continuing to to enjoy consoles or PC games.

    Consoles, PC, and smartphones all offer far different forms of video games that appeal to different people for different reasons; in the same way that there are different genres of films, TV or books. Just because action movies are popular that doesn’t stop documentaries from being made or being successful.

    Because of the iPhone’s lack of multiple buttons it is (for the most part) unable offer versions of many genres that are possible on other platforms. But it is also true that console can’t offer versions of games like Cut the Rope, because their traditional control input is not well suited to it.

    Accessories that try to fix this problem or add ways to play games differently are not new to any platform, and are in no way an applicable answer to these problems because not all consumers will own them so not many developers will be willing to support them.

    To date over 160 million iPhone units have been sold, and also to date over 150 million DS units have been sold (not including 3DS). Whilst the DS has been out for longer the iPhone appeals to a wider ranged. There is most likely a large overlap for users base of both devises, as well as many people who own a DS but not an iPhone (and vice versa), and many iPhone users who have never downloaded a video games app.

    TLDR: The point I’m trying to make here in all this text is that, I highly doubt that there will ever be a convergence in people play video games. The interactive aspect to video games (which no other medium offers) and the many different methods of control input (controller, keyboard & mouse, touch screen, motion controls, AR, light guns/ infra red pointer, etc) mean that I won’t be possible for a single device to offer all these variation in the ways we play our games without being incredible expensive overly complicated and quite niche. One form of the medium won’t suddenly over take and wipe out the other, unless the newer form can offer everything the older form could and can do it better. Which frankly smartphones can’t do.

    And besides we can’t even currently converge in a single way to experience other forms of entertainment that are less complex, so how are we going to do that with video games I can watch a film in the cinema or I could stream via an internet service or I could buy the rights to watch the film forever on a physical disc copy etc.

    This is my first comment on your site and hopefully you appreciate it. :D

  4. I was mad when I got this for my S3 for Christmas and the holster was too small to hold my phone. MOGA thought ahead.

  5. It’s totally adjustable? I use my S3 with Elite CommandAR perfectly. Did you try the button the side of the adjuster that lets you fit in any phone, even my friends Galaxy Note II worked in the holster…

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