Review: The Zeemote Android Bluetooth Game Controller

The one bummer about gaming on an Android device?

You’re holding the screen displaying your game with the hands that are also trying to interact with the game. Putting your tablet in a stand won’t always work as then you’re doing an awkward pointer-finger-holding-my-arm-out dance with your device.

If only there were a small wireless joystick-like piece of gear which could help us alleviate some of this gaming burden… 

The Zeemote is a small wireless joystick-like piece of gear, aiming to help us alleviate some of our tablet gaming burdens.

It’s a very simple arrangement: One analog stick and three controller buttons. It connects to your device over Bluetooth, and is powered by a pair of AAA batteries. The manufacturer claims 50 hours of gaming on two AAA’s, though I wish there was a rechargeable battery instead (I’ll just have to use my rechargeable AAA’s I ‘spose). Plus their logo looks like Trogdor. A substantial plus in my book.

Zeemote is a lot smaller than I expected it to be. It fits in the hand very comfortably, and barely attracts any attention when in use. I swear my wife thought I was playing games on my tablet via telekinesis the first time she saw me using it.

Does it make gaming better?

Yes. After a little learning curve. The analog stick has a great feel to it, but after getting used to on-screen controls, it took me a little while to re-acclimate to tactile controls. A couple hours back on the stick, and it was peanut butter jelly time.

It’s pretty great being able to prop up a tablet, and not having to do that awkward “how do I hold it and play comfortably” dance.

The only downside is there aren’t a lot of games that support it. Zeemote has a small (and growing) list on their website, but there are only about twenty titles that will work. On that list are a couple of my faves: R-Type, Running Fred, and Mini-Squadron, but pickings are slim at the moment. Also, it’s unlikely we’ll see support for shooters like ShadowGun–as that would require dual sticks.

All in all, it’s an interesting gadget for $30. Currently it looks like it’s available solely through Amazon. If it supports a game you like to play, then there’s no better way to play. Hopefully we’ll see more games supported soon…

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2 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    I know this isn’t it’s intended use but can you also control media functions through the ZeeMote? If so, can you connect to an A2DP device (eg car) and use this remote to switch tracks?

    I might pick one up if it can do that too as I really need a separate media remote from my media connection.

    • Juan Carlos Bagnell says:

      I thought about that too. I was hoping it could be used as a mouse pointer. Could be really cool for presentations. The Zeemote only responds to the bluetooth controller profile (not HID), and only with apps that have been coded to recognize the zeemote specifically.

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