Backbone Review: Mobile Gaming Controller
Recently I've been playing mobile games more and more. Usually just doing some RPGs or a gotcha game here and there. However, recently I really wanted a controller that would make my phone play like a switch. So I set out to find something to make that so. Eventually, I landed on Backbone for IOS.
I got my Backbone a few months ago. Generally playing Chronotrigger on it, and a few shooting games like Call of Duty for my testing. Using it for Call of Duty felt like I had some cheats going. Wasn't rare for me to go 40/0 in my games. I don't know if I was going against bots or what, but it claimed it was against players. I'm assuming I wasn't matched against players that were using a controller though.
For shooting games, the Backbone felt fine. I generally explain that using the Backbone feels like using a switch with the Joy-Cons attached. The sticks feel almost exactly the same, and they are the biggest disappointment for me. They feel really cheap, and not that great. With that said it's probably the only real flaw with the handset. I thoroughly enjoy using it, and it has increased the amount of time I spend playing mobile games. In fact, I recently used it at a family get-together and was promptly scolded by my girlfriend that now is not the time.
The rest of the buttons feel pretty solid. I like the way it rests in my hand, and the clamps on the iPhone itself make it feel secure that it's not going to slide out. This was a huge concern of mine as these phones are extremely expensive. For my testing, I am using an iPhone 11 Max Pro. The phone fits in just fine, and I really don't notice a hit to my battery life. One thing that I really enjoy, and have come to find out it's officially supported is that you can use Moonlight or Rainway with the controller, and it works great! For those of you who are not aware of those products they allow you to play PC games on your Phone. They stream the game from your PC to your phone. You will need a good connection on Wifi to make it happen though. I was able to play Final Fantasy 14 from my bed. It ran at a full 60 fps and I had no issues to report. Other than me sucking at using controllers since I am primarily a PC gamer.
Let's talk about the app itself. It has the basic features that you would expect. You can launch your games or apps directly from the app itself. It has some different selections such as above. There are various different social parts of the app as well. Such as friends lists, and channels to discuss games. Different information on Xbox/PS Remote Play/Steam link/Stadia as well. It also has a breakdown of different genres for games that you may enjoy. I actually really like this feature because for me the App store itself is severely lacking in this.
Overall if you're looking for a controller that turns your phone into a Nintendo Switch then I think you should pick up the Backbone. I really like mine, and I have had a great experience with it. I don't think you could go wrong with it.