KontrolFreek’s latest controller augmentation is the Rcade Freek. This new dome adapter attaches to thumbsticks from PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and OnLive first-party controllers. The Rcade Freek sells for $9.99 a pair and easily clips on the controller thumbsticks. KontrolFreek says that the Rcade Freek’s function is to emulate a joystick-like arcade experience. I took the domed duo for a spin on one of my favorite retro remakes, PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX.
At first, I tried the Rcade Freek similar to how KontrolFreek’s other controller add-ons function, using my thumbs to maneuver the extended distance. My thumbs clearly struggled and strained using that method, however an alternative thumb and index finger grip proved much better. Cruising through the mazes in PAC-MAN CE DX was snappy and I actually enjoyed the mini-joystick feel.
The Rcade Freek felt much more firm on Xbox 360 controller than the PS3’s Dualshock controller (which popped off at one point during a tense moment escaping ghosts). Easing up the push on the PS3 controller sticks avoided any further mishaps. The experience on PAC-MAN CE DX was a joy, and I will most definitely continue to use them with the game. Other games I gave the Rcade Freek a test on included some arcade classics like Frogger and the 1989 classic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Both games played well with the Rcade Freek using the thumb and index finger control method. KontrolFreek recommends the Rcade Freek for fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter games as well.
Initially, I wasn’t sure if the thumb control method would work well with the extension required for the reach. But I really enjoyed using what amounts to mini-joysticks on PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX. Taking corners was a breeze as well as sliding against maze edges for speed boosts. Players familiar with the old school Coleco PAC-MAN portables may remember how these mini joystick controls felt. The Rcade Freek does have larger domes. The Rcade Freek is a fun way to spice up retro favorites or remixes.
A pair of Rcade Freeks come packed in retro flair (love the pixel baddies on the packaging!) and are currently available for $9.99 in a high-polished black finish. More colors will be available in the future. For more details and FAQs on the Rcade Freek, check out www.kontrolfreek.com.
See more images of the Rcade Freek below (or here).