Available from Amazon – current price: £20.99
My favourite console of all time is the SNES. I don’t think it’s even close; there’s something about that era of 2D gaming – with the faux-3D of Mode 7 and the baby steps into polygonal 3D with games such as Starfox – that is still really special to me. Many – not all, but many – of the games still hold up today and stand tall as timeless examples of fantastic game design.
Not only that, but the console itself – and the controller, particularly – has such a wonderful aesthetic. The ABXY coloured buttons are endlessly appealing to me and can easily draw my attention when used on almost any product (it’s a different story for America of course, with the nice – but nowhere near as appealing – purple SNES colour scheme).
So it is with the TechKen Wireless Game Controller, which is adorned with that wonderful SNES-style colour scheme. Ostensibly a cheap and cheerful wireless Switch controller, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it also works on PC and Android. Despite its reasonable cost, it’s more fully featured than you’d perhaps expect too.
Coming with tilt control and rumble, plus USB-C charging, it’s a nicely designed piece of kit that won’t break the bank. It’s not perfect; the packaging isn’t appealing at all – had I seen this in a store, I would have thought twice about picking it up – and there are some awkward examples of translation on the box and in the manuals. The controller itself feels a little light and plasticky too, unfortunately.
However, the important thing is that it functions well in-game. The face buttons and d-pad don’t look great at first glance, but they feel solid enough in practice. The analogue sticks have a decent level of resistance and of all the buttons, it’s only the L and R triggers that feel somewhat flimsy. There’s a Turbo button – though it’s nice to have this very old-school option, I’ve yet to find much use for it. Rumble is effective but seems a little loud when in use.
It’s good to see all of the functionality here though, including a screenshot button; the lit numbers to denote which controller you’re connected as are another nice touch. It takes a couple of hours at most to charge fully and you’ll get around five hours of play from a single charge (thankfully, you do get a Standard USB to USB-C cable in the box too, making it easy to charge from any standard USB port). Pairing with the console is straightforward; you’ll need to access the console’s menu and ‘discover’ the controller to pair, at which point it registers as a Pro controller.
It’s a decent enough size and though it feels quite plasticky, you’d be hard pressed to find a Switch-compatible Bluetooth controller with similar features at this price. Given the budget level it’s pitched at – and even with the issues I’ve mentioned – it’s hard not to be satisfied with this controller, especially in those lovely SNES colours, which do set it apart.
I don’t think there’s any feeling that it’s even trying to be a premium product, but there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. It fills a niche, being a cheaply priced alternative for Switch owners looking for more traditional controller options than the Joy-Cons. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well it performs and particularly keen on the design, even if it does feel somewhat insubstantial, from a physical point of view.
On the strength of this product alone, I’m quite keen to try out TechKen’s other products; they seem to offer a decent range of Switch controllers, amongst other items. It’d certainly be good to get a feel for where this particular controller sits within their range – it does feel like a budget product in everything but the included features, but is priced reasonably to account for that. If you are a little short of cash but looking for a Pro-style controller for your Switch, you could certainly do worse.
Many thanks to TechKen for providing me with this controller for review purposes.
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