Yesterday’s action/strategy hybrid “Hoardzz Heroes” (sequel to “Hoardzz”) led me to discover a 2013 release that I’d never seen before but is actually surprisingly cool. “Learn the Controller” sounds like something that’d be as exciting as watching water erode a mountainside, but actually has more gameplay than you might think.
Now make no mistake, the gameplay is based around pretty simple mini-games, and freestyle modes where you can create music or draw art, but it was actually fun and full of charm. And I think there’s a utility to it too, as I’ve personally seen how neophytes genuinely can have a hard time getting used to modern controllers. We’ve come a long way from two-button NES controllers, after all, and those who gradually went from very simple gamepads through to slightly more complicated offerings with each generation have an advantage.
So don’t download this for the “Simon Says”-style gameplay, there’s probably not enough meat on its bones for someone who’s experienced with the controller. Nor is its art or music creation best-in-class for XBLIG. Instead get it for that person in your life who is very young, or otherwise new to gaming, and would find this a better way to “Learn the Controller” than repeatedly having their butt handed to them in FPS multiplayer.
Here’s what the publisher (gamemakersanonymous) has to say about the game:
“Teach your children, significant other, or grandparents how to use the Xbox controller with this fun game for learning the buttons! Make art and music in freestyle mode, test out those budding skills by showing the space hamster how fast you are getting, or test your memory by copying robot dance moves! Learn the Controller features unique levels, different audio styles, and plenty of fun.”