Have you ever wondered how it would be like to play games with your feet? Or ever wanted more buttons then you fingers could handle? Now with the Stinkyboard, that problem is somewhat solved. Stinkyboard is a device which has four programmable buttons in all four directions, and it is applied under your feet. The idea is then to push the foot in the desired direction, which enables the key binding for that direction. I will go further in detail on how this work in my review of the Stinkyboard, where you can also read on how it plays in games, and if it is comfortable for the foot. So stay and read, because your foot might need some gaming love.
The first thing to do before playing with the Stinkyboard is let your foot rest on it, and try out the four angels which have buttons in them, to see if you want to add or remove some springs, to make it more comfortable. Once you feel, or rather, don’t really feel the board that much, it is time to plug and play. After plugging the board to your computer via a USB cable, you are free to bind whatever keys you want to the board. The software for setting this up is very easy to follow thanks to the interface, and makes the key-binding process one of the easiest one I have encountered with hardware plugged in. You can choose to bind single buttons or a two button combo, and also supports some in game modifiers, making it rather customizable with up to sixteen total key bindings. They can work in pairs, making it fully possible to use two Stinkyboards and having the possibility to do most of your gaming with the feet. This is something I will go further into later, since this does open up for people without the possibility to game with both hands.
To test the capabilities of the Stinkyboard, I tested it while playing two different games, to see how it holds up in both fast paced shooters, and in both PvE and PvP in MMORPGs. The games I will focus on are Titanfall and Guild Wars 2, and both games will get its own section in the review. But before going into the games, let’s continue on with the board itself. As mentioned in the earlier section, the board can be customized, and this also goes for the board, not just the buttons. With the board comes three different springs in the colors of red, green and blue, this all have a different resistance, where red is the harder one and blue the lighter one. Under the board there are screws under each of the buttons, where you can change the spring to make the board have the resistance you would like it to have. This does sound great in theory, but I found all three springs to feel almost identical to each other, and they all felt a little light, making me press the wrong button at multiple times.
First off I started using it in Titanfall, binding the keys to critical commands such as jumping, melee, grenade and my stealth skill. And I have to say, after getting use to the board, it really made playing a little easier and more fun, at least for a short while. That being said, it came to a huge price for my foot, while it did make playing easier and less to think about, it also put a lot of strain on my ankle and foot given the high frequency I had to use those buttons. The idea is to have you foot rest on the Stinkyboard and only push it in the direction of the key you want to use, but I found myself having to lift the foot and press down at the button I wanted to press. And since I chose buttons which I use more or less all the time, I ended up with having my foot above the board between the presses, instead of resting on it. While this mainly is a problem for binding keys which you use often, it is still a huge problem with the device. I also did try binding keys which I don’t use that often and at this point I could rest my foot more, but the board itself felt very obsolete when binding it to keys I seldom use.
Leaving a fast paced Titanfall behind, I decided to try it out Guild Wars 2. Even if it is fast paced in contrast to other MMORPGs out there, it is not down to the fraction of a second like Titanfall. In structured Pvp I found the same problem with the board as in Titanfall, it is too big and too sensitive, making your foot hang in the air between the button presses with the foot. But in Pve, and mainly in the area missions, it was quite nice to lie back and only play with the foot on the board and one hand on the mouse, not to the point that I would do very often, but a nice and chilled break. This opened my mind to how good the board would work with a gamepad, both connected to a PC, but mainly while playing on consoles. This would open up to a better button configuration on consoles and open up for a more advance UI in console games. But sadly it only works with computers at this time.
The Stinkyboard is a fun invention, even if it has in my opinion a very stupid name, making it hard to talk about it without joking about in a bad way, but it is a fun device. Sadly it never lives up to the potential that this kind of a device can reach, where the Stinkyboard is a little too big, even for a person with big feet like me. The spring customization could also be taken to another level. Where it would really have a big effect on the board depending on what springs you use, now it is to responsive even to the harder springs. All this points are from the two-arm and two-hand point of view, if we instead focusing on the device as a gaming device for those who cannot play with both hands, but have working two feet, this is a great device. Despite its downfalls to the two-handed gamer, if a person only have one or no hands to play with, two Stinkyboards could make a huge different for that person, which is the biggest reason for keeping the review score higher. In the end, the Stinkyboard is an expensive gimmick you can add to your gaming device library, which you will use in short sessions and probably forget in the closet, since it really doesn’t add anything to the gaming experience. But if you for some reason only are able to use one arm/hand, this is a great tool for you to get further into the world of gaming.
+ Fun device
+ Easy and intuitive software
+ Great for people with limited arm/hand use
– Too big and too responsive
– Only fun in very short sessions
– Doesn’t enhance the gameplay
Rating : 5/10Related: Guild Wars 2, Peripheral, Review, Stinkyboard, Titanfall