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Curious Kickstarter in Combiform connecting controllers

7:30 PM on 11.16.2012 // Conrad Zimmerman

So, this one is a little strange. Combiform is a connectable controller system, allowing players to join together multiple controllers (using rare earth magnets) and have new gameplay experiences. An example you'll see in the above video is a shoot-em-up where each player controls an individual ship, using tilt controls to move, and joining two player's controllers together merges the ships to become more powerful but also means you have to work with your teammate to control the merged ship.

It's an idea, certainly. Combiform is currently operating a Kickstarter funding drive (their second attempt; an earlier campaign in August was canceled) to produce the controllers, which would be compatible with PC, Mac, iOS and Android. And, with the promised open SDK, I can see some really interesting creative possibilities.

In fact, the video has a perfect example already. I was ready to write off the tech demos found in the first two minutes of the promotional material because they didn't look like fun games to play. Then came Switch, which isn't a "videogame" so much as a computer-assisted game (see: Johan Sebastian Joust) that looks like crazy fun. Two players join four controllers, one in each hand. Two of the controllers will change colors, indicating their positions must be swapped, leading to Twister-like maneuvers.

Switch looks like a good game, and it's the kind of thing that I could see on shelves in toy stores completely independent of anything else. Hell, maybe that should be the next project if the Kickstarter doesn't prove to be a success this time around. Their prospects aren't looking fantastic at this point, with less than $3,000 pledged toward their $90,000 goal as of this writing. Still plenty of time for it to take off, of course, but I feel like the project is a bit too ambitious for its own good as described.

But If they produce Switch -- just Switch -- and can retail it with four (feature-reduced) controllers for around $60, I would buy that instantly. 

Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
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An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

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