Android Gaming on the Shield

It’s obvious that the Shield is a gaming platform, but how well does it actually game using games from the Android market. I set out basically the second I opened up the Shield to find games that would take advantage of the integrated controller. Nvidia did a great job of helping find games right from the start. When you press the Nvidia button in the middle of the Shield, you are greeted with three options: Shield Games, Shield Store, and PC Games. I will cover the PC Games in the next section, so for now let’s talk about the Shield Games and Shield Store tabs. Nvidia has put together a list of games that they have worked together with the developers to make sure you have a perfect Shield gaming experience. When you go to a game on the store tab, you will find screenshots and if you select to buy the game you are actually taken to the Play Store to purchase the game. Once you pick up a few of the games, you will find the games under the Shield Games tab to make finding games to play much easier.

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There are a lot of racing, flying, and fighting games available in the store. I am willing to bet that most people, no matter their interest, will be able to find a few games that catch their eye. This is a perfect way to get started putting your Shield to use. I myself picked up a selection of games. Here is a short list of what I started with.

Crazy Taxi

Riptide GP2

Skiing Fred

Real Boxing


Zen Pinball HD

GTA Vice City

SG: Deadzone

Sonic Ep II

Some of those games actually came with the Shield and a few others were available for free. So I only ended up picking up a few games at first. Of the games listed, I really enjoyed playing them all, especially Sonic, Auralux, Crazy Taxi, and GTA Vice City. Every one of the games had perfect integration with the shield controller although there were a few times, especially in GTA Vice City, that the game would prompt to press a specific button and I would have no idea what button that it was bound too. Smashing buttons until I found the correct one did the trick in most of those situations though.

I never had an issue with performance on any of the games I tested. This wasn’t a big surprised considering the Shield is the fastest Android device that we have ever tested.

Moving beyond the games suggested I did come across a few others that weren’t listed but still have shield integration. A good example of this was the recently introduced Double Dragon Trilogy. The same goes for basically all of the emulators on the market, especially SuperGNES. I spent a LOT of time playing emulated games on the shield. With an actual controller I was finally able to get into games that I just couldn’t play on my tablets or phones. The best part was I could finally play games that I have put in my game closet that I typically wouldn’t play due to the time needed to get the system out and hook it up to a TV. Frankly, even if I didn’t pick the Shield up for anything else, it has to be the best device on the market for playing your old game collections.

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What about games without controller support? Well games without controller support basically fall into three categories. There are some games that just won’t work well on the shield at all, due to the games forcing a sideways orientation. Nvidia actually has a program to force orientation available in the Shield Store, I really should pick this up and give it a try. The next type of game are games that just wouldn’t work without using the touch screen. These games are still playable on the shield, but they won’t always play as easily as they would on a smaller device. The Shield has a nice touchscreen, but the device itself isn’t really designed for you to put it to use very much.

The last type of game are games that don’t have controller support, but have basic controls in game. Nvidia developed their own program called Gamepad Mapper specifically for these games. You can access Gamepad Mapper by pressing and holding the start button. This brings up options to bind each of the Shields controls to on screen actions. To toy around with this I played a silly game called Fortlifting that didn’t have shield support. I was able to create controls that that got the job done, although not perfectly. I really don’t think Nvidia could provide a better tool though. To make things even better, if people have uploaded controls for a game, you can actually download them without having to make your own. This effectively gives most games Shield support when possible. 

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #33495 20 Dec 2013 18:05
I hope everyone is having a nice Friday and getting ready for the crazy week we will all have next week. Today I have a special review, a look at the Nvidia Shield. Please let me know what you think!
Plague's Avatar
Plague replied the topic: #33499 20 Dec 2013 18:55
question the first graphic in the benchmark section doesn't have the shield listed, was that correct?
garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #33503 20 Dec 2013 19:27
Thanks for pointing that out, that is an old benchmark that wouldn't let me run anylonger
Plague's Avatar
Plague replied the topic: #33504 20 Dec 2013 21:49

garfi3ld wrote: Thanks for pointing that out, that is an old benchmark that wouldn't let me run anylonger

ahh well that explains that. hehe

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