Joypad has released an app of the same name that turns iPads into consoles and iPhones into controllers.
Speaking to Polygon, one of the developers of Joypad, Todd Hamilton, said that they devised the Joypad as a solution to a common problem: lots of people like iPad games, but few like the controls. They decided to solve the problem using devices that people are already likely to own.
"There's no replacing hardware controls for certain types of games," Hamilton says. "But for many genres, like platformers, arcade, racing and flying, virtual controls work really well.
"We put a lot of effort into making the virtual controls intuitive to the gamer. Super Crate Box is a great example — the controller feels natural after only a minute of playing."
"We put a lot of effort into making the virtual controls intuitive to the gamer."
Hamilton believes that moving the controls to a second screen not only improves the experience (players' fingers are no longer covering the game they're playing), but it also opens up opportunities for new kinds of gameplay.
The team has already collaborated with a number of well-known mobile developers to integrate Joypad controls. Hamilton says that for basic integration, it takes approximately two hours. Custom integrations such as a skinned controller or changing layouts can be done in less than a day.
Games that are currently compatible with Joypad include Super Crate Box, Bean's Quest, Infinity Field HD, Star Dash, Meganoid, Darkside and many more. The Joypad SDK is available to download from its official website for free. Both apps for the iPad and iPhone are free on the iTunes App Store.