I have just started playing Learn With Pokemon Typing Adventure for DS, which is a typing trainer game where you type the Pokemon names in order to research them. It comes with a tidy little wireless keyboard and a stand to put your DS on. It’s a cool bundle.
I knew I would enjoy (and be relatively good at) it because of my exposure to the most amazing of all typing games, Typing of the Dead, which I am damn well awesome at. I’ve played the Dreamcast version and also Typing of the Dead Overkill on Steam. I love the concept of typing words to kill nasties, rather than shooting at them (usually I am woeful at shooting games, but I am not too bad at the House of the Dead franchise).
Anyway, it got me thinking about what other unusual peripherals are used for games. There are some obvious ones, like light guns, fighting sticks, steering wheels, flight decks, dance mats, microphones, guitar controllers for Guitar Hero and Rock Band (as well as drum kits!), EyeToy, WiiFit balance board, and turntables for DJ Hero (or more originally, Beatmania which is the DJ predecessor in my opinion!). Guitar Hero on the DS also has a weird glove peripheral which is crippling to use. The Wii has some for its sports games too, but they are more extensions of the existing controllers than actual necessary peripherals. I guess I should also mention Skylanders for its characters and portal device.
Thinking over my collection and what other peripherals we have I can recall some cool ones.
Samba de Amigo maracas
Originally for Dreamcast and repurposed for the Wii, my memories of this game are in the early courtship with my now husband. I arrived at his house one night, knocked on the door, and heard samba music playing loudly. Waited for him to answer and when he finally did, he was dressed in a tanktop and shorts, dripping in sweat, maracas in hand. I knew it was love.
Donkey Konga bongos
A piece of Gamecube gold which I think is what inspired me to buy a set of bongo drums for my husband one birthday/Christmas. Jungle Beat was another game in the series I believe.
Arkanoid DS paddle controller
It’s really the only way to play it. I think it works with Space Invaders too.
Buzz Quiz buzzers
Fun for the whole family. Unless the family gangs up on you. I believe there are some non-Buzz games that you can use the buzzers for, but why would you play anything but the original. Jason Donovan, people!
Sega Bass Fishing rod and reel
I haven’t played it myself, butit does look awesome. So ignore my words and just look at the picture. You were probably doing that anyway.
WarioWare Twisted gyro sensor
So technically it was part of the game, but it deserves a mention.
I’ve also seen a skateboard peripheral for Tony Hawk or a similar skating game. Post in the comments if you have any that are missing from my list (most likely Japanese releases, they often get crazy accessories!)
EDIT: A friend on Twitter reminded me: