Put on the popcorn, plugin Super Mario Party, and grab Snakebyte’s newest as we see what the latest Snakebyte controllers are capable of in our Switch Snakebyte Multi:Playcon Review.
Billed as an affordable side dish for party situations, Snakebyte’s latest Switch peripheral is a diminutive set of wireless controllers that provide room for player three, four, or more when getting friends round for dinner, or just a messy game of Overcooked. When Nintendo launched the Switch, it promoted the mobile powerhouse as a party machine. Promotional material pictured friends laughing around a game. This failed to communicate quite how irritating it is to contort your hands around a detached JoyCon controller while attempting to avoid blue shells or get an order out in time.
The Right Fit
The Snakebyte Multi:Playcon, much like the 8BitDo Zero 2 controllers, are squarely aimed at providing an affordable alternative to the official Joycons or bulky Pro Controller. At €39,99 / £35.99 on the Snakebyte website for a set of two they certainly seem like good value. Opening up the retail packaging for the first time, there isn’t a whole lot of to get caught up with. Two controllers are accompanied by the normal warranty documentation and a micro USB cable for charging the devices. Available in a subdued gray and black combination or a startling orange and grey twin set, the Snakyebyte Multi:Playcon controllers are hard to miss. Even up against the purple and sky blue hues of the odd Joycon, these rounded controllers have a unique tongue in cheek aesthetic that might not go over too well with the serious gamer. However, a peripheral that is clearly made for fun has some decent function to it.
In hand, the controller might is not as ergonomic as Snakebyte’s own Game:Pad S Pro but it is lightyears ahead of the rectangular stick that crouches between your fingers when you slide a Joycon off either end of the Nintendo switch. The rounded corners, easy grip, and sizable shoulder buttons provide ample area to engage with the Snakehbyte controller. The inhuman contortions that the standard Joycon controller necessitate are unlikely to befall you. To top off this revelation, the buttons set into this portable bit of plastic even feel adequately tactile when ushering Kirby across another level. Equally, the Snakeybte peripherals provide solid response over their Bluetooth connection. While we didn’t test the extremes of the controller’s connectivity, I still managed around 10m with direct line of sight. Beyond this, you’re going to be at the back of any grid anyhow. Players getting to grips can also expect around 10 hours of life out of each controller, all of which make for some pretty competent carry out controllers.
Of course, it isn’t all smiles. In fact, the Bluetooth grin of the Snakebyte MultiPlaycon and the accompanying color scheme are going to be incredibly divisive for some gamers. It’s not like the Switch isn’t outlandish in its own right but the MultiPlaycon’s orange and blue variant doesn’t exactly coordinate with the existing Joycon sets. While the pair of portable controllers do indeed have rumble feedback, they lack some of the other features that exist in more premium options. Specifically, the HD rumble that was such a massive selling feature during the Switch launch is missing and they seem to lack a gyroscope too. This limits their usefulness in some multiplayer titles like Mario Party.
Admittedly, Snakebyte does make it very clear that these new devices are not intended to replace the Joycons on either end of a standard Nintendo Switch but this does raise the question why Snakebyte almost entirely duplicated the button functionality of separated Joycons rather than add dedicated home, capture, plus and minus buttons on each Multi:Playcon.
A Podium Placing?
When the racers see the chequered flag the Snakebyte MultiPlaycon turns out to be a solid competitor that deserves some consideration in this review. The Snakebyte Multi:Playcon are a great fit between the fingers and an ergonomically pleasing choice. While the original Joycon or even the 8BitDo Zero 2 can cause some finger fatigue, these are a great balance of portability and control. Sitting at a similar price per controller as the 8BitDo variant and boasting something around 10 hours of play time, the Snakebyte MultiPlaycon is clearly made to take your competition on the road. While the aesthetic might not be as premium as others and I might not find it quite as enticing as the Game:Mouse Ultra they are still definately worth a look.