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The Atari Mindlink and other outrageous controllers

By Chris Scullion on Monday 10th Mar 2014 at 4:40 PM UTC

Every now and then, someone has a brilliant flash of inspiration and tries to re-invent the video game controller.

Not content with the standard offerings provided by the likes of Nintendo, Sega, Sony or Microsoft, third parties will occasionally decide to come up with something a little quirkier to keep things interesting.

On rare occasions, mostly involving rhythm games, these odd new controllers are actually quite functional work (as anyone who's ever played Donkey Konga or the original version of Samba De Amigo will confirm). Most of the time, though, these creations fail for a number of reasons: lack of support, players' unwillingness to learn a new control scheme, or (as is usually the case) they're just horrible controllers.

Here's our pick of some of the more unusual controllers we've seen over the years. If you owned any of these, admit to it in the comments below and we'll treat it like a sort of gaming self-help group.