The Skeptical Geek gets asked a lot about Atari style joysticks. For those of us old enough to remember the first generation of video games, the Atari 2600 was it. It was the NES or PlayStation of its time. My friends and I spend untold hours on arcade ports like Asteroids and Space Invaders, as well as awesome originals like River Raid and Pitfall. The controller was simplicity itself, a joystick with a single button on the corner. It was flimsy and broke often, but we loved it.
Hyperkin, the well known accessory company, has come out with the Trooper II, a joystick modeled after the classic Atari 2600 controller, only much better. It is clear this controller was designed around Retropie software. It has two buttons on top, not just one, so it can be used comfortably by both right and left handed individuals. These button can be mapped to A and B on a standard controller. This is very important, since you need both to successfully navigate Retropie. In the front of the base are 2 additional buttons for Start and Select, which are needed to exit a game. There are also two buttons for left and right shoulder on the back of the base, so you can scroll up and down a page at a time.
I tested the joystick on several of my favorite Atari games, those listed above and several others to boot. The look and feel are terrific, and the responsiveness is very good. For a brief period of time, it was 1980 again. I even tried it on some non-Atari games that have only a single button, like Sonic the Hedgehog. The quality is also exceptional, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart in your hand, the way the original did.
If you are into original Atari 2600 games, and want to experience them the way the gaming gods intended, I can’t recommend this joystick highly enough. Here is the Amazon link: