The Snakebyte MiniMote is a third party controller for the Wii that is 25% smaller than its Nintendo counterpart but with all the same functionality. The smaller form factor is ideal for children and adults with small hands. The MiniMote comes in either red or blue and includes a matching wrist strap.
“While the smaller device works especially well for children and adults with smaller hands, the MiniMote is ergonomically designed to provide a more comfortable grip for players of all ages, resulting in better control and a more enjoyable gaming experience.”
The MiniMote is packaged very well inside an outer box with a slide in blister pack that shows through the front of the box so you can see exactly what you are getting before opening the package. Instructions are included for syncing the controller with your Wii in four languages (English, Spanish, German and French). The package is easy to open and does not require scissors to open the blister pack as the remote is nested between two clear plastic inserts. Just open the box and slide it out.
The instructions are simple, even if you have never synced a new remote with your Wii. Since the Sync button is on the front of the MiniMote, this task is easier than ever . If you are one of those gamers that takes your remote with you to a friend’s house to play, having this button on the front will make your life much easier.
In using the MiniMote I found that it held up very well – tracking better in some respects than my Nintendo controller that gets jittery on occasion. This remote is light and comfortable even for me with my huge man hands. At first glance I asked myself – what about connecting a MotionPlus module? As shown here, the MotionPlus attaches and lines up perfectly with the MiniMote. I was also concerned about the button placement for the 1 and 2 buttons since it strays from the original design, but it did not present any problems, even when playing driving games like Mario Kart.
Being of reduced size does present some problems. This controller is not going to work properly with most steering wheels, golf clubs, zap guns or the other plastic snap-ons if you like using them. Also, the remote requires two AAA batteries and will not accept any of the rechargeable Wii controller batteries on the market – but battery changes are easy since there is no silicone sleeve to deal with and any high quality rechargeable MiNH AAA batteries will work fine.
While the construction of the MiniMote seems solid, I can’t help but want a silicone cover to be included with this remote to protect it from the banging around that Wii controllers tend to get – especially when used by younger children. The button and trigger action is similar to the original but with a bit more click in the A button which was a nice tactile addition. The ECO mode for extending battery life is also a welcome feature.
My Final Say: With an MSRP of $24.99 US there isn’t a real savings to be had here but that’s no reason to avoid this controller. Like many things in life, it all comes down to preference. I like the MiniMote and will use it for all of my Wii gaming – that is – whenever I can get it away from my 4 year old son. He absolutely loves it and has claimed it as his own– so we both recommend it highly.