Hardware Review: That Animal Crossing Pad That Looks Like Tom Nook’s Face? It’s Pretty Good

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© Nintendo Life

Peripheral maker Stoga has released a series of Animal Crossing: New Horizons-inspired wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch. These aren’t the first Animal Crossing-style pads we’ve seen – PowerA has its own options – but they’re certainly the most adorable.

The Stoga Cat (or “Stoga Animal Crossing Pad”, as some people are calling it) comes with motion control support and around 8-10 hours of play time per charge thanks to its 300mAh battery. The basic design is the same across all three pads, but it’s the brown variant which is the most interesting, because it looks just like Tom Nook’s face.

We were lucky enough to get sent one of these pads by Stoga, and we came away more impressed than we expected to be – especially as the rather cheap and nasty packaging the pad ships in did little to engender confidence initially. The pad is surprisingly dinky when compared to the official Pro Controller, but it’s still comfortable to hold and could be the ideal ‘travel’ option. If you’ve got massive hands, however, you might want to steer clear.

The L and R buttons are shaped like ears at the top of the pad, which sounds a bit gimmicky but actually works better than you might expect, as the ‘lip’ of the ear makes the buttons easy to find with your fingers. The D-Pad is also excellent – easily on par with the one on Nintendo’s Pro Controller – while the face buttons are nice and responsive, even if they are perhaps a little on the small side.

The ‘Home’ and ‘Screenshot’ buttons are present and correct, but Stoga has also thrown in a ‘Turbo’ button as well, for those of you who like rapid-fire action. While it lacks NFC connectivity seen in the official option, it does have rumble, motion control and a rechargeable battery, which is charged using a USB-C connection.

The pad costs $39.99 / £31.19, and the other colour options are Sky Blue and Green. You can purchase all three controllers for $107.99 / £92.02.

Thanks to Stoga for supplying the controller used in this feature.


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