Stinky Footboard Review

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Stinky Footboard Review

Let your foot give you a hand

The premise of the Stinky Footboard is simple: Sometimes two hands and 10 fingers aren’t enough. And in games that require you to press more keys than a world-class pianist, your foot can come in handy.

At least it’s not called the Cyber Athlete’s Foot.

At least it’s not called the Cyber Athlete’s Foot.

That’s the idea behind Stinky’s deadly simple Footboard. The USB device is akin to a four-way, foot-operated D-pad. We had concerns about the durability of the Footboard, but cracking open our review model revealed the D-pad balanced on a heavy-duty ball-bearing and a metal bar running across the length of it. The switches themselves are Cherry MX blue. The unit connects to the USB cable via a standard Micro-USB port, so you can swap cables if need be. Four independent springs can be swapped out to change the spring rate from a selection of soft, medium, and hard. Though sturdy, we have to note that our early unit did fail and would no longer be recognized by any system, despite cable swaps. We finished our review with a second unit borrowed from another magazine.

Setting up the Footboard is quick, after you’ve downloaded the app. The Footboard app lets users create keybindings—or should we say foot bindings—for each of the controller’s four switches (up, down, left, and right) and install firmware updates. The app works fairly well, but we couldn’t bind more than one key to a direction. For example, we wanted to bind one switch to let us run in Battlefield 3—Shift + W—but the Footboard wouldn’t record the macro. It was either W or Shift, but not both. It’s too bad because such a feature would take the finger stress out of those long runs across a map.

The Footboard’s internals are built for the long run.

The Footboard’s internals are built for the long run.

Battlefield 3 wasn’t the only game we used the Footboard in. We also ran it through Dishonored and Sleeping Dogs, among other games, but we admit we found it most useful for BF3, where it aided movement and crouching. And when running, it really relieved us of the pinky stress that results from having to curl back and hit Ctrl all the time to duck.

Unfortunately for the Stinky, there are some styles of games that just don’t work very well with the device. When we tried using the Stinky in Dishonored, we found it wasn’t very helpful. Dishonored is a slow, stealthy game that focuses on using just the WASD keys and mouse, so we couldn’t find much use for the Footboard, as the game doesn’t rely much on running. We tried to map the Footboard to the WASD keys but it was just awkward. We also couldn’t use the Stinky for strafing since we couldn’t bind more than one key.

Another game that didn’t play very well with the Stinky was StarCraft II. The mouse and keyboard were just too good and we abandoned using the Footboard halfway through. Again, the Footboard seemed cumbersome in this scenario and our keybindings felt very forced and unneeded, as a traditional keyboard setup was easier for us. There are obviously games where the Stinky works—such as a tactical shooter, where you might bind the left and right directions for lean out (who can ever remember those commands?) but it’s not the universal salve we thought it might be.

The Stinky has a good build quality and easy-to-use software, which makes it a reliable gaming accessory. What we’re not fans of is the Footboard’s premium price: $120. Probably the only way to tell if your gaming style will benefit from the Footboard is if you sometimes wish you had an extra hand—or foot—during sessions.

$120, www.stinkyboard.com

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Stinky Footboard

Resident Evil 4

Easy-to-use software; great build quality; FPS-friendly.

Resident Evil 6

Pricey; limited usability; no macro support.

7

15

Comments

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limitbreaker

Wow, their company is a 5 minutes drive from where i live lol

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jonnyohio

Yeah way too expensive to use for a few games, and lack of multi-key binding makes it even worse. I'd say $60 at most for something like this but I wouldn't bother unless they are going to add the ability to bind 2 keys. It's a cool product just not worth paying that price for....heck you can get an awesome mouse or keyboard for that price.

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Ninjawithagun

I agree with all of you - way too expensive. Stinky Corp. had better adjust accordingly to their customers expected price range or else be ready to file for bankruptcy...

I just checked their website today and the price is still for a whopping $119.99. No thanks!

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joeyjr

This is not a new concept but a fresh one. This would also come in handy at work when you have your hands full and need to use the keyboard. I think they made something like it using a sewing machine peddle. Could be very usefull if you configured inside the options menu of the game an alternate un-used single key for commands that would require more than one to use it for the stinky key. LOL

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JosephColt

That price...

This is 30 dollars of material at worst with a mass production.

I'd buy one if it was 40 dollars, not anything more than 45, 120 is crazy!

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jbitzer

Materials aren't the only cost of production.

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JosephColt

That's true, but for a product like this, not that much more...

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jbitzer

Really? How many products have you R&D's, patented and designed? How much did that cost you?

Make one yourself for huge savings then if you see a use for this but not at that price.

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SuperSATA

Oh my, look at that price.

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spokenwordd

Interesting concept but the price is a bit high and the utility is questionable beyond a few games But the name is absolutely dumb dumb dumb dumb.

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Ghok

I could see how it'd be useful for sprinting, crouching, and maybe dodging. There are a lot of things I'd rather spend my money on, though.

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Obsidian

Is that the actual bottom of the product? You didn't have to remove a plastic panel to get that shot?

If so this product can't even claim build quality, certainly not $120 MSRP worth of stuff. We have keyboards and console controllers that aren't even 1/2 this price and have dozens more moving parts. Those don't even look like very robust switches, it's not as if they are off a 1990 video game cabinet, they look like the membrane sensors under my keyboard.

$40, maybe people would try it. $120 Laugh, choke, the question in your head pops up - are they serious? The concept intrigues me, but the price makes me want to permanently dislike this company.

There are single foot switches for $10 online, and Thanko used to sell one in the US that could be found for $70 or less and had 3 boss-style guitar-pedal switches.

Should have given it a 6 out of 10 due to price alone.

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chriszele

The first image is of the Stinky Footpad's internals, which are located beneath its brushed aluminum foot plate. 

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Obsidian

That makes sense, thanks for the explanation. So we're still looking at a top-down view of the product, but without the top on ...

To be more fair to the company AND the hardware you should swap the images all-around. There are 3 images - two of them are the same - and the front page web-feed is probably picking up the first image "above the fold" (or the read-more line). Your home page shows what is not a great representation of the item.

It's still not worth $120, but at least give them a better chance at selling when they are down to under 1/2 that price.

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FatOldGuy

That is a ridiculous price for a few switches and some plastic with a wee bit of metal.