J2Review: Dynaflex Powerball Gamer ($69.95)http://www.mydfx.com
A few times a year I get asked to review a product that doesn’t require me to sit in front of the computer screen. Peripheral and accessories reviews are always a nice break from rambling on about pixels, audio, cell shading and collision detection. But, I’ll admit, there is also some trepidation with these reviews as well. Trying to suffer through the next U-Force or Powerglove and not want to throw it out the window is sometimes an obstacle. Luckily, that was not the case with this little gem that arrived in our office last week.
The good folks at Dynaflex asked us to do a review on their newest item, the Powerball Gamer. For those who haven’t seen one of these units, it’s basically a palm sized ball like shell with a smaller ball inset in the unit. Using a variety of methods, you start the inner ball spinning and try to maintain or increase the revolutions by rotating your wrist. (see video below) This is way more advanced then similar units from the late 70’s – with the Dynaflex ball you also have access to data on your “workout” including revolution, speed and more. And, packaged with your Powerball Gamer is an instructional video that includes proper methods of warmup, bicep curls and tricep flex (so no more flabby arms for you ladies – so the video suggests!) As I’m no trained, educated or licensed orthopedist – I can’t attest to the physical fitness advantages of using the unit. The video does claim this to be an excellent and university tested piece of exercise equipment and one that NASA used on the shuttle. Take that for what its worth.
From the perspective of a gamer I can tell you, this is one neat little item! Although I was pretty much a munchkin at the time, I remember similar units from the late 70s and hell if I could ever get them to work. The folks at Dynaflex seemed to have solved many of these issues and created a studier and higher quality product. Included in the package with your Powerball Gamer is a power base unit that helps to set the inner ball spinning so you can get into your workout much more quickly. (and it’s easier then using the string pull, thumb or karate chop methods.) From the moment your Powerball Gamer is up to speed you are in for a decent workout. I tended to swap hands back and forth during my “workout” and I did notice it was an excellent warm up. Also, as you send the inner ball on it’s dizzying rotation, the ball begins to glow softly at first then with a stronger and brighter light thanks to internal LEDs. It was kinda fun to watch the ball begin to glow in my hands as I contemplated pretending to be a level 30 mage and the powerball the beginnings of the spell to be cast. But , you’ll work for that spell as the faster the rotation the more effort it takes to maintain the glow!
I tried the Powerball Gamer as a warm up to a few hours of the latest FPS in for our review. It definitely took the “edge off” by helping to loosen fingers, wrists and even shoulders. But the true test came when I handed the ball around the office and minus the instructions, let the others play with it. Unanimously, everyone agreed that the unit indeed loosened them up and provided a little fun and competition while doing it! (go figure, a bunch of gamers competing even with an accessory!)
Dynaflex makes a number of products aside from the Powerball Gamer. You can check out their website and purchase any of the many products via their online store. http://www.dynaflexpro.com/store.php
Wrap Up – you’ll have a good time with the Dynaflex Powerball Gamer. While the price is a little high ($69.95) it does include the docking starter, speed meter and training cd. (less expensive options are also available from Dynaflex.) As a pre-gaming workout, it does the trick by loosening up your gaming hands. The quality and construction are top notch and the included workout cd also includes reviews of some of their other products.
4 out of 5 stars.