Review: The Stinky Footboard (PC)

Stinky 5

The Stinky Footboard – SteLuLu Technologies (From their Kickstarter page) describes it as having “a T6 aluminum top plate, thick rugged plastics, an Internal steel U-channel for rigidity and durable Cherry MX switches for precise execution.”

Stinky 3

I really hope this isn’t the release packaging.

It’s essentially just an aluminum top plate, with eight steel hex screws affixing it to a rigid ABS plastic body. The main body is comprised of two parts, top plate (which your feet rest on) and the bottom plate that rests on the floor.

Stinky 4

There are 3 visible red LEDs (two on the top of the plate and one underneath the device next to the mini USB input) that lights up when you plug it in. It uses mechanical switches similar to ones used in mechanical keyboards so button presses are responsive and distinct. There are four of these placed in at each end of the Stinky, each programmable with modifiers that can give you up to 16 different key assignments.

The build quality is sturdy. It’s very durable and has a good weight. It’s well built being that it’s a peripheral that you’re supposed to interact with using your weight/feet. However, it’s not worth $119 USD considering it’s pretty low-tech and has a very basic input/output operation. It’s essentially a D-pad with assignable buttons that you interact with using your foot.

Stinky 1

Features

I had to download software for the device on their website. It does basically what you’d expect and lets you bind various keys to the buttons on the board itself, creating and saving presets for different games. You can also assign an action to the button along with a key. One of these is “pulse”, which is an option that lets you insert a quotient for multiple clicks a second, so after pressing the button the assigned action pulses or repeats itself quickly (I don’t really see how this is useful, but okay).

Underneath the device is something Stelulu Technologies calls “TBOX”, it’s basically four steel washers with concave divots in the center affixed underneath the body with more steel hex screws. Turning them counter-clockwise loosens the springs and makes the button presses more sensitive and less rigid while turning them clockwise does vice versa. There was a flaw in design here however; if you loosen the springs too much it actually lifts the device slightly above the ground on the springs beyond the where rubber stoppers are supposed to rest. So assuming you’re playing on hardwood the device might slide during use and will be otherwise unstable.

Stinky 2

Using the Damn Thing

I tested it mainly with Battlefield 3 and I assigned the top button (the front of my foot) as sprint, the bottom button (the heel of my foot) as crouch, the left button as prone, and left the right button unbound.

Playing shooters with it took a bit of getting used to. It was a very foreign experience using my feet to control my character. I found myself instinctively reaching for my SHIFT button and my CTRL button rather than taking advantage of the Stinky (what little advantage it gave in the first place). As for speed and whether this peripheral gives you some sort of tactical advantage over other players, the difference is very negligible. I didn’t find using the Stinky as being any more efficient than simply using my pinky to press down on the SHIFT key. In fact I found it more convenient to do the latter being that it’s a format I’m much more accustomed to rather than using my feet to perform an action my hands could easily do. Simply, one button press actions like lobbing a grenade, initiating a melee attack, or switching weapons work much better with the Stinky, but it begs the question why a multi-button mouse at a similar price point couldn’t do the same.

Conclusion

It’s a very novel item, and conceptually speaking the idea sounds like a good one. Ordinarily your feet aren’t engaged whatsoever while playing a video game and this peripheral gives you four extra buttons to use as you please. Though considering its price point, it doesn’t grant enough of an edge to give you an incentive to buy one. And $119 it’s hard to see why a similarly priced gaming mouse wouldn’t suffice.

Final Grade: D

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.