Shmups on Deck!

I decided to treat myself and reserved a Steam Deck, which arrived last month. It’s a rather overwhelming piece of screenery, a powerful computer in the guise of a handheld. I feel a bit like I did back in…I dunno. 1995 was it? When my family made the switch from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. It was so cool and yet so overwhelming because it was new and I just didn’t know what to do with it.

Same with the Deck.

It’s extremely cool and my games play great and I will have a dock soon and there are just so many possibilities.

One possibility I’ve already opted into is figuring out if and how one can use this thing as a vertical shmup machine without docking it. That means turning the weighty rectangle on its head and sorting out the controls for maximum playability. The control scheme is the easy bit. Something the deck does exceptionally well, in every regard I’ve considered thus far, is customizability. From the UI to the OS itself down to what happens when you tap a touchpad versus when you press it properly.

So rotating the direction of a joystick or d-pad and assigning buttons on one side of the Deck is breezy.

Ergonomically, though, it takes a bit of doing. For as I said the old goat has a bit of girth to it. Holding it an angle is a poor option that destines one to carpal tunnel. So she must be held upright. Then it’s rather narrow and compact, leaving less than desirable amount of space for the action buttons.

I’m still fussing with the thing, enjoyably, but my configuration remains the same.

As I say, it’s a work in progress and one that may become obsolete when I get a monitor and dock for the thing. For now, it’s good fun.



  1. I’m loving my Steam Deck. It has the novelty that I felt when the Nintendo Switch was a brand new device and not as out dated.

    Oh, and you should play Vampire Survivors! It is the perfect steam deck game game.


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