Rituro Active
Football Manager 2014
Blue and White – EP15

By Rituro & Jorge Figueiredo - April 17th, 2014


Back in March, Rituro returned from his quest to explore the world of soccer and handed me an SD card with encrypted video files on it. Well, these have finally been decoded, and I have to profess that they are quite interesting. The videos are all about Sports Interactive’s Football Manager 2014, and we in the Thumbs Control Center have chosen Episode 15 as a great launch point for those of you who wish to follow along in Rituro’s mad adventures. These videos tell the story of Rituro’s journey in the world of the game, and detail a fair number of the features of this title. Episode 15 deals with a recent patch (14.3) which was a great improvement.

Click this pic to watch the episode.

It’s not the most dynamic of viewing (I’m referring to the lack of actual soccer footage). However, it is highly informative for those of you who really enjoy management-style games.

Disney Magical World

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 16th, 2014


When we receieved Disney’s latest 3DS title, Disney Magical World (developed by Bandai Namco Inc.), we didn’t know what to expect, as it was not something that we had actually kept tabs on. It’s hard to put a finger on what it is. It is a life simulator – but it’s also so much more. When Smallest Thumbs and I first started playing it, we both agreed that Magical World was a little like Animal Crossing: New Leaf. However, while there are similar elements between the two titles, there is enough of a difference between them that we find ourselves making time for both. Similar to visiting the Magic Kingdom in Florida, as soon as you step over the threshold, the game will have you in a constant state of activity, tugging at you like the eddies near the shore of a powerful river. And as you wade in deeper, you’ll find yourself swept away by the magic – especially if you are a fan of anything Disney.

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Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 15th, 2014


I think Belkin’s WeMo line is pretty spiffy; great functionality and cool form. Take the WeMo Switch, the pass-through power feed with the capability to do intelligent things. If there was a disadvantage to this device, it would be its size. While it is not huge, it does occupy some wall real estate (although, it is designed not to interfere with the second electrical socket on a standard wall plate). Now what if I were to tell you that Belkin has another, similar product? Sure, the WeMo Insight Switch costs a bit more money (it’s about $10 more expensive than the Switch), but it brings usage monitoring functionality as well as a smaller form factor to the table. Belkin sent us one to try out, and definitely meets the same level of awesomeness as the Switch. In fact, I think that it surpasses it!

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Byte-Sized Reviews
Battletank: L.O.B.A.

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 14th, 2014


I met Quentin Preik at the 2013 Fan Expo in Toronto, where he was manning a booth for his game called Steel Archers. Since that time, I have run into him at various events, and chatted him up. In talking with Quentin, it’s easy to see how much he loves making games, and his love of simplicity in game-play coupled with good ol’ fashioned fun makes him a neat person to chat with. These qualities permeate the games that he makes – one of which is a little-known local multi-player PC gem that he sent our way. The game is called Battletank: L.O.B.A. (Local Offline Battle Arena), and it’s a party game with a simple hook: blow the crap out of your friends.

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Yoshi’s New Island

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 13th, 2014


Up until this year, I have not really dedicated a lot of time to the Yoshi games. I have certainly dabbled with the character on a number of occasions, but never enough to call myself a Yoshi enthusiast. Take Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) for instance. I certainly wet my whistle with it – but I was at a friend’s place and didn’t own my own console at the time (so my ability to engage with the little green egg-chomper was limited). Well, those university days are long gone, and the fact that I have a 3DSXL and spend plenty of time on public transit allows me to spend more than enough time with Yoshi in Yoshi’s New Island. It’s not necessarily my cup of tea, to be honest, but it is a well-made game that will present plenty of challenges and fun to both newcomers and experienced Yoshi handlers.

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inFAMOUS: Second Son

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 12th, 2014


The inFAMOUS franchise powers up on the Playstation 4 with an all-new adventure. The latest title in the series, inFAMOUS: Second Son has you exploring a locked-down Seattle in the shoes of a new hero (or villain). If you enjoyed the first inFamous, you will definitely be blown away by the sheer scale, beauty, and dramatic complexity of this latest PS4 exclusive. Second Son has a few flaws, but these are easy to overlook, as this game is more than a worthy successor to the previous two titles in the series.

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Keyboard + Eye-Tracking = FUN

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 11th, 2014

Click this pic to watch a demo of Focalpoint.

When I was younger, the eye-tracking offered in the targeting system of the Apache attack helicopter fascinated me to no end. Even now, it’s not hard to imagine that eye-tracking is a possible next step in the evolution of interfacing with computers and other consumer technology. Gazepoint, a start-up from out West, has created a relatively affordable solution for those looking to develop applications that utilize this interface (and those who wish to study eye-tracking) – it’s called the GP3. Some students from the University of British Columbia have been working in collaboration with Gazepoint on a 2D puzzle-platformer that combines traditional keyboard controls with eye-tracking. It’s called Focalpoint, and it is a step in an exciting new direction.

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