Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
Thanks, Jorge and Goodbye, Toronto Thumbs

By Evan Bergstra - March 29th, 2015

evanbye-1

While Evan was not with Toronto Thumbs for as long as some of the others, he became an integral part of the site. He’s one of the most well-rounded people I know; a great writer, an exceedingly talented photographer, fantastic at event coverage, and just an all-around great dude – Evan’s positivity is infectious. Within a short space of time, Evan surpassed his role as that of a writer and became part of my brainstorming group – the Thumbs Illuminati, if you will. We always have so much fun (seriously, if you missed our Instagram takeover for the CVA’s, you suck). – ed.

Hi folks!

I was brought into the Thumbs fold just over a year ago; an unsuspecting, bright-eyed journo-virgin fresh from a role in gaming PR and excited to see what was next for me. While chatting with me over Facebook, Jorge casually mentioned that he might post a piece of mine if I was up to writing one. Encouraged by the suggestion I took up the challenge and dove into my first game review with gusto.

Read the rest »


Date Night
Zelda Symphony
Masterful

By Seán O'Sullivan - March 28th, 2015

zeldaconcert-1
These photos borrowed from The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses.

It doesn’t take an astute person to note that Zelda has one of the most iconic soundtracks in gaming ever. The melodies that signal intrigue or payoff have seeped into the general gaming culture, and the Fairy Fountain theme even made a cameo in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. In a marketplace that can sustain multiple touring companies playing videogame soundtracks, an all-Zelda show is a no-brainer.

Read the rest »


Book Report
Ruby Wizardry
An Introduction to Programming for Kids

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 28th, 2015

rubywiz-1
Images presented here are from the PDF version of the book.

When I was younger, I used to goof around on Commodore Pet computers in school, learning the basics of programming. This curiosity extended to my home life when my parents brought a Commodore 128 into our home. Sure, there were plenty of great games, but it was fun to make my own small diversions – it instilled a great sense of self-confidence and satisfaction. Even in university I took a few Computer Science courses to address my programming bug. With the accumulation of various responsibilities as I got older, my mindset slowly migrated towards that of a game player rather than a game maker – and with languages being different than what I grew up with, the pull has been minimal.

And it’s not just me; there is so much to consume in terms of apps that the lure to simply play is strong – even in kids. Recently, I was introduced to a programming language called Ruby. This introduction was brokered via a book written for a younger crowd, but is a valuable resource for adults as well. With a simple (yet effective) storytelling style, Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids (written by Eric Weinstein, published by No Starch Press) enlightens readers on the basic concepts of programming through Ruby‎, and is engaging and fun enough to captivate and inspire a younger audience.

Read the rest »


In Development
The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 28th, 2015

wiz-1

While I have a soft spot for indie titles, I have an even greater appreciation of indie titles with a distinct local flavour. Chris de Castro’s The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods is a neat little gem that is currently in development that makes a statement about the way of things in our society. It focuses both on the problem and the solution in such a simple and honest way that I think it deserves a look.

Read the rest »


Reviews
Polar A300
Fitness and Activity Monitor

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 27th, 2015

a300-1

Fitness bands have been all the rage for a while now, but most of the time I find that most people, once buying a Fitbit or a Nike+ Fuelband, adhere to their newly discovered interest in getting into shape for a short time, and eventually start to “forget” their new wearable tech on the top of the dresser. I, personally, have never been into the bracelet-style of fitness tracker. When Polar sent us their A300 to check out, though, I was far more receptive to trying it out due to its more traditional aesthetic. Of course, it is a lot more than just a watch, and now I am addicted to it.

Read the rest »


Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
Malcolm Inglis

By Malcolm Inglis - March 27th, 2015

malco-1

Malcolm is one of the “youngest” members of the site – but his coverage of E3 last year earned him two thumbs up. His perspective is always fun to read, and I hope he pursues and refines his craft! – ed.

I got on board with Toronto Thumbs just under a year ago and what can I say other than it’s been a great experience! I got a chance to play and review some amazing (and not-so-amazing) games, and I also got to go to some awesome events as a representative of Toronto Thumbs – the most notable being E3. Above all though was the chance to communicate with fellow gamers through my writing (and in person) about our passion: videogames. Jorge definitely has a passion for gaming and the industry, and it comes through in the hard work, time and dedication that goes into running something like this. I’d like to thank him and the rest of the team for making me a part of Toronto Thumbs and I wish everyone all the best in their future endeavors.


Reviews
Minecraft
Playstation Vita Version

By Malcolm Inglis - March 27th, 2015

mcv-1

By now everyone (including your Mom) has probably heard of Minecraft, a game that has transcended beyond what would appear at first glance to be a simple open-world sandbox game to become an international phenomenon. Millions have played it on PC, then on console and now on tablets and handhelds, with the latest delivery platform being the PlayStation Vita.

Despite being playable on almost all gaming devices and millions of YouTube channels full of Minecraft “Let’s Play” videos, I myself have had very limited experience with this title. I had originally played the demo on PC and after a short play-through I kind of found myself at a loss, wondering what the point was. I just didn’t get it; what was the appeal to this low poly-count game with no set objectives? Now, several years later, I’m going to give it another go with 4J Studios’ Minecraft: Playstation Vita Edition to see if I can find the magic behind this game.

Read the rest »