Reviews
Defense Grid 2

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 16th, 2014

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A few months ago, I played the beta for Hidden Path Entertainment’s Kickstarter project, Defense Grid 2. Long story short: I really enjoyed my time with the beta. Now, a few months later, I have experienced the full version of this title, and it is even better than I had hoped it would be, which just goes to show that you don’t need a bazillion dollars to create an extremely fun and entertaining game – and in the tower defense space, no less.

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Cool Kickstarters
Optinvent ORA

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 16th, 2014

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Google Glass is all the rage – but there are others entering the fray. Take Optinvent’s ORA, for example. It definitely takes a bit of a different route – but still looks to be quite functional and interesting, as per their Kickstarter. We shot a few questions at Kayvan Mirza (CEO & Co-Founder of Optinvent) – and he sent us a return volley of answery knowedge!

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Reviews
Ollie

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 15th, 2014

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If you like remote-controlled vehicles, then our review of Sphero probably tickled your fancy last year. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by a remote-controlled sphere (which actually moved at a decent clip)? Well, Colorado-based Sphero (formerly known as Orbotix), has released a follow-up product in the form of the cylinder-like Ollie. Sphero was kind enough to let us check out their product and I have to tell you, if you found Sphero to be a fun ride, wait until you try Ollie!

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Events
Firkin Pubs
Celebrate Release of Vikings on Home Video

By Evan Bergstra - October 15th, 2014

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Vikings, in case you’re unfamiliar with the program, is a rare example of delightfully high-profile Canadian content (Canadian-Irish if you’re splitting hairs, but it still counts). The series is a compelling bit of stylized historical fiction following the adventures, struggles and glory of a Viking farmer-warrior named Ragnar Lothbrok. Though it airs on History, it has all the sharpness, grit and production values you might expect from AMC or Showtime. I confess I’m only half-way through the first season, but so far it’s got me hooked.

The show is looking forward to a third season in 2015, but the current promotion is for the Season 2 launch on DVD and Blu-ray, which hit shelves on October 14. In celebration of the launch, the show’s marketing folks have teamed up with Firkin Pubs to dish out hearty meats in hefty servings. Last week they brought a few writers in to try the spread and I was lucky to enough to join in. I hope the photos do it justice.

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Rituro-Active
Football Manager 2015
Feature Teaser Video

By Rituro - October 14th, 2014

The reveal of the new features, changes and/or omissions in each year’s edition of Football Manager is an event of great anticipation for the discerning sports game nerd like myself. What made the cut from last year? Did they finally fix that one thing that bothered me to no end? How many more shiny bits did they add to the match engine? And, most importantly, will I still be able to play as a lower-league English team using nothing but free transfers and good luck to try and eke out an existence? Thankfully, the answer to most of those questions came on October 7th as Sports Interactive released a video starring gaffer Miles Jacobson with a plethora of details on the upcoming Football Manager 2015. Check out the full video above (if you haven’t already), then read on my for reactions.

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Events
Tech Products Showcase
Future Shop & Best Buy Canada

By Evan Bergstra - October 13th, 2014

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The following article was written rather unprofessionally in the tipsy haze following Evan’s return from a consumer tech trade show at the Westin Harbour Castle. In his defense, though, his week was packed and he had to get this out or risk letting it slip through the cracks. His drink was red wine and his soundtrack was The Naked and Famous. He recommends both for most occasions.

Trade shows are a bit of an odd place for journalists. The events are set up so that salespeople from consumer product companies can rendezvous with buyers from all manner of retail outfits. The salesfolk make their pitches and the buyers buy wares. It makes sense, sure, that critics should attend to have a look at the next big thing to make its way to the shelves – except the brand booths are often staffed by people trained on pitching products to retail buyers rather than media or consumers. I felt a wee bit out of place, but I still saw some really cool stuff and I’ll give you the breakdown from each company that I was brought to.

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Thanksgiving
Remembering Bill

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 12th, 2014

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This is probably the first time we have ever done something like this on Toronto Thumbs. I don’t normally put too much of myself on here, but Bill was a special guy; and even though he doesn’t have much to do with videogames, or modern technology, he could easily have been a character in many of the games that we play and I felt like I needed to tell as many people as I could how awesome he was.

I met William Edward Fedun a long time ago at a Renaissance festival outside of Milton, Ontario. My youngest brother introduced me to him as a maker of medieval armour and a dealer of medieval (and some modern) weapons. I remember meeting him for the first time at the booth for the South Tower Armouring Guild. I walked up and we shook hands, and though I was taller than he was, there was something about him in that handshake that would lead one to believe that they were shaking hands with a stout tree, or a mountain of some sort. Yet, beside this feeling of spiritual hugeness about him, he had geniune smile and sparkling eyes that spoke of true friendliness and mischief.

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