There are many things in the world that are a big mystery to the average consumer. Straddling the line between alchemy and sorcery, these secrets lead to much head-scratching and face-scrunching, due to the mystical nature of these odd occurrences. One of these puzzles is the “check engine” light that occasionally pops up on the dashboard, indicating some issue with your car, which leads you to drive to your local garage and pay for a diagnostic and a fix (if required). Lemur Vehicle Monitors helps to fan away the fog of mystery with the BlueDriver diagnostic tool, which turns your smartphone into an automotive information center.
Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get children interested in things that are good for them. Vegetables, chores, school – these are things that cause some parents to rely on bribery to achieve a reasonable result. While Budding Biologist can’t really help with the consumption of greens, they have made a very interesting app for iOS and Android devices called Lizard Island: Observation to help generate interest in science. This app allows your young scientist to experience some of what biology has to offer. What’s interesting about it is that it does offer a level of challenge that makes it far more than a passive experience.
I’m used to France-based Parrot making toys that soar – namely the AR Drone series; but earlier this year, I attended a media event that demonstrated that Parrot also made remote-control ground vehicles. The Jumping Sumo is an interesting two-wheeled oddity that is capable of far more than just driving. Using your iOS or Android phone (or tablet), the Jumping Sumo is a toy that is easy to pick up – but it’s not without its quirks.
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!
It’s not a property you’ve thought about in a long time, but PAC-MAN really is a title that’s ripe for reinvention. Just think about Donkey Kong – a title from the same era that was reinvented not once but dozens of times (Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Bros., Dr. Mario, Mario Party, Wario Land, Paper Mario…) With all of the games squeezed out of some guy in overalls jumping over barrels and climbing ladders, surely we can make something exciting and new out of an eating-disordered yellow sprite and his undead nemeses, no? Well, Bandai Namco Games’ PAC-MAN Friends for iOS and Android.
Some of the older readers might remember a show called The Twilight Zone. This television show was all about reality going askew, with one aspect of normality being played in a different direction, resulting in some thought-provoking drama. Of course, there were equal parts cheese in the recipe for the program as well, which sometimes resulted in a half-baked thriller that was more amusing than anything else – but the show was always entertaining. Fezziwig Games’ Escape the Hellevator! reminds me a lot of The Twilight Zone on many levels. With an interesting premise (and a fair amount of it’s own kind of cheese), this iOS/Android title will probably keep you entertained – though at the moment that might not be for as long as you might like.