Reviews


Reviews
VIZIO S5451w-C2
Sound Bar With Patrons

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 22nd, 2014

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Audio is a very important part of the home theatre experience. Without effective audio delivery, movies and videogames become a ho-hum affair, and they lose their immersive quality. It makes sense; so much work goes into creating realistic sound fields in films and video games – even movies that don’t have a lot of “special effects” still have a fair bit of work done in the audio production. In my opinion, having discrete speaker outputs (5.1 minimum) is the way to go; but what if you can’t run wires? What if you have a small space and you can’t justify spending a lot of money on a number of different speakers? What if I told you that there is actually a great product from VIZIO that allows you to have a great 5.1 surround sound system that doesn’t require complicated installation – but still delivers a powerful and immersive experience?

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Reviews
Lizard Island: Observation

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 21st, 2014

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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.

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Reviews
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Hobbit-Forming

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 19th, 2014

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Fans of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien understand what immersion is all about. Tolkien breathed such life into his works that they almost read like history texts – only far more exciting. Similarly, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies, all based on Tolkien’s books, have been meticulously constructed; infused with Tolkien’s culture, they convey that Middle Earth is a big place. There is so much going on in the main story and behind the scenes that it is not difficult to imagine hundreds of stories, all happening in the background. So it is with Monolith Productions’ Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – a game inspired by the works of Tolkien and created with the flair of Jackson’s films – following the story of two men, bound by adversity, in the middle of a multi-faceted power struggle, seeking revenge and enlightenment.

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Reviews
Parrot
Jumping Sumo

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 18th, 2014

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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.

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Reviews
Board Games
My Monopoly

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 17th, 2014

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There are many different styles of Monopoly games that Hasbro has on offer. From nerd-approved editions like Star Wars Monopoly and Lord of the Rings Monopoly (yes, even a Doctor Who Monopoly) to more seasonal fare such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Monopoly and A Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly, there seems to be a Monopoly for all seasons. My Monopoly, on the other hand, ditches pre-made themes and allows you to fully customize the look of your game, creating a very personalized experience just for you.

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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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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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