Belkin has continued toward the lofty goal of full home automation with the WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set. With a solid modular portfolio that includes wall switches, heaters, a humidifier, cameras and even a coffee maker, the Starter Set seems like a natural progression. I really like the concept of this product as it allows the IP-enablement and remote control of hard-wired electrical light fixtures in your home, without the trouble of rewiring the physical wall switches.
Have you ever played Operation? Did you ever try guiding a marble through a tilting wooden labyrinth? Well, Feel-A-Maze (Five Archers Corporation) is a devious combination of these two physical games that will test your hand-eye coordination, as well as your patience. This PC title (now available for iOS and Android) is definitely a very challenging game that will help you pass the time – just make sure that you choose your locale carefully, lest you make the game even more challenging for yourself.
When I was a kid, my dad had a Tyco slot racing set. It was a beautiful setup, with supercars that traversed a long track with a spiral section supported by glow-in-the-dark struts. When I became older, he let me play with the set on my own – but pulling out the box from the cupboard was always a calculated decision based on the amount of playtime that I had (it took a while to assemble). Later on, Santa gave me my own Tyco set, complete with cars that could swivel on their front track pin and go in the opposite direction. I enjoyed that set a lot – but it eventually lost its allure when the set stopped working.
Fast forward to 2014. When I first looked at the Anki DRIVE Starter Kit, I was reminded of my youthful days of slot-racing – but Anki DRIVE ups the ante with a few notable differences – the most prominent being that you control the cars with an iOS or Android device. Even Smallest Thumbs really got into the set that Anki sent us to review!
There is nothing quite like piloting a quadricopter. Parrot’s AR Drone 2.0 is a lot of fun to fly – but for a good number of people, it’s hard to justify the purchase, as it is a little expensive. It also makes some people nervous; even though it comes with a protective shell for indoor use, it’s relatively large, making it an intimidating prospect to play with inside one’s house – especially for beginners. Thankfully, Parrot has another option for those people who are jonesing for a chance to play with a remote-controlled helicopter without breaking the bank (or that vase you got as a gift from your aunt Betty): the Rolling Spider.
After spending so much time playing “digging” games, I wasn’t sure what Miner Man Golden Edition had to offer. After plugging in the code that I was sent, I discovered that Invictus Games had taken the strategy of a normal mining-type game and removed valuable decision-making time, resulting in a fast-paced reflex-based game that retains a decent level of fun while still being somewhat difficult.
As human beings, we exhibit some behavioyrs that can only be described as self-destructive. As horrible a thing that might be, in Untame Games’ Mushroom 11, the whole point of this puzzle-platformer is advancement through self destruction. I spent a little time watching people play this game and was quite intrigued. Coming in 2015, this is one of those games that I am very much looking forward to playing when it goes gold.
Vampires still seem to be all the rage these days, so it’s not surprising that enterprising developers would try to cash in. Vampire Tribunals, developed by Raincrow Studios (for iOS and Android), seems to be an honest attempt at a great vampire game that has fallen short of its full potential. Vampire Tribunals is heavily laden with back-story and atmosphere, but ultimately fails on delivery of compelling game-play, making for a somewhat tedious experience.