In our household we all agree that Super Mario Maker has been some of the most fun we’ve had with the Wii U, probably even every console ever.
We all had an amazing time creating levels for each other and challenging everyone on family night. Its so addicting seeing somebody finally beat your level while you watch, mentally ticking over what you need to change to make it even more devilishly difficult for next time.
Well now you can have all the fun of the Wii U version, but this time on the go on the 3DS.
To say this game comes at the perfect time for us is an understatement. Were going on holiday in 2 weeks to Florida, which involves a 9 hour flight.
Ive been panicking like mad about what the boys are going to be like on the long journey, considering now they are too old for the traditional colouring books and the like I usually pack. So to have an endlessly creative game like Super Mario Maker to play during the journey will be a godsend.
The only big difference between the 3DS and Wii U versions are the ability to share courses online. For some people this may be a problem, but for us its no big deal really. As a family we only ever saved the courses as challenges between ourselves, so I don’t think we ever did upload any courses online anyway.
However you can play lot and lots of user made courses if you have internet access through Nintendo’s recommended courses section. A massive selection of user made levels curated by Nintendo.
Although you’d think by the name that making courses is the thing you will do the most, So far I’ve spent most of my time playing the Super Mario Challenge mode. It’s such an amazing game, I’m absolutely loving it.
The thing is I find it so hard, some of the courses are really tricky and thats without doing the extra tricky tasks to gain medals. It’s so much fun though, and trying to attain all those medals will keep me busy forever I think.
My only bug bear is that you have to complete the Super Mario challenges to unlock extra build course elements. I think this is a bit much to ask of younger players, and preferred the Wii U’s approach of new items overtime you played for the first couple of days.
That’s only a small annoyance though, overall it’s a great buy if you have a 3DS. I would highly recommend it.
Disclosure: We received an online code for this game from Nintendo as part of our participation in the Nintendo Family Bloggers Network. All opinions are our own.
I think everyone can agree that 2016 has been a bit of a rubbish year. However for me the best thing to come out of it is the incredible cultural comeback of Pokemon! It seems that Pikachu and friends have taken over the world all over again.
This year Thomas’ stocking will be overflowing with Pokemon related goodies once again as he’s back into it in a big way, and to be honest I couldn’t be happier as I love it too.
Obviously the massively successful Pokemon Go has played its part in Pokemons resurgence, but the hype surrounding Pokemon Sun and Moon was the thing that kept everything ticking over.
Well now the wait is over, and Thomas finally got to play his most anticipated game of the year, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. He has been glued to the 3DS ever since release day.
This is the reason for this review being told through Thomas’ thoughts to me, as he won’t get off it long enough for me to have a go .
Firstly He says that the new Pokemon are the best in years, with the new starters only just behind the beloved originals. He choose Litten the Fire Type, which is the one I would have chosen too. Although I think Popplio comes a close second.
He’s desperate to find his first Shiny Pokemon, as they are awesome. However they are so rare I think it’ll be a miracle if he does.
The game is set in the new Alola region, and its a really nice place to go Pokemon hunting. Sun, sea, beaches, Palm trees. Its like going on a little holiday everytime you play.
Pokemon Sun and Moon is a bit different to other Pokemon titles as you don’t just travel around battling gyms as usual. This time around you travel the islands completing challenges, quizzes, although theres always some battling to be done.
When I asked Thomas about his favourite part of the game he said the Scavenger Hunts were brilliant. He loved travelling around taking photos of all the Pokemon.
Another new thing in Pokemon Sun and Moon are the new Z Moves. These are new extra powerful moves you can teach your Pokemon when you get the Z Ring and correct crystals for the Pokemon type.
Overall Thomas is having an absolute blast playing Pokemon Moon, and it has definitely lived up to his expectations. An unmissable instalment to the series – if your a fan you just have to get it!
Disclosure: We received a code for the game as part of our participation in the Nintendo Family Bloggers Network. All opinions are our own.
Even I let out a little squeal of delight when I got the email from the Hasbro Toy Tribe that we’d be receiving a brand new Furby Connect to review any day, and now here he is.
His name is Doo-Doh, which translates as Lazy Tummy in Furbish.
I’ve always loved Furby’s ever since I was a little girl, but never got one originally first time around.
I had to wait until Jacob asked me for a Furby Boom last birthday until I got my hands on one in real life. Obviously I let him play with it first.
Even though we did love our Furby Boom, it’s great to upgrade to the Furby Connect as it is so much cooler.
However the biggest advantage has to be that Furby Connect comes with an eye mask for putting it to sleep. No more phantom furbish waking us all up in the middle of the night, thank god.
Furby Boom never did sleep properly. It was a case of taking the batteries out if you needed to keep it quiet, which gets annoying. So the sleep mask is a simple but very welcome solution.
The main change you’ll see in the new Furby connect is the huge LCD eyes, which have a great way of interacting with you. When he’s hungry or your feeding him with the food cannon, you can see the food floating across his eyes. You’ll also see musical notes when he’s singing and other things too. It makes the Furby seem so much more real as the LCD eyes are so expressive as it talks.
As usual Furby has a great personality and sense of humour, but Furby Connect has really been turned up all the way to eleven as he’s so sassy and funny. The boys and I have just laughed and laughed at some of the things Furby has said.
One of the great ways you can interact with Fuby is via the new app Furby Connect Worlds. Here you can hatch little virtual furblings, and clean them, feed them, play with them and level them up as you go along.
In the app you can also do one of our favourite things with Furby Connect, watch videos together. We have watched music videos of real current hit songs where Furby sings along and fun videos of things like nanna’s drumming and little kids doing karate. Think of it like watching Youtube with your Furby but with only very young kid appropriate videos coming up. Plus Furby talks all over the videos, so its like your watching and interacting at the same time.
I loved that about 10 minutes after we’d watched the karate kid video Furby said “AWW remember the nunchuck kid video that was so awesome” It really made us all laugh.
The good thing with the Furby Connect Worlds app is that you don’t have to use Furby at the same time if you don’t want to. Theres always Furblings to clean, eggs to hatch and so on, but this means that while your out and about with Furby at home you can still do all the other things with your Furblings and theres always something to entertain and keep your little ones busy.
It’s also worth mentioning that Furby connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, so everything really simple. I know that we had a lot of trouble at times connecting our old Furby Boom to the app, but no such problems this time. The new Furby Connect Worlds app is simple to use, as I said no connectivity problems with Furby Connect, and is most importantly really fun to use.
Being connected wirelessly via Bluetooth means that Furby Connect will update periodically when your in the App, so the videos change and Furby will learn new songs from the charts. He even knows what time it is, so will ask for breakfast or lunch, plus even knows what day it is- for example a special day like Christmas Day or Valentines Day.
And lastly having two boys I cannot fail to mention the laugh out loud fun they have had putting Furby over the virtual toilet and helping him push something out. Will it be a truck, a pineapple with a banana face or maybe just a big poo, the possibilities are endless. Everytime I hear Furby shout “The Struggle is real!” I know there putting Furby over the toilet again.
Unfortunately for Furby I don’t think its going to get old anytime soon. Poor Furby
Disclosure: We received Furby Connect for review as part of participation in the Hasbro Toy Tribe. All opinions are our own
The newest game we’ve been testing out on our Nintendo 3DS is Legend of Zelda Tri Force Heroes.
It’s a very addictive puzzle game which sees you as one of the Tri-Force heroes rooting around caves searching for Rupees and solving puzzles.
If you ever played Zelda Four Swords on the 3DS it’s a lot like that.
Four Swords being one of Thomas’ favourite 3DS games ever, meant he probably loved Tri-Force Heroes the most. With Jacob coming a close second.
You can play Tri-Force heroes with friends over local play, find other players to join in games over the internet, or you can take charge of all three heroes and play alone.
It takes some getting used to playing alone and switching between each hero, but it’s good that you have the option. Luckily we all have a 3DS, so have been able to enjoy playing with 3 heroes over the local network.
The name of the game is teamwork. Some of the puzzles really make you think, and everyone has to keep on their toes and in the right place to solve them.
Some times you need to reach something high up, so your heroes can Totem on top of each other. However you may need to then throw a bomb, and the player with the bombs is on the bottom of the pile. So you need to switch around quickly.
When playing online or in Local play you can communicate onscreen with your fellow players with 8 special Emoticons. For example, ‘Over here’, ‘Throw’ or ‘Nooo!’. It’s fun to use these, but we did just end up yelling at each other anyway, as it’s just easier.
We all had great fun with Legend of Zelda – Tri Force Heroes. Personally I found playing on my own a bit repetitive, but had a lot of laughs when playing together with the boys.
Thomas and Jacob however have had equal use of the game with local play and solo, and love both modes.
Thanks Nintendo UK for letting us review another brilliant 3DS title.
Disclosure: We were sent a copy of the game to review as part of the Nintendo UK family blogger panel
This week we’ve been playing around with the highly amusing new app ‘House of the Twits‘ from Penguin Random House.
Obviously based around the hideously foul Mr and Mrs Twit from Roald Dahl’s famous ‘The Twits’, it’s full of deliciously anarchic fun.
Jacob’s been the one playing it the most, as it’s entirely his sense of humour, and he finds it hilarious.
Pulling out Mrs Twit’s glass eye, feeding the pair hideous food like mouldy cornflakes and Worms, surprise parcels with pranks to play on the Twits. Truly disgusting stuff that kids will lap up.
It’s great fun to navigate around the Twits hideous house. Causing mischief waking up Mrs Twit in the Living Room, and dishing up that disgusting grub in the Kitchen.
At first only Mrs Twit and the Kitchen are available to play, but you unlock more rooms the more you play. With Mr Twit playable from level 10. However it’s not hard to unlock the extra levels, and you’ll be rooting around Mr Twit’s beard in no time.
Disclosure: We received a download code for this app, but all opinions are our own
Last week we received the most brilliantly crammed full box of loveliness. A gift from Hallmark of some of their new plush collectable toys – Itty Bittys.
Itty Bittys are already a massive hit in the US and Australia, and I predict that to continue when they launch here at the beginning of October.
Firstly I love the name as it’s describes the product so well. Not only are they small, but they are unbelievably cute, and I think the name perfectly encapsulates that.
They are so small in fact that this is the little box we received to review.
And guess how many Itty Bittys were hidden inside?
All these guys. Seven Itty Bitty plush toys!
In our box was a Superman and Batman, cowedly lion and tin man from the wizard of oz, A Santa and Rudolph, plus a Snoopy.
Itty Bittys have a great range of characters from comic books, films, tv shows that both children and adults will know and love.
The first ranges to be released in the UK are Super Heroes, Snoopy and Charlie Brown, Scooby Doo and The Wizard of Oz.
One of the first Itty Bitty characters to go on sale will be Batman, which is currently the top selling Itty Bitty in the US.
I honestly love these Itty Bittys so much, and can’t wait to see them in Hallmark stores and add to my collection.
The great thing with them being so small is that they don’t take up as much room as normal plush toys, even smaller ones. I have just put lots of plushies up in the attic as I’ve no room for them. It’ll be great to have a collection out that I can see and enjoy, without worrying about space.
It’s all the little attention to detail that makes them so special. Like the fact that you can bend Batman and Superman’s cape, and it stays up so it looks like he’s flying. Also Cowardly lions mane is so curly and gorgeous, it feels so luxurious.
The boys love them too. Even my husband thinks they are adorable. We’ve all argued about who’s getting which Itty Bitty character. Jacob loves them as they are easy to hold and cuddle, plus their size means he has more room in his bed at night. Although we do spend 5 minutes every morning digging them out of the bedclothes.
I was surprised that although obviously Thomas and Jacob loved the Batman and Superman, they were also really into all the others just as much. Jacob loves Tinman especially, and for Thomas it’s Snoopy.
Thanks to the lovely people at Hallmark I’ve got a set of Itty Bittys to giveaway to one lucky Toybuzz reader.
Isn’t that awesome!
All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below and fill in the Rafflecopter, letting us know which character you would most like to see turned into an Itty Bitty collectable
Never has getting up early before school been more worth it!
This morning our lovely postman rang the bell with a special delivery from Lego for us.
All in aid of Force Friday, the day when all the new Star Wars movie – The Force Awakens toys are released, which if you hadn’t already heard just happens to be today.
We received 2 brand new sets from the Lego Star Wars build able figures range. Theres 6 different buildable figures to choose from:
Jango Fett (RRP £14.99)
Clone Commander Cody (RRP £14.99)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (RRP £19.99)
Luke Skywalker (RRP £19.99)
Darth Vader (RRP £24.99)
General Grievous (RRP £29.99)
We were sent Obi-Wan and General Grievous, and were thrilled with them. General Grievous is arguable the best new character from the prequels, I mean he has 4 lightsabers, you can’t argue with that.
We didn’t have lots of time before school, so General Grievous is only half built so far (I’ll add a picture when he’s built). Thomas did however finish building Obi-Wan this morning, and he looks so cool.
He doesn’t look like he’s built out of Lego, it looks like a brilliant action figure or model. The way he stands up and holds his lightsaber is awesome. Plus he’s so flexible, you can put him in so many battle poses. I especially like his wonderful flowing cape.
The boys didn’t have any trouble putting the sets together. It probably helps that they are both huge Lego Hero Factory fans, as the Star Wars buildable figures use a lot of the same pieces, and are built similarly.
Update: General Grievous is now finished!!
Heres a video of our special Force Friday delivery unboxing
As well as the buildable figures, there are 7 new The Force Awakens Vehicle sets –
Millennium Falcon (RRP £129.99)
Kylo Ren’s command shuttle (RRP £99.99)
First Order Transporter (RRP £79.99)
Poe’s X-Wing Fighter (RRP £69.99)
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter (RRP £59.99)
First Order Snowspeeder (RRP £39.99)
Rey’s Speeder (RRP £19.99)
Jacob has already asked me for Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle for christmas. He really wants a Kylo Ren mini figure, with that super cool cross lightsabre.
He’s also got his eye on Poe’s X-Wing Fighter, as he’s after one of the super cute BB-8 mini figures. Plus there seems to be a lot of projectiles included, which is always a plus for him.
Thanks so much to Lego for making our Force Friday super!
After our previous fun with the Crayola Colour Alive Mythical Creatures colouring book, we were thrilled to be sent the new Crayola Colour Alive Minions set.
Crayola Colour Alive is a series of colouring books complete with special marker pens. When coloured you can scan your pictures into the free app which then magically pops them off the paper and onto the screen.
As you can see from the picture opposite, it really does look like your coloured image has come to life in front of you. You can have great fun taking pictures with your coloured creations.
In our last few we had a few problems with the app responding, but these seem to have been fully resolved in the latest update as we had no problems at all.
As well as taking pictures with your new friends, you can also use the app to add more colour or special effects like glitter or for the Minions their favourite Bananas to your creations.
Here a few other pictures that Jacob coloured in and we played around with in the app.
Crayola Colour Alive is a great way to get your gadget loving kids creative with pen and paper again. Best of both worlds if you like.
We’ve had great fun with both of the Crayola Colour Alive books we used, so am definitely going to be on the lookout for some new ones.
Disclosure: We were sent this Crayola Colour Alive book to review. All opinions are our own.
For the last few weeks we’ve been having tons of fun playing with the latest Lego set we were lucky enough to receive for review – Jokerland.
The Jokerland Lego set is totally, totally awesome. Possibly the best Lego set that i’ve seen.
Having a son who’s a Lego Batman fan he literally freaked out with joy when he saw it, and wanted to get straight to work putting it together.
We had tears when I said no as we were leaving that morning to go on a caravan holiday, however I explained that he had something amazing to come home to and he soon cheered up.
As soon as we got home he dived straight into the box, and set about building this mammoth set.
The Jokerland set comes in at a very substantial 1037 pieces, in 8 different bags inside the box.
The set comes with 8 mini figures:
Batman with Super Jumper
Plus two cool little guys – a Jokerbot and a tiny Penguin who holds dynamite.
The manual is a little strange as usually with the big sets you get 2 or 3 different manuals, but this one is a big fat phonebook of a manual with the whole build detailed in one. I think I actually prefer it like that as it makes it easier to keep tucked away for if we need to build it again.
The set is marked as an 8-14 age range, so I thought I may have to give my 7 year old Jacob a bit of help along the way. However he must be a master builder as he worked hard and built it all himself over the course of a weekend.
One tip that he has for a good Jokerland build is to use a base plate or two if you have some big enough, to help keep everything together. We found that the Penguins Deadly Duckies falls apart really easily if not built on a solid plate. You obviously don’t have to, but it makes it easier.
Jokerland is made up of 4 distinct parts –
Penguin’s Deadly Duckies fairground ride
Harley Quinn’s Wheels of Fire Bike ride
Poison Ivy and the Carnivore Free Fall ride
Joker’s Jokerland Fun House
Penguin’s Deadly Duckies ride is Jacob’s favourite as he loves Penguin the most, and even laughs like him at times. The Duckies look really good, and you can spin the ride around by twisting a button at the back.
Jacob likes to load Batman and Robin into the ducks and then try to get them to be flung out by spinning the ride around as fast as he can. It’s definitely the Deadly Duckies then.
My pick for the best ride would be Poison Ivy’s Carnivore Free Fall. It’s one of those tall freefall rides that most of us have been on at the funfair, only made out of a man eating plant. Plus you can’t get off the ride as your handcuffed in place.
Harley Quinn on her Bike probably looks the most impressive of the rides, as it spans the whole length of Jokerland.
You can hang any of the mini figures onto the underneath of Harley’s bike , hanging precariously over the flaming garbage cans. Then It’s time to call Batman to save them in a daring escape.
A very clever piece of Lego engineering and imagination.
The main bulk of the set is taken up by Joker’s Funhouse Jokerland itself.
The entrance has warped joker smile mirrors on either side. Next up is a bow tie which you can make spin, then up again is a huge Joker head with moveable eyebrows and bowler hat.
Inside Jokers Mouth is a platform for his tongue which you can use as a spring to push Joker into the mouth, down the slide and into the Toxic Tank at the bottom. Or if he’s unlucky Joker can push Batman down the slide. Depends on what mood your in!
Lastly the Two other things you have are a shoot-o-matic cannon which shoots out cannon balls, dynamite, even custard pies.
However probably the best part of the whole set is getting an amazing looking Batmobile. It’s so awesome, and Jacob absolutely loves that he made a Lego Batmobile and that it looks so cool.
The Batmobile fires missiles out of the front and the back.
The front missiles are the long stick type, however the rear shoots out stud missiles.
The giant batwings on the back of the bat mobile make it look “beast” as Jacob says.
Another brilliant part of the set is all the little extras you get. Theres Batarangs, Dynamite, Cannon balls, custard pies, handcuffs and special handcuffs with cool locks on them.
The Jokerland set has been really well thought out, it’s so creative. There is so much play potential to be had with this set.
Some days Jacob has huge superhero battles, other days they are all friends and just go on the rides together. He has had so much fun and enjoyment out of the set already. He has been especially careful, much more so than usual to keep everything looking just like when it was built as it’s such a great set he wants to keep it built and together forever.
With an RRP of £89.99 it’s not a cheap set, but in our opinion it’s definitely worth the money for the amount of play potential it has. Simply having the amazing Batmobile and 8 different Mini figures makes it a must have set.
Obviously it’s not something I would buy on a whim, but for a birthday or Christmas gift I would not hesitate to recommend it.
Thanks so much to the Lego Uk and The Lego Family Bloggers Panel for sending us this amazing set to review