Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Review

Jacob my youngest, and my husband have been playing Zelda Breath of the Wild together for 2 weeks now.

This is Jacobs first Zelda game, but he was really hyped up after watching all the Youtubers doing playthroughs, so he was thrilled when we got a review code for the game from Nintendo.

Although they’re only about half way through we think, they are really loving the experience so far.

Initially Jacob and his dad were planning on having their own saves and playing through separately. However even with his prior knowledge Jacob found the game rather difficult on his own.

Actually I’m not sure if Jacob will be a bit upset I said it was too difficult for him, perhaps thats not strictly true. I think he just found the initial openness of the environment, and ‘I can do anything so what am I supposed to do’ a bit daunting.

So its been a good bonding exercise and worked out well, Jacob and his dad playing together. Ive enjoyed us all sitting in the front room and watching them explore Hyrule together, cooking recipes and working out tricky puzzles. It’s a great game to sit and watch someone play.

We’ve been testing out the Wii U version of the game as we don’t have a new Switch yet, but the game still looks and plays amazing. It will obviously look better on the Switch as it’s a newer console, but I can’t honestly see how as I think it looks beautiful. Definitely the best looking game we’ve played on the Wii U ever.

As always there are some great characters to be found lurking around Hyrule.  Jacob and I especially love Hetsu and his maracas

His happy dance is so funny, and I love his “Dah-na-na-na-naaaaaaaa!”.

I think still the best thing about Zelda are the puzzles. I know my husband has got frustrated a few times at some fiendish puzzles, but the satisfaction you get when you’ve actually figured it out and solved it soon makes up for it.

Another mainstay of Zelda games is the beautiful music and sound design, and Breath of the Wild certainly doesn’t disappoint. The game sounds beautiful. I love the background music, weather effects, dialogue sounds and music. It’s all so emotive, and plays a big part in the storytelling.

Even Thomas my oldest who’s now more of a first person shooter kind of guy has shown an interest in Breath of the wild. He’s even got first dibs on the Wii U when they’ve finished it, as he’s going to give it a go himself.

So there we go thats The Toybuzz household review of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We maybe only halfway through but were loving it. We can’t wait to see what happens next, and who Link will come up against next.

Disclosure: We were given a review code for this game as part of our participation in the Nintendo Family Bloggers Network. All views and opinions are our own.

Super Mario Maker for 3DS – Review

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.

Pokemon Sun and Moon – Review

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.

 

Furby Connect – Review

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 Works 2 Christmas gifts for £10 deal – Review

I was very pleased last week to be contacted by The Works, to ask if I wanted to take part in their 2 gifts for £10 review. I was very happy to oblige as I love The Works, it’s my go to shop for school birthday party gifts, and christmas stocking fillers.

I nominated Jacob, Thomas’ friend in school, and my grandad to receive presents, and sent a bit of information about their likes and hobbies. The elves from Santas Workshop at The Works then went to work, scouring the shelves for the best gifts in the deal that they all would love.

I was so so happy when our parcel of surprise presents arrived, and amazed with the quality of the gifts which were all 2 for £10, and also in awe of The Works Elves amazing gift picking skills.

For my grandad I mentioned that he likes to read a good book, but about things like nature rather than fiction. He will be thrilled with his brilliant value book and dvd set about birds, and a book about trains used during the war.

Next was Thomas’ school friend Gemma. She 10, and into arts, crafts, fairies and everything glittery.

The gift of a beautiful glittery box of beads, and a fairytale story book couldn’t be more suited to her. She’s going to be thrilled with those.

And finally Jacob, who I said was 7 (nearly 8 as he will hasten to add) and loves arts and crafts, and building things.

He’s going to be over the moon with his Paint your own dinosaur set and Dino Park Bulding Lego style block set.  He was absolutely crazy about Jurassic World this summer, so these will go down really well.

Even though I’m used to The Works great value, i’m really quite surprised how many cool, interesting, and fun things that you can pick up at an incredible 2 for £10. Just take a look at the The Works website for yourself, and along with the above theres Magic sets, cookery books, Jewellery sets, books about space, and so much more.

 

 

SpyNet Laser TripWire – Review

So this last week has been the most hectic in the Toybuzz house since my two babies were born, as it was time for a new baby to enter the family – Maple the Puppy.

Perhaps not the best time then to try and set up and test the new SpyNet Laster Trip Wire. The little mite ‘s not the best at stealth, and is more likely to be bombing around the room than trying to sneak past the lasers.

However she has helped us find out that the laser trip wire works really well, so thats a good thing.

The set comes with a laser base unit, two mirror pads, and the final alarm unit.

The mirror pads have suckers on the bottom so you can attach them onto doors, walls and windows. Making it easier to line the laser beams up.

The set up is really easy once you get the hang of lining up the lasers properly.

Initially I thought it would be easier if I placed all the units and mirrors close together, however we found it’s actually easier if they are further apart as the beam is longer.

One thing to mention is that the Tripwire takes 6AAA batteries. So make sure your stocked up when you buy.

I was hoping to get some great video footage of the boys trying to dodge the tripwire, however Maple has put paid to that as she keeps running off with the mirror units and growling at them.

The SpyNet Laser Tripwire is great fun. The units are small enough so your able to hide them really well. They certainly gave Thomas a fright when I caught him sneaking into the kitchen for a sneaky snack.

Thomas, Jacob and Maple had lots of fun testing out the SpyNet laser Tripwire, and we would recommend it for adventurous kids with a big imagination.

 

 

 

Legend of Zelda Tri Force Heroes – Review

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

House of the Twits – App Review

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

 

Super Mario Maker – Review

For the last 2 weeks the number one game being played by all of us has been Super Mario Maker. Jacob is so taken with it, that it’s a fight to get the Wii U out of his hands to have a go yourself.

The game is a genius idea. Give the players the tools to create their own Super Mario levels on the Wii U gamepad. It’s amazingly simple, but utterly addictive.

It’s not just the brilliance of being able to make your own levels, but you also get to play everyone else’s level creations.

We were sent a copy by Nintendo to review, complete with a Super Mario Maker Amiibo and a very cool little Mario flip book which the boys loved and fought over, and broke the cover off. Trust me to have two boys!

As I mentioned Jacob is the one who’s played it the most, as he won’t let anyone else on it. As well as making his own levels, he loves playing other peoples challenges. The way that you can share your levels with other players online via codes is really great.

 

Jacob loves watching his favourite Youtubers Super Mario Maker levels, and being able to use the codes to download and try them himself. That is probably his favourite part of the game. Playing the same levels as Yogscast and Stampy Longnose, plus levels made by his Youtubing heroes.

You can use the Amiibos you have in your collection to add to the fun in the game. By pressing them onto the Wii U gamepad you can make your Amiibo characters jump into your levels.

Super Mario Maker starts off quite small. Theres a little tutorial level at the beginning holding your hand as you start building, and then it’s you turn. However you might be surprised when you begin at the amount of things you can add to your level. However don’t panic this is just Super Mario Maker letting you in gently. Keep level designing and soon your first item truck will appear, adding more to your arsenal of blocks and templates.

It takes around a week until you will collect everything the game has for your levels. Every morning Jacob has jumped out of bed and straight downstairs to the Wii U gamepad to see what the item truck has brought him. He’s so excited now he has all the items.

Although you can play on the big screen TV as usual, It’s much easier to just take the Wii U Gamepad and build your levels comfy on the sofa. It’s great that you have the option of tv play or simply via the Wii U gamepad screen.  Especially since Jacob doesn’t want to let the game go.

Super Mario Maker is the perfect game for a creative kid like Jacob, he’s absolutely in his element throwing Bowsers here there and eveywhere. It’s really easy to pick up and start making your level, but making a good level takes time and patience.

This is something he’s starting to realise after playing it for 2 weeks, yes you made a level, but you could make it better if you spent a bit more time on it.

It’s definitely a game that he’ll still be playing just as much 6 months from now. I think his level making skills are only going to get better with time. Plus the whole Super Mario Maker community are going to grow as well, so they’ll be even more brilliant user submitted levels to play.

As you can see from Jacob’s video review, it’s a big hit!

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of Super Mario Maker by Nintendo in order to write an honest review. All opinions are our own.

 

 

 

 

 

LEGO Awesome Ideas Book – Review

As you must know by now, my boys absolutely love LEGO. Well we all do.

So when we were asked to review the new LEGO Awesome Ideas book from DK Books, we couldn’t say yes quick enough.

The LEGO Awesome Ideas book is a brilliant book packed full of so many crazy, exciting, imaginative ideas for things you could build with the LEGO you already have.

Most of the big ideas show you exactly what pieces you would need, and which sets those pieces could be found in. Theres also suggestions for alternative pieces you could use, if you didn’t have some of the very set specific pieces on hand.

However it’s not a step by step guide on how to build LEGO models, it’s more of a general “How about making this?” or “Hey we made this cool space station, how about giving it a go?”

The variety of things included astounded me. Yes theres the obvious  houses, space ships, cars and trains. Theres also crazy things that I would have never though were so easy to make like a box of LEGO chocolates, Bunsen Burner and Test tubes, and a bathroom shaving mirror.

After reading through the book for over an hour, the first thing Jacob decided to try his hand at was the Cream-Pie Catapult. We have lots of Creme-Pies from His favourite Joker and Krusty the clown mini-figures, so we started off with that.

 

I would definitely recommend this book for Lego fans. I think fans from around aged 8 and over would get the most from this book, as it’s not a step by step guide just a jumping off point into Lego Building. Possibly younger fans would get a bit frustrated, as some of the designs can get very intricate and detailed.

However even if your in the mood for building some LEGO, if your a fan it’s simply a great book to sit back and enjoy. The Designs are amazing, the ideas are brilliant, and I just love the whole look of the book.

I think as my children get older it’s a book that’s going to be used more and more.

©2015 The LEGO Group. Produced by Dorling Kindersley under licence from the LEGO Group.

Disclosure: We received this book from the Publishers in order to write a review. All opinions are our own.