Hearing Things is the new party game from Hasbro, and we’ve had a great time together trying it out for ourselves.
Following on from the amazing success of Pie Face and Speak Out, Hearing Things has a lot to live up to.
Hearing Things is a really simple concept for a game. Put on a pair of headphones and then try to guess what your partner is saying by reading their lips. Apparently the Whisper challenge is a big thing online and YouTube, so the kids were really excited to give the game a try.
The main element of the game is the special speech cancelling electronic headphones. Wearing them made me feel like when contestants go in the booth on Mr and Mrs and have to listen to music whilst their partner answers questions.
It’s not the same as that though, as these headphones are speech cancelling, not music playing or noise cancelling. What you get is a cacophony of different noises which bombard your brain, and make it harder to make out what your partner is saying so you are just reading their lips.
The headphones also have an inbuilt timer, which makes things easier. Press the start button and you get a very quick 60 seconds of gobbledygook with which to take your turn.
The game comes with one pair of the special headphones, and 150 cards with 600 phrases. Each player gets 60 seconds to wear the headphones and watch their partner reading out sentences from the cards. You get to keep the cards you correctly identify and the player with the most cards at the end is the winner.
The phrases on the cards are crazy too, so its not like you can easily guess what your partner is saying. You get things like ‘That jumper is too baggy’, or my favourite ‘Vegans do this carefully’.
Having two boisterous boys they do tend to have loud voices, so sometimes whilst playing we could indeed hear what was being said over the headphone noise, but we just had to tell them to whisper more and not be so loud and then it was fine.
We all had great fun playing this game together, we went in teams kids v parents but I can’t wait to get it out at big family gatherings and have bigger teams play against each other.
It’s definitely earned its place in our regular family game night rotation. Brilliant fun.
When I was younger I really really loved My Little Pony, so I just had to jump at the chance to review this new My Little Pony the Movie Canterlot & Seaquestria Castle.
It’s the exact thing that would have made my 8yr old dreams come true. Sadly I never had a castle to go with my ponies, I don’t even know if they did castles for them then, so I’m making up for it now!
As you know I have two boys, and sadly although I know there’re a big thing, neither of mine are Bronies, so my dreams of playing My Little Pony with my children have never materialised.
However Thomas and I did put the castle together, as he liked the look of the big box it came in and says it looks pretty cool if you like that sort of thing. Well I do, It’s beautiful.
First impressions are very good. Box appeal is great. Your youngster is going to be so happy seeing this wrapped up either on their birthday or under the christmas tree.
It’s relatively easy to put together, the instructions are simple but the only thing I found odd was the colours of the pieces seem to be off. I’m busy looking for a purple piece, but it’s really blue. Need a big blue piece, but its actually yellow. So you need the box handy to keep looking back at the photo and finding what colour the piece should really be. It’s weird but not a massive deal.
Some pieces don’t slot together as easy as they should do, and need a jiggle about and good shove. I spent ages trying to get the sea shell thing on the lift, but it does go eventually. Maybe I’m just a weakling.
Ok so once it’s all built it looks pretty awesome. Theres lots of nooks and crannies with things to do. Theres a slide, three carousel type things including one disguised as a very friendly octopus.Theres a big sea shell which opens up for you to hide your treasures in. The set come with over 30 accessories like tea cups, food, jewellery, even a very cute rubber duckie swim ring, so theres lots for you to hide away or use for your games.
I love that the castle is actually two distinct castles in one with Canterlot at the top, and the change to Seaquestria castle at the bottom, with the lift in-between the two. Both stages of the castle are a fair size, so the two onto of each other make it over 73cm tall and very impressive.
The set also comes with Spike the Pufferfish and Queen Novo figures. The My Little Pony Wiki informs me that Queen Novo is a female Hippogriff-turned-seapony who appears as a supporting character and is Princess Skystar’s mother in My Little Pony The Movie.
Although I was a big My Little Pony fan when younger I haven’t kept up with the Friendship is Magic series. I might need to start watching that I think.
Ok so now for a few niggles that I have, well to be honest the only niggles i have. The carousels.
The one big wing type one on the side is obviously for Queen Novo and friends to give the impression that they are flying about underwater, considering they are half bird. However Queen Novo doesn’t work well on it at all.
After a lot of trial and error I can get Queen Novo the pony figure to sit on the carousel, although its not easy you really have to jam the fins into the gap. Still once I did get her on as she’s quite large and long due to the big mermaid fin, when you spin it just hits the lift on the other side. If your lucky it just stops dead, but if not she falls out again.
It’s think it’s just badly designed, I don’t think its me, although it could be just the way I’m doing it.
Probably other ponies who don’t have the big mermaid tail would be fine spining around, but unfortunately I don’t have any to test so can’t say for sure.
Next onto the octopus carousel, I just don’t see what its for other than to look cute. Possibly some of the other sets of figures fit on it, but Queen Novo is far to large, and the Fish just falls off.
Again in a recurring theme the carousel at the top of the castle is a problem too. For once its big enough and theres nothing in the way, the figures don’t go on it properly although it is the best of the bunch. Queen Novo just lays down on it, and the pufferfish again just flies off unless you turn it at the slowest speed possibly defeating the object.
The strange thing is that there are holes on it to hold the ponies on it, but no holes on Queen Novo or Spike the Pufferfish. I do remember that my old My Little Ponies did have holes in their hoofs to help them stand on things, so hopefully you could use other ponies with this set and have more luck.
It is annoying that the two included figures don’t have the holes though. I understand that on Queen Novo it would be difficult but surly Spike the Pufferfish could have had a hole underneath.
I feel I might be coming across as overly harsh, but if me as an adult is getting frustrated that I can’t get my ponies to ride the carousel, as a parent I see the tantrums from little ones coming a mile off. Maybe a younger child wouldn’t mind and would just enjoy that they twirl and fall off, but I’m just not sure.
To be fair though thats my only real gripe. Theres a slide for the ponies to enjoy, the lift goes up and down from Canterlot to Seaquestria, A throne for queen Novo to sit on, theres a skateboard thing for Queen Novo to ride the waves that works well. I like all the little accessories, the seafood dinner party pieces with iceland style prawn ring platter are especially fun.
All in all I do like the My Little Pony The Movie Canterlot & Seaquestria Castle, It’s a big set which I can see younger boys and girls getting hours of play from. It’s something I would have loved to own when I was a little girl.
Fidget Spinners have been the massive toy craze of the year for sure, and the hype’s not over yet.
My sons are still massively into their spinning wonders, and to be honest I am too. I just love them. They keep the boys entertained for ages, keep their hands busy, and are easy to take around in my handbag or your pocket.
My only gripe with them is the variations in quality. I know that most are cheap and only a couple of pounds, but some are £5 or even £10 and when you get to those prices you would like to think there would be some consistent level of quality.
We have found that some the very cheap spinners have been our best, well moulded and with a good spin. However some more expensive ones have had rusted bearings from straight out of the pack.
Rusted bearings does not a good fidget spinner make.
So when we got the opportunity to review some official NBA branded fidget spinners we were delighted. I was keen to find out if an official product would mean a better quality product, and am pleased to say thats just what we found.
The official NBA Fidget Spinners are available as 7 different teams
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers
New York Knicks
San Antonio Spurs
The Teams spinner’s are available for £7.00 each from NBA Store EU
The first thing you’ll notice with these spinners is the superior packaging.
Them come in a lovely package with an official hologram, and you can just see the quality compared to cheaper spinners.If you were going to buy a fidget spinner as a gift these would be ideal as the extra quality of the packaging makes it much more of a gift.
Next onto the spinners themselves.
We like that they are lightweight, but not too light if you know what I mean. They just feel nice in the hand.
But the best part are the finger grips. The Teams logo’s look great whilst your spinner is going round, but it also feels great to spin too.
We’ve found that most of the fidget spinners we have collected have either flat grips, or concave. However these spinners are rounded outwards on both side, so they feel really nice between your fingers to spin, and they go really very well on a flat surface.
My Youngest Jacob absolutely loves these Spinners as they are so easy to get a massively long spin. They are definitely the best Fidget Spinners we’ve had out of a bunch of around 10.
At £7.00 they are perhaps more expensive than some Fidget Spinners, but by all means not excessively so. Personally I’ve bought £10 versions from the stalls in the town centre, and they haven’t had half as good a spin as the NBA Ones. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these Fidget Spinners to anyone who’s looking for a quality spinner, Plus if your a big NBA fan to boot then it’s a no brainer.
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.
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
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.
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.
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