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

Cravendale is #MilkDrinkersMilk

Here in the Toybuzz Household were a definite Cravendale Family. We all love the stuff.

It’s amazing the difference it makes to our day. Lovely cereal in the morning, that much deserved milky coffee after the school run, or the tall cool glass with some cookies before bed.

We all love the especially creamy taste that is distinctively Cravendale.

Last week we ran out of Cravendale on a sunday morning, we’d all decided to have some gorgeous creamy porridge the morning before and I’d used more milk than I thought.  I  ended up getting another brand from the garage, the kids immediately knew the difference and began moaning about the yucky milk.

Suffice to say I’ll definitely be stocking up on extra Cravendale from now on.

This post is an entry for BritMums #MilkDrinkersMilk Linky Challenge, sponsored by Cravendale

 

 

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

 

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer

For the last two weeks we’ve been playing the new Nintendo 3DS game – Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer.

If you familiar with previous Animal Crossing games then you’ll be right at home with this title. It’s all the things you loved about doing up your home in Animal Crossing, but that’s the whole game.

Yes it sounds like you might be missing out on all the fishing and bug catching, but it’s actually really fun decorating other peoples homes.

You work for Tom Nook as a realtor at Nook Homes. Your job at first is to decorate your clients new houses to their specific tastes. However you soon advance onto actually finding a plot and designing the exterior of the homes too.

Plus it’s not just home owners you have as clients. The lovely Isabella from Animal Crossings town hall comes to engage your services, having you build and decorate various new civic buildings like schools and hospitals, and new shops and restaurants for the town.

Theres so much more furniture and furnishings to choose from than in Animal Crossing, so you can really go to town on your clients houses. Harnessing all your interior design powers.

A feature which I didn’t get the chance to try, but will definitely be on the look out for are the new Amibo Cards. Each pack of cards come with 3 Amiibo cards. Each card is an Animal friend, and you can scan the cards on your new Amiibo enabled 3DS or with the NFC reader accessory. The animal from the card that you’ve scanned will then be in the game, and you can invite them to different events in your town.

I really enjoyed playing Animal Crossing – Happy Home Designer. It’s a gentle game, no checkpoints or levels to complete, it’s very easy going. It’s been great for me to sit down for 20 minutes when the kids have gone to bed after a stressful day, and relax and unwind by designing someones house and garden.

 

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. 

Danger Is Still Everywhere – Review

Danger is everywhere was one of the Toybuzz boys favourite books we picked up last year. So we were thrilled to be sent the follow up “Danger is still everywhere” to review.

Jacob has the most infectious laugh, and does literally roll around on the floor laughing. This book had him laughing at every page

It’s hasn’t got a story in the conventional sense, It’s more of a series of life tips for achieving Dangerology Level 2. However there is a running theme throughout, Doctor Noel stuck in a wardrobe hiding from a dog called Napkin.

As well as the crazy and wacky writing, the illustrations are hilarious. Jacob is always running over to show me what he thinks are the funniest pictures. knights fighting with cucumbers, guy in a fly costume being chased by spiders, Hippo being used as a picnic table, All these crazy scenes are beautifully illustrated in this book.

Danger is everywhere is such a funny book, and my sons laughed so hard reading it. They have both read it twice already. A Toybuzz family must read book!

Itty Bittys – Review

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.

Competition

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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition begins 15.09.15 and ends 30.09.15 at 12:00. Uk entries only.

Shouty Kid:How Harry Riddles got nearly almost famous – Review

We’ve received lots of books recently, not that were complaining. So it’s another book review today.

Shouty Kid:How Harry Riddles got nearly almost famous is the third instalment in the Shouty Kid series.

My boys have both read Shouty Kid book 1, and they both really enjoyed this new book as it’s more of the same basically.

Author Simon Mayle  has come up with such a clever writing style for the Shouty Kid books. Rather than have a written story, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid the story is told in a series of daily entries. However Shouty Kid is very much a book for the younger generation of today. Diary entries are replaced by Emails, Text messages complete with Emojis and Forum posts.

It is a brilliant way to connect with young readers, as it’s so true to life. As if they are anything like my oldest son his social life is conducted totally over Xbox messages with people with silly usernames just like Harry.

I’m sure that’s definitely why my sons have had such an instant connection with ShoutyKid. Neither of them wanted to put the book down when they’d started. Jacob got very impatient, as he had to wait for big brother to finish until he could read it.

The book follows Harry and his quest to win a Battle of the Bands competition at school. In-between theres Dad’s plans to take the whole family sailing around the world for 2 years. How can Harry become a star if he’s stuck on a boat in the ocean?

As with the first book my favourite part is reading the various emails and letters that Harry sends to random celebrities. Bob Geldof, Ozzy Osbourne, Vladimir Putin, He even writes to Mick Fleetwood! I love that some of the email and postal addresses for these celebrities are genuine. It adds a sense of credibility to the letters.

We all really enjoyed Shouty Kid:How Harry Riddles got nearly almost famous, and I would recommend it to readers from age 8 to teenagers. Available now from the usual bookshops or click here for the Amazon link

 

 

 

 

 

Darkmouth : Worlds Explode – Book Review

Thomas is a real bookworm, and he’s always looking for new books to get his teeth into. I’ve always said he’s like that bit in Short Circuit where Johnny 5 reads all the books and screams “More Input, Stephanie!”

Anyway I digress. Being into his books he was really pleased to receive a new book to review last week from Harper Collins.

It was The second book in the Dartmouth Series, Dartmouth – Worlds Explode by Shane Hegarty.

He hadn’t read the first book, but theres a short round up of what’s happened so far at the start of the book, so we knew what was going on.

It’s all about a twelve year old boy called Finn, who’s a trainee Legend Hunter.

Legends are dark mysterious monsters who live in The Infested Side. In the last book Finn’s dad who is the only proper Legend Hunter left in Dartmouth got trapped in The Infested Side, and Worlds Explode sees Finn trying to get him back.

Thomas very much liked the character of Finn. It’s one that most pre-teens can identify with I think (minus the monster hunting of course) Finn’s a bit awkward, often messing things up, everyone thinks he’s not really up to the job as he’s not old enough yet and doesn’t have the experience. He doesn’t even really want to be special and hunt monsters, he’s just following his dad into it.

However he goes off on an adventure and works hard to put things right by getting his dad back, and shows everyone he’s a worthy legend-hunter.

The book is full of wonderful illustrations, maps of the worlds, pictures of the legends. We particularly love one picture which shows the scale of what Finn is up against whilst fighting in a massive battle between the half-hunters and the Legends. It really gives you an insight into the story, and helps put you smack bang in Finn’s place.

Thomas is also a big fan of the Percy Jackson series, and he says that he can see Dartmouth becoming another one of those great series of books.

The ending definitely leaves you wanting more, and is incredibly creepy. Not scary, but creepy when you think about what happens. It’s very visual, and Thomas came down straight after finishing and told me to read the last pages as it was so good.

Thomas really enjoyed reading Dartmouth – Worlds Explode and would recommend it if you like fantasy and adventure. You can pick it up at all the usual places or heres the Amazon link