I admittedly didn’t know very much about the Minecraft toy and game selection until Halloween, when my uncle sent a photo of the costume that he had made for his son; who am I kidding—I knew nothing until then! My cousin Carson is a 5 year-old obsessed with the stuff! At the time, all I knew was that Carson could make anything look adorable, and that he had clearly moved on from trains and into this world where players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-D generated world. I can’t even begin to understand all of the insider ins-and-outs of Minecraft, and it seems as though the name represents an entity of games and licensed products. I do, though, like to get as involved as I can with Carson, as I am much more aware of the favorites of his sister, Kennedy, since they were the same as mine: all things pink. Man, girls are simple! In time for the holidays, I took the game home to see what this Minecraft business is all about, so I can get those ever-elusive little kid “brownie points” while I’m home for Christmas. [Read more...]
PopCap, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. has launched Peggle 2, available exclusively for Microsoft’s Xbox One. Peggle 2, a sequel to the original puzzle game, has tons of new features and is available from the Xbox Live Games Stores.
Key features of this game include five Peggle Masters, each with multiple costumes, 60 all-new gameplay levels, 60 all-new trials, 180 objectives, achievements and 1,000G to collect, Peg Party mode for multiplayer fun, high-definition graphics and orchestral audio specific to each Master, and Kinect gesture and voice commands for in-game and menu controls in some markets.
New data from youth research agency Dubit has shown that parents have a greater hold on in-app payments (IAP). The research shows that only 2 percent of kids have ever spent without their parent’s permission, and not one of the 500 kids surveyed had ever spent more than $16 on a single purchase. Furthermore, only 17 percent of children are allowed by parents to spend money in-game, and they rarely spend more than $3 in one go.
Of the 500 parents and children (ages 6 to 12) surveyed by Dubit, 71 percent of the children played mobile games, compared with 91 percent of parents. Only 17 percent allow their child to spend real money in-game. The data shows that such permissions increase as kids get older: the older the child, the more likely they are to conduct an in-app purchase.
Eighty-seven percent of kids always ask their parents before making a purchase, and 11 percent usually ask, meaning that only 2 percent have ever bought something without their parents’ consent. Although 2 percent is still a worry, this does not appear to be a case of kids being out of control. It appears that parents acknowledge this as 41 percent of children who are allowed to make in-app payments know their parent’s app store account details. [Read more...]
Family game night is a big hit among a lot of families. It’s their time to bond through games everyone enjoys. I love game night, spending time with my family, and engaging in fun games. Now I have a new addition to the occasional event. Family game night calls for family-friendly games and Awkward Family Photos, from All Things Equal, has definitely struck gold.
I had the opportunity to take Awkward Family Photos home with me and just from the photos on the outside of the box, I knew it would be an interesting game. I mean, how awkward is a baby in a wagon making a funny face? Well, you would be surprised. When I took the contents out of the box and saw it consisted of answer sheets, pencils, and a booklet with 20 questions alongside the deck of cards, I was wondering what this game could possibly be about. It was much more than what I expecting—in a good way! [Read more...]
On October 10, Skylanders fanatics united in New York City for the Skylanders SWAPtoberfest! A life-size world of Skylands was created right in the middle of Times Square. I joined hundreds of kids as they checked out all-things-new at Skylanders and prepared for the highly anticipated release of the new Skylanders Swap Force video game. Kiosks were set up, alongside a Skylands ship, for fans to play the new game in advance of its official launch. Skylanders Swap Force game footage was also featured on the Times Square jumbotron, so fans and passersby were able to watch the action! Kids, parents, and bloggers participated in Swaptober-themed events: Eating candy corn and cupcakes; greeting the costumed characters of the SWAP Force; and learning to play the new video games, which released in North America on October 13. I don’t want to brag, but after about 40 minutes of hogging the video game kiosk (stealing the time from actual children with no shame), I am pretty much a Skylanders boss!
I love that the Skylanders brand is so extensive, offering something for kids of all ages and interests.
Even better is the fact that all you really need to get started in the Skylanders realm is a Swap Force Starter Pack. This set includes a video game, a portal of power, a collector’s poster, three trading cards, three character sticker sheets with secret codes, and three Skylanders figures. There is also a starter pack available in the Dark edition; it includes a video game, a portal of power, a mega character collector poster, five sticker sheets with secret codes, five trading cards, and five Skylanders figures. These starter packs also come in Giants and Syro’s Adventures editions. The technology and inspiration behind the new Skylanders video game make it an absolutely unstoppable force. I was able to speak with several of the video game designers who shared with me that the evolution of the game is only beginning—Skylanders is just getting started! All of the designers that I spoke with are parents, and one mommy/designer shared with me that this is the first game that she’s been a part of that she is happy to share with her children. [Read more...]
Landing Mr. Right, from Alys & Victoria, is a grown-up version of Mystery Date, all about girlfriends sharing stories and inspiring each other to get in the game to land their Mr. Right.
Landing Mr. Right is a journey of self discovery. You have the opportunity to date outside your comfort zone and explore relationships with different types of men. You can take chances in the board game you might not in life. And, when you share your dating stories with your girlfriends, a journey of new possibilities begins. While technically the first player to land on Mr. Right (a space on the board) is the winner, all girlfriends who play the game win as they learn more about the guys they could be dating as well as themselves.
You roll the die, pick your guy, and share your story. The game revolves around dating six types of men: Blue Blood, CEO, Regular Guy, Rock Star, Triathlete, and Techno-Geek. When you choose a Date card, you are free to select whomever you’d like to date—just like in life. The guys take you on exciting dates to ten destinations around the board. But, whether your date gets you closer to or further away from Landing Mr. Right is all in the cards. After your date, you pick a Your Story card with a question that prompts you to share dating experiences with your girlfriends. From, “who was the first boy you kissed and is he now a friend on Facebook?” to whether your last relationship was sealed with a kiss or the great kiss-off– your answers get you thinking, laughing, and discovering new things about yourself, your dating choices, and the best kept secrets of your closest girlfriends.
Launching now on Kickstarter, Landing Mr. Right will be available in time for the holidays. The creators, Alys Daly & Victoria Brewer are seasoned marketing professionals and dating experts who seek to inspire confidence in women through their humor and experience in everything from dating to personal styling.
During a recent game-testing session here at The Toy Book, I had the opportunity to play Fandooble, from Mindtwister USA. This game took a few rounds to get the hang of, but once I did, I really liked it—so much so that I called dibs and took it home. Last weekend, I hosted my two teenage male cousins from Sweden. Needless to say, it could be a challenge at times to find activities that we all enjoyed; after all, a 13-year-old boy and a 28-year old woman don’t have a lot of common ground. Fandooble was a great solution, and we played several times during their visit. I even purchased another copy to send home with them as a reminder of our time together.
The game includes four dice and a bag of gold coins. The dice bear images of green dragons, red dragons, knights, wizards, treasure chests, and Fandooble—the money-snatcher. Each player begins the game with five coins in their “stash.” The rest of the coins are kept in the middle. [Read more...]
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and Cryptozoic Entertainment, a developer of licensed trading cards and board games, will launch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game, the first expansion to the The Lord of the Rings Deck-building Game line-up. This expansion adds all-new cards and gameplay mechanics to the Cerberus: Middle-earth game engine.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game, players pick a hero and fight to protect the wall of Helm’s Deep from Saruman’s forces. Players start with only basic combat maneuvers in their deck, but as the game progresses, they can add new and more powerful cards to their deck. The Wall of Helm’s Deep Deck adds a new level of strategy to the game, representing new perils if players cannot defend the wall from Saruman’s forces. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game can be played on its own, or it can be combined with other expansions from The Lord of the Rings trilogy to create an epic experience.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-building Game will be available in hobby and mass retail stores in this summer.
by Pam Johnson
The great journey of adulthood will happen to us all. However, before you get there, it’s time to enjoy these fun and amusing board games.
Don’t even try to get to adulthood without playing Candy Land! This amusing game has been entertaining children of all ages for decades and decades, and you simply cannot miss it.
While one of the games can still take hours to complete, Monopoly Jr. is more suitable for a younger crowd than the standard version. Youngsters can certainly learn some basic counting skills while having a lot of fun.
Before making that final leap into the world of adults, it’s time to get out the board and play some real Monopoly. You’ll get a chance to see what it’s like to own some real estate and handle some seriously large amounts of money in your own hands! [Read more...]