Growing up, I loved going to the restaurant Chuck E. Cheese. Besides the video games, one of my favorite things about that place was the animatronic show featuring Chuck E. Cheese and his friends who performed in a band and played music for you while you ate cheesy pizza. The grease in the pizza combined with the music created by these robots created a kind of bliss for children that can’t be explained unless experienced. But in the back of my mind, I was always a bit creeped out by these animatronic characters. They looked so life like yet moved like robots. And sang.
Fast forward twenty five years. I was checking out the top apps in the Apple app store and I stumbled upon a $2.99 game called Five Nights at Freddy’s. The game centers on the fictional pizza restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The player acts as a night security guard, defending themselves from the malfunctioning animatronic animal characters by tracking their movement through the facility using security cameras. Each of the four characters have distinct movement patterns; however, most of the characters’ movements take place off-screen. The camera feeds are dimly lit and distorted, one of the rooms only contains an audio feed, and the cameras do not cover certain areas of the building. Sound creepy yet?
Being a fan of video games, scary movies and childhood nostalgia, I must give this game a try. It is supposedly very scary to play but I don’t care because it looks awesome. I will post a review of the app later, after I download it tonight. Well, if I make it through the night.
In honor of the Rubik’s Cube’s 40th anniversary, Google has turned its logo into a giant, playable Rubik’s Cube. The puzzle was invented in 1974 by Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik and since has sold more than 350 million variations of the cube twisting game. The furthest I’ve ever gotten on a Rubik’s Cube is just getting all of the same side the same color. After that I’m lost on hoe to maintain that side while also matching the others.
The other day I was walking through the mall and noticed that the Smithsonian Store was selling this interesting magnetic puzzle ball called Ball of Whacks. Being a sucker for these types of desk toys, I decided to pick it up and try it out. I was instantly hooked! The ball is made of 30 pyramid shaped magnets that can come apart. When you take this rhombic triacontahedron (a shape with 30 sides) apart, you will see that it’s easy to form other shapes including stars, spheres, blocks and even animals.
After reading through some of the 96-page booklet that came with the toy, it looks like this ball is supposed to expand your mind and get you into a creative mood. Even though this could spur up some great ideas, I also think it just makes a good fidgety toy for when you’re bored. The book could make a good reference but honestly I don’t think it’s necessary because once you get it in your hands you won’t care about what’s inside the pages.
When all the 30 pieces are assembled into the ball, it’s about the size and weight of a baseball. It has a nice feel to it and is made out high-quality plastic. When the pieces are taken apart however they feel a little cheap and flimsy. I don’t see the pieces ever breaking unless you try to break them or accidently drive over them. Although the ball is a lot of fun to play with, it’s a bit limiting due the the shapes and magnetic forces of the pieces. Yes you can make other shapes out of the pieces but they somehow always end up being the ball when all is said and done. Perhaps this was the intention of Mr. Von Oech.
Reading the reviews on Amazon.com, I see people saying that they play with the ball when stuck on a problem to find a creative solution. I can see how this could work for some people but I don’t see this solving any of my problems in the future. I’ve played with other desk toys such as BuckyBalls that have a more open-puzzle feel. Perhaps I just need to spend more time with my Ball of Whacks before I can unlock the power within. The Ball of Whacks comes in blue and red colors and can be had for around $25-$30. Overall I am pleased with this toy but it does leave some things to be desired.
I was a fan of the board game Risk growing up and I am a fan of Metal Gear Solid right now so when I heard about a Risk board game based on Metal Gear Solid I knew I had to blog about it. Only 2,014 Limited Edition versions will be available starting in November although you will be able to pre-order the game starting on October 3.
Game comes complete with:
- Over 290 custom game pieces:
- 5 PMC Armies
- 8 Bosses
- Outer Haven Battleship
- Drebin’s Shop Cards
- Territory Cards
- PMC Headquarters
- Custom Outer Haven Game Board
- Custom Earth Game Board
- 7 dice
More @ USAopoly.
You may wonder how a chess set that looks like a scale model of a city skyline is actually a chess set for beginners. The grooves in the pieces actually remind the player of the move pattern which that particular piece is allowed to do. Also the red wooden pieces on top of the grey wooden board doesn’t hurt in making this set attractive.
More @ The Design Blog.
There are already hundreds of editions of Monopoly out there but hold on to your hats for yet another one. To celebrate Monopoly’s 75th anniversary, Monopoly is releasing a new circular board. In addition to the new board shape, this edition of Monopoly will also feature a banking system which works on credit, not cash. It looks as though also the game tokens and property cards have also been redesigned. This edition of Monopoly should be coming out later this year.
More @ Wired.