Follow – new app for travel and roadtrips

Have you ever been tasked with going someplace new, or had to follow behind another car to go someplace? (Meaning you had to follow another person driving?)  This can be a stressful situation for both parties.  Red lights, other drivers, pedestrians, re-fueling.  All this can lead to losing the other person getting lost, and in general can be cumbersome and down right unnerving.  Luckily, there is a new app called Follow, where it is easy to set up each person as the leader or follower and have others follow or lead you to your destination.

With both map based GPS locations and an audible notice when the trip changes, it is easy to follow or lead your trips.  This is great for short trips and long road trips as well.  Instead of being right on the leader car’s bumper, it is now possible to follow a safe distance away (even if other cars get in between you as you drive) while still getting to your final destination on time.  The app is breeze to use and after registering, makes for some fun trips with friends.  This is perfect for a group of friends in high school just learning how to drive in an area, a real estate agent trying to bring clients to more then one house, some friends going on a trip, or even out of town relatives who you are trying to show around a bit.  No matter what the reason, this app is very helpful.  Best part is it is is free to download.  If you want to have more then one follower, there is a 0.99 upgrade fee.  Follow allows you the ability to assign yourself or another as a leader and invite users to be followers.  It also gives you instant alerts when leader changes course.  It offers  hands-free navigation with verbal directions, and even easily turn off follow tracking for user safety.
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Dragon Quest VIII for the 3DS

Dragon Quest has been a long standing classic series, and one of the most memorable of them is Dragon Quest 8. This game was originally released for the PS2 and is now available for the Nintendo 3DS.  Dragon Quest sports characters and environments (which are beautifully designed) as well as enemies with unique oddities including slimes, Drackies, bone barons, and sabercats are all included.  Not only is it a portable version, but there are also quite a few extras packed in as well.  Now you can defeat monsters and add them as backup for your own battles, adding a new dimension.

There are also 2 new characters, monster arena owner Morrie and Red the bandit.  You can now save anywhere during the game, which is fantastic, and a very important update is the fact there are no more random encounters.   So if you are searching for some health, no need to get as nervous as you make your way about, just be quick and stealthy.  The alchemy pot is another addition, where items are added and new items are made- (such as potions or weapons) there are many possibilities.  There are also new weapons, new side missions, a whole new ending available, and a new dungeon as well.  You also now have the ability to take pictures in game and share via StreetPass with your friends on the 3DS.
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Poochy And Yoshi’s Woolly World for 3DS

yoshi and poochy

Yarn Yoshi is back, and this time he has brought his woolly buddy Poochy, in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World.  Kamek the magikoopa has changed everyone into wool, Yoshi and Poochy are here to save the day.  This game is a retelling of Yoshi Woolly World on the Wii U, which includes over 55 levels of fun and also adds some new Poochy levels.  Every level has a craft feel, where enemies are yarn-abes and each texture and item is also craft based.

There is also an ability to enter Mellow Mode, where Yoshi sports his signature wings and can float about, and adds Poochy’s 3 little puppies to help find secrets and hidden passages.  This game is great for players of all ages, where experienced players will try to collect all the items available while beginners will be happy to beat each level.  New to this version are collectable pencil stamps which add materials to use in craft mode.  Craft mode is where you can create your own Yoshi patterns using various colors and materials gathered during game play.  You can make any pattern you like from a favorite sports team to a super hero costume design.  These Yoshi can then be shared as well.  Another neat feature is Yoshi feature, where you can watch animated shorts based on Yoshi and Poochy’s adventures.
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Google Chromecast at Best Buy #ad @BestBuy @Chromecast

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Chromecast Audio is a fun little gadget, it lets you stream many forms of online audio to any speaker system.  All you need is a smart phone, tablet or computer, wi-fi and an audio in jack, which is available on almost all audio systems made.  The device is small and easy to use, and also doesn’t eat up your cell phone battery with Blue Tooth usage.  Chromcast Audio itself interfaces with your cell phone and supports many audio apps, including Pandora, Google Music and Spotify, for a full list check here: chromecast.com/apps.  Now you can easily fill every room in your home with synchronous music. Simply group Chromecast Audio devices together so you can listen to the same song on multiple speakers.  Making a full home audio experience possible.  This is great for cleaning days when zipping from room to room, cleaning up the kitchen, bathroom, dusting, etc.  No one wants to clean quietly.  Music is a great way to pass the time and actually enjoy yourself while working.
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Fun New Video Games for Families

Nicer weather is on the way, but what to do while you are still trapped indoors? Check out these new video games and devices you can play with the kids.

 

Skylanders Imaginators is the newest in the proud Skylanders line of games.  Each game further expands on the previous, and lets real life toy-like figures meet and battle on the portal (game) and inside the game itself. Each character is unique and can be brought into the game with the included portal by simply placing the toy on the portal.  This newest iteration brings in a character creation element which makes for great fun and increased interactivity in a unique way.  The story follows the Skylanders as they try to defeat Kaos in his newest plan to destroy Skyland.  Kaos has found a new power called the Mind Magic and is creating an army of Doomlanders.  The leader of the good guys is Eon, and he calls upon Portal Masters to battle Kaos and his army.  But this time there are Sensei’s as well.  These sensei’s give you new powers for your Imaginators to use and be built with.  The new Nintendo system Switch has received its own version of this fun game, and now includes further mobility. You can also save your Skylanders’ figure stats and abilities to the system so you can play Skylanders on the go with your characters but without a portal or figures in tow.  This is a great new addition (and kind of a big deal)  and makes Skylanders able to be an “on the go” game as well.

Skylanders Imaginators

If you haven’t yet, you can also create your own Skylander that will be mailed to you in real life. My son flipped his lid over this, and your Skylanders fan will as well. It’s easy to do, just download the Skylanders Creator app from the iOS or Android store, and using the app, create an Imaginator character or transfer one from the Skylanders Imaginators console game to the app. Follow the directions, it takes just a few minutes once downloaded from start to finish. Any Skylander you created can be yours in real life- one of the cooler things we’ve seen in a while.  Highly recommend.

Nintendo Switch

Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has finally given us what we have been frothing at the mouth for, a new system!  Their newest console is the Switch.  It is both a portable as well as a use at home console, which I think is very neat.  It is easy to switch between the two, even in the middle of your current game.  The first thing you will notice upon opening up the Switch is there is not much in the box, a tablet and a stand, controllers, a few various controller accessories and cables.  This is exactly the point of the system- portability.  The tablet portion of the Switch is quite a powerhouse, with a crisp, gorgeous display.  The controllers are very responsive and are solidly built as well.  They do feel a bit small in Dad’s monster size hands, but are definitely still playable for long periods of time (especially when used in conjunction with the joy con grip, which turns the two small controllers into one bigger one for a more classic gaming feel).  It’s actually kind of telling of current gaming, all the different ways the Switch is played in our house.  My son loves playing portable, anywhere, from the kitchen to the bedroom, while dad loves the classic gaming feel with controller in hand on the TV.  The Switch’ s joy con controller can also act as two separate controllers for two players, which make for fun for all with the accessibility of a small controller with fewer buttons.  Non gamers will be easily  drawn into multiplayer games with the small controller making for a more fun multi-player experience.  The Switch is available now in stores and online retailing for $299.99.
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LEGO Dimensions Packs – Dr. Who, Simpsons, and Adventure Time

dr who lego

In what other game can you have Homer driving down the yellow brick road in the bat-mobile?

The answer is LEGO Dimensions.  The Lego brick themed multiverse spanning game is constantly expanding and with the most recent additions you can now explore the worlds of the children’s favorite Adventure Time, the generational favorite Dr Who,and the TV classic The Simpsons Springfield to name a few.

Sets are broken down into a few different categories, the predominant one being levels. With the download of an update to your game and the usage of figures from that particular universe, the level is unlocked.  Simpsons brings your characters into Springfield to solve various quests and requests by locals as well as the collection of various items to complete the level to 100%.  There are playable levels as well as free play modes where you can just go exploring to find all the nooks and crannies put in the game.  I guarantee as a fan you will find something that will put a huge smile on your face no matter which level pack you play.
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Dragon Quest Builders for the Playstation 4

What is an interesting way to get your whole family into the role playing game genre while still keeping the little ones excited about open world sand box style gaming, in the same vein as Minecraft?  The answer is the new Dragon Quest Builders game where you play a hero who must rebuild a destroyed kingdom, block by block castle by castle, city by city.  This may sound like a daunting task, but for those of us with a creative mind and a builder’s spirit, it is within reach.

The story is that there was a great battle generations ago, and after such, a hero was tricked into joining forces with a great evil.  The evil Dragon lord took away mankind’s ability to build and imagine, scattering the remains of humanity across the planet.  Your job to rekindle this builder’s spirit and imagination with the help of the Goddess at your side, as well as your own imagination.  The game itself is huge and wide open, able to be explored and built or broken down at will.  There are familiar characters from the Dragon Quest series including Slimes and Dragons, and a familiar art style similar to previous iterations of the Dragon Quest series, with an anime feel instead of the block-y computer graphics of Minecraft.
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Mincraft at Best Buy @BestBuy @Minecraft #ad

Minecraft is one of the my son’s favorite games.  My husband, not as much, but he is learning (and also learning how much of an old man he is sometimes).  You can build and explore exciting new worlds with Best Buy’s assortment of Minecraft games and collectibles.

Minecraft is a game about placing blocks and going on adventures.  Where players can use their imagination, they can bring anything their digital heart desires to life. This translates into a robust level of online shared works to explore.  Visit randomly generated worlds as well as build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles.  Minecraft is less of a game and more of a digital revolution.  Play in Creative Mode with unlimited resources, or mine deep in Survival Mode, crafting weapons and armor to fend off dangerous mobs. Do all this alone, or with friends.  Co-Op mode is a blast with a family member or a friend.  My husband honestly didn’t see the point in Minecraft until he sat down and played Co-Op with the kiddo. The games are very family-friendly, and great for kids and adults of any age.  The toys and collectibles make great gifts for anyone already into the game or just getting their feet wet.
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