YouVue SmartPhone Camera Lens Review

15 11 2012

So, I’ve been on the market for a camera lens for my smartphone for quite some time.

The lenses can range from a few pounds to much much more.

The YouVue lens comes in at approximately £20 depending on where this is purchased from, and has 2 main functionalities.

The first functionality is the Close Up ‘Macro’ Lens. This should magnify your existing photos and give you a much more close up shot without the need for zoom, and obviously with zoom increases your distance.

The second functionality is the wide-angle fish-eye style lens. This lens encapsules more into the pictures, and gives quite a nice modern effect to them with the fish-eye style.

The lens is made up of a few different parts, the macro lens is clipped onto the clip that attaches to the phone, and the wide angle lens screws on top of the macro lens which also helps keep everything together, as well as coming with a compact carry case that can attach as a keyring.

Not having had the opportunity to try out many more lenses for smartphones, my opinion is solely based upon the YouVue. Sadly, my impressions weren’t that great of this piece of kit.

The clip that attaches to the phone works well, but seems as though it may become flimsy with a little bit of use, and the macro lens does not impress. I don’t know if it was my phone, but after a thorough cleaning the macro lens still produced incredibly fuzzy unclear pictures. This was much worse than the standard zoom of a phone and did not seem to do what it was asked.

The Wide-Angle lens seemed to work a lot better, if it was purely based on this functionality the lens would probably receive a much better write up, but it would be unfair to give it complete praise, or critiscism for this function as it isn’t the only function it looks to provide.

This works great for taking funky pictures and if your into Instagram, it does the trick in giving the pictures a quirky difference to help them stand out!

If your a serious photographer or are looking for a great deal of functionality and build quality, I wouldn’t recommend the YouVue. If your looking for this to be a fun gift, this is a good purchase and should provide a difference to the normal monotonous camera pictures !





Make Your Own Movie Kits Review !!

27 10 2012

With thanks to Paladone, I’ve had the opportunity to have some fun with their Make Your Own Movie Kits.

The kits come in 3 variants so far, each of these shown above, and each of which I’ve had the chance to try out !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hZJ4f_YoSQ&feature=youtu.be

The link above is my efforts so far ! Be kind, this was my first attempt at anything of this nature. The kits themselves are as simple as can be, they come with a background and many characters, some of the bigger characters are simple push out others require the use of scissors to be cut out.

The kit themselves obviously have very little to no tech, but the fun is in the movie making ! These give you the props essentially to make your own movie using as little or as much effort as you like.

The array of movie making software online is mind-boggling, some paid some free. I used basic free Windows Movie Maker software, taking soundclips from youtube, and pictures taken from my iPad 3. I then collated these, and made a video. With a little bit of experience and trial and error you could record videos, and make some pretty interesting movies, but my skills are pretty amateur to say the least !

Im in the process of making a video using all 3 kits combined, with Aliens on earth and Zombies on the moon! This is a work in process, and will be posted on the TechFilledFantasy Twitter once its finished.

These kits are very reasonably priced, with all 3 coming in at £5.99 each on www.menkind.co.uk

Considering the price of ink these days, I think its hard to grumble for getting 3 of these kits for under £20 especially on the run up to Christmas. Whether you are a budding Director, or are just looking to have a little bit of fun these are a good laugh, and the more people you get involved to animate the props, the better the end results !!





Bad Piggies !! App Review

7 10 2012

Rovio might not be a big name to some .. but when you say Angry Birds, everybody knows what your talking about !

Angry Birds to date, has brought in a horrendous amount of money from the games, the sequels and now the abundance of products with Rovio clearly doing a ‘George Lucas’ .. if a birds face can be on something, then do it !

I’m a massive fan of the games and have enjoyed the original, sequel and space versions with some purists prefering the original experience alone .. I think they are missing out on some great games.

The newest installment of Rovio’s world domination is called ‘Bad Piggies’ and focusses on the green pigs introduced in the first line of games.

Each level of the game involves you being given a number of different items, and making a contraption that will take you to the end of the level, these involve wheels, rockets, propellers and bottles of fizzy juice !
I think this idea is great, they aren’t just making another rip off of Angry Birds.. its a completely different game.

This game is a breath of fresh air as far as im concerned to a franchise that could have potentially started to fall down in the opinions of many with a lot of similar game releases one after the other.

I’ve been playing this game for a few days now and im not even a quarter of the way in, so it does provide a pretty decent challenge to most. Bad Piggies has also sadly caved into the pressure of additional in game content, this means that whilst in the game you can buy some in game credits to which the pig-like Adrian Newey builds you a contraption worthy of beating all others and completing the level. This doesn’t guarantee the level to be completed but does give you a a massive push in the right direction.

I’d highly recommend this game to anybody, its less than £1 on Android and iOS and if you have played any of Rovio’s other games, you will know that for that £1 your getting a lot of hours of addictive fun.





Great Little War Game Review ! iOS Android

16 08 2012

Great Little War Game is a turn-based strategy game available for £0.69 on iOS and $0.99 for Android.

This game was originally higher priced, but with the release of its new sibling Great Big War Game ($2.99  on both platforms) its price has been cut and is the current bargain of the minute with a lot of gamers !

I know a lot of people grudge paying for apps, regardless of the miniscule price but this game really is worth the money. If you can’t justify less than £1 for a game when you possibly spend £30/40 on a console game then I know I can’t sway you anyway..

The game is turn-based strategy so each player takes a turn, finishes his moves, then the opponent completes their move. This is great, especially for a mobile platform when you may not be spending 100% of your concentration on the game, or are playing it in broken up chunks throughout the day, it doesn’t require your undivided attention to be great and has plenty of missions to keep you occupied for some time !

The video above gives a good idea of the gameplay, showing a good proportion of the first mission of the campaign. The game is obviously war based, and is very similar to games such as Advance Wars for the Nintendo DS with each mission having its own required objectives for completion.

The games graphics are really crisp and great for the price as well as providing a smooth flowing game with no Ad’s. For the price, this is a bargain. It is very similar to Great Big War Game and for a third of the price you definately don’t get a third of the game!

 

 

 





Wii U Preview

30 07 2012

Ok, with the announcement having been made over a year ago.. we are slowly creeping into the release date for the Wii U, anticipated for the 4th Quarter of 2012.

The Wii U is the newer version of the Wii as you might have guessed. The console will be backwards compatible with Wii games, and is trying to create another entirely new form of gaming, just as the Wii did on its release date.

The biggest talking point, is shown in the image above, the Wii U GamePad. This has a screen on the front and allows you to view the entire game on this screen, or supplementary information such as maps, just like the bottom screen on a DS and also acts as a touchscreen. The interesting thing is that this can be used with, or without a TV.. The first mainstream console that could also double up as a handheld. The GamePad also has a front facing camera, a built in accelerometer and Near Field Communication (NFC) built in. This, like many smartphones means that you will be able to make payments using the Wii U and also use this with interactive figurines within a game.

 

As well as the GamePad the Wii U will also have the option of a more mainstream Wii U Pro Controller, which is an attempt by Nintendo to attract more console gamers away from the Xbox and Playstation and bring them to the Wii. Nintendo are also attempting to make porting of games to the Wii U far more easy and streamlined meaning that some of our other console favourites could be making their way to this device. This could be a massive benefit in my eyes as when I had my Wii, it was more of a child friendly gaming device that occasionally was a good laugh at parties.. but I would never sit down for hours on end and play like I would an Xbox or Playstation.

It will be good news to existing Wii owners that all peripherals such as the Nunchuk and Wii Balance board are all thought to be compatible with the Wii U.

The following games have been confirmed for the Wii U:
Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U, Wii U Panorama  View, SiNG, LEGO City: Undercover, Project P-100, Game & Wario, Aliens:  Colonial Marines, NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge, Darksiders II, Assassin’s Creed  III, Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3, Rayman Legends,  Scribblenauts Unlimited, TANK! TANK! TANK! , Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and  ZombiU.

It will be interesting to see how it performs at its release date. The Wii did well, but like the DS, it flourished to an unusually high level at Christmas. This is a time console sales usually shoot through the roof but even taking this into account, Wii’s have been like golddust for the past few years at Christmas with stores selling out for weeks and possibly months on end.

The Wii U is thought to be arriving shortly, and with rumoured prices of upwards of £200, equivalent to 2 Ouya’s it might be an easy choice for some, but a tough sell for most.





Dinosaur War IOS Android Free App Review !

23 07 2012

Dinosaur War is free on Android and IOS

This game involves building up a Village, a Dinosaur army, and using each of these for domination!

I play a lot of these kind of games ! Usually I get a lot of game play out of them before getting the gaps between levels getting too lengthy, becoming bored and losing interest.

Usually the basis of all these games are the same, build a village and troops, whilst using up resources and having to wait a set amount of time for troops and builds to be completed (unless using premium paid for items such as crystals to eliminate the wait)

There are a few differences in this game that have kept me involved for a lot longer than the usual ones. Usually during the wait for resources to recupperate, or to be able to battle again there is little to do in these sorts of games.. effectively most close them down and re-open in 30mins/ an hour/ etc. In Dinosaur War there are a few additional options such as Card games and ‘wheel of fortune’ type activities that can keep you amused during this wait to make it pass a little quicker, which although are fairly small things, they make a massive difference and keep you coming back.

All of these games, as mentioned usually involve premium add ons, either removing the wait for buildings to complete or to buy special items usable in the game. This is the reason a lot of these games are free, with rumoured that the Ouya will probably adopt the same approach with a lot of its games, its obvious to see why this is popular with these premium crystals starting at $1.99 and ranging up to $29.99 . This isn’t as steep as some games with these sorts of items reaching over $100 in some instances.

There are a lot of games similar to this one, possibly not having Dinosaurs as there focal point, but using something else ! This is one of the better ones i’ve played and its been keeping me going for over a week now, definately give it a go if this is your thing, after all.. its free !





Playstation , Xbox , Nintendo .. Now Ouya !!

18 07 2012

Ohhhhh yaaaaaaaaah! No, not a Randy Savage wannabe but a new console completely !

With the introduction of the Internet and then Social media, the preverbial rumour mill is on full speed constantly, new games, new apps, new this, new that. Ouya started out and has been making the rounds mostly thought of as a rumour, but has since been confirmed as official.

Streaming games has become largely more popular recently with devices such as Onlive and Gaikai, but in my opinion still hasn’t made it completely main stream as of yet.

The Ouya is going to come in at $99 and via http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console you can donate to the project starting from as little as $10 to $10,000. These clearly range in what you get, with $10 reserving your Username for the service and $10,000 getting you an invite to the launch, a console and clearly a massive handshake from the developers ! The aim as you can see was to raise just under $1million. As 5 times this has been raised, it hopefully shouldn’t be too long away.

The first of these donation packages to include the actual device is $99 with additional shipping costs outside the US and additional costs for an extra controller etc as you would expect.

The device is made to be open running Android 4.0, meaning that Ouya effectively welcomes hackers with your warranty still being valid even after hacking. This means that games can be tweaked and made from scratch as well as the actual box its self giving budding developers a chance to show their stuff. All of the screws on the device are normal ordinary run of the mill screws giving easy access to mod till your hearts content with new peripherals and accessories possible with the help of your screwdriver!

The specs are thought to be pretty impressive also boasting a Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage initially, with the obvious choice of changing and altering these due to its open source nature.

One of the best points of this new device is that at least some of every single game developed for it must be free.
Whether this means getting a free demo or getting an entirely free game with additional paid content available is completely up to the developer but should hopefully be a lot easier on the pocket than £40/£50 per game with £200/300 consoles.

For $99, it seems a bit of a bargain thus far. I’m in the UK so I’d have to pay $119 ( £75 roughly). For that sort of money its surely worth an investment, considering its difficult to even get some pre-owned consoles for a similar price, still paying £40 a game.

The estimated delivery of the devices is March 2013, 9 months till hopefully a  new world of gaming begins !!








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