Tag Archives: game

Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AppGear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I first experienced augmented reality, I was rather amazed. Through the computer's camera lens, I was able to see something that really wasn't there in real life. But, it was there! But, it really wasn't. 

You could talk about augmented reality to someone who has never experienced it first hand, and that would still not be enough to explain just how transformative an experience it is. I've tried, too — explaining that it's a lot like finally being able to see something like an imaginary friend. With special glasses, a completely different world opens up to you. 

I see "AR" apps aplenty, but few as immersive as I would want them to be. As someone who is more of a casual gamer, I definitely appreciate gaming experiences that are simple to understand, visually compelling, and addictive. 

I picked up the AppGear Elite CommandAR, inserted the required array of batteries, plugged the audio cable into my smartphone's headphone jack, installed a compatible game, and… was firing away at moving targets within moments. Then, I was laughing — having almost too much fun, spinning around my home office and trying to target these floating orbs that weren't really there.

Elite CommandAR in Action

It was the controller that made all the difference to me, to tell you the truth. I've played AR games on smartphone surfaces alone — and while they're certainly fine, there's something to be said about holding onto an object that further thrusts you into an experience that an augmented reality world can provide. 

The Elite CommandAR was light enough to hold onto for a period of time without introducing too much fatigue. Of course, I'm really not accustomed to holding my arms out or up for anything for tasks that take longer than a minute — and, yes, this toy gun (despite appearing like it would work with a single hand) was designed to be held by both hands. The trigger could be pulled comfortably by either pointer finger — but the other controls were positioned and optimized for left-handed operation (while holding onto the gun's grip with your right hand). 

The trigger was quite responsive; I never felt like there was a delay in between the time I'd press a button and something would happen on-screen. Same goes for any of the other controller buttons. 

The suggested games, themselves, were engaging enough to keep me from wanting to put the plastic pistol down! I found myself walking to a more open space (than what's available to me in my home office), spinning around to fight virtual enemies through a very comfortable viewfinder — my smartphone. 

And that's the kicker: not only does it work well with iOS, but Android as well. Too many products these days are locked into a single vertical. This way, you could battle a friend in the 2-player co-op mode and not have to be running on the same smartphone platform.

Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review

So, yeah — you could continue to play games on that single flat screen device. But when it comes to first-person shooters… I tell ya, I'd rather be holding onto something that feels like a gun instead of merely tapping a screen. It's far more compelling an experience that way — and the Elite CommandAR provides a perfect compliment to software that's easy to manage and plays well.

I'd much rather play a game on my smartphone than connect to a cumbersome console. With Elite CommandAR, I was untethered and free to take the screen with me wherever I wanted to play. Mobile gaming, as I've been saying for years, will kill consoles eventually — and these types of accessories serve to bring that future into the present. 

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What is Your Favorite Video Game?


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A community member asked a tough question recently: “What is your favorite video game of all time?” That’s honestly hard to answer, because it depends on the platform for me. I loved the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. I loved a lot of different games in the arcade setting.

On the PC, I loved Pandora’s Box years ago. On the Mac, I enjoyed playing World of Goo (even though it’s cross-platform). On my iPhone, I’m addicted to Angry Birds… I admit it. It’s just impossible to choose a favorite – almost.

Overriding all platforms, I’d have to go with Tetris, of course. That’s my favorite game, hands down. Period. End of discussion.

What is your favorite game of all time?

UFC Undisputed 2010 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

THQ and Zuffa announced today that UFC Undisputed has been officially released for play on the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad. The game is based on the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization: Ultimate Fighting Championship. The experience features fast-paced action with unique gameplay, 25 fighters from all five UFC official weight classes, a variety of competitive modes, extensive connectivity with social networking options, as well as access to the latest happenings in the UFC.

In UFC Undisputed 2010 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, players will explore a simplified interface, including swipes on the touch screen, to execute punches, kicks, takedowns and more, while quick and fun puzzle paths will be implemented for players to escape submissions. Featuring a roster of 25 prolific UFC fighters from all of UFC’s official weight classes, each with an authentic appearance, players will have access to an Exhibition Mode for quick-play single bouts, a Tournament Mode to compete for a UFC Championship and unparalleled social networking connectivity, enabling players to share game progress and achievements with friends through Facebook and Twitter.

The game features a leaderboard so that you can pit yourself against your friends. Do you have what it takes to be a UFC champion?

Want to Buy a Sony PSP?


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I’m selling my PSP and not going to be getting a new one. Along with the PSP, I’m going to sell all of my games. The carrying cases and various accessories could also be yours if you are the lucky person to convince me to sell.

The games included in this package are:

I’ve hardly used the game system, and don’t even remember booting it up since I unboxed it. It’s the latest generation of PSP and is silver. I have some cases and the original packaging. It’s in near-pefect condition. I simply don’t want it, I don’t play it and I don’t need it sitting around.

Make me a competitive offer and this could be yours.

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Halo: Reach Suffers from Disc Errors

Microsoft has now confirmed that some customers are experiencing issues when attempting to play their beloved new game. According to reports, the problem mostly affects the 20GB Xbox 360 Pro, which was on the market from 2005 to 2008. Users have also reported some issues playing Halo Reach with the 120 GB Xbox 360 Elite.

Microsoft representatives have said:

We are aware of a very small number of customers reporting that their copy of Halo Reach is causing a ‘disc read’ error. Those affected should contact Microsoft customer support at 1-800-4MY-XBOX for troubleshooting assistance.

There are now 68 pages of complaints on the Bungie Forums. Many posts suggest that things such as a dirty disc could be to blame. Reasons behind the issue, though, have been vague at best. The thread has been updated to point customers to the toll-free (US only) number to receive support. Bungie released a statement recently, as well:

If you find yourself lumped in with the ‘small number’ of people who find relevance in this portion of the update, you’re probably finding that five letter moniker more than a little frustrating. We feel your pain (we want you to play Reach, too!). If you’re receiving a disc read error with Halo: Reach, or any other title for that matter, Microsoft customer support is your path to resolution.

Have you had issues playing your copy of the game? Have you contacted either Bungie or Microsoft to resolve the problem?

Halo: Reach


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Microsoft and Bungie sent me an advance copy of “Halo: Reach” to play. Given that I’m not that much of a FPS kind of geek, I thought I’d just pop in the disc and let you see what I saw – for the first time, together.

After stopping the recording, i did play it for quite a while longer – as the people in the chat room will tell you. In fact, I might still be playing it right now.

I’ve learned one thing about “Halo: Reach” so far: DON’T LET THE AI PLAYERS DRIVE.

Sadly, there is one thing missing from this game: a n00b mode. The easy mode still is too much for someone like me. I’m not a gamer, by any stretch of the imagination. The game looks and sounds great, though, and that’s all I could ask for.

Apparently, I’m a little trigger happy. I truly didn’t mean to shoot the farmer – honest!

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Halo: Reach Release September 14, 2010

Halo: Reach is finally here! I was one of the lucky few to receive an advance copy of the game to try out. I have to say – it’s pretty amazing! I fired up my Xbox 360 over the weekend and gave the game my best effort. Keep in mind, I’m NOT a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. However, the graphics and overall game play on this version of the popular series is nothing short of fantastic.

Halo: Reach is considered to be the prequel to the entire Halo series. It tells the story of Noble Team – a group of Spartans – who saved numerous lives against impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the Covenant and their goal of destroying the Earth. If they fail, humanity will be perched on the brink of destruction.

Top features of the game include:

  • Welcome to Noble Team. – Halo: Reach immerses you in the ominous and heroic story as you play a member of Noble Team. Each member has deadly talents as unique as their individual personality and customized gear.
  • Intense and Epic Campaign. – Live the events that set the stage for the entire Halo trilogy as the UNSC and Covenant clas at the height of their military power. New weapons, vehicles and abilities compliment the familiar Halo arsenal. Wage the biggest battles ever witnessed inside of the Halo universe.
  • Definitive Multiplayer Experience. – The Halo series has set the gold standard for multiplayer experience with this iteration of the game. There are new social settings for matchmaking. This helps you find like-minded teammates, vote on preferred maps and keep an active roster. There are also new multiplayer game modes, such as “Invasion” and “Arena” to offer competitive players a chance to show off their uber skills like never before.
  • Technical Advancements. – Halo: Reach takes a huge leap forward with an all-new type of engine technology. Power your way through massive scale combat across unthinkable environments. Fight up close and personal alongside several new characters and creatures. The new engine represents the next generation of art, studio, AI, animation and special effects.
  • Player Customization and Rewards. – Halo: Reach gives you the ability to customize your Spartan with a variety of armor accessories. These will appear in both multiplayer and campaign play. You’ll be rewarded for nearly everything you do, no matter what your style of play is. Earn credits to unlock additional cosmetic upgrades via the Armory.

There are two special editions of the game. Both include collectible items and special in-game content.

  • Halo: Reach Limited Edition – This edition includes a game disc housed in recovered ONI black box. It features an exclusive Elite armor set for use in multiplayer modes. You’ll also find an artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal and other classified documents which unravel long-held secrets from around the Halo universe.
  • Halo:Reach Legendary Edition – This is the complete Halo: Reach collection. You’ll find the game disc, a manual and the contents listed above for the Limited Edition. Also, you’ll enjoy a Noble Team statue crafted by artisans at McFarlane Toys. There’s also an exclusive multiplayer Spartan armor effect.

By every stretch of the imagination, Halo: Reach is sure to be a huge hit for Microsoft and Bungie Games. More than 2.7 million players participated in the “Halo: Reach” multiplayer beta in May, making it the largest console video game beta test on record and more than triple the size of the historic “Halo 3” beta.

Are you anxious for the release of Halo: Reach tomorrow? Have you already gotten a copy in your hot little hands?

Web Browser Games


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I consider myself an extreme casual gamer (which is why I spent this weekend at home playing Web games instead of rubbing shoulders with stinky geeks at PAX across town). Not sure if you’d heard of these two in particular, but I’d be surprised if you had – unless you were following me on Twitter and Facebook, then you would have found out about these two and a helluva lot more long before this video was uploaded.

Scrabb.ly was created by a Seattle-area developer in less than twenty-four hours’ time. This is a very cool MMO word-game where you continue to build words on tiles.

Swarmation is another online multi-player game where each pixel is a person from somewhere in the world. The idea is to get everyone to work together to form the specified design within the time period allotted. You have to collaborate to score points.

Both of these games tie back into Node Knockout. The idea of this particular endeavor was to bring developers together to build on Node.JS to build things based on JavaScript. The list is seriously extensive if you scroll through to take a look. There are a ton of games and services.

If you have browsed the list at Node Knockout and have found something I might like that wasn’t reviewed in this video, leave me a link in the comments section. I’d hate to miss out on something else I can get addicted to.

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Solve Rubik's Cube


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This fun little toy was created way back in the early 1070s by a Hungarian sculpter. It was originally named the “Magic Cube” and was licensed by Rubik to be sold through Ideal Toy Corporation in 1980. That year, it was named as the Best Puzzle of the year. As of January, 2009, more than 350 million of these babies had sold around the world. This makes it the top-selling puzzle game of all time. The Rubik’s Cube is considered by many to be the top-selling TOY of all time, too.

In the original design, there are six faces. Each of those are covered by nine stickers comprised of six colors – white, red, blue, orange, green and yellow. A pivoting mechanism thingie made each face able to turn independently. This would mix up the colors in various ways. In order to solve the puzzle, each face must be a solid color – all the same, people! The original Cube celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

I have been trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube all of my life. Keep in mind this addictive puzzle was invented back in 1974.

Like many humans, I can spin the Rubik’s Cube in various directions all day long. After hours of studying the masters on YouTube, I finally figured out how to record myself solving the Rubik’s Cube:

  1. Walk into the store and buy a new Rubik’s Cube.
  2. Bring ‘er home and set up a video camera.
  3. Mess ‘er up again while recording.
  4. Bring the video into an editor and reverse playback.
  5. Export.

Yeah, it’s pretty obvious I suck at this. Still doesn’t take away from me accidentally solving the Pyraminx back in the day (that really DID happen).

Have you ever been able to solve a Rubik’s Cube or other puzzle?

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Are You A Word Game Fanatic?

I am addicted to yet another game. This time it’s Scrabb.ly. It’s a massively multi-player crossword game where you can lose lives by swapping tiles and build words until you become the king. Okay, so you won’t really become king. You will have bragging rights when you win, though!

Build onto any board tile to begin and continue building words from your own tiles. Each time you swap a tile you lose a life. The game ends once you run out of lives. Rack up as many points as you can, and don’t tell Hasbro about what you’re doing. (Yes, that’s actually in the game’s posted rules!)

I played this game for several hours with members of my community the other night. It’s addictive and educational, so why haven’t you tried it yet?