It's not so easy to shop for "tech toys" anymore--not in the age of the iPhone and iPad, where convergence devices fill multiple needs and 99-cent apps substitute for impulse purchases. Still, there are a handful of amusing--and, in some cases, quite useful--ideas for the shopper who's stumped. … Read more
Are you the type of gamer who likes to get the perfect run before moving on to the next level? If so, then stunt bike games are for you. This collection of games challenges you to navigate past obstacles, avoid exploding barrels, and make death defying jumps--all while trying to get the best time possible.
This week's collection of iOS apps are all stunt bike games. The first gives you a wide view of the track so you know what's coming up. The second offers smoother graphics, and some nice effects that add to the game. The third … Read more
From Hot Wheels to Legos, this stop-motion video by French Web designer and animator Micael Reynaud provides a wonderful trip down memory lane.
The two-minute clip, titled "The King of Lego Land," is simply brilliant. And I'm ecstatic that Magic 8 Ball made it into the roundup, along with Nintendo games, Transformers, and of course, Legos.
How many of these toys did you play with as a kid? … Read more
It's one of the last mutually exclusive genres left in gaming. PlayStation owners have Gran Turismo and Xbox 360 loyalists have Forza Motorsport. Both franchises are proven winners, and the latest incarnation on Xbox 360 allows Kinect users the chance to race controller free. But does that ambition steer Forza away from what it does best?
Jeff:Forza Motorsport 4 packs in such a shocking amount of content and detail, most racing buffs will salivate just at the introduction movie. Sure, it can be a bit overwhelming for people who don't have transmission fluid running through their veins, … Read more
Along with my review copy of Forza Motorsport 4, I was sent an example of Microsoft's Wireless Speed Wheel to test with the game. As a car guy and a bit of a racing sim snob, I initially viewed this wireless, motion sensitive plastic bauble down the bridge of my upturned nose. By the end of the weekend, the Speed Wheel had won me over.
Normally, I do my racing simulation from behind a proper racing wheel with 900 degrees of rotation; belt-driven force feedback; the choice between paddle, H-pattern, or sequential shifters; a trio of pedals; and an aluminum adjustable stand to hold it all together. The whole kit weighs about 30 pounds and takes me about 10 minutes to drag from its place in the bottom of my closet and set up, but once it is, the driving experience is spectacular. Surely the wireless wheel can't do better?… Read more
Move over, NASCAR. We've got a racing series that combines speed, ingenuity, and large adults on itty-bitty vehicles.
Welcome to the Power Racing Series, where makers modify Power Wheels and Little Tikes cars for a series of races that includes a road course, drag race, and endurance race. These lean, mean toy racing machines can reach harrowing 20 mph speeds.
Teams are allowed a $500 budget to modify a car. Change the battery, swap out the motor, put on some tougher tires, and shore up the suspension to handle your adult heft.
Personally, I would start with the $400 Power Wheels Barbie Cadillac Escalade Custom Edition. Pretty in pink!
Receipts are required to prove that a car is within the budget. Violate the rules and your vehicle will be forfeited to the Power Racing Series officials for the non-negotiable price of $100.
Safety equipment doesn't fall into the budget restrictions, so you can spend as much as you want on brakes, helmets, and air bags--if you can figure out how to fit them into the miniscule dashboard on your Dora the Explorer Jeep Wrangler.
The Power Racing Series has just launched a Kickstarter project aimed at expanding the series for 2012. The fund-raising goal amount of $20,000, if reached, will go to developing a new timing and scoring system, adding new races, buying more safety equipment, and inventing new event obstacles.… Read more
4x4 Jam is an off-road racer that lets you drive wherever you want--an ongoing and changing landscape continues in every direction. This game is from the early days of the iTunes App Store, and while the gameplay is still pretty fun, it's easy to tell the graphics haven't been updated for the latest iOS devices.
Even so, 4x4 Jam still manages to be fun and worthy of a download if you've never tried it. Steer by tilting your iPhone left and right and you have several options for control sets depending on how much control over gas … Read more
Jordan's King Abdullah wants to build a $1.5 billion haven for Trekkers and artist Chris Burden creates a 30-foot-tall dream city filled with racing Matchbox cars. Also, Tokyo paves the way for creepily realistic clone dolls, Apple innovates in headphone design, and Gummi bears make your ears smell.
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I think that we can universally agree that fiddling with a smartphone while driving is a bad idea, but is fiddling with a phone attached to your steering wheel any safer? The makers of the Steer Safe universal hands-free kit would like you to think so, but I'm not sure that I agree.
The video and description that accompany the Steer Safe's KickStarter page say that the smartphone mounts to the user's steering wheel, putting the phone close by for easy hands-free calling, navigation, and whatever else you want to do while behind the wheel. It all … Read more