Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Mini Gamers Big Christmas Gaming Quiz 2013

Welcome to the Mini Gamers: Big Christmas Gaming Quiz 2013! There are no prizes for winning, but it can be fun trying to prove who has the best gaming knowledge amongst your friends and family. So, here are 25 questions about the world of video gaming. Can you answer them all?


  • Select the correct answer from the list of potential answers in order to gain points.

  • The maximum number of points that can be earned per question is 100 points.

  • Questions are timed. Answer quickly to gain more points.

  • Video Questions have been given extra time, but points will still count down. Answer as soon as you can.
Merry Christmas and Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Unusual and Rare Novelty Christmas Gifts for Gamers 2013...

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With only a small number of shopping days left until Christmas, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what that perfect present should be, especially when it comes to pleasing the gamer in your life.
If you have exhausted the usual ideas of  gift tokens and game bundles, and want to get your videogame fanatical loved-ones something a little bit special this year, then look no further. Mini Gamers has found a collection of unusual gaming paraphernalia that is sure to delight even the fussiest of gamers. 

PlayStation Cufflinks


There are actually a surprising number of PlayStation cufflink designs available, but we thought that these Harvey Makin silver gamepad cufflinks sold from Amazon.co.uk looked particularly nice. 
Costing from as little as £8.50, and shaped like the standard PlayStation controllers, these would make a delightful gift for many male gamers. Hurry though, gifts like these are unlikely to stay in stock for long at this time of year.

Gaming T-shirts

Gaming T-shirts or Hoodies like the one pictured above are another great gift idea. They typically tend to cost between £11.99-£19.99 online, and look very stylish. There are various T-shirt slogans and designs available this year for both men and women. A few of our personal favourites are:

'First Class Gamer' Gaming Mugs

These 'First Class Gamer' mugs made us smile when we saw them. Featuring a standard 1st class stamp design, and with a price tag of around £9.99, these mugs are both a simple and practical little gift which will brighten up the home of any avid gamer. Better still, the mugs come in a blue design for male gamers, or pink for female gamers.
If you like the idea of a gaming mug but find that the 'First Class Gamer' design doesn't really appeal, then you might want to check out this small collection of alternative gaming mugs instead. Prices vary, but all of the featured mugs range somewhere between £5.95-£13.50 to buy, depending on the size and design of the mug:

Car Air-Fresheners

 Okay, so a car air freshener is hardly the most exciting gift that you could hope to give to someone this Christmas, but it is fair to say that this exclusive range of novelty gaming-themed car air-fresheners by AAF-Geek, do put a new spin on the traditional car accessory, and at around only £3.99 each, they will make unusual stocking-fillers.
Again, there are many designs to choose from (like the one shown above,) but there were a few designs that we here at Mini Gamers HQ thought were particularly good:

   Teen and Child Gaming Gifts

Whilst on the hunt for some of the rarer and more unique gamer-related Christmas gift ideas, we did stumble across a few items which seemed tailored to the teenage and child end of the gaming market. 
It was difficult to separate these items into their own separate categories, but we did think that they were worth a mention, so here are is a shortlist of items that we think will suit teenagers and children:
  • Gaming Cushions:
These amazing cushions come in two separate designs: ARMY GAMERS WARFARE 3 18"  and ARMY GAMERS WARFARE DESIGN 4 18". They have been specially created by L & S Prints and will most likely suit teenage fans of games like Killzone, Call of Duty, Battlefront etc. Each cushion is machine washable and costs around £16.99.
  • Gaming Chairs and Beanbags:
Gaming can sometimes be an uncomfortable pastime. Sore thumbs, stiff necks and bad backs are some of the more common complaints suffered by many hardcore gamers, but comfortable and practical seating can solve a lot of the aches and pains when one is gaming for an extended length of time.
  • The i-eX® Rookie Gaming Chair (pictured above) is a faux leather beanbag style chair aimed specifically at child and young teenage gamers. It is lightweight and easily movable and apparently gives great back and neck support. Nevertheless, like most gaming chairs on the market today, this chair comes with a rather hefty price tag of £44.50.
  •  Faux Leather Metallic Gold Gaming Seat Chair This traditional golden beanbag chair is both hard-wearing and stylish. Whilst it cannot claim to offer the full-body support of an actual gaming chair, it will provide a comfortable and relaxing seat for child and teen gamers. Retailing at only £13.05 it is a real bargain and a good alternative for those of you whose budgets can not stretch to that of a 'high-end' gaming chair.
  • Gaming 'Keep Out' Door Signs
 With most teenagers (and even some pre-teens) needing that little bit of extra privacy, these varied but apt gaming-themed door signs ought to make a great stocking-filler for any avid gamer.
With a price range of between £2.99-£7.99, the signs are easily within most household budgets and there is a range of colours and slogans to appeal to many different types of gamer. Here is a shortlist of our personal favourite door signs:
That completes our Mini Gamers list of novelty Christmas gifts for this year. We really feel that there is something for everyone in this year's selection and we hope that this post has given you some fresh ideas for gifts and stocking fillers.
You may also find it useful to read some of our previous Christmas gift ideas articles by CLICKING HERE.
Don't forget to check in with us on Christmas Eve for our special 2013 Mini Gamers Big Christmas Gaming Quiz!




Friday, 6 December 2013

Game of the Week: Scribblenauts Unlimited [3DS]

Scribblenauts has finally made its 3DS debut this week. The game, which is called Scribblenauts Unlimited is the fourth title in the popular gaming series, produced by 5th Cell, the developers of the equally popular Drawn to Life games.

Fans of the series will already be familiar with the strong cartoon-style graphics and quirky gameplay which has characterised the previous games. However, there are a few changes to the 3DS version which fans should be aware of.

Firstly, the beginning of Scribblenauts Unlimited gives more backstory on how Maxwell initially came to own the magical green notebook, and why he is so keen to look for the tiny little star objects (known as Starites) in the first place.

 Furthermore, players are now expected to locate tiny Starite fragments (referred to as 'Starite Shards',) which are then combined to make whole Starites. When ten shards have been earned, one full Starite is granted to the player.

Starite Shards can be earned in a multiple ways. A brand new feature  called Starite Vision now allows Maxwell to see which objects or people in each level need his help, thus making it easier to locate the source of each Starite Shard. Tapping on the tiny Starite symbol at the top left-hand corner of the bottom screen will unlock Starite vision. Objects which have uncollected Starite shards will be shown as glowing either yellow or orange.

A special exclusive feature for the 3DS version of the game also allows players to swap hints and solutions to each level via the Streetpass function, and hints are provided for almost every object in the levels, making the solutions for the various puzzles that Maxwell must solve much more accessible than the previous Scribblenauts titles, while still remaining challenging. Not an easy task to achieve.

Another useful new feature is the Object Library, which is located in Maxwell's backpack. This allows players to store and re-use any previously created and summoned objects at any time during the game.

Players can also choose to play as other members of Maxwell's family, as these characters now replace the previous Scribblenauts Avatars. Maxwell's forty brothers become unlocked at various stages of the main game, but the avatars of Maxwell's twin sister, Lily and their parents, Edgar and Julie can only be unlocked after all sixty whole Starites have been collected and the post-game bonus levels are unlocked. Players can also customise their chosen avatar by tapping on the avatar and then selecting 'edit'.

Of course, the main skill in any Scribblenauts game has always been the ability to simply write any given object (with the exception of crude words and/or proper nouns) into Maxwell's notebook and spawn it into existence during the game. The available vocabulary of each Scribblenauts game has grown bigger with each new version, and Scribblenauts Unlimited is no exception.

As well as the adjective system that was first introduced in Super Scribblenauts, players can now attach multiple objects to each other. For instance, it is now possible to create a pig with wings.

 Furthermore, players can also choose to attribute other properties to objects, such as movement (e.g. a fast car) and new offensive capabilities (e.g. breathes fire). Players can also adjust the size, material or colour of their chosen objects, making for a much more personalised gaming experience.

With over 22,000 words and adjectives now available for use within Scribblenauts Unlimited, there are just too many combinations for us to list here, but a full list of all the available object words can be found by clicking HERE .

Nevertheless, with all the fantastic new improvements that can be found in Scribblenauts Unlimited, there were two minor nagging details that, whilst not necessarily detracting from this brilliant game, were a tad disappointing.

Firstly, the Nintendo 3DS version of Scribblenauts Unlimited does not feature the object editor, which has been heavily promoted in advertisements for the Wii U version of the game.

Secondly, although the initial backstory cut scenes are shown on the top-screen, and are thus displayed in full animated 3D, the actual gameplay takes place on the bottom screen of the 3DS, and thus the levels in Scribblenauts Unlimited are not actually playable in 3D.

Nevertheless, neither of these two observations can alter the fact that Scribblenauts Unlimited  is still a masterpiece of innovative, imaginative gaming and is therefore a worthy addition to the Scribblenauts series.

 If you loved the previous games in the series, then you are bound to love Scribblenauts Unlimited just as much. If you are not sure about the game and wish to know more, then why not watch the trailer now? (see above). Overall rating: 9/10.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The 6 Games of Christmas: Which One Will Be On YOUR Christmas List?

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Yes, Christmas is now fast approaching, and for many gamers, it brings hope of finding a brand new game or two (or quite possibly ten) at the bottom of their stocking, but with so many games currently available, how can you possibly know which games are the most suitable ones to buy?

Well, fear not, because Mini Gamers has spent the last year learning about the best handheld titles of 2013, in order to provide you with our list of the six top games for handheld gamers this Christmas.

As well as giving you our verdict on why the games featured are likely to be worth buying, Mini Gamers has also compiled a selection of full reviews for you to read, so that you can get a proper overview of the games before you decide which ones you might like to buy. So, let's get started...

1. Tearaway [PS Vita]

 This game is ideal for creative, imaginative and innovative gamers of all ages. Created specifically for PS Vita, and utilising many of the handheld consoles touchscreen features, the tactile world of Tearaway is beautifully-crafted with many different environments for gamers to explore.

 Better still, the game is designed to give the impression of a world which is made out of paper, and many of the objects look and take on the characteristic properties of actual paper.

Our verdict: A good, fun and creative little game. If you loved Little Big Planet but are looking for a new but equally challenging and quirky game, then this is the ideal choice for you. 10/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now.

2. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Two Worlds [2DS/3DS]

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds indirectly follows on from the 1991 Super NES title, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, in this game, the usual villian, Ganon, has long since been sealed away by a group known as the Seven Sages, and peace has seemingly returned to the land of Hyrule.

However, an evil wizard called Yuga has recently begun tracking down the descendants of the Seven Sages and turning them into paintings, in order to use the power of the Triforce for himself. It is up to Link to locate Yuga and find a way to rescue those sages who have been turned into paintings before it is too late...

This game is really good for people who like adventure and puzzle games as well as platformers. It features several interesting places to explore and even the chance to play as a 2D painting in some parts of the game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds  does have a 7+ PEGI rating, so parents and guardians should be warned that it might not appeal to very young gamers (under 7 years of age) who may find some of the dark dungeons and mysterious monsters a little bit too scary.

Our verdict: The game will be instantly familiar to fans of A Link to the Past, but has enough new content to make it enjoyable to both old and new fans alike. If you liked the previous  games, then this is definitely a must-have for your collection. Overall rating:10/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now.

3. Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition       [PS Vita]

With its 16+ PEGI RatingInjustice: Gods Among Us, is most definitely one for the older gamer. This game is a port of a previous gaming title, but the Vita version is pretty interesting despite its disappointing lack of graphics quality and cross-play features.

Nevertheless, this game is perfect for the truly hardcore gamer and is  also more likely to appeal to older fans of the Superhero genre or gamers who prefer challenging and plot-driven fighting games.

Created by the same developers behind Mortal Kombat, The game tells an original story set in a world where the lines between good and evil have become impossibly blurred.

Split into several engaging chapters and filled with one-on-one matches, players can choose to switch between different heroes and villains, who each possess their own unique strengths, fighting styles and of course, super powers.

The game features several well-known superheroes and villains, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman or the evil Lex Luthor, Deathstroke and Harley Quinn.

Our Verdict: Ever dreamed of stepping into the shoes (or tights) of your favourite superhero? Think you have the skills to outsmart your rivals? If you love one-on-one battles of epic proportions and wish to try out your virtual combat skills in a whole new way, then this is most definitely a good game for your collection. 8/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now.

4. Pokémon X and Y [3DS/2DS]

The Pokémon video game series has always proven to be very popular amongst gaming fans of various ages, and the latest instalment Pokémon X and Y is no different, having sold over two million units in America alone within its first few days of release.

As fans of the series will know, each Pokémon game is released with two separate versions. E.g. Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, or in this particular instance Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, but both versions of the game (whilst featuring slightly different starter Pokémon - Xerneas (in Pokémon X) and Yveltal (in Pokémon Y,) are essentially the same.

Players take on the role of a trainee Pokémon master, and must travel the land of Kalos searching for new Pokémon to care for and train. As this is the debut 3DS exclusive title, there are some nifty new battle features, including the all-new Mega-Evolution.

Players will also be expected to care for their captured Pokémon with the Pokémon-Amie feature that lets players feed, pet and play with their Pokémon  to, which will ultimately strengthen the Pokémon's bond and improve their chances of winning more battles.

The Pokémon Global Link has been completely redesigned  to make it easier and quicker to use.

Our verdict: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are good additions to the Pokémon series and the new online mode enhancements help to make this a must have for any Pokémon fan. 3D usage could be slightly better though, as the game's only real use of auto-stereoscopic 3D occurs during the Pokémon battles. Nevertheless, this does not diminish what is potentially one of the best Pokémon titles to date. 9/10. 

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now

5. Angry Birds: Star Wars [PS Vita]

For those of you who have yet to experience the Angry Birds series, it might be worth remembering that Angry Birds was first created as a comical and easy-to-play game for the Apple iOS, but its quirky style quickly popularised the game, prompting the developers, Rovio Entertainment to develop further console and PC versions of the game, which have all proved immensely popular upon release.

Players must use a slingshot to launch a variety of colourful cartoon birds at green pigs stationed on or within various structures in the level, with the intent of destroying all the pigs before advancing to the next stage of the game.

Angry Birds: Star Wars blends the visual-style and traditional gameplay of the original Angry Birds series with the iconic plot and legendary characters of the Star Wars franchise.

The birds of the Rebel Alliance must now battle the evil  pig empire using the traditional lightsaber weapons and various Jedi Powers, as seen in the Star Wars films. A new multiplayer mode has also been added, and the game itself has over 200 unlockable levels, which should keep most gamers happy for a long time.

Our verdict: The combination of two award-winning franchises is a pure stroke of genius for Rovio Entertainment. This game is simple, fun, addictive and hilariously funny. A real gem for gamers who don't want to be delving into plot-laden RPGs or complicated puzzle games this Christmas. 10/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now

6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf [3DS/2DS] 

 It has to be said that Animal Crossing is not merely  a game, it's a whole new world in the palm of your hand. The game is played in a completely freestyle way. That's because time in the game mirrors time as in the real world, and players have no set goals to complete, but can truly have a kind of virtual 'life' inside this game, and every single day brings new experiences, friendships and surprises.

 The 3DS version - Animal Crossing: New Leaf - has continued the success of the previous games (one for each Nintendo platform, GameCube, DS, Wii and 3DS) and even allows players to take over the role of the Mayor in their town. This means that as well as living out a daily life as a resident of a virtual town, players also have the ability to dictate the laws which govern their town and also to plan and build new features for the residents of their town to enjoy.

 Fans of the original Nintendo DS version of the game will find that several new locations have been added for the 3DS, including a nightclub, a dream suite, a supermarket, a shoe shop, a flower shop, a clothes shop, a beauty salon and more... 

If players wish to soak up the virtual sunshine, (especially during the cold Autumn and Winter months of the year, then they can also opt to take a little boat trip out to their own private tropical island, where they can do a spot of tropical fishing or maybe even some bug-catching and even put on a wetsuit and do some diving, which is a brand new ability especially created for the 3DS.

Our Verdict: This game is both easy-to-play and engaging, which makes it appealing to both young and old gamers alike. The simulation of real-life weather conditions and changing times and seasons is awesome.  If you've ever dreamt about getting away from it all and starting a new life, or if you just like the sound of being Mayor to a bunch of cute talking animals, then this is definitely the game for you. 10/10. 

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now

So, that completes Mini Gamers list of the six best PS Vita and 3DS games to buy this Christmas. We hope that you liked it and found it useful.
If you already own some of these games and want to share your own opinions with us, then why not leave us a comment in the Comment's Box (or by clicking on the 'Comment's' link under this post on the Homepage). We'd love to hear from you!


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Free Youtube App Comes to the 3DS

YouTube has finally reached the 3DS. Now users can enjoy browsing the latest game trailers and video walkthrough directly on their 3DS console.

Mini Gamers checked out the nifty little application, and found that the videos were surprisingly clear to view. The application can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop for FREE, and has easy to navigate menus and buttons, which made the overall browsing experience quite pleasant.

However, those of you who were expecting to watch and download the latest batch of 3D videos on offer, are sure to be disappointed. The 3DS version of YouTube has no 3D support whatsoever, and any attempt to watch a 3D video resulted in some unsightly double-vision, as the 3D images are merely displayed as two identical screens (designed to be viewed with 3D glasses) rather than as a whole 3D image.

For those of you who just wish to browse videos as you would normally do on the PC or home consoles etc., this is a very handy application. However, the lack of 3D support on a console which so heavily on 3D as its unique selling-point seems like a gross oversight, and it also fails to make the 3DS version of YouTube any more interesting than the thousands of YouTube applications that can be found on various smartphones across the country, which is just such a shame.