Tag: Family

Wii: Boom Blox Bash Party Review

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Personal Thoughts by my husband Justin Lowmaster…

bbloxWhen I first heard about Boom Blox Bash Party, I was very excited. I’m a big fan of the original Boom Blox game. We bought the original the day before my daughter was born and played it for hours and hours that day. It helped us relax.

Boom Blox Bash Party has all the same things that made Boom Blox great, and so much more. The main game play modes all revolve around blocks of some sort. In some levels you must carefully deconstruct towers (ala Jenga), while in others you win by throwing balls to knock down towers. Bash Party adds stacks of new modes and ways to interact with the blocks. New modes include paint levels where you color blocks to match them, space levels where the goal is to explode blocks outside an area floating in the void, and undersea levels where you have to toss blocks up to the surface without letting them touch the ground. New interaction ‘toys’ as they are called include a cannon you light and aim, a slingshot where you grab blocks (or the block animals) and fling them, and a new kind of ball, the Virus Ball.

1In Bash Party there are also a few new block types aside from the standard bomb blocks (explode when hit) and chemical blocks (explode when two or more of these touch). The new blocks include Book Bux which add in-game money to your total (more on this later), Change Blox which morph from one block type to another, and the new Virus Blox. Virus infect other surrounding blox when exploded or when they are hit a Virus Ball (or touch another virus block). Infected blocks can spread like zombies in a crowded city under the right conditions. Activated virus blocks go poof and chaos ensues as whatever they were supporting collapses (like modern society when zombies run around biting people).

The Boom Bux allow you to unlock various items in the level building mode as well as unlocking levels. One of my complaints in Boom Blox was if you couldn’t beat a level, you were stuck (in that area at least) until you managed to get past it somehow. This happened and until a friend visited and we managed to beat a certain level. Before that, whole sections were unplayed. With Boom Bux you can unlock the next level in any given section after the currently unlocked level. No longer will you spend hours cursing at the skeletons attacking the kitties that you just can’t quite defeat. You can skip that level and move on, and take on the challenging level later.

The multiplayer levels are just as solid as the single player ones, but you get to have fun with your friends. Knock down each others towers, remove blocks hoping that the tower stays up just a little longer and crashes down on the next player, or work together to get a gold medal on all types of levels. Whether single player or multi-player, there are a lot of levels shipped with this game.

boom-blox-bash-party-20090319021258149_640wNow, the most important part of any game is: Is it fun? Just like Boom Blox, Bash Party is hours and hours of fun that anyone can enjoy. In fact, Bach Party, with the addition of connecting to Nintendo Wi-Fi, can provide a nearly unlimited number of levels. Played all the levels that came with the game? Just click the button and choose from the highest rated, newest, or random levels other players have created. Once you finish that level, you are given a chance to rate the level. This lets the best levels rise up, while still giving the new ones a chance to see the light of day.

I think Boom Blox Bash Party is a fantastic game for anyone. It’s easy to grasp the controls and concepts of the levels and I’ve never played any Boom Blox game with a single person who has said they disliked the game (and yes, everyone I played with had the ability to speak). There’s no need to play Boom Blox before playing Bash Party, but they are both great games. If you get one, get Bash Party because of the new features, but you’ll get the benefit of lots more levels if you get both.

Boom Blox Bash Party retails for 29.99 and is rated E for everyone.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Boom Blox Bash Party for review from Electronic Arts . This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Holiday Gift Guide: Putumayo’s Family Christmas Album

putumayo I think there’s nothing like Christmas music to welcome us into Holiday season and that’s why I’d like to share one of my favorite new holiday albums with you!

Putumayo’s Family Christmas is one the most fun Holiday albums that I own! Anytime I pop this CD in our player, my daughter shrills with delight and begins dancing around our apartment. I even found my own toes tapping to the soulful yet jazzy mix which also includes a bit of swing as well as folk!

You’ll find Christmas  favorites sung by a variety of styled music artist such as Deana Carter, Martix Sexton, and The Christmas Jug band to name a few. A few of my favorite tracks on this album include “Winter Wonderland”, “Holly Jolly Christmas”, and Here We Come A-Wassailing, though I’m in love with the whole CD!

I’ll definitely be adding this CD to the mix of  music that I commonly listen to throughout the month of December! I encourage those with a love for traditional music with a twist to definitely pick up Putumayo’s Family Christmas. If you visit their website found HERE you can listen to a sample of the tracks as well as learn more about this project!

Disclaimer: I was sent a this CD for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Holiday Gift Guide: Fierce Organics

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oatmealloveFierce Organic is an environmentally savvy  organic clothing company that offers one-of- a kind screen printed t-shirt designs created with water based inks for both men and woman.

Each of the shirts offered on the Fierce Organic site are available in an array of colors with various designs ranging from John 3:16 to a shirt proclaiming it’s wearers love of oatmeal! Shirt sizes run from XS to XL and prices start at $29.00.

If you’re interested in learning more about Fierce Organics, I recommend following them on Facebook & Twitter! I imagine that in doing so, you’ll catch a deal or two as well as being informed when sells and new items become available!

Check out their great eco-friendly apparel at: http://www.fierceorganic.com/

Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent

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By Jennifer Erin Valent / Tyndale House

In Cottonwood Whispers, the sequel to Fireflies in December, readers will find a story of quick assumptions and false accusations; a story of how easily people can believe something without exploring justification. And a story of true sacrificial love and pure faith in God’s sovereignty.

Of course, the novel will also continue the story of Jessilyn and Luke…!

My Thoughts…

I find it always hard to share my thoughts on books I fall in love with like this one. I will say, I’ve found a new favorite author in Jennifer Erin Valent and will be purchasing her other book Fireflies in December very soon!

I could not put this book down from the moment I opened it’s pages  and dove into the first chapter. Maybe one of the reasons that I like this book because I appreciate the fine southern writing style since I’m from Georgia.

I didn’t realize till browsing Amazon that this book is sequel to Fireflies in December, meaning this book does an excellent job of standing on it’s own.

Not many books have the ability to make me cry, I don’t want to say I am so heartless but a lot of the times I feel in most books, the authors don’t develop their characters enough to bring people to the point of really knowing and feeling for them.

I was quite sad when I finished reading this book because I didn’t want it to end. I truly enjoyed being whisked away to the southern atmosphere which was described ever so accurately. I felt I made friends with characters of this story as they matured in their own personal walks in life.

As a christian myself, I  appreciate the faith  in God mentioned through the characters that are deep in His word to the characters just learning to trust and follow God. 5 Stars!