$ 28, hellonomad. com
IT’S not quite a dock but you can’t help but see the advantages in the design of the Nomad ChargeKey that claims to be the world’s smallest, most portable USB cable. It’s designed to hang off your key chain and is robust enough to survive jiggling around with the other keys. At one end is a USB plug, at the other end is either a Lightning or Micro USB connector, depending on which model you go for. Plug it into the USB on your computer and you can charge your device ( although some tablets won’t charge on a computer USB). It means your smart device has to be close to your computer while it’s charging but that inconvenience is outweighed by the handiness of always having a cable connection with you.
THE Mario Party series has been a staple of Nintendo’s hit franchises for decades, and finally the swag of mini games makes its debut on the company’s 3D handheld gaming console.
While attempts have been made to shake up the classic formula in the past few releases in the series, with varying degrees of success, Island Tour takes on more new ideas than past efforts.
Sure, you’re still rolling dice, working your way around a board game and competing in a mountain of mini games.
This time though, the seven game boards are structured very differently, with unique goals and challenges. It’s a refreshing twist on the formula.
The collection of more than 80 mini games span a variety of genres from racing and arcade quick- fixes to dexterity and timing challenges, and then there’s still those annoying mini games that rely purely on luck rather than skill.
Personal favourites include a bumpercar version of Mario Kart, skydiving through clouds and a challenging tank battle. The impressive variety on offer ensures there is something to tickle everyone’s fancy.
A handful of the mini games also make use of the 3DS console’s special hardware, including the touchscreen, microphone, augmented reality and gyroscope features.
It’s nice to see Nintendo offering the ability to share the game with friends, so only one copy of the game is needed for up to four 3DS console owners to play together. This cleverly only works when all players are in the same room with the owner of the game.
While there is a token single- player adventure mode for when you’re home alone, this is first and foremost a party game designed to be played with a group of friends.
However, you can go up against computer- controlled challengers in any of the mini games,
Unlike the home console version, which only requires one console for all players, you will need to have enough friends with their own 3DS handheld consoles to get the most enjoyment out of this party game.