$ 28, hel­lono­mad. com

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH -

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.

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