Thursday, 19 October 2017

Play against each other with Electronic Timer and Scoring in the New Classic Strategy Game Tetris Dual


One of me and hubby's favourite retro game is the all time classic Tetris. Love the beginning, and even though I get really stressed out when it sped up, I just couldn't seem to let go of it!

When I heard that the virtual game was being brought to life as Tetris Dual by John Adams IDEAL, I was really intrigued with the idea. Gladly, we were given an opportunity to review it as it's a really exciting game and we all love it!


Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

Tetris Dual (RRP £22.99, suitable for age 6+) is a 2 players game. The box comes with the base electronic unit (requires 3 x AA batteries) with 2 LCD screens and control buttons, clear plastic play grid with a row count slider, transparent tower block, purple tower block, 50 Tetriminos (25 blue and 25 orange; 5 different shapes each) and instructions.

To set up, click the transparent tower block on top of the base unit where the light is to turn it into a light up block, and the purple block on the other side. Slide the play grid in the middle with the row count slider at the bottom.

It is recommended that each player splits their Tetriminos by shape, so that they can find the piece needed quicker.

To start, players can choose

  • Game 1, which gives each player 60 seconds for each move, or
  • Game 2, which gives each player a total of 1200 seconds to win the game

by pressing the purple Start/ Stop button next to the transparent tower block (see first picture above), then press + for Game 1 or - for Game 2.

The transparent block that will light up in either orange or blue to indicate who's turn it is (orange or blue player).

Players basically take turn to play the game, each finding the piece the base unit tells them to use and slide it into the playing grid, add or deduct points based on the instructions, and then press the Return button (big rectangle one) to end their turn, which starts the next player's turn.

It's not as simple as that though!


Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

While you make your move, the electronic base unit will be counting down (the count down pauses when your turn ends). If you chose Game 1 and you couldn't make your move in 60 seconds, the timer will beep faster until it turns 0, and automatically deduct TWICE the score you should get from placing the Tetrimino correctly (each piece gives a different score).

A player will also lose points by creating an unfillable hole under the piece they just placed. Then, even if they get everything right but their Tetrimino isn't touching any of their own Tetrimino that are already inside the grid, the player won't get any points from their move (ie, they must place their piece where it touches their other pieces to score a point).

However, if the player completes a row by placing a piece (that does not create any unfillable holes), they can press the + button x 3 for each row the piece completed. And if the piece does touch their own colour pieces, that will be another + button to press.


Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

It's good to use the first game as a trial game while both players try to get used to the game play and rules. It takes some thinking to fit each piece perfectly in place (there was a lot of turning, gauging and placing the piece against the grid on the outside), and then having to remember to add (or deduct) scores and pass the turn to the next player too, but players will get used to it after the first game or so.

So far 60 seconds is plenty to play a turn, but Abby did panick at the beginning and created lots of unfillable holes in the grid while still pressing the + button for it and not the Return button (to pass the game to hubby). It was quite funny and we kept teasing her that she killed the game by closing 7 potential rows in one move (we told her not to do it but I think she only heard the timer ticking haha)! She still won at the end though, probably because of not deducting enough haha!


Retro game Tetris, new Tetris Dual with electronic timer and scoring, strategy game for kids and adults

They understood the game more after the first round and Clay joined in as well. We all think that the game is really fun to play and great for training our brains. The only thing missing is the classic Tetris tune. Now that will make it perfect!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 Pencil Pot and Storage Box 3D Puzzle


We have always been a big fan of Ravensburger's quality 3D puzzles. Last year we reviewed their practical Funky Owl 3D puzzle range (a vase that can store water, as well as a pencil pot and storage box to store stationery, bits and bobs) and Abby is still using them.

Ravensburger has released even more designs since, including licensed ones such as Despicable Me 3, which we were sent for review.

Clay was over the moon as he has been collecting his own stationery (so he doesn't have to "borrow" from me and Abby anymore), but still had to share Abby's storage for them. Now he can have his own Pencil Pot and Storage Box to store them all. The bonus is that he could build them (he just loves building things!) and they came in his favourite Minions design too!


Despicable Me 3 Minions Stationery Holder, Ravensburger 3D Puzzle, build your own pen pot and storage box

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 Pencil Pot (RRP £5.99, suitable for 7-99 years) contains 54 quality plastic puzzle pieces, pot base and top, a yellow card paper to line the inside of the pot and instructions.

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 Storage Box (RRP £14.99, suitable for 9-99 years) contains 216 quality plastic puzzle pieces, box top and base, a tray that fits inside the storage box, 4 yellow card papers to line the inside of the storage box and instructions.


Despicable Me 3 Minions Stationery Holder, Ravensburger 3D Puzzle, build your own pen pot and storage box

Despicable Me 3 Minions Stationery Holder, Ravensburger 3D Puzzle, build your own pen pot and storage box

With minimal instructions (to follow the numbers and direction indication on the back of each puzzle piece), Clay completed the whole 3D pencil pot all by himself! He didn't ask for my help to put the top and base on either and presented me the completed pot to my surprise! He was so proud of himself, especially because he has no problem sorting the numbers out.

The pencil pot looks really good, and we love the colour of the rims as it matches the Minions pants!


Despicable Me 3 Minions Stationery Holder, Ravensburger 3D Puzzle, build your own pen pot and storage box

The storage box was a bit more challenging, with corner pieces to be folded and having to find the correct number from the big pile. So I helped Clay sort the first 100 pieces out in tens, which helped a lot and he had no problem attaching the corners either.

Abby eagerly helped Clay with the rest of the pieces, although they struggled to attach the base and the top. Even I struggled as the completed puzzle was quite wonky! However, as soon as it's locked in between the top and base, the storage box became very neat and sturdy. Look at how happy they are!

Despicable Me 3 Minions Stationery Holder, Ravensburger 3D Puzzle, build your own pen pot and storage box

To make it more challenging for the adults, simply don't look at the numbers.

We really love the quality of Ravensburger's 3D puzzles. They are made of solid plastic and even the pieces that needs to be folded are strong. We all love the Despicable Me 3 designs chosen for each item (especially love the side of Gru with the girls), and they are very well printed on too!


Overall a brilliant product range from Ravensburger, we highly recommend you to check the 3D puzzles out. There are a lot of designs, from Big Ben, to vases, orbs and the new Sneaker shaped pen holder, there bound to be something for everyone!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Etsy Shop Sparkles & Fluffs Relaunch and an Instagram Giveaway


UK Etsy jewelry and accessory shop reopening, handmade resin and needle felted charms, resin floral bunny hair tie giveaway

I opened an etsy shop last year - Fluffy Charms UK, selling needle felted charms that I made as a hobby. I used to make to order as I don't really want to hold stock when I could use the materials to make something people want. I also accepted custom orders too, but I soon found it too much for me as my life and blog schedules were quite packed, and I made things that although people love, I couldn't find time to make things that I wanted to make as well.

I closed the shop for a holiday break, but never went back to it until recently when I found out how much fun resin crafting can be, and the items came out really sparkly and colourful!

So I thought, why not reopen the shop and sell both resin and needle felted charms? And if I sell ready made items, stocking once in a while, I'll be able to make things I am inspired to make, as well as popular items that others will want without affecting my life and blogging.

So after a few weeks of stocking up, I'm finally ready to reopen my etsy shop! I gave it a quick refurbishing and renamed it Sparkles & Fluffs to reflect the new items. The following will be included in tonight's (6:30pm GMT) relaunch release:

UK Etsy jewelry and accessory shop reopening, handmade resin and needle felted charms, resin floral bunny hair tie giveaway

You can see more pictures on my Instagram @SparklesandFluffs. All charms can be made into a style buyers want (depending on each item's available choices), for example key ring, pendant, or even planner charm.

Majority of the items are "buy what you see in the picture" except the Puffy Star Shaker Charm, which I will personalise for the buyer (letter, letter pigment and general colour). There is still only 1 available though as I only have 1 set of shells made, but hopefully I can make some more for the next release. With Christmas Gifts Guide coming up, it's just a bit hard at the moment.


To celebrate my relaunch, I'm offering a relaunch sale for over the weekend (ends Sunday 11:59pm GMT) on all items, as well as holding an Instagram Giveaway for a Resin Floral Bunny Charm Hair Tie pictured below:

UK Etsy jewelry and accessory shop reopening, handmade resin and needle felted charms, resin floral bunny hair tie giveaway

I really love this bunny, and have already made another couple for a Spring release (I couldn't help myself making Winter and Spring coloured items already!). I might make more hair ties too, Abby tested the following one out and it's very durable:


I hope that you like my items too, and if you like the bunny hair tie, or know someone who will love it, make sure you enter the Instagram giveaway, all the details are on Instagram.

Have a lovely weekend!