Monday, 21 April 2014

10 Interview Questions with Bonnie from Koala Bear Writer





Gaming interview
Today we are interviewing Bonnie from Koala Bear Writer!  If you would like to be interviewed, email us with the answers to these questions, and we will schedule the post for you!

1. What kind of gamer are you?
Mommy gamer, I guess, who has been playing since I was a kid myself.

2. What types of games do you like to play?
Board games and card games. My husband and I have a huge collection of board games (inherited from my family or given to us). I grew up in a card-playing family—we even had a traditional family version of rummy that we played every time we got together.

3. Tell us about your #1 go to game; it might not even be your favourite, but it's the one you find yourself playing the most often.
 Scrabble. I usually lose to my husband but I still enjoy playing.

4. What is your favourite place to play games? 
Kitchen table, usually, so that we have space to spread out the board game. Or if I’m playing with my girls, we spread the game on the living room floor to make it easier for them to reach all the pieces and move around the board.

5. Who do you play games with?
Mostly my husband (Scrabble date nights!), my kids (board games are great learning opportunities) and sometimes with friends if we can organize a board game night (which doesn’t happen as often as we’d like).

5.B. What is your favourite party game?
Quelf. I just played this a few weeks ago with some of my girlfriends and we had a blast. I’m terrible at Cranium because it requires too many skills I don’t have (singing, drawing) and too much pop culture knowledge that I also lack. Quelf was just doing silly things and it was so much fun. (One question required me to “quack” every time a person picked up a card; I managed to remember to do that and it sent us into gales of laughter every time!)

5C. Do you game with your spouse? If yes, do things ever get too competitive? Does gaming bring you together or drive you apart?
Hahaha. Yeah, I’m very competitive (ask my brothers!) but I’ve accepted the fact that I will not usually beat my husband at Scrabble. I think I’ve only beat him about three times in the seven years we’ve been married... but I keep playing and trying to learn and do better. If I don’t feel like losing, then I’ll pick a game like Battleships or San Juan to play with him.

6. Do you game with your kids? If yes, what are some of your favourite games to play with the kids?
Yes—my oldest daughter (age 6) is a social butterfly who loves board games. We play Snakes & Ladders, Sorry, Smashed Potatoes and a few other board games.

6.B What is your favourite family game?
Probably Sorry, though my girls don’t usually have the patience to sit through the whole game. I like the combination of counting, taking turns, following directions, and strategy (who are you going to “Sorry”?) and chance (what card did you draw).

7. What's currently at the top of your gamer wishlist?
Hmmm, probably Ticket to Ride. My husband and I have played this a few times with friends and we really enjoy it. Someday we’ll end up with a set ourselves.

8. Go retro: Name a classic game you loved from ten or twenty years ago.
Um... Sorry or Monopoly.

9. How many hours a week do you spend gaming? Not enough. J We play maybe once a week or less but I wish we could play more. Maybe now that my husband and I are done school and have more free evenings, we’ll be able to play more board games together. And as our girls get older, I’m looking forward to teaching them more of our favourite games. Right now it’s hard to pull out a game with a 1-year-old wanting to chew on the pieces.

10. Why do you game? Is it all about winning? Escapism? Family time?
Fun and family time for sure. I have great memories of playing games with my family growing up. I think board games are a great way to bring families and friends together—you’re having fun and learning about each other at the same time.

Be sure to check out these two gaming posts from Bonnie on her blog:
Playing Board Games with Preschoolers, Date Night: Board Games for Two

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Gaming Show

I think that most of us Gamers starting out as kids who loved to game either on their own or with their families. I know I still love playing board and card games, as that's what I played as a kid, and teenager. Now I like playing games with my boys, whether it be board or video games. It fosters a love of gaming!

I think this next generation is a lot more gamers, and one of the reasons Disney XD is launching Gaming Show (In My Parents' Garage).

Jesse Sukunda stars in Disney XD Canada’s new pilot Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage).


This show is debuting Monday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET, and is a Canadian original pilot.  The Gaming Show will be a news style show that will take a journey inside the world of gaming.  It is aiming to be cool and informative in its segments.  They will be featuring expert correspondents and breaking industry news.

“With Gaming Show we’ve used a unique filming format that promotes the newest gaming products and delivers a behind-the-scenes look at the industry designed specifically with kids in mind,” said Michael Goldsmith, Director, Original Programming, Disney XD. “Knowing that this topic is of huge interest to our audience, our goal is to create a show that speaks to them, not at them, through a variety of inventive segments. Plus, being at the pilot stage, we’re able to incorporate their feedback and create a series that is customized to their viewing tastes.”


In the premiere episode, Jesse visits Ubisoft’s world renowned motion capture suite to find out how they get games to look so realistic and participates in a virtually simulated swordfight. Am I the only one jealous?  I would love to get to do that! LOL We love Ubisoft games at our house.

Next he gets to go to Microsoft, where he gets the inside scoop on the newest game for X-Box, Project Spark, where gamers evolve into developers by creating their own video games. The sneak peek also features guest appearances by web-video sensations RizenVisual, a review of Super Mario 3D World for Nintendo Wii U and a surprise basketball challenge with Amir Johnson of the Toronto Raptors.  Again...totally jealous! LOL  For a video gaming girl this rocks!

This is obviously aimed at ages 6-14 like the channel, but it would be great for your kids to watch, or to watch with them.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Big Bang Theory Celebrats Star Wars Day



Who here loves Big Bang Theory?  Hubby and I do!  It's so funny, and well they do a lot of gaming.  They are pretty much sum up everything that is awesome about being geeky! 

So, of course, you know they will be celebrating "Star Wars Day".  If you aren't sure what day that is...well it's May 4th, of course! (May the 4th be with you ;) )

The Big Bang Theory is teaming with Lucasfilm for an epic Star Wars episode called "The Proton Transmogrification".  Seeing as they have already done a Star Trek themed episode I am not surprised they will be tackling Star Wars, and well you know it's going to be awesome!

The gang gets together to celebrate the annual geek holiday, while Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is guided by visions of his childhood idol and mentor, Professor Proton (Emmy winner Bob Newhart), who appears to the socially challenged genius as his own Jedi master.
The episode will be airing on May 1st on CBS, and was worked on by both The Big Bang Theory team, and the Star Wars official Team!

So....will you be watching?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Civilization V Campaign Edition for Mac





A good number of years ago now my Sister-in-law introduced me to a game called Sid Meiers Civilization.  I purchased the game, and we would play together over the network or on our own.  Over the years my computers got too slow to keep up with the advancing games, so I just quit playing.  But I really did like the game and strategy of it.

Last May, I bought my first Mac, it's a Macbook Pro, and we went with a high end version.  It was much more of a machine than I need for my blogging, and games I generally play.   One day, I was cleaning out something and I found the old Civ game, and thought hmmmmmm I wonder if they have a Mac version.

One thing I love about my Macbook is if I want a game, just go to the app store, and purchase it with my iTunes account.  I searched and found Civilization V Campaign Edition, and since I had a gift card for iTunes (and it was on sale! woot!) I bought it!

In case you aren't sure what Civilization is about I've been told it's like Risk, but in a computer game.  I am not 100% sure about that as I have never played Risk (I know, I know), but I've watched it, and it seems like the main concept is the same.  Basically for Civilization you will be picking what Civilization you will be.  That will determine what Leader you are, and specific strengths and bonuses your Civilization will have.  Then the goal is trying to build the best Civilization you can, while trying to handle complicated relationships with other Civilizations, or City/Towns (that is new to me).



You will research different types of knowledge which will determine your strengths, and also lead to what you can build.  You want to dominate the game, and you can choose how you would like to win say via technology, science, military, etc.


The game cost $29.99 in the App Store, and is rated E (Everyone) 10+ for Drug Reference, Mild Language and Mild Violence.  I haven't really noticed the drug reference or the language, and I am usually very aware of that sort of thing, but maybe I just haven't come across it yet.  The violence I have seen is really mild, and my boys are 7, 5, and 4 and they have seen and heard me play this game, and I haven't worried about it at all. One is very sensitive and he isn't scared of this game at all.

You can buy expansion kits in game for this, although you can turn it off as well. I have mine turned off, and would just go to the app store if I wanted to buy any of the packs. 


Become Ruler of the World by establishing and leading a civilization from the dawn of man into the space age: Wage war, conduct diplomacy, discover new technologies, go head-to-head with some of history’s greatest leaders and build the most powerful empire the world has ever known.

Civilization V: Campaign Edition includes the following downloadable content for free. Babylon Civilization Pack, and their ruler Nebuchadnezzar II, as well as the Mongols Civilization and Scenario Pack. Features: Civilization V introduces hexagon tiles allowing for deeper strategy, more realistic gameplay and stunning organic landscapes for players to explore as they expand their empire.

Civilization V Mac offers a limitless variety of vast, realistic and diverse landscapes for players. An intuitive interface eases both new players and Civ veterans into the game. Guided by a set of trusted advisors who will explain game functionality and provide counsel for significant decisions. 

The addition of ranged bombardment allows players to fire weapons from behind the front lines, challenging players to develop clever new strategies to guarantee victory on the battlefield.   I actually really loved this option!  You can get your army to stay out of their territory and still shoot! Nice!

The one thing I am not a fan of is that the Multiplayer option is LAN only.  My Sis-in-law lives 4 hours away in a different country now....the LAN cables don't work LOL

Here is a trailer I found for it:



I really like the graphics, and the video components are really well done.  And thoroughly enjoy playing it.  It's not a fast game though, and when I start playing I sort of get sucked in LOL  I highly recommend this game if you are into strategy games, and world domination.

Have you ever played any of the Sid Meier Civilization games?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gamer Girl Giveaways

Welcome our weekly giveaway link-up, 
Gamer Girl Giveaways.


There will be an ongoing linky, but will be published each Thursday. Stop in weekly and link up any gaming related giveaways. Or come on by and browse for gaming giveaways to enter!

Wondering how to participate? It's easy!

Under Your name: put the name of your giveaway prize and the end date. For example something like this "My Cool Blog - Excellent Prize (Can/US 3/12)" or  this "Awesome Prize, 4/16".

Under Your URL: copy and paste a direct link to your giveaway, not to the main page of your blog.




If you're looking for more places to list your giveaways   
check out our lists: Giant Linky List, and Giveaway Listings.

And finally... if you link up, please help spread the word about the Gamer Girl Giveaway Link-Up. Grab our button or send out a quick tweet. The more folks that know, the more exposure your giveaway will receive!

Gamer Girls Giveaways Link-Up


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mouse Trap - An Easter Gift Idea

MouseTrap Elefun & Friends

I have always been a fan of gaming, especially as a family.  We played card games, board games, dice games, and video games.  I remember all the family bonding time.

One game us kids loved to play was MouseTrap.  Do you remember the classic version?
Mouse Trap Game from Hasbro
Source
Since my hubby and I are both the same age, I love that we both played with a lot of the same things, or remember the same cartoons and such.  We have talked and laughed many times about the game Mouse Trap and the aggravation of thinking you just won, and the trap not catching someone! Being a highly competitive person, this was like the worst for me! LOL  

MouseTrap is one of our classic board gaming memories, and brings back memories of fun childhood times with my sisters and our friends.  So when I saw they had a new version out I had to try it out for my boys!

Looking for something non-chocolate for the kids for Easter?  Think MouseTrap!  It's fun, and even my 4yo who never gets to play board games with us can play!



The board has been redesigned, and is much more little kid friendly.  It is part of the Elefun & friends line of products.  There are a lot less parts to put together now.  I also liked that they moved away from a dice to a colour spinner instead.

He picked the orange mouse

 The concept was easy enough that my 4yo was able to understand what was needed and to play with me. 



Of course I won...because that's how I roll.  He is 4, he was very happy for me! LOL



This is one of those games our whole family can play, and when I say whole family, I mean WHOLE family.

Family Game Night with Hasbro
Yeah that's right...our cats play MouseTrap

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