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Ellen Ripley RSS Feed (Midwest USA)

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Lang Perfect Timing - Lang 2014 Favorite Things Wall Calendar, January 2014 - December 2014, 13.375 x 24 Inches (1001730)
Lang Perfect Timing - Lang 2014 Favorite Things Wall Calendar, January 2014 - December 2014, 13.375 x 24 Inches (1001730)
Price: $3.99
7 used & new from $3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, Vibrant Pictures, But Smaller Pastel Colored Numbers May Be Hard To See For Older Eyes, December 27, 2013
I buy a Lang calendar every year and thought I'd try another one from the newer Lang Artisan Collection this year. I picked this one because the illustrations had a fresh, vibrant look and they are indeed bright and beautiful. The only thing different about it that I'm not liking so much is that the numbers are smaller and lighter in color(more pastel) than many other Lang calendars. For example, the number are larger and darker on both the Lang Perfect Timing - Lang 2014 Simple Inspirations Wall Calendar, January 2014 - December 2014, 13.375 x 24 Inches (1001672) and the Lang Perfect Timing - Lang 2014 Color My World Wall Calendar, January 2014 - December 2014, 13.375 x 24 Inches (1001695) which I have ordered in past years.

If you have young eyes this probably won't matter to you, but I bought this one for my mother and she says she can't see the dates while sitting at the kitchen table. They are not as dark and large as I like them either, but I'll be keeping this one for myself and getting her a different one. There's plenty of room to write appointments or notes on it and I love the whimsical designs so it will be fine for me.

As usual with the Lang calendars, it is made of a good heavy duty paper and fits in any of the standard Lang frames like the Honey Maple Wall Calendar Frame which is the one I have.


Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
Price: $1.29

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Isn't The Traditional Carole King, It Won't Be For Everyone, December 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This song is a very simple combo of vocals and piano and yet I couldn't help feel like I was listening to my niece practice for her school Christmas play. It was very piercing to my ears. I love Carole King when she sings the songs that showcase her unique voice filled with feeling that touch your soul. I sort of hate it when popular singers put out these Christmas albums as they often fall short of what the singer is capable of. This is not Carole King at her best in my opinion or maybe I just don't like this song. You will either love her rendition of this song or hate it. As for me, I had to listen to Tapestry, It's All Right, and Jazzman to get my head straight after listening to this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2013 7:34 PM PST


FRiEQ Hi-Speed Cloth Jacketed USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B Cable (6 Feet)
FRiEQ Hi-Speed Cloth Jacketed USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B Cable (6 Feet)
Offered by LowerPriceUSA
Price: $19.99
2 used & new from $7.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Tough Colorful Bungee Style USB Cord Stands Apart From Others, It's More Fun, December 3, 2013
This is a durable, attractive, and reasonably priced USB cable that comes with a 2 year warranty that works well. With that said, I'm very happy with it and it is now my go-to USB cable mainly due to it's fun blue and yellow color and bungee look. These will make great gifts.

It's longer at 6 feet than many of my other USB cables which are 3 feet or less. Long enough so that my grandson was able to plug in his PS4 controller and play games until the remote charged up. My cats love to chew through the nice soft cords of many of my other cables but showed no interest in this one. That's a big plus. It is a rougher material and slightly stiffer so I think it's going to last a long time and the connectors are moldy well against the cable where they meet.

The USB end seemed easier to grip than some of my other cables which when I attach to the ports on my computer are hard to pull out. The ends on this one felt more grippy to me and are easy to get a good hold on. I like that.

These come in great colors which also serve a function. If you're like me(maybe you're not) you have a drawer full of black or white cables: USB(micro, mini, male/female male/male), optical, HDMI and others all in a heap. So I like that the 2 color braided cable stands out. It's easy to know which one to grab for or tell someone to get you.

Everyone in my household thought the colors were cool. In a world of bland and boring black and white cables these are just more fun. I hope Frieq will add even more color choices.


Woods 32555 Outdoor Remote Control Outlet Converter Kit
Woods 32555 Outdoor Remote Control Outlet Converter Kit
Price: $9.96
52 used & new from $9.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newly Designed Remote, Reasonably Priced, Work Well So Far, December 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When I was researching buying these I looked at the remote shown on Amazon's website and thought it looked cheap and would probably be the weak point in the durability of these devices. To my surprise the ones I received have a more modern and attractive design as well as looking and feeling sturdier. (I submitted a picture which you should be able to see here on the website)

I really like these as they are very useful for lights or other electronics that are plugged in in hard to reach areas. A battery for the remote is included. The replacement battery is an A23 Battery, 12 Volt like the Energizer A23 Battery, 12 Volt - 2 Pack. For in home use I usually stick these to a wall with Velcro sticky back tape; this way you don't lose the remotes but you can easily pull them off the wall if you need to.

There is only one 3 prong outlet to plug things into. In order to get around the channel limitation I have paired this with a Ziotek ZT1120131 HC1 Black Liberator Dual Outlet Wall Adapter, 2 Pack. I think I'll be trying the Leviton 692-W 15 Amp, 125 Volt, Triple Cube Grounding Adapter, White for my next bright idea. Not sure how these adapter would work outside as so far I am using them in either the house or garage.

I ordered 4 of these and each one is a different channel. They sell these in 6 different channels (A-F). You cannot change the channel. The ones I received are channels A, C, D, & F. What this means is that if I had 2 different lamps in the same room and I wanted to turn them both on or off at the same time I would need to press the on/off button on both remotes. I had hoped that at least two of them would be the same channel but you can't specify what channels you want when you order. I hope that Woods will provide that option in the future.

When you press the "on" button of the remote it turns on the light (or whatever you have plugged into it) and also turns on a small but bright red light on the plugged in connector unit. This doesn't matter much if it's outside or plugged in behind a couch but if it is someplace that is visible the light is rather glaring. For example, I gave one to my Mom to turn on a lamp that is in the front window. The wall plug is behind some sheer curtains and the light on it shines brightly through the curtains and is unsightly. A problem like this is really minor as a piece of duck tape over the light easily solves the problem.

I am currently using a Skylink WS-100/WS-100N Wireless Remote Control, Channel A for a bedroom lamp and while they are very reliable they are also quite expensive. These are much more reasonably priced at about $8 when I bought them. These exact Woods units sell for $17.99 at Home Depot.

So far these are working well but I'm giving this just 4 stars for now until I further test the distance these work from, how well they work outside, whether the remote holds up and if the "signal travels through walls, windows and doors" as the manufacturer claims. I would like to be able to use it to turn on a fan in the basement from upstairs . . . we'll see how that goes. I will update my review after I've had these a while longer.


SquareTrade 2-Year Game Console Protection Plan ($350-400)
SquareTrade 2-Year Game Console Protection Plan ($350-400)
Offered by SquareTrade
Price: $32.24

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get a 3-Year Console Warranty for about $5 More By Buying Directly From Square Trade's Website and Using a Coupon Code, November 22, 2013
If you want to purchase a Square Trade warranty, for your new PS4 for example, it is best to do it directly from the Square Trade website.

You can get a 3 year protection plan for $37.75 with a 30% off coupon code which is a much better offer than this.

You can get a 3 year protection plan with accident coverage for $55.97 with a 30% off coupon(most people wouldn't need this, or will they?)--actually as of the date of my review, the SquareTrade 3-Year Game Console Accident Protection Plan ($350-400) is the same price, so if you wanted to get it via Amazon you wouldn't need a coupon and it's still a good deal. (NOTE: SquareTrade Protection Plans sold on Amazon only cover products purchased from Amazon within the last 30 days, so if you didn't buy your console on Amazon you need to purchase one from Square Trade's website directly, [...] )

You can google "squaretrade 30 off" to find some codes on the web.
They usually issue them on Tuesdays & sometimes on Fridays. (Sometimes there are even 35% and rarely a 40% code)

Here's a few codes that are good only today 11/22/13:
01Q60001M767J008
01Q60001M767Q001
01Q60001M7681002

If you need a code you can contact me via the e-mail on my profile and I'll try to get you one if I have it.

I very much like Square Trade warranties and use them on items that I think have a good change of possible failure within a 3 year time period. To me $38 is not a lot to pay for the peace of mind I get from knowing that I'm covered if anything goes wrong with my console down the road. Dealing with Square Trade has always been very simple for me and they have always been polite and helpful on the phone. When a camera I owned broke, I received the full value I paid for the camera very quickly.

A warranty on a PS4 purchased from Amazon would start on the date Amazon shipped it. With a 3 year warranty, the first year is covered by Sony's 1 year warranty but the next 2 years are completely covered by Square Trade. (On this 2 year warranty, the first year is covered by Sony's 1 year warrant and the next year would be covered by Square Trade.)

You can read more about what is covered here:
[...]

I'm not sure if the warranty covers problems with the controller, but you can contact Square Trade at 1-877-WARRANTY (1-877-927-7268) and ask. Of course the controller has 1 year warranty from the manufacturer anyway. Accessories like earbuds or a power cable are never covered as they are considered accessories that the buyer can replace themselves.

You need to purchase a Square Trade warranty within 30 days of the Amazon ship date of your console or the purchase date on your receipt if you bought it somewhere else(save your receipt). But, if you change you mind about it within the first 30 days after you purchase it, you can get the full amount you paid back from Square Trade. And if you sell your console, the warranty can be easily transferred to the person that purchases it.

Note: If you bought a package that included a game(s) for more than $399, you can still just take out a warranty in the $399 price group because all you really need to cover is the console.


Dr. Panda's Airport
Dr. Panda's Airport
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $0.99

96 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You Shall Not Pass! But Otherwise A Pretty Great Game For Kids!, August 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dr. Panda's Airport (App)
I see that there are many Dr. Panda games and they are apparently dearly loved by many. Being new to them I'm seeing some really good stuff here with some unwelcome demands for ratings and unguarded links to the internet (Facebook, Amazon website, more games by TribePlay) mixed in.
Note: If you don't care about the annoying things, feel free to skip down to my "Review of the Actual Game" section.

The Good: There's a Child Lock on the game. If you select the "For Parents" icon you're told to tap a picture of a lock 4 times(# varies) to continue. That's good. You'd think so wouldn't you.

The Bad: Next, on a nicely laid out full screen with sweet, sweet music playing in the background I see: (ugh)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Like our game? Please, give us a review! REVIEW US
2. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned! SUBSCRIBE
3. Show promotions screen ON

--- Like us on facebook! Like
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I press "X" to close the screen without doing anything and I can play the game. When I leave the game it continues to run in the background. I force close it. When I restart it I see the same screen (as above) again.
My interpretation: "You Shall Not Pass"--quote from Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring".

Frustrated, I now hand it to my granddaughter who just woke up. I'm curious to see what she will do from here while I finish making lunches for morning. When I return she is giggling and I sit down to see what's up. She's watching a really cute Japanese YouTube video, "The Sushis! Mawaru Rumba" and singing along with it. The Good: Nice, I think she's learning Japanese! The Bad: She's now roaming free on the internet. So much for the CHILD LOCK on this game(See UPDATE below).

So I decide to continue testing out the app. I now get a message "Give us a 5-star rating! Having fun with Dr. Panda? Rate us 5 stars! Options: Rate it 5 star, Remind Me Later, Dismiss". I choose "Dismiss" and now I'm back to that screen (see above) again--"You Shall Not Pass"! Wow, they really mean it!

Review of the Actual Game:
-------------------------------
Anyway, now to get to the actual game. If you look at all these Dr. Panda games you can see why they get such good reviews and this one is no different. The graphics are top notch, there's goofy looking cartoon characters, the music is catchy without being distracting or annoying, and the game runs smoothly with no bugs or problems I have found.

There's a really good variety of things to do in the game. Within the theme of an airport there is a simplified find the hidden objects, matching like items, number/letter/shape recognition, hand eye coordination, maze puzzles, how to use a pay telephone that uses coins and more. You even learn how to form a queue. Success is rewarded with cheers by the crowd and a rain of pretty colored falling stars. This game is good enough that even I was entertained by it all. The only confusing thing to me is why I kept, quite often seeing an airplane taking off on the runway. Silly adult that I am, I kept trying to make it do something until I realized that it just meant the game was loading and switching screens. (obviously I have never played a Dr. Panda game)

The game is fairly intuitive but very young kids will probably need some help. For example, you see words like "Departures" and "Baggage Claims" and even I had to wonder what you're supposed to do next. The answer is simple. You just touch the any character and it leads you into the next game. Confusing for an adult but probably a no-brainer for many kids. I'd say the target age group here is probably around 5 years old since logic/reasoning and letter/number association is involved.

I could nitpick and say some things are not quite right like, for example, when you use the telephone you enter an 8-digit number (instead of a typical 7-digit local phone number. I think China has 8-digit phone numbers). And have kids ever even seen a pay telephone let alone one that uses coins, do they even exist--just kidding(sort of). I'm sure they do exist and an airport might be just the place to find one. When you go through airport security some of the items that I saw passengers stopped for were cigarette lighters, a men's electric razor and a razor that uses blades. I guess this is OK for kids considering the world we live in; at least there were no knives or guns. You decide.

So yes, overall a very fun and polished game that promotes learning for kids, isn't too difficult, and doesn't require Wi-Fi. This app really eats away at your battery though, but just make sure to force close the game(at least on a Kindle Fire HD) when you're done or your device will be dead by morning. Dr. Panda fans should not be disappointed with this game, especially with it being free today.

UPDATE 8/29 at 3 PM: After reading a somewhat conflicting review posted after mine by Thomas Recely, I went back today and looked at the game again. What I thought was a Child Lock is actually sort of a Parent Trap(and that's a good thing). At the beginning of the game you see what look like 3 icons to choose from. The first is a round icon with a footprint on it, the second is a rectangular icon that says "For Parents" and the third is a round Airplane icon in the middle of the screen. If you select the footprint icon it does nothing(purely decorative, part of the scenery). If you choose the "For Parents" icon you DO get stuck in the review, subscribe, promotions, facebook screens as I explained above. If I had selected the big Airplane icon (which I thought was also just decorative, duh!) I would have been able to play the game without interruption.

If you just ignore the "For Parents" icon you won't be nagged for reviews or anything else. If kids just tap the round Airplane icon(<--CORRECT CHOICE), they can start the game themselves, play quite safely, and not get access to the internet(or YouTube). Sorry for any confusion.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2013 1:18 PM PDT


4Pics 1Word- What's the Word Init
4Pics 1Word- What's the Word Init

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's MORE Than Just A Game!, August 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
WOW, this game has it ALL!

Since I have a Kindle Fire and am totally tied into the Amazon ecosystem I love games that make use of every marketing tool available including the easy purchase of In-App coins to help me complete levels that would otherwise keep me from ever being able to finish the game. It's sooo easy to get 200 free coins just by writing a quick 5-star review for the developer so that I can get the FULL game with all the bells and whistles. Who would want the full game without jumping through a few hoops to get it. No challenge there. I definitely want more games like this, after all my kid just wrote his first review to get his coins and you know how kids like coins; good positive reinforcement. I'm so proud that I am training him for the future since he wants to be a game developer. When he asked why he had to buy coins I explained that that's how you make more money from selling apps. He thought that was cool and asked for an increase in his allowance.

AND, there's a nice workaround in this game for in-app purchases through the Appstore which lets my kids more easily purchase more coins without being bogged down by my in-app purchase blocking.

Sure can't beat getting everything I do being etched onto my Facebook page so friends can see and help me out. After all, they might want this game too based on all the 5-star reviews. Plus, just like many other videos on the web, this game provides me with total integration of in game ads, even giving me that countdown feature so I don't miss any ad that is targeted at me that I might otherwise never see. Since my kids usually have wi-fi always turned on AdMob and AdSense should have no problem keeping track of everything we like. If they get inventive enough maybe we'll get some good offers for pizza from our favorite local place so the kids can order it online.

Thanks NextIn for all the care and consideration you show to your customers. (ugh)


Handy Note Pro
Handy Note Pro
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $3.99

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Comprehensive But Somewhat Tangled Note App, Learning Curve Involved, August 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Handy Note Pro (App)
There's lots of functionality and options in this note app and I had fun playing around with it, BUT it's complicated and not intuitive. There are instructions in the app if you press the "?" icon which will give you several pages of how-to information. There is also a link to several youtube videos about how to use the app. The convoluted way you get the add-ons is pretty annoying. There are no pop up ads or in-app purchases but there are links to a variety of add-ons some of which are free and others that cost $0.99. Many of these add-ons have gotten poor reviews because it is not clear that they depend on owning this app or Handy Note Pro(Fire optimitized version) $3.99 or Notes on Life Pro $4.99

Contrary to what I read in another review the app CAN be used with wi-fi off, but don't expect to be able to move things to drop box or e-mail them unless you have a wi-fi connection. I was able to create diary and note pages, importing picture or adding on the fly photos & smilie icons to them, then create text boxes and enter text using either the pull down keyboard or with a stylus or by writing with my finger on the screen. Everything can be re-sized, repositioned, erased and deleted. There's a choice of fonts, font sizes, pens, widths and colors. When choosing what kind of notebook to open (blank, notes, diary, minutes, planner, etc) the screen often flips between portrait and landscape despite my having my screen locked into landscape orientation.

While creating schedules & certain entries felt kind of flip floppy to me(a lot of going back and forth), it may be because I expect never to have to read instructions and that all icons are self explanatory. This app has lots of little icons and while I did find this a bit frustrating, they really give you tons of options on how to customize almost everything. This is the kind of app that you have to invest some time in to learn. There is a whole long scrolling screen of general settings (you should at least look at these before you start-->settings wheel at bottom right of screen) as well as many other setting that you adjust while using the app.

One thing I did really like was how easy it was to switch between writing with my finger/stylus and then going to the keyboard when I needed to type in something very precisely like an e-mail address/key code/customer name to make sure it is absolutely clear. It was also very easy to place a date or time stamp quickly(current or future date/time). If you don't like using text boxes, the blank template with a predefined pen in free drawing mode using 2 finger scrolling worked well for taking fast notes or drawing pictures/diagrams.

These are the free template packs that work with this app:
ResPack 01- Free Notebook
ResPack 02- Free Photo Book
ResPack 03- Free Diary
ResPack 05- Christmas
ResPack 04- Christmas Album (Photo frames)

I tested this on a Kindle Fire HD 7" and it worked fine. It seems designed to work best for short notes/reminders as it uses a lot a screen real estate. This is a powerful app that has everything including the kitchen sink thrown in. Despite the many reviews that are down rating this for permissions(I think the bookmarks permission may refer to the bookmarks you set in this app itself), lack of instructions, frustration factor, this seems to be a very useful app with good potential and I plan to spend some time learning how to use it. It has a definite learning curve but the things it can do and how fast it can do them are pretty amazing to me.

The only things I haven't yet been able to figure out how to do is zoom a page(no pinch to zoom that I can find) and I don't see that you can print directly to a printer which would have been nice.

The app isn't perfect and it's certainly not for everyone but it's definitely worth trying out.

Note 1: This app is probably best for tablets as there is a lot being displayed on the screen that may be hard to see/read/select on smaller phones.

Note 2: There are no in-app purchases. You have to select the "?" then choose "Our Products" to even see what the add-ons are. And if I missed one, if you have airplane mode "On" this disables the wireless setting.

Note 3: Used on a Kindle Fire I don't see any of the permissions as a problem, but more consideration and investigation should be used with this app when downloading it to a phone which contains your personal information.


FRIEQ Genuine Premium Top Layer Brazil Buffalo Hide Football Design Leather Case for Kindle Fire HD 7" Auto Wake/Sleep Feature - Vintage Brown
FRIEQ Genuine Premium Top Layer Brazil Buffalo Hide Football Design Leather Case for Kindle Fire HD 7" Auto Wake/Sleep Feature - Vintage Brown

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love The Smell and Feel of Real Leather In This Quality Football Style Case, August 25, 2013
I'll be honest, I'm really picky about cases for my Kindle Fires. I like them to be genuine leather, which so very few are, and I want them to be totally functional.

This case is genuine leather with a nice grain. It smells good and feels good in my hands. The leather of the cover is substantial with a cushy feeling to it and the detailed stitching is perfectly done.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF:
---------------------------------
1. It opens to the left like a real book and can be folded fully back. The spine does not squash flat which makes it feel thicker and for me, easier to hold with one hand.

2. It can be easily flipped to landscape orientation with one hand due to something I have never seen on any other Fire case, a ribbon of material behind the backing of the Fire that will keep the Fire from ever falling flat when you are viewing videos or reading in landscape mode. It can easily be angled adjusted for best viewing (between about 85 degrees and 55 degrees) by simply moving it a little forward or back. It is totally stable.

(Some other cases have 3 grooves or a strange set of cutouts in inside of the cover for positioning. This case doesn't need those grooves or ugly cutouts)

3. It will stand in portrait orientation perfectly straight up(can't be angled) BUT it is extrememly stable in this position(on a hard surface). In fact I have NEVER seen a case stand so well in this orientation and again I believe this is due to the interesting ribbon of material design used by Frieq on this case.

4. Closing the cover puts the Fire HD to sleep and opening it wakes it up. Yes, almost all new Fire HD cases do this now but there are often complaints with some that if the cover doesn't close completely(due to weak magnets) that the Fire doesn't sleep and the battery wears down and needs to be charged more often. This case has a snap closure which insures that the case stays closed and doesn't accidently open when you squeeze it into a bag or backpack or put it into a briefcase and it gets tossed around.

(Note: The Fire HD is meant to be inserted with the ports to the inside of the case, otherwise the auto wake/sleep function will not work. The snap is meant to close to the backside of the case. The front of the case has the "Frieq" logo on it. )

5. People have remarked on the unique football design of this case and it certainly is pretty sweet. This would make a perfect gift for the football fan in your life. They would think you looked high and low to find such a high quality item. (On the other hand it does not scream football so it would make a great case for anyone. I gave one to my Mom and she loves it.)

6. There are no cut-outs for the Fire speakers. Eeek! This is one of the biggest no no's in my book about what the ideal case should have. Surprising, the sound is still excellent when used with this cover. My Mom listens to videobooks and my Dad watchs movies and it is plenty loud. I think perhaps this is due to the great quality of the 2 dolby speakers in the Fire HD itself. And yet, I feel there should be punchouts in the area of the speakers.

7. In order to charge the Fire HD the case needs to be open. There is no cutout to allow you to plug in the USB cable with the case closed.
(These days about 50% of cases use this design and the other 50% provide the cutout for the charging cable. I used to feel strongly that the Fire should be able to be charged with the case closed, but I've changed my thinking on this. Even many people with the official Amazon HD 7" case Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" Standing Leather Case, Onyx Black (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7") feel that the device gets too hot when charged closed. Also, one of the biggest problems with the older Fire was that the USB connectors got loose or dislodged due to the cable not laying flat and being loose during charging. I have now changed camps regarding this issue and feel that charging with an open case is the safer method for the longevity of the device, plus the ports are protected from dirt and debris if they are covered.)

If you want an extremely light/thin case, this is not it. This is a high quality genuine leather case with fine workmanship and good functionality. It provides excellent protection for the Fire HD. I've been using the case for a several months now and it is holding up very well. You will get some creasing in the leather on the back of the cover from using it in landscape mode but to me this is minor. This case should last for a lifetime and the look of the leather on mine is just getting better over time as the oils from many hands keep it nicely conditioned.

Very pleased with this product. Highly recommended.


Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed [Download]
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed [Download]
Price: $19.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So, You've Heard This Game Is Good But You're Not Really Into Racing Games (Or Not Good At Them) & Maybe Not Even A Sonic Fan, July 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm not writing this review for those of you who have played every kart racer out there or are big Sonic fans already(read the other reviews for the nitty gritty stuff). I'm writing it for the benefit of those new(ish) to kart racing who may be on the fence about this game.

My perspective is this . . . I've never really been into kart racing/racing games and haven't played many Sonic games. This game has been on sale lately for cheap and will be again and people kept telling me to get it, that I'd like it, that it's really good. Well a lot of people say a lot of things and I was pretty sure this would be a game I played a few times and then moved on to other better games in my backlog . . .

NOT SO, This IS one of the BETTER games and it's GREAT FUN ! ! !
The graphics and animations are superb, steering is simple, and it's easy to learn and play even if you don't really know what you're doing. There are 3 difficulty levels to start out with (Expert is initially locked) and the game runs smooth as silk. Throughout courses your racing car can transform into a boat or a flying plane which is different for each character you play and the vehicles handle differently depending on the terrain. On the tracks you can pickup interesting power-ups that can help you win races even if you aren't the fastest racer on the track. I began with "Easy" so I could get the hang of the course layout and learn about drifting, using the power-ups and doing barrel rolls. This is the most fun I've had in a long time.

Some facts:
1. This game can be easy or hard depending on how you choose to play it.
2. The power-ups are fun to use and have cool animations. The tracks have hidden areas to discover. You collect coins to be later used in the casino slot machines.
3. Good game for kids & adults & the variety of karts includes something for everyone (not too kiddy, even tanks--yes, even tanks can fly)
4. It can be played in local co-op with up to 4 players on a split screen.
5. You can also play online against other players (not really something for beginners)
6. There is a .pdf file on Steam that explains the controls & pickups and what they do.
7. The game has full controller support (I use a wired Xbox 360 controller)
8. This is the kind of game where you can play for just 10 minutes or hours if you like.
9. This is really a strategy kart racer where you must learn to use the boost zones/pads, drifting, do stunts to gain boosts, and pick the right time to use certain power-ups.
10. To really excel at this game, especially at the higher levels takes practice. Winning and losing races isn't just a matter of luck. You have to want to be good and put in the work to get there. On the other hand, if you don't feel driven to be the best of the best this game is just good, clean, casual fun.

Still Struggling With This Game? Pick up the DLC Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Metal Sonic & Outrun DLC [Online Game Code] for this game to get a new character, Metal Sonic who is maxed out which has ALL HIS MODS AUTOMATICALLY UNLOCKED which will help you win more races.
Mods are upgrades to a character's vehicle in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed that change the statistics of the vehicle. Mods are unlocked by leveling up the characters which are unlocked in World Tour with stars earned from beating missions. Examples of some of the mods are:

--Standard: The basic Mod of the character which comes automatically.
--Balanced: A Mod that evenly balances statistics.
--Speed: A Mod that increases the maximum speed of the vehicle.
--Handling: A Mod that increases the handling of the vehicle.
--Acceleration: A Mod that increases the acceleration of the vehicle.
--Boost: A Mod that increases the boost power of the vehicle.
--ALL STAR

If you're unsure about this game, but think you might be interested in a kart racer, this game it top-notch; superbly crafted, visually stunning, and with intuitive gameplay. Before I avoided racing games and now I realize if you find the right one, you will love kart racing. The initial ease of play will draw you into this game but your competitive instincts may urge you on to learn the tricks to being #1. Highly recommended!

UPDATE 8-29-13: On 8-31-13 this game was on sale for $7.49. Today's $5.99 price is a great deal.
UPDATE 12-24-13: Was on sale for the holidays for $4.99


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