Wednesday, 28 November 2012

iPod App: Super Stickman Golf

Super Stickman Golf: A golf game with its own personality...

Super Stickman Golf features weird and wacky power-ups.
There have been literally hundreds of golf games over the years and yet with Super Stickman Golf developers NoodleCake have still succeeded in producing a golf game with its own personality and a game which features enough original twists to make this worth a look in the overcrowded golf game genre.

Things start off looking fairly typical with Super Stickman Golf featuring a side on 2D view of each hole and following the basic formula of many golf games with the familiar power meter and angle control for each shot.  However, this is where the similarity with golf simulations ends as the creators behind Super Stickman Golf have gone for a more fun arcadey style of game rather than an accurate recreation of the game of golf.  The design of each hole is far removed from a traditional golf course so it would probably be more accurate to describe this as a 2D side-on golf game loosely in the spirit of crazy golf.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Music: High Violet by The National

High Violet is an album you’ll still be coming back to years down the line...

High Violet by The National. It may take a few listens
before you appreciate its true musical quality.
The National are one of those bands who are very successful, critically acclaimed and have a passionate and dedicated following, and yet there still seems to be a large number of people who haven’t yet heard of them.

That’s possibly because High Violet is by no means a collection of radio friendly mainstream chart songs.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an album of exceptionally brilliant music, but you may find like I did that it takes a few listens before you start to appreciate the true depth of musical quality contained on High Violet. 

I personally found that the opening track Terrible Love and also Little Faith were songs which became favourites fairly quickly, but it took a few more listens before the genius of the rest of the album emerged.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


QuidCo: A great way to save a few pounds in the run up to Christmas...

I love Quidco
If you’re someone who does a lot of internet shopping then you may already know about Quidco, but if you don’t then you would be strongly advised to check it out immediately to start saving money in the form of cashback from your online purchases.  I’m by no means an obsessive online shopper and yet I’ve still earned over £100 in cashback, so as you can see even for the casual shopper it’s still worth signing up.

For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t come across cashback websites yet, this is how it works.  Rather than going directly to a retailers website, you instead first visit QuidCo and select the category of shopping you want, such as insurance, mobile phones, travel, fashion, electricals, etc.  QuidCo then brings up a list of retailers listed under that category who currently offer cashback deals on online purchases.  You can then click the links and check out a few of these websites for the item you’re looking for and if you make a purchase you then qualify for cashback.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Apps: Moviestorm

A very professional package capable of producing impressive results.

A scene from a 3D video created using Moviestorm.
Anyone who has ever been impressed by the 3D cut scenes featured in many video games nowadays and fancied having a go at creating similar scenes themselves, should definitely take a look at the excellent Moviestorm app.  It's an impressive piece of software which allows you to create your own 3D CGI movie scenes.

When you first open up the application the plethora of options all seem a bit daunting but the menu system is very well set out and easy to pick up, so it doesn’t take long at all before you’re soon getting the hang of things and creating your own 3D CGI movies.

To give you an idea of the sort of scenes you can create, here’s a short 3D video I created using characters from my book How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

TV: Fool Britannia

More hilarious pranks and comic creations from Dom Joly.

Fool Britannia featuring Dom Joly as the asbo vicar
and many other great new characters.
I have to admit that although I enjoyed the first episode of Fool Britannia, overall I was still left feeling ever so slightly disappointed.  The trouble was that I had been expecting an exact replica of Dom Joly’s first hidden camera prank show, Trigger Happy, and although there are a lot of obvious similarities between the two shows, Fool Britannia is nevertheless its own show.

It would be fair to say that Fool Britannia is kind of an ITV-ified version of Trigger Happy.  It takes the same general formula and then tinkers with it slightly to produce a more mainstream friendly show.  For example, whereas Trigger Happy would link sketches together with cool indie tunes, Fool Britannia instead features voice-overs to introduce some of the sketches.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Radio: Too School For Cool

‘Bringing you all the very best music from the best decade.’ …DJ Steve Watson

DJ Steve Watson ... the King of the 80s!
Most of the album reviews and music features on this blog focus on relatively recent music from the last few years, so to ensure I’m not leaving out any fans of older music I thought it was time to redress the balance and turn the spotlight over to a radio show which features music from an era with no doubt many nostalgic memories for a lot of people … the 80s!

The radio show in question is Too School For Cool which to quote DJ Steve Watson ‘brings you all the very best music from the best decade’ and has become a key feature of the Stroud FM line-up.

The music charts nowadays don’t seem to be quite as big a deal as they were in decades gone by, but back when the tunes featured on Too School For Cool were first released, I can remember tuning in excitedly every Sunday evening to Radio 1 to find out the latest chart rankings.  The DJs of the time would happily rattle off a dazzling array of stats such as climbers and fallers, number of new entries, weeks on the chart, etc. as they informed us of the latest week’s charts.  Too School For Cool DJ Steve Watson is more than a match for the DJs of that era and recreates the ‘80s feel’ perfectly by providing an array of background information on the tunes he plays, such as highest chart position in various countries around the world, weeks on the chart and other little snippets of related information.