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Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: iPieces for the iPad - and a contest!

We finally got an iPad, much to the kids' delight. We're busy figuring out how to use it, but I thought I'd share one of the toys we got to review, for the iPad. It's from Pressman, and it allows you to play games like air hockey, pool, "snakes and ladders," "game of goose," and a fishing game using external pieces (works on all iPad versions). We tried out air hockey and pool. Read to the bottom, and you can enter to win your own set.

How it works:
You buy the pieces in this chunky plastic box, and the game download is free (the download is free regardless of whether you buy the pieces, but I think it would be harder to play without the pieces). The sets retail for $12.99 at toy stores though can be cheaper online (Amazon currently has fishing for $8, and air hockey for $10.29, though probably other games are coming there soon). Toysrus online has four of the games for $10 each.

Air hockey is a thing in our family - it's always a grudge match between the hubby and I, so I was most excited to try this out. We attracted quite a bit of attention where we were playing - kids and adults were curious to see how this worked. It's fun, but definitely does not match up to real air hockey. The little sliders are easy to use (and come with an additional felt pad set), but the iPad size is no match for a large hand (even mine), and my hand/wrist was often covering up the goalie area, making it hard to see. We also kept accidentally pushing our hand over the center line. It had some funky -2 points or +2 point things which you also don't have in real air hockey. I couldn't figure out how that worked, but it sometimes created what seemed like a water hole, and if the puck went in there, you lost points. The screen froze a few times, so we had to pause the game and restart to get the puck working again. That said, we still had fun playing it.

We preferred the pool game more (it's coming out soon). The set comes with little cue sticks. It takes a minute to figure out how it works, but it works well. You put your cue pad down on the iPad, and you'll see a ghost ball below. You hit that ghost ball into the cue ball, which then hits the other balls. It was tough to always get good control, and I'm not sure whether that was my hand or the program. The game rules were traditional - you have to hit your ball (stripes/solid) before your opponent's or your opponent got 2 turns. If you hit the 8 ball first, your opponent got 2 turns. We liked pool the best and look forward to playing again.

Want to win a game of your choice? Leave a comment below, along with your email address (if you aren't comfortable leaving your email address, still leave a comment, then email me at contest (at) friscokids (dot) net and tell me which comment was yours). Enter by Wednesday, October 24 at 8 p.m. PST. I'll choose a winner using, and email you. If you don't respond within 24 hours, I'll go to the next in line. They can only send to U.S. addresses. Shipping will take 4-6 weeks, still plenty of time to give as a holiday gift if you want!

Disclosure: Pressman gave me the 2 sets to review and no compensation. All opinions are my own.