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Igenix Stainless Steel Catering Urn, 15 Litre, 1650 Watt
Igenix Stainless Steel Catering Urn, 15 Litre, 1650 Watt
Price: £68.98

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a good size and has decent functionality, 24 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using this for beer brewing purposes and it's made the process so much easier and quicker. It's a good size and has decent functionality, although the single skin wall means it is very hot to touch. Easy to use and well constructed, I happily recommend.


Tacwise 18G 50mm Brad Electric Nail Gun
Tacwise 18G 50mm Brad Electric Nail Gun
Price: £116.69

5.0 out of 5 stars easy to use and well built, 24 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Effective, easy to use and well built.

Comes with a solid plastic case and is very easy to set up and use.


Mascarade Card Game
Mascarade Card Game
Price: £14.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it., 13 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Mascarade Card Game (Toy)
Mascarade is a very flexible game. Accommodating 2-13 people, it plays out in about 15-30 minutes and is really easy to learn. The box is conveniently small and all of the artwork and components are gorgeous.

In Mascarade, every player is trying to gain 13 coins in order to win. Each person then has one card in front of them face down that they are generally not allowed to look at. On your turn you can do one of 3 things: Look at your card, swap your card with someone else's without looking or "claim" to be a certain character. Each of the different characters in the game then has a unique power, for example the King can gain 3 coins on their go.

So what tends to happen is, people swap each others cards around and before long nobody is quite sure what card they actually have. Looking at their card would take up their entire turn, so instead they might try to bluff and claim to be someone else - "I'm the king!". If someone else at the table thinks that in fact THEY are that card, they will proclaim so "No, I'm the king!". At which point, both (or all) people claiming to be that card turn them over - whoever actually is the proclaimed card gets to do the power (so whoever had the king would gain 3 coins) and anyone who was caught out has to pay a fine to the centre of the table.

This leads to some pretty funny circumstances, especially when you factor in some of the other characters. For example the "Inquisitor" can point at someone at the table and ask them who they are, if that person guesses correctly then nothing happens.. but if they get it wrong, they have to pay the Inquisitor a hefty 4 coins. Trying to pick out the people who are the most confused at the table and asking them who they are is riotous fun (in one game I played, after using this ability to ask someone who they were, it turned out that they were actually the Inquisitor).

Overall then, it's incredibly easy to recommend Mascarade. It's a very good party game, but even it's 2 player mode is a bit of fun. The artwork is incredible and it's a lovely package on the whole. The game is fun, quick and easy to learn - making it a great filler game for almost anyone.


Machi Koro The Card Game
Machi Koro The Card Game
Offered by CJ-MaX
Price: £24.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Satisfying., 3 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Machi Koro The Card Game (Toy)
Machi Koro is a very simple and satisfying game to play. Each turn all you do is roll a die, earn income based on the number you rolled and then buy a building card. The first player to build their 4 "special" buildings wins.

Each building has a number attached to it which determines what you need to roll on the die for it to produce income. Therefore it's in your interest to purchase a variety of different shops and have all the numbers on the die covered. Each card also has a colour; green earns you money when you roll the number on your turn only, blue earns you money anytime someone rolls the number, red allows you to take money from other people who roll the number and purple have their own unique abilities. Later on in the game you'll also have the opportunity to roll two dice and add the result together, allowing you to purchase higher numbered buildings with their own unique traits.

What's great about this very simple mechanic is that at first, rolling the numbers you need is strictly gambling, disappointing when what you need doesn't come up but exciting when it does. Before long you'll be able to adjust the odds, you'll win more often but some numbers will pay out bigger than others. The strategy is what to buy, do you go for the safe option? Or do you risk the bigger rewards?

And that's it.

The only problem here is that after a game or two, you'll probably work out the best and most likely strategies which combine the use of certain buildings. This isn't so bad if everyone else playing also knows them, but might make it a bit unbalanced otherwise. This issue however does already look to be addressed in the upcoming expansion where rather than have a comprehensive table of options to choose from each turn, there is a randomly drawn selection of options - making the game different every time.

I really do enjoy Machi Koro, it's a light game but it feels rewarding to play. There's little interaction between players but because of the different coloured cards you do still care about other players turns. Building up your collection of shops and increasing your odds is addictive and rarely frustrating. The game plays well from 2-4 players, but is probably a bit more dynamic with 3-4 because of some of the cards. It's really easy to teach and wraps up reliably within 30 minutes. The base game might become a bit predictable after a while but this doesn't stop it from being enjoyable - and as mentioned, should be addressed in the upcoming expansion which looks to add a generous dollop of variety to the game (as well as a 5th player).


Escape: The Curse of the Temple Board Game
Escape: The Curse of the Temple Board Game
Offered by CJ-MaX
Price: £33.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing., 28 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After playing 4 games this evening, Escape has probably become my new favourite board game. In fact, I'm kicking myself for not buying it sooner.

If you didn't already know, Escape is played in REAL TIME. Once the CD is started (tracks are also available online), atmospheric music and sound effects will commence the 10 most stressful minutes of your tabletop-life. Each player will frantically roll their dice in order to explore the temple and solve puzzles, re-rolling as many times as they wish until they get the results needed. The aim of the game is to escape through the exit (which needs to be found) but in order to do so, all of the players have to collectively activate enough of the temple's "gems" (rooms will have individual requirements for activating gems).

Over the course of the game, there are three gongs that are played on the CD. After hearing the first or second, all players must rush back to the starting tile before a timer or they will permanently lose a die from the game, making all of their subsequent rolls much harder. After the third gong, all players are reminded that time is nearly up before the temple collapses, forcing them to hurry towards the exit. In addition to this, rolling a black mask on a die locks it and prevents you from re-rolling until you find a golden mask to unlock it. Quite often you will end up locking many of your dice and not be able to do anything until someone else saves you.

Escape is stressful. As soon as the music starts, the mood in the room always changes. Suddenly everyone becomes dead serious and concentrates at the task in hand. Players will be moving around the temple and often helping each other to activate gems or unlock each others' dice. In order to win the game, everyone has to escape, meaning that you often have to go out of your way to help each other out - but - every act of generosity is so greatly appreciated making everyone at the table feel a great sense of camaraderie or great loss if something goes badly. Also, because each player is constantly trying to deal with their own dice, this game is not prone to the aggressive leader problem that occurs in many co-op games (where one player knows what's best and tells everyone else what to do).

Escape is smart. It's well balanced too, usually putting up a stiff challenge that might take you a few goes to beat. It's hard, but it feels fair and beating the game as a team feels like a genuine achievement, especially when the CD is playing dramatic music for the temple doors closing and you just squeeze through in the last seconds to win the game. It's nerve wracking but incredibly exciting.

What's more, it's a really easy and accessible game to play. Good for 1-5 players (but increasingly exciting with more people), it's also guaranteed to finish exactly within 10 minutes - meaning you can play this multiple times in an evening (and people will want to) or slip it in between games for a quick session. It's also pretty easy to explain to new people, with an included audio tutorial and a pretty helpful rulebook. The rules themselves are not very complex, so many different people will be able to understand how to play it - the challenge itself is dealing with the pressure of the dice rolling!

If I have any complaints it's that the strategy to winning becomes quite apparent after a while (hint: always work together!) and the game feels highly anticlimactic when you win with lots of time to spare. Luckily you can make the game harder again by adding additional gems and this is how I'll be playing from now on. However it probably would have been nice to have a bit more variety in the base box, some more "meat" for the seasoned gamers.

I'm so impressed with Escape though, it's like no other game in my collection. The CD is fantastic and really sets a tangible atmosphere, using decent sound effects to convey information to the players. The game itself is frantic dice rolling, but it's surprising just how engrossed you might become in the adventure, especially with the music, to the point you might just feel like you're actually there in the temple. It's full of great moments, whether you all work together to activate a bunch of gems, save your friend who's locked all his dice or even when you fail to get back to the gong room and lose a die - every event feels important. It sucks you in.

The components are great, the artwork is great.. it feels like a well crafted product. There are some included modules that add additional rules and flavour to the game and also two separate boxed expansions I look forward to trying in future, but even in it's basic form the game is a treat. It's hard to really convey in writing just how exciting this game is, but everyone has loved it and I couldn't recommend it highly enough to just about anyone.


Motorola Focus 66 Wi-Fi HD Audio and Video Home Monitoring Camera - White
Motorola Focus 66 Wi-Fi HD Audio and Video Home Monitoring Camera - White
Price: £58.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Great software, dodgy image quality., 24 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes with robust software that automatically records and keeps track of motion or audio movements through the camera. This means not only can you see what's happening live, but you can watch snippets of recordings where the sensors have been triggered. You can also communicate both ways through audio.

It was really easy to set-up and I was impressed with the many features that you can access through the smart phone app.

Unfortunately the camera itself doesn't have very good image quality so it's not good for capturing anything in any detail. However it's very useful for an overview of what's happening in the room.


Mitre Vandis 32P Ball - White/Red/Black - 5
Mitre Vandis 32P Ball - White/Red/Black - 5
Price: £14.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Strong as always., 19 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've always had an appreciation for mitre footballs. Whilst many people I knew as a kid always wanted Nike for their branding and commercial prowess, Mitre have seemingly always been renowned for being durable and affordable. That's why the kids in the playground always had Nike and the school teams by adults always seemed to use Mitre.

Skip forward a decade or two and it seems not much has changed. This is a great ball that you can pick up for a good price and, whilst time will have to tell, will most likely last you a while too. Just make sure you have a pump as this arrives deflated.


Lenovo Flex 10 10.1-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Black (Intel Celeron N2806 1.58 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8.1)
Lenovo Flex 10 10.1-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Black (Intel Celeron N2806 1.58 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8.1)
Price: £282.71

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow., 21 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a cute little device. It's small, compact and reasonably light making it incredibly convenient to move around and fit in a bag. It has a touch screen too, which is useful for mitigating the fiddliness of using such a small mouse pad. These things alone make me want to like this laptop because it feels like it should be so useful and convenient.

But it isn't. Because it's so slow.

I'm not going to pretend I'm the worlds greatest computer expert, but I didn't think that it's components sounded too sloppy at first. Right out of the box though, this laptop is painfully slow both at loading/running [not particularly taxing] software or even loading a simple web page. It makes even the most simple of tasks feel like a chore.

I've tried cleaning it up to the best of my abilities but nothing seems to make a difference. Perhaps there's something that someone could do to improve the situation, I'm not sure, but personally I feel like a product of this description should be ready to go straight away. What's more, the screen is very low quality and is not great for watching videos or even looking at pictures.

As it is, I can't recommend it over a normal laptop or indeed a tablet.


Vax P86-P4-T Pressure Washer
Vax P86-P4-T Pressure Washer
Price: £252.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and fun to use, 9 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Powerful and fun to use. My grandmother had been looking for me to help her out with her garden and her car for quite some time, however this was the incentive to finally do it! I've used it to clean a lot of things and it was incredibly easy although to be fair I haven't used any other pressure washers so can't compare it to anything else. Worked well for me and got me in the good books again.


Cash 'n guns Second Edition Board Game
Cash 'n guns Second Edition Board Game
Price: £22.22

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great party game, 22 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had been looking for a copy of Cash n Guns for the past year before they finally re-released it in this box recently. I'm glad to say that it was worth the wait and overall it's a fantastic package that you should definitely check out.

Cash n Guns is essentially a bluffing game, pitting 4-8 players around the table in a classic Mexican-standoff. Everyone has a total of 8 cards that makes up the magazine in their pistol, 3 are "Bangs" (bullets) and 5 are "clicks" (nothing). Every round each player will choose which card to put into their gun and, after a count, point their pistol at someone around the table. Players will have an option to lay down their gun if they're being targeted and after another count, the cards will be resolved showing who got shot and who didn't. Any players that didn't get shot or lay down their guns get to share loot cards laid down on the middle of the table. Once this is done, you repeat the whole process for another 7 rounds. Getting shot 3 times over the course of the game will kill you and whoever has the most loot at the end of 8 rounds wins.

The game is incredibly simple, both to teach and to play. It all becomes intuitive the moment you pick up your gun, making this a really great game for anyone, including people who aren't really into games. The player count of 4-8 makes this a great game for large groups, with the action getting increasingly chaotic and funny the more people you have. There is some strategy, but on the whole it's likely going to be a game that you don't mind too much whether you win or lose because it's fun to play. Occasionally you get a few grudges, but because of how fast and balanced the core game is, interaction with people rarely gets heated. Despite the premise of pointing guns at each other, the game is very lighthearted which is reflected in the artwork and presentation throughout.

I've heard some criticism from people who own the first edition of the game that this box doesn't include as many rules or variants, which is a shame, but as a counter I've also heard that this version is a more streamlined version because of it. Personally I don't play with the individual character power rules, but I did like the sound of the hidden role variant that was included in the original. None of this is really a problem thought because the core game here is the same and very solid.

My only point is that the game can sometimes end in a bit of an anti-climax, this is because after the final standoff, you'll all have to do some math and work out how much money you all have which isn't really that fun in itself. This is a tiny gripe though, because this is a really fun game that EVERYONE who's played it has loved. It's also not very expensive - I highly recommend.


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