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These physics-based puzzle games have been around for a while now, mainly on the internet in terms of Flash games but also on the PC in classic titles such as the Incredible Machine. I have always been a fan of these games, and was pleased that Professor Heinz Wolff's Gravity had brought this gravity-based puzzle gameplay straight to my favourite hand-held console.
The basic premise of the gameplay is a variation of getting from A to B. In one part of the screen, a ball or cart can be summoned into action. Elsewhere, a big red button needs to be pressed to get to the next level.
This is achieved using your Inventory, in which a host of blocks etc. are stashed. These blocks must be arranged on-screen, in order to create reactions - in accordance with Newton's laws - that will result in the red button being pressed and the level being completed.
In typical DS style, the game is controlled with the stylus, which allows blocked to be placed, moved around, and removed completely from the play area. I have to say that although this control method is clearly intuitive, the controls can be a little bit twitchy. especially when it comes to moving blocks. I have on several occasions spent ages arranging my solution carefuly, only to accidentally remove a block at the bottom of the screen, and then cringe / weep as my whole creation comes toppling down in a depressing (but impressively accurate, scientifically speaking) manner.
Twitchiness aside, the game is definitely playable if you're patient enough to overlook the odd hitch. Over the game's 100 levels you will be challenged, but not *too* much, enough that solving a level is a satisfying and fulfilling experience.
The graphics are nothing special really, although they have a quirky appeal that keeps things interesting and accentuates the 'mad scientist' style that the game seems to portray. Levels take place against a series of backgrounds that mix things up a bit and keep the game varied.
The game also includes a sandbox mode. I thought I'd really enjoy the freeform opportunities available here, however, I found that after I'd completed all the standard levels available I had no real desire to play without a goal in mind. Unlike classics such as the incredible machine, there are only really a limited number of types of 'pieces' that can placed in the play area, and I think this may have been the reason that the game has limited lasting appeal. Perhaps for a kid, however, the sandbox mode would be appropriately fun, and give the game an extra edge.
Overall, Professor Heinz Wolff's Gravity is a fun and unique game on the DS. Although it does have its flaws, it's an interesting and varied puzzler that should keep you challenged for several hours of quality gameplay.
As described in their name, Munchies are a great chocolate snack if you just fancy something to... well... munch on, I guess. They have long been a personal favourite of mine, and actually most people I know seem to like them too.
The thing is though, munchies aren't really loud and in-your-face. They sit on their shelves, rarely advertised in any way, in packaging that has barely changed at least not in my lifetime. And yet, so many people think they're one of the best chocolate varieties available!
Starting with the packaging, Munchie packaging is made up of two layers. The Munchies themselves are surrounded by a golden foil, then around this is a red paper wrapper. Kind of like Rolos, except the Munchies are square rather than round, so the resulting package is a prism rather than a cylinder. Much better for putting it down on a table!!
Beneath the packaging lies the munchies themselves. They're basically like little cubes of chocolate, and inside them there's caramel as well as a little chunk of biscuit. So what's so special about them? Described like that, they just sound like little bite-size portions of Twix!
The difference here is the quality of the biscuit and the caramel. The biscuit component is always crunchy and crisp, which offers a real textural contrast with the caramel, which is extremely smooth and almost liquid. With the reasonably chunky chocolate as well, each tiny munchie offers a lot of textures and tastes to excite your mouth. Taste wise, Munchies are very sweet, however they are not too much so and they do have that bitter chocolatey edge.
And the drawback? Well, Munchies tend to cost significantly more than other chocolate products, and they always have. For example, in a shop where a Mars bar sets you back 40p, you may find a pack of Munchies on sale for 62p.
The price is not an issue for me though, even in these difficult times. When I fancy a chocolatey treat, Munchies are well worth it. These delectable chocolates have been on our shelves for many years and I hope that they stay there for many more.
To all intents and purposes, I feel as though I should like this game. All the elements are there - Lord of the Rings theme, big epic battles, several different character classes to play, recreated Lord of the Rings locations... so why can i just not bring myself to enjoy this game???
The general idea here is sound - just like the relatively good Xbox game 'Star Wars: Battlefront', the game puts the 'Battlefield 1942' mold of epic action gameplay into a popular movie franchise. That is, each stage takes place on a sweeping epic battlefield, and you are allowed you to play as either a mere troop amongst the masses or as one of the main characters from the series itself. You can play on either side (i.e. good or evil), which is a good feature, and whether you are in the campaign or online you will be fighting alongside and against hordes of other AI contrlled fighters.
The problem here is entirely in the execution. It feels as though very little effort has been put into creating this game - barely any effort at all, in fact. The game feels like little more than Star Wars Battlefront with some new graphics bunged in.
My main problem is probably the controls, or more accurately the feel of the game. This feels very 'arcadey' - like a third person shooter from several years ago - none of the actions in the game feel like they have any real physical existence. Your character glides along the ground, enemies drop to the floor pathetically when you kill them - when I compare this to other games, Lord of the Rings: Conquest just doesn't perform. There is no satisfying or epic feel to the combat, and seeing as this is the main element of the game, this is a major issue.
This shoddiness carries through into the graphics, which are equally disappointing. Landscapes are dull and unrealistic. Character animations are cringeworthy. Surely a Lord of the Rings game has enough of a budget behind it to make something more polished than this!? Again, I am disappointed!
To conclude, this game is highly disappointing. The epic feel that I expected from this action-based battle game was not there, and the polish that I would also expect from a Lord of the Rings game was also lacking. If you want a LotR fix - I would recommend trying out LotR Online on the PC.
Normally, when I hear about 'Chocolate Eclairs' my immediate thought is of a finger of choux pastry, filled with whipped cream and topped by a strip of sticky chocolate. This, however, is WRONG. Because the Cadbury's breed of Eclair is by far superior.
Unlike most chocolate varieties, these are only really available in a large packet - 'Movie-sized' if you will. As a result it's very rare that I will eat them. When I do, I'm always puzzled as to why I don't eat them more often, because these little babies are absolutely delicious.
So what are they? Well, they're not made of Choux pastry, and they don't contain any cream whatsoever. So they've got very little in common with them. No, Cadbury's Chocolate Eclairs at first appear to be little more than chewy toffees. Unassumingly, you pop one into your mouth and begin to chew. After a few seconds of mastication, the real magic begins to occur... and you discover that underneath the chewy toffee exterior is hidden an absolutely delicious chocolately centre. As you chew, this centre melts, creating an absolutely fantastic chocolatey experience.
And the best thing about eclairs? Well, because they're so chewy, it's impossible to just scoff them down in seconds. This means that a pack of chocolate eclairs SHOULD last you longer than most other chocolates - and because each eclair lasts longer in your mouth, potentially could give your tastebuds a longer but equally intense chocolatey experience.
Overall, I can say nothing against these delightful creations. The toffee is sweet and chewy, but not so hard it breaks your teeth, and the chocolate in the middle is no less than a stroke of genius!!! Bravo, Cadbury's!
When it comes to food, I'm a really big fan of variety - I can rarely be sated by just one thing on my plate, this becomes especially evident at buffets / salad bars. For me, even the most bizarre combinations are great as long as they're varied!
I'm the same when it comes to chocolate. As such, Mars planets are an absolutely ideal chocolate snack for me. These little chocolate balls come in various shapes and sizes, and are great for any chocolate-loving variety fan!!
The packaging is a Malteasers-style packet, coloured in black and red, just like a normal Mars bar. However, what awaits within is another kettle of fish altogether. Just like Revels, there are several types of 'planet' that can be found within the pack. For example, malteasers, caramel-filled, nougat-filled, and wafer-filled a la Mars Delight. Like Revels, each of these varieties is a little chocolate ball, consisting of a filling, and then surrounded in creamy Mars chocolate.
Unlike Revels, none of these flavours are particularly risky, and they all work in harmony. This means there is no orange flavour and no coffee flavour. Basically, if you like the taste and texture of Mars bars / Mars Delight, you'll like the taste of these. This is great also for people (like me) who love to shove all the 'planets' in their mouth at once, for a varied and super-chocolatey experience!
Overall, I'm a big fan of these little 'planets'. They're delicious, moreish, and also have the big advantage of variety in both texture and taste. Unfortunately they are a little sickly - but that's only if you eat huge amounts!! Eaten in moderation, these little round chocolatey bites are delicious. To chocolate lovers everywhere, I whole heartedly recommend!!
Back in the old days, Smarties really did have the answer. As an 8 year old boy, these tiny chocolates were THE bees knees. Easy to nibble on, super-sweet tasting and ever so colourful, I'm not sure if there is a more fun confectionary available for kids than Smarties.
Packaged within a hexagonal cardboard prism, Smarties are designed to be eaten in a multitude of different ways - you can either empty them out into your hand, and then eat them, or you can cut out the middle man and just pour them down your throat - be careful not to choke though! Further to this you can stick your finger down the tube and try and extract the Smarties that way. This is incredibly frustrating however and I don't recommend it!
The Smarties themselves come in a variety of colours, despite this I am assured that the colourings used are now entirely natural - unlike the chemical concoctions that have been used in the past!! The coloured outer shell of a Smartie is sugary and crisp, kind of like the shell of an M&M. Within, there is very sweet and tasty chocolate. These two textures combine very well for a very satisfying eating experience. The texture is especially interesting when it is warm, as the chocolate inside melts, but the outer shell remains intact.
The one complaint I have about Smarties - maybe predictably - is I really miss the old packaging, which was a solid cardboard cylindrical tube with a plastic cap on the end. Although it wasn't much different practically, it was really a unique form of packaging for Smarties, and also made them more durable to carry around in pockets etc. without getting crushed.
Overall, Smarties are a fun and tasty form of chocolate. I highly recommend buying a tube of these, opening the top and emptying it in your mouth to eat up all in one go!!!
What can be found at your local newsagents, comes in a gold wrapper, and makes an incredibly loud noise when eaten? Why, it's a Crunchie of course!
As far as I know, there aren't any other chocolate bars like this one. Crunchies are an acquired taste, in my opinion moreso than any other chocolate bar. How would I describe this bar to someone who had never eaten one before? Hmm... the best I can do is that it's like a crunchy chocolate covered beehive. But without any bees (thankfully).
Surrounded by thick and tasty Cadbury's chocolate, the 'beehive' I refer to is some sort of crunchy honeycomb sticky biscuit hybrid. It has an absolutely unique texture, and has an annoying habit of getting stuck in your teeth multiple times every mouthful.
This might sound irritating... and I suppose that it is... but thankfully the taste wins out every time. Just like a Toblerone, the Crunchie bar creates a magnificent synthesis of sweet honey and rich chocolate that sounds disgusting on paper, but in practice this bar is absolutely delicious.
I can certainly see why some people might dislike the Crunchie - the stickiness could be irritating, especially if you're not a fan of the honey-chocolate combination. This is no normal chocolate bar... however, I love it.
Overall the Crunchie is a delicious and unique product. No, I probably couldn't eat one every day... but when I get the urge this bar really hits the spot.
I remember when these bars first appeared on the shelves - many years ago now I think. Anyway, when they first came out, I demanded them from my parents all the time... and I mean, all the time. They seemed like the best chocolate bar ever. EVER.
So, I then went a few years without having any Time Out bars - not sure why, a case of too much too young perhaps? Anyway, recently I picked up a multipack of these bars, spurred on by memories of Time Outs passed, ready to be immersed in a nostalgic chocolatey heaven.
And I'll be honest - I wasn't!! I was immersed in a chocolatey heaven, but not really a nostalgic one. The bars seemed very different to how I remembered them - there seemed to be less chocolate, or the wafer was lower quality, or something ... I'm not sure, but it just wasn't the same.
These bars are, however, still very nice. Time Out bars are Cadbury's answer to a KitKat... a 'snack' type bar rather than a chocolate indulgence. This is the type of bar you can take along to work/school with your packed lunch, and it's not too sweet or sickly to make you feel bad when you wolf it down on the move!
The bar itself is simple - you get two fingers - like a Twix - surrounded in tasty cadburys chocolate, inside are two layers of wafer, and sandwiched between these layers is another layer of 'flake' type chocolate. It's quite ingenious actually, as all these elements work together very well to make a very palatable combination. As you bite into the bar, the central flake layer melts in your mouth, which makes this very enjoyable to eat.
Disadvantages? The fingers are perhaps a little small - not quite as big as a Twix. However they're perfectly sized for munching on at lunchtime.
So yes. Overall? Perhaps the perfect snack chocolate bar. And tastier than a KitKat. I heartily recommend!
Both this last christmas and the one before, this chocolate bar piqued my interest. With it's festive wrapping and mysterious name (you may or may not be surprised that this bar contains no mistletoe whatsoever - nor does it contain any lipstick!) I couldn't help but pick it up, despite it being priced higher than most chocolate bars (~60p at my local shop).
Thankfully however, Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses are very much worth it. Split into three sections, this bar is kind of shaped like a toblerone, except more...curvy. It's hard to explain. Imagine three chocolate slopes in a row.
Biting into the first section, you discover that underneath the thick chocolate exterior is a delicious, rich, creamy truffle-style filling.
This is a lovely surprise for me, because this kind of rich high-quality filling is rarely found in chocolate bars off the shelf. No, normally I would have to shell out for a full box of chocolates to get this kind of experience!
The taste here is wonderful - all of the creaminess of Galaxy chocolate on the outside, and a really chocolatey filling. Mmmmm. If I could eat these every day... I think I probably would!!
It pains me to say that this is not perfect. For a start, for such tasty-truffliness, you have to sacrifice something, and in this case, it's the actual amount of chocolate in the pack. Although the bar looks substantially bigger than your average chocolate bar, this is deceptive due to it's shape. Which is a little disappointing. Still, it IS a very rich tasting bar, and I'm not sure I could eat much more than the amount in the wrapper.
So, this is less of a chocolate bar - more like three luxurious chocolate truffles, connected together LIKE a chocolate bar. If you see these on the shelf, I recommend you pick one up immediately!
Another legendary chocolate bar... Cadbury's Flake is another long standing bar in the Cadbury's range.
And this is definitely one that I have mixed feelings on. I want to start off by making something very clear... Cadbury's Flake tastes DELICIOUS. It has a very rich and creamy chocolatey taste, as it is Cadburys. This is heightened by the fact that it breaks apart very quickly in the mouth, due to it's texture, which means that once you bite in it's only a matter of seconds before your mouth is completely dominated by chocolate. It's very enjoyable.
However, the flake has a major disadvantage... it's not just about the taste here... and you have to weigh up whether to purchase one based on this factor. You see, unless you have a plate, or some other means of catching falling chocolate pieces, eating a flake is ridiculously messy. I mean, I've never seen anything like it - you might as well just throw lots of tiny bits of chocolate on yourself...
...That's because this bar is very, let's just say, crumbly. I guess flaky would be the word. One bite, and 50% of it ends up in your mouth, meanwhile the other 50% is on your shirt, your trousers, your chair, basically anything within about five metres is doomed. And to make it worse, the little crumbly chocolate bits are very small which means that they start to melt almost instantly. Eating one of these and wearing a white shirt is not a good idea.... I can tell you this from personal experience!!!
So that is what I think. This chocolate bar is very tasty...however it is situational. And if you're not in a situation where you wouldn't mind getting melted chocolate all over you, this is not a good idea to eat!
Cadbury's Fingers have been with me throughout my whole life. As a child, they'd tend to crop up at every birthday party, in the cupboard now and then, then I'd forget about them, and every now and then as I've got older I'll pick up a packet from the supermarket or Home Bargains. Always chocolate fingers... never chocolate toes. Or chocolate teeth. Or chocolate hair. Eww...
Despite being named after a part of the body, chocolate fingers are a lovely and fantastic treat. They're simple and effective, and most of all, abundant!!!
When you buy chocolate fingers, you get them in an easily recognisable long cardboard box. The fingers themselves are stored in a plastic tray that you can slide out of the box... this is handy, because you can store them for later... however I often find that they're all gone very soon!
The fingers themselves are basically shortbread biscuit covered in a layer of chocolate. On paper it doesn't really sound like anything special... however, I love these fingers. They're very tasty and also rather moreish!! Just think of them as long thin very chocolatey biscuits.
Another great thing... yes they are moreish, but this is no problem at all, because there are plenty of these in a box. I've just realised, actually, a box of these is probably not meant for just one person!
The only thing really that's not so good about chocolate fingers is that unlike most Cadburys chocolate, the chocolate coating isn't particularly thick. However, they do have that lovely dairy milk taste, so I'm not really complaining.
Overall, these biscuits are a great product and I highly recommend them!
Chocolate eggs... where did they originate from? I have no idea. I'll have to look that up. Anyway, in my opinion Cadbury's are the greatest of all chocolate egg manufacturers. They are creators of some of the finest eggy confections in existence - I am of course talking of the fantastic speckled MINI EGGS - and also, of course, the classic Creme Egg.
To me, the Creme Egg has some good things going for it. In particular, the I am particularly fond of the outer shell. Chocolate Egg manufacturers regularly skimp on the shell of the egg (i.e. the actual CHOCOLATE part) by making it stupidly thin. Despite it's relatively small size (about the size of very small egg), the Creme Egg does not suffer from this problem. The chocolate shell, which is made of proper (and delicious) Cadbury's chocolate, is really really thick and chunky. Biting into this egg is super satisfying. This is one of the main selling points of this fabulous treat.
The second major selling point is the fondant contained within. Like a real egg, it is a mixture of white and yellow, except it doesn't taste like egg, it tastes like sugar. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I could eat more than a couple Creme Eggs, because they are a little bit sickly. Fortunately the soft fondant is complemented nicely by the chunky chocolate on the outside, this variety in texture is one of my favourite things about this foil-wrapped delight.
'How do you eat yours' has been a long standing catchphrase for this product, mainly due to it's unfamiliar shape, which means there isn't really a clear 'standard' way to eat one. I personally like to wolf down my Creme Egg, eating everything in 3-4 mouthfuls. However I know some people who like to eat all of the fondant, and then when it's all gone eat the chocolate shell that is left behind. This sounds like a good idea, actually. I may try it when I visit the shop later.
Back to the review... Creme Eggs are a unique and delightful little treat. Just don't eat too many of them, you may regret it!!
All of my life I have been a HUGE chocoholic. As a resident of the UK and a traveller of Europe, I have tasted many different types of chocolate, from rich Belgian varieties to the milkier Swiss types.
However, I've never quite been able to develop a taste for American chocolate - I've always viewed it as being a rather artificial variety, overly sweet and often only thinly layered on 'Candy Bars' that to my tastebuds present taste combinations that often seem very alien.
At heart though I'm still a chocoholic, and when I see a new and interesting looking product on the shelves I have to at least give it a go. 'Rees's Cups' were a unique venture for me... as a mixture of Hershey's chocolate and peanut butter, I didn't have high expectations - especially because I don't particularly like peanut butter!!!
So I opened my bright orange pack, and found inside a white card tray. Contained within this tray were three round, flat 'cups', chocolate covered and each contained within a paper case, a bit like fairy cakes. I slid the first one into my hand, started removing the wrapper and took a bite.
To my surprise I quite liked it. The very thin chocolate casing housed a big chunk of peanut butter, and the texture was soft, but held together, and slightly rough. This made for an interesting experience, a bit like very soft fudge.
The taste is very, very sweet. Although this is offset a TINY bit by the nuttiness of the peanut butter, the chocolate is fairly one dimensional and doesn't really have that bitter edge that I love so very much.
After eating two cups, the taste was so sickly I didn't particularly fancy the third one. However, even after eating I didn't really feel like I'd eaten a whole chocolate bar. As a product that is priced higher than your average Snickers / Mars Bar I expected a bit more substance.
So... I didn't HATE it - I quite enjoyed my cups. But in terms of substance, and value for money, this is a bit like a Milky Way for me - it doesn't feel worth it.
When you think about it, upon walking in to a well-stocked newsagents, we should really feel quite overwhelmed at the sheer variety of options available at the chocolate counter. There's chocolate chocolate, biscuit chocolate, caramel chocolate, nougat chocolate, nutty chocolate... all in various combinations. And yet most of us can walk in and make our choices in a matter of seconds.
The problem for me is that I just can't do this. If I'm buying chocolate, I won't necessarily pick up an old favourite with an instant decision - instead, I stand there, looking over and over everything until I eventually decide (after much deliberation) on my final choice.
And my choice today? A Starbar of course!
The Starbar on the outside looks a bit like a Boost, with a chocolate covered log-type appearance. The packaging is attractive and brightly coloured yellow/orange with blue text. The bar itself is a reasonable size, again probably around the same as a Boost.
Inside, however, the Starbar is very different. You encounter chewy caramel and peanuts, coated in a thin layer of chocolate - and it's actually very very nice. The peanuts are very tasty, perhaps more so than a Snickers, with a kind of sweet/savoury tanginess to them. The caramel and chocolate is delicious and the texture is chewy but not too much so - soft enough to eat without a problem!
The only downside here - and the one offputting thing about the Starbar - is that with soft chewiness comes super-stickiness! This is not a bar that can be eaten in a hurry, as you will find bits of nut and caramel stuck to your teeth and to the roof of your mouth!
Overall, a very tasty and also quite unique chocolate bar. If you've got the time to enjoy it, I highly recommend.
As I have said before, every time a movie tie-in game comes out for a half-decent movie, I get my hopes up. This could be the one, I think, a good game of a movie. Why not, anyway - after all, the movie was pretty good?
And this is why I find myself routinely disappointed, every time, after a couple of hours of gameplay. And this is why I'm disappointed now, banging my head against the table and thinking WHY, WHY DID I HOPE? WHY DID I BELIEVE?!
Iron Man is truly an average game. Seemingly created using the top-secret Movie-tie-in-game-o-matic system, this is an experience jam packed with... innovative gameplay, beautiful scenery, a well constructed plotline?? No. This is action game by numbers, consisting of cut-corners, dull environments and a half-baked set of cutscenes attempting to convey the sketchy plot.
The other big problem here - aside from the general lack of effort or ideas - is the actual controls. Anyone who has seen the film will know that when Robert Downey Jr. is wearing his Iron Man costume, he is able to fly around like Peter Pan, and rain down massive destruction on big groups of eeeevil terorrists (yawn). The flying is unfortunately, terribly implemented. Zooming along at full throttle is loads of fun, don't get me wrong there... however, when any kind of accuracy or skill is involved, the controls are cumbersome and annoying. This is for 90% of the gameplay. If you keep playing, you'll learn to tolerate it, but it's not a joyful experience. On no-sir-ee.
And then there's raining destruction... well, the game is far too easy. A couple of shots from your basic weapons means that whatever you're firing at will erupt into a huge explosion. There is little incentive to use your other tools, rather than for flavour. But the game is completely bereft from tactics or strategy of any sort. It's really a hollow experience.
Overall, as I should have expected, this is a poor and unremarkable game. I'm sad to say that it doesn't come with my recommendation!