Osmo Coding – New “Lego of Programming”

We talk to Pramod Sharma, CEO of Osmo.

“It’s very similar to building with Lego. Try to make the language of coding to be the most natural form that kids can easily grasp.”

“Osmo is creating a new medium for children to learn, explore and grow. The journey involves building a strong business and amazing content.”

“We are going to launch quite a few new games the rest of this year and we are growing. We have an international team, France, Canada, US this helps us to build things that are language and culture agnostic.”

I talk to Pramod Sharma the CEO of Osmo to hear about his new game, Osmo Coding.

The game is for children 5-12 years old and can be used with the existing Osmo game system. The game pairs Osmo’s first character, Awbie, with the company’s Reflective AI technology to unleash coding from a digital environment and put computer science in children’s hands.

The game taps the knowledge and experience of Osmo’s team of former Google software engineers who were responsible for writing more than 10 million lines of code for products like Google Search, Docs and Chrome. The physical design of the coding blocks in Osmo Coding is the work of a 23-year-old, female industrial engineer who might just be the youngest person to ever launch a physical product in the Apple Retail Stores.

This uses the same technology as other Osmo titles. The reflective AI technology allows an iPad to “see” objects in front of it, so children can play in the real world while still benefiting from the power of technology.

Osmo Coding uses crafted blocks that snap together in front of an iPad and are interpreted as instructions that guide AwbieTM on a journey to finding yummy strawberries in her magical world.

Previous Osmo games include Words, Newton Tangram, Masterpiece and Numbers, which reinvigorated spelling, physics spatial reasoning, drawing and math, respectively. The company’s dedication to creating educational, elegant and fun activities that bridge physical and digital worlds made it one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2014 and it continues to be a favorite of teachers, parents and kids alike.

Yo-Kai Watch Family Test

We visit a family to test out Yo-Kai hunting of YO-KAI WATCH on the Nintendo 3DS.

Official Blurb:
“Yo-kai are the physical embodiment of everyday problems, and they live everywhere in our world—under cars, near vending machines, in the river—you just can’t see them.

With the power of the Yo-kai Watch, though, you can find these hidden Yo-kai, befriend them, and call upon their powers when you need their help. There are over 200 different types of Yo-kai just waiting to be discovered!”

Unleash the ultimate Yo-kai moves.

Help your Yo-kai focus on a certain foe, or a weak spot on a boss.

If your Yo-kai gets Inspirited in battle, heal it and gain extra experience points.

Use items you’ve collected to help your team or to get an opponent to like you.

Yo-kai from the same tribe fight better together, but they must be next to each other to unleash their combined Unity power, so chose their place on your Yo-kai Watch carefully.

You’ll need to use all of your strategizing skills against the super strong Yo-kai bosses. Often times, though, these seemingly unbeatable baddies will have a glaring weakness you can exploit.

When you become friends with a Yo-kai, they give you their Medal, which you can use to call on them for help. Yo-kai won’t give Medals to just anyone, of course. You’ve got to prove your worthiness, either by doing them a favor or impressing them in battle. Sometimes you can even earn their respect by giving them their favorite treats!

You can only hold 6 Medals in your Yo-kai Watch at a time. The rest are stored in your Medallium, a coin book that serves as a Yo-kai encyclopedia.

Video supported by Nintendo including access to the game and hardware.

PJ Masks – HQ Headquarters Playset & All Action Figures

We take a super close look at the final images of the PJ Masks HQ playset from Just Play. We look at the different PJ Masks rooms, heroes and villains.

Owlette, Gekko, Cat Boy, Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl all feature in high details. They can all move their arms. The HQ itself has a number of moving parts with big wings that can be moved, a PJ Masks computer with different spinning read-outs and even a ramp for the Cat Mobile car.

The three tiered playset offers different interactions around the different heroes. Owlette has a Library area, Gekko has a vertical lift and Cat Boy has a computer console area.

There is also a working zip-line for the heroes to fly along into the HQ. The Cat Mobile has space for one of the PJ Masks heroes to sit inside. There is also a trap-net set to catch any of the villains that may get out of hand. The playset has certainly progressed considerably since it was last seen at the New York toy fair.

PJ Masks Video-Game Official Reveal (iOS/Web/Android)

We have the exclusive official reveal of the PJ Masks video games for iOS, Android and Website.

We have an exclusive look at the PJ Masks video-games:

-Hero Training features Owlete, Gekko and Cat boy. This is three games in one. Learn how to fly with Owlette, spot Gekko in different settings and avoid the drips with Cat Boy.

-Nighttime Ninjalinos features the Ninjalinos and Night Ninja. This is a combination of avoiding sticky splats and collecting the Ninjalinos.

The games are out on May 23rd.

PJ Masks Video-Game Official Reveal (iOS/Web/Android)

We have the exclusive official reveal of the PJ Masks video games for iOS, Android and Website.

We have an exclusive look at the PJ Masks video-games:

-Hero Training features Owlete, Gekko and Cat boy. This is three games in one. Learn how to fly with Owlette, spot Gekko in different settings and avoid the drips with Cat Boy.

-Nighttime Ninjalinos features the Ninjalinos and Night Ninja. This is a combination of avoiding sticky splats and collecting the Ninjalinos.

The games are out on May 23rd.

NEW! PJ Masks Official Backpacks, Toys, Games and Outfits – Part #1

The first of our big update on PJ Masks with Olivier Dumont, the MD of eOne Family that produces the show.

We have a hands on exclusive look at pre-finalised versions of the Backpacks, Masks, Toys, Outfits and Video Games.

The backpacks feature the different PJ Masks characters, amulets, mask symbols. They also include a variety of pockets for lunch boxes, drinks bottles and sandwiches. Each of the pockets have brightly coloured zips to match the PJ Masks branding.

Additionally there are some tags and badges the underline the PJ Masks tie in with both Amulets and Totem Poles bearing the different character logos.

Olivier Dumont, MD of eOne Family, said that “PJ Masks is going extremely well… We’re working on different lines of products. Toys, role-play costumes and some bags. They will be coming out in the US in September (the toy line and other products) and then in the rest of the world in 2017 depending not he market.”

PJ Masks website update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb97pksUGAM

Lego Dimensions Wave 5 – Complete Minifigure Collection (w/ Disney Infinity Cancellation Thoughts)

We received and unboxed Wave 5 Lego Dimensions expansions from Warner.

This includes:
– DC Comics Bane Fun Pack brings Bane to Lego Dimensions for the first time with a solid round of abilities: Hazard Protection, Big Transform and Super Stealth. He also has a 3-in-1 Drill Driver that can be rebuilt as the Dig ‘n Drill and Drill ‘n Blast for additional upgrades.

– The Ghostbusters Fun Pack grants access to Slimer and his Boomerang, Sonar Smash, Flying, Dive, Hazard Clean, Illumination, Mini Access and Hazard Protection abilities. The pack also includes the Slime Shooter that can be rebuilt into the Slime Exploder or Slime Streamer.

– Ninjago Fun Pack brings us Lloyd and his Spinjitzu, Illumination, Acrobat, Laser Deflector and Stealth abilities. The include Golden Dragon can also be rebuilt into a Sword Projector Dragon or Mega Flight Dragon for further powers.

Parents’ Guide Dark Souls III (PEGI 16+)

In association with the Games Rating Authority, here’s our parents’ guide to Dark Souls III.

1. Genre

Dark Souls 3 is an action role playing game in which the player explores a fantasy realm and engages in challenging, strategic combat with monstrous enemies.

The game is played from a third person perspective, and mainly involves combat that requires quick reactions and careful play to beat each enemy with light and heavy attacks as well as judiciously evading blows and defending yourself with a shield. Different weapons, armour and items can be used as well as character types and other customisations, allowing for a deep set of options as to how to approach combat.

Dark Souls 3 is a complex, challenging game and its online multiplayer options are similarly unusual, with special in-game items required to summon friends or strangers for co-operative play or player vs player combat, as well as the ability to leave messages in the game world for other players to find.

Dark Souls games are really only directly comparable to themselves, but as well as its two direct predecessors and Demon Souls, Dark Souls 3 comes from the same creator as recent PS4 hit Bloodborne.

2. PEGI Rating
In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Dark Souls 3 as PEGI 16, suitable for age 16 and over, for moderate violence and sustained depictions of death.

The Games Rating Authority expand on their PEGI details by saying that Dark Souls 3 features the player fighting ‘a host of human-like and fantasy characters’ and that ‘violence mainly consists of characters slashing each other, with swords and other close-combat weaponry, as well as magic.’ While most damage is shown by life bars decreasing, ‘blows are also met with flinches and blood effects from humans, whose dead bodies may remain in the scene and pile up.’

3. Story

Dark Souls 3 is set in the Kingdom of Lothric, a dark fantasy world of restless spirits and atmospheric, fog-laden ruins. The player character is the Ashen One, an undead warrior who has risen to avert an apocalypse by destroying many enemies.

4. Developer

FromSoftware created Demon Souls, Bloodborne and the previous Dark Souls games.

5. Format

Dark Souls 3 is available for PS4, XBox One and PC for around £40 or $60, with more expensive collectors editions available. A PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold account is required for online console play, and two downloadable content packs will be available for purchase later in the year.

6. Duration and Difficulty

Dark Souls 3 has at least 29 hours of gameplay in its main storyline, though as a challenging game this will be very dependent on player ability. Exploring every corner of the game will take over 50 hours, with hardcore souls fanatics digging into the possibilities of the game for even longer.

7. Themes

The Souls series never makes its themes explicit, instead working in imagery and mood. Lothric is a mournful place of shadows and ashes where lumbering knights patrol the depths of long-forgotten ruins, rousing themselves only to lash out at any interloper. In such a relentlessly hostile world life is hard and either short or, potentially more worryingly, never-ending. While it never has much to directly say about itself, this is a game where, if you persevere to explore its secrets, you’ll be left with an unsettling mood and many lingering questions.

8. Why people play:
Dark Souls 3, as with previous installments, is a game that actively fights the player. The story is opaque, combat is a struggle of experimentation and repetition, and even some of the game’s mechanics, like summoning other players, are secrets that need to be found and interpreted. For those willing to commit themselves and feel the satisfaction of tough challenges overcome, this is a game to sink into for many hours. For players with less time and attention to spare, the most memorable violence they encounter with Dark Souls 3 may be throwing a controller at the wall in frustration.