3 kiddie games that grown-ups will love

By

LittleBigPlanet 3 is made of smiles. Photo: Sony
LittleBigPlanet 3 is made of smiles. Photo: Sony

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (read our review) isn’t the only adorable game we’ve had our eye on this month. An assortment of recently released and equally endearing titles are available on every platform you might own. And the best news is that they’re so good you don’t have to worry about anyone catching you playing them.

Here are three fun ways to get your cute on without anyone laughing at you.

Our most-loved tech, apps, games, movies and TV of 2014 on The CultCast

By

We are groot.
We are groot. Photo: Marvel Studios

2015 is nearly upon us, but before you pop the bubbly, listen up for the tech, apps, movies and TV shows that delighted us in 2014. You’ll get it all in this very special, far too long, last-episode-of-the-2014 … CultCast.

Our thanks to lynda.com for sponsoring this episode! Learn virtually any application at your own pace from expert-taught video tutorials at lynda.com.

cultcast-159-post-player-image-thin

Click on for the show notes.

Grovemade’s Walnut Monitor Stand is an iMac accessory that will last you a lifetime

By

The Walnut Monitor Stand is the perfect way to prevent neck strain while sitting at your iMac. Photo: Grovemade
The Walnut Monitor Stand is the perfect way to prevent neck strain while sitting at your iMac. Photo: Grovemade

Most of my work day is spent at a 27-inch iMac, circa 2009. It’s admittedly getting a bit long in the tooth, but buffed up with as much RAM as it can take and a homemade Fusion Drive, it still gets the job done.

One complaint I have about the iMac, though, is that the screen is actually a little too low by default. Resting on my desk, the center of the iMac’s screen doesn’t exactly line up with my line of sight. Over an entire day, that can result in neck pain and bad posture.

And so, over the past few years, I’ve experimented with a lot of stands to lift the iMac up a couple inches to more naturally line up with my line-of-sight. Of all the ones I have ever tried, though, the Walnut Monitor Stand by Portland’s Grovemade is my favorite. After using it for the last few months, I can comfortably say it’s a perfect fusion of design and functionality.

Turn your game audio up to 11 with these Bluetooth cans

By

These Astro 38s are easy to pair, last for hours, sound amazing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
These Astro 38s are easy to pair, last for hours, sound amazing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I typically try out a new product for review without reading any of the documentation or media relations stuff that the folks who send us such things want us to look at. I want to have as pristine an experience as possible. Sometimes that leads to little surprises.

I put these new Astro Gaming A38 Bluetooth headphones on my head last week, and paired them with my iPhone to play a little music. After a few songs of various genres, I stopped the tunes and took these off my noggin. I suddenly realized that my girlfriend had been blending up a protein shake in the nearby kitchen. It was surprising because I honestly could not hear it with the headphones on my head and playing music at a relatively low volume – and our blender is really loud.

While they’re great for music, these are also fantastic sounding headphones that help you immerse yourself into any game on your iPad or iPhone, cutting down on the auditory distractions from the outside world when they’re powered up.

Hard-rockin’ drum pedal lets you be the band

By

Fantastic sounding drums at your feet. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Fantastic sounding drums at your feet. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There’s always that moment when your drummer can’t show up for rehearsal. She’s got some other commitment. He’s got another gig. Her boyfriend needs her to take him to the hospital.

It happens. When it does, you can do what I’ve always done – pound your foot against the floor and try to muddle on through – or you can use a drum machine. The problem with standard drum machines is that they’re made to be used by hands or, in some cases, drum sticks. I’m not a drummer (no sticks) and I need my hands to play my guitar. What I really need is a drum machine I can play from the floor, guitar-pedal style.

That’s what caught my eye about the BeatBuddy – this is a guitar-pedal-style device that lets you use your foot to play back drum beats in a variety of styles, fills and different parts included. This is my new best friend when the drummer can’t make it to practice, and it may become my new stage pal if I take my act solo.