Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Review: Flat Pak Wine

What is it? A reusable pouch which holds 750ml of liquid (an entire bottle of wine). It's a lightweight alternative to glass. 
What's it for? Flat Pak Wine says it's for "anywhere glass is not allowed". Once you think about it, that's a lot of places (coaches, concerts, sport matches etc). It's also great for if you don't want to carry a heavy bottle around. For instance, if you enjoy fishing or camping (I do not) or even if you were just having a picnic in the park (now that I can do).
Another use, which isn't suggested but is totally foreseeable, is sneaking drinks into places. I myself hate how when you go to a concert you're forced to drink out of plastic cups because once the crowd gets going your drink splashes everywhere, and I always go to the front of a crowd where it's so hot that not being able to have a bit of water for two hours is murder. The Flat Pak Wine could easily be stashed in a bra or down a trouser leg.
Don't forget to use a funnel otherwise it's half a bottle of wine in
the Flat Pak Wine and half a bottle of wine on the floor
How effective is it? This is the bit I was skeptical about, because the last thing you want is to get somewhere and realise that your bag is sopping wet, especially with alcohol because of the smell. To test it out I filled the Flat Pak Wine with water and carried it around in my handbag. It got smooshed and knocked about but it didn't leak. Result.
How much? It's usually £9.99 but is on offer at the moment for £6 from Amazon. Amazon will do free UK delivery if you spend over £20. They're also having a two for £9.99 promotion at the moment (one for you one for a friend, or two for you) and you can grab the discount code from their Twitter page.
Verdict It's a handy little item worth buying. Dare I say these words in's also a great stocking filler or secret Santa idea.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Review: Cat Collector App

Collecting Cats is a Japanese game made by HitPoint. Those two pieces of information will forever stay with me because after I'd first heard about Collecting Cats I mashed the two names in my brain when I was searching for it and googled 'Hit Cats'. I wouldn't recommend that, folks.
The game is very simple. You have a garden in which you can lay out food and toys so that cats will come to visit you. You can photograph and name the cats, which is adorable. They'll bring you silver and gold sardines, the currency of the game, as a thank you. If you save up your gold sardines you can expand your garden. Sometimes the cats will even bring you special presents.
The most off-putting part of the game is that it isn't in English. On the other hand, it's very easy to navigate so this won't prevent you from playing the game but I imagine it's more enjoyable if you can read Japanese.
The main menu reads as follows: cats, this is where you find the photo album with the records of your visitors; the shopping basket is where you shop for food and toys; inventory; camera; return to garden; sardines is where you can buy in-game currency for real money; settings; news; and the last icon is where you can get help and change your decor.

The game is very low-maintenance, much like cat ownership. It takes about thirty seconds to check in on your garden and do anything that needs to be done, photographing new cats or leaving out food for example. You can check in as often as you like, but generally it's good to leave a few hours between.

There are only two improvements I'd like to see in this game. The first is an English language version, for obvious reasons. The second is being able to interact with the cats. It would be nice if you could pet them, groom them and give them accessories.

If you would like to assert your own status as crazy cat person you can download the game for free from the App Store or for Android. Search 'HitPoint' (not 'Hit Cats'), or if you can speak Japanese search 'ねこあつめ'.

**Since publishing this blogpost the app has received an update which allows you to play in English!**