Max: The Curse of Brotherhood – Game Review

Max: Curse of Brotherhood

Max is a character that is searching a foreign land to find and save his little brother, Felix, after being taken away from his home by an evil monster. With the help of an Old Lady who guides you through new tools, weapons, you guide your way through this game to reach the thief, Mustacho!

First impressions of the game are good. For a cartoon game, the graphics and gameplay are very good. The controls are basic but easy to manage and the physics of moving and jumping with Max is smooth and consistent throughout the game.

Max: Curse of the Brotherhood is very linear in the similar style as ‘Crash Bandicoot’ or ‘Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee’. You come across different obstacles and challenges on the way including climbing ropes to flowing through water streams to get to difficult places. Early in the game, you acquire a tool that allows Max to move and destroy objects such as trees and rocks that are in his path. This tool becomes more expansive throughout the game.

Max: Curse of Brotherhood

Throughout ‘Max’ there are different extras to complete. For example, collecting / destroying 75 of ‘Mustacho’s Evil Eyes’ uses around his realm and collecting ‘Secrets’ that are parts of the ‘Lost Amulet’. Collecting these will unlock trophies/achievements for your Gamer tag. Some of the Eyes are quite fun to complete too as you need to use your tool to build around obstacles to get you to where you want to be. There are normally 4 ‘Eyes’ and one ‘Secret’ per level so keep an eye out while playing to collect them all. Remember to search around for things that move, as this can be key to reaching a height you cant reach alone.

Throughout ‘Max’ there are various cutscenes that keep you informed of the story at hand. Which I believe is good as there isn’t much of a storyline that carries through when you actually play the game.

Max

After an hour or so of playing ‘Max’ and getting used to it, I did feel like I was getting a little bored as the levels can take a while to complete and there isn’t a lot of content to run through. Apart from building a few branches/rocks to gain access to another area to basically do the same again. Maybe this time without getting attacked by a guard or some sort of creature that can attack you and make you start from the previous checkpoint. Hopefully, nearer the end there is more content to have to fight.

Overall Max: Curse of the Brotherhood is a well-polished, fun game to play. However, I could not spend a good session playing, as it does get tedious and a little boring after a while. Other than that I found myself entertained enough by the storyline that I could keep coming back after a few hours to play more of the story again.

Overall Score 7-10

Mattel Launches Star Wars Bloxels Range to Get Kids Coding

Star Wars Bloxels

Mattel and Pixel Press have teamed with LucasFilm to launch Star Wars Bloxels, a new line that encourages youngsters to create their own video games.

Bloxels provides kids with a video game creation platform with which they can act as a game designer, artist, storyteller, publisher and player. The line is designed to give them an introduction to the world of video game development.

Already used as a tool within classrooms, Bloxels help kids understand the basics of coding.

With the new Star Wars range, kids can play a Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker as they navigate the Star Wars galaxy. Aspiring game developers and designers can use the Death Star themed gameboard and coloured blocks to customise and build their stages and watch their game world come to life with the Star Wars Bloxels app.

Star Wars Bloxels

Once the preliminary design is uploaded, kids can customise the game’s graphics into a Star Wars galaxy by choosing from different environments such as Hoth, Jabba’s Palace, Mos Eisley, the Ewok Village or the Death Star.

Sven Gerjets, chief technology officer at Mattel, said: “Through our collaboration with Pixel Press, as well as Disney and Lucasfilm to bring Star Wars Bloxels to store shelves, we are continuing our tradition of creating products that enable learning and development through play.

“Star Wars Bloxels not only give kids the opportunity to enjoy the iconic characters and stories of this iconic franchise in a unique way but also provides a great entry point for learning coding, programming and game design.”

Star Wars Bloxels

Mattel’s collaboration with Pixel Press on Bloxels is part of the company’s effort to evolve play by developing connected technology platforms.

Rob Bennet, co-founder and CTO at Pixel Press, said: “Working with both Mattel, the experts in play, and the Star Wars team, who are master storytellers, has ensured that Star Wars Bloxels will be the kind of experience that will not only introduce kids to important skills but also will be a total thrill for them to play with.

“We can’t wait for little fans to get gaming with their favourite characters.”

Lightseekers Awakening App Game by Play Fusion

This app is part of a trio of media within the Lightseekers’ world. The others being a card game (that I have already reviewed) and toys. You can use the cards and toys interface with the game. They allow you to beef up your character, makes treasure chests appear and gives you access to other areas. Some of them are inaccessible if you do not have certain items from the toy range notably a flight pack. The app also allows you to view the augmented reality of cards. This is cool. Seeing the 3D image appear on your phone or tablet has a big “WOW!” factor. You can even view some of the cards if you scan the box cover of starter decks. A very neat idea. There is even a card in the starter decks that you can share with other players and both of your share the benefits. I scanned one from a YouTube video.

Before I review this game, I would like to point out that I am a board gamer and not huge on app-based games. I have played a few like Simpsons Tapped out and Jurassic Park. Lightseekers is very different. You take control of a character and a pet and wander around beautiful maps carrying out missions for other people along the way. Missions require you to collect objects, defeat creatures or villains, whilst others require you to plant crops to be harvested the next day. Some can only be accomplished when you have reached a certain level. There is a story arc, but you can take on other missions along the way without any penalty. They will earn you experience points and other items that you will need.

You can customise your character too. You pick up armour and gems. They increase your stats. Adding gems to your armour and weapon will increase their power too. What you improve is up to you. You also have certain powers too depending on your character. I went for Kora who uses storm consisting of air, water and lightning. You have health and power bars that recharge all the time. You can pick up boosts and recharging potions during combat. You can use cards that you have scanned in and activated to help you out too. I found this useful when taking on some of the bosses in the daily and extra bonus levels. If you have combo cards scan those in! You can even have other heroes from the game accompany you for a time. Your pet levels-up too.

Lightseekers app

The controls are rudimentary, you tap the screen where you want to go and a small button for the power you want to activate. Your character and pet hit the opponent/s automatically once combat is initiated. You can teleport to various locations on the map using portals platforms on the map or call up the map and tap on the name of the location. If you are on a mission, tap on the two feet in mission window and your character will walk there. There is also a section for flying. You tilt your device to control where you go. That took a few goes to be comfortable with it, but no doubt there will be many who will find this a breeze. From watching other sources, I believe you can use the toys to pilot your way through the courses too.

There is one aspect of the game I have yet to utilise because I lack the resources to do so. This is forging my own special items. From the looks of it, you need to gather a heap of them. Some are quite common and others I have yet to encounter one of them. You also need a recipe and I have yet to pick one up.

There are some aspects of the game I was not so keen on. I binge played this game and I am now I cannot progress the main storyline anymore. I assume this will be resolved in time. I have explored two and a half maps. There are sections that I cannot access because I cannot fly or have the right toy to access them. That is fine, but a little annoying. At least the game is not impressing on you to buy premium content all of the time. I have exhausted all of the short missions. All that is left is to repeat some of them. I have stopped doing that.

Lightseekers app

A major gripe is when you call a hero up to fight alongside you, what you see is a generic figure. I scanned in Leo (a male character), but the one who accompanies me is female (Vela perhaps?). The augmented reality is the same. You scan in Leo and the person you see is not him. I assume this will be corrected in time? I hope so.

Roaming about the maps fills out a little bit of the lore behind the card game. You meet a number of the creatures and characters. Although, in the card game you are battling other heroes and not the villains (Kreebles and Umbrons). There seems to be no reason why the heroes are battling each other. A tournament perhaps?

I like this app game and would recommend this if you have the card game or the toys. Does it improve my rating for the card game? No, not at this point in time. I am looking forward to seeing how Play Fusion expands and improve the app game.

Are Mattel and Hasbro Set to Merge?

Hasbro Mattel

Rumours of a merger between Hasbro and Mattel have resurfaced following a report from the Wall Street Journal last week that cited people close to the matter.

Hasbro’s approach to Mattel was made recently, one of the sources suggested, however terms of any possible deal have still not been learned, and the approach may go nowhere.

Following a tough year for Mattel, the Barbie toymaker’s market value stands at around $5 billion, or less than half as much as Hasbro’s, which is currently more than $11 billion.

 

 

 

Mattel

 

Mattel’s weaker sales have been widely reported when the firm was forced to suspend its dividend and outline plans to slash costs and scale back new product launches. The US toymaker hired a new chief executive, Margo Georgiadis from Google earlier this year, who has been gearing the firm for its latest turnaround effort.

Representatives for both companies have declined to comment on the rumours so far.

This isn’t the first time the two companies have discussed a union and the possibility of a tie-up between Hasbro and Mattel have long been discussed by analysts and investors.

One of the biggest hurdles in a possible merger would be the position of antitrust regulators and whether they would approve a combination of the industry’s two biggest players.

 

 

 

Mattel

 

However, buying Mattel would put Hasbro back into the business of owning toy factories.

Recent years and months have seen Hasbro forge closer ties to Hollywood, where the toy company is producing movies and has become the favoured partner for film licensed toys. The company recently extended its deal with the movie studio Paramount, strengthened operations within its own studio, Allspark Pictures and continues to create content around large franchises that includes a strong of feature-length films for transformers and My Little Pony.

Meanwhile, turnaround plans for Mattel have been slow resulting in the company now seeking to cut a further $650 million in annual costs.

Farming Simulator Arrives on Nintendo Switch

Farming Simulator

I think it’s fair to say the Switch has had a fantastic launch year with the system now home to two all-time classics in Zelda and Mario Odyssey as well as Mario Kart, Splatoon and Arms propping up its first-party releases. Aside from Nintendo’s efforts to make amends for the Wiiu’s poor launch year, the Switch quickly became home to the creative indie scene, cherry picking the best of the Steam line up to bolster its library.

What is lacking though are the more serious, considered realistic game worlds. The serious driving sims like Forza and god games like Sim City. In this sense Farming Simulator 17 (FS17) has arguably found a gap in the library and aims to demonstrate that the Switch can host a slower more thoughtful style of game that removes a prescribed single player story and replaces it with a strong focus on doing one thing well.

Released on the Xbox and PS4 and pretty much every format it can back in 2016 the Switch version comes with the promise of a full and complete port to the handheld hybrid. For the uninitiated to the series Farming Simulator provides the player with an arbitrary avatar, a large farm (from 2 to choose from), some cash to spend on staff, material, livestock and vehicles, a so so tutorial, and then expects you to get on with the day to day running of your business.

This mostly involves a first-person perspective / in Vehicle view of various Pickup Trucks, Tractors, Combine Harvesters and other Farming vehicles required to cultivate, sow and harvest your crops. Each aspect of farming requires several processes or be followed from starting engines to lowering blades and emptying containers The game runs at a very leisurely pace – anyone coming to this after enjoying Stardew valley will find a very different pace and approach.

Whilst Stardew Valley had an addictive 15 minutes loop, TFS17 If you can get into the rhythm of the game is almost zen-like and you will lose hours to it.
Whereas Stardew Valley would present a multitude of different tasks you need to do each day with no way to accomplish all of them forcing you to choose how to spend energy and time, FS2017 focusses the role of Farming to the specific day to day tasks. The act of sowing a field can take some time with complex controls for each vehicle and a slow but steady pace to each activity.

No hammering ‘B’ to water plants here. You can hire staff to finish tasks such as harvesting crops, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of Farming (this is highly recommended) If looking after the land isn’t your thing the game encourages you to raise livestock such as Chickens and Pigs or even take up forestry.

While the laid-back pace of the game is refreshing, its hampered by controls that haven’t been mapped well to the Switch, a symptom of it being a PC port. Anyone coming as a newcomer to the series will be initially overwhelmed by button combinations and the hand contortions needed to complete the simplest of tasks.

Playing with a pro controller helped but not everyone will own one. If you have poor eyesight the handheld mode isn’t great as the text font size is very small suggesting a lazy port. I couldn’t play in tabletop mode due to the amount of information I was required to follow and read on the screen.

Maps were small and cluttered with it obvious that a mouse controller was originally built for the UI. In docked mode, the game runs great with very serviceable graphics that while not amazing convey the time of day and detail necessary to immerse yourself in farming matters.

Sound effects are typically bird singing, cockerels crowing and the engine sounds for each vehicle, all very serviceable. Coming straight from playing Mario Odyssey with its constant reward structure made FS17 a very sterile experience. It’s best played setting your own goals as it rarely makes a fanfare about reaching a key achievement assuming the player has come to the game with a passion for the hundreds of different vehicles you can operate.

A good comparison would likely be Minecraft which is a freeform as you wish it to be. If you enjoyed learning the various systems in Minecraft then you may find FS17 a worthwhile investment. While you can choose a male or female avatar and then the colour of their shirt it’s all rather pointless as unlike Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, the focus isn’t on personal relationships.

Farming Simulator

This is a clinical portrayal of managing a farm. Anyone old enough to remember the old Amiga Microprose simulations which came with the keyboard overlays will understand the tone FS17 hits. I almost wish the retail version came in a large cardboard box with a 200-page manual and an overlay for the joycons.

Three difficulty levels are available along with a lot of customisation options from having the radio on when driving vehicles to the currency used when buying and selling. I do feel that the game would have benefited from more console focussed modes or short-term goals that had clear challenges such as ‘earn a set amount by next Spring’.

Having no immediate objectives at the start of the campaign can be daunting leaving you up to experiment with farming and find your own way. I initially jumped right into the career mode and quickly realised I had no idea what I was doing. I walked around the farm, chuckled at my small gathering of Chickens, drove a few vehicles and then had no sense of what I was supposed to do.

The tutorials while helpful in learning the various activities didn’t give structure or flow to the day to day tasks which I felt I was left to get a handle on. Yet despite the sense, the game wants to make you earn your farming credentials and that it’s not a great fit for the console and its assumed userbase, I can’t help but feel a strange sense of warmth towards the game.

It plays by its own rules, strips back the busywork of other farming games, doesn’t allow the time stress of modern life to interfere with its core gameplay and offers a hugely deep but at times seemingly impenetrable sandbox.

It doesn’t handhold the player assuming a level of competence that while welcome may mean that younger players will need an adult to play alongside them. Perseverance pays off eventually but my goodness it’s not an easy first few hours.

Farming Simulator

I’m not 100% sure the Switch has an audience for this type of game but I hope it finds a home on the console. Against the bright colours and family friendly push of Nintendo’s finest it oddly feels surreal being a very straight-laced mature game on the system right now. Ironically as it is such a focused representation of Farming it is possibly also the most family-friendly title in that none of its content will offend young minds. It’s a niche market the simulator genre, but taking your tractor on the go (once you have painfully learnt the 5 steps to getting its engine started) can be a very enjoyable and at times educational way to pass the time.

Pros: Nothing quite like it on the Switch. A lot of depth for those willing to invest time. Over 250 vehicles in-game will appeal to enthusiasts. As deep as you want it to be in an easy mode for a more casual sandbox experience.

Cons: Can feel like a lazy PC port, UI isn’t great especially in tabletop and handheld mode and the joy cons can feel cramped with the button mapping used. Tutorials can still leave new players lost as to what to do. The sterile atmosphere throughout the game can make it feel like a lonely existence being a farmer.

Summary:
A very dry, niche title that will not appeal to a lot of Nintendo’s core audience accustomed to bright pastel coloured make-believe worlds, constant rewards, recognition of success and signposting. Get past its cold exterior and you can find a game that can relax, educate, entertain and challenge you all in the space of an hour.

I would recommend this title if you have previously enjoyed slower paced games such as Minecraft, Stardew Valley and Championship Manager. I would stay away from this title if you seek instant gratification in your games and prefer a more arcade driven social experience such as found in Splatoon, Mario Kart and Bomberman.

Overall score: 3 out of 5

VR Real Feel Racing – Product Review

VR real feel

As the Christmas shopping begins in earnest, it is expected that Virtual Reality (VR) will feature heavily in a lot of presents this year. The growth of VR throughout the year has been phenomenal. From Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR changing the way we play computer games and watch Youtube to the adaptation of VR technology in business, construction and education. There are many different levels of VR technology and VR real feel is a fairly adequate entry-level product.

VR real feel

VR real feel includes a plastic VR headset for Smartphones akin to the google cardboard headset and a Bluetooth steering wheel. The headset itself can be fairly cumbersome and constantly feels like it is slipping off your head. The Bluetooth Steering wheel is chunky, has a fairly decent weight to it and it’s 4 buttons are laid out in a fairly ergonomic layout. Personally, I would have put the two shoulder buttons on the back of the wheel but that is just personal preference rather than a design flaw.

The other component to VR reel feel is the game itself which isn’t included in the box but is free to download in the play/app store. The App VR real feel racing is the biggest let down of the whole package. The graphics are terribly outdated and the game mechanics are virtually none existent. Trees and rocks can be driven straight through, changing from tarmac to grass have no effect whatsoever and it is almost impossible not to win every race you play.

VR real feel

The app really lets the product down I’m afraid, but for less than £40 it is a wonderfully cheap way to introduce children to VR technology without forking out hundreds of pounds on hardware they might not use. Since the headset is just essentially a smartphone holder and lense it can be used with any other VR app on the play/app store so I would actually recommend this as a gift for young children in the 8-12 age range. Anything up from that and it just isn’t gonna cut it, unfortunately.

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Etrian Odyssey is an RPG game set in the city of Lorys which is in the continent of Arcania that rests at the foot of the mighty Yggdrasil which is also known as the great tree. Its roots grow deep into the earth and it is shrouded in mystery as if has been forbidden for anyone to approach Yggdrasil by the Arcania council. Until now when a royal decree gets issued

“Adventures and explorers of Arcania are hereby summoned to challenge Yggdrasil”

As you start your game the first set of menus you come to has a store option if you turn on your WIFI, I decided to take a look and see what additional content was available already for the game. In the store so far, there are 6 costumes you can purchase to expand on the character creation options that you have, there are also 2 extra replayable quests that can be purchased for the game each of these comes with an accessory that you can equip to your characters. Each of these items gives a different boost the first one grants 3x exp gain and the other gives enemies a 100% drop rate in battle.

Etrian Odyssey

When you start the game, you will be asked to choose what difficulty setting you would like I opted for basic on this playthrough (it can be changed in-game at any point) choosing basic mode gives you one chance to continue in the event your entire party gets defeated in battle.
After you watch the intro which will bring you up to speed on the world that you are stepping into and exploring, once the intro is completed you will go to the explorer’s guild where you are greeted by a man in armour called Egar who is the guild master of the explorer’s guild. He advises you to form your own guild and work with a group of 5 to enter the labyrinth of the great tree.

Once your guild has been named and created you will get to start creating characters, you have 10 options to choose from for your classes each with different abilities and from different races.
Earthlians – Fencers, Dragoons, Pugilists and Harbingers of death
Celestrians – Warlocks and Necromancers
Therians – Rovers of the untamed wild and warriors known as Masurao
Brouni – Botanists and shamans
Later, you will get the option to switch to other classes with the characters you have already created but it will cost you 5 levels from your character to do so.

You can have 5 people in your party and I would advise making a good mix at this point though you can have up to 30 characters in your guild, so you have plenty of options to mix the party up as you get a better feel for the game.

Etrian Odyssey

From here you will go through speaking to the different people in town the council will set you missions and quests to complete, the inn will let you store items and rest your party to recover hp and tp for your party. There is also a marketplace which will allow you to sell, buy and improve/recycle items. The more items you sell into the marketplace the wider the range of things you can buy will become so where it is handy to have materials to improve your kit you will need to sell some of it in to the market or the shop won’t be able to produce new and better items for you to buy.

After you have gone through speaking to different people in town you can choose to head to the great tree and begin your journey, this is where one of the features I really like about the game comes into play. As no one has been allowed to go near Yggdrasil until now there are no maps or anything like that of the areas you are exploring so you must write your own map. You can do this manually or you can go into the settings and set the map to write as you walk to save time but you will still need to mark points of interest on the map i.e. mining areas, fishing areas and doors etc.
It is very simple to do and the game will talk you through it in the beginning and it is definitely worth doing as you can only collect crafting items from mines etc once each game day so it is handy to know where you are going to collect it. You will notice there is a gauge on the right-hand side of the screen which goes up as you are walking around once it is full you will be attacked by monster/monsters. Defeating enemies in battle will give you a chance for items to drop which can be used in crafting.

The combat is quite easy to get to grips with and the menus are easily laid out and the tutorial of the game is in-depth and will give even the most inexperienced RPG player the knowledge they need to get to grips with the game and really enjoy it and the world you are stepping into. The game looks very good with the creatures all looking very different and a fair bit of detail going into the design of them, the combat is not overly animated with only slight movements from the enemies that attack you and you don’t see your characters moving on screen either. The game as you are walking around the world is done in a first-person view of the main character rather than the usual view of the characters you tend to see in most RPG.

Overall, I was very pleased with Etrian Odyssey as it plays well the story is fluid and from what I have seen so far, the game is going to be very big, the labyrinth is large and has many floors to it each one with new and dangerous enemies at each turn (some that should be avoided when first encountered). As you explore and find new creatures, materials and complete maps you can turn all this information into the council to receive rewards from them for helping to complete their records.

This is a game I will be continuing to play as there is still so much to explore and do my only real criticism is the potential for breaking the flow of the game by buying the add-on quests to receive the boost items from the store

Overall Score 8/10

Ey Up! It’s Yorkshire Gubbins on’t Steam Platform

Yorkshire Gubbins

This last week I have had the immense pleasure of playing Yorkshire Gubbins on steam and as a passionate, loyal and proud Yorkshireman it is a hilarious, joyful beauty to play.

After meeting the games designer, writer, coder, director and tea maker Charlotte Gore last week and listening to her enthusiastically explain the game to me I was quite excited to play Yorkshire Gubbins. But it did get me thinking I can’t remember the last time I really enjoyed a good old fashioned point and click puzzle game. Thankfully Yorkshire Gubbins didn’t disappoint.

Yorkshire Gubbins

The game starts with the wonderfully hilarious and aptly named Verb School tutorial. A simple 15 min walk through of the 9 different verbs used throughout the game and the games control system which from the name of the genre is quite simple. you point and click.

The graphics in Yorkshire Gubbins whilst simple pixels somewhat lend to the charm and feel of the game and the story is a beautiful show of contrived, Yorkshire grit and an over exaggerated crisis.

You play as Steggy and it is the morning of the Great Yorkshire Pie Contest but your best friend Bertrella has stolen the special meat that you need for your special meat and potato pie. What follows next is approximately two hours of a wonderful series of weird characters including slug monsters, witches, vampires, safe, clean and normal Yorkshire robots, fun puzzles, amazing voice acting and in true point and click style that one infuriating puzzle that you just can’t figure out but soon as you do you feel stupid for not getting it straight away.

Yorkshire Gubbins

In short Yorkshire Gubbins is a wonderful nostalgic trip back to my childhood days of playing amazing point and click adventures like Monkey Island on the Amiga 500 and Discworld on the PS1. It is an amazing fete of work from a single developer and I can’t wait to for future episodes to be released. And Charlotte if you are reading this…….Thy dun gud lass, Thy dun gud

Overall Score 8/10

Toy Passport is Quite Possibly the Cutest Present Ever

Honestly, the title of this article pretty much says it all, Toy Passport is the cutest, most inventive and genius level obvious idea I have seen in a long long time.

We all know how stressful it is going on a family holiday. You have to pack for yourself and the kids, sort out transport, check, double check and triple check you have got all the documentation and that’s before you leave the house! Throw in the fact that once you’re at the airport you need enough activities to keep everyone occupied and stave off hours of impending boredom before you can even think about relaxing around the pool. Makes you wonder why we do it at all really?

My point is if it is that stressful for us adults then what is it like for children? especially those flying or travelling outside of the country for the first time? Whilst it is true travel broadens the mind seeing other countries and cultures first hand for a young child can be mind-blowing it can also be nerve-wracking and disorientating.

 

 

We all know that any adventure worth having or any memory worth making is with your best friend by your side. How many times have you set off on holiday only to have to return home to pick up Teddy, or Fluffy, that one toy that goes everywhere and will get lonely if left behind? That’s where the beauty of Toy Passport lies. what at first seems like a pointless gimmick suddenly becomes a must have for any young traveller.

Imagine being 6 years old, not only are you leaving the country for the first time but your going to FLY for the first time! All those planes you have seen so far up in the sky you can only just make them out and now you are going that high! Damn, right you want Teddy by your side for that. But before you can even get on the plane there is a big, serious customs officer who wants to check your passport. A big official police officer type looking person who is very scary and very daunting.

As mum and Dad hand over the family passports and everyone is checked and cleared your small child can triumphantly hand over Teddy’s very own Toy Passport and (hopefully if the Customs officer is in a good mood) get it stamped too. Now not only is Teddy by your child’s side he is officially joining this family adventure.

Has I said at the start of this blog, it is the cutest and probably smartest thing I have heard of in a long long time

Connect, Chat and Now Pay via Facebook Messenger in the UK

facebook

Facebook announced yesterday that it is to roll out its peer to peer money sending capability in its messenger app over the coming weeks in the UK. The service, that allows users to send payments to friends directly has been in use in the states since 2015 but this is the first time it has been implemented outside of America and in a currency different to dollars.

“Our research shows the top reasons for sending money include celebrations, social, and festive occasions; it’s those everyday moments we’re trying to make a little easier,” Messenger boss David Marcus said in an emailed statement. “We’ve seen that in the U.S. most people use payments in Messenger to send less than $50 at a time.”

 

 

 

Facebook

 

The feature is expected to roll out in the coming weeks so it won’t be available to all UK users at once, so keep your eyes peeled for the plus button to pop up in your chat. Once that appears all you need to do to use it, go into a chat with a friend and tap the plus button, and it will then let you select the option to pay them. You then enter your card details (if it’s the first time you’re doing it) and the amount you want to pay, and it’s sent to your friend — who can accept it by entering their card details too.

There are no fees involved for making payments and Facebook’s virtual assistant “M” will also attempt to detect when a payment might be appropriate and suggest it. If you receive a messaging saying “You owe me £16 for your burger,” for example, it will prompt you to send your friend £16.

Facebook has declared that its payment service uses “bank-level encryption” but no doubt the usual arguments of data privacy and the amount of information Facebook holds on you will be in full force, especially after videos of Facebook using your phone’s mic to listen to your conversations and post ads accordingly have been doing the rounds this week. But in an age where we have mobile banking apps, contactless payment via NFC, connected home apps, one-touch shopping apps and hardware such as Alexa is data privacy the big issue it used to be or is convenience and ease of use more important now?

As always let us know what you think in the comments section below

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