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These include games such as: AMAZING ADVENTURES Series; ESCAPE Series; VACATION QUEST Series; and AROUND THE WORLD Series.  There are others that come halfway to being ‘Unlimited’, but these are the ones I own and can still access, but only just.

I have recently been replaying these old games and enjoying every minute of it.  I thought perhaps it was time I brought them to the attention of other players – some who’ve seen and played them in the past, and others who have not experienced the high gained by completely clearing a location of unnecessary and often totally inappropriate Items.

These are games that take you on journeys to various parts of the world – your HOP sites / locations, where you play the Seek & Find – Point & Click game, solving the problems and using Puzzles to open various things – locks, containers, entrances.  When the game is completed – as part of you Standard Game (that is all there was back then) – and the Bonus is unlocked, you can then CLEAR THE DECKS!!  You go to this site via the Main Menu button ‘Unlimited Seek & Find’ or whatever the particular Series uses, then literally S & F – P & C each location until there are no HOs left.  There can be anything from 35 through to 80 Items to find in the one site.

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This extra fun was all included in the Standard Game, and was something to really look forward to.  There is HUGE SATISFACTION to be gained from completely clearing a site.  I still have some of these games – bought through SPINTOP GAMES, REALARCADE, BIG FISH GAMES and GAMEHOUSE (the ones I can remember without looking them up).  I’ll add others later if I get a chance.

But since the advent of the Collector’s Edition – where you usually get a Bonus Game/Chapter/Story of varying length, that you do want; HOP/ Mini-Games/ Puzzles/Souvenir Rooms that you do want; plus Concept Art/Wallpapers/ Screen Savers/ Music/ Developer’s Diaries/ Achievements that you mostly don’t want – the CLEAN SWEEP HOPs no longer are offered.

Personally, I would much rather have the return of the Standard Games with the accompanying CLEAN SWEEP HOPs than pay double the money for mostly ‘junk’ to gain the few little Extras.  If however, you could get the important Extras plus HOPs that stripped their locations bare, I would willingly pay the extra money.

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I would like to ask the Game Developers to reinstate this CLEAN SWEEP aka CLEAR THE DECKS mode for all HOP sites/locations in their games – I’ve noticed the odd game that does it for 1 only site, or maybe 3 or 4.  And they need to be PC games – not Device games modified for PC – that doesn’t work.  The PC needs special Graphics for it to work.

And if they could bring themselves to add it as part of the Standard Game that would be AMAZING!!!!

I highly recommend these games, and they will play on Windows 7, though I think Windows 10 would have to be reset to earlier version in Troubleshooting,  Or you could just lower the Screen Resolution prior to opening them, then returning to Recommended setting once the game is complete.

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Jud House 4/01/2018



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The MoeGamer Awards: Best Christmas Present

Great gaming review!


The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!

Welcome back, and I hope you’ve had a suitably restful Christmas break with good food, good company and, of course, presents.

Today I wanted to highlight a particularly awesome present I received. To be fair, I knew I was getting it well in advance of Christmas, so it wasn’t a surprise or anything, but it’s still awesome. And I somehow doubt I’m the only one to receive such a present this year, either!

And the winner is…

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Story:  It’s the holiday season, and you’ve been invited to a Christmas wedding! The joyous festivities are short-lived as a sorceress curses the newlyweds and their guests! It’s up to you to break the spell and save Christmas before it’s too late. (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

The Main Story is really good.  It’s aimed at children as the people of the kingdom are turned to animals, but it works just as well for adults as they can accept that the story is feasible within the fantasy parameters.

Main Menu:  Play; options; Quit; More Games; Bonus Content; Strategy Guide; Change Player.  It has an easy layout on a cool, Winter background.

Options:  Great, with Gamma setting.

Music:  Delightful and suitable – not overpowering, but can be turned down so it doesn’t intrude too much.

Voice-Overs:  As usual these are really well chosen.  They suit their characters and the tone of the story.

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Bonus Content:  Music; Achievements; Mini-Games; Concept Art; Wallpapers; HOPs;     Screensavers; Collectibles; Bonus Game; Secret Room.  The Secret Room contains three connecting pairs HOPs like and extra game.

Desktop:  (Side-Left Pop-Out) Achievements, Collections; (left) Fox (Helper), Menu, Map Compass;  (Centre) Inventory, Lists; (Side-Right Pop-Out) Puzzle Info; (Right) Magic Clock Items, Hint, Strategy Guide.

Collections:  Jigsaw Pieces (48); Morphing Objects/Snowmen (26); Wedding Guests (14). These unlock the Secret Room, HOPs and Mini-Games when both Games are completed.  Mini-Collections of Clock Parts for Magic Clock.  There are Jigsaw Pieces in the Zoom sites as well as the main sites.

Tutorial:  This is the usual quick, efficient, Tute with options to opt out of all or part of it  whenever you want to.

Play Modes:   Casual; Detective; Super; Custom.  The last is always my choice as you can opt out of Penalties and adjust the Hint and Skip recharge times etc,.

Graphics:   These are gorgeously colourful as usual – nice and frosty for Winter, highly detailed, sparkling with light or dark and brooding where necessary, and generally great to delve into.  It’s one of the main draw-cards that Fantasy games have over some of the more mundane genres.

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Map:  This shows Player, Tasks, Hotspots, Collectibles Which makes it a much better aid than the Hint.  You can jump from site to site within the Map thus saving time.

HOPs:   There are some really ingenious HOPs in this game.  Find Items that reveal Gems beneath that you replace into a final Item; Interactive Lists; slightly skewed Story HOPs; Find Multiple Items; Find oddly or identically Paired Items; and more.

Puzzles:   There are also some very clever, fun Puzzles in this game – like a Climbing Rune-match Puzzle and a Zodiac Puzzle.  But there are also some really annoying, impossible, sliding, dexterity, random Puzzles to Skip – like the Colour Changing Puzzle, and the even more-gross Shadow Puzzle.

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Game-play:   By now you realise that this is the expected Search & Seek, Point & click  Quest game.  You face challenges, have to solve problems, learn a lot of skills you might be able to use in real life some time – in other words improve your logic and common sense skills – and keep pushing until you save the day!

Player Participation:   This is continual as is also expected.

Satisfaction Factor:   As the Story was so long and good, with plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested; and as the variety in Game-Play was excellent with many clever little elements; and as the Stories concluded well – by this I mean they resolved and we were taken past the resolution point and not left hanging with the games coming to abrupt ends – the whole game was very satisfying.

Frustration Factors: As you can expect from me, these were mostly to do with the yujjo puzzles (aka yukko, aka yukky) that irritated me and got in the way of the game-flow.  That really annoys me when there are too many Puzzles, as the story stops dead while you try to solve yet another not-wanting-to-work Puzzle.  Also the game was a little slow Loading between scenes.

Bonus Game:  The Evil Yule Cat stole Santa Cat, so you have to go rescue him.  Good long story with a few twists, and a solid resolution.  It carries a moral as well for the kids.

Look for the Hip-Hop Snowman in the Credits – very funny.

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Jud House 21/11/2017

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Story:  Everybody knows that Santa gives presents to nice children, but who visits the naughty ones? After your sister does something bad, Berta the evil Christmas spirit and her mean elves take her away. The only way to save her is by performing good deeds and helping make the holiday season more cheerful for others. With the help of Jack Frost, can you save the holidays before it’s too late? (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

I really liked the Main Game story, which was long and complex.  In it you carry the Globe of Good Deeds, which Jack Frost fills with the Xmas Spirit you gain for completing each good deed.  It also carried a great message for kids, while not shoving their face in it.  It is enjoyable to play.

Options & Main Menu:   Both fine.  MM clear and easy to use.

Music & Voice-Overs:  These suit the game really well.  Keep the music volume down so you can focus on the game, but keep it in the background as it enhances the game.

Bonus Content:  Concept Art; Collectibles; Hidden Objects (13); Mini-Games; Wallpapers; Achievements; Music; Screensaver; Secret Room; Bonus Game.

Desktop:   (left) Menu, Map, Elf Goody or Jack Frost or Mother Mouse(helpers); (Centre) Tasks, Inventory, Lists; (Right) Hint, Strategy Guide.  In the Bonus Chapter your helper is the Fairy Cat Godmother, or a Mouse.

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Tutorial:  Really good for novice.  Can be skipped if you want to once you are comfortable with the game-play.  You get a Tutorial for the Bonus Chapter, and also for the Quest Game within the Secret Room – with the usual choices to opt out.

Graphics:   Very colourful, imaginative, detailed – full of winter snow, swirling snowflakes, icicles, and snow-laden landscapes and objects or paths obstructed by avalanches that need to be removed so you can continue.  I love these Graphics, as they make you want to explore.

Play Modes:   Casual; Detective; Super.

Map:  Interactive – shows where you are, what sites are active and where main next objective is. It also indicates which sites still have Morphing Objects and Puzzle Pieces to find.  If you mouse-over the terrain of the Map it will show the various sites in the snow-globe which appears over the Map-Key.

HOPs:   These are ingenious and diverse – Interactive; Lists; Double-HOPs; Find Pairs; Replace Items; Story-HOPs.  Some Find Pairs alternate between listed Names and Items to replace, each revealing a Fragment/Item to use at the end of the HOP.   They often contained Mini-Games which on the whole were clever and a little unusual.

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Puzzles:   Mostly OK with a few random-action ones you could Skip.  I don’t like Puzzles if they are not logical, and if they only solve with the luck of the click.  And I especially groan when I see the Sliding Puzzles, whether in a confined box with a space, or with Arrows around the outside for you to move the pieces.  These are always long and tedious and no fun at all!  But many were quite clever and fun.  If in doubt, SKIP IT is my Motto!

Collections:   Jigsaw Pieces (36); Morphing Objects (14); Stars for Magic Box, occasionally.   You can collect any missing Jigsaw Pieces and Morphing Objects in the Bonus Chapter, but you cannot collect any missing Morphing Objects after the Bonus Game is completed.  The Jigsaw Pieces are held in the Secret Room doorway on the Bonus Content site – you put together 3 separate jigsaws to unlock the Secret Room.  Within this room are Quests in the various sites for a different range of Morphing Objects, designated at the Top Left of each quest location.

Game-play:   You progress steadily, finding and using Items to repair the damage and obstacles thrown in your path by the Bad Elves/Goblins.  Your Elf Helper, Goody, will assist you by climbing to places you can’t reach, or entering small openings.  But you can call on Jack Frost at times for his assistance, and he takes over from Goody for a while as well.   You unlock, repair, open, complete various entries, boxes, locks, and so on.  Make sure you locate all the Morphing Objects so that you can access the Bonus Content at the end.  This game is rather slow opening up new sites which halts your progress.

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Player Participation:   This is good, continual clicking (a little tiring) and manipulating Items.  You get to use your brain to solve problems and determine where you will go next.  The Map is essential, especially as you begin to tire, as it prompts you to the next spot.  Also Hint can prompt you when your mind turns to mush and you can’t remember why you went to a specific site upon arrival there.

Satisfaction Factor:   It is gratifying that most of the characters are human, with Elves and Xmas legendary characters involved as well.  It makes for a better game if we aren’t only surrounded by talking animals.  But don’t get your hopes up too high – they return with a vengeance for the Bonus Chapter.

Frustration Factors:   These are mainly from the annoying Puzzles that won’t complete due to random actions, or taking too long to complete or only have a number of moves in which to complete them.  Along with the slow site-opening, these annoying Puzzles interfere with the game-flow, which is totally unnecessary.  We buy games to play and enjoy, not get riled up by trivialities.

Bonus Game:   Plunged back into a cat story, you attend the Cat Ball in this Bonus Chapter, solving their problems.  More of the same, interesting enough to keep you playing.  Unfortunately, this game seems to be a little heavy on the Puzzle side and light on the HOP side.

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I recommend this game to those who love Xmas games.  There’s plenty of fun in this one.

Jud House 18/12/2017

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Story:  The Christmas magic continues… with the next in the blockbuster series from Elephant Games! You adopt a forlorn kitten on Christmas Eve, but little did you know what that innocent cat would get you into. It seems a thief has ransacked Santa’s purrrfect little toy town, stealing the Christmas star! Why would anyone want to stop Christmas from coming? (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

This story is fun and flows well, with plenty of twists.  I really liked the way it brought it showed the Russian Folk-lore that’s linked to Father Christmas.

Options:  This is good and has Gamma setting.

Main Menu:  Well set out, clear and usable.

Music:  This is really good, enjoyable, not overpowering, though as usual I turned it down so it became background and allowed the Sound Effects to be heard.

Voice-Overs:  These were really good too – suited their characters perfectly.

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Extras:   Concept Art; Music; Achievements; Collectibles; Screensaver; Bonus Game; Wallpapers;Secret Room.
You have to mouse-over the scene to locate them.  The Secret Room has 3 Cats in it, each with 3 HOPs for you to replay.   I felt ripped off – usually you get all the HOPs in their own section, plus Mini-Games and Puzzles in theirs, plus a Secret Room where you get to find something from each game scene.

Desktop:   (Left) Simon {cat}, Menu, Map; (Centre) Inventory, Lists;  (Right)Hint, Strategy Guide.

Tutorial:  This is helpful and you can choose just to have the Special Features tutorial or all or none.

Graphics:   Colourful, clear, fun, very detailed, and totally Christmassy!

Play Modes:  Kitten; Santa; Puss in Boots; Custom Cat.  I chose the last one which had plenty of choices for me to set.

Map:   This was also colourful and Christmassy, and had a snowflake on the Hotspot sites so you could save time and jump to them.

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There could have been more of these and less Puzzles.  Lists; Story HOPs; Search; Place items from inventory;

Puzzles:   Quite good overall.  The Tool Search with the Lens was interesting, and there were lots of little things like that.  In the Bonus Game the Cat Face Rotation Puzzle was really clever.  There are a couple that required dexterity, but I managed those though they annoyed me.

Collections:   Morphing Xmas Characters (12); Jigsaw Puzzle pieces (36).

Game-play:   Using Cats as the Characters puts this into the Kids Game Category.  However you easily shrug this off and slip into the story.  There’s the expected seek and find of missing items, unlocking various equipment in order to move forward physically through the terrain.  Lots of going back and forth – made easier by the interactive nature of the map.  And it is a fairly long game – which is always good.

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Bonus Game:  This is also long, which is great – and it made up for the lack of other Game-Playing Extras in the Bonus Content.  More of the same activities, with another twist to the story.  And it resolved neatly, as had the Main Story.

Player Participation:   Total.  You don’t stop, pausing only to interact with the characters as they gave you the next Task.

Frustration Factors:  This was minor, and mostly involved  the occasional lack of direction – but usually a glance at the Map fixed that.  There were odd things – like realising who you had to give something to when it seemed a little ‘left field’ and not quite logical.

Satisfaction Factor:  Overall this game  was quite satisfying.  The Stories – both Main and Bonus – drove the Game-play, and were fun even though they were Cats!  Luckily I love cats.  It might be a bit annoying for someone who doesn’t.  But their characters were cool, as were their snowy settings.

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I highly recommend this game to all Christmas Story lovers.

Jud House 13/12/2017

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