MARY KAY ANDREWS – The Fixer Upper


Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics: ****  Player participation (PP) *****  Satisfaction Factor (SF) *****

Frustration Factor (FF)  Nil

By the language used in the story of this game I would suggest that it is M Rated certainly 15+, but if you skip the story, as you can by clicking the Skip button, then that actual game is fine for kids.  The crime story is secondary to the renovating and repairing of the old house to make it suitable for sale.  There is a small tutorial initially, and tasks, with instructions, set as you reach them.  There is a little house icon in each scene that you can use to replenish used Hints.

The graphics are great, and the setting authentic for a Southern State of USA.  There is movement of fountain water, of plants occasionally, to add to the realism.  The effect as you renovate it also good.  This game is extremely interactive, which creates a high SF, and there is no FF that I can see.  The game works well on Windows 7, but is recommended for Windows XP (Service pack 2).  However I couldn’t get the Troubleshooting facility in Control Panel to work for this game to try to readjust the setting.  This may have been because it was working okay on Windows 7 – I only checked it to see if it would improve the graphics.

This game can be played on Timed or Normal Mode – I recommend Normal for more relaxed enjoyable play.  The renovation is broken up into Day 1, Day 2 etc thus creating levels to complete.  There is story/dialogue in between these but you can use the Skip button there as well.  If you place the curser arrow over the listed clue it will show the shape of it to help you locate it; and vice versa if placed over the shadow clue it will tell you what it is called.

There are plenty of Hidden objects to be found in each location, some of which are needed to carry out the next task.  The interactive tasks are things like removing hair from a jacket with a lint roller; pruning the front garden with shears; washing and polishing the car; stripping and repapering walls; repairing damage to the facade of the house; and stripping the tiles and glue off a timber floor.  There are many more of course.

I highly recommend this game for those who like lots of player interaction.  Although I love crime games I found myself happily Skipping the story to get on with the R & R! (Repairs and Renovations)

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