CHRISTMAS STORIES – NUTCRACKER Collector’s Edition

by ELEPHANT GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

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

Frustration Factor (FF) *   Fair Play (FP) ****  Tedium Factor (TF) *

BRILLIANT!

A classic Christmas tale tail, with a whole new twist! Help the Nutcracker rescue the princess from the evil Rat King in this memorable hidden-object puzzle adventure game.

You might be too late for the Christmas Ball, but you’re just in time for adventure! The Nutcracker needs your help, and there’s an army of rats running rampant through the kingdom. Luckily, a few cute little sidekicks have got your back. Uncover the Rat King’s evil plot – and find out what created the toothy little monster.

This Collector’s Edition includes a bonus game that tells the story of your agile sidekick and his super band of feline fellows.  (BigFish Sales Blurb)

Another lengthy excellent game from ELEPHANT GAMES.  They are living up to expectations in their most recent games which is very satisfying.  If BigFish would just state on their sales page that it is an Elephant Games game, we could all trial and buy them immediately.  Oh well – I can live in hope – and keep nudging them along.   Needless to say the Graphics are gorgeous, sumptuous, colourful and stimulating!

There is the usual comprehensive Options, including the Gamma control – yippee – and the Music for this game you really don’t need to quieten as it is all from The Nutcracker Suite ballet – wonderful.  The Tutorial is as usual practical and helpful, and the Modes of Play are Casual/Advanced/ and Hardcore.  As usual, I play Casual to extract as much pleasure from my gameplay.

And this game is such fun!  At one stage, the Nutcracker creeps up behind a mouse soldier and kicks him in the backside, sending him sprawling in the snow.  I laughed out loud!  You have the Nutcracker to help you – as you help him – plus collect a Cat that you save, and a Candle/Candlestick to give you flames to melt ice with.  Of course the Mouse King villian has many Magic tricks to use and fiends he can throw in your path – but you even learn, via the story cameos as you progress, how he became the Mouse King so that you can feel just a little sorry for him too.

You need to collect hidden Dolls in every scene to Unlock your Bonus Game in the Collector’s Edition.  You also have to find and use Gravity Stones which are a really cool addition to the tale – adding another dimension to the gameplay.  Many of the Puzzles are excellent (including really interesting paper dolls in dollhouses), but some are tedious – key lock, wheels, rune stones to name a few.  As I get tired I can’t be bothered going through the lengthy Pointing and Clicking needed to solve some of these.  Besides, I want to get on with the story and complete the game.

I highly recommend this game, Standard version or Collector’s Edition, as being good value, enjoyable, addictive, and FUN!

Jud House  4/12/2012

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