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About the Game
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This game is for the PC and is an adaptation of a book by the photographer Walter Nick about a toy shop. It's a hidden object game, where you have to find objects from the list on the screen. The objects you find are customers orders, so you must find these in the allowed time limit. You simply click on the object when you have found it and this will be crossed off your list. The game is timed so you have to try and find all the objects in the allowed time. There are also some mini games to play such as pairs and other games such as cryptograms. I have never actually heard of this game before, until I raided my mum's game collection and found this one and it look quite challenging which is why I decided to play it.
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My mum purchased the game from eBay, how-ever you can also purchase it from Amazon for as little as £1.99 for a brand new game.
Playing the Game
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On the main menu you can start the game and enter your name as a player for the game. You will be told a story about the toy shop and the toys in the toy shop. This only lasts for a few minutes but you can choose to skip this part of you wish. The first hidden object scene will be explained to you by the character Seymour which is a wooden red and yellow doll. The game is self-explanatory and is simply a hidden object game. This might sound easy; how-ever the scenes in which you have the find the objects aren't that easy. When you get a list of objects to find this will appear at the bottom of your screen. The hidden objects can be spread over 2-4 different scenes, so you have to search all of the scenes in order to find all the objects on your list. Once you have found the objects simply click on it and it will be removed from your list. The item, how-ever doesn't remove itself from the scene but get a Sold tag around it instead. If you click on wrong items your time will go down meaning you have less time to find the objects on the list. On the right hand side of the screen is a magnifying glass; you can use this to search specific areas in each scene and to look closer at a scene. I use the magnifying glass in every scene as it's very hard to look for the things as they can appear quite small. On the left hand side on your screen are some hints. You can collect more hints throughout the game simply by trying to find Seymour (red & yellow wooden doll) hidden in the scenes. Once you have found him, simply click on him and an extra hint will be added. If you need to use a hint simply click on the hint button and it will circle one of the items in the scene. You can then click on it and it will be removed from your list.
Hidden Object Scenes
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The hidden object scenes have so much going on in them. For example the very first hidden object scene I had was a large screen with cars lined up and I had to find a car with the hood up, a car with the door open and other things such as a traffic cone. When you click on the magnifying glass the screen will be marked into 4 sections. You just simply click on the area you wish to take a closer look at and it will zoom in on that section. You can zoom out by clicking on the magnifying glass sign again. Your time is displayed on the top of the screen which counts down. You also score points when you find the items and this is located on the top left of the screen. Some more of the hidden scenes have included a green background with lots of different farm animals on and a large screen with lots of buttons and charms on. Some of these scenes sound a lot harder than what they actually are. Admittedly I have needed to use the hint button a few times on the buttons and charms scene to try to find the objects on my list. The scenes are really colourful and look like real toys, not like cartoon or drawn pictures. After you have finished finding all the objects on your list you will need to try to find a bonus item. This is one item only so there is only one scene to choose to look for it. Seymour comes into the screen and says 'Can you see what I can see?' He will then give you a riddle which you have to solve to try and find the item that the riddle belongs to. I found some of the riddles quite hard to work out and it took me quite a few attempts to try and work out what the items were and where they were in the scene. Once you have found this item you then get to play a mini game. You can win more hints by playing a game called Sort It. In this game you have approximately 1 minute to sort all the items into their correct boxes. For example there may be a mixture or cars, beads, buttons and blocks and you need to put each item into its corresponding box in the time limit to win an extra hint. I have had to do this a few times to get extra hints.
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I have played pairs which was easy at first as there weren't many cards, how-ever they add more cards the more you play the mini games. This is something you can't skip so you need to complete the mini games. Once you have completed the mini game you will be taken to a screen with a cryptogram. This is displayed in alphabet blocks on wooden bars and you need to try and solve it by turning the blocks to the correct letter to work out the saying. Some of the blocks can't be turned yet and this is because you need to play the game further to do this. The more you play the game and play the mini games the more letters you can turn, to try and work out what the saying is. The mini game is always pairs how-ever sometimes you have to match the colours, next time the symbols, etc. Also the more you play the pairs games the more cards there will be next time to try and match up.
Finishing the Game
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Once you have completed the game you can search all the hidden object scenes for lots of different items and items that weren't on your list when playing the hidden object scenes. I thought I would have a go at playing a few of these, some of these there were 1-4 items that I couldn't find so I thought I would just go back to that one later on, how-ever when I went back to it I had to find all the items again including all the items I had already found. This was a little annoying so I didn't finish this extra part of the game.
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The graphics to this game are very, very good. The scenes are made up from real objects and isn't cartoon or drawn pictures which make it easier to find objects and look for them. All the scenes are extremely colourful with plenty of details and items to find. I think the bright colours and the fact that the toys look real which is what makes the game so fun to play and I could see why this might appeal to younger children. There is some gentle music played as you try to complete the hidden object scenes, this is a classical style type of music. Quite often I don't even notice the music as I'm too busy playing the game to realise that there's actually any music playing. Seymour doesn't speak in the game and you have to read what he says rather than it being said to you. The writing in the game is also very clear and sharp and the writing isn't too small so it's makes it easy to read.
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When I looked at the information and the scenes on the back of the game I thought it was going to be much harder than what it looked. The game isn't really easy and it is challenging trying to look for some of the items in the hidden object scenes, how-ever using the magnifying glass makes this slightly easier and means you can look closer for the items on your list. I did have to cheat with some of the riddles as I just couldn't work out what they were so I googled the riddle and to my surprise other people have been having trouble working out what the riddles are too, so I found my answer to some of the riddles on Google. It's a shame there isn't more variation in the mini games and that it's pairs all the time for the mini game. I did enjoy playing the game and I loved the bright coloured scenes with all the different toys and other objects in them. I think this would appeal to slightly younger children, how-ever not too young as I think they might have difficulty in finding some of the items as they are hidden quite well particularly on the beads and buttons hidden object scenes. If you enjoy hidden object games then I would recommend this game to you as I think you would enjoy it as much as I have and maybe you can solve all of the riddles without having to Google them. I am taking 2 stars off because the mini game was the same each time and some of the riddles were hard to work out.
(review may also appear on ciao)