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    Christmas Stories 1: Nutcracker

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    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Christmas Stories 1: Nutcracker

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:00 am

    Christmas Stories: Nutcracker
    by Elephant Games - November, 2012

    Series links: Christmas Stories 1: Nutcracker, Christmas Stories 2: A Christmas Carol, Christmas Stories 3: Hans Christian Andersen's Tin Soldier

    Available at:
    Big Fish for PC as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    Big Fish for Mac as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition



    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.

    The Collector's Edition includes a bonus game that tells the story of your agile sidekick and his super band of feline fellows.

    Other fun extras:

    • Concept art - some that never made it into the game!
    • A special "Cat Cave" collection
    • Achievements under the Christmas tree
    • Wallpaper and soundtracks

    For the Standard Edition:

    • Strategy Guide
    • Blog Walkthrough (Big Fish)

    Click images to enlarge
    __


    Last edited by genkicoll on Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Christmas Stories 1: Nutcracker

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:40 am

    Have A Cracking Good Christmas  
    Sunny Sunny SunnySunny Sunny 

    BASED ON COMPLETED GAME

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS

    I loved this game from the opening few seconds! I do not participate in Christmas, but I love all those wonderful decorations, great food, and lovely music. So this game is a real treat for me. And the developers have outdone themselves with possibly their best ever production. It does, however, load slowly. Worth the wait.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS

    Absolutely love the graphics in this game, uninterrupted beauty and light and colour. Everything is clear and detailed, items are perfectly easy to see, just well hidden. The animation was good too, but it was a bit of a surprise how little animation there was in the HOPs. There are also a lot of cut scenes, and these are expertly done.

    THE single best thing, and the best of any game I have played EVER is the music. Largely culled from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, it is the perfect mood setter for Christmas. The ambiance is good, though I could have done with more of it. The voiceovers are very nicely done, and used just the right amount of the time.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING

    You have been invited to the palace for the Christmas Ball, but you arrive late. The other guests have gone, but you still can go get your presents. Turns out your gift is actually a Nutcracker, under a curse placed on him by the evil Rat King, and he needs your help. He must rescue his true love Mary who is being held prisoner by the Rat King, who wants her for himself.

    MAKING PROGRESS

    The balance of HOPs vs. other puzzles and mini-games is well kept and there is much to do in every location, and you’ll be returning to them time and time again. The interactive jump map is essential for this to and froing dominates the game. Hint gives you a clear instruction for the next action required. HOPs are interactive lists. The puzzles and mini-games seemed to include a lot of new material, but the instructions are sometimes a bit confusing with these. All the games are beautifully crafted and fit the Christmas theme. I found quite a few very challenging.

    You have a few companions in this game. First there is the Nutcracker himself. He takes on rats when he is not vastly outnumbered. An animated candle (cute and funny) is there waiting to light your fires, and there is the cat. He’s good for getting those hard to reach items. We pick up other companions along the way, but they never stay long.

    FINAL VERDICT

    Love, love, love this game! Would have won Game Of The Year in 2012, if it had been released in time for awards. It is a music and arts festival, with a delightfully different story, and sufficient variety in gameplay and difficulty to please most.

    I Recommend This Game!

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Christmas Stories 1: Nutcracker

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:27 pm

    Bonus Content Review!
    Sunny Sunny SunnySunny Sunny 

    BASED ON COMPLETED GAME

    BONUS CHAPTER
    The bonus story has never particularly relevant to the main story, and is certainly not necessary to it. I assume it’s no spoiler to say it is a cat story. Fred, who we met near the end of the main game, introduces us to new feline adventurers, and we are off to discover the world just out of sight of the one we see around us. It really is a lovely little tale, and I am glad to see it continuing in the new Christmas Stories game.

    There are about 10 locations in this game, and half of them are new. The HOPs are a bit more frequent here than the main game, and the puzzles were a bit easier. The graphics are not quite up to par, although though why this should be consistently so with Elephant I can’t imagine. The bonus took me a casual hour and 15 minutes to play, without skipping. At that, it is a little shorter than most bonus chapters.

    STRATEGY GUIDE
    I found the strategy guide almost entirely unnecessary, although it was very useful when I did check in, clear images and easy to understand directions. It stays where you last left it, and the last page gives you the locations of the collectibles.

    WALLPAPERS (11), CONCEPT ART (9), SCREENSAVER (1), VIDEO (5)
    Elephant make the best wallpapers and concept art. They have actually been created separate from the images for the game, as opposite to the seemingly random shots most developers give us. These are specifically designed as wallpaper, and therefore show one or more characters on a typical location, with room around the edges to place our desktop items. This is so much more appealing than simple screenshots. The concept art is also good enough to use as wallpaper.

    MUSIC (4)
    Not particularly interesting.

    COLLECTIBLES & ACHIEVEMENTS
    Dolls (25) are the collectibles, each different, and not hard to find. I actually found all of them. The achievements are the standard story plus a couple of performance ones. Only about a dozen in all, and they are presented as Christmas presents under the tree. Look nice but are nothing much to get worked up about.

    CAT CAVE
    This is a grotto that sort of enshrines the cats of this story. You can see each with the personal belongings and weapons or tools that are part of his/her function. Cute but not earth shattering.

    FINAL COMMENTS
    I am not unhappy with having purchased the CE of this game. I enjoy the wallpapers, and the cat story was quite fun. But I don’t think you’d feel the loss if you just bought the SE version. Particularly if you are a seasoned player and probably won’t need the Strategy Guide.

    I Recommend This Game!

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    Re: Christmas Stories 1: Nutcracker

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