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Continuing the adventures of the Victor and Gustav brothers, this time the Mystic Diary takes you to a haunted island.
Mystic Diary - Haunted Island is a Hidden Object Adventure game.  This title was developed by Sunray Game.  Following the well-established pattern, this title allows you to create profiles to record the progress of individual players as they delve into the mysteries of this environment plus make adjustments to the gaming environment.
Forget Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, other crimes in the Victorian era were solved by two other detectives.
Following the successful conclusion of their first Gaslamp Case of the Deadly Machine, e-Funsoft has brought back the intrepid duo of Jack and Morgan to solve Gaslamp Case 2.  This game is The Haunted Village played out in Match-3 game format. Prior to joining up with two of the leading detectives of the Victorian era, you can create profiles to record the progress of those playing this game.  Adjustments can be made to the volume levels used by sound effects and background music.
892263 Plantronics Poly Studio P5 Professional Webca

Poly P5 Camera

Plantronics is a name some will know as they produced headsets and Bluetooth earpieces for many years. Then there was another company that did things in larger office environment, just over two years ago the two companies’ combined to produce Poly. Like so many things then went on hold through Covid and now we see what they combined to produce.
This is a very small full HD video conferencing camera and microphone that is true ‘plug and play’ as it is USB, a few seconds after plugging it in you can join a Zoom – or any other type online meeting – by simply hanging the unit over the top of your monitor or notebook screen and plugging it in. The unit is 6cm from lens to its rear; at the front it is round at 3cm. It swivels on a fitment that give a firm but gentle hold.
When going into combat you need to make sure your equipment suits the situation and the user.
Whether faced by an AI or human opponent, in either single or multi-player combat, gamers rely a great deal on their input equipment.  When it comes to competition, even the not-so-friendly training sessions, the functionality and feel of the keyboard and mouse can make a big difference in the outcome of the contest.  Offering to help gamers in this respect is AOC with its new keyboard and mouse gaming devices.
892192 snapwatc

Snapwatch for kids

Teaching a child to tell the time with an analogue watch/clock is not easy. I remember a comedy sketch done by the brilliant Dave Allen when he was desperately trying to teach a young child to tell the time using a conventional clock I have found a video of it link at the end, the punch line was he gave up and gave the child a digital watch, here something better as this just hugs the wrist like a bracelet with no strap to do up.
There is an evil spirit causing havoc with fireballs that you need to defeat in this next game.
Following a period of recovery, having survived an exploration of the Hours of 1000 Doors, it was time to return to this building that provides a portal to a series of other worlds.  My follow-up visit was to the House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster as the House made one of its infrequent appearances in a random location.  The result is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by Five-bn.

Boxes and Manuals

Money could be made from items that previously would be assigned to a landfill.
892185 Eono wireless earbud

Eona Earbuds 1 by Amazon

Small sets of wireless earbuds seem very popular at the moment, recently I have reviewed a couple that look very like those sold by Apple at a lot of money. While these are small they do not imitate those just mentioned as the whole bud goes into the ear without any leg dropping below the ear.
The buds themselves weigh only 4 grams each and in their charging case the total weight is just 54 grams. Unlike other cases that just show a number of LED’s these from Eona show a percentage figure for the amount of battery remaining, there is an LED to the left and right to show charging. When you highlight the Eona Earbuds in your Bluetooth settings it shows a percentage of battery power remaining in the buds.
892196 fairphone 4   5g smart phon

Fairphone Goes 5G

As smartphones enter the 5G environment, Fairphone joins the trend.
Fairphone, the Dutch social enterprise, has just announced the launch of its latest device.  This is the Fairphone 4 5G which comes with the claim of being more sustainable, repairable and a socially responsible device.
892176 Acer Chromebook Spin 13 CP713 2

Acer 8GB Chromebook

Here is a recent Chromebook from Acer, this is a powerful unit more than capable of running Chrome Apps and that also means Android Apps – although some may look a little strange with the swap from portrait to landscape – so things that you use every day on your phone can now be viewed that little larger in your living room as well as on the road.
The Acer Chromebook Spin measures 30x23x1.5cm, the last figure at the back if you measure at the front it's barely 1cm, it weighs 1368 grams. Going around the outside has USB ‘C’, USB3, 3.5mm socket for headphones and Micro SD card socket on the left side. The front is clear. The right side has volume rocker, HDMI out, USB ‘C’ and finally on/off button. The back is clear as the screen rotates 180 degrees to become a Tablet. The base has four landscape rubber feet 3x.
892170 Creative Chat Stereo On ear Headse

Chat USB from Creative

A headset is often more desirable than speakers, and certainly, using a microphone near to your jaw means you can speak in a normal voice. Headsets that connect via audio ports are not always that easy to configure, often one sound level can be fine but another is not what you want. Using USB as both input and output can be the answer.
Here is an offering from Creative Labs that is truly ‘plug and play’ something often claimed but not always delivered. I tried this headset on a PC, a Notebook, a Tablet and a Chromebook, all worked first time without any problems. It is 20cm from the base of the ear cups to the inside of the padded headband; this includes 3.5cm of expansion on each side. Twelve clicks from fully closed to fully opened means you can get an exact fit for your head.
Magicians are good at developing tricks but is it a trick when a magician goes missing?
Mystic Diary - The Lost Brother is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by Sunray Games.  When you play this game of a brother's search for his missing brother, you have the familiar options of creating profiles to record the progress made by individual players.  You also have the option to adjust the volume levels for background music and sound effects with full screen viewing and a custom cursor.
With a cast list that includes pirates, a mermaid, sae monster and an island built to act as a retirement home, this next game is a nightmare from the deep.
You always remember your first time and this  occasion certainly qualifies.  The next title in my review schedule arrived in a box prominently displaying the GSP branding.  This is the company that provided the product that formed the basis for the first review I had published many years ago.  This product was a utility entitled "Do It on your Desktop".  While I still have my review copy of the software, the magazine that published my review has long since closed down.
A gimbal was something that gave professional camera people the ability to capture video smoothly whilst they were on the move, now SmartPhones capture such good movies they also need Gimbals so that you and me can also move while capturing movies and in a way they need to be better as we amateurs are not used to moving while capturing images.
This offering from Zhiyun is called the Smooth-Q3 is not only a very comprehensive Gimbal but has an arm that can also be a tripod; it also has an added light that can improve what you capture in low light conditions. In the box is a padded zip up case that contains the collapsed Gimbal the arm that can be used either as a Gimbal extension useful for seeing over others as it can give you another 12.5cm of height or as mentioned as a tripod as its three legs splay out to form a tripod.
Mexicana, The Gift, Twisted Lands; Origin, Love Alchemy and Forest Legends: The Call of Love are five titles which have been bundled together to create the Origin & Fate 5-pack.
Subtitled and developed by Happy Artist, Deadly Holiday: Mexicana places you, as its title might suggest, in Mexico for a Hidden Object Adventure game that involves you in trying to rescue a loved one from the world of the dead.  With options to create profiles for individual players, you can adjust volume levels for music and sound effects plus opt for full screen viewing and a custom cursor, the game can be played in either Casual or Expert level.
892133 Diesel True Wireless Earbud

Diesel Earbuds

You might mistake these small and light earbuds as something from Apple but instead of them being white they are black; I see they also do them in a post box red. So these are small and light and they come in a small circular container with a flip to the side lid, replace the buds in the box and they immediately start to be recharged.
The container is round at 4.5cm and 3cm deep. Inside the box are the buds which on my kitchen scale register at 5 grams each. The buds in the container weigh only 54 grams. The outer box is 9.5x9.5x3cm and this also contains two extra different sized pairs of Gels and a USB to USB ‘C’ lead. Finally there is a small card that contains a QR code to get more information and a link to an App.
Are you ready to help a wife search for her missing husband?
Developed by Friday's Games, Stray Souls - Dollhouse is a Hidden Object Adventure game.  I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of this Alawar title which comes with the promise of featuring some bonus items stored within an Extras section.  However, unlike other titles bearing the Collector's Edition designation, Stray Souls - Dollhouse expects the main game to be completed before you are granted access to this Extras section and its titbits.
A house, whether a home or not, can hold many secrets waiting to be uncovered.
Developed by Five-bn and downloadable from the Alawar website, House of 1000 Doors: Family Secrets is a Hidden Object Adventure game.  I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of this game which places you in the role of Kate Reed who has been sent to investigate a strange structure which mysteriously appears in different locations around the world before disappearing again to appear elsewhere.
OWC are a company that produce internal and external solid state drives, enclosures and cables for both PC and MAC users. The unit I am looking at is a 1TB external SSD drive usable on PC or MAC. They also do a similar model – Envoy Pro SX - that is Thunderbolt only so as far as I know that makes it almost a MAC only unit as currently although a USB ‘C’ cable will fit it the power is not there to format it.
This 1TB SD drive from OWL measures 11.2x7x1.4cm and weighs 231grams. It is very solidly built, it comes with an OWC format utility that will create a single Windows readable drive and give that drive the next available drive letter. Once formatted – a far faster one than if Windows does it – you have from this 1TB unit 893GB of free space available.
With the same initial letter, Marshall, Motif and Minor come together as the focal points of a new audio release news.
Well-known and respected by audiophiles, Marshall, with 50 years experience in the development and manufacture of headphones, home speakers and portable speakers, has announced the arrival of two newcomers to the Marshall true wireless range of products.  These two new offerings are the Motif A.N.C. and the Minor III with bother products falling into the ear-bud category of devices. The Marshall Motif A.N.C.
892119 OPPO Find X3 Pro 5

Oppo Find X3 Pro

Oppo are an upcoming company who hit the UK a few years ago, they made a big splash with small well positioned adverts at Wimbledon and other such events. Of course all this would mean nothing if their phones were not up to scratch. This is one of a range of recently released offerings.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro measures 16x7.4x.8cm the last figure expands to 1cm around the cameras on the back top left of the unit, unlike other units this one champers the edges around the cameras. The on/off button is on the right, the base has speaker, microphone, USB ‘C’ connection and the SIM entry point. The left side has buttons for volume down and up. The top is clear. The viewable screen is 15.2x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.
While often asking you to solve a mystery, the appearance of a game can be a mystery.
Last year I reviewed a game entitled Tower of God.  This game was based on a legend that if you had the skill, ability and desire to complete a climb to the top of a specific tower, then you would be granted a single wish.  Ironcode Gaming turned this legend into a computer game that consisted of Match-3 game play with accompanying occasional side-tracks of HO action, jigsaw puzzles, key release puzzles and matching pairs of card laid face down.
Following the end of Lockdown, LG offers a speaker to entertain those you invite to celebrate the freedom.
LG Electronics has announced the arrival of its new XBOOM 360 speaker.  As the "360" part of the product's title indicates, this product is capable of delivering an all-round omni-directional audio experience that LG feels will be perfect for any listening space or occasion that requires an audio environment.  As yet I have not had the opportunity to check out this speaker in situ and, as a result, and this report is based on the information supplied by LG Electronics.
892013 bosch freshu

FreshUp by Bosch

Sometimes the appearance of clothes can be deceptive, you know you wore it yesterday but it still looks pristine, so will you wear it again, perhaps your nose has the answer if that says no you probably do not. However there is something that could turn that no into a yes.
The FreshUp by Bosche is an item to remove smells and odors from your clothes. Not just personal odors but also smoke and food smells. It is 16x6.5x3.5cm and comes with what looks like a slip in glasses case, charging is by USB but for those without a USB port there is also a mains plug front supplied in the box. A full charge of the internal battery is around three hours, while charging a very bright white LED flashes on top of the unit, the on/off button is beside the LED.
As another year passes Corel releases the next version of its Pinnacle Studio video editing product.
Now up to version 25, I have been checking out the Ultimate offering of this Advanced Video Editing software that brings together video editing tools and a selection of creative effects designed to enhance the completed video.  Also released at the same time, for those with less demanding needs, are Pinnacle Studio Plus 25 and Pinnacle Studio 25 versions to join the Pinnacle Studio family.
This is one of the few pieces of software that is always installed on my PC or notebook, I have used it for years and apart from a couple of occasions when I have had to do a total reinstall of everything when the hard disk failed all other problems – including my stupidity – have been resolved by visiting my last backup normally to restore files.
For just over a year I have not had other security software and just relied on Acronis – now Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office – to keep me safe from those who wish me harm. Some may wish to make money from things like Ransomware and others just want to prove they can make life difficult.
Can you navigate through this world, return shadowy figures to their normal shape, create potions, defeat enemies in battle and discover the cave city of Ermin-tera in order to recover the sacred relic?
Usually with games of the Match-3 genre, you can look forward to a series of grids with tiles that you need to remove by creating groups.  However there are exceptions and Cave Quest is one such title.  Developed by MD Studio, this game combines Adventure type activities with various forms of Match-3 game play. I have been looking at Cave Quest's Collectors Edition which contains a number of bonus items.
A doctor, detective and possible victim come together to solve a series of murders.
Shifting its focus to Murder by Moonlight, the next title from e-Funsoft is entitled Crimson Night.  This is a Match-3 game involving a series of murder that you are meant to solve as you assist Detective Elliot Moore. As usual you can create profiles to record the progress of individual players.  You can also adjust the volume levels used for background music and sound effects plus opt to play the game in full screen mode.
892050 Philips TAGH401 Lightweight over ear gaming headse

Philips Headset TAGH301

This is a lightweight over ear headset, which can work in a range of situations however it is sold as a Gaming headset. As with so many recent products the unit has to be saleable in many countries and because of this the documentation is minimal and most of it is images. So what do the Philips Gaming Headphones 3000 series have to offer?
The word featherweight appears on the front of the box while 213grams is not that light it is quite light for a corded set of headphones that include a microphone arm. There is 20cm from the tip of the earpiece to the inside of the padded headband; this figure includes 2.5cm of expansion on either side. 16.5cm has the earpieces parallel. Each earpiece can turn through 90 degrees. The earpieces can also move by around 15 degrees forward so should fit almost any head. Each padded earpiece is 9.
892015 fyne audio F500S

High End Speakers : Fyne Audio F500SP

And now it is time for yet another instance of the Big Red Bus syndrome as news reaches me of this next product.
No sooner had I send off my report on the arrival of a new speaker system from Tronsmart than information arrived regarding the launch of a new speaker from Fyne Audio.  This is a company founded in 2017 as the brainchild of six audio-industry professionals.  Based in Scotland, Fyne Audio, the UK's fastest growing audiophile brand, has developed their latest offering which is the F500SP speaker model.
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