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A missing father, who is an archaeologist, forms the central plank on which this next game is based.
Developed by Artogon, The Mystery of the Crystal Portal is a Hidden Object game.  Allowing you to create profiles that record the progress of different players, the game also provides the player with options to adjust the volume levels for background music and sound effects.  Other options allow the game to be played in full screen mode with a custom cursor.  There is no choice of difficulty and you need to play the game in standard mode.
894940 dottir in ear headphone

Dottir Sports Earbuds

While a lot of earbuds claim ‘secure fit’ these certainly are that as the design pushes them into the ear with the fin fitting behind the ear they will certainly never fall out. They are somewhat larger than most other buds I have recently tested simply because the holding fin is part of the unit and not an optional extra as with most.
With a good part of the bud actually in the ear the biggest difference you notice is that it is 5cm from top to bottom, 1.5cm wide without the fin that has the flex required to fit most ears and this can more than double the width. The actual gel protrudes upwards from near the base of the unit meaning the flex pushes it further into the ear.
By looking around, up and down, you could find clues to solve a mystery based in the London of a past era.
Available from Big Fish Games, Mystery in London sets you on the trail of Jack the Ripper.  This offering is a Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure with a distinct difference.
Matching tiles can earn money to repair the buildings of Crimson Valley.
Putting together elements such as looking after a donkey, playing a slot machine, creating portals and restoring a castle with Match-3 game play produces the result of MatchVentures 3 .  This game, produced by Placadamy, casts you in the role of an itinerant traveller.  You are set various tasks that can be completed by playing Match-3 grids that are often linked together into groups.
A visit to a museum can take you on a journey around the world as you complete a range of jewel boards,
Jewel Quest III, developed by iWin, is a game that is set in a museum.  While the museum offers various options to attract your attention, you can also add your own options to the gaming environment.  You can adjust the volume levels for background music and sound effects plus select full screen viewing.  There are also options to display useful hints and opt for high detail graphics.
Over the years I have reviewed a lot of scanners, all previous units required installation not so here, just open the box plug the USB lead into your PC or Notebook, plug the other end into the rear of the unit. Open the lid that forms part of input tray add a sheet of paper and press the button. You now have a .PDF copy of that sheet of paper on your Desktop.
The Canon Portable Scanner ImageFormula R10 measures 28x9.5x4cm when closed; add another 10cm to the depth and 8cm to the height when open. The weight is something that with Desktop items I normally do not give but here as its portable I will, it is just on a kilo. The outside of the unit has the mini USB connector on the rear with a Kensington Lock Port to its right. Flip open the lid and towards the right is the start button that is it, there are no more controls.
Moving between England and America you can search for Hidden Objects in a variety of locations.
The Hidden Mystery Collection consists of three titles that fall into the Hidden Object genre. Published by Game Mill Entertainment, these titles are entitled The White House, Buckingham Palace and Civil War.  Two of the titles have been developed by Gunnar Games with the third title coming from Plug Games.
894901 Zhiyun Smooth XS 2 Axis Compact Handheld Gimba

Zhiyan Smooth XS Gimbal

While a Gimbal can give you smooth movement when hand held it is possible to get even smoother movement if you use the tripod provided attached to the Gimbal and control the movements of it even from a second phone so the Gimbal on the tripod just needs a firm footing to achieve results even professionals will admire.
The Zhiyan Smooth XS Gimbal has a minimum of 30cm from the base of the grip handle to the top of your landscaped phone, this can increase by up to another 25cm by extending the units arm, so 55cm should enable you to capture video above the tallest person, even then the unfurled tripod could give you another 13cm so now you have a possible 68cm.
Rather than a metal detector, you will need to use your eyes to find this store of pirate treasure.
With a female lead character in each game, this triple collection has you searching for objects in a variety of locations.
Like a lot of people of my age I have problems with my back, I often find that laying down helps, even the old fashioned hot water bottle gives some assistance. So anything that can keep me upright and reduce the discomfort gets my vote. This item is a large strap that fits round the waist and heats up whilst you are wearing it.
The ThermoDR Body Wrap is one metre in length and 15cm wide. This is stated as ‘one size fits all’ well if your waist is 36inches of less then yes. However there is another piece of the material that is 50cm long and with the aid of the Velcro straps can I am told fit all waists up to 52 inches.
A journey to Peru could reveal the Sun Princess legacy as you tackle this Hidden Object title.
894920 Apple iPhone 13 Pro Ma

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Like a lot of recent SmartPhones this was one of a range of models. Having told you about one of the lower specification’s model I now get to test the top of the range model – the one they use in the TV ads – so what does this latest offering from Apple have to temp you away from your current SmartPhone?
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max measures 16x7.8x1cm the last figure the thickness at the top left the square where the cameras protrude, the rest is .8cm thick, the weight is a substantial 240 grams probably due to using surgical grade stainless steel for the body. The viewable screen is far larger than the other models in the range with the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.7inches the other items in the range are no more than 6.1 inches.
Join a female team who are assigned to solve a series of murders with the victims bearing a Chinese tattoo
From the pen of the best-selling author, James Patterson, comes Death in Scarlet.  Forming part of the Women's Murder Club series seen on television, this title is based on a series of murders that seem to have a Chinese connection.  Using the original plot and storyline created by Patterson, I-play and Floodlight Games have produced a mixture of Hidden Object sequences, C.S.I. style adventure action and crime solving detection with this game.
Step back to Victorian times as you help Conan Doyle created characters to solve and remove a family curse.
Back in the Dark Ages before Corvid, lockdowns and the advent of telephone scammers and the like, gaming was a less trusted world.  Any game, purchased legally with our hard earned cash, would often require the entry of a specific serial number as part of its installation process in order for the game to be able to run on your computer.
894895 Creative Outlier Air V3 TW

Outlier Air V3

Having previously told you about the Creative Outlier Gold and the Creative Outlier Air V2 offerings the latest to come my way is Creative Outlier Air V3. The strap line for V2 was ‘True Wireless Sweatproof In-Ears With Touch Controls’ while with V3 its ‘True Wireless Sweatproof In-Ears with Ambient Mode.
Outwardly the boxes look the same but the V3 has two more iconized points on the back – twelve instead of ten – under power packed features. Open the flip open lid and the text on the reverse is the same. So just fit the buds into the 7.5x4.5x2.8cm push open case and plug the supplied USB to USB ‘C’ lead into the end of the case to power up the buds.
894909 Mystery Case Files Ravenhears

Ravenhearst Manor

Avoiding the distraction of its Tower and a display of light decorations, you need to pay a visit to the Blackpool area following a royal request.
Over the years Ravenhearst Manor, located near Blackpool, has built up a reputation of being a house of mystery.  Recent evidence has come to light regarding one of the house's residents with the discovery of a diary written by Emma Ravenhearst who took up residence and lived in the house during August 1894.  Even with numerous pages missing from the diary, this document piques the interest of the Queen of England.
When mountain spirits are angered, you need to step in and bring calm to the area.
Developed by MD Studio, Cave Quest Deluxe describes itself as a Match-3 game.  But this only covers part of the delivered action that will face you when tackling this game.  There is a multi-layered environment to explore with collections of items to find, shopping expeditions to be conducted, monsters to fight and family members to be rescued in order to complete this Cave Quest Deluxe offering.
Adding a different look to its playing field, this next title sets you on the trail of a missing professor.
Back in my youth, a popular entertainer of that period often featured a song entitled "Bring me the moonlight".  I mentioned this merely as a lead-in to the next game title under review which is entitled Moonlight.  Actually the game's full title is Magic Encyclopedia Moonlight but I will stick with just Moonlight to save on the wear & tear of my typing fingers.
894872 nero_platinum_box_to

Nero Platinum Suite

Nero used to be the best and quickest way to create a CD or DVD; now with so few PC’s even coming with an optical drive they have widened the net to include other things. I counted eighteen items in the grouping all accessible under the Nero Start icon. For some reason they include one other that needs to be downloaded separately to make it nineteen.
The initial download was quite quick but once you enter your serial number you find there is more work to do. I let it install everything and this took around 15 minutes. Not everything went to plan and neither my PC or Notebook would let me install as one item the main Nero component goes to the 335MB download which shows as 50% then restarts in a continuous process. Both these units have had Nero on in the past but I always remove any earlier version and restart.
If you are going to crash your motorcycle, it might help if it was at a place with living residents.
With a ready supply of garlic and a silver cross at hand in case it is needed, Go Games invites you to enter the virtual domain of Vampire Saga.  This particular excursion is to Welcome you to Hell Lock, a place earlier known as Hill Lock until some graffiti artist could not resist the temptation of alter a single letter.
894874 external usb 20 slim cd rw dvd rom cd rewriter dvd driv

External Optical Drive

Few PC’s or Notebooks now come with an Optical drive. Most things can now be downloaded direct to the PC. However what about the times you need to reinstall something that came on an Optical drive. Also how about files that you have previously stored on CD’s or DVD’s. So an external Optical drive still has a place in most of our lives. Here something I purchased for less than £10 including delivery.
This started as a means to use all the features of Nero Platinum Suite which I reviewed using the Acer Aspire 1 that like most recent offering has no optical drive. I searched online expecting to pay close to £20 which was figure I had paid a few years ago my search engine found one at £8.89 including delivery it looked to me the same as units costing nearly double, I was able to pay with PayPal in case it was some sort of scam.
When witches have a party you can expect some strange decorations.
Taking you back to school, but one with a difference, is the Green Sauce Games developed "Secrets of Magic 5".  As you have probably already surmised, this is not a normal school environment but one that is dedicated to the learning of magic skills and the spells that are required to make use of these skills.  This excursion comes packaged as a Match-3 game based around the activities of two of the school's more experienced students, namely Victoria and Beatrix.
With this next title you take on the might of the Empire to rescue an old friend.
Stepping back in time (that's virtual time not the real version) to the period of Chinese Emperors, fire-breathing dragons and Shaolin monks, Digital Quarter brings us the Shaolin Mystery of the Tale of the Jade Dragon.  This game, which is downloadable from Big Fish Games, forms part of the Black Lime series of titles and is categorised as an Hidden Object Adventure offering.
894887 Vodafone Neo, the kids smart watc

Neo Smart Kids Watch

Want to stay in contact to your young child but do not want to risk them losing a phone? The answer may be this Disney offering from Vodafone that links to an app in your phone your child can message or even phone you via an eSIM in the watch but they cannot access the Internet or other places so this maybe a step to independence for them before you finally give in and let them have a phone.
While this is described as a ‘Kids’ watch it does not look especially ‘kids’ like and I can see it being useful for an older person with learning difficulties to enable them to contact someone should they find themselves in an unfamiliar area. The watch face is oval at just over 4x4cm and just under 1.5cm thick. The unit sent to me had a greeny blue strap and white sides on the watch. The strap was big enough to fit my adult wrist.
When you try to combine family and work duties, problems can occur.
Escape the Museum, developed by GOGII, combines elements of adventure action within a Hidden Object game play structure.  In this game, available as part of the Click & Play banner, you are cast in the role of a mother named Susan Henderson.  You are employed at the Natural History Museum and on this fateful day you decide to take your daughter, Caitlin, with you to learn more about the museum and its exhibits as a special treat.
894867 Acer Aspire 1 A114 3

Acer Aspire 1

This Acer Aspire 1 is the first unit I have seen that offered me the chance to upgrade to Windows 11; you can read my thoughts in an item published last week. So now having done the upgrade I move on to the review of this rather nice if somewhat lower power and capacity unit. It is however all wrapped up nicely with a 14 inch full HD screen, and it’s very well priced.
This Acer Aspire 1 measures 32x23x1.5cm and weighs 1494 grams. The screen is 30.5x17.4cm and this gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 14 inches. It comes with 4GB of RAM that has 3.81GB usable and has a 64GB SSD which is 57.1GB actual size. The Processor is an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 which runs at 1.1GHz. After the upgrade it now has Windows 11 Home version 21H2. There is an 84 key keyboard with the alpha keys being full size. There is 2.
Cast in the role of a novel writing mayor, you take on the additional task of solving a murder.
Developed by OUAT, Danger Next Door is a Hidden Object game that is available for both Windows and Mac formats.  Rather than take up space on your hard disk, the Windows version of the program runs from its DVD media as it continues the escapades of the novelist Miss Teri Tale. As usual with game of this type, you can create profiles to record the progress of individual players.
Three separate archaeology expeditions come together in a triple pack of Hidden Object game play.
Let me introduce you to Samantha Swift.  This young lady is an archaeologist who loves nothing better than a challenge.  She is also the central character of a series of three titles from the Mumbo Jumbo stable as she tackles the Hidden Rose of Athena, Midas Golden Touch and the Mystery from Atlantis.  These three adventures have come together in a Mystery Trilogy released under the Click & Play banner.
894861 Mysoda Woody Sparkling water make

MySoda Woody

Soda syphons have been around for well over 100 years; quite by chance I saw an item on them recently with some very early units on show. They were very popular in pubs before and after the Second World War. Then the refillable sort became popular with the top removable to refill with water and a small gas canister to carbonate it.
This offering from My Soda works differently having a large gas canister as part of the unit so you can get maybe 60litres or more of carbonated water. It is 40cm tall 8.5cm wide and 20cm deep. It comes with a 60litre canister of CO2 which fits into the underside of the unit.
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