When deciding which environment to site a computer game, a house, especially one with numerous rooms in which different elements can be based, might seem to be an ideal location. However some care does need to be taken as the house might have plans of its own that could increase the level of difficulty. Take, for instance, the building at the centre of this next game entitled Cursed House.
While giving the outward appearance of being an old-fashioned but attractive historic dwelling, the central character of the game certainly earned its reputation of being cursed. Ancient spirits had taken possession of the dwelling many years ago and settled in the establishments ten rooms. Since this evil invasion, nobody had dared to enter the house.
Having told you in the last few months about their excellent SmartPhone, their rather good MateBook computer I now get the chance to tell you about their watch that can bring both into focus in different ways, here the Huawei Watch.
Perhaps calling it a display aid for a SmartPhone might be a more accurate description. Unusually for a SmartWatch the software it uses is AndriodWare and not anything proprietary. The watch is 4.2x5x1cm and comes with a black leather strap. First job is to charge it using the supplied cradle that fits onto the back and the other end of the hard wired cable to any USB port be it on a PC or to a wall socket front.
The last time I took a look at Vegas Movie Studio, the product was under the banner of Sony. However matters have changed as Sony has undergone a process of divesting itself of some of its software and hardware kit.
In 2016 MAGIX, the well-known German development house took over some of Sony software offerings including VEGAS Movie Studio 14 Platinum product which is the subject of this next review. This new addition to the MAGIX product portfolio consists of four main elements. Along with the title offering of VEGAS Movie Studio 14, you get NewBlue VEGAS Movie Studio 14 Platinum, DVD Architected and Music Maker. Each application is installed in turn.
Some mirrors return a reflection but then some attempt to draw you into a world where evil rules.
Following the success of Mirror Mysteries, GoGii has developed a follow up offering entitled Mirror Mysteries 2: Forgotten Kingdoms. As with the original game, and obvious from its title, mirror do play a major part in this battle between good and evil which is conducted in a Hidden Object Adventure environment spread over worlds connected via portals. You are cast in the role of an investigator who has been hired to investigate the disappearance of Tommy Bryant.
Y-Cam has been producing home security cameras for a while. There latest offering is what I am scrutinising here. It is the EVO, possibly the easiest camera I have even setup. This unit is intended to be used indoors only and it is powered by USB.
It comes with a small stand so is easy to move around, however it can be fixed to a wall or ceiling with the provided screws. The base of the stand is magnetic so anything metal it is placed upon provides a firm base. Every movement within range is tracked and all video clips start around four seconds before the movement occurs and within a timeframe continue till after the movement stops.
While most prospective customers would tend to think of burning software when the topic of the main area of the company’s expertise arises, Nero does have other strings to its corporate bow. One such offering is Nero BackItUp which is the subject of this next review.
With ever-present dangers, such as malware and the threat of a ransomware demand, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting or devil-may-care user, it does seem extremely fool-hardy not to have the insurance-like blanket of a backup system. Offering to provide “Peace of Mind” in this respect is the latest version of Nero BackItUp software which has recently been enhanced to work with an Android app to back up data from a smartphone.
Abbyy Finereader 14 is a universal OCR package that works with scanned images, PDF files etc. and, having recognised the text, can convert it to Word, Excel or other formats in addition to offering a range of advanced options.
We have a love/hate relationship with paper. All too often if it is in the computer, we want hard copy. Similarly, if it is on paper, we need to have it stored in an appropriate electronic form for editing or onward transmission to others. Finereader 14 is a versatile tool that should meet virtually everyone’s needs. Having downloaded and installed Finereader, and inserted the 24 character registration key, it found the connected scanner without any difficulty.
Philips launched a range of five ‘Health’ items at their Christmas In July event in 2016, however the first available unit was late in the year and the other four followed soon after. This the Bathroom Scale is my forth review item.
While this is perhaps the most ‘healthy’ device of the five, for some trying to gain or to more likely to lost weight is a big health issue. The scale is 31.5x31.5x2.5cm the last figure can be increased if required by larger feet that are supplied. The scale itself weighs 2kilos. The clear 7x5cm display is backlit. The unit is powered by 4x‘AAA’ batteries that are supplied. There is an A5 five language User Guide with the first thirteen in English.
It is rare for me to start with the price; £20 for a food mixer on a stand is I think unique, so I asked to review one. You could probably get a basic hand held offering for this price but certainly not one with a set of beaters a set of dough hooks as well as a large stainless steel bowl and stand.
Assembly is just a matter of unpacking, remove the stand from the box along with the beaters and dough hooks, then unpack the actual mixer unit, the longest job was removing the plastic tie from the 1.2 metres long hard wired power lead, now clip the mixer into the stand and plug in the lead and you are ready to go, maybe two or three minutes in total.
It is story time as Violet makes a return to the Leapfrog range of learning tools for young children.
Originally making an appearance with My Pal Violet, the cuddly soft toy, named Violet, makes a return with this next Leapfrog product. Entitled Read With Me Violet, this particular offering, from the Leapfrog range of educational learning tools, is aimed at the 2 – 5 year age group. As its title might suggest, this product has been developed to help introduce the child to books, print, comprehension and early vocabulary.
If you expect your Tablet to have a hard life then you are better off paying more and getting one that will survive knocks and drops and even a degree of getting wet. In fact Panasonic launched another of their Toughbook’s on a weather balloon to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and then brought it back by parachute and it still worked.
If you expect me to give it such a test you are mistaken, however I did take it out and about and while the temperature was below freezing but it was not nearly as low as those for the one below the balloon. I did use it in drizzle without problem. However my job is to review what is put before me and this is a powerful Windows 10 unit.
With the same name as the company which designed and manufactured it, the SITPACK is a collapsible and portable seat.
Developed by Factory Katz Games, The Grand Banquet is a Hidden Object title that is based on the factory and home of the Katz’s family.
Located on the outskirts of a small town at the end of a winding path, the Katz property had been designed by Wilhelm Katz to house steam powered machinery to manufacture small boiler units to drive all types of transportation. Adding a decorative appearance to the factory was an assortment of bronze farm animals. The mansion part of the structure was added later and was lavishly decorated with ornate woodwork, fine art and impressive furniture.
Not long ago I told you about an upper arm blood pressure device from Philips. They have also launched one that some may find easier to use. Instead of it working on the upper arm this gets all its required information from your wrist.
The complete device fits on your wrist rather like a very oversized watch. The cuff size is 13.5 to 21.5cm and is tightened by Velcro with the display part being visible rather than a separate unit sitting on a table. Even at a doctor’s surgery very few are hand inflated, here it is battery controlled via a supplied integral charge unit. The display part is 8.5x6.5x1.5cm with the all-important sensors on the underside.
As your most expensive possession, your home can be vulnerable unless securely protected.
Home Security kits continue to be a popular offering with manufacturers, retailers and customers. The latest such product to come my way is entitled the Smart Home Security Kit. This product has been developed by D-Link with my review sample being supplied Currys PC World. Conveniently packaged in a single box, this kit consists of four items. Each of these items arrive packed in their own individual boxes.
Wireless headphones received a big boost last year when Apple removed the 3.5mm socket from their iPhones, however while Headphones have a big advantage sound wise over earbuds they also have a large size disadvantage so a small Wireless Headphone set has a ready-made market.
Despite the small size – unless you have very large ears – these are over ear offerings. They also have a good noise reduction system built in. Many purists might scoff but as my review period was during the coldest part of winter I often wore them over a synthetic woollen hat pulled down well below my ears so my near bald head and back of my neck were protected. The sound given even through the added barrier was excellent.
Having last week told you about a mattress cleaner from Hoover; here I get to dust off my ironing board to test out one of their latest group of irons. Certainly this is a far different product from a standard iron that resides in the back of one of my cupboards.
I would suggest that a man who has had his ‘three score and ten years’ is hardly the target market for a very powerful steam iron however he is the one who get to test this offering from Hoover. Until about a decade ago I used to be a smart dresser with an ironed shirt and tie and defiantly well creased trousers and handkerchief. Now when I have a dozen or so handkerchiefs washed I tend to fish out my iron and give then a once over.
Violet in colour and Violet by name, this soft toy from Leapfrog is customisable.
My Pal Violet is a soft toy with a customisable centre aimed at the 6 – 36 month age range. As part of the Leapfrog range of educational toys for the younger members of the family, Violet, in her white and Violet fur, cries out to be picked up and cuddled. However this cuddly creature, with dimensions of 308 x 270 x 190 mm (H x W x D) has more to offer than just tactile sensations as is explained in the accompanying Quick Start Guide.
Most panels show you a screen of information, some do it with low Blue Light, and some have the ability to rotate so you can see your screen in portrait mode. This offering from Philips however is a first for me having a changing colour display in the base.
It is 60x36x1.5cm at the edge. The stand is circular at 23cm with the connecting arm attaching to the back edge. The stand raises the screen by 10cm from the base and the screen has 20 degrees of back tilt and 10 degrees of forward tilt, there is no side to side movement. There is no assembly required as the unit comes from the box with the stand already connected.
There are a number of products that provide on-going spring cleaning facilities including one from AVG.
How is the performance of your Windows computer right now? I am willing to bet that there has been some degradation in its performance over the months since it was first set up with its Microsoft operating system. As we tend to slow down as we get older, your computer will exhibit a similar trend. While trips to the gym and regular bouts of exercise might help us, a computer might need to fall back on some performance boosting software such as AVG TuneUp Utilities.
It is time to don the mantle of Jack Knight as you visit Bluebeard’s Castle in the Hidden Object Adventure game of Son of the Heartless. In this Fanda Game created title your role is that of a young man who is the victim of a curse that decrees he will die young. And why you may ask has this state of affairs come to pass? Let me explain.
One of Jack’s ancestors was the infamous Conte Gille de Brais. While out hunting one day, the Count was attacked by a wolf when suddenly a mysterious stranger came to the Count’s rescue. This stranger was a demon who demanded that the Count should enter an agreement in return for the help he had received. This agreement, signed in blood, stated that the Count would become immortal in return for sacrificing an innocent member of his family on a regular basis.
The PowerShot range is only one step down from their DSLR offerings; however they are small enough to fit in your pocket but are still extremely powerful units that have a large number of features that started out in their DSLR models.
The Canon website says ‘DSLR-like creativity in a connected large sensor compact’ which seems to sum up this powerful unit. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse at 10.5x6.5x4cm the last figure increase to 8cm when fully zoomed. It is somewhat heavier than a standard digital camera at 318grams. A novice user could turn the nine position wheel on top of the unit to ‘Auto’ and get very respectable images via point and shoot but this unit offers so much more.
With a range of new features, Acronis backup software emerges in New Generation mode.
Breaking the pattern, I have come used to over the last few years of releasing, a new single version of True Image each year, Acronis has produced a second version of its 2017 True Image offering. In order to distinguish this second version from the original product, Acronis has named the latest offering True Image 2017 New Generation.
It was nearly four years ago that I discovered EM Client 6 unlike most software programs that seem to upgrade annually it is close to four years ago that this Outlook Express replacement came into my life and it is still in use as my email collecting tool this has just become EM Client 7.
Removing the back of a phone used for some to be essential in order to get access to the battery, now a lot of phones come sealed so batteries cannot be changed. This phone from Archos arrived without a back as the last reviewers cat had stolen/eaten/hidden it. But as it only performed a fashion role it is not essential; however I would not like to meet that reviewer’s cat on a dark night.
Without the cosmetic back you get more information on what button does what and how to insert SIM or Micro SD Card and the case is still sealed. It is 15.2x7.5x.7cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 12x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches. While there are Android 7 phones out there I have yet to handle one so this Marshmallow offering is the latest Android 6 to have come my way.
While the majority of Smart Home devices I get to look at tend to concentrate their functionality on the various aspects of home security, a new offering from Netatmo is more concerned with health issues. This product is the appropriately entitled Healthy Home Coach.
Opening the package reveals the device, a power lead with a three-pin plug and a mini Welcome booklet. Tubular in shape, with a height of 155 mm and a diameter of 45 mm, the champagne coloured Coach, with its aluminium sheen, perches in an upright position. Running down the front face of the Coach is a slim elongated window which displays feedback information regarding the health of the dwelling using a colour coded system.
The chances are when you visit your doctor one of the tasks completed is to roll up your sleeve so he/she can check your blood pressure. If the wait to see your doctor was a long one then the chances are that the reading will be high.
This unit is a little different from most other devices, it is battery controlled and for you it can store the results via Bluetooth in a Philips Health App. The units battery is charged via a mains adapter supplied. The unusual bit is that the display is integral to the unit so all 303grams sits on your upper arm. It has just two buttons below the 10.5x2cm display, these are User (it can support two users) and on/start/off.
Offering to light up the issue of home security is a product from Sengled.
Security can come in many different forms. In the case of Sengled, a company that is best known as an internationally active manufacturer and supplier of innovative lighting solutions, you could say that light was being directed at the problem of home security. This solution is known as the . Designed for use either indoors or in a garden environment, the Snap bulb is of the large bulbous type with dimensions of 148 mm height and a 121 mm diameter.
With a choice of activities, Melody the Turtle has been developed to help young children.
Melody is a turtle. She is also the central component of a Leapfrog product. As befitting her role in the product, her name forms part of the title which is Melody the Musical Turtle. Aimed at the 2+ year age group, Melody sets out to help the young child develop the core learning skills of number, colour recognition and memory skills.
Having recently told you about the larger Xperia XZ here a chance to put the smaller sibling through its paces, like the larger offering both were supplied by Vodafone and with this I got the chance to check their coverage not only in England but also Scotland.
Travelling back from Glasgow by train recently I was able to keep in touch all the way back mostly via 4G with around 15% of 3G coverage and a couple of times it was down to ‘E’ in the more remote parts of the Lake District. It is 12.7x6.4x1cm and weighs 135grams. My unit was shiny black – normally a minus point as it shows all the finger marks – but this seemed to hide most quite well apart from on the screen. The viewable screen is 10x5.