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Veronica Rivers is a rescue pilot who never seems to be too far from a dangerous situation. As a result she has been cast as the central character and heroine in a number of Hidden Object Adventure game. Two of these titles have been bundled together to form the subject matter of this next review.
Developed by Dragon Altar Games, the title of Portals of the Unknown starts with Veronica working at the North Pole. She receives a distress call and she sets out to help. The game consists of a mixture of mini game puzzles, Hidden Objects scenes, evidence gathering, dialogue and linking cut-scenes. Any dialogue in this game is delivered solely in text format while cut-scenes contain a minimum of animation with overlaid windows to add focus to any activity.
895671 AOC Gaming U28G2XU2 28 UHD Monito

AOC 28inch Flat Panel

This is a 28inch flat panel that has a fast 1ms response time and is equally at home at 3840x2160 or at 1920x1080 The first to suit a gamer the second for someone needing just a little more assistance at the standard resolution due to less than perfect eye sight. Unlike most flat panels this has speakers that are as good as standalone speakers as they are a pair of 3w offerings.
The screen measures 62x37x1.6cm. Both the sides and top have very narrow borders, the base has a 2cm border with five control buttons under the edge near the right side and the front shows a pin hole LED when power is on. The connections are in a single line 8cm up from the base on an overhang. They are from right to left four USB ports (one always on providing the unit is powered) then the upstream USB. Next are two HDMI 2.1 ports and two Display Ports. Next is a 3.
Can you help a young girl escape the machinations of a King and his Chancellor companion?
The Painted Tower, as you might suspect, forms part of the Drawn series of Puzzle Adventure games.  As with the other offerings in this series, the game is based around a concept of magic paintings that can draw people into fantasy worlds.  In this case the game is built around a magical tower that is not acting as it should and a young girl, called Iris, who is currently trapped inside.
895653 The Monogamy Couples Board Gam

Fondle and Monogamy

Christmas is just around the corner and while it is a time for families and especially younger children. What of those of teenage years approaching adulthood, well games of an adult nature might be of interest that may even lead to a relationship. Here are two such games the first for up to four players but playable with less. The second is a for a couple of consenting adults. So dependant of age you may start with Fondle and move on to Monogamy.
In the box are a 1.2x1.2metre mat with a range of pieces of fruit in various positions, a 25cm circular double sided spinner, four pairs of coloured glasses and a 21x15cm piece of card that has the rules in six languages. I suppose it’s a little bit like twister as the mat has positions that you might have to say place a foot.
Can you handle murder, mystery and madness when tackling this collection of titles?
Take a smidgen of murder, add a flavour of mystery before sprinkling in some madness and the result could be a triple pack of Hidden Object Adventure game play.  Entitled Murder, Mystery & Madness, the three main ingredients of this package are Shades of Death - Royal Blood, developed by VOGAT Interactive, Time Mysteries - Inheritance, developed by Artifex Mundi, and Doors of the Mind - Inner Mysteries, developed by QB9.
Join a family as they try to escape from an ancient curse in a new museum.
Some, of a certain age, might have fond memories from their youth that involve sitting in a cinema wearing a pair of red and green glasses to watch a film in 3D.  Those same paper-framed glasses with their red and green eye pieces make a reappearance in this next Hidden Object Adventure game entitled Escape the Lost Kingdom.  Developed by GOGII, this game integrates you as a member of a typical family, made up of mother, father, daughter, son and troublesome pet.
895661 Acer 515 Chromeboo

Acer Chromebook 515

If your main uses of a PC are for emails, browsing the web and word processing or spreadsheets then a Chromebook can be cheaper and even a more secure form of connection to the outside world as Chromebooks are both automatically updated in the background and have Anti-Virus protection built in so you can remain in a safer environment.
This one from Acer measures 36x23.5.1.5cm and weighs 1677g and can show a full HD screen. Going around the outside on the left is a USB ‘C’ port a USB port and 3.5mm socket for headphones. The front is clear. The right side has micro SD card port, Ethernet connection, USB ‘C’ port and finally a Kensington Lock port. The rear is also clear as the screen goes back beyond 180 degrees. The viewable screen is 34x19.
Join Victorian detectives as they set out to solve the mystery of a village conducting human sacrifices.
This is the smaller of two ‘Cooler Bags’ designed to keep things like beers cool over a long period of time for those into outdoor pastimes when far away from any electrical power. However I can see another use to keep things hot for a long period of time especially in these current times when some may not know when their next hot meal may come.
Your holiday plans are put in disarray by weather conditions and the appearance of a phantom.
Mountain Trap - The Manor of Memories is a Hidden Object Adventure game.  Developed by Color Brush Studio, this game casts you in the role of a person who sets out to help a friend who is in trouble and then spends more time and effort helping a phantom bride. When setting up this game you have the usual assortment of options.  Named profiles can be created to record the progress of different players.  Whatever name you give to the profile will be used for your in-game character.
There are plenty of images to select from as numerous cats set you a puzzle.
Jigsaws have come a long way since the first commercial offerings were developed by the British cartographer and engraver John Spilsbay around 1760.  Consisting of a European map on hardwood which was cut out by a saw, the first jigsaws were meant for use as an educational tool to teach children about geography and the layout of different countries. While still being retained as an educational tool, the focus of jigsaw has developed in other ways with a computer base being just one of them.
895645 Canon Maxify GX505

Canon Maxify GX5050

This is an inkjet printer that uses tanks rather than cartridges and the method of filling the cartridges from bottles has shown an improvement from early offerings so there is absolutely no chance of spilling ink as even when the cap of the bottle is unscrewed there is no danger of ink exiting even if the bottle is knocked over or turned upside down.
The Canon Maxify GX5050 is described as a Wi-Fi Printer and indeed that is how I used it but it still has an Ethernet connection and even an upstream USB. The device measures 40x40x20cm with another 4cm added to the last figure at the rear where the second upright paper tray is. Unlike a lot of units that are called printers that are three in one or even four in one devices this is solely a printer.
Adjusting the working height of a laptop has never been easier with the aid of this next product.
Usually, when reviewing a product for use on a computer system, whether hardware or software, I tend to use my main desktop system as the base platform.  But sometimes this is not possible due to various circumstances.  A recent example of this situation was the arrival of the Curve Flex from Twelve South, a company that designs and manufactures Apple accessories.
Do not be distracted at work by carrying out personal tasks as you could be faced by more problems than you can handle.
With its rather mouthful of a title, "Stan's Magic Museum - Olympian Trouble" belongs to the Match 3 genre of games.  Developed by that hot bed of Match 3 offerings, e-Funsoft, this particular title could well have taken its inspiration from the Night of the Museum series of movies.  Your role in the game is that of Stan, a night guard at the museum where strange events occur as the bewitching hour takes over.
Can you solve a triple kidnapping crime with the help of Tarot Cards?
Developed by Sulus Games, The Tarot Card Mystery forms part of the Strange Cases™ series and belongs to the Hidden Object Adventure genre.  The game casts you in the role of Claire Ellery who is a FBI agent.  She tends to be assigned cases that are a little bit out-of-the-ordinary and this latest example certainly fits this category.  Claire has been assigned to investigate a triple kidnapping in a small unknown town.
895586 Creative Live Cam Sync V3 2K QHD USB Webca

Live Cam Sync V3

Not all laptops and notebooks come with a webcam and nowadays most screens for desktop do not have a webcam. So this latest offering from Creative Labs has a place. It also has an advantage that both the camera and the microphone use the same USB connection so no chance of a situation that I have come across previously of the microphone working and the camera not or even vice versa.
The Live Cam Sync V3 is small enough to fit easily in a bag, the box it comes in is only 11.5x7x10cm, the cameras actual dimensions are 8x3x3cm and it is attached to a small stand that increases the total height by only 2cm. The stand is designed to hang over the top of a screen it is 6cm long and the drop down balance arm is 4.5cm. Installation on Windows is very quick – less than 30 seconds – and it is immediately recognised on Zoom and other such products.
The opening episodes of the Dark Dimensions series take you to Silvertown and Red Lake.
Dark Dimensions is the brand name of a series of Hidden Object Adventure games.  I have been looking at a two-pack bundle of the first two titles in this series.  These offerings are the City of Fog and Wax Beauty with both titles being developed by Daily Magic Productions. Included with these two titles is a graphical front-end menu that can be used to install the games individually via Big Fish Games' loader.  The two titles feature a similar range of set-up options.
While your computer can hold plenty of personal data, it does require assistance to keep it safe.
Taking its inspiration from the three "Ms" of Murder, Mystery and Mirrors, this next product brings together three titles currently available from the Big Fish Games catalogue.
These titles making up this pack are The Return of Monte Cristo, developed by Turtle Games, Echoes of the Past - Royal House of Stone, developed by Orneon, and Hidden in Time  - Mirror Mirror, developed by Monkey Barrel Games.  The three Hidden Object titles can be installed individually from the supplied same front-end. A similar group of options, apart from a couple for instances, are available when setting up these titles.
For many years I have used Acronis to get a total disc backup that you can restore without any other media such as the original Windows CD being available. More recent years have seen them give extra protection such as from Ransomware. Just over a year ago I stopped using additional Anti-Virus software instead letting Acronis handle everything. Updates are made as needed and only occasionally do they produce a new version such as what I am reviewing here the Home Office 2023.
While it still does a ‘complete’ backup for those occasions when Windows refuses to boot and on one occasion I have had to use this feature. Far more often you use the feature that allows you to restore a file that has been overwritten by a later version and that can save you hours of work in itself. Like most I have programs (not Apps) that were downloaded and get used regularly but the source has changed and so could not be restored.
Set in the 1950's, 9 Clues - The Secret of Serpent Creek is a Hidden Object Adventure game.
Developed by Tap It Games, The Secret of Serpent Creek features an unique detective mode,  With this mode the player will need to uncover the presence of clues within a crime scene  which are then processed to reveal a trial of events.  In other words it is a situation where you have to look for hidden items without the help of a required list. Profiles can be created with this game so that different people can play the game and have their progress and achievements recorded.
Tim by name but not timid by nature, this title's central character is willing to take on anybody who invades its territory.
With only a mirror for company can you solve the mystery of a sleeping royal family.
Have you ever awoken from a deep sleep to discover yourself in a strange bedroom that you have not seen before or know how you managed to end up there?  This is the type of situation facing the central character of this next game of The Sleeping Palace from the Mystery Murders series.  Developed by Casual Arts, this game is currently available for downloading from the Big Fish Games website.
895560 Acer Aspire Vero AV15 51 15.6 inch Lapto

Acer Aspire Vero

At last a company starts to do something about sustainability as the case on this unit is made from recycled plastic, it has a slightly rough feel no doubt not essential but to make you feel you are doing your bit. This latest offering in the Aspire range is called Vero. The strap line comes up on bootup ‘Vero for Planel Earth’. What does this latest offering from Acer have to offer both for sustainability and also for value for money in these testing times?
The Acer Aspire Vero AV15-51 measures 36.5x24.5x1.7cm and weighs 1800grams. Going around the outside has power input, Ethernet, HDMI, two USB3 and a USB ‘C’. Both the front and back are clear the right side has two LED’s, 3.5mm for headphones and a USB3 finally a Kensington Lock connection. You can also charge the unit with a USB ‘C’ connection. The base has four horizontal 2x.7cm yellow rubber feet, behind the front feet are the 2.5x1.5cm speaker outlets.
While searching for Hidden Objects you can discover some interesting facts when playing this next game.
Recently I have been on a trip encompassing twenty wonders of the world and discovering numerous interesting facts, all without having to leave the comfort of my front room.  This feat has been achieved, courtesy of Point 8 Games who developed Adventure Trip - Amazing World 2, a Hidden Object game with some educational qualities. Allowing different people to play the game, named profiles can be created to record the progress of those taking up the challenge.
Join the battle between the Sisterhood and an army of wolves in this Dark Parables.
As part of the series, The Red Riding Hood Sisters is a Hidden Object Adventure game developed by Blue Tea Games.  I have been looking at the Collector's Edition version of this title.  As usual with Collector's Edition offering, this title comes with various bonus elements that sit alongside the main game which covers the conflict between the sisterhood and the forces of the Wolf Queen.
Can you uncover an Egyptian masterpiece while on a journey covering numerous European capitals?
Developed by GamGo Games, The Serpent of Isis is a Hidden Object Adventure game that sets the challenges of recovering a missing masterpiece.  Taking up a central position in this game is the legendary Serpent of Isis which was discovered during an expedition led by Sir Henry Higgens to discover the tomb of the last Egyptian Pharaoh.
895528 WiZ Mobile Portable Table Lam

Wiz Lights

Here I am looking at two new lights from WIZ. They are both mains powered but the control can be by an App or a remote control. The first a 30cm bar light described as the way to light up small spaces with ease. The second 10.5cm round and 18cm tall with a leather handle, when first powered on both start out and white but by using the App or the optional remote control they can be any colour you like and that is just the start there are more options.
As mentioned above this 30cm long and triangular in shape so can sit anywhere it comes with an adapter that can fit in either end of the bar, the lead is 1.50 metres long ending in a three pin plug. Out of the box the light is white and you can control the brightness by pressing a tiny nipple on the back of the light. Once connected by Wi-Fi or the optional remote control you can then really see what it can do, it can have warm or cool light to suit both your mood and the situation.
Flux Family Secrets™ would like to invite you to the Ripple Effect.
In the same way that throwing a pebble into a pool can cause an expanding ripple effect, so altering the past can produce waves that spread out and disturb the vary fabric of time as historic objects become displaced thus adding further disruption to the original ripple effect.  You are invited to find and restore these misplaced objects and, maybe, unearth the Flux Family's darkest secret.
Join a television show game and see if you can win when searching for concealed objects.
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