Stuck indoors during the pandemic, I took the opportunity to learn about a couple of new interesting products from Polaroid.
With an existence stretching back over more than 80 years, Polaroid has long been associated with innovated products. I can remember using the Polaroid SX-70 camera, which delivered instant monochrome images, back in the 1970s. Since then the company has developed into producing a range of products, such as televisions, hard drives and printers based on thermal technology plus being involved in at least a couple of relaunches.
Strange times not that long ago if you went into a bank or jewellers wearing a mask the alarm would sound. Now if you go on a bus or train and you do not wear a mask then you face an immediate fine. Yes it’s a different kind of mask but when people wore a hijab with just the eyes showing lots of people were very unhappy, now with a Pandemic not only is a mask OK, its required, even in a lot of shops.
When family members go missing, you will make every effort, as does Rose Carter, in this Alawar offering.
Developed by Alawar's Friday's Games, Stray Souls - Stolen Memories is classified as a Hidden Object Adventure excursion. I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of this title. Along with the main game, involving a mother's quest to rescue her daughter and husband from the forces of evil, this package features a number of bonus items. The bonus collection consists of wallpaper, concept art, music, characters, mini games, video and an extra chapter.
Looking for a new handset, then Xiaomi has a new model that might suit.
Xiaomi has announced the launch of the company's POCO F2 Pro in the UK. This handset device has been tailored to meet the demands of the tech enthusiast by prioritising performance over frills while coming with the original price point of £549. As yet I have not has the opportunity to lay my hands or eyes on this handset to check it out. My report is, therefore, limited to the information provided by the company.
While this may not be unique it is certainly something that I have not seen before. A set of headphones for a younger child – 3 upwards – that does not involve placing anything in the ear canal. So how do they perform I put them to the test.
A seven centimetre wide fabric headband that is fifty four centimetres long, it is secured by Velcro pads on the inside of one end that can accommodate most children’s heads. The soft speakers can be moved within the folded piece of material to suit the area between the ears of the child. The headband itself has a stitched image of the Gruffalos face with ears and horns protruding from the top of the headbands width. A 1.2 metre long 3.
As Lockdown conditions are relaxed, stores, such as Currys PC World, welcome back customers with a treat.
With the relaxation of various Lockdown conditions, Currys PC World has launched its biggest ever clearance sale with hundred of products and categories benefitting from up to 60% off the original price. These price-reduced products will cover brands from such well-known names as Apple, Kenwood, Tassimo, Philips and Samsung. The goods will be available across Currys.co.uk and the Currys PC World app plus they will also be available from the company's 131 open stores.
A Chromebook can do a lot of the things that a Microsoft Windows Laptop can do however they normally cost less money. This is a ‘Touch’ version so assuming what you want is available in a Chrome App then this offering may suit your needs.
You will need a Gmail or Google account and very little more, early Chromebooks required Internet access to do most things as there was little internal memory this is no longer the case so if you are working on a series of document offline it’s OK. So basically if your requirements are email, word processing and web access then this certainly ticks all the boxes. It is 31.5x22.5x1.5cm and weighs 1356grams. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.
Having recently told you about a conventional watch whose straps are made from recycled plastic and the watch is solar powered. Here we are right up to date with a Smart Watch that can do almost everything while linked to your SmartPhone, so far I have discovered 16 different faces for the watch, some just tell the time others do much more with the Wear OS App.
It has a 42mm face with a rubberised strap, it weighs 48grams. It is quite thick at .9mm there are three buttons on the right edge. There is a fold out 10.5x10.5cm card, three sides of this are useful, Charge and Power on, Download and Pair and Useful Tips these end with two web sites one for the watch and the other for Wear OS the operating system. While the Charge and Power on bit was easy enough using the supplied 1 metre long USB to magnetic connection that attaches to the back of the watch.
Living deep underground, huge hungry snakes decide it is feeding time and people are on the menu. Can you stop this happening?
Forming part of the House of 1000 Doors series, Serpent Flame has been developed by Alawar's Five-bn team. This particular game belongs to the Hidden Object Adventure genre and is the follow-up title to Family Secret and Palm of Zoroaster offerings. My review is based on the Collector's Edition of the game. As usual with Collector's Edition titles, Serpent Flame features a number of bonus items.
Knowing the price of something when I start reviewing is not my choice as it might predetermine the value score, here however I do know the price and ‘I do not believe it’ came immediately to mind. As always there must be minus points, now to try and find them.
Really top end offerings by Samsung and Apple can get towards four figures, while Honor is a part of Huawei their prices are normally somewhat lower but this offering is really low, the initial promotion price was sub £200. Sadly this offer finished just as I received the unit to review, the price now is £249.99 but you do get one of a choice of three free gifts with it. It is 16x7.3x.8cm and weighs 210grams.
Always be prepared is a Scouting belief and, in this case, it means be prepared to create mosaics.
Adventure Mosaics - Small Islanders is a puzzle game. Developed by DIGIMIGHT, this game is of the nanogram variety. For those unfamiliar with this type of puzzle game play, I should explain it involves creating coloured mosaics on a grid guided by numeric clues arranged along the top and left side of the grid. Initially this form of game play involved monochrome mosaics but recently versions, such as this title, make use of colour in the make up of the image.
When a town's population drops to just 10% of its previous figure, you known something is wrong.
When you are asked to authenticate a legendary item, make sure you offer the correct verdict otherwise problems could occur.
As part of the GoGii developed catalogue of titles "Theatre of the Absurd" is a hidden Object Adventure game. I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of the game which comes with a number of bonus items. Included in the bonus items are an opportunity to explore the Atrium of Souls, solve the Corvus' Grand Decanter and restore the Hapsburg Cube. These extra items are locked until the main game has been completed.
This is an outdoor (IP65 waterproofing) camera, it uses custom batteries that form more than half of the units overall size. Fitting can be done by anyone happy to climb a ladder and it should take only a few minutes but do not try to install it before you have linked it to your phone.
The KAMI Outdoor Wire Free Camera measures 13cm from front to back and the body is round at 6.5cm, it is heavier than most at 402grams. The majority of the weight is the four solid rechargeable batteries stated to last between 4 and 6 months between charging. These are each 6cm long and round at 1.5cm each of the four batteries weigh 46.5grams. The back 9cm of the housing unscrews to allow the batteries to fit into the centre of the unit.
While the period of Lockdown has kept us tethered to our place of residence, access to the Internet has enabled us to call for help and assistance from a variety of sources that we might not otherwise considered.
Digging deep into my memories, I can still recall my first venture on to the Internet. Rather than information or assistance, this visit was for the purpose of downloading a particular item. This incident was back when an external modem device and a dial-up telephone connection were vital ingredients required for this task rather than the click 'n' connect Broadband options we all use for modern Internet access.
A rare find these days a Desktop offering, rather than a Laptop/Tablet/Notebook. This is a very small offering the dimensions are below and it comes with a Wireless keyboard and mouse set so nothing apart from the panel needs to be on your desk.
The Acer XC-885 desktop computer measures only 10cm wide, 29cm tall and 32cm from back to front but add another 4cm for cables etc. so 36cm deep. On the back it has two HDMI connectors and a VGA. There are 4xUSB and below that 2xUSB3 and Ethernet. The standard three 3.5mm audio connections and there is still room for two internal blanking plates. The front has on/off button at the top and working down an SD Card reader, two always on ports USB ‘C’ and USB and finally 3.
In Sherlock Holmes' Absence, a new detective enters the scene to deal with an adversary from an earlier investigation.
I must admit to misreading the title of this next game. Being a fan of the television series of "Elementary", I should have no excuse for confusing "Mr" with "Ms". For those who have not seen "Elementary", I should point out that this series is based on stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr, Watson. In "Elementary", Dr Watson's character is a woman and not the man of the original stories. Something similar occurs with "Ms Holmes - The Monster of the Baskervilles".
With a change of clothing, eFunsoft has turned one game into another.
Following the release of "The Chronicles of Confucius's Journey", eFunsoft has turned its focus on to a biblical epic with "The Chronicles of Moses and the Exodus". In both cases, these two titles belong to the popular Match-3 genre of game play. In fact these two titles follow an almost identical pattern in their gaming format and the way they are presented to the gamer.
Most people with limited sight or poor hearing will have heard of Doro and over the years I have reviewed a number of their handsets. Outwardly it looks like any recent SmartPhone so there is no embarrassment about using it. Right from the off things on the Home screen are just that more widely spaced and more easily focused upon.
Going around the outside has the on/off button on the right side, 23 seconds boot to Home and three seconds shutdown to blank screen. The base has USB ‘C’ for charging, microphone and speaker. The left side has separate buttons for volume down and up, and, the SIM and Micro SD Card entry point. The top has 3.5mm sockets for earbuds or headphone.
How have you reacted to Lockdown? A recent survey shows how others have dealt with this situation.
These look very similar to earbuds that Apple first produced not that long ago. They sound excellent and quite unusually because they weigh so little do not irritate my ears when wearing them for longer periods of time.
Each earbud weighs less than 6 grams and in their charging case the total weight is only 63 grams The buds are 4.5cm long and shaped to fit in the ear at less than 1.5cm wide. There are four sizes of gels supplied. A USB ‘C’ to USB lead is included as is a 13amp plug front to USB.
Are you up for a fight? No this is not a personal challenge but one based on the Quest of the Sorceress Match-3 game.
Usually when you take on the challenge of a Match-3 game, you are set the task of cleaning areas of a grid or collecting tiles of a particular type or colour. But the Sorceress of this next game has something completely different in mind. This TAG Publishing game of "Quest of the Sorceress" retains the standard features of creating groups of 3 or more similarly decorated tiles by swapping two adjacent tiles.
While a lot of people totally rely on their phone to know the time I am not one of them I still prefer a watch. This offering from Fossil is made with around sixteen recycled plastic bottles that go to make up the five straps supplied with the watch. The watch itself has an outer ring that is a solar cell so this and other things help protect the planet.
The watch has a 42mm dial so suitable for both men and women to wear, However they also do a 34mm dial version. It comes with five interchangeable straps which come in two pieces and an ingenious fitting mechanism with the lugs fitting top and bottom on the face of the watch. At the connecting end of the strap is a finger nail movement that means no knife or other sharp implement is required to fit into the watch. Each of the two pieces are doubled over and fit into a metal centre piece.
It is time to visit the world of Sacra Terra and rescue those trapped by a succubus,
Available in both Standard and Collector's Edition versions, "Sacra Terra - Kiss of Death" is a Hidden Object Adventure game that has been developed by Alawar Five - BN. I have been looking at the Collector's Edition which comes with a few bonus items. Along with an extra chapter that becomes available once the main game has been completed, you get Concept Art, Wallpaper and a Strategy Guide. Prior to entering the Sacra Terra gaming environment.
This is a voice and audio recorder from Olympus who while they are probably best known for high end cameras also do extremely good voice/audio recorders so any new device from Olympus be in photographic or audio is always of great interest.
The Olympus LS-P4 is called a Videographer Kit. I am surprised my spell checker did not have a fit over Videographer a clever word new to me but one that describes it use very well for a photographer who wants top quality sound. This with the right camera taking video would give excellent results far better than what was the option a few years ago a Camcorder. The recording unit is 11x4x1.5cm and weighs only 75grams with the supplied ‘AAA’ rechargeable battery inserted.
Time can pass quicker when distractions are available to view.
While featuring a wolf and grandmother, there is no Red Riding Hood in this next game.
The Curse of the Werewolves is a Hidden Object Adventure game. I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of a game developed by Nordcurrent. Along with the main game, involving the mystery of a missing grandmother and an evil influence, this Collector's Edition comes with three different wallpapers and three jigsaw puzzles using scenes from the main offering.
This is a small and light 14inch screen notebook with an AMD processor from Honor. It is a fast product, so what if anything is there that could be improved, first it is not that cheap but then all the components are high end, second there is only a single SSD drive of 256GB divided into ‘C’ and ‘D’ and on an office desk you could be short of connections.
The Honor MagicBook 14 measures 32x21x1.5cm the last figure is the maximum, it weighs 1371 grams. The only other things in the box are a 1.7 metre USB ‘C’ to USB ‘C’ lead and a 13amp plug with USB ‘C’ out on the top. This however is a 65 watt fast charge module so a 70% charge from empty takes 70 minutes and in my tests a discharge rate of 10% per hour when streaming music and keeping the screen live takes place.
With a kidnapped detective, investigating daughter and a helpful dog, this next game sets you on the trail of missing relics.
During the coronavirus pandemic, with its associated lockdown and self-isolation, I have sometimes been reduced to watching repeats of some early black & white television programmes. These programmes are based on Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason stories. The reason for this confession regarding my viewing of a very early crime based series is due to the appearance of a Penny Macey Mystery game on my review list. This game is entitled Relics of Fate.
When the end of Lockdown arrives, what are you intensions and do they include a celebration?
Since the introduction on the 24th March, the UK has been in Lockdown and this situation has greatly influenced the lives of many, including myself. While I have generally coped with the effect of Lockdown and self-isolation, there have been some occasions when time does seem to have been running at a slower rate than would appear normal. Maybe you have noticed something similar.