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Can you solve the mystery of a fire at a popular theatre?
This is the opening sequence dreamed up by Blue Tea Games for the Macabre Mysteries - Curse of the Nightingale game.  I have been looking at the Collector's Edition which comes with a number of bonus items to enhance this Hidden Object Adventure offering.  These bonus items include a bonus chapter, concept art, music tracks, wallpaper and a Strategy Guide.
894839 Creative Stage 36

Creative Stage360

Something I get to see all too infrequently are Soundbars especially ones that come with a separate sub-woofer. Here the latest offering from Creative Labs a company best known for everything ‘sound related’ such as sound cards, headphones, earbuds and speakers. So when I was offered this I was happy to give it a good thorough testing.
First the main unit it has four push buttons on the front on/off, volume -, volume + and source along the 26.5cm length, the back mains power in, three HDMI in a row (two in and one out) then in a row optical, USB and sub-woofer connector in a central area along the 23.5cm length of the back, the unit is 8cm tall and 6.5cm deep. The sub-woofer can be up to 100cm away from the main unit. It is 11cm wide, 24cm deep and 40cm tall with the speaker on the right side 18cm cm across.
Mixing together Halloween, Match-3 game play and house repairs is the premise of this next title.
As the nights draw in and strange sounds seem to emerge from the darkness, it is perhaps time to put your fears to one side and prepare yourself for the night time period.  Offering some light relief in this respect is the appropriately named Halloween Trouble 2.
If you receive notification that you have won a free cruise in a competition you never entered, how would you act?
After creating a profile, adjusting the volume levels for background music and sound effects plus opting for full screen viewing, you are cast in the role of a young woman named Amelie.  The game opens as you receive notification that you have won a free ticket for the maiden voyage of the Seawind, the finest cruise ship ever built (excuse the marketing blurb).

Windows 11

Neither my desktop or my notebook are deemed worthy of getting Windows 11 so while we are told it is ‘about’ I have yet to see it. That is until today when a notebook from Acer arrived and doing the ever longer setup I got to a screen where I could either stay with Windows 10 or upgrade to Windows 11. So now I can tell you my initial thoughts about it.
You are warned the upgrade will not start until it has been on for a few minutes, after around 20 minutes a message appears saying the download is in progress and you will be notified when it is ready to install. The download and install took around an hour – my Wi-Fi is not the fastest – and then a very plain white on black screen ‘Working on updates xx% Please keep your computer on.
When an elderly relative passes away, you are called in to clean up any issues.
Several different approaches have been used when presenting Hidden Object action within a game.  Generally the concept of cluttered scenes play a main part, as does the presentation of the items that need to be found.  But then various additional ideas could be added to make the game genre stand out from the pack.  This next game adds a scene scrolling feature to some instances of its Hidden Object game play.
894850 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Android Smartphon

Galaxy Z Flip 3

This phone folds horizontally across the centre of the screen it means when open you are able to have 6.7 inches of depth in a single view. When your finger moves across the central area of the screen there is a little resistance and if you look closely at the darkened screen you can see the crease in the screen, however does this affect anything else?
The Flip 3 from Samsung measures 8.2x7.2x1.3cm when closed, weighs 186 grams, flip it open and the first figure becomes 16.4cm. The viewable screen is 6.4x15.6cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.7 inches. The screen display is 1080x2340.
Creating mosaics gives you the chance to celebrate Halloween with the penguins on a visit to the woods.
Those pesky penguins have made their way on to my review schedule yet again.  This time their escapades are covered in Fantasy Mosaics 49 which is Match Gems latest offering in their nanogram genre.  As if to celebrate the recent time known as Halloween, Fantasy Mosaics 49 bases its nanogram activity in a Haunted Swamp location. The game opens as you receive an envelope containing a map.
Do you feel lucky or just interested in a new set of earbuds?
While the seemingly expanding Black Friday "sale" offerings tend to grab the headlines, there are other promotions that could deserve your attention. One such offering is that announced by LG regarding a price reduction in its various ear-bud units plus the opportunity to be in with a chance to win an ultimate home entertainment package worth £3,000. The LG earbuds benefitting from this promotion are listed, along with their before and deal prices, in the table below.
Most items I get to review have Intel chips in and while specifications say something like Intel i5 or equivalent until I have tested an equivalent I am reluctant to say something will work. A while ago Parallels brought out a product that would allow Chromebooks to run Windows, most recent Chromebooks can run Android Apps but Windows was something new.
If your company or education establishment wants to save on the cost of Windows notebooks this Chromebook may help as it has the basic power and memory to run Parallels for Windows allowing you to run Windows in a ‘sandbox’ while still running Chrome on the machine your company will however still need Windows licenses for every Chromebook running it though, currently they are Windows 10.
894853 ESET Multi Device Internet Security 202

ESET Internet Security

While you may feel safe when in your home, could you say the same when connected to the Internet?
While perhaps not as familiar as some names in the world of computer protection, ESET has a well-established reputation for developing protective solutions for customers.  Founded in 1992, ESET is a Slovakia-based company with its current range of products including Anti-Virus, Smart Security and Password Manager plus the subject of this review ESET Internet Security.
894826 Sennheiser HD 450SE Wireless Headphone

Sennheiser HD 450SE Wireless

A set of headphones from Sennheiser is always an interesting thing as you know they will be well made and use the best components. I knew it had been a while since one crossed my desk and a search found that I saw a pair of earbuds in 2018 but a pair of headphones was even further back in 2017.
The Sennheiser HD 450SE Wireless measure 19cm from the base of the cups to the centre of padded headband and 15.5cm to have the earpieces horizontal, this is with the full 3.5cm of side extension extended. The headphones weigh 240 grams. Each earpiece moves by around 15 degrees inwards to give a comfortable fit. As these are a pair of over ear headphones there is a good amount of external noise cancelation naturally. While these are Wireless Headphones there is a 2.
As a fog descends over 11 islands, you are called upon to restore the equilibrium of this area.
With its title of 11 Islands - Story of Love, you might think that this next game was a collection of episodes from a recent television series that managed to be the focus of much publicity recently.  However that is not the case.  Developed by Joyful Software, these 11 Islands and their underlying Story of Love is a Match-3 game rather than a location taken over and seeded with enthusiastic inhabitants by a television company.
While pirates tend to have a blood-thirsty and gruesome reputation, they can occasionally show some human tendencies.
Checking back over the last few titles that I have reviewed, there does appear to be strands of similar themes.  While hardly of the Big Red Bus syndrome, I have recently taken a look at a couple of titles featuring pirates and the presence of the Flying Dutchman afflicting damage to other ships.  In both cases the games belong to the Hidden Object genre with a central female character.
894809 Trains Top Trumps Card Gam

TopTrumps Trains

I normally steer well clear of games but there a few that interest me even at my advanced age. Card games were a staple of my youth and in my teens I used to play a mean game of Cribbage that supported a meager first wage working in a toy and sports shop. Now I have a thirst for learning that was never an option at school so knowing about things that interest me is a subject that thirty odd years ago had the name of Edutainment.
I was never a train spotter and I suppose I was lucky growing up seeing the occasional steam train and carriages that still had ladies only compartments as well as a mix of classes. Here is a card game that can be fun and still give the players some extra knowledge. The pack of cards is thirty different cards each featuring a train from around the world and each card shows five facts about the train. They are Debut year, Speed, Range, Fame Ranking and Top Trumps Rating.
Put your searching skills to the test as you undertake a journey to different locations around the world.
Offering to take the player on a virtual trip (no passport or foreign currency required) around the world is a title from Pop Cap's Amazing Adventures series.  As with the other titles in this series, Amazing Adventures: Around the World is a game based on Hidden Object game play.  You are set the challenge of visiting different locations, actual there are 25 locations, as you follow a path pre-set by your favourite Amazing Adventures travel agent for your delectation.
894831 Apple iPhone 1

Apple iPhone13

Apple seem to offer new phones each year so here is one of the recently launched iPhone 13 range. I have been using it out and about over the last few weeks with especial attention paid to its photographic abilities. So what does it offer the user apart from a name to justify its high end price?
The iPhone 13 measures 14.5x7x.8cm the exception is the top left corner where the two cameras and LED flash increase the depth to 1cm. It weighs 174 grams and feels very solid in your hand, mine was a mid-blue colour. The screen is13.6x6.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of just less than 6 inches - just over 6 inches is claimed - there is a notch 2.5x.5cm in the centre of the top of the screen for the forward facing camera.
Can you step aboard a haunted ship and save its captain from a life of being "all-at-sea"?
For its next excursion into the area of Match-3 game play, eFunsoft has brought together the stories of the Flying Dutchman with the activities of the cursed Hendrick van der Decken and the female pirate Catherine Ragnor.  The result of this combination is the game of Catherine Ragnor and the Legend of the Flying Dutchman.
Not one but three crimes to solve as you search through over 6,000 objects concealed in different locations.
Rather than dealing with a single game, this next review features three individual offerings from the catalogue of Pop Cap.  This is the Mystery P.I. collection of three Hidden Object investigation titles  that have been brought together under the Mystery P.I. banner,  These titles are The Vegas Heist, The New York Fortune and The London Caper. In each case the game has been developed by SpinTop Games and follows a similar pattern.
894801 Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Displa

P21 Poly Studio

Recently I have told you about a small USB camera and a Bluetooth headset with far better than normal range. Here is a flat panel that has both built in and for good measure it has lights built in both sides to improve the view people get of you as it frames you better, this is certainly an all in one device for those Zoom calls. This is a real personal meeting display for those occasions when you cannot meet personally.
The screen and surround is 56cm wide and from top of the screen to the top of the stand is 37cm. The viewable screen itself is 48x26.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 21½ inches. The stand clips into the rear of the screen it is 30x18cm and raises it by 8cm from your desk. The power lead enters the main body of the screen just above the stand. The total weight is less than 7KG.
Travel back to the Roaring Twenties and enjoy the company of the Great Gatsby set.
Usually when a game arrives on a DVD to be reviewed, the product sets about installing itself on a hard disk.  In most cases you also get an icon on your desktop to launch the game.  But The Great Gatsby takes a different route as I settled down to review this I-play developed game. Forming part of a Classic Adventure series, The Great Gatsby is a Hidden Object game with a few additions.
894816 Acer Chromebook 71

Acer Chromebook 714

If your company or education establishment wants to save on the cost of Windows notebooks this Chromebook may help as it has the basic power and memory to run Parallels for Windows allowing you to run Windows in a ‘sandbox’ while still running Chrome on the machine your company will however still need Windows licenses for every Chromebook running it though, currently they are Windows 10.
There is a list of Chromebooks from all the major players but so far only Acer have gone out of their way to find me units that qualify.  The basic requirements are an i5 Processor or equivalent, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as with any such project more is better. Chromebooks are great for basic things like word processing, working with emails and browsing the Internet.
Dipping into my selection of titles available for review brought forth the iWin developed offering of mixed game type action.
Casting you in the role of Eve Witheby is the iWin developed game of Jewel Quest Mysteries - Trail of the Midnight Heart.  Taking you on a journey that includes places such as the Taj Mahal and Old Shanghai, this game covers aspects such as Hidden Object game play, Match-3 challenges and Adventure action as you search for your Uncle Donald.
Can you assist a brother clean up the mess left by his brother in this Hidden Object game?
No sooner had I completed my review of the first two Mystic Diary titles that the third episode of the adventures of the two brothers, Victor and Gustav, arrived on my workspace - alright game space,  Following on from the Lost Brother and Haunted Island, the third instalment is entitled Missing Pages.  As with the first two titles, Missing Pages belongs to the Hidden Object Adventure style of game play. The usual collection of settings and adjustments can be made for this game.
894795 D Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 Smart Route

D-Link Smart Router R15

A router is not something we tend to change that often unless there is a reason. These days the coverage a router gives is either enough for your needs or it isn’t and then you get an extender of some sort. However I found out recently that there is a new updated version of Wi-Fi as those of you who read my recent Motorola SmartPhone review will perhaps give you a reason to upgrade.
The Eagle Pro AI AX1500 Smart Router R15 to give its full name seems to me to be a little long for a title. The main body of it is 20x13x4cm without anything plugged in, it has four aerials two on the back and one either side all move through 90 degrees from vertical to horizontal. There are four pin hole LED’s on the front, four Ethernet ports on the rear the yellow one goes to your modem and the other three allow you to connect things needing Ethernet.
Can a house take on board the influences of its inhabitants? Meane Manor certainly thinks so.
Whenever a Mumbo Jumbo title appears in my review schedule then my thoughts immediately turn to the Egyptian theme series of Luxor with its shooter action.  However Mumbo Jumbo does have other strings to its bow and development output.  One such offering is that of The Mystery Meane Manor which has been classified as a Becky Brogan Adventure. In this game the player is cast in the role of Becky Brogan who is a pupil at the High School of Old Haven.
894784 Pawbby Smart Bow

Pawbby Smart Pet Bowl

If your dog is just 10% overweight it can reduce its life expectancy by up to 30%. So feeding it the correct amount can save you money not only in food but also in vet’s bills. This offering from Pawbby is a pets bowl with a scale built in so that you only feed your dog the exact amount. While I have mentioned dogs it could equally well work for a cat.
The food bowl fits in the scale and is made of stainless steel so is easily removed for cleaning and it fits in such a way that it is tilted by 7% towards your dog this I am told is the amount required to help the dogs spine when bending its neck to the bowl. Yes it links to an App via Bluetooth so you know everything you need to. This offers feeding instructions and hints and tips. The scale in the bowl can weigh in 1 gram increments up to 2kilos.
Pitching sister against brother, this next game involves an Egyptian curse and the power to do as you like.
Developed by Pho3nix New Media and available for downloading from Big Fish Games, Curse of the Pharaoh - Tears of Sekhmet is a Hidden Object game.  As you might surmise from its title, this game is based on one of the so-called curses that Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were said to use to protect their burial site from the actions of grave robbers and those intent on improving their knowledge of earlier civilisations. In this case the curse is the work of Queen Nefertiti.
While you probably would not want to listen to 42 hours of non-stop music, this next device can deliver such a service.
About 18 months ago I checked out the Edifier TWS1 product.  Now it is the turn of the company's TWS1 Pro offering.  This is a set of True Wireless Stereo earbuds which does explain the letters making up the product's title.  As usual to ensure a comfortable fit for various users, these earbuds come with three different sizes of ear tips.  One set is already attached for immediate use to enjoy your favourite music.
A set of in ear earbuds from Creative bundled with the SXFI AMP is what this latest offering from Creative Labs to cross my desk is, and while I do not normally want to know the price before completing the review on this occasion I needed to know if this was one or two reviews and as it’s a bundle only price that is 36.67% of the separate selling price.
The wired earbuds have magnetic backs, 12cm down the lead from the buds is a tiny 2x.5x.5cm control a further 20cm down the two leads become one and stay joined for the final 80cm till the gold plated 3.5mm plug. You can use the earbuds like this if your phone still has a 3.5mm socket.
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