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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.
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.
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