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Creating Dracula's Lair
Jet Dogs Studios has taken its Shopping Clutter game and given it a Halloween style make-over. The result is Shopping Clutter 24 – Dracula’s Summerhouse. In this game you will need to face the challenge of helping Mr. Rat as he attempts to transform his antique shop, set in Animalville, into Dracula’s lair to attract customers who are hoping to celebrate Halloween.
When helping Mr. Rat carry out the various alterations to his store, you can make some adjustments to the game playing environment. Volume levels for background music and sound effects can be set. The game can be viewed in full screen mode with a special mouse cursor to pinpoint your actions. Options are available for Easy or Difficulty levels of action as you tackle the games 140 levels of problem solving. Easy level does not impose any restrictions while allowing you to operate at your own speed. Difficulty level requires you to work within a time limit imposition.
As the antique shop is converted into Dracula’s lair, the actually work will be spread over 20 stages. Each stage will be made up of seven instances of Hidden Object style game play that eventually lead to a mini game puzzle. Once the seven Hidden Object scene levels and mini game puzzle have been completed then you will be rewarded with an item of furniture that should prove useful in furnishing Dracula’s lair. There will also be a scene featuring comments from members of Mr. Rat’s family.
Using symbols that bear some association with all things Halloween, the game’s Hidden Object levels come with their own particular set of rules that need to be taken into consideration when selecting items from the clutter at your disposal. Depending upon the rules or conditions implied for that scene, you could be asked to find items that are designated as belonging to categories such as animal figures, desserts, pumpkins, edible items, inedible items, heads or items that have been dividing into four sections.
Along with a possible category, you might be asked to find items in pairs, groups of three or even four such as those divided into quarters. When selecting pairs of items, one could be a smaller version of its partner or coloured in a different shade. There will also be occasions when matches will need to be made between full coloured items and silhouettes which I found certainly increased the difficulty factor.
The clutter of selectable items could be stacked high in a single group or piles of items. In some cases the items could be scattered around the screen area. Not satisfied with displaying its clutter in different styles, the game also varies its clutter by sometimes showing it as static, several layers deep, or as constantly moving display and even containing items that can be added as the clutter is depleted.
Mini game puzzles, which bring each individual stage to a conclusion, tend to require you to recreate an image which has been divided into sections that have been jumbled up in varying degrees. As you progress through the game’s stages, the number of sections will increase and the rules governing how the sections need to be moved, and in what direction, will change. Sometimes you might need to swap adjacent sections or only move a section in a diagonal direction. You also need to be aware that the movement of a section will cause it to flip over vertically or horizontally. Occasionally this image construction stage will switch to a Memory style game as you match face down cards.
Fans of Hidden Object game play can download this game, as I did, from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $9.99 or Big Fish Games priced at £7.87. The game requires a 1.0 GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 273MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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