Ancient Astronauts 

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Pack your bags, have all the necessary injections as you prepare to visit various countries for missing members of your club.

Unsolved Mysteries Ancient Astronauts
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There is a theory, supported by some, that the human evolutionary chain was somehow influenced by the presence of outside elements that were alien in concept.  Whether that influence included Ancient Astronauts is a mute point but this next game might swing the argument one way or the other.  As a member of the Unsolved Mystery Club, you can join the search for five fellow members who have gone missing when searching for evidence of whether Ancient Astronauts existed or not.

I have been checking out the Collector's Edition of the Unsolved Mystery Club Ancient Astronauts developed by Freeze Tag.  As you expect, profiles can be created to record the progress of individual players.  Adjustments can be made to the volume levels of background music and sound effects.  A choice of Windowed, Full or Wide screen viewing is available with the game being played in Casual or Expert mode.  The former offers a faster charging rate of the Hint and Skip features than the later.  I should point out that the Hint feature is replaced by a Help facility during Adventure game play.

As mentioned earlier you are tasked with searching for five missing members of the Club.  Your first efforts will concentrate your energies on Sarah Brightside who disappeared while carrying out work at Dogon, Mali in Africa,  Later your investigation will widen its spread as you search for Ben Solar in Giza, Egypt, Alex Luman in the Palenque Jungle, Shawn Ray in Paipu, Peru and Sunny Smith based in New Swabia, Antarctica.  Video cut-scenes will be used to introduce each of the missing club members before you are presented with the tools allocated for the search process.

Taking up a centrally placed position at the base of the screen is an inventory storing items you collect until they are needed.  To the left of the inventory is a communicator device which allows you to receive messages from headquarters.  It will automatically store certain important items and enable you to review videos that form part of your search. 

On the right side of the inventory is a short-cut icon that leads to the Hint or Help feature depending upon the situation of the game.  Usually it works as a Help feature by making suggestions as to how to carry out certain tasks.  However when used in Hidden Object game play, it operates as a Hint feature by pinpointing a required object. 

Next to this dual feature is the game's Strategy Guide providing step-by-step instructions as how to carry out tasks.  Completing this area is a Black Gem which needs to be filled with other gems collected during game play.  Some of these gems will be discover prepared while other will need to undergo a special process before being stored in the Black Gem.

From time-to-time Hidden Object sessions and mini game puzzles will need to be completed in order to make process.  Hidden Object game play uses the familiar concept of a cluttered scene paired with a text list of required items.  In some cases an entry will be coloured blue in the list.  This means an additional task will be required before it can selected.  Depending upon the state of the game, you could receive up to three of the found items as a reward for completing the scene.

With the game changing its base of operations over different countries, there is plenty of opportunities for  different type of mini game puzzles to suit the environment.  Among the puzzles you could face are those involving building and using a grappling gun, produce a brass rubbing, arrange blocks to produce an image, locate flashing stars and match glyph shapes.  A Skip option does appear after a delay if you get stuck.

Unfortunately using the Skip option on one occasion, towards the end of the game, caused a problem.  I decided to use the Skip function rather than complete a tricky task.  However after using the Skip feature I neglected to pick up the offered reward which was a key required to make further progress in the game.  In an attempt to alleviate the situation I attempt to replay the task but this just caused the game to crash and send me to my desktop.  I was therefore unable to complete the game.  Presumably this type of situation had not been encountered and picked up during the game Beta testing program.

Up until encountering this problem, I enjoyed playing this game.  Unfortunately this problem means I cannot recommend this title which is available on Amazon priced at £3.97.  The game requires a 1.0 GHz processor with 1.0GB of RAM running Windows XP SP3 and later.

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OverallUnsolved Mystery Club - Ancient Astronauts Freeze Tag rated 44 out of 100

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