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It is Vacation Adventures time again. This time you are engaged in the role of Cruise Director 8 as you tackle the Collector's Edition of this Casual Arts title. Due to its CE classification, Cruise Director 8 comes with a number of bonus items made up of Wallpaper, Music tracks, bonus levels and various puzzles. While the main game features numerous Hidden Object type levels, this form of puzzle is absent from the bonus puzzles mentioned earlier. Instead this puzzles consist of jigsaw puzzles, rotate puzzles, flip puzzles, spot the difference scenes, concentration and word square puzzles to put your skill level to the test.
At the start of your role as a Cruise Director, you can select a male or female headshot for your on-screen presence. Other options include setting volume levels and opt for Casual, Challenge or Extreme level of difficulty before setting out on a Grand Tour of the USA. Having some idea of the layout of America would be of beneficial as your first task will be to replace the country's major cities in their correct positions on a map outline of America.
Once completed you are deemed suitable to progress further in the game and given access to a scrolling chain of Hidden Object scenes. While allowing you to step back to a previously visited scene to improve your score, you are not allowed to advance from the current scene until it has been completed and the subsequent scene is unlocked.
Each rather busy scene will be accompanied by a set of 18 items which need to be located. Due to space restrictions, only six items can be listed at any one time. If an item in the list is coloured blue then this will indicate that it represented a task rather an item. Holding the mouse cursor over its listing will reveal what the task actually involves in order for it to be carried out successfully.
Some listed items will be coloured red and this will mean that they are hidden in some way. The mouse cursor will reveal the location of the hiding place when it is over that spot. You will also be assisted by the appearance of an outbreak of sparkles which will help identify areas containing required items not yet found.
Along with the listed 18 items, scenes can also contain other objects which you might need to collect. If you come across an icon of a camera then by clicking out it you will take a photo of the scene. This scene will then be automatically added to your holiday snap photo album for viewing at your leisure.
Also integrated into scenes are a number of gold anchors waiting to be located plus certain items which have been lost. These lost items are shown as silhouettes to the left of the main required list. By finding the gold anchors, lost items and not making use of the game's Hint feature positioned to the right of the required list, you will earn stars. Actually there are two Hint features. A standard Hint will locate a single item while a Mega Hint will briefly show the positions of colour-coded items. The use of either type will need time to recharge before reuse and block an Eagle Eye bonus.
Rather than restrict the player to total diet of Hidden Object game play, Cruise Directors do need a break and the game allows this by making available a series of puzzles. In no particular order you could be faced my matching cards in a game of Concentration, complete a word square or recreate an image that has been broken up in various ways. You might need to swap elements or just rotate them in order to create the scene. Another type of puzzle involves identifying objects from a brief clue before then searching for them in a scene.
While this game is not likely to encourage you to burn the midnight oil as you are tempted to progress through its 70 levels of Hidden Object searching, it does provide a good mixture of pleasant game play. I downloaded my copy of the game from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $19.99. It is also available from Big Fish Games priced at £15.69. The game requires a 1.0 GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 772MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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