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Financing a Holiday 

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When finances are tight, you are the one called up to raise the money for a family holiday.

The Smith family have set their hearts on enjoying a holiday in Paris.  Unfortunately with their finances and bank balance at a low level, they lack the funds to pay for this family holiday.  After much discussion, John Smith, the father, decides to call on a fund raising expert to help the family raise the necessary cash to pay for John, Melanie, James and Stephanie to enjoy their holiday in Paris which brings us to this next game from Seven Sails which casts you in the role of the fund raising expert.

Available in Collector's Edition format, Yard Sale is a mixture of Hidden Object activity and puzzle solving play to our computer screens.  Prior to taking on the role of the financial expert to help the Smith family, you can create a profile to record progress, adjust volume levels for music and sound effects plus view the game in full screen mode and make use of a custom cursor.

Making up your first task, as well as appearing regularly through the game, is a scene depicting a room within the Smith's household.  Running down the left side of the room is a panel which will show the 20 items you will need to locate within the scene.  These items are presented five at a time and the faster you find them, the more money you will earn towards the Paris trip.  Once the five items are located, they are replaced with the next five.  A rechargeable Hint and Zoom facility are provided to assist with the search.

As each of these search locations are completed throughout the game, you will rewarded with the coins earned plus a number of spades.  I will return to the subject and reason why the spades are important a little later.

The game then presents a number of mini game puzzles that often involve finding a required number of items in quantities of twenty.  You could be asked to search a scene for 20 dolls or 20 gloves and shoes while using the assistances of the Hint and Zoom features.  The number 20 also appears when a Spot the Difference challenge places two similar scenes side-by-side.  Other type of mini game puzzles feature repairing a scene by either swapping segments or rotating them.  There is also a jigsaw puzzle with pieces being placed on a ghost image.  Each mini game puzzle, once completed, brings the reward of a spade to add to your collection.

As you progress through the different game levels, you can build up a supply of spades which need to be used when tackling a Treasure Hunt feature.  You can access this feature from the game's main menu or after a Hidden Object scene.  This task shows a 9 x 9 area made up of 81 individual plots that each require the use of one of the spades to clear.  By taking pot-luck you can identify areas holding items that hold memories for the Smith family.  You can access the Treasure Hunt as many times as you like as long as you have some spare spades.  In total there are ten treasure items which come with background information about them but, otherwise, serve little purpose in the game.

In order for the Smith family to go on holiday, you will need to collect 5,000 coins.  While the Smith family enjoy their holiday, you will be allowed to gain access to six bonus levels and 12 bonus puzzles.  These bonus items will give you more of the same type of action as found in the main game.

Featuring picture book style graphics, this game could hardly be called challenging with its mixture of Hidden Object searching and puzzle solving but it provides an enjoyable past-time.  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 £15.68.  The game requires a 1.0 GHz processor with 256MB of RAM and 472MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.

Yard Sale Collector's Edition | Big Fish Games

Yard Sale Collector's Edition | GameHouse

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OverallYard Sale rated 48 out of 100

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