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Farm It Review

When was the last time you played as a young rooster? Maybe a detective, plumber, cat, prince, princess, daughter, son, brother, sister, but a rooster? Well, the world is facing a shortage of chickens and it is up to you to increase the population of these birds in Mac time management game Farm It.

This farm game is not your usual growing flowers or vegetables, fighting pests and drought, but it is you as the youthful rooster getting the hens to lay their eggs for future chickens. Click on a hen and the rooster will either skip rope, swing or share a worm with a hen (euphemism for breeding). You have a goal of how many eggs you need to produce at the top of the screen. It’s not as easy as it seems because as usual you’ll have blocks and obstacles impeding your progress. The hens have different moods, dog will beat you up and the old rooster is not happy with you taking his job. Later in the game you’ll be confronted by a skunk, polecat, fox, traps and puzzles to overcome and solve.

Fortunately for you there will be a lot of bonuses and helps to aid you in your noble quest to populate the world with chickens. The helmet will protect you from your enemies for a few seconds, the worms will make the hens happier and the little blue pill will make the hens lay the eggs faster. Use the exit gates to get away to another area.

You start in Europe and continue on across the world in 3 other locked areas with 2 different seasons to choose from (summer and winter). There’s a lot to do and it does get challenging after only a few levels. The instructions are given as you go along in your journey. The artwork is a cute cartoon form with a hoedown-like, upbeat music. The game gets repetitive and may not keep your interest for that long however. It actually would be ideal for kids if not for the mating ritual. If you’ve already had the “talk” with your child, then it should be okay, but it’s up to you to decide. I give it a 2.5 out 5.

Features of Farm It:
-Original Time Management Game
-Cute Artwork and Fun Music
-2 Seasons

Rating: ★★½☆☆


National Geographic Games: Mystery of Cleopatra Review

Any tale about Cleopatra whether fiction or non has been popular for hundreds of years since her attempts to reverse the decline of Ptolemaic Egypt. Her relationships with Caesar and Marc Anthony have peaked interests of many historians. National Geographic Games: Mystery of Cleopatra in their hidden object, seek and find method tells the story of an intruding Roman soldier’s murder on the docks from the advisor to the queen’s viewpoint.

You are the advisor and you are to serve the queen by investigating the murder of this soldier in this Mac game by searching for objects and using the items in tasks to uncover this mystery. You can choose from the Casual mode where found objects will automatically be placed for you, but in the Advanced mode you must place the object on their corresponding spot. As the advisor to Cleopatra, you have access to many areas others cannot view. You leave from your personal room with your necessities throughout the city of Alexandria looking for clues. In each scene you will search for objects, and you may need to investigate deeper in some areas of the screen when you see sparkling dots. By clicking on these regions you will zoom in and find more things to discover.

There are many mini games to conquer and complete from the usual find 6 similar items to logic puzzles. When the skip button charges, you can skip the games if you wish to continue on with this story and the seek and find plays.

Following National Geographic’s last 2 hidden object games, Herod’s Lost Tomb and The Lost City of Z, Mystery of Cleopatra is less like those 2 plays and more like the Dream Chronicles and G.H.O.S.T. Chronicles: Phantom of the Renaissance Faire. I found Mystery of Cleopatra heavy on the task portion, mini puzzles and historic facts, and not enough hidden object play which I prefer. I was surprised to find that these factors slowed down the play and made the story drag on. You would think the political intrigue and the personal vendettas would keep you on the edge of your seat but the extra readings of the people, historic interests labored the play a little. Maybe condensing the write-ups would keep the mystery tale more interesting but this version did not do it for me.

Features of Mystery of Cleopatra:
-Explore Alexandria
-Mini Games
-Historic Features
-A Roman Soldier’s Murder

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Garden Dreams Review


Garden Dreams is an action-packed Mac game for kids and casual gamers. Be ready to swat and spray pests and grow produce to help Granny Gertrude pay her bills and keep her lovely garden intact.

Granny Gertrude once grew prized veggies, but as she grew older, it was more and more difficult for her to keep up the work to grow a garden. It is up to you to assist her buy equipment, plant seeds, water her plants, harvest the food and keep the pests away. This all must be done with only 3 lives for each level.

The play is easy to learn, and the game will take you through it slowly at first and then with more intensity later on. You click on the object to perform an action. You click on the water can to water the plant, and if you do not do it fast enough, you will lose a plant. A great upgrade to get is the sprinkler, but this item must be unlocked before you can use it. You will lose the plant making you work longer on fewer plants. I lost 2 plants because I didn’t water fast. Also you must click on the ripe produce when it falls to the ground, but if this is not done quickly it will rot and you will lose money. Also after harvesting the produce you must click on Granny to give her the money or she is grumpy.

In between working very hard in the garden, you must fight off the pests so you do not lose plants and in turn money. This is done by swatting quickly and repeatedly on the caterpillars to squish them. When you start to unlock awards you can use pesticides to get rid of them faster. You must master getting your pests under control because in the higher levels the enemies will increase and become harder to conquer.

Your only defense will be your friends. Stinky Skunk can stun the pests giving you time to swat or spray them. Tom Turtle will pick up the produce you missed on the ground. He walks back and forth on the bottom of the garden picking up your tomatoes.

This Mac game is like Alice Greenfingers, but with more movement and action. Alice Greenfinger seemed like it is more of a sims time management game and Garden Dreams is a little more like an action swat and squish game. I think this game is fun for a lot of people without the violence, except when you swat and squish pests, and you are helping Granny Gertrude pay her bills.

Features of Garden Dreams:
-Make Your Own Garden Dreams Come True
-80 Levels
-Many Plants and Enemies
-40 Locked Upgrades

Rating: ★★★½☆


Mechanicus Review


Calling all physic-based puzzle gurus. You know who you are, don’t deny it. Mac game Mechanicus will challenge your brain in a fun way with its many levels of puzzles using platforms, blocks, balls, mirrors, lasers, teleporters, anti-gravity devices and more. It will be your job to move items from point A to point B. This is not a new concept, but it is done in a fun way to keep you interested and happy.

Gravity may or may not be your friend in this game. Use it to your best advantage. There are some instructions but they are sometimes hard to decipher, however, you can figure it out quickly on your own. The game starts out simply but will eventually get more difficult and challenging. You will begin with a few platforms to use to get an item down to a location at the bottom of the screen. It may be logs or barrels that can roll down if you place the given platforms (at the left of the screen) at the correct angle. When you click on the platform, a circle will appear with different actions you can take with the item like angle it to your left or right. The problem may arise when you need to place a soccer ball in a pail. Balls bounce! You have to place your boards to block these diabolical objects from jumping out of a pail. Once you set up your items how you think will work properly, click on the Go button to your left at the bottom of the controls. Hopefully, everything will go as you planned. Other items you may need to place are mirrors, dynamite, teleporters, and anti-gravity devices. Each have their own problems and challenges you must solve to complete a level. For example, the laser beam bounces off mirrors at an angle so you will need to figure out the correct radius for it to reach your target.

An unlikely person will train you to become a Space Warrior in order to protect your home planet from alien invaders that are much more powerful than you. They may be stronger and have better muscle power, but you have brains to overcome anything. You begin your training by moving logs, removing debris and other menial jobs before you can use serious weapons.

Of course, the story is not important in this addictive puzzler but it is minimal and fun. Ignore the writing and get to work on this challenging and interesting game. The artwork is simple, colorful and good. The music starts off playfully, but it gets annoying quickly. They should have decreased the sound or changed the music when you are trying to concentrate on the puzzle. If you are a fan of physics-based puzzlers like Bob Came in Pieces, And Yet It Moves, Cats Inc., Paper Munchers and Mummy’s Treasures, you will like Mechanicus. Take a chance and try this entertaining game. One warning: if you exit and start again, you will be back at the first level. Oh……..

Features of Mechanicus:
-Colorful, Fun Artwork
-Save the Planet in 5 Chapters!
-Physics-Based Puzzlers, 8 Mini Games

Rating: ★★★½☆


Twisted Lands: Shadow Town Collector’s Edition Review

Mark and Angel are on a treasure hunting expedition on their own even though they know it is illegal. Suddenly, Mark, and possibly Angel, end up in the water, and Mark finds himself washed up on a deserted island. Mark’s main goal is to find Angel. He’s certain she also came ashore. Even though he is concerned about her, he also sees many items on the island that may be valuable enough to collect a pretty penny when he gets back home. He is always the hustler when it comes to making money.

The play will take you from the boat to the island and its various buildings and sites, no matter how fogged in it may appear. A lot of sparkles will lead you to hidden object games where from the list at the bottom may have some important artifacts or items for you to use. You must find 15 snakes to place on a door hidden away in a cave. There will also be some sparkles when there are items to interact with.
What I like about this HOG is that you are not inundated with mini puzzle after mini puzzle. There’s just enough to keep your focus on the story and the main plays. The hints are very helpful when you are in the game and don’t know where to go next. It will point the way for you. 2 things I think could have been better are the reading of different people’s journal and computer writings. Yes, it gives you different view points from different types of people but the same information is given many times in long narrations. The other point of contention is the traveling back and forth and back and forth sometimes across the island for an item you need.

Other than the 2 things, the play is good, the artwork nice, and the music appropriate for a good time. It’s not all that scary even though ghosts appear everywhere. Some things may need to be cleaned up but overall the game is good. The Collector’s Edition has a built in walkthrough and a bonus chapter, Twisted Lands: Insomnia. You are on the same island. Could this be the first chapter to a sequel?

Features of: Twisted Lands: Shadow Town Collector’s Edition:
- Engaging Story
- Hidden Objects and Mini Puzzles
- Detailed Graphics
Rating: ★★★½☆