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Claire Cottrill "Clairei" (Channel Islands, United Kingdom)

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Professor Layton and The Curious Village (Nintendo DS)
Professor Layton and The Curious Village (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £32.49

124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Curiously Lacking..., 27 Nov. 2008
I was very excited about getting this game, partly because I love a good puzzle challenge and because I'd heard great things about the storyline, characters etc. Well as far as the puzzles go it gets full marks. The initial puzzles aren't too taxing and they progress nicely to being pretty tricky. There's a fair share of "dur! I should have seen that coming!" puzzles as well as some plain old hard slog ones. You do need to have studied GCSE Maths for some of the harder ones (area of a triangle anyone?!) and remember your fractions, but this applies to only a minority of them so don't let that put you off.
The graphics are lovely, particularly the short animated sequences with speaking parts that appear throughout the game (which you can watch again once you've unlocked the bonuses).
So where did it fall down? Well it has to be on the 'story'. I won't give it away (unlike some reviewers! tut tut!!! Amazon please remove these!!), however I did 'guess' pretty early on. As for interaction, well I don't really know what some reviewers are referring to when they talk about this because there really isn't all that much. Yes you get to chat to the other characters, but that's purely to give you a puzzle or tell you to go somewhere or visit another character (in fact it's pretty similar to the interaction in The Sims: Castaway). I was also annoyed by not being always being allowed to wander where I chose. I felt this was my choice to get wrong if I wanted to, not be hand-held to go in the right direction.
I'd definitely recommend this game for some fun puzzling and as a lovely distraction, however being fair they could have released it as a 'puzzle only' game presented by the Professor, as the background story is pretty irrelevant. For interaction, brain power and lateral thinking, you're better off with Phoenix Wright/Appollo Justice as these have very in-depth characters and storylines, and are happy to let you make your own mistakes in the quest for the truth. They also take considerably longer to play.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2009 1:11 AM GMT

Princess on Ice (Nintendo DS)
Princess on Ice (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Hauseinkauf
Price: £19.90

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're girly and you know it get this game..., 17 Sept. 2008
I bought this game on impulse (I usually play role playing ones such as Phoenix Wright and Lost in Blue) as I wanted something different and fun - and I really like ice skating.

The game itself is quite straightforward. You choose a character and then compete for the title of Ice Princess, basically by completing one ice dance at a time successfully (this is done by completing mini challenges whilst the character skates, such as tapping out bubbles in rhythm to the music or spinning a disk very quickly - don't worry, you get to watch the performance back if you missed any moments of glory). Along the way you get to build up points, talk to the other characters, add to your wardrobe or just practice your moves. If you complete every round you may become the Princess - if not, start again with a new character and keep trying.

With the overall feel of a Disney-Cinderella extravaganza, the 4 main characters are nicely doll-like, with the actual skating arenas ranging from a fairytale Castle to a setting by the Pyramids! I was hugely impressed with the actual skating, for a game played on a small computer screen it's uncanny. Top points go to the makers for technical accuracy here, the characters absolutely look and feel as though they're skating. Best of all you get to buy more outfits and accessories the better you skate (again beautifully illustrated) - should you wear a tiara or the diamond cuffs? So many decisions... Playing the game is just hard enough to keep you interested, with lots of classic 'ice skating' music to dance to (this is really beautiful and a real highlight of the game - use the headphones to get full appreciation).

If you're an adult (like me!) you'll just love sitting down for half an hour or so of real girly magic, although I can't imagine any little girl not loving this game.

Mulan Print Studio
Mulan Print Studio

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!, 25 July 2008
This review is from: Mulan Print Studio (CD-ROM)
I got this software free with a new PC. I'm an adult and I hadn't seen the film, but I loaded it anyway - I'm so glad I did! It's a beautiful program, the attention to detail is stunning. Technically it has lovely graphics and sound effects and is very quick to install. In terms of what you get, there are so many fun projects for (adults!) and kids. You can create and print a Mulan colouring book, photo frame, letterhead and envelope, diary, placemat, business card, stickers, height chart - the list goes on! All fully customisable with exquisite wallpapers and images from the film, with your choice of Mulan-style font. Buy it, your child will be happy and so will you (when they've gone to bed!).

I Hate Other People's Kids
I Hate Other People's Kids
by Adrianne Frost
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'laugh out loud' funny, 12 Dec. 2006
I bought this book for my sister who genuinely does hate other people's kids (OPK) but had a quick flick through and found myself laughing hysterically (my sides actually did hurt) and reading most of it out to anyone who'd listen. Everything about this book is great - small in size (about 8" x 5") with a nice smooth cover and unique (but not too many) illustrations, you can either just dip in or read it all the way though. The content is genuine quality text, not just padding like so many books that appear at Christmas. Numerous chapters include types of kid (the creepy kid who says nothing, the boffin who's full of too much knowledge), parties (for kids and adults), kids in restaurants and a brilliant letter to women who insist on telling you every detail of their labour, I'm photocopying it as we speak... (Adrianne's advice on getting your own back on this is to laminate the results of your last smear test and show everyone :o) The end of the book has some great advice on how to deal with these appalling kids and parents, I defy you not to laugh! In short, it doesn't really matter whether you like OPK or not, this book is really a send up of the inconsiderate, weird and downright bad behaviour, by both adults and kids, that we all see everyday. It's intelligent and funny and definitely won't offend anyone, the best book I've read this year!

The Worst Witch
The Worst Witch
by Jill Murphy
Edition: Paperback

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 21 Sept. 2002
This review is from: The Worst Witch (Paperback)
I first read this book in about 1981 and I've loved it ever since. Forget the terrible tv series which had very little to do with the actual work, this book is a great read - FULL of spooky, misty, atmosphere and marvellous characters like the terrifying Miss Hardbroom... Well worth reading, especially for any child who missed the tv series...(btw, the best adaptation was the 1980s film with Fairuza Baulk, a fab Halloween film :0)

The Complete Brambly Hedge
The Complete Brambly Hedge
by Jill Barklem
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic, 19 Dec. 2000
I first read these books when I was a child, 20 years ago, and I still enjoy them now! The pictures are a sheer joy - every time you look at them you see something new, the detail in them is amazing. The tales are delightful, original and charming - as for the characters... they're just adorable! As children's books go, Brambly Hedge is in a league of its own. WELL worth buying, these are stories you'll want to keep forever.

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