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Intro In days gone by and now forgotten, there once was a game called Scrabble and almost everyone had heard of it or played it. Several other similar games game along, but none could steal the crown of the best word game ever. Now we are in an electronic and Internet age and the games now are way more advanced than we could have imagined when Scrabble first appeared on the shelves. So it comes as no great surprise that I have become fixated with something I sore I would not do, a Facebook game. Words with Friends The android version of words with friends is a free download so that you can play against your friends anywhere anytime anyplace. Not so sure that's a good idea really but it is a game I've become fixated with. I just want to beat all the friends and relatives I play with as I did all those years ago with Scrabble. Words with friends however is NO Scrabble, it is a kind of Scrabble clone that never quite made it, this said though it is very addictive and you just can't help wanting the whip up that magical word to bamboozle your friends. The basic layout of Words with friends is similar to Scrabble in so much that it is a board game with a familiar looking board. The double words and letters are not in the same places as Scrabble but they are there as are the trebles. You start with seven tiles of a bright yellow colour and each tile is rated with a point system. The rating is printed on each tile so as you are aware of each tiles value.So you've got the Words with friend's board, the Words with friend's tiles, what next..................you play Scrabble, you try to score as high as you can by strategically placing your created words on the board forming a crossword pattern as you go. All words must link to tiles previously laid down. Once you've created the wining word hit send and wait for your friend to make their move. There is NO time limit you can take days to make your move should you wish, so some games can last well over a month in playing which is quite good if you are playing a lot of friends at once. The treble and double score word squares are placed more dangerously on the Words with friends board since you can get a doubl double word quite easily so the tactics are very important. It's a vamped up version of the best game ever so it was always going to be a very popular choice with all those on Facebook with whom you can play. Being that the Android version is simply a stand alone version there is no need to be on Facebook to play although you must log in in order to play. Logging in is only required for the first time after that it logs you into Facebook automatically and downloads moves made by friends, leaving you with a nice screen telling you the status of each game you are playing. Summary It's glorified Scrabble without the glorification, it's been hyped up by Facebook, but it is still a great game and one I play daily against several friends. It doesn't have the grace or finesse of Scrabble its as rugged as they come, it's a child of the net, but it is very good fun to play.
Intro I had found myself with a balance of £5 in my Amazon account, and with no intended purchases foreseen decided to have a little browse to see if anything interesting could be had for my fiver. Coincidently previously I had been trying to read the writing on something, but it was way too small print for my old eyes. So when I pondered upon this knacky little thing I thought what the heck it's only a fiver. National Museum Pocket Microscope My first impression on opening the arrived package was that it was smaller than I had envisaged. With peacock plumage emblazoned all over the box it look very blue and green. A small white area had a picture f the contents, which made it more appealing...............it did look rather nifty. On removing the pocket scope from the box I discovered two specimen slides, which can be used to place intended objects for viewing, particularly handy for liquids. The fact there were two meant that you could place something between and hold it firmly so as to be able to focus properly, not that I have found focusing a problem in normal circumstances. The eyepiece contains the focusing wheel, which is quite stiff, but I find that a big plus since some such wheels are just too free to enable getting a good setting. A few inches below this wheel is a lever, which moves the lens to determine how much magnification you wish to achieve. The magnification is it the range of 0 to about 40X. I say about forty since the size of the object being magnified can limit the amount of focus thus reducing the magnification since both are related. It doesn't take very long to figure out the best settings and there is no real need for the slides unless you are using liquid. For small solid objects such as dust, hair, nail clippings there is a small chamber beneath the lens where you can place objects, this area has a slightly mirrored surface which helps reflect the light from the small LED light provided. This light is very useful and makes the object very much more clear once focused. The unit is plastic and predominantly silver in colour with the structural supports being of quite hard black plastic. It's really quite a sturdy piece of kit for a fiver. Summary Once you get the hang of the lens and focus relationship you can get some really surprising results as with the nail clippings I mentioned before. They were quite eerie and non-worldly under the tiny scope. I think this would be great for kinds to experiment and find out what things look like very close up. I was fascinated by some of the stuff I placed under its reasonably powerful little lens. Worth a fiver no doubt.
Intro I am currently experiencing something new to me, and have been for about five days now and although most of the medicines I have tried have been helpful mostly, I still find myself almost without a voice and still with a very dry chesty cough. I usually get a 2-day sniffling and perhaps just a hint of a cough and then I'm OK again for another 4 years. Coughs and colds have always eluded me until this year when I seem to have accumulated my 57 years worth in a oner. Covonia Dry and Tickly I'm guessing most of you will have experienced this all before, but as I say it is all new to me, so I have to rely on advice from those who've been there and got the T shirt, namely my wife. I've tried all the expensive and cheap bronchial mixtures all with varying amounts of successes, but if I've learned anything from this pretty ghastly experience then it is that in the case of cough medicines the cheapest one's have certainly proved more beneficial than those supped up brands. This said I was at my wits end and knowing the likelihood of getting antibiotics if I went to the docs was slim I decided to try yet another branded product. To be honest I had heard of Covonia only a little until that bull thingy appeared on TV saying it was the best. It has the usual ingredients of aniseed, menthol, capsicum tincture and glycerine so I wasn't expecting miracles. Being the ingredients were similar the taste came as no great surprise, pleasant but not something you'd want to take frequently unfortunately. The only difference with Covonia was that on its way down it felt like it was doing something, the warm feeling usually associated with these types of medicine was there in abundance and it was way warmer than the others. This warming sensation seemed to spread out as the thick dark brown liquid struggled down my dry throat leaving a rather hot yet comforting film over my throat. At about half way down and at lung level probably, it seemed to spread wider and it did feel as if it were easing the discomfort and dryness. Unlike other similar products I had tried this warming persisted longer and seemed to be far more beneficial than the others. It could simply have been though that the warming effect being so powerful in comparison was taking my mind off the dry and irksome chesty cough. Covonia cost roughly £2.49, but can be substantially dearer depending on whether you are prepared to shop around, and frankly if your feeling a bit **** have a chesty cough and a very dry throat, then you ain't going to be worrying about a few pence or maybe even a few quid..................you just want fixed. My purchases were made via a laughing wife who although sympathetic to my plight just finds the fact I'm almost speechless very funny. Summary Over the last week I have perhaps tried six different bottles, I haven't finished some that were less effective, and I have come to the conclusion this is perhaps the best, or at least it has been for me, it has seriously eased the pain and discomfort, and although I know it is no cure it has made me feel at least slightly better. Apparently my lips are moving whilst I type this, which has provoked yet another little smile from you know who.
Intro Sometimes I just like a bit of plain cake, no cream or chocolate just a tasty bit of Madeira will do the trick. The price of Madeira cake has rocketed lately so we were pleased to find a packet mix from Wright's at a very modest 78p. We were pleased because we use Wright's bread mixes with excellent results so we knew that the quality would not be a problem. Wright's Madeira The packaging is perhaps the only thing about this product that could possibly be reasonably criticised, and even this isn't really that bad, perhaps a bit ordinary compared to the finished product. The 500g pack really just looks like a fancy packet of flour until you open it to start the baking process. You get a lovely whiff of Madeira cake, even before it's started cooking. It is designed to be used with bread makers so its just a case of following some pretty basic instructions and chucking it in the bread maker which will finish the task for you. As with bread making it is the smells that are created during the baking that really get the juices flowing. Madeira cake has a terrific smell when cold, but when hot and cooking it fills the house with a sense of excitement as you wait to taste what smells like a complete dream. 1 and half hours of this delicious aroma wafting through from the kitchen had me almost salivated out. I kept having a look inside the bread maker and for the first hour barely saw any reference to any baking going on. As baking neared the half way point the mix did start to rise and it looked nice and yellow, as Madeira should. On waiting for it to cool my patience was at its wits end. It was however all worth the wait. A nice soft springy Madeira cake with a soft yellow colour. The outer edge was a bit dark I thought but it tasted as good as the rest. I'm not exactly certain what the flavour is in Madeira cake, but it seemed kind of vanilla to me, funny never actually thought about the flavour until now, just know I like it a lot and am not particularly fussed what the flavour is. The cake is sweet but not overly so, pretty much a perfect accompaniment to a mid afternoon cuppa. Summary Excellent value for money if you are prepared to wait the baking time. I think the cake is delicious and the money saved from buying the overpriced shop one's could quite easily see you purchase another two packets of Wrights. So that 3 cakes for the price of one......................thats just gotta be a good deal.
Intro I'm not what you might call big user of aftershave, but I do like to wear it now and then when the mood takes me. I have a few on the shelf that were given as presents and two which I have self-purchased because I like them. Paul Smith falls into the former category. Paul Smith The bottle containing the light green liquid was to say the least unimaginative, being that it was pretty much the boring old square bottle with a round top. It has a darker green spray nozzle under the clear circular top. The small bottle I quite thick glass so I don't think dropping it would cause any serious damage. The reason I mention this is I though it the kind of fragrance my wife might throw out of the window since we seldom seem to agree on what's nice and what isn't. The longevity of Paul Smith is perhaps its most endearing feature; it seems to linger around all day, or evening if that is when you wish to wear it. This said it is quite sweet and fruity and at times it kind of sticks in the back of my throat. Apart from the predominant fruity overtones, once it settles there are tinges of floral scents drifting to the fore. It is not a fragrance that I would consider very masculine, although it is quite nice after it has been on some time. Initially however it is quite overpowering and strong, and it does take a while to settle. Summary I think I'd like this more if it settled quicker and the initial tones were less prominent, the slightly floral sweet, fruity later tones are really quite nice, and they are far more subtle than the initial slap of fruitiness. It's the one on the shelf which spends most time on the shelf purely because of this overwhelming factor. Usually if I'm getting ready to go out I'd put my aftershave on last, just before leaving, with this I almost have to put it on before shaving. I like it, but it is not on my favs list.
Intro I've been a massive chocolate eater all my days, and have no intention of giving up the delicious sweet anytime soon, or for that matter ever. In general I'd have to say that Cadbury is the brand to which I return most often, but I do like to try other brands just to see the difference. Terry Chocolate Orange I had forgotten pretty much all about chocolate orange until my wife received a box for Christmas, which contained various varieties of the said chocolate bar. At about 70p per bar, which contains 5 decent sized orange segment shaped portions, it is perhaps not the best value chocolate bar on the market. This said is is probably one of the most unique, being it is hinted with orange and tastes absolutely delicious. Chocolate orange comes in two basic types that being dark chocolate and milk chocolate, and to be frank I don't think it makes much difference which you choose, since both are of excellent quality and what is more is they are both equally as adorable. I would perhaps come down on the side of the dark, but there's no way I'd miss out if the only offering was the milk. I don't think the chocolate is quite of the quality of Cadbury, but that's just my preference, there is certainly a very strong hint of arrange in each oarange segment, which is decorated with the veins you associate with a piece of orange. The detail is really good and it probably helps play mind games and make you think you really are eating a chocolate piece of orange. Summary Pricey, perhaps, delicious most definitely, it's a moreish type bar, one segment can never be enough, and in my case the five segments in the bar are barely enough. You can buy it in individually wrapped segments in a box, where there are more variations on the chocolate and orange theme. One segment is this box has one side milk and the other dark, so the taste sensation here is just brill. It a bar that I like a lot.
SNOW I could feel the romance in the air, and the briskness of the winter air, I could see the snowflakes fall to land, upon the palm of my up turned hand. I could see the children skip and play, upon their shiny brand new sleigh, but most of all I could see the smiles, as the carpet of white just stretched for miles. I could feel the joy upon each flake, but knew coming morning for goodness sake, I'd be cursing and moaning as I rose for work, just praying that the car wouldn't play the jerk. I'd went to sleep as the snow still fell, and through the curtains the light shone well, I just had a little prayer to say. I hope the gritters come out to play. When I drove to work the road was lonely, and the gritter and been........the one and only. So the drive was nice as I observed around, the blanket of white that draped the ground. It only takes me about half an hour, to get to work when there's no rush hour, but I spied the minor roads nearby where the buses stood still, as the passengers cried I could hear the shrill. For they had not been as fortunate as me, cos gritters don't do minor roads you see. The blanket that covered the ground in white, had fallen steadily through the night, and the man on the tele said there would be more snow, but I need the dosh so to work I go. I'd only been in about an hour or so, when I looked outside to see snow snow snow. It was coming down like I'd never seen, and the flakes where huge like jelly beans. The man on the radio said the buses had stopped, and the bridge was closed so that's your lot. I waited a bit hoping the shower would fade, but everyone else had left in haste, Should I take a chance and hope it clears, or wait and sweat with all my fears. I don't like driving on roads covered in snow, the car just doesn't know where to go, and it doesn't matter what I do, I slip and slide........nothing else to do. Anyway I decided to wait, and watched as the snow fail to hesitate, and as the inches of the blanket grew, I slapped my face for I already knew, that the decision was wrong and I should have went, guess how the next few hours were spent. It usually takes about half and hour, to drive my way home in my clapped out car, three and three quarter hours it took, I was hungry and cold and had that evil look, for I was mad as hell and started to nag, I'd plenty to eat but only one fag, I'd given some friends a free ride home, I'm quite glad now that I wasn't alone. For at least we tried to have a giggle, but after three hours we all needed a piddle. If it gets bad this year should I give it a try, Of course I should I'm that kind of guy. Perhaps I'll check the forecast more, before I leave my own front door, So next time it snows heavy I'll stay at home, make some tattie soup and give the dog a bone.
Intro I used to use cream for my extra special coffees', but I fond that I was wasting quite a lot since I was only using a little per cup just to give my coffee an edge. The 89p tub of cream would have lasted ages if I were able to use it all, but a lot had to be thrown out, so I was on the look out for a substitute or a cheaper cream. Coffee Mate By pure chance I was in the local B&M store and spied something I thought had ceased production years ago. I had used it many a year since, and I had as I recall enjoyed it immensely. It is made by Nestle and it is called Coffeemate. The tub I purchased was reduced from the RRP of £2.39 to £1.39 so I jumped at the chance to re-kindle some old flames. The tub contained 500g of the finest white powder, which had a very creamy/vanilla type smell. It is used as an additive to coffee to give it a creamier taste, hence the name. They say on the rather uninspiring packaging that 2 decent teaspoons should suffice for each cup of coffee, so I for a change decided to abide by the rule. As I added it to my cuppa I could see is quickly dissolve, well most of it..............a good stirring saw the rest follow suit. It did slightly alter the colour of my coffee by lightening it a little. The taste test would I hope bring back some fond memories. It had indeed certainly changed the taste of my coffee, and for the most part it was most definitely more creamy. This said though it had also become a bit sweeter, which I was not so keen on. I put this down to the fact that I had rushed and might have inadvertently put a bit much sugar in, so after a while I decided to repeat the process. I was a bit more meticulous this time ensuring everything was done correctly, and as you might have wisely already assumed, it had indeed been an error on my part, this time it had worked perfectly or almost so. Next few coffees' were spent determining the correct quantity of Coffeemate for my taste, and I have now concluded 2.5 decent teaspoons is my preferred amount. The change in taste is quite remarkable considering that this is a very fine powder and there really doesn't seem to be a lot going into my cup. It is certainly creamy and the initial hint of vanilla I got from the smell was never evident in the tasting, don't think I'd care much for vanilla flavoured coffee, did try hazelnut once and it was none to pleasing. Summary Not sure I'd be happy paying the RRP of £2.39 for this, but the offer price was more than acceptable, and if the offer continues after I've used the 500g then I would probably take them up on it again. I don't have it in every coffee, but I do use it quite a bit just for a little change.
Intro My hands are in water or solutions of somekind throughout the day, and it really isn't doing them any favours. I could of course wear gloves but being that some of the cleaning is quite intricate this really isn't very practical. So I had to find an alternative, I've been using various lotions that my wife uses, and some have worked quite well. The one which she is currently using seems to be the best of the lot though. Garnier hand repair This stuff runs in at about £2.79 which I thought was a right liberty, but it would seem that this is quite cheap considering. Considering what I thought that's nearly £3 for a hand cream. As it happens it has worked wonders with the parts of my hands which were showing the most wear and tear, so it would seem that it is after all worth the money. It has a nice smell, but I have or tend to use it mostly at home since this smell is most definitely a feminine type smell, and certainly not geared towards male usage. After using for just over a week I noticed that my hands were getting less rugged and smoothing out a bit, I also noticed that at work the solutions were not having the usual damaging effect, which I have since put down to the protective layer placed on my hands when applying the lotion/cream. I'm really quite pleased with the results and I have now come to terms with the price being that this product does do as it says. Summary This is a nice effective cream, which is absorbed quite quickly by my hands. I doesn't feel too greasy, but I think all creams have a slightly greasy feel to them. Apart from the price which I'm coming round to, I think this is a great product, and I think if my wife changes brands I will perhaps ask her to keep purchasing this for my own use.
Intro I had the same problem this year as I do every year in getting a present for Christmas for my wife. There are never any indications of what she would like, so this year I simple kept asking until I got some kind of reply. Eventually she came up with the idea of replacing her clapped out mobile which to be fair she's had for ages, even though it has not exactly been over used. It had some minor damage to the screen so I agreed to get her a new phone. I was looking on the net one day when she came over to see. I do not want a big fancy touchscreen thing like that, I just want a simple to use slide phone if possible. Samsung Monte The Samsung Monte is not your all singing all dancing modern phone, it is however a practical and useful phone which is not too big. I think it looks quite smart as does my wife, and what is more so she has found it easy to use being a bit of a technophobe. I had to buy an additional micro SD card so that she could select a range of music from those stored on out PC. This can be played either through the phones built in speaker (which is really quite good considering some of the phone quality out there) or through the supplied earphones which are also of pretty good quality. The earphones are also required should she wish to listen to radio on the move, since the earphone cable is used as the antenna. Again the radio quality of sound is pretty good although sometimes getting a signal is not as easy as it probably should be. The slide portion of the phone is quite tight which I think is an advantage and stops it being slid open accidentally. Its not over tight just tight enough to require a little force to slide it. On sliding the keypad is revealed, and automatically illuminated for ease of use. There is a good tactile feel to the keypad, which means you know when you've pressed a key. The screen is probably considered small nowadays, but the graphics and the set-up and layout are easy to see and really quite clear considering. The phone is as expected these days for none tough screen phones menu driven. In this respect the menu system is pretty logically laid out so there is not a problem trying to find any specific feature. The colours are quite vivid are very good for the size of screen. The inbuilt 3-mega-pixel camera takes god pictures, which can be saved onto the Micro SD card and subsequently put on PC. The phone has Bluetooth functionality and this can obviously also be used for the movement of pictures and other bits and bobs. The Internet option of the phone is quite quick although I do feel that the small screen is of a disadvantage here, this said browsing is easy as. A built in Calendar allows the setting of appointments and Birthdays and such so as you do not forget that important date. A very handy voice recorder is also available, and fairly lengthy pieces can be recorded especially when the micro SD card is installed. I have found that for some reason this seems to drain the usually efficient battery a bit quicker than other applications available. There is a built in Facebook app which is I guess handy for those who frequent their Facebook page to catch up on all the meaningless little quotes and notes which appear on such sites. Just joking if you like Facebook fair enough I just find it pretty pointless, except for some of the games, which are addictive. Call reception is pretty good and it is unlocked so she can use any network she wishes. It certainly hasn't got all the features of modern phones but is has a decent range of useful tools. Battery life is way better than her previos phone and a once a week charge or top up keeps it at full power. Summary I should have paid £55 for this phone, but was prepare to spend more on a better one. My wife got the phone she wanted which is the most important fact. As it was I had the option to upgrade so it only cost me £35 so I put the rest on as credit. This is going to be enough for my wife for years LOL. She seldom uses a mobile, perhaps once a week tops, but I have noticed she is using this more than the last on she had so perhaps she likes it more or finds it easier to use, I find it a simple effective and functional unit which does pretty much most will require from a mobile phone.
Intro The years rolled back as my wife opened a present from our son. Monkey Island was the first visible word on the DVD and she knew instantly that this was the long awaited sequel to the previous three adventure games in the Monkey Island series. Lucas Arts had published the previous three whilst this was endorsed by them it was published by Telltale games. Monkey Island The Monkey Island series of games are of the first person adventure type in which you stroll around the landscape getting clues and solving puzzles. A lot of lateral thinking is required and deviousness previously only associated with a rather intellectual fox. It's a tongue in cheek pirate caper whereby you play the character Guybrush Threepwood a young naive and sometimes stupid individual. The fiendish Captain Le Chuck once again captures his girlfriend Elaine and you have to puzzle your way through the game in order to save her. The previous games were real fun and we spent hours working out the puzzles and saving the fair Elaine. This time however the interface has changed and Telltale games have done themselves no favours in my books. The interface is dogged by little glitches, which at first I associated with my PC but it turns out I'm not the only one who has this problem. Imagine being on a pirate ship, which is bobbing up and down on the ocean, hard enough methinks, then imagine trying to line up the cross hair of the mouse on an object you wish to investigate. Getting the crosshair on the object is nigh on impossible, which seriously spoils the entertainment values of an otherwise pretty good game. We were doing well and were I suppose relatively enjoying the game until a fair way in the interface was getting harder to control so we eventually decided to call it a day. This was very disappointing since we have waited ages for this to be released. If the interface problems were intentional on the ship fair enough it did perhaps add a bit of realism, but once of the ship I could not see the necessity of it being so hard to control. Summary It was a present so we have lost nothing except perhaps our faith, Monkey Island was a game in which the whole family participated solving clues ad puzzles, this offering however caused two of us to defect and the other to struggle on for a while only to join the defectors. A big shame this so could have been an excellent sequel to the original trilogy, but it is in my books a failure simply because of the interface failures, the puzzles we solved were of the same calibre of the original and the graphics were equally as good. Everything was almost there, but almost doesn't cut it in the games industry these days.
Intro To go with a lovely selection of around the world coffees' my son bought us a 12-pack mix of Border biscuits for Christmas. There are twelve packs each containing between 8 -12 biscuits and each pack is of a different variety. On having one of our round the world coffees' we decided to try the Border biscuit Strawberry and Cream. Border Biscuits I've only recently discovered Border Biscuits and am indeed delighted to have done. The quality is exceptional and the tastes are something to die for. So when I opened the 12 pack of Strawberry and Cream I knew there was no way I was getting more than my fair share which would obviously be six. At around 4 inches in diameter they are the perfect dunking size, but these biscuits are way to good for dunking......................they are a classy shortbread with pieces of fruit; in this case Strawberry. They are just short of half an inch thick so they are of a decent size. The small pieces of strawberry are still quite soft and the hint of cream through the rich crumbly shortbread is divine. They are so smooth and delicious you just never want the eating experience to end. I've tasted hundreds of so called plain biscuits..........i.e. those without chocolate and these have rocketed up to first place by a country mile. Eating six was perhaps a bit over indulgent so I settled for three with my coffee from Sumatra, which incidentally was also most excellent. In fact it was all in the one of the best cuppa's and biscuit I've had in ages, most delightful. Accompanied by the delicious smell which was coming from the box containing the biscuits the whole experience was sensational. Summary I haven't priced these since they were a present, but I believe they are around the £1.40 mark for each individual packet, which considering the quality and taste is great value in my book. We enjoyed these so much we have decided to sample the rest of the varieties only at our special filter coffee times, thinking that the better coffee may well compliment the excellent biscuits.
Intro Well I guess that being that it is present giving time it was inevitable that a glut of deodorant reviews was in the pipeline. Lynx is a brand I have used in the past, but have found just a tad expensive to be my preferred deodorant. They certainly seem to have captured the market with their enthusiastic and clever adds. Lynx Excite Lynx excite is quite a nice deodorant, and the subtle but evident hints of vanilla give it a slightly sweet overtone. It also has hints of some floral aromas, which I am not adverse to. There is also a freshness about it which I rather like, whether I'd have called it excite though is doubtful, refresh might have been more appropriate. It comes in the now ever familiar black can with twist top to prevent spraying unnecessarily. All the Lynx cans are the same with the exception of the main colour and obviously the sub name in this case Excite. The Lynx range is expensive in comparison to other deo's, but it does have one obvious advantage, and that is its longevity. The scents are quite strong and they last for pretty much most of the day, which is not something one can say of the cheaper brands. Unfortunately the adverts which are both colourful and a bit tongue in cheek portray the deodorant as captivating to women and a lure if you will. It does not unfortunately work as well with me not Angels flocking to my door, no queue's of babes strolling to me in twos, but I do smell nice, so I guess the defective part of my own private add is ME. Summary At around £3.39 per normal can size it is dearer than most other deo's, as to its effectiveness well that would have to be a big plus, another plus would be the nice scent of this version, so I guess in the end you get what you pay for. There are quite a few different variations of Lynx and some are just a bit too sweet for me, but this one is rather nice.
Intro Professor Layton returns for yet another round of mind-boggling puzzles and sums. To be honest I thought after the last that they had perhaps run their course, but the new Spectres Call game has some slightly different puzzles to consider and some more cunning ploys to get the old grey matter working. Spectres Call Once again we are presented with a series of puzzles, some of which are similar to those we have previously encountered, and some which are very different. There are some puzzles, which are what you might call variations on a theme and are ones you may have solved before in a simpler format. There does however seem to be more interaction between the player and the professor this time since there is definitely more text to read and digest. Read carefully, since there are some clues hidden in this text. Also your interpretation of the text can be viewed in slightly different ways and this too can cause you to veer onto the wrong track. Once you get absorbed into the Professor's world you'll find you are quite prepared to stay for a lot longer than is probably advisable, but the puzzles are intriguing and absorbing in themselves, and you are always left thinking of something which might help you solve your current dilemma. The graphics are comical and cartoony as they were in all other Professor offerings. Some puzzles you will simple deem far too easy only to find that a variation of that puzzle pops up soon after and it is far harder than you would have anticipated. Summary All in all another sound effort from the Professor team and a game, which will keep you, occupied for some considerable time. Even if you leave a puzzle and go back to it, new ideas will keep popping into your head, and you'll find yourself loading it up just to try out your theory. Being it was a present I had to look up prices and currently it is in the region of £35.99, which is quite steep, but it is going to occupy you for some time.
Intro It's quite a long time since I ventured into the world of Planet of the Apes, but I'd heard some good things about the recent offering Rise of the Planet of the Apes so I decided to give it a viewing. I do like a bit of Sci-Fi but it is usual the space kind that I'm into, not so much the interference of genetics type. Rise of the Planet of the apes This is basically a prequel to those well scary versions we saw years ago and some not so long ago. My only instant criticism is that the CGI was so blatantly obvious which kind of spoiled it a bit for me. I did of course realise that there was no way real apes were going to be used, I just felt that the CGI was not quite as good as it might have been, and in this respect I think a lot might disagree, but we are all entitled to our opinions. Rupert Wyatt directs the film very well and I thought the writing was quite good, so some credit can be given to Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The main cast performed their tasks very well with special note in my book to the Alzheimer sufferer Charles Rodman played by John Lithgow. The main cast is as such: James Franco...........Will Rodman Freida Pinto...............Caroline Aranha John Lithgow............Charles Rodman Brian Cox..................John Landon Tom Felton...............Dodge Landon It does take some time for the film to actually get to the point, but since the storyline is well written and the acting of decent quality it isn't too much of a burden to go through all the prelims. Will Rodman is trying to find a cur for Alzheimer's, and has a potion, which he believes is the solution, his boss however does not agree and after one of the treated apes goes berserk the blame is put on the serum. As it transpires the serum was not totally to blame so Will takes matters into his own hands when he is told that further investment in his research will be terminated, and that all primates will be destroyed. There are some touching scenes concerning the treatment and the problems for carer's associated with Alzheimer's, and these are exacerbated by the superb performance from Lithgow. Things seem to get better as he forgoes further research in the first serum and starts afresh. The discovery of a tiny newborn chimp, which was hidden during the destruction of the other primates, causes Will to take it home and look after it. It soon becomes apparent that it has absorbed some of the serum and is indeed a very clever ape. The months pass and Caesar as the ape has been called is astounding Will with his immense progress. Again as you might expect things take a twist and Cease is taken from the care of Will and his new found friend Caroline Aranha ( Feida Pinto ). Romance seems in the air as Will struggles to help his ailing dad and to get Caesar back from the pound. All of this does as I say take up a fair proportion of the film but from here on in it does get faster and more exciting. As Caesar grows so does his confidence and abilities, and he no longer counts Will as the close friend he once did. Mayhem and destruction follow in typical adventure movie style and the entertainment value certainly rose significantly as we reached the climax of this movie, but the beginning of the ones we have all seen. Summary Putting aside my little gripe about the CGI, I was quite engrossed most of the way through this, so much so I was late for an appointment, so it must have been pretty good to have had me captivated for the full spell. It wasn't quite what I was expecting yet it was close enough to grip me. A lot of what was incorporated into the storyline is quite frightening if you pause and think about it afterwards. During the film however I was on the apes side, I couldn't help thinking they were getting a raw deal.