Christmas Stories The Nutcracker by Elephant Games

Christmas Stories: The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is the first in a game series called Christmas Stories and was released November 2012 by Elephant Games. For those of you who haven’t read my previous post; Elephant Games has created a casual hidden object game based on the original story The Nutcracker and The Mouse King by Hans Christian Andersen and E.T.A Hoffman.

Main Story line
The game starts at the door of a royal palace. You’ve received an invitation to join the Royal Christmas Ball. Unfortunately, the party is already over, but you can still collect your present underneath the Christmas tree.
Under the tree you stumble upon Albert, a man who has been turned into a toy nutcracker by the evil Rat King. The love of your life, the beautiful Princess Mary has also been turned into a toy and is kidnapped by the Rat King on Christmas Eve. Your quest is to assist Albert to rescue the princess and break the spell before midnight or the lovers will remain toys and will never see each other again…

The Quest
The game takes the player through 8 chapters and a bonus game, each with their different setting, scenery, mini games and puzzles. You won’t be alone in this quest to defeat the Rat King. Along the way you’ll meet some new characters and will make new friends. They will join you in the noble quest to save the princess and turn everyone back into their human form. But will the aid of your newly found allies will be enough to save Albert and Mary in time?

Gameplay
The general controls and navigation are very clear and self explanatory. When starting a new game, the player has to choose which difficulty mode the game should be in. When commenced in this new adventure, the player will soon discover that the game is very interactive. Cut scenes, various mini games and hidden object puzzles will give new clues or maintain an useful object to help in this quest. Thankfully, finding clues by exploring everything what’s in the screen is not the only way to get through the game. But, you’ll still want to do this, as there are 25 dolls hidden throughout the game which unlocks an Achievement. There are various Achievements to be completed throughout the game. For example, the player can complete Achievement by playing the game by not using the Hint button. Speaking of which, besides a Hint button the game also has a Strategy Guide which the player can excess while playing. So if you’ve missed a clue or can’t complete a mini game, there’s always an escape route without having to abandon the game.

Extra content with the Collectors’ Edition
The Collectors’ Edition contains 11 wallpapers, 9 concept drawings, 4 soundtracks, 5 cut scene video’s, a screensaver and a bonus game. The bonus game offers a new story and new mini adventure with new friends and new puzzles to solve.

The Verdict
I’ve experienced this game as very entertaining. I really like the idea of being carried away in a well known story, saturated with Christmas Magic and other story lines added to give the original story a unpredictable twist. The use of Tchaikovsky’s original music is a nice addition to the overall feel of the game. The artwork used to create the scenery and puzzles is beautiful and of high quality. The only downside I’ve found in the cut scenes. Altough the overall scenery is very high detailed, the videos aren’t displayed in the same high definition.
As mentioned before, I would definitely recommend this game.

For more information or a free trial of The Nutcracker, visit the official website of Elephant Games. To purchase this game, visit Big Fish Games.

I hope this review was helpful, it was so hard to write without spoilers..
Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you next time!

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