Christmas Stories: Nutcracker Collector’s Edition
A love story, Rat King and Tchaikovsky Nutcracker score all come together beautifully in this delightful Hidden Object Christmas game developed by Elephant Games.
Albert, A.K.A., the Nutcracker and Mary fell in love when they were both children. They are older now and plan to marry. The Rat King, also in love with Mary, magically turns her into a doll and kidnaps her. She is kept under watch by the rat army. The Rat King then turns Albert into the Nutcracker and stuffs him into a gift box so that he cannot rescue Mary. The Nutcracker is released from the box and the search is on for the tools and weapons that he needs to defeat the Rat King and break the curse to save his precious Mary.
The excitement mounts as items are discovered and more of the story is revealed through elaborate cut scenes. The displays of the rat army with their shiny metal gear and kitchen items for weapons are visually entertaining and enticing. The Nutcracker score plays in the background during the cut scenes but, disappointedly, is absent during the mini games. The game offers casual, advanced and hardcore game modes. The mini games are complex on the advanced mode. The mini game instructions are lacking in detail. In casual and advanced mode, mini games can be skipped and hint buttons are available. An additional feature of the game is the added quest to collect 25 dolls hidden throughout the scenes while pursuing your main objectives. There is an achievement board for those fond of pursuing excellence.
The Nutcracker is not alone on his quest, along the way he pals up with a candle and a cat. The candle can be used to light rooms and melt ice and snow, which is beautifully displayed throughout the game. The cat can climb trees and open cages. The navigation of the game is simplified with the use of an in-game map which shows the areas in need of exploration. The map displays a candle, that when lit is the current player scene. A gold candle holder represents a scene in need of attention. The black candle holder shows nothing to be done at the scene. There is no need to back track and walk through scenes, by clicking on the gold candle holder in the map, the player is transported to the scene where further exploration is needed.
The Collectors Edition comes equipped with a bonus section featuring a strategy guide, bonus game with Cat as main character and choice of soundtrack and wallpaper. This may not be necessary for some. There is a Standard Edition without the bonus section which costs slightly less than the Collectors Edition.