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#88182 - 06/09/02 09:56 PM Uncle Albert's Magical Album
Bryansmom Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: Indiana
I thought I would try to review a game, since I enjoy reading the reviews that others have written. I thought I would get my feet wet with a children's game first, so here goes:

System Requirements:
Windows 95/98:
Pentium 120 MHz or faster
16 MB RAM or more
19 MB hard disk space
256 color SVGA or higher
640 x 480 screen resolution (to display at full screen)
16-bit Sound Blaster card or compatible
4x CD-ROM Drive or faster

iMac/G3 Macintosh:
System 7.6.1 or higher
Thousands of colors
22 MB hard disc Space (Does not include Quick Time)
4X CD-ROM Drive
640 x 480 screen resolution (to display on full screen)

We tried to install this on my newer Pentium 4 computer with Win XP and it would install and worked fine for a very brief time, then crashed. I have not investigated whether it would work with a patch or anything, but maybe that is possible. We ended up installing it on my old computer (Win 95 Pentium II) and it works great. BTW, it does mention that Quick Time 2.1.2 is required to play the game, and then it prompts you to load up Quick Time 4.0, as well. I know that Quick Time can be a problem, so just thought I'd mention it, just in case. The game is recommended for ages 9 and up, although I feel that a younger child would really enjoy it, especially with adult help. The game was originally in French, so the audio doesn't work with the mouth of the actor during the short movie scenes, but this doesn't seem to bother my son. The audio quality and voice acting is really good, though.

The box and insert read:
Uncle Albert's Magical Album
An Award-Winning Game of Logic, Science & Mystery
Beware! Contains "living" creatures and infinite solutions! An amazing adventure of discovery and experiments.

This game is really difficult to classify. It is point and click. It is an adventure, but you aren't investigating a world. You are investigating a magic album. I haven't played the whole thing but I did sit in with my son for a couple of chapters to make sure that it was appropriate. It is just an incredible, magical game, in my opinion. Uncle Albert has apparently passed away and he was a very eccentric inventor. There were rumors of a treasure he had, and that he hid it. He has left a huge scrapbook or album that is filled with things from his adventures. When I say "things," I mean it! There are living animals in there, like insects, that are moving around the page constantly. Sometimes you need to catch them, sometimes you need to divert them or train them to do a task, like move a rock or something. You can catch them and move them to the side and they become like a little postage stamp there, so that you can click on them when you need them and put them on another page, or chapter. The chapters are marked with bookmarks so that you can skip to any one when you feel like it. The thing is, some of the chapters are hidden, and you will have to find them. There are riddles and puzzles, too. An example of a puzzle that my 9-year-old found maddening but eventually finished successfully (and he was proud, too!) was a machine that had twisty pipe parts that had to be turned around quickly in order to allow puzzle pieces that are dropping from the ceiling to go to a certain destination at the bottom or side. There are logic problems where you need a certain animal but you don't have it, and you have to try imaginative things that end up (surprisingly) turning other creatures into the ones you need. Each chapter has tasks and puzzles and riddles, etc. that help you collect a certain number of little statues that you will need in order to find the treasure. I have to admit that I am not sure if the puzzles change every time so that the game is extremely replayable or not; however, I did ask my son if he thought he would want to play again after he solved the mystery of the treasure, even if the games ended up with the same solutions, and he gave an emphatic "yes!"
I wanted to bring up this game to any parents or aunts or uncles, etc. out there that are looking for inventive, fun learning games for their children, because I know it was on sale at Amazon when I got it for a little less than $10, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be around. If you see it and you have a kid's birthday coming up or something, you might want to give it a try.
smile -Beth
What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

#88183 - 06/10/02 04:00 PM Re: Uncle Albert's Magical Album
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10323
It's a pretty inventive game. Reminds me a great deal of the graphics in the online Crystals of Faraday game.

Great game to review Bryan's Mom. I agree that this game will provide kids and parents alike with enough challenge to keep interested without frustrating them so much that they toss the game.

I have not fully finished the game but go back and play with it from time to time when I need a break from a harder mind bending game. I particularly like squashing the bugs lol


#88184 - 06/10/02 11:23 PM Re: Uncle Albert's Magical Album
Bryansmom Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: Indiana
I know! When my son was playing, I was the one to discover that I could, in fact, squash the bugs instead of just catching them, and of course I spent a few minutes doing that. I'm not well, you know......... laugh
What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson


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