By Margriet "Daisy Gunpowder" Dumee on December 11, 2014

Itís almost Christmas so I want, nay, I must play a Christmas game!

Itís the Christmas Stories: the Nutcracker, a game about a boy (Albert) and a beautiful girl (Mary) and a crazy scientist who creates an intelligent rat. With a cup of hot coco beside me and cookies within reach, I set off on this adventure. What's that? Of course itís a point and click game. Firstly because you're currently visiting my area of expertise; the Grey Area, and secondly because it's my favorite game genre ever!

Snow, fireworks, Christmas decorations and a party at the Royal palace. And finally, after waiting for so long, I am finally invited, Yeah!! I have my invitation, pick up some items, work my way through a hidden object area and I am ready to go inÖ.. But the porter tells me the partyís over. WHAT! I may, however enter the castle to collect my Christmas present if I want to. If I want to, what kind of question is that?!? Of course I want my present, so I go inside. Thereís a huge Christmas tree inside, surrounded by lots and lots of presents. Just as I attempt to pick up my present I make the acquaintance of the Nutcracker. He seems like a nice fellow, so we chat for a while and he tells me his life's story.

It turns out he wasn't always a nutcracker. He was a real boy named Albert once, but the evil Mouse King transformed him into a nutcracker while turning Albert's girlfriend Mary into a doll. Granted, she's a really beautiful doll, but still a doll. Now why did this happen? The infamous Mouse King had his eye on Mary for quite some time before this incident and became insanely jealous of Albert, who swept Mary off her feet with his boyish charm. The Mouse King kidnapped Mary, but she refused to be his, so out of rage he turned her and Albert into the dolls they are today. I would have understood why he wanted Albert out of the way, but turning Mary into a doll doesn't make sense. Although... come to think of it, there are people out there who seem to have a fondness for a particular kind of doll... But since the original story was written in 1816, I think in this case the inflatable variety of doll is out of the question... Never mind, back to the story!

So Albert and Mary are turned into dolls, which clearly is not the bright future they were hoping for. If they want to have any hope of breaking the evil spell that binds them to their current state and turning back into real people again, they'll have to be back in their respective boxes before midnight. If they somehow manage that...Poof! Happily ever after. Iím very touched by his story and naturally I decide to help them. So whatís the plan? Defeat the Mouse King and put both the nutcracker and the Mary doll back into their boxes before midnight, magically transforming them back into their human selves. That's it and that's all! Seems simple enough, doesn't it? Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but it's the right thing to do! After all, itís almost Christmas. Joy to the world and all that.

And then the game begins. As you make your way through the palace you find a garden, a library, a kitchen and a hunting lodge, each of them containing nicely drawn search areas and good puzzles. I played the relax mode, but thereís also a challenge mode and an expert mode. This game has a hint button and a map, the map giving you the opportunity to travel between places. You can skip puzzles if they are too difficult for you (I only skipped one puzzle throughout the entire game). Christmas stories: The Nutcracker is a fine game; not too difficult, beautiful graphics and great search areas. If you succeed in helping Albert and Mary, you get to play a bonus game! I can heartily recommend playing that bonus game, itís really fun! So all in all, Elephant games and Big Fish games succeeded in bringing this timeless classic to life for us all to enjoy.

A Merry Christmas to you all!

available on:

Elephant Games & Big Fish Games
November 29, 2012