What to do on a Christmas day?? Sit around a fire, roast chestnuts, watch Home Alone for the six billionth time?! Yes, one could do all that. Or they could play a brand new game by our friends at Big Fish Games and Elephant Games. It's time to play Christmas stories: Tin Soldier. I didnít finish it in one day, because I did ultimately eat my Christmas dinner with my family.

Tin Soldier is another hidden object / puzzle game, written and produced by Elephant games, which I still think is one of the best developers when it comes to this genre. They always manage to make their latest game just that little bit better than the previous one. Every time they manage to surprise me with slightly different or even more challenging puzzles and search areas than I was expecting. In true Elephant Fames form, Tin Soldier has loads of extras, such as collectable puzzle pieces that can be found throughout the game and earn you a screensaver when all found, or collecting packages containing all sorts of cats. After I finish such a puzzle, I can access the bonus content and complete the screensaver-puzzle. If you donít find all pieces you wonít be able to get your hands on the screensaver. Now, I like that! I really like the fact that you actually have to finish something to get to a reward. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

In my time, I have read and so have come to know a lot of fairy tales, but I found myself lacking in the Tin Soldier department. I didnít actually know much about this tale. Tin Soldier is a story about a beautiful princess named Nina and a soldier called Charlie. They (as you may have guessed) are in love and really want to get married. But, as luck would have it, thereís a war going on and Charlie has to go and fight for his country. While he is away, many other young men, including an evil Baron want to court Nina, but she is true to Charlie, and turns all her suitors away. On the evening Charlie returns to Nina, the evil Baron, mad with jealousy, turns Charlie and Nina into puppets. Apparently however, the baron is either a bit clumsy or not thoroughly trained in the arts of witchcraft, so he is accidentally turned into a puppet himself.

So they need my help to turn them back into humans and I have to do it before midnight. (Now where have I heard that before?... Oh well, fairy tales and canít miss!) Throughout the game Charlie the soldier helps you along. And because Nina is the sister of the nutcracker from a previous game, the nutcracker becomes the hint button. The evil baron gets help from nasty trolls but in the end I ... Well I know what I did, but youíll have to play your own game and see for yourselves.

So thereís not much more to say than: Tin Soldier is a top of the line game that has it all: beautiful graphics, colourful surroundings, challenging puzzles and search areas, a map and a hint button. You can choose to play on four different difficulty modes: Ninaís mode, Charlieís mode, the Nutcrackerís mode and a custom mode. Everything needed to play a game of this magnitude and have a lot of fun doing it! Christmas Stories: Tin Soldier is, as far as Iím concerned, another fantastic game in the Christmas Stories series!

Margriet "Daisy Gunpowder" Dumee

Christmas Stories: Tin Soldier Collector's Edition
Elephant Games & Big Fish Games
December 5, 2014