Christmas Adventure: Candy Storm
Year Published: 2013
Publisher: RunServer
Developer: Argali Entertainment

I might be a Scrooge for not giving Christmas Adventure: Candy Storm a stronger recommendation - I would have if only it wasn't so short and some annoying issues with the dialogue boxes had been fixed. If you have $2 to spare, it's a charming little holiday-themed hidden object game that you may find is well worth the hour it takes to complete it.

Arriving at the sisters' home

As you're driving your pickup truck filled with Christmas presents, you are suddenly caught in a heavy snowstorm. When it subsides, you find your vehicle is covered in candy and you're stranded outside the home of three elderly sisters. Though the scenery might have you believe you've arrived at the North Pole, at Santa's Workshop itself, none of the sisters are actually Mrs. Claus. It seems they are just really into Christmas with all their holiday decor. They are also in need of some help and they will teach you a spell to revert your candy-coated wheels back to normal when you complete some tasks for them. One wants to cook apple jam, one needs help finishing a handmade Christmas card, and one... wants to knit sweaters for birds (yes, you heard that right).

The entire game takes place in the sisters' three-room house and the area outside of it. There isn't much ground to cover, but each screen has multiple areas you can zoom in on, as well as hidden object scenes that become active as you progress. There is a huge amount of stuff crammed into every room. It can get a bit overwhelming as you inspect every shelf, cabinet, and fireplace, and your inventory fills up with items that you don't yet know where to use.

Surprisingly, not Mrs. Claus.

The hidden object scenes are bright and colorful and feature mostly (though not always) items that relate directly to Christmas. They tend to be large, especially by HOG standards, in perhaps an attempt to appeal to older players and young children. Indeed, the game seems like it was intended for a family to play it together on Christmas morning, seeing as how it would only take an hour or two to finish. Christmas Adventures is scored with music from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker", which is public domain, but obviously very fitting.

One complaint I have is that I really wish the dialogue boxes weren't so easy to accidentally skip. There are also some grammatical errors, which is typical in HOG's that weren't originally published in English. Because of the sheer amount of items you can accumulate, it's possible to do certain things out-of-order, which can lead to some quirks in the story (example: one of the sisters asking you to fix the lights when you've already done it).

Time to sort through the presents

So, it's short and has a few quirks, but if you're feeling like $2 is a fair price for a charming little game that's bursting with holiday cheer, Christmas Adventure might just be what you're after.

SCORE: 3/5



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