Secrets of the Seas: Flying Dutchman

Adventure Game with some Hidden Object Scenes                           346 MB
Untimed Option          easier         PC & Mac            Walkthrough not needed
Secrets of the Seas: Flying Dutchman walkthrough

Premise:  It’s sometime in the 1700’s or early 1800’s and your friend Michael has invited you to visit him — but, just before your arrival, a huge black ship appears as if out of nowhere on a gigantic wave which destroys the sailing ship you’re travelling on, and you find yourself lying facedown on the beach amid pieces of wood.  You find Michael’s house, but it’s locked up and a notice has been posted that the house is about to be auctioned off.  Michael has recently lost everything to gambling, and he is now tied up at the dock, awaiting his fate.  He will have to serve on that black ship, and by the time the first hour is up, so will you.

Hints:  As always, I advise playing on the easiest setting. ~ This is an Adventure Game, so it’s up to you to figure out what to do.  Luckily, it’s pretty intuitive, so just click where you think there might be something you can use, and try combining things. ~ A clever lobster can give you hints. ~ Tip the top of your screen toward you to see the hidden objects more clearly. ~ In a hidden object scene, an item can be a mere representation — like a shadow, a drawing, or some other kind of image.

My Review:  This game had me from the opening scene — which was just the main menu! — and it got better from there.  The action scenes are grippingly cinematic, and the artwork is realistic and beautifully rendered.  I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and this game is strongly reminiscent of those, visually and musically.  I can’t wait to get back on that ship and save Michael, myself, and any other mortal who might be trapped there.  Yes, it’s a ghost ship, manned by skeletons and captained by a phantom, and we all might be doomed.  Wow, I love this game!

My Recommendation:  If you love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, are intrigued by the gritty world of pirates, or just want to go back in time and have a hair-raising adventure, try this one.

You can try it for free, here:

For PC:   Secrets of the Seas: Flying Dutchman

For Mac:  Secrets of the Seas: Flying Dutchman


Solitaire Mystery: Stolen Power

Solitaire (variations) Card Game with some Hidden Object scenes   120 MB
Untimed               easier               PC                        Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  When an antique playing card flies through your window on the day that the  Museum of Ancient History is robbed of the world’s oldest deck, you take it as a sign and go there to investigate.  These cards are magical and must be kept out of the hands of anyone with evil intentions, like a robber, because the cards themselves become evil in evil’s presence… so you are determined to find them all and return them to the museum, thereby protecting the world (nice person that you are).  As you locate various cards, they seem to be playing with you (magical cards that they are).  One by one they insert themselves into your deck, and if you can uncover them while playing, you get to keep them.

Hints:  There are two different variations of Solitaire in this game, and you have no control over which style comes next.  One variation consists of choosing the next higher or lower card in a sequence, and the other requires you to match pairs. ~ It gets confusing when the game changes from one to the other style; the way to tell is by how many cards you are dealt at the bottom of the screen: one card means sequencing, two mean making pairs. ~ The more powerful cards hide themselves by dirtying some of the cards above them, so be sure to removing the dirt, mold, or padlocks before selecting a move. ~ Keep in mind  that your job is not to clear away all the cards or finish a round of Solitaire; rather, your job is simply to rescue those ancient cards.  Remember that when you are playing, and focus on clearing the pile that’s hiding the card rather than making a longer sequence of moves by matching the other cards.

My Review:  This is a nice little game which is is easy enough for beginners and appropriate for everyone (except perhaps the youngest players — it gets a just little scary in the last part of the story.  You know your children; play it through first and then decide).

Other reviewers have made two complaints about this game: they feel that the game is too short, and they resent needing to take the time to clean off the occasional card.  I find that amusing.  The cleaning is appropriate to the story, and the story is important — this is a mystery, after all.  I know that many reviewers rush through a game, anxious to be able to post their review on the day the game is released, an ego thing; fine, if that’s their choice, but then don’t complain about its brevity.  I say don’t rush through it… take your time, examine the artistic details of those beautiful scenes, and just enjoy playing the game.  After all, isn’t that the whole point?

My Recommendation:  I found this game to be very pleasant and relaxing — the music is soft, the games are untimed, if you don’t win you get more chances until you do — and this lack of pressure is a welcome change.  In addition, there’s the mystery to solve, which is a nice diversion, and the illustrations are lovely, including the spray of tiny stars that fly out of the cards when they are being dealt.  I recommend this game in spite of its short length of approximately two hours at a leisurely pace, after which you are given a fortune-telling Solitaire mini-game which you can play as often as you want.  (Its predictions are encouraging and positive.)  My only caveat is that, since the purpose of the game is to rescue the ancient cards, you will never finish a round completely, and it might irk some players not to be able to clear those last few cards on the table.

You can try it for free, here:    Solitaire Mystery: Stolen Power


Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch

Adventure Game with Puzzles                  easier                                255 MB
Untimed                                PC & Mac                    Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  Your three best friends talk you into going camping with them in a forest said to be inhabited by the earthbound spirit of a witch who was killed there, more than one hundred years ago. You don’t believe in witches and spirits, but when you get there you read a notice describing recent incidents and warning campers and hikers to be careful… and then strange and dangerous things start happening. When one of your friends becomes mortally injured, the Cypress Witch’s spirit appears to you and begs you to follow her in order to save your friend’s life. You learn that she was not a witch but a young woman who was killed on her wedding day and cursed to wander the earth by her beloved’s father, the Indian tribe’s chief, because he didn’t want a white woman marrying into his family and his tribe. To save your dying friend you must travel back in time to right the wrong that was done there, reversing the curse that the chief put on the bride and thereby stopping the evil force that inhabits the forest because of that curse. If you are successful, you save not only your friend but also the wedding.

Hints:  Because this is an Adventure Game, you have to figure out what to do, but the hint button will direct you without penalty. ~ Most of the puzzles are easy, but the harder ones can be skipped. ~ When searching for items you need, you sometime have to move things around by clicking on them. ~ There is no penalty for over-clicking.

My Review:  I was tempted to classify this as a harder game, because Adventure Games can be difficult to new players who have no experience and may not figure out what to do, but the hint button is so obliging and this game is so delightful that I want everyone to give it a try.

My Recommendation:  This is a really lovely game with a romantic story and a gorgeous bridegroom… wait till you see him, OMG.

You can try it for free, here:

For PC:   Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch

For Mac:  Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch


Sudoku Adventure

Sudoku Puzzle                           impossibly harder                               25 MB
No Untimed Option                    PC                          Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  Amy comes across a UFO in the park, goes inside and it takes off.  She tries to pilot it by completing a number grid.  The ship gets attacked by a fleet of UFOs, she gets thrown into an alien prison, finds a grid in the wall, tries to use sudoku as a code to open the cell door, and on and on like that, in a comic book format.

Hints:  Start with the number the grid has the most of, and when you have to guess, left click in the box to see the choices, and make your best guess.  If it turns red, try again.  Quickly.

My Review:  This seems to have been designed by someone who doesn’t play Sudoku.  It doesn’t give anywhere nearly enough numbers to allow you to reason it out, which is not Sudoku. The whole point of Sudoku is logical reasoning, but all you can do is wild guessing.  And even at that, there is not enough time.  Didn’t anyone even test this game?

My Recommendation:  If there could be an untimed option, this would be an interesting take on Sudoku, enabling you to create your own Sudoku grids.  But to create your own grid takes thought, and the game doesn’t give enough time for that; to make it timed, with so little time, forcing you to take random guesses and risk messing the whole thing up, that is just absurd.  This game just doesn’t make sense and I cannot recommend it.

If you want to try and make some sense out of it, you can try it for free, here: Sudoku Adventure